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Paperback Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees Nontraditionally (13th ed) Book

ISBN: 0962931241

ISBN13: 9780962931246

Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees Nontraditionally (13th ed)

This book has over 350,000 copies in print and is still going strong as the resource for anyone who's looking to earn a college degree over the Internet, through evening and weekend see, by passing exams, or through any of a number of other nontraditional methods. The all-new thirteenth edition has been fully revised arid updated, and details over 2,000 schools, many of them for the first time, including hundreds of on-line programs.


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Exemplary, Exhaustive, Honorable, Refreshingly Candid

Arm yourself with this lastest, updated version of Bears Guide before diving into the murky world of earning a degree through distance learning, particularly advanced degrees. It's exemplary and exhaustive in its research and useful database, the authors are honorable and refreshingly straight-talking - their candor will help you read between the lines of legality some questionable institutions engage in. You'll learn who's doing non-residency or semi-resident education, who's offering what degrees or fields of study, and who's reputable. Bears Guides have been around for years, undergoing frequent revisions, championing distance learning, and exposing the crooks of diploma mills. I want to counteract comments made in another (2003) review that seemed to disparage the integrity of author John Bear (whose daughter, Mariah, is carrying on his work with Nichols in these books). Bear is a founder of, which I'd recommend as an adjunct resource to this book. He, and all the earlier versions of this book, have done a LOT to debunk and expose diploma mills to the general public. Other than the state of Oregon (which has a helpful website), no other entity in the U.S. has done - or is doing - as much. Here's a quote from Wired Magazine news in March 2000: "[Diploma mills] are growing, especially on the Internet, at astonishing rates," agrees John Bear, founder of Bear has witnessed the dark side of the distance-education boom up close. A former consultant, informant, and expert witness for the FBI's task force operation DipScam in the 1980s, he helped shut down a number of diploma mills over a 12-year period." That quote alone should help - and hopefully my review, too. The layout of Bears Guide is reader-friendly and makes a complex subject accessible. And it's frequently updated/revised. So unlike the Peterson guide, there's barely a comparison between the two.

Still the top authority on the subject

When it comes to distance learning, whether completely off-campus or with short residency requirements, "Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning" is considered by many to be the authoritative text on the subject. There is good reason for this distinction and it is well deserved. In this 15th edition, Dr. John Bear has once again produced a voluminous text that includes every known program for distance learning. This includes not only programs in the United States but also Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries. It includes programs from strong, established and accredited schools, but also unaccredited schools. The text is very well organized so the reader can quickly and easily find the schools and programs that he or she is interested in. The coverage for each school is thorough and includes the complete school name, address, fields of study available by distance learning, contact information, a detailed description of the program, whether it is accredited by a recognized agency or a non-recognized agency, if it is equivalent to a degree mill, if it accepts other types of credits (such as CLEP exams or credit for life experience) and any other relevant information. Besides the information on the schools it also includes detailed discussions on accreditation, options, use of titles, honorary degrees and just about any question that you might have. Obviously Dr. Bear has taken note of questions that people have asked him over the years and included that information in the text so that it is much more than just a listing of schools and programs.Dr. John Bear has come through again with the most thorough and authoritative text available on the various distance learning programs available. This most current edition, like the others before it, is a highly recommended read for anyone wanting to pursue their education by distance learning and is the best text I have ever read on the subject.

Great Info on Alternative & Accredited Degrees

Huge excellent book and database for the ever-changing opportunities for adult distance learners wanting an accredited degrees. I particularly liked Dr. Bear's friendly candor and the time-saving information on life-credit for past work experience. Finding out about the educational "credit bank" alone was worth the price of the book.

Without question, the best resource for adult learners

I admit I was skeptical when I responded to a small classified ad offering this book for sale.But the book written by John and Mariah Bear turned out to be an extremely well-written and carefully researched work, offering valuable and practical assistance on completing a degree at any of a hundred-plus quality, regionally accredited schools. The schools, including some very high-profile ones, offer many different specialties. Some are State-affiliated, and several allow the industrious student with a lot of work and life experience to complete an accredited undergraduate degree in under a year for less than $3000!The book also has great -- and amusing -- information on various "less-than-wonderful" institutions to stay away from, as well as an interesting and colorful historical section on past diploma mills. All in all, an excellent resource, enjoyable to read, and very highly recommended.

This is the BIBLE of non-traditional/distance learning!

Pardon the hyperbole, but no "nontraditional" (i.e. working adult) student should be without this book. John and Mariah succinctly and humorously break down the good, the bad, and the ugly in this guide to the world of nontraditional and distance learning.If you're a working adult considering your options for continuing your post-secondary education, you need this book. There are many ways to earn or complete a degree, and Bears' Guide attempts to show you the myriad paths and how best to select and pursue them. Last, but not least, there are many "institutions" in the US and abroad that would love to have your money. In fact, many of them would be perfectly willing to sell you a degree that would serve you better as toilet paper than as a credential. This book helps you tell the difference between institutions that deserve your money/time and those that deserve to see your backside.There are only a couple of high-quality general treatments of the topic of distance and nontraditional education, and this is one of them. The other is Marcie Thorson's Campus Free College Degrees. Peterson's guides get an honorable mention from me.In closing: I own it; I love it; I highly recommend it. Now go buy a dozen copies!
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