Chroma in Milwaukee Junction


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  1. #1

    Default Not Detroit related, really, but..........

    But I'm curious. Really.

    Graduated from Mackenzie HS in 1954. Went to Wayne State from 1954 to 1955. Ran out of money. During the summer of 1955, applied for a position in the Detroit Police Department, was hired, and damn. Spent the next 30 years there retiring as Detective Sergeant, never really went back to school 'cept for a few courses here 'n there.

    But recently, I've been searching for obits of old classmates from Mackenzie and WSU. Found quite a few, many with academic accomplishments. But what has always puzzled me in the world of higher

    Every one I've looked up who went to higher things has a Bachelor's degree from some local university; a Master's degree from some second (and oft, far-away) university, and a few with a PhD from yet a third pinnacle of learning.

    What puzzles me, is why in the heck don't folks stay at the first college for their advancement?? Wouldn't they know the area, the people, the instructors, and the facilities enough to want to stay there.............comfortably? Just changing to somewhere else means a complete change of location, people, culture (?), and state laws, just to mention a few thoughts that come to mind.

    So, shoot away, DetroitYES'ers. Enlighten me. WTF do these scholars jump all over the map for???? Really!

  2. #2


    As a recent graduate of Wayne State University c/o 2015 BA in Arts and c/o 2018, MA in Comm, I also asked this question.

    Almost everyone in my WSU graduate school courses never attended WSU, they were all transplants from OU, Eastern, Saginaw Valley, etc. I asked 2 of my course mates why change universities in between degrees? Course mate #1 told me because they wanted to switch majors and their former school did not offer the exact program track they needed. Course mate #2 referred to something about it looks better on their resume, but then again I may have misinterpreted what was said but that's the way I heard it. Hope that helps.

  3. #3


    I guess I don't have a good answer for you Ray. I have three from Wayne State and my wife has two from Wayne and the middle one from UofD. She is also a Mackenzie grad, 1966. We both stayed because we were working in Detroit while getting further educated.

  4. #4


    That's a logical answer to me. My question (as well as the OP's I assume) is why hold degrees from University of Illinois, Temple U, and Oregon U? Is it to make you seem cultured on your resume? or to show that your parents made enough to let you travel from school to school on their dime?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiminnm View Post
    I guess I don't have a good answer for you Ray. I have three from Wayne State and my wife has two from Wayne and the middle one from UofD. She is also a Mackenzie grad, 1966. We both stayed because we were working in Detroit while getting further educated.

  5. #5


    I can offer a few reasons.

    First, I had a friend who went to the University of Toronto, she always had the intent of getting her PhD.

    She got her undergrad at U of T, but went to a different University for her graduate work.

    I asked why. One reason she gave is that many universities, including U of T have a policy (not absolute) against hiring their own PhDs.

    So if your desire for graduate work was based on getting hired by the same uni, their was an advantage in going to a different school.

    I gather this is to avoid nepotism and promote variation in academic thought.


    Second reason, many students don't get into a top-tier university when coming out of High School.

    Its common for students to accept more local places, especially if they prefer to commute from home; and they may also benefit from preferred local/state resident rates.

    Once one has that first degree, further advancement is no longer tied to an SAT result or HighSchool marks but to a university transcript/GPA, and real-world experience. (or further specialized tests in some cases).

    This may allow a student to access a more prestigious institution than they could straight out of High School.

    Its also common to get a job after degree #1 and pursue graduate work part-time or later on, which means money may not be the same barrier it was in your teens.

    Finally, there are other reasons ranging from specialty programs to where someone may have moved for work or other reasons and now a different institution is local.

    Conversely, many students go away for university, particularly in the U.S. if your family can afford it.

    But once you have a job, your more likely to stay local to where you work.

  6. #6


    My experience was that some colleges are crappy because they throw all their resources into PR instead of their ostensible purpose — education. In those cases, students typically don't learn about it until they experience it first hand so they jump ship.

    Hell, even Trump recognized the potential con-artist profit when he formed Trump University. Go figure.

    There may be other reasons for jumping ship, but that's one.

    Why do you ask, Ray?

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post

    Why do you ask, Ray?
    Fair question. I just happened to come across an obit for an old Mackenzie classmate of mine whose varied degrees came from two different schools. We were good buddies, and even teamed up in our 50 year reunion in 2004. Got me to wondering. At least he got his PhD from the same school as his Masters.

  8. #8


    Fair answer, Ray.

    Of course the whole ballgame has changed today with the abysmal predatory student loan industry.

    I'd like to hear some more rants from folks bearing that burden.

    It's all about the money.

  9. #9


    You could also factor in scholarships and universities that are known for the particular field that they want to advance in.

  10. #10


    It has to do with a lot of things, including just wanting some new scenery or to move to a different place where the job market may be better or maybe it's just warmer or something. But a lot of it has to do with moving up (or down) the academic hierarchy.

    When I got out of high school I had not exactly been a stellar student, but I got into MSU and thought I was doing pretty well. After I graduated from MSU I came back to Detroit and worked for a couple of years. But I knew I'd have to go to grad school to do the things I wanted, so I started applying.

    I had done better as an undergrad than I had as a high school student, so I had a somewhat better range of choices. I knew I didn't want to go back to East Lansing, and the job market here was horrible at the time, so I decided to go to the best school in another interesting place that would give me some money to go. That turned out to be a very good school on the east coast. Then, later on, I went to another school out there with an even higher reputation for my final degree.

    But it can work the other way too. One of my best friends from high school went to UM as an undergrad. Even though he did quite well there, when he applied for law school UM turned him down. So he ended up going to Ohio State Law (where he graduated near the top of his class).
    Last edited by EastsideAl; January-08-20 at 04:38 AM.

  11. #11


    I've always been told that it really doesn't matter where you get your Bachelors if you intend to do grad work because that's not what future employers will care about; it's the school where you do the grad work that needs to be more prestigious.
    Also not all schools offer all grad degrees. My daughter got her BBA at Northwood but wanted to move to Creative Writing for her Masters. Northwood has no Master of Fine Arts, so she ended up at Naropa University in Boulder, CO at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.
    I thought about going into Social Work after I graduated from Oakland, but they don't have a grad program for it so the closest one would have been Wayne State which was too far for me to commute at the time.
    Last edited by jcole; January-08-20 at 06:17 AM.

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by Maof View Post
    You could also factor in scholarships and universities that are known for the particular field that they want to advance in.
    Not just scholarships, but graduate teaching fellowships to help pay the burden of tuition. You teach a couple of undergraduate classes while you are taking graduate classes. If you are a Wayne State graduate but are offered a fellowship at another university you go there.

  13. #13


    Another factor, as EastsideAl stated, getting employment outside of your home state. Upon graduation, my daughter received a job offer on the east coast and will be going for her masters out there. Also, if some continue within that field, many employers will provide tuition assistance...reimbursement for tuition, books and fees. But, in order for reimbursement, most companies usually have stipulations such as having to stay with said company for a certain number of years, etc.
    Last edited by Maof; January-08-20 at 08:39 AM.

  14. #14


    If I remember correctly, at Oakland they won't let you move from bachelor graduation directly into a Masters program either. I think you have to wait a year, or at least you did back in the late 90's

  15. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by Jimaz View Post
    Fair answer, Ray.

    Of course the whole ballgame has changed today with the abysmal predatory student loan industry.

    I'd like to hear some more rants from folks bearing that burden.

    It's all about the money.
    In my case, I paid for my Bachelor's but my employer paid for my Master's Degree from Wayne State. Tuition reimbursement is a more valuable perk than most people realize when they're job hunting.

    Just wanted to add -- The Master's from Wayne State jump-started my career and opened many doors. Working full time and going to classes at Wayne in the evenings for two years was brutal but worth it.
    Last edited by Pat001; January-09-20 at 03:29 PM.

  16. #16


    UDM undergrad 20-24 years ago was about $16,000, but they were very generous with half scholarships so many students paid $8,000. Their law school was around $30,000. Wayne State Law School was at least on par with UDM's and was a tick under $8,000.00. WSU is now about $30K, so it wouldn't apply today.

  17. #17


    In the late 90s-early 2000s, my employer, partnered with Central Michigan for a masters program specifically in public administration. They were in the beginning stages of opening their "campus" in Troy. That lasted a few years. Now they partner with Davenport University. I could get my masters from Davenport as there is a tuition discount for our employees if my schedule allowed for it. If I were to do that, then I would get my bachelor's & master's from the same school.

  18. #18


    Long shot here, Ray but did you know Merylyn Lancaster? She was my Aunt and was a Mackenzie and WSU grad about the time you were there.

  19. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by ferndalescotty23 View Post
    Long shot here, Ray but did you know Merylyn Lancaster? She was my Aunt and was a Mackenzie and WSU grad about the time you were there.
    Sorry to say, but no. You even sent me to my Stag (June, 1954) yearbook; couldn't find her there, either.

  20. #20


    I graduated from MSU and eventually ended up in Southern California. So, my decision to get my MBA at Cal State, Fullerton was based on location, and relatively cheap in-state tuition available in the early 90's. Most of my friends and colleagues also attended different grad schools than their undergrad schools for the same reason, or they were offered financial assistance elsewhere. Good question Ray!

  21. #21


    Yeah she was born in 1933 so might have already graduated.

  22. #22


    Thanks to all the responders! Was interesting and enlightening.

  23. #23



    I am a professor at WSU, so I am often involved in advising undergraduates regarding graduate school, writing letters of recommendations, etc. I am also involved in selecting graduate students for the graduate programs in our department. Your observation that students tend to move for graduate studies is 100% correct, and there are several reasons for that, some of those already mentioned in previous posts.

    First, when WSU undergraduates apply for graduate programs, they have to fill out an application like any other student coming from another university. Therefore there is no harm in submitting the same exact application to other places, in addition to Wayne. Keep in mind that obtaining fully funded graduate positions at Wayne is extremely competitive, given the low number of such positions available, therefore I often advise students to hedge their bets and to not place all their hopes on getting a graduate scholarship at Wayne. For example, in our department we can only fund about 5% of all graduate applications received. Some offers we make are for Wayne undergraduates, but most are for `outsiders', simply based on the quality of the application. We do not, however, discourage applications to our programs from our own undergraduates, as others have incorrectly suggested. In the end, it's just a game of numbers: it is more likely that the average Wayne undergraduate will receive a better offer package from a different university.

    Second, as CV and others pointed out, there is a huge benefit for students in branching out and extending their professional network. Even if the ultimate goal is to stay in Detroit, I can see how a prospective employer would value someone that has connections outside the city. For this reason, I often encourage Wayne undergraduates to branch out and seek a graduate program elsewhere, although they are certainly always welcome to apply to our programs as well.

    Third, there is often prestige involved. Even for Wayne undergraduate students who get into a funded Wayne graduate program, perhaps they also get a similar offer from a department that is perceived as more prestigious. In that case, I also often recommend pursuing the more selective/prestigious program, unless there are compelling reasons to believe that the student would not be a good fit for the program.

    So in all, you can see that even if someone is determined to stay at Wayne for all their studies, it is pretty rare for all the stars to align so that such a choice would be possible and/or make sense for a students' career. I have worked at several other universities in the US and Canada in my career, and I have observed a similar system of incentives. That explains the pattern that you observed in your former classmates CVs.

    Regards, CR75

  24. #24


    Good stuff, CR75. Many thinks for your thoughts. Appreciated!

  25. #25


    I'm guessing that the parameters for grad school choice are the same when I was tracked into academia. The considerations are prestige of the school, prestige of the department within the school, scholarships, and location. Getting accepted in turn was factored by one's GPA, achievements in under-grad and the ranking of their undergrad school. But why?

    I was fortunate go be accepted in the University of Michigan's Political Science grad school, then a top five department, unfortunate have to lose my draft deferment, fortunate to be accepted into the Peace Corps [I was a vehement anti-war activist, so it was that or jail].

    The time abroad in Africa widened my horizons and brought out my creative side so that when I returned, and even got a full tuition-paid scholarship at WSU, I found I had moved on. I 'quit school forever' to pursue an artistic career, and entered what I call 'The University of Life'.

    I drove truck for the next eight years as a Sears delivery driver while I figured that out. In the process I discovered many people with little of no college who, like the OP of this thread Ray, had far more wisdom and common sense than most of my grad school colleagues.

    They had transcended the book worms, learned how to learn, and found peace, contentment and success. There's no degree or course for that.

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