I’ve made this statement before to groups of peers in classes and those outside Boston tend to agree and those near Boston are a bit reticent. If these trends continue, the reputation of the Extension School will improve. He is dishonest to exclude that in the name. HES is a pioneer in distance education Harvard’s use of the word ‘enroll’ and not ‘register’ which have different meanings in Harvard context than the words’s ordinary synonymity. One possible solution to reduce some of the confusions and controversies around HES could be: separate – in some way – the degree programs/candidates from those that are just taking courses for fun and from the certificates (maybe by bringing the degree programs under one of the other 11 Harvard schools). Let’s see what the new Dean does to improve things further! 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? Pertaining to a similar matter, what is the goal of pointing out that HBS professors may be prohibited from teaching at HES or having a “doozy” of instructors? 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. In my opinion in many respects, Columbia’s General Studies program by far does a better job than HES/DCE but I think HES provides better ROI (return on investment, the H-bomb alone gives more bang for the buck) than Columbia’s GS. Take, for example, Kenneth Tucceri, a museum studies degree candidate with a … That it’s 100% online, that ANY PERSON can IMMEDIATELY GET ACCEPTED INTO THEIR DEGREE PROGRAMMES) spread, and that’s just sad. The GSD has over 13,000 alumni and has graduated many famous architects, urban … (Not all of us can do well enough on the GMAT to get into Sloan.) Amazon, Go to company page Here’s what I wrote 12 years ago, after finishing my ALM History degree: The course offerings in a few liberal arts fields are superb. I plan on moving my family soon to this major city. I feel it to be fundamental. Thank you so much for this comment. Statistically, the average age of a Harvard Extension school student is 34, and has around 5 years of real world work experience. An interview during the admissions process to weed out those who are just after the Harvard brand? 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. Even celebrities overseas (yes, the bad rap is international sadly eg. Thanks but no thanks to those who fault the Extension School and students. 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. JJ asked: I found out that the Extension has been more than 100 years since 1910. The latter group is insufferable, and they consistently clog group learning with tangential, unfocused personal anecdotes to prove that they are worthy of being called a Harvard student. 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. 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. Go to company page I like to assume positive intent and feel like most don’t purposefully misrepresent their resume. I’m about to enter the thesis phase and that will also be supervised by Harvard faculty, who I’m paying a fraction of what the “traditional” undergrad and grad students at Harvard pay for the same education. Too many courses and degree programs don’t have Harvard College/GSAS/HBS/SEAS equivalents. 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. Which degree is better depends on where you are in life and the ROI for sacrificing two years’ salary to get a full MLA campus experience? I think that’s just great. A former Indian coworker did it. In my graduating class, there were successful professionals as well as students who had completed their undergraduate and earlier graduate degrees at Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Georgetown, and the University of Pennsylvania. Even for those that are not, I trust Harvard’s judgement and believe they are highly-qualified. HES saw an opportunity to offer these programs, but unfortunately didn’t think through issues related to standards or the Extension School’s original mission, which was to offer local residents access to Harvard faculty. The focus of the degree programs was far more limited, particularly for the graduate degrees. However, your suggestion to give pep talks (not compulsory) is a good one. I think one reason that Harvard Extension School is not seen with the same reverence as the other Harvard University schools is that extension schools and other continuing education outlets are viewed similar to “adult education”. Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 12:20:00 PM GMT-5 Oh yea , in terms of prestige and knowledge even I agree it’s not worth. The Following search on linkedin.com “site:linkedin.com Harvard Extension School Masters of Liberal Arts” returns more than 26,000 results. In Boston they call it “Harvard Community College.”. Harvard Extension School is one of the 12 degree-granting schools at Harvard University. As of a few years ago, current HBS faculty were forbidden from teaching HES courses, although I heard some retired HBS professors were teaching HES classes. Why the Harvard Extension School still struggles with reputation. 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. It is now under the Continuing Education division. Harvard extension school - how difficult is it ? Given this, it is not hard to see why some may view HES’ reputation as not being equal to that of the other degree-granting schools at Harvard. Reading through a few hundred of this sample, the vast majority are high achievers, hold excellent positions, and achieved good promotions, which contradict the argument that employers hold a HES ALM in low esteem. Anything, really, to convince students and grads that graduating from the Extension School is something to be proud of. Harvard extension doesn’t get you anything on your resume. What about people with an on-campus MLA with management concentration pretending to have MBA? I haven’t gotten any of those sideways glances or whatever it is people seem to be afraid of experiencing. While this really speaks more of their character and of the appeal of The Harvard brand (“imitation is the highest form of flattery”) than the quality of education one gets at HES itself, the end result is that HES’s name is tarnished and misconceptions about it (eg. I only searched for the answer i needed. Even Harvard University seems to treats the Extension School like its 2nd-class step child. 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. Does anyone have any numbers to back up their remarks? Barracuda It is one of two Undergraduate degree granting schools at Harvard University; the other being the College. Unfortunately every single one of my ten classes has had multiple, if not many, of these kinds of students. So to anyone reading this: go to HES, learn from brilliant minds, challenge yourself to do purposeful work, and build a network. Thanks for sharing your story. 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. We the undersigned Harvard students request a formal meeting with Harvard President Lawrence Bacow to discuss student concerns over the "in Extension Studies" part of the degree name at Harvard Extension School. I have also heard recently that there is a new Ambassadors program designed to build a better sense of community. 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. txt) or read online for free. HES is not meant to be HC and doesn’t try to be; HES has a clear conscience and is meant for nontraditional students who have unique experiences HC students at their age couldn’t possibly have, and is perfectly-respectable in its own right no matter what stuck-up people say. Your email address will not be published. But please, go for the right reasons. 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? @Lotl : lol true. I agree with much in the post; it is unfortunate that the Extension School isn’t a higher profile. HARVARD EXTENSION SCHOOL. Thankfully in this age we have the benefit of Zoom and other social media platforms (WhatsApp, LinkedIn, etc) to bring us much closer. Kudos to HES streamline admissions process but there needs to be a better way of either integrating or differentiating between Extension students who are non-degree and degree candidates. The difference is between getting in and getting through a degree program at Harvard, or getting a graduate level certificate (which is still great and powerful), or just participating in single courses, because you are interested/passionate about a topic. If they choose to lie or exaggerate, they should expect that they will be exposed or called out, sometimes with a very negative impact on their public image and career. In my case I have already told my manager and client (side gig) it’s going to be HES and they both are fine. 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. (Let’s bracket aside the problematic issue of “Extension Studies” appearing on the diploma instead of the field of concentration.) Screening or selection of people in the name is marketed and what HES offers caught about. However, online the Harvard Extension School like its 2nd-class step child MBA from Business. 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