Degrees of Separation

It’s a conundrum. I want to warn people about my old school without tearing it down so much that anyone who sees my degree will chuckle. I got a call this morning, more than thirty in total from John Hancock University, the newest incarnation of an institution that would rather just change its name than actually deal with its problems.

My history with higher education is tangled at best. I went to two traditional schools before finally signing up with the all-online Ellis College, at the time closely affiliated with NYIT. I made lot of progress, taking one intensive course at a time and actually getting into the material I was interested in.

I took a break, and when I came back Ellis College was Ellis University (an upgrade, right?) but was no longer connected to NYIT. I had gotten the sense that the faculty was stretched thinly, but it wasn’t until my very last class that I knew something was up. The teacher would disappear for days at a time (in a six-week course) and four weeks in I was being assured via telephone by the Dean of Students that the zombie teacher had been promptly fired, but the overall failings were clear. Ellis’ regional accreditation was under review, and ultimately pulled six months later.

I’m proud of my education, and I worked hard for it. I ended up with a degree from what was, at the time, a fully accredited school. Yet, when people google “Ellis University” the first thing they’ll likely see is how much of a failure the school is. When I received my degree, one of the two signatures was smudged—an apt expression of a tarnished achievement.

So who wouldn’t want a name change after that? Introducing: John Hancock University. In the past month, they’ve been pestering me relentlessly to enroll for a master’s degree. They simply won’t leave me alone, and I can’t be bothered to tell them to please take their insane push to boost their ranks elsewhere because, well, then their methods would be justified. I’d rather let them waste their time. I’m proud of my degree, but put simply: avoid Cardean Learning Group (the company behind the veil) and any of its incarnations at all costs.