If enough people do so and do as well in their careers as they did while at HES, the reputation of the Harvard Extension School will grow … making it easier for all Extension School grads to leverage ALB and ALM degrees to advance their careers. In my opinion in many respects, Columbia’s General Studies program by far does a better job than HES/DCE but I think HES provides better ROI (return on investment, the H-bomb alone gives more bang for the buck) than Columbia’s GS. And the same way, “online education” developed bad reputation (because of some bad actors) in the past, but now (especially with the pandemic), distance learning is becoming, well, fundamentally important. In my case I have already told my manager and client (side gig) it’s going to be HES and they both are fine. My intent is to get a research/thesis based master’s at HES and a professional degree in my traditional school. At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of graduates of any university to accurately describe their academic credentials, not the schools to enforce the standards. starting with a renaming of its degrees. I have built a very real network through my time and connections at the Extension School and have felt incredibly supported at an institutional level. Until COVID, my full time traditional master’s was entirely in person and my department/school had a noticeable bias and condescension towards online degrees, courses, schools, etc… Since March, my traditional master’s has been entirely online just like my ALM, and I’ve seen a shift in attitudes among both students and faculty in my department. Another point of note could be accreditation. As a recent ALM Management alum, your posting was very helpful about needing to be geographically west of the Mississippi. Yes, it is really Harvard. At Harvard, all of the extension school's degree programs combine online and face-to-face learning. I have been an HES student for three years, and at nearly every turn I continue to be impressed by the level of instruction and mentorship by faculty and staff. Founded in 1910, Harvard’s Extension School was originally designed to serve local non-traditional students. The confusion for many comes from the fact that Extension School is part of Harvard University, the same way the Business School is, or Harvard Law School is. If they choose to lie or exaggerate, they should expect that they will be exposed or called out, sometimes with a very negative impact on their public image and career. The GSD has over 13,000 alumni and has graduated many famous architects, urban … The reputation of the school among students and alumni is fantastic. I’ve been an ALM degree candidate in a social science field for the last two years while simultaneously pursuing a professional “brick and mortar” master’s degree full time at another ivy league school. It is a wonderful feeling to browse through the course offerings before the semester starts, seeing what’s available and who’s teaching certain sections. He is dishonest to exclude that in the name. Thankfully in this age we have the benefit of Zoom and other social media platforms (WhatsApp, LinkedIn, etc) to bring us much closer. A two-year, full-time residential program with a focus on real-world practice. Uber. I read few articles online and talked with admission staff and they say … Programs like Digital Media Arts, Journalism, and Museum Studies have no equivalents anywhere at Harvard. 3. In fact, for people pursuing the thesis track, the process is designed to follow many of the processes used for PhD dissertations at Harvard and elsewhere. All that said, do your research on Harvard Extension or any school before you register for classes. While anyone can take a class at the Extension School, students who want to study for a degree have to prove they can walk the walk before they are admitted. It is clear, that if an institution – under the Harvard umbrella – offers all the above at the same time, there will be controversies of all kinds. If these trends continue, the reputation of the Extension School will improve. All Blogs > Harvard Extension School Blog > How Students Balance Full-Time Work and School Earning a degree is one way to get on a path toward a more gratifying career. It’s such a shame because I do believe HES is an excellent institution in its own right; it is THE “continuing education” school of Harvard University, with an egalitarian admissions policy and a unconventional way of selection (you want a Harvard-quality education? COVID has been a game changer for higher education in general, and I think this is already having an affect on how HES and its degree programs are viewed in the future. There is enough negative material out there on the web about HES and a fellow alumna discouraged me from starting my own blog about my own misadventures while taking many on-campus courses and working for Harvard. In terms of ROI it is worth it. HARVARD EXTENSION SCHOOL. Harvard’s use of the word ‘enroll’ and not ‘register’ which have different meanings in Harvard context than the words’s ordinary synonymity. It is now under the Continuing Education division. The opportunity afforded me by the Harvard U Extension School is a blessing. Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 12:20:00 PM GMT-5 But also, I have to believe that the quality of instructors is less than they’re getting in real Harvard, because I have had some doozies. There is something about adult/continuing education that makes people feel like they have something to prove, perhaps some past failure or setback they can’t let go of, and in my experience they use the Harvard name to convince themselves and others that “see, I’m worthy.” People who talk in class are good, but people who dominate class with their own insecurities are bad. 1. Here’s my answer to the first question about building a good Harvard Extension School reputation. Will this ever be fixed? Both were intended for adult learners, especially for those beyond the age of traditional students. And on a final note: let’s not get lost in the thinking of how school names and brands are important. Who cares what a bunch of young bankers think. Other stuff is just the noise. What employers think about Harvard Extension School degrees, “Upzoning” in Newton: A tool to turn over the city from one class of people to another? Until about 30 years ago, there were relatively few Extension School degrees granted – maybe a few dozen every year, including the now-defunct associates degree. The quality and rigor of the ALM/Liberal Arts program attracts high achievers. For instance, the last time I checked, the ALM, Management program is running a completely different curriculum and course offerings than the Harvard Business School MBA program. My experience over the last four years of my involvement with the school has been very positive as far as employers and clients are concerned. Oh yea , in terms of prestige and knowledge even I agree it’s not worth. By identity crisis, I mean there is a disconnect between how HES is marketed and what HES offers. Even celebrities overseas (yes, the bad rap is international sadly eg. Even Harvard University seems to treats the Extension School like its 2nd-class step child. Admission requirements for HES and other continuing education schools (like UPenn’s LPS) are oftentimes considered less selective, compared to traditional college admissions process. This was before the World Wide Web, so you had to come to campus to attend class, which limited the student body to those living within driving range or using public transportation. Which is great, of course. I only searched for the answer i needed. Your email address will not be published. Given that the extension school has been around for about a century, it sure seems to me that, for whatever reason, Harvard thinks that the extension school is a worthy division to run. In fact, ... As it turns out, Harvard is hard. So I don’t have to hide anything. We’re all learning together and the experience is exponentially more more beneficial as a community dialogue instead of a self-given lecture. A former Indian coworker did it. ), Shinagel also ramped up the ability for non-Harvard faculty to teach for credit, added prerecorded Harvard College classes for credit online, and increased the number of online classes allowed for the degree programs. Would not this only plant the seed of doubt with hiring managers who comes across this post? — Sure it is an online degree, but it is from Harvard. Fine, prove you can do the work) that doesn’t throw dignity away — it’s no University of Phoenix. That said, I will make one observation, not living the in Boston area, the perception that the “Extension School” is of lesser quality by employers doesn’t bear out. (If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the Extension School and the changes he led, I recommend his book The Gates Unbarred.). The instruction and professors are all excellent. Some are Harvard professors, some are professionals, some might be a recent graduate of HES Harvard Extension School is the extension school of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.Under the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, it offers liberal arts and professional courses, academic certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a pre-medical program. But please, go for the right reasons. The school also offers Graduate degrees. 5. Goldman Sachs. It's not difficult. In Boston they call it “Harvard Community College.”. @Lotl : lol true. or “Harvard Instructors” who had professional or research affiliations. I’m looking into HES for an ALM. Certificates Even, however, online the Harvard brand is not enough to erase the stigma of an online degree education. Fortunately, the tide is starting to turn. Barracuda If successful grads don’t publicly state they attended Harvard Extension School, how can the public know their educational background includes years of study at the Extension School? Qualifying for admission into HES’ bachelor degree program after getting B or better in 2 to 3 classes cannot be compared to Harvard College’s 4.5% acceptance rate last year. As of a few years ago, current HBS faculty were forbidden from teaching HES courses, although I heard some retired HBS professors were teaching HES classes. That’s not just a Harvard Extension School issue, it’s true for many small colleges or small programs within larger university settings. When I looked at the list of other ALM Management faculty, almost all were professors from other schools (UMass, Tufts, Northeastern, etc.) Try Stanford Center for Professional Development, it's much better than HES. If you make an effort to connect with your professors and let them know your intention to apply to PhD programs, I am sure you will be able to get letters of recommendation. Thanks but no thanks to those who fault the Extension School and students. So you can just take some courses, freely, if you want, if you are interested in certain topics. I wish the administration would do something about this; HES deserves way better than this. But at Extension School, as long as you take two classes and get an A or B in both, you can apply for consideration. Thanks for sharing your story. HES students should be proud of their achievements. 6. Even though many distance education students work extremely hard on assignments and tests, watching videos on the Extension School website and participating in limited online discussions does not represent a “Harvard-caliber” academic experience, as the Extension School claims. One possible solution to reduce some of the confusions and controversies around HES could be: separate – in some way – the degree programs/candidates from those that are just taking courses for fun and from the certificates (maybe by bringing the degree programs under one of the other 11 Harvard schools). Now what?”. Unfortunately every single one of my ten classes has had multiple, if not many, of these kinds of students. Let’s see what the new Dean does to improve things further! It does not even have the lesser-regarded ACBSP accreditation. Take, for example, Kenneth Tucceri, a museum studies degree candidate with a … 7. I’ve been out of school for 25 years and worked in the corporate world, so I’m finding a lot of roadblocks in applying straight into a PhD program. On average that works out to 150 degrees granted per year. I understand the strategic benefit of making more courses available online. (Not all of us can do well enough on the GMAT to get into Sloan.) Even for those that are not, I trust Harvard’s judgement and believe they are highly-qualified. This comment was deleted by original commenter. HES students also have tons of privileges like formalized programs that let you conduct research with Harvard faculty, that let you take Harvard College classes, etc. Called the Harvard Extension School now, this school was one of the first in the nation to offer distance education programs. PLEASE SHARE THIS POST VIA FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, TWITTER, OR EMAIL! Someone posed an interesting question on an earlier blog post about Harvard Extension School degrees. Collectively, these efforts changed the Extension School from a sleepy continuing education program to one of the larger degree-granting schools within Harvard University. I have about 15 MOOCs from HES under my belt, some for certificates and others taken free of charge. Regarding your last comment about the quality of instructors, could you elaborate? Maybe the online dynamic is different (my classes were all on campus, in the classroom) or the student body has changed as HES has grown. Sure, those who use HES credentials to pose as HC or as being an affiliate from another of Harvard schools contribute to the linear combination of reasons why the Extension School may have a poor reputation, but the major reason for the Extension School’s low status is because of the school’s association with their competitors. It’s been a while since I looked it up, but when I enrolled in Harvard Extension School, the rule was that you could list Harvard University on your resume, as long as you specified that your degree was in “Extension Studies.” So, for example, if I graduate, I will list “Master Liberal Arts in Media Design through Extension Studies, Harvard University.” That way it would align with the formatting of my under grad, which in my case, doesn’t list the school, just the degree and university. The administration giving compulsory pep talks? For example, an MBA from Harvard Business School is AACSB accredited. I’ve made this statement before to groups of peers in classes and those outside Boston tend to agree and those near Boston are a bit reticent. This is not the case for HES students, who can, at best, get cum laude. This is largely already true, of course, but stating it as official policy would be helpful. Harvard extension doesn’t get you anything on your resume. Why there are still employers who think it’s fraud when someone leaves out “Extension” on their resume? Do you think the misconceptions and bad rap associated with Harvard Extension School will ever go away? Given this, it is not hard to see why some may view HES’ reputation as not being equal to that of the other degree-granting schools at Harvard. They see Harvard University on a resume or CV and that carries the weight. (Let’s bracket aside the problematic issue of “Extension Studies” appearing on the diploma instead of the field of concentration.) If your goal is to learn, Harvard Extension School is a great place. Columbia GS, along with Brown RUE and Yale Eli Whitney, offer identical classes alongside the normal aged student body at the same tuition and grant the same degree. Now, he claims he went to Harvard. Having multiple copies, accessible in multiple ways, is essential. Thank you so much for info. The difference is between getting in and getting through a degree program at Harvard, or getting a graduate level certificate (which is still great and powerful), or just participating in single courses, because you are interested/passionate about a topic. I think apart from pushing the degree name change issue (which doesn’t bother me terribly because I just accept is as stupid institutional bureaucratic miscellany and dismiss it as a cartoon), I would like the school to adopt an explicit policy that the rigor and academic standards of their coursework shall mirror the same of the schools from which their courses are drawn. I plan on moving my family soon to this major city. I feel it to be fundamental. The focus of the degree programs was far more limited, particularly for the graduate degrees. I see more and more people willing to emphasize their Harvard Extension School degree or teaching credentials, and there is definitely more student pride. DrGRob, An interview during the admissions process to weed out those who are just after the Harvard brand? The Extension School is the only of Harvard’s thirteen schools to offer both graduate and undergraduate degrees and also the only to offer an associate degree. Simultaneous to DCE’s competing against the for-profit online schools they are competing in the same market as local community colleges and below-third tier schools. Harvard University now offers several certificate programs through the institute as well as bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in different subjects. This, one can actually say they graduated from these schools with all the meaning that implies and with no qualification. That it’s 100% online, that ANY PERSON can IMMEDIATELY GET ACCEPTED INTO THEIR DEGREE PROGRAMMES) spread, and that’s just sad. I’m about to enter the thesis phase and that will also be supervised by Harvard faculty, who I’m paying a fraction of what the “traditional” undergrad and grad students at Harvard pay for the same education. I know this may read as a generalization–there is truth to the fact that the posturing type is the minority, yet they are significantly louder and forceful than the others. Kudos to HES streamline admissions process but there needs to be a better way of either integrating or differentiating between Extension students who are non-degree and degree candidates. Graduate degrees in various fields (some of them can be same or similar to those offered by other Harvard schools) While this really speaks more of their character and of the appeal of The Harvard brand (“imitation is the highest form of flattery”) than the quality of education one gets at HES itself, the end result is that HES’s name is tarnished and misconceptions about it (eg. Harvard Extension School. Thank you so much for this comment. HES, unfortunately, does not offer that status and so an extension graduate is left to either hoodwink the public or admit that they did not graduate from “real Harvard.”. Unfortunately, the reputation of the Harvard Extension School in the eyes of the public is not as good. So to anyone reading this: go to HES, learn from brilliant minds, challenge yourself to do purposeful work, and build a network. Many courses can be taken in person (at Harvard), or completely online, or a mix of the two. HES is a pioneer in distance education 4. First off, have a school that is mostly online and for better or for worst, places that school in the same category as all other online degree granting schools. As I enter the back-nine of my time here at Harvard Extension School, I have realized how grateful I am to be a part of this great institute. 2. Have a file backup plan ... just in case. Some prospective degree candidates assume that the experience will be akin to a typical continuing education program. Harvard extension school - how difficult is it ? The latter group is insufferable, and they consistently clog group learning with tangential, unfocused personal anecdotes to prove that they are worthy of being called a Harvard student. I like to assume positive intent and feel like most don’t purposefully misrepresent their resume. I would like the school to adopt an explicit policy that the rigor and academic standards of their coursework shall mirror the same of the schools from which their courses are drawn. (Updated), https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/1253296442678149122?s=20, Aberdeenshire, Scotland genealogy blogging, Newton City Council candidate pledges to reject developer and lobbyist donations, takes it anyway (Updated), Architects: Newton rezoning is “driven by ideology” and an attempt to “unzone” the city (updated), Response to “Before coronavirus, Newton development was booming. Incoming Harvard Extension School students often want to know about the pathway of an average student. Harvard isn't trying to hide ANYTHING - the Extension School courses aren't Harvard College courses for the most part (the admission criteria for the day school and the Extension School are massively different as are many of the professors). What about people with an on-campus MLA with management concentration pretending to have MBA? As a current ALM (Management) student who has education through a PhD in another discipline, the rigor is HES has been exceptional but the greatest benefit is the interaction with my peers. If there aren’t many graduates from a university, it’s very hard to build a reputation. Among the hundreds of tweets in reaction, one (humorous) tweet stands out because the premise reflects the prevalent reputation of online education, https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/1253296442678149122?s=20 So I don’t see the real difference in when (at what age) you are getting your degree – especially if it is a graduate degree – or whether if you are sitting in a classroom or watching the live video. It is part of the Division of Continuing Education in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, offering over 800 courses, 20-plus degree fields, and nearly 40 certificates for both undergraduates and graduate students. Pertaining to a similar matter, what is the goal of pointing out that HBS professors may be prohibited from teaching at HES or having a “doozy” of instructors? Then there is the evolution of education. How come people are still having the same arguments? I haven’t gotten any of those sideways glances or whatever it is people seem to be afraid of experiencing. I think some of the individual ALM programs are on-point, but the overall HES purpose or goal is not well-defined, which has changed, certainly, from its inception. Another difference between the bachelor degree programs at Harvard College and HES is Latin honors. Reading through a few hundred of this sample, the vast majority are high achievers, hold excellent positions, and achieved good promotions, which contradict the argument that employers hold a HES ALM in low esteem. Does anyone have any numbers to back up their remarks? I agree with much in the post; it is unfortunate that the Extension School isn’t a higher profile. Harvard Extension School is one of the 12 degree-granting schools at Harvard University. Definitely one of the main reasons for confusion, is the fact that there have been too many things mixed together under the HES umbrella, by now: The result has been an explosion of students and graduates, particularly since 2000. I already know how to make the most of it. My name is Ken Downey Jr., and I am an ALM degree candidate student, pursuing my Master of Liberal Arts in journalism. I think that’s just great. Goldman Sachs, I need help to understand how hard the courses at HES is? So… nothing happens fast in this space, but I see signs of improvement. We the undersigned Harvard students request a formal meeting with Harvard President Lawrence Bacow to discuss student concerns over the "in Extension Studies" part of the degree name at Harvard Extension School. Their master ’ s very hard to build the reputation of the Mississippi into consideration traditional... Continuing education program learning together and the experience is exponentially more more beneficial as a stepping stone to a continuing! The current pandemic crisis, I mean there is a great place the being. I haven ’ t have to hide anything taken free of charge thinking of how School names brands. 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