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  1. #1
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    DEAC in Canada - need help ASAP

    I need an urgent help for a friend of mine. She needed her credentials in Early Childhood Education really fast (long story), and picked Ashworth College 's AS degree as a first step. Now she applied to the professional body, Ontario College of ECEs, and got rejected. My reading of their own rules is that rejection is in error.

    The reason stated is "degree is not recognized", and the letter cites WES report (and it's preference for RA). The College's Policy here states, quote, that "the diploma or degree must be granted by a post secondary institution recognized in its own jurisdiction", emphasis mine. Further, the Glossary on their site defines "recognized institution" as "an academic institution recognized in its own jurisdiction by the government for the purpose of awarding degrees or diplomas". WES report is required but is "not binding to the College".

    Now, it is quite clear Ashworth is authorized to grant degrees in Georgia. Further, I collected (and helped my friend to submit to College) quite clear evidence that DEAC is acceptable to powers that regulate the practice of early learning in the state (GA Professional Standards Commission and Department of Early Care and Learning). (As an aside, GA's public technical colleges system transitions from COE to SACS and is still partially NA). She even established a "PD Registry" with DECAL (here) and had her degree formally verified by GaPCS. No matter. I talked to the College officer in charge of registration, and they seem to be doubling down. Her e-mail reply stated that "recognition we are looking for is regional accreditation", which violates both their policy and logic.

    There is a review process, and she's talking to a lawyer. But the time is running out for her at her job (again, long sad story), and that review historically was not successful for applicants.

    This person, in addition to being a dear friend, is a key for survival of a certain program vital to our community here in Toronto. What can be done to help influence the College? I especially count on the experts on this board, for sage advice and support. I'll be checking this board and PMs with great hope.

    PS: I am aware of the "RA vs. NA" debate. I've been on this board since 2003.
    Last edited by Stanislav; 07-26-2015 at 09:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Lerner is offline Registered User
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    I seen not only NA school graduates rejected but also RA school graduates rejected.
    Even rules such as requirement to have 75 % or all 100% of the education completed in Traditional B&M university.

    Whats good for state of GA may not be good for another state in US or province in Canada.

    I suggest your friend finds out if one of the big three EC, TESC, COSC will be recognized.
    The she can test out and do some project and have her RA AS degree fast.

  3. #3
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    This is a regulator. Regulators do not speculate about acceptability of degrees before you submit all documents. Moreover, regulators should stick to their written policies - they can't be arbitrary. With great power etc. etc. etc. She doesn't have time for Big Four.

  4. #4
    Mary A is offline Registered User
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    I suggest you contact the DEAC directly. It's likely to yield a better response and perhaps some support.

  5. #5
    LearningAddict is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary A View Post
    I suggest you contact the DEAC directly. It's likely to yield a better response and perhaps some support.
    Agreed. This is ridiculous. I wish places would just stick to their policies as written; it would make life easier for everybody.

  6. #6
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Presumably this denial comes with some form of recourse (i.e. a right to appeal or similar). What I would do is gather as many documents from as many places with official letterhead as possible.

    I think going to DEAC is a good idea. Maybe DEAC can issue a letter that states that Ashworth is accredited. See if USDOE can offer something (maybe something that is already printed and out there) that very clearly lists all of the USDOE recognized accreditors. Bonus points for something that has a department seal on it and looks all official. That would show Ashworth -> DEAC -> USDOE.

    See if Georgia can issue a letter or certificate stating that Ashworth is authorized to award degrees.

    All of that should paint a pretty clear picture that a degree from Ashworth should warrant the same recognition as a degree from another accredited institution. Regional Accreditors don't have a different level of approval. They are generally more respected but, legally, they have the exact same status with USDOE that the national accreditors have.

    It may work. It may not. But I would avoid trying to just argue with them and spend more time on accumulating documents that show that the program does, in fact, comply with their written requirements.
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  7. #7
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by LearningAddict View Post
    Agreed. This is ridiculous. I wish places would just stick to their policies as written; it would make life easier for everybody.
    Yes. These particular fine fellows in our great public sector actually have a duty (duty, Carl!) "to provide registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair" as per Ontario Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006.
    I did shoot an e-mail to DEAC. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  9. #8
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    They do not dispute that Ashworth is DEAC accredited. WES Canada states that (even though they don't like it enouth for "equivalency"). They are also in possession of a list of recognized accreditors published by CHEA. And explanation of accreditation published by CHEA. And a printout from the DofEd "Database of accredited institutions" for Ashworth , along with a helpful link should they wish to replicate it. And a printout of a page of GaPSC, stating that DofED- or CHEA-approved accreditation is "acceptable" (with a helpful etc.). And an actual e-mail from an actual person in GaPSC saying DEAC in particular is "acceptable". And a page saying Ga DECAL goes by GaPSC in this matter. And a printout of her "Professional Development Registry" maintained by DECAL, where she had her official transcript sent to GaPSC for verification and it came back "verified". Together with a "Level 7" bestowed upon her, saying her credential satisfies various educational requirements for various roles regulated by DECAL. In short, their counterparts in Georgia are just fine and dandy with her degree. Response? "recognition we are looking for is regional accreditation", full stop. Even though there's no shred of such discretion anywhere in their published policy.

    At the moment, I hope to get something back from DEAC. And she applied for an evaluation to the major local competitor for WES (UofT Comparative Education Services). I'm also thinking that maybe showing them that half of GA's public technical colleges are NA. Will consider other suggestions. Yes, she goes for the review by the Appeals Committee.

    Her lawyer just called the Deputy Registrar and made her promise to send a more detailed document with their position. I am going to post some of it here, so maybe the board helps with fact checking. I also have a faint hope a real expert may put some weight in our response (someone like Drs. Bear and Douglas - PM me!).
    Last edited by Stanislav; 07-27-2015 at 08:17 AM.

  10. #9
    Abner is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    Yes. These particular fine fellows in our great public sector actually have a duty (duty, Carl!) "to provide registration practices that are transparent, objective, impartial and fair" as per Ontario Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Compulsory Trades Act, 2006.
    I did shoot an e-mail to DEAC. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Sometimes involving a local politician on the persons behalf helps. I work for State government, and when a Senator calls on behalf of a constituent, the matters are given extra special attention with an eye towards resolution.

    He or she may want to give it a try as well.

    Abner :)
    XVI.8: Confucius said, "There are three things of which the superior man stand in awe. He stands in awe of the ordinances of Heaven. He stands in awe of great men. He stands in awe of the words of the sages. The mean man does not know the ordinances of Heaven, and consequently does not stand in awe of them. He is disrespectful to great men. He makes sport of the words of the sages."

  11. #10
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abner View Post
    Sometimes involving a local politician on the persons behalf helps. I work for State government, and when a Senator calls on behalf of a constituent, the matters are given extra special attention with an eye towards resolution.

    He or she may want to give it a try as well.

    Abner :)
    Valid point, thanks. One issue is that I want to have it relatively under warps right now, so her job won't find out. The local MPP is very connected in our community, and talks to people who talk to the employer (a public entity). He did help with the previous acts in this abysmal saga (as much as he could without touching some sleeping tigers).

  12. #11
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    They do not dispute that Ashworth is DEAC accredited. WES Canada states that (even though they don't like it enouth for "equivalency"). They are also in possession of a list of recognized accreditors published by CHEA. And explanation of accreditation published by CHEA. And a printout from the DofEd "Database of accredited institutions" for Ashworth , along with a helpful link should they wish to replicate it. And a printout of a page of GaPSC, stating that DofED- or CHEA-approved accreditation is "acceptable" (with a helpful etc.). And an actual e-mail from an actual person in GaPSC saying DEAC in particular is "acceptable". And a page saying Ga DECAL goes by GaPSC in this matter. And a printout of her "Professional Development Registry" maintained by DECAL, where she had her official transcript sent to GaPSC for verification and it came back "verified". Together with a "Level 7" bestowed upon her, saying her credential satisfies various educational requirements for various roles regulated by DECAL. In short, their counterparts in Georgia are just fine and dandy with her degree. Response? "recognition we are looking for is regional accreditation", full stop. Even though there's no shred of such discretion anywhere in their published policy.

    At the moment, I hope to get something back from DEAC. And she applied for an evaluation to the major local competitor for WES (UofT Comparative Education Services). I'm also thinking that maybe showing them that half of GA's public technical colleges are NA. Will consider other suggestions. Yes, she goes for the review by the Appeals Committee.

    Her lawyer just called the Deputy Registrar and made her promise to send a more detailed document with their position. I am going to post some of it here, so maybe the board helps with fact checking. I also have a faint hope a real expert may put some weight in our response (someone like Drs. Bear and Douglas - PM me!).
    Well, it sounds like you are off to a good start.

    As recommended earlier, I would recommend also grabbing Georgia's state approval for Ashworth . Something that specifically shows that the State of Georgia authorizes the award of this degree can't really hurt at this stage.
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  13. #12
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    Well, it sounds like you are off to a good start.

    As recommended earlier, I would recommend also grabbing Georgia's state approval for Ashworth. Something that specifically shows that the State of Georgia authorizes the award of this degree can't really hurt at this stage.
    Great point. As far as I remember, she referred to GNPENC in her submission but didn't have that specific document. Thanks.
    Trouble is, I have no clue what would be enough for them. All the documents I listed, they had before rendering their decision. Their official letter doesn't even bother to refer to any of these. Frustrating.

  14. #13
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Wanna hear something funny?

    I went to the WES Canada website and they have a preliminary evaluation tool. I played around with it for a second with my own education . Interestingly, they don't have UMT in their database at all. So, hey, sunk, right? I assumed then that they only had RA schools. Not so. Columbia Southern was on the list. So I went and did a little preliminary eval for Ashworth . Just for fun I used an MBA . Canadian equivalency? Masters.

    They also omit Penn Foster , Shiloh University, Everest , Full Sail , ITT Tech and Global University (RA and NA). You're likewise screwed if you went to Gratz College (RA), Kings College (RA), Baptist Bible College (now Summit University, RA, ABHE), Wells College (RA), Smith College (RA, Seven Sisters) and certainly many others.

    Now, perhaps they just didn't want to load everything into this preliminary tool. That's fine. But I'm curious why Ashworth and Columbia Southern made the list but virtually every other DEAC college did not. And why Keiser University made the list but Smith College did not. And, perhaps even more peculiarly, why Wilkes University made the list but Kings College (literally three blocks away) did not (Misericordia University is also included).

    But I'm very curious as to why my MBA from Ashworth is considered to be equivalent to a Canadian Masters but an ECE credential wouldn't be. Now, it's possible, of course that they evaluated the programs side by side and the ECE program simply didn't match up to what is required of ECE programs in Canada. But it doesn't appear to be just a clear accreditation bias.

    So, consider thinking of ways to show that the Ashworth program is equivalent to a Canadian ECE program (if such a thing can actually be demonstrated), accreditation aside. The issue may be deeper than simply showing that DEAC is recognized.
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  15. #14
    Stanislav is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    Wanna hear something funny?

    I went to the WES Canada website and they have a preliminary evaluation tool. I played around with it for a second with my own education . Interestingly, they don't have UMT in their database at all. So, hey, sunk, right? I assumed then that they only had RA schools. Not so. Columbia Southern was on the list. So I went and did a little preliminary eval for Ashworth . Just for fun I used an MBA . Canadian equivalency? Masters.
    ...
    So, consider thinking of ways to show that the Ashworth program is equivalent to a Canadian ECE program (if such a thing can actually be demonstrated), accreditation aside. The issue may be deeper than simply showing that DEAC is recognized.
    Used the tool. Had the BS evaluated as "equivalent" and assumed AS would be fine as well. Not so. The actual report explicitly says "WES only considers institutions accredited by the 6 regional associations as recognized in Canada".

    We self-evaluated programs by comparing with a Canadian equivalents. The Ashworth one missed a few classes (the structure is different - Ontario College Diploma is meant to be a terminal thing, so much less general study), and she found the closest counterparts she could find on the cheap to compensate. They came from Penn Foster and VESi (through Southern Utah University), are therefore ACE or RA, and are reported on Excelsior credit bank transcript. Both North American programs seem to draw from the same theories, and source similar textbooks from same publishers (mainly Pearson). If this is not equivalent, how can anything be equivalent?

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  17. #15
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neuhaus View Post
    Wanna hear something funny?

    I went to the WES Canada website and they have a preliminary evaluation tool. I played around with it for a second with my own education . Interestingly, they don't have UMT in their database at all. So, hey, sunk, right? I assumed then that they only had RA schools. Not so. Columbia Southern was on the list. So I went and did a little preliminary eval for Ashworth . Just for fun I used an MBA . Canadian equivalency? Masters.

    They also omit Penn Foster , Shiloh University, Everest , Full Sail , ITT Tech and Global University (RA and NA). You're likewise screwed if you went to Gratz College (RA), Kings College (RA), Baptist Bible College (now Summit University, RA, ABHE), Wells College (RA), Smith College (RA, Seven Sisters) and certainly many others.

    Now, perhaps they just didn't want to load everything into this preliminary tool. That's fine. But I'm curious why Ashworth and Columbia Southern made the list but virtually every other DEAC college did not. And why Keiser University made the list but Smith College did not. And, perhaps even more peculiarly, why Wilkes University made the list but Kings College (literally three blocks away) did not (Misericordia University is also included).

    But I'm very curious as to why my MBA from Ashworth is considered to be equivalent to a Canadian Masters but an ECE credential wouldn't be. Now, it's possible, of course that they evaluated the programs side by side and the ECE program simply didn't match up to what is required of ECE programs in Canada. But it doesn't appear to be just a clear accreditation bias.

    So, consider thinking of ways to show that the Ashworth program is equivalent to a Canadian ECE program (if such a thing can actually be demonstrated), accreditation aside. The issue may be deeper than simply showing that DEAC is recognized.
    Maybe they only include degrees that have already been evaluated. They may not have equivalencies for some schools because those schools have never been evaluated for equivalencies. When I checked the tool, they had Angelo State University, but not the much larger Texas State University. They didn't even have it listed under its old name: Southwest Texas State University. It's possible that no one from this school has had their credentials evaluated by WES Canada.
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  18. #16
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanislav View Post
    Used the tool. Had the BS evaluated as "equivalent" and assumed AS would be fine as well. Not so. The actual report explicitly says "WES only considers institutions accredited by the 6 regional associations as recognized in Canada".
    Well, for starters then I think you should include the preliminary tool results to show how WES apparently operates inconsistently. Granted, a preliminary result isn't the same as a final result following evaluation. But, as stated, WES purposely included Ashworth on its preliminary tool while omitting a number of more prestigious universities. So, if Ashworth is automatically written off for not having RA, then why did they include Ashworth in the preliminary tool at all? And, following that same line of thought, why does the checker spit out a favorable result?

    Clearly Ashworth is known to WES. So if WES felt that Ashworth degrees weren't equivalent in Canada then they could have 1) left it off of the list and/or 2) Just had it kick back a result that the credential isn't equivalent in Canada. The fact that they didn't, I would say, undercuts some of their authority. Coupled with the other evidence you are gathering it might help.

    At the end of the day WES is being lazy. They created a blanket rule around what's common. But, there are RA schools that do accept NA credits (or NA degrees for admission to graduate programs). RA accreditors don't have a special status with USDOE. And, it sounds like at least, the College of ECE bases its equivalency more upon whether the degree is legally awarded in another country. Ashworth degrees are legally awarded. The School is approved by the State of Georgia. It is accredited by an accreditor recognized by USDOE. If they want to line the program up beside a Canadian program and go course for course, maybe it won't stand up. But the RA-only rule is silly especially because it would case a number of very well respected schools out of the mix.

    Consider, for a moment, that, according to WES, a PhD from Rockefeller University (NA - NY Board of Regents) is essentially worthless in Canada. That's odd, considering Cornell Weill Medical School employs at least five graduates of Rockefeller on its faculty.

    Another factoid that your friend's lawyer may find intriguing in the face of that blanket statement.

    We self-evaluated programs by comparing with a Canadian equivalents. The Ashworth one missed a few classes (the structure is different - Ontario College Diploma is meant to be a terminal thing, so much less general study), and she found the closest counterparts she could find on the cheap to compensate. They came from Penn Foster and VESi (through Southern Utah University), are therefore ACE or RA, and are reported on Excelsior credit bank transcript. Both North American programs seem to draw from the same theories, and source similar textbooks from same publishers (mainly Pearson). If this is not equivalent, how can anything be equivalent?
    It sounds like WES was happy to rubber stamp a degree from any RA school but is equally happy to rubber stamp a denial on any non-RA school regardless of its merits. I'm not a big Ashworth lover but it seems like you have two issues:

    1. WES unfairly wrote off EVERYTHING non-RA
    2. The College of ECE isn't following its written procedure

    Hopefully the other evaluation will be helpful.
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