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Master's Program at Harvard Extension School
#1
I am seeking feedback into the master's program at Harvard Extension School. I am not looking for community debate about using the Harvard name, open admissions, etc. Instead, I have two specific topic questions and would appreciate any feedback from community users who have taken courses at HES.

 
1. The learning experience with the courses at HES. What is the overall learning experience?

a) Is the learning experience similar to the Big 3, where the student reads the book, reads some articles from the Google Docs document, writes papers, maybe a few quizzes, and weekly discussions? It's mostly a self-taught experience. There are no lectures, no videos discussing each week's topic.
 
b) There are videos (live or recorded) by the professor each week discussing the topic, providing actual lectures, textbook reading, quizzes, writing papers, and weekly discussions. There is genuinely an environment of a professor teaching a class.
 
c) Somewhere between options and A and B.
 
 
 
2. What is the difficulty of the master program courses at HES? I realize the question is broad, and everyone will have their unique definition of difficulty. I am merely trying to gain a consensus on how hard the HES courses compare to other schools and alternative credit providers.
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#2
(11-23-2019, 03:23 AM)HogwartsSchool Wrote: I am seeking feedback into the master's program at Harvard Extension School. I am not looking for community debate about using the Harvard name, open admissions, etc. Instead, I have two specific topic questions and would appreciate any feedback from community users who have taken courses at HES.

 
1. The learning experience with the courses at HES. What is the overall learning experience?

a) Is the learning experience similar to the Big 3, where the student reads the book, reads some articles from the Google Docs document, writes papers, maybe a few quizzes, and weekly discussions? It's mostly a self-taught experience. There are no lectures, no videos discussing each week's topic.
 
b) There are videos (live or recorded) by the professor each week discussing the topic, providing actual lectures, textbook reading, quizzes, writing papers, and weekly discussions. There is genuinely an environment of a professor teaching a class.
 
c) Somewhere between options and A and B.
 
 
 
2. What is the difficulty of the master program courses at HES? I realize the question is broad, and everyone will have their unique definition of difficulty. I am merely trying to gain a consensus on how hard the HES courses compare to other schools and alternative credit providers.
I am finishing up my Master’s degree with HES in less than 30 days at this point.  I can say, like anything, you get what you put into it.  About 50% of my classes had live video participation as a requirement with a portion of the grade attached to participation.  Every class had some sort of lecture (recorded video or live) as part of the course.  Several had group projects that required remote presentations.  Those can be hit or miss depending on who you are grouped with.  I had two courses that resembled the self-study learning experience of the ‘Big 3’ but both of those courses required a significant amount of reading and research with weekly writing assignments in the 7-10 page range (fully referenced).  All in all, it has required anywhere between 15-20 hours a week for me to keep-up with coursework doing 2 courses a semester.  Overall I consider it a great experience and well worth the time and effort.

I hope that helps and I am happy to answer anything regarding the program or my experience with it.
---
HES - Master of Liberal Arts (ALM), Information Management Systems (2019)
Harvard University Extension School (HES) - Graduate Certificate - Cybersecurity (2018)
Thomas Edision State University (TESU) - B.A. Social Science (2016)
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#3
1. The learning experience with the courses at HES. What is the overall learning experience?
My best online learning experiences by far.

2. Is the learning experience similar to the Big 3, where the student reads the book, reads some articles from the Google Docs document, writes papers, maybe a few quizzes, and weekly discussions? It's mostly a self-taught experience. There are no lectures, no videos discussing each week's topic.
My classes had stacks of books to read, but we also had live lectures as well as recorded lectures but a ton of journal articles to read. We had weekly section meetings led by our TA. These were via chatbox/skype and email.

3, There are videos (live or recorded) by the professor each week discussing the topic, providing actual lectures, textbook reading, quizzes, writing papers, and weekly discussions. There is genuinely an environment of a professor teaching a class.
In the grad classes I took, yes.


4. What is the difficulty of the master program courses at HES? I realize the question is broad, and everyone will have their unique definition of difficulty. I am merely trying to gain a consensus on how hard the HES courses compare to other schools and alternative credit providers.
They aren't an alternate credit provider, so I wouldn't compare them in that way - besides alternative credit is all undergrad, so apples and oranges. They are a regular university that allows you to essentially be somewhere else while class is in session - I would compare them to a class you take on campus. If memory serves, I had a hard time when I had to wait until the upload to see the lecture- that eats into your time available to get your work done. Watching live is preferred, but if your class is archived /recorded, then it's not an issue. My courses were not. HES is writing heavy, the end. If you don't like to write, it's going to be awful for you there. Also, I remember assignments to be deep and provocative questions requiring careful analysis and critical thinking. Since I enjoy that kind of work, I found THAT aspect a lot better for *me* b/c I hate memorizing facts and though I tested out of my AA using CLEP/DSST, I'm not good at it. If you're better at testing than deep thought, it will be awful. Finally, I decided not to pursue a master's at HES (was debating between psychology or biology at the time I took the classes) but then enrolled in a distance masters through a university that is also NOT an online school - I was among the first in their distance learning program. Anyway, it was almost exactly like any random online class - just with more reading and a tiny bit of accountability. If HES level of quality and difficulty and actual learning is a 10, my HES where I earned a degree is more a 6 on the same scale. FWIW, if I had the money and time, I'd be at HES indulging in another master's degree right now.

P.S. I remember one more thing of note- undergrad and grad take the class together in almost every HES course. The only difference is that grad level has more assignments. Also, it used to be that if you lived in a specific state, you had to drive in to take exams in person- be sure to check on that, b/c that was true even for online courses at the time I did it.
Jennifer
10-year member

MS Applied Nutrition, 2014 Canisius College, NY
Premed/Prenursing Sciences, 2011 Ocean County College, NJ
BA Social Science, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, NJ
AA General Studies, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, NJ
AOS Culinary Arts,1990 Culinary Institute of America, NY

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#4
You can’t compare a $5,000 degree with a $40,000+ degree in terms of support. I think the answers to your questions would be clear with a bit of research how HES does things. The programs there are rigorous and often require you to be present in live meetings. They don’t do the here’s a list of chapters to read and take a quiz type of programs. But then again neither does UF and a degree from there can be super cheap for Florida residents. Anyway, yeah just think of HES as being no different than a top public distance university program.
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#5
(11-23-2019, 02:34 PM)MisterE Wrote: I am finishing up my Master’s degree with HES in less than 30 days at this point.  I can say, like anything, you get what you put into it.  About 50% of my classes had live video participation as a requirement with a portion of the grade attached to participation.  Every class had some sort of lecture (recorded video or live) as part of the course.  Several had group projects that required remote presentations.  Those can be hit or miss depending on who you are grouped with.  I had two courses that resembled the self-study learning experience of the ‘Big 3’ but both of those courses required a significant amount of reading and research with weekly writing assignments in the 7-10 page range (fully referenced).  All in all, it has required anywhere between 15-20 hours a week for me to keep-up with coursework doing 2 courses a semester.  Overall I consider it a great experience and well worth the time and effort.

I hope that helps and I am happy to answer anything regarding the program or my experience with it.

Congrats. After I finish Microecon this Spring, I'll be in the ALM - Finance program. I'm thinking one course a semester will be tolerable with my work schedule. That would put me finishing up in four years. Were you able to get the HES Grant?
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#6
(11-27-2019, 01:25 AM)alexf.1990 Wrote:
(11-23-2019, 02:34 PM)MisterE Wrote: I am finishing up my Master’s degree with HES in less than 30 days at this point.  I can say, like anything, you get what you put into it.  About 50% of my classes had live video participation as a requirement with a portion of the grade attached to participation.  Every class had some sort of lecture (recorded video or live) as part of the course.  Several had group projects that required remote presentations.  Those can be hit or miss depending on who you are grouped with.  I had two courses that resembled the self-study learning experience of the ‘Big 3’ but both of those courses required a significant amount of reading and research with weekly writing assignments in the 7-10 page range (fully referenced).  All in all, it has required anywhere between 15-20 hours a week for me to keep-up with coursework doing 2 courses a semester.  Overall I consider it a great experience and well worth the time and effort.

I hope that helps and I am happy to answer anything regarding the program or my experience with it.

Congrats. After I finish Microecon this Spring, I'll be in the ALM - Finance program. I'm thinking one course a semester will be tolerable with my work schedule. That would put me finishing up in four years. Were you able to get the HES Grant?

Thanks and excellent news getting in the the ALM - Finance program for this Spring!  I didn't apply for the HES grant as there is no way I would have qualified.  On a good note though, my employer has a tuition reimbursement program that I have been taking advantage of, so the whole program will have ended up costing me around ~$6k out of pocket.
---
HES - Master of Liberal Arts (ALM), Information Management Systems (2019)
Harvard University Extension School (HES) - Graduate Certificate - Cybersecurity (2018)
Thomas Edision State University (TESU) - B.A. Social Science (2016)
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#7
(11-23-2019, 03:23 AM)HogwartsSchool Wrote: I am seeking feedback into the master's program at Harvard Extension School. I am not looking for community debate about using the Harvard name, open admissions, etc. Instead, I have two specific topic questions and would appreciate any feedback from community users who have taken courses at HES.

 
1. The learning experience with the courses at HES. What is the overall learning experience?

a) Is the learning experience similar to the Big 3, where the student reads the book, reads some articles from the Google Docs document, writes papers, maybe a few quizzes, and weekly discussions? It's mostly a self-taught experience. There are no lectures, no videos discussing each week's topic.
 
b) There are videos (live or recorded) by the professor each week discussing the topic, providing actual lectures, textbook reading, quizzes, writing papers, and weekly discussions. There is genuinely an environment of a professor teaching a class.
 
c) Somewhere between options and A and B.
 
 
 
2. What is the difficulty of the master program courses at HES? I realize the question is broad, and everyone will have their unique definition of difficulty. I am merely trying to gain a consensus on how hard the HES courses compare to other schools and alternative credit providers.

1. In the Data Science program, it's mostly recorded lectures with optional live attendance, but also some pre-recorded courses from other Harvard colleges or MIT, and some courses with mandatory live attendance. Some courses have optional live attendance for the lectures, but mandatory live weekly recitation sections. Actual interaction with the professor can be limited depending on class size, unless you physically attend the lecture. I've flown to Boston to attend lectures a few times "just for fun", but the live broadcast is 90% of the same experience, including the ability to ask questions.

2. Data Science courses range from above average to very hard in difficulty. Most students in the program are scientists, engineers with masters degrees, etc., but in my Advanced Python course, for example, most reported 15-25 hours every week on homework assignments for a single 4-credit course and exam averages were in the mid 60s. It's probably roughly comparable in difficulty to grad courses from other top schools, but with more homework due to the courses being 4 semester hours instead of the more common 3.
CPA (WA), CFA Level III Candidate

Currently pursuing: ALM, Data Science - Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
MBA, Finance/Accounting - Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2015
BSBA, General Management - Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ, 2012


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#8
One thing I would point of with these degrees is that they are in extension services.
For example: The HES Masters of Science in Data Science Degree is actually displayed as an ALM in Extension Services (Field: Data Science)

This is what has turned me away from considering this option personally.
TESU BSBA Accounting && BA Computer Science 'March Graduation Goal'

CLEP
College Composition (57), Introductory Sociology (54), Introductory Psychology (56), College Algebra (70), Principles of Macroeconomics (54), Analyze and Interpret Literature (53), Precalculus (69), Principles of Microeconomics (53), Calculus (68), Principles of Management (56), Principles of Marketing (60), College Mathematics (65)

DSST
Principles of Statistics (444), Personal Finance (400), Introduction to Computing (435), Intro to Business (437), Principles of Superivsion (447)

STUDY
Business 113, Accounting 102, Political Science 102, Business 309, Communications 101, Accounting 202, Accounting 302, Accounting 301, Accounting 303, Business 308, Finance 101, Computer Science 115, Accounting 101, Computer Science 105, Computer Science 109, Computer Science 201, Math 108, Accounting 201, Accounting 202, 

TEEX
Cyber 101, Cyber 201, Cyber 301

SAYLOR
Environmental Ethics, Business Statistics
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#9
(12-05-2019, 09:34 AM)Zachcleigh Wrote: One thing I would point of with these degrees is that they are in extension services.  
For example: The HES Masters of Science in Data Science Degree is actually displayed as an ALM in Extension Services (Field: Data Science)

This is what has turned me away from considering this option personally.

Diplomas read "extension studies", not "extension services". There are no MS degrees awarded by HES. It's basically a bit of academic arcanum, kind of like how a PhD could be in any field. Within the school itself students and staff (most of whom are not degree seekers), apply common sense when discussing their concentration and degree name. (nobody would ever describe the HES Data Science program as a MS in Data Science, because it would be inaccurate to say so, and SEAS actually has a completely unrelated full-time MS Data Science program)
CPA (WA), CFA Level III Candidate

Currently pursuing: ALM, Data Science - Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
MBA, Finance/Accounting - Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2015
BSBA, General Management - Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ, 2012


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#10
(12-05-2019, 12:19 PM)Yanji Wrote:
(12-05-2019, 09:34 AM)Zachcleigh Wrote: One thing I would point of with these degrees is that they are in extension services.  
For example: The HES Masters of Science in Data Science Degree is actually displayed as an ALM in Extension Services (Field: Data Science)

This is what has turned me away from considering this option personally.

Diplomas read "extension studies", not "extension services". There are no MS degrees awarded by HES. It's basically a bit of academic arcanum, kind of like how a PhD could be in any field. Within the school itself students and staff (most of whom are not degree seekers), apply common sense when discussing their concentration and degree name. (nobody would ever describe the HES Data Science program as a MS in Data Science, because it would be inaccurate to say so, and SEAS actually has a completely unrelated full-time MS Data Science program)
You are correct. Extension Studies* I was typing a bit too fast on my end. 
Harvard does have a separate and unrelated MS in Data Science degree like you’ve said. Personally if I’m going to do the work for an MS in data science, I would want that degree. However, not everyone shares the same opinion and I will admit that Harvard degrees (whether HES or not) come with a level of clout for the resume.
TESU BSBA Accounting && BA Computer Science 'March Graduation Goal'

CLEP
College Composition (57), Introductory Sociology (54), Introductory Psychology (56), College Algebra (70), Principles of Macroeconomics (54), Analyze and Interpret Literature (53), Precalculus (69), Principles of Microeconomics (53), Calculus (68), Principles of Management (56), Principles of Marketing (60), College Mathematics (65)

DSST
Principles of Statistics (444), Personal Finance (400), Introduction to Computing (435), Intro to Business (437), Principles of Superivsion (447)

STUDY
Business 113, Accounting 102, Political Science 102, Business 309, Communications 101, Accounting 202, Accounting 302, Accounting 301, Accounting 303, Business 308, Finance 101, Computer Science 115, Accounting 101, Computer Science 105, Computer Science 109, Computer Science 201, Math 108, Accounting 201, Accounting 202, 

TEEX
Cyber 101, Cyber 201, Cyber 301

SAYLOR
Environmental Ethics, Business Statistics
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