Posts tagged ‘online degree’

Persuade Me I Need a Degree: How Unaccredited Online Degree Programs Advertise

The funniest emails caught in my spam filter are the ones that offer me degrees in various enticing ways. Since I am on a “top 10” kick this week, my favorites in my last perusal are the following charmingly ungrammatical ones (#2 reminds me of Porgy and Bess: “Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?”) or the ones that cause doubt (such as #1: can a degree ever expire?):

  1. Expired academic qualification
  2. Is your skills about to expired?
  3. Without books and education process call now
  4. MBA the hottest most sought after degree
  5. Receive PhD that you deserve from an Established Prestigious Institution
  6. Receive MBA very fast
  7. Nominated for a Ph.d
  8. Celebrate your life-long achievements
  9. Start earning the salary you deserve by obtaining the approopriate University Degree
  10. Your Degree shipped by Fed-Ex

In Degrees by Mail: Look What You Can Buy for only $499, I wrote about reading these online degree offers “more carefully than other unsolicited emails to find out how much the degree costs, how long it takes to ‘earn’ it, and what the plausible-sounding name of the institution is”. Now I just read the subject lines. But I still worry that these ads make it harder for the high quality online programs to move away from the déclassé correspondence schools that used to be so common. The biggest issues to me are how students find the high quality programs while avoiding the ones advertised above, and how employers know which online degrees are legitimate and from reputable institutions.

March 12, 2008 at 11:32 pm 10 comments

Dear Joe Namath

Dear Joe,

Congratulations on finishing your bachelor’s degree at the University of Alabama! I wrote about your accomplishment in eLearn Magazine in a column about the impact of celebrities (you and Britney Spears) on hits. Please don’t feel exploited because I was genuinely delighted to read about your online degree. In fact, the purpose of this letter is to request your further insights: what was it like to be an online student? What are you going to do next – perhaps graduate school? Or start an outreach program to encourage other people who left school without their degree to return and complete it?

I look forward to hearing from you,


January 7, 2008 at 9:15 pm 3 comments

Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM

Lisa GualtieriLisa Gualtieri is Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is Director of the Certificate Program in Digital Health Communication. Lisa teaches Designing Health Campaigns using Social Media, Social Media and Health, Mobile Health Design, and Digital Strategies for Health Communication. Contact Lisa:


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