My son took some of these character education courses, during the summer just to
keep busy, not for any credit or anything, but as a parent wanted to keep him
learning and improve character as ell. They were pretty tough, I was surprised,
you had to delve into things and it required them to develop critical thinking
skills further. It is insulting for the NCAA to do this. The courses are top
notch classes and the kids learn important things.
Why is the NCAA in the business of approving academic curriculum anyway?
"Character Education" courses that merely required Oher to "read a few brief
passages from famous works ... and then answer five questions about it."That actually doesn't sound any different from real high school. What do
you think kids do in there all day?
As an educator for the past 44 years, I've had the privilege of designing and
authoring more than 400 courses in 4 different colleges and universities. I've
had the privilege of enrolling in and successfully completing four BYU online
and formally, "home study" courses. My children, likewise have successfully
completed several of the courses and none were used to "beef" up their grades.
The rigor in each course far exceeded what was taught in the class room. The
Bowling course was so difficult, my daughter refused to take the final because
she had to memorize the PBA rulebook. BYU Independent Study does not use
packets. I understand that BYU Independent Study has earned 27 National awards
for their outstanding curriculum. And, are recognized world-wide for their
outstanding leadership in online education. The NCAA has their challenges and
BYU will address those postulations and suppositions aimed at them in a most
vigorous manner and not with a "knee-jerk" reaction. Two states now require
students to enroll in at least one or more online courses in order to graduate;
24 other states have similar requirements in legislation. The NCAA and BYU will
resolve this concern with integrity!
What you guys aren't realizing is how easy it is to get high school credits
through an online course. So many kids in high school just dropped out, and got
there GED onlin in literally 3 months. People at BYU are taking it too over the
top trying to take it easy through online courses. And its good to teach kids
that techonology isn't everything. They're so obsessed with texting and facebook
so much already its not bad to make them stick with the basics and sit in a
class room. heaven forbid they have to talk to a teacher instead of I.M. them!
Apparently, my last comment violated some rule so all I'm going to say is that I
don't agree with the NCAA ban...Regardless of how a student gets his
credits for college, he or she should be able to enter college with all their
This is just the NCAA's way of flexing it's, increasingly deteriorating, muscles
for all the college world to see. It's the nature of any established
organization to fear what it can't control or sees as a threat to their
authority. History is replete of several examples of this. The NCAA
should be focusing on more serious rule violations, such as Fraturnity hazzing
and domestic violence incidents, than on how a student gets his or her
education. What are they going to do next? NOT RECOGNIZE ALL ONLINE COURSES FOR
ATTAINING A DEGREE and say, "Nope, you can't get your degree because you didn't
have any face to face interaction with an instructor"????
I think this is a great development. Contrary to what Reno Mahe says, it DOES
NOT help kids graduate high school. Yes, technically, it does. But all of that
is hollow compared to what the real outcomes of a high school education should
be. Most of these kids screwed up by sluffing school and/or being too lazy to
do the work the other students did and turned in on time. Thus, their poor
grades. Now they want a shortcut to get their diploma. Just b/c you have a
diploma doesn't mean you got it in the most honest way. There are no shortcuts
to success and you're only hamnstringing these kids' future b/c now every time
they encounter an obstacle they'll look for "the packet" for whatever it is
that's preventing their success... which is usually hard work and reliability.
I understand how bad it looks when administrators hold up a transcript and gnash
their teeth about a student completing the work in a few hours, but I have to
compare that to my own high school experience.There were at least a
dozen classes in my high school career where I goofed off for the entire term,
never handing in my homework, skipping class, and earning a failing grade, then
in the last week before report cards came out I went to the teacher and took
home a pile of make up work that I completed that week and got an acceptable
grade in the class.What online classes truly reveal is that your
high school teachers are wasting three months of your time for something that
you should be able to complete in a few days.The problem isn't the
online classes. It's the brick and mortar classes.
Speaking as a teacher and as a mother whose children have taken on-line BYU
classes, may I just offer the following ideas? 1) Today's students are so busy
cheating their way through regular classes by using their technology
instruments, that the problem with on-line classes seems moot. Teachers simply
can't keep up with 30 kids hourly who are intent on A's rather than education.
2) My children used the BYU on-line (at that time snail mail) to make room for
other classes they simply couldn't work into a daily schedule. We were grateful
for that. As usual, parents who cheat for children are alive and
well in the system. Those who expect success and monitor their students are
helping them learn valuable lessons. AND who knows what the long-range results
will be. I am just glad there are programs available that can assist us in
helping our children achieve well-placed goals.
This is discrimination against home school students. Why is American School
included in this policy? If a school is good enough to prepare students to be
successful in college, it should be good enough for them to participate in
sports. Just because there might be a few courses offered that are
easy, doesn't mean the whole program should be banned. There are easy subjects
offered at public schools also. There are also plenty of harder courses
Excuse me CARMANWhere did you find those statistics?
To Menace:Where did you find all of those statistics?
To Menace:BYU offers a higher quality education than the other
schools in this state. On a program-by-program basis, salaries out of BYU are
higher on average, a reflection of the market's view on how prepared students
are. As for the PAC-10, there are a couple of great schools, but the Y holds
its own against most of the schools in that conference. If you want to argue
that Arizona, AZ St., Oregon, Oregon St., Washington, or Washington St are
better than the Y, go for it. The statistics just don't show it. Admission
standards, admits to top grad programs, average starting salaries, etc. all show
the Y is on par with all but 3 or 4 of the schools, and notably better than many
With academic standards like this, I can't imagine why the Pac 10 is not
interested in the Why?
It sounds like BYU is intent on resolving any possible issues with the NCAA.
Good for them.
What everyone needs to realize is that NCAA isn't out trying to take down BYU
athletics. I took courses through BYU and honestly they were much much easier.
Alot of kids who either couldn't pass a class or wanted the easy way out just
took the class and wrapped it right up.
Further to my earlier comment, Mr. Harmon cites Lewis' truly reprehensible
reference to Oher's education process as "the great Mormon grade-grab." We
would have hoped for better from an ostensibly reputable source like Lewis.One also wonders what the response of the Anti-Defamation League would
be if Lewis made such a crass reference as "the great Jewish grade-grab" . . .
but then of course Lewis would not make such a reference.-Reconditte-Recondite
It is obvious that neither the NCAA or Mr. Lewis has read Disrupting Class,
which contains the groundbreaking research by Dr. Clayton Christensen, Professor
of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Among the cogent
points Professor Christiansen makes, two should be of particular interest to the
aforementioned untutored:(1) Professor Christensen quotes Dr. Howard
Gardner, the Harvard Professor who pioneer in multiple intelligences, on the
need to provide education tailored to the individualized learning needs of each
student (pp. 25-29). Presumably Mr. Oher benefited from such tailored learning
rather than the "monolithic instruction" (pp. 35-38) delivered in the "factory
model schools" that provide the bulk of our nation's so called education.(2) Professor Christensen postulates (pp. 98-99) that "by 2019, about
50% of high school courses will be delivered online." One wonders what the NCAA
will do for fodder for its athletic programs when this transformation takes
I just wonder how much first- and second-round NFL draft-caliber talent got into
D1 schools that aren't BYU with the help of these courses.The
courses should have a tag line: "BYU Online Study, making other college football
The fact that the work can be done quickly does not (in my mind) negate the
value of the work or indicate that the students were cheating. It might just
mean that they are very bright. The fact that these athletes failed their
regular English classes might just mean that they never turned in their
homework. They might have understood everything the teacher ever said in class.
Or maybe she was too distracted by cute boy in the front of the class. Or
maybe some tragedy made school quite impossible that term. Trying to fit every
student into a STANDARDIZED educational program is one of the problems with the
system. Correspondence courses are one of the solutions.
I was just at a national seminar where this topic was discussed. The NCAA
people were very careful to not assign blame to BYU and actually gave BYU credit
for trying to address the problem. Then administrators from colleges and
universities from around the nation got up and spoke. Some brought actual
transcripts with them. One kid replaced his high school sr English class,
history class and another class with BYU online classes. He did the work all in
one day over Christmas break. Another showed a high school student who replaced
a sr math class. He did the work in four hours on one day. BYU has a
legitimate program, but abusers know how to cheat it and BYU had its head buried
in he sand when problems came up. It really devalues the BYU education in the
minds of those outside the state of Utah. I have a master's from BYU, but was
extremely embarrassed listening to example after example of what a joke the
online classes were.
To those questioning how you can know who does the course work: yes, it is
possible that others may do the course work for them. However, the exams are
totally different. They must take the exams at a nearby testing center or with a
certified proctor who is independent of the student. Since for most of the
courses the exams are the biggest part of the grade, it would be pretty hard to
get a good grade by having someone else do the course work and then do poorly on
the exams. Not to mention it would be suspicious. Moreover, the program is
accredited by the proper organizations, and the NCAA should stop thinking it
needs to be more strict then the organizations set up to decide these things.Also, to the Ute who criticized BYU for offering online High School
classes (and a diploma, as it is not actually a degree that you get from a High
School): do you scoff this much at all innovation? Or do you just hate BYU so
you are searching for anything you can to twist to make it sound like BYU is not
a good institution?
Don't criticize BYU. They're not going to listen anyway. They have never made
any mistakes. Any talk that it has, as an institution, violated every possible
ethical standard known to mankind is out of place. The impact these so-called
courses have on the students and the rest of society is unimportant. The
financial impact on the university and its online education personnel is
I knew a student who had 4 F's 3 of which were in PE classes. The baseball team
so desperately wanted him to play and his mom would come to school every day
(Where he WASN'T), In order to gain his eligibility he needed to pass 3 classes.
Suddenly he was enrolled into 2 classes that are released to the parents and
then a BYU course that he had to take the test that Saturday to get passed...
WEIRD, how a kid can miss an entire TERM and then pass a test to become
eligible??? Who took the test and how hard was it??? I like this new
accountability NCAA is making! Class/Seat time is required of all other students
why should athletes NOT be held at a higher level of accountability???
BYU Independent Study's High School program is accredited by the Northwest
Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS) and the Distance Education and Training
Council (DETC).The NAAS accredits distance education, elementary,
foreign nation, high, K‑12, middle level, post secondary nondegree
granting, residential, special purpose, supplementary education, and travel
education schools. The NAAS is one of the nation's six acknowledged
accreditation agencies. The DETC was founded in 1926 to promote
sound educational standards and ethical business practices within the
correspondence field. The independent nine-member Accrediting Commission of the
DETC was established in 1955; shortly thereafter it gained the approval of the
U.S. Department of Education as the "nationally recognized accrediting agency"
under terms of Public Law. It would seem the NCAA is now
challenging these accreditations. Why would they do that?
one month ago my son had to take some other courses online to graduate in this
year HS. He took bowling online and at public bowling lane. He had to take
finals at BYU taking the written test. So, there is no way around that anyone
would do this for him. Too bad NCAA had to do this and I don't think that NCAA
is being biased on BYU.
These courses are evil! So evil in fact that if allowed to spread an epidemic of
evil will permeate the NCAA. How un-American would this condition of evilness be
as a result of rampant evilness due to correspondence courses. Insidiousness of
the worst order. Correspondence courses have corrupted the NCAA and it's
athletes. How could University Presidents have allowed such evilness to find
it's way into this paragon of purity? Wringing of my hands and gnashing of my
teeth is all I can do as I contemplate what is obviously a conspiracy of the
first, worst order. Shame on the NCAA for even tolerating courses to get this
The Blind Side's description of Michael Oher's use of BYU online credits is
pretty hilarious, and Michael Lewis does a good job of implying the
ridiculousness of a system that would allow a student to get credit for an
entire semester's worth of work for a three-hour online course. That BYU even
offered this service only shows how little their academic standards really mean
to them. I mean, how do you feel good about giving some an entire semester's
worth of credit for a three hour online class unless, of course, the online
course program happens to be a cash cow.
Until the NCAA does away with the BCS, they have no credibility at all.
What this is is protection of the old order. Distance learning is on the rise
and a lot of education will occur through online programs. The world of
education is changing with technology, and the NCUA must not have gotten the
I tend to agree with Samwise. In spite of the line from the movie, online
courses tend to be harder so that they can qualify for accreditation. I never
studied harder or worked harder than when I was getting my Masters degree and my
teaching certificates through on-line programs at different schools. I had
regular interactive contact with the instructors (and my classmates) 2 - 3 times
a week plus faster, more constructive feedback for assignments than I had during
classroom course in high school and college.Does the NCAA also
disqualify all distance learning programs used by high schools so that teachers
can be available at multiple schools simultaneously. For instance, my first
hour class is Business Math and in addition to the students at my school, I have
students (mostly athletes) watching me at schools 12 and 50 miles away. Does
that violate NCAA policies as well? What about the 50,000 or so students taking
on-line home-study classes in Minnesota because the communities and the state
can not afford to maintain community schools in all the rural districts. Do
those programs violate NCAA policies?The NCAA needs to rethink its
The biggest problem of online courses, you don't know who is doing the work.
It's very easy to find other students to pay to complete the courses in their
name. Who knows any different?What this also means is that students
are being released from public education failing to meet the standards of a high
school education. A large percentage of college students would never get in to
college if it wasn't for the state and federal government funding colleges by
head count. The same thing that plagues public education is now plaguing college
education. Students are not getting a college education, just toilet paper
degrees. Education is focused on money, not learning. If students fail in
education, public and college, eduction loose funds so no one can fail or be
allowed to get failing grades.This happens in all classes even at
college level, plagiarizing class work to play sports or other self interests.
Athletes have been stigmatized by this and why they are usually portrayed as
brawn and no brain. In the last decades many athletes have taken education more
serious and done better but the stigma is still there.
Ah, the only university in the state of Utah to provide a high school degree!
As a former high school teacher, BYU classes were the easy way for
kids who didn't do the regular work in high school to fill the blanks in some
programmed learning books and get credit - often in days! No wonder
the PAC10 is not interested!
Two thoughts on this article:1. I actually didn't know Oher used BYU's
online High School classes. That makes me like his story even more, which I
already find pretty awesome and inspirational. Which leads to my second
thought...2. What the heck is the NCAA thinking? The BYU classes are
just as hard. The college level ones are, anyway, and I imagine the High School
ones are not any different. I am a full time student at BYU and took a College
level business writing class from BYU a few years ago because I needed to
squeeze it in to get into the Accounting program. And it was every bit as
challenging as other courses I have taken from BYU. The NCAA has no reason to do
this, unless they do have some undue hatred for BYU... and for kids who (like
Oher) didn't have the opportunity for one reason or another to finish High
School in the traditional way. Shame on the NCAA.
The NCAA clearinghouse is an antiquated system that clearly penalizes advanced
students by not approving classes that are outside of what is considered their
CORE. they make it exceedingly difficult for the high schools to keep up with
yearly changes. Each year the high schools have to submit their entire list of
all classes offered and the NCAA then chooses to approve or not that particular
class....many AP classes are not approved, computer classes are not approved,
advanced foreign language level classes can be excluded...so it is no surprise
that online programs offered by ANY college not just BYU would be excluded. Our
son was 1/4 credit shy of the core credit qualification to clear the
clearinghouse because his 4th year AP English class had not been included by his
high school on their annual list. He went on to be an All American and
graduated with honors inspite of the NCAA
Have 5 NCAA employees take BYU online classes, if TWO of them can pass the
class, okay, but let's test the stupidest of all people to judge the
courses...the NCAA employees....what a standard!
?How can motivated Hi school students who do learn well teaching themselves with
online courses be included by the NCAA rather than excluded by the few
abusers?The Hi school football player in the book The Blind Side:
the Evolution of a Game used 1 or more bYu continuing ed service courses
according to news reports.Maybe those courses met the email interaction
criteria or other correspondence course rules the NCAA says qualify it.
It is obvious the the NCAA hates BYU. Fortunately for BYU, most people hate the