Any opinions on this school?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by pfelectronicstech, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. pfelectronicstech

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 18, 2012
    I am nearly 100% sure I'm going for my Associates degree for Electronics engineering technology. I am pretty sure I am going to go to Thomas Edison state college but I have a question about this school, What are your thoughts looking around the website? Have you heard or them, their reputation? Anyone here attend? They are more of a technical school so you don't have to do the humanities stuff, English lit, and all that boring stuff. What do you guys think? Thanks for the help.
  2. JohnInTX


    Jun 26, 2012
    One of the most common gripes among managers and business-owners that I hear (and experience) is that its hard to get someone with good writing, communication and organizational skills. A purely technical program leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to those skills that employers value. Advancing in your career will require those skills.

    CIE is one of the original correspondence schools and I've known some guys that started there (in the 1960's) but did not finish. It takes a lot of dedication to get through. I don't know what its like now.

    In general, I would recommend going to the accredited college. You'll learn more and your degree will be worth more. Its probably cheaper as well. As a point of reference, I used to volunteer as an advisor to students completing senior projects at a well known for-profit technical 'university'. After spending a LOT of money, they generally didn't know much about anything and more importantly, could not figure out how to fill in the blanks. The microcontroller text was written by one of the staff and was a mess as were the programs written by the students who used it as a reference. I came away figuring that the primary prerequisite for attending and graduating was financial-aid checks clearing the bank.

    For a 'real' college to be accredited, the professors, curriculum, facilities etc. are peer-reviewed to keep their status, keep getting research grants, attract good professors and students and the like. Based on the experience with my seniors, I think that the primary rating for many for-profits is based on the financials over the success of their graduates.

    My advice is go to the 'real' college where academic standards are a priority, take the 'boring' stuff and become as well-rounded as you can be in addition to being technically competent.

    I was talking to a buddy over the holidays. He is GM of a technical services/instrumentation company and was complaining that he couldn't find good people. The company will provide training for the job itself but he can't find anyone with the 'soft' skills I mentioned. My now-retired senior manager wife had the same problem. She frequently had to redo work from good technical heads that could not read and write coherently. When she found someone who could, that person advanced rapidly.

    EDIT: You should also consider the transferability of credits. Few if any credits from the for-profit tech schools transfer to mainstream colleges and universities. If you ever wanted to go for the BS, you'd start from scratch.

    Just one man's thoughts..
    Good luck in your endeavors!
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
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  3. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    I'll throw in my $0.02 and vote for the accredited college. I came out of High School strong in Math and Science, weak in verbal skills. I graduated from the University of Michigan strong in everything and have not had occasion to look back. I used my electives to study Drama, Political Science, Psychology, and Economics. I took those courses with the Liberal Arts majors, not watered down courses for engineers. I had to write some damn fine term papers just to get a passing grade and I learned how to do research on topics about which I knew from nothing!

    By the way I was amazed at how popular I was when the word got around that I knew my way around statistics and the normal distribution. It seems there is a mandatory course in statistics for a degree in the social sciences and it breaks a lot of wannabees into itty bitty pieces.

    Later when I went back for a second Masters Degree it was my ability to write a term project in English, among my mostly Asian female contemporaries, that made me the hot ticket.

    Do not choose poorly.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
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  4. pfelectronicstech

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 18, 2012
    Thanks guys for the input. With CLEP exam credits, and my 18 credits from my Electronics tech. vocational education which they will take because they are ACE reviewed[already confirmed] I might only need 12 credits for my ASAST in Electronics engineering technology. Yes that was a little confusing, sorry.
  5. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    A couple more things.
    1. Read everything you can get your hands on, especially all of my posts.
    2. Start writing your own book. Doesn't matter if it never gets published.
    3. Post 5,000 times to this forum. (LOL)
  6. pfelectronicstech

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 18, 2012
    Sorry the above post was about the state college, the real college. Thanks again for the help guys.
  7. dataman19


    Dec 26, 2009
    Hey, what's wrong with CIE? At Cal Tech and MIT I got a lot of laughs when people were in my dorm room and saw my CIE certificates...... But that didn't stop me from getting my Masters, nor either one of my PhD's. Still, they are cute little certificates...
    Phoenix, AZ
  8. pfelectronicstech

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 18, 2012
    dataman19, I'm not sure what to make of your post? Did you get a Masters degree from MIT? That would be impressive.
    DerStrom8 likes this.
  9. DerStrom8

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    Even more so, PhDs!
  10. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    I don't know about CIE now, but in the 1960s and 70s it was the best of the best. I was honored to have met Carl Smith, the founder of CIE when I was chief engineer of KJNP. Carl wrote the book on directional AM antennas....quite literally, in the 1930s. His work was what the FCC used to write the laws pertinent to directional antennas.

    I agree it's good to get some liberal arts in your education....I"m a writer by trade. But for lots of folks, a technical school is all they need.

  11. tindel

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    I submit that this is true of every University in the US - not just unaccredited schools. Remember that schools are for-profit institutions. Sure some of the engineering students will flunk out - but how many of them end up in business school only to be there for another 4 years?

    I digress.

    Personally, I would encourage going to an ABET accredited school and obtain an engineering degree. I've known several engineers that became technicians, but have never met a technician that became an engineer without going thru an ABET accredited program. I have known non-graduated engineers - but sadly, they tend to, quite literally, be a dying breed.

    My company won't even look at your resume if your GPA is less than a 3.0. I think this hurts the company, personally, as many folks that work full-time while going to school full-time often times have good people skills can multi-task well, but their grades may have suffered. Those are the people you want, IMO. They are easier to mold into good engineers. They typically understood the concepts, and enough of the details to pass the classes. As opposed to the 4.0 book worms that have no social skills and they get so lost in the mathematics that they can't put together a simple low power bjt voltage regulator.

    Anyway - enough of my late night ramblings that probably have nothing to do with the topic at hand.
  12. davebee

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    This depends somewhat on where you are in your life. Some people are completely ready for a full-time college career, but others are not, and for them, a correspondence course may be the best thing.

    I speak from experience; I got started in electronics by taking an NRI correspondence course. I was working part-time at a couple of different jobs, taking care of an elderly grandmother, and a correspondence course was a good fit into my life at the time.

    Later on, I did continue on to get degrees from accredited universities, but I have a lot of respect for that correspondence course - it was just right for me in that stage in my life, and I learned a lot from it. Part of the reason I did go on to university was that the correspondence course gave me the interest in learning more and the confidence that I could do it.

    Looking back on my experience, accreditation made zero difference to me; I got from the correspondence course exactly what I wanted - a broad exposure to many different areas of electronics - analog, digital, radio and computer electronics.
    bug13 likes this.