Those who are unprepared for serious study won’t get very far. 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. I understand the strategic benefit of making more courses available online. I worked on a team to redesign the Harvard Extension School’s website, making it as flexible as their programs of study. Goldman Sachs. This is largely already true, of course, but stating it as official policy would be helpful. 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. Unfortunately, the reputation of the Harvard Extension School in the eyes of the public is not as good. Fine, prove you can do the work) that doesn’t throw dignity away — it’s no University of Phoenix. Harvard University now offers several certificate programs through the institute as well as bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in different subjects. Microsoft, Go to company page Collectively, these efforts changed the Extension School from a sleepy continuing education program to one of the larger degree-granting schools within Harvard University. 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. Almost no employer I know in major cities west of the Mississippi (where I live) is put off by the Extension School identification. The Extension School is for "non-traditional" students. 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. He expanded online education and degree options for the ALM program beyond traditional liberal arts and science concentrations, including areas that Harvard faculty had never taught, such as journalism and digital media. The instruction and professors are all excellent. 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.”. My name is Ken Downey Jr., and I am an ALM degree candidate student, pursuing my Master of Liberal Arts in journalism. 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. Here comes to a question: Is that enough to build the reputation? or “Harvard Instructors” who had professional or research affiliations. An interview during the admissions process to weed out those who are just after the Harvard brand? 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. HES is cheap, and works wonders in tech. From what I understand, current HBS faculty are forbidden from teaching HES classes either live or prerecorded. 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. 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. ), 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. (Let’s bracket aside the problematic issue of “Extension Studies” appearing on the diploma instead of the field of concentration.) I already know how to make the most of it. They see Harvard University on a resume or CV and that carries the weight. There’s still a lot of skepticism about the quality of learning in the era of Zoom and Blackboard/Canvas, but now that the traditional full time degree programs at Harvard, Yale, etc., are almost entirely online, I’ve noticed less of an attitude when I mention I’m also taking HES courses for a second master’s degree. Yes, name is prestigious but it's my academic performance that has opened this and other options for my degree. The problem has been not with the faculty or the quality of education, but with some other students. But at Extension School, as long as you take two classes and get an A or B in both, you can apply for consideration. Yes, it is really Harvard. Both were intended for adult learners, especially for those beyond the age of traditional students. The administration giving compulsory pep talks? Executive Education. Thank you so much for info. Certificates Part of this is perhaps because few people outside Boston have conversations about the varying schools at Harvard and because HES isn’t well known. Does anyone have any numbers to back up their remarks? So… nothing happens fast in this space, but I see signs of improvement. 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. (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.). I read few articles online and talked with admission staff and they say it is very challenging thus only a few students graduate even though many start the courses through open enrollment.Also, this post is not about ‘is it worth it’. 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. HES students work hard for their courses, many of which are taught by Harvard faculty. Well before the current pandemic crisis, Harvard DCE has moved the majority of course offerings to online. I am not saying they do not exist, but I did not find anyone pretending to have a MBA from HBS on I am riding the T and I can read an advert “Sign-up now for Quincy College classes” next to another advert “Register now for classes at Cambridge College” (which to date is no longer in Cambridge); and sandwich between these and “Take classes at Benjamin Franklin College” (a tech-centric school) is Harvard DCE’s “Enroll now in Extension classes” advertisement. However, the Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies (focus: management or finance) from Harvard Extension School is not AACSB accredited. 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. Large number of courses are offered, with very diverse scopes, levels of difficulty, and backgrounds of the lecturers. Harvard Extension School is a place where students from all corners of the globe and all walks of life come together in pursuit of VERITAS. Admission requirements for HES and other continuing education schools (like UPenn’s LPS) are oftentimes considered less selective, compared to traditional college admissions process. 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. For example, an MBA from Harvard Business School is AACSB accredited. If there aren’t many graduates from a university, it’s very hard to build a reputation. Getting out of the regional bubble always seems to help. 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. Things started to change in the 1980s and 1990s when Dean Michael Shinagel took over the program and implemented major updates and launched new programs. 5. I wouldn’t have such a big problem with them if they didn’t so often hijack with the clear intention that they need to be seen as intelligent, of which they ironically often fail. Harvard Business School Stands Together MBA. My intent is to get a research/thesis based master’s at HES and a professional degree in my traditional school. They fall into two general categories: the ones who take classes in earnest to learn (60%), and the ones to who take classes to brag they go to Harvard (40%). Thanks for sharing your story. In a world that is changing at an accelerated rate, learning, studying needs to be continuous – like building something over time. I feel it to be fundamental. Another point of note could be accreditation. The Harvard Extension School, or HES, offers its students degrees or certificates from Harvard, but from an academic program that can be completed remotely and without embarking on the full admission process. 1. — Sure it is an online degree, but it is from Harvard. Even, however, online the Harvard brand is not enough to erase the stigma of an online degree education. I visited one of those major cities back in August 2020 and confirmed the fact that the differences between Extension and the other schools is relatively unknown. The focus of the degree programs was far more limited, particularly for the graduate degrees. Fortunately, the tide is starting to turn. Unfortunately every single one of my ten classes has had multiple, if not many, of these kinds of students. I read few articles online and talked with admission staff and they say … (Not all of us can do well enough on the GMAT to get into Sloan.) I honestly have no problem with the naming of HES degrees and would not misrepresent my ALB or ALM degree or other HES credentials if I had one. Regarding your last comment about the quality of instructors, could you elaborate? When Harvard College students graduate, they can be awarded cum laude, magna cum laude, or the highest distinction, summa cum laude. starting with a renaming of its degrees. Sales, Go to company page 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. I don’t know of any other programme out there that’s as flexible/hybrid as this; for example, UPenn equivalent, The LPS Online is now completely…online. These cases bring down the reputation of the school. 2. Called the Harvard Extension School now, this school was one of the first in the nation to offer distance education programs. 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. Great points in the other comments. 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. 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. Everybody who writes a thesis or dissertation can tell you about one minor (or major) disa ster that befell them: data corruption, viruses, chapters that "disappear" into the ether forever. There were almost no students from outside the Boston area. I encourage anyone who disagrees to take a few MOOCs, perhaps CS50x and come back with your certificates in hand and then tell everyone how terrible HES is. Another difference between the bachelor degree programs at Harvard College and HES is Latin honors. 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. 7. It does not even have the lesser-regarded ACBSP accreditation. Why there are still employers who think it’s fraud when someone leaves out “Extension” on their resume? 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. Which is great, of course. I’ve written about the misrepresentation issue extensively on “What employers think about Harvard Extension School degrees,” and I’ll end this post the same way: HES grads should be proud of what they have accomplished and be proud to list “Harvard Extension School” on their resumes. @Lotl : lol true. Yes, there is still the stigma of it having the word “Extension” in it and the negative or mediocre connotation that anything with the word “extension” in it brings because it is synonymous with some sub-par “extension” programs at other schools. 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. The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is a graduate school of design at Harvard University.Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the GSD offers master's and doctoral programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, urban design, real estate, design engineering, and design studies.. 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. I have about 15 MOOCs from HES under my belt, some for certificates and others taken free of charge. 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. 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. 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. Not surprising legitimate HES alumni who may mis-represent themselves by dropping “Extension” on their resumés, although says more about individual low self-esteem, speaks to HES’s identity crisis and the reason why so many can lay valid claim to having attended Harvard without having earned a degree. Next, expanding online while shrinking on-campus offerings exacerbates the existing segregation between Extension School students with the rest of Harvard, that was fostered first by HES’s identity crisis. 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. I agree with the sentiment, but I don’t think this is possible. That’s not just a Harvard Extension School issue, it’s true for many small colleges or small programs within larger university settings. You can take courses just for fun (non-credit), for undergrad credit or for graduate credit (the very same course) HES students should be proud of their achievements. …. How come people are still having the same arguments? It is now under the Continuing Education division. Amazon, Go to company page Here’s my answer to the first question about building a good Harvard Extension School reputation. JJ asked: I found out that the Extension has been more than 100 years since 1910. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 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. Harvard extension school - how difficult is it ? So to anyone reading this: go to HES, learn from brilliant minds, challenge yourself to do purposeful work, and build a network. 4. 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? 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 also remember the posturing types but it didn’t seem to be as bad 15 years ago (in terms of percentages or constant signalling). Both have been great but 6 out of the 7 HES courses I’ve taken so far (everything but statistics) have been taught by tenured Harvard faculty from either the Faculty of Arts & Sciences or Harvard Kennedy School, although two were summer school rather than HES courses. 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: I also strongly suggest that you follow the thesis track (not the capstone) and also take real classes with Harvard professors or academics with Harvard affiliations. Were these ALM Management classes? Too many courses and degree programs don’t have Harvard College/GSAS/HBS/SEAS equivalents. 2. 6. If your goal is to learn, Harvard Extension School is a great place. Linda: There are many dedicated ALM students who use their master’s degrees as a stepping stone to a PhD. The rich Extension School course catalog reflects these factors. (The ALM Management and IT programs have been particularly successful, graduating thousands of people in the past 10 years. 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? Harvard HES is expanding — correction, extending into a market that is soiled by the specter of low quality. A related issue: people who deliberately misrepresent themselves as Harvard College or Harvard Business School students and get caught, as well as high-profile graduates who tout “Harvard University” on their resumes and then are identified as HES grads, which to many outsiders looks like misrepresentation or fraud. CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE: This video will examine the Harvard Extension School and talk about its relationship to Harvard University. 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? 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. HARVARD EXTENSION SCHOOL. It’s just such a shame that so many people out there do. What about people with an on-campus MLA with management concentration pretending to have MBA? The quality and rigor of the ALM/Liberal Arts program attracts high achievers. Author Date within 1 day 3 days 1 week 2 weeks 1 month 2 months 6 months 1 year of Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04 The result has been an explosion of students and graduates, particularly since 2000. 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. On average that works out to 150 degrees granted per year. It is one of two Undergraduate degree granting schools at Harvard University; the other being the College. In fact, ... As it turns out, Harvard is hard. Now, he claims he went to Harvard. 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