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  1. #1
    potpourri is offline Registered User
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    Unaccredited or Nationally accredited degrees

    I know that most colleges and universities that are accredited will not generally accept an unaccredited or nationally accredited degree. However, I am sure that there have been some instances where a person lets say graduates with a Bachelor's degree from an unaccredited college or university and a college or university will accept them into a graduate program (Master's degree), perhaps on probationary basis (this being a regionally accredited college or university). If the person were able to graduate with a Master's degree that is regionally accredited, how would a person be able to explain the fact that they were able to graduate with an accredited Master's degree, but when they go to list their undergraduate degree (Bachelor's), it is from an unaccredited school? Obviously, the Master's degree would be recognized, but wouldn't this pose as a problem if they graduated with an unaccredited Bachelor's degree because it would have to list general education courses taken such as math, science, etc. and it is an unaccredited degree (in other words unrecognized)? Has anyone ever had an instance where they have had this happen before? In addition, if a person graduates with a nationally accredited degree (Bachelor's), and then goes to a regionally accredited school for their Master's and graduates, the fact that the Bachelor's degree has some accreditation to it would be better than for the person who has a totally unaccredited Bachelor's degree, how would this be dealt with as well?

  2. #2
    Dave Wagner is offline Registered User
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    For individual cases, it is hard to say what would happen other than that the unaccredited bachelors degree (and any of the credits) would not be accepted to start another degree program or enter a graduate degree program.

    Do you have some specific subject areas or schools in mind?
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  3. #3
    potpourri is offline Registered User
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    No, I don't have a specific program or college in mind. I do know that a few years back that a friend of mine who has an unaccredited Bachelor's degree was able to find a few regionally accredited schools that would be willing to take and accept his unaccredited Bachelor's degree and accept them into a graduate program at a regionally accredited institution. I talked with them about it and mentioned that it would seem to me that this would pose as a problem. Although they could graduate with a regionally accredited Master's degree and this would be acceptable, I mentioned my concerns as to whether it would suffice because of the fact that they wouldn't have a recognized and accredited Bachelor's degree. It would seem that even though they have an accredited Master's degree that there would be an issue about the unaccredited Bachelor's degree and would make it hard for them to have it recognized as someone who had an accredited Bachelor's and Master's degree.

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    Anthony Pina is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by potpourri View Post
    I know that most colleges and universities that are accredited will not generally accept an unaccredited or nationally accredited degree. However, I am sure that there have been some instances where a person lets say graduates with a Bachelor's degree from an unaccredited college or university and a college or university will accept them into a graduate program (Master's degree), perhaps on probationary basis (this being a regionally accredited college or university). If the person were able to graduate with a Master's degree that is regionally accredited, how would a person be able to explain the fact that they were able to graduate with an accredited Master's degree, but when they go to list their undergraduate degree (Bachelor's), it is from an unaccredited school? Obviously, the Master's degree would be recognized, but wouldn't this pose as a problem if they graduated with an unaccredited Bachelor's degree because it would have to list general education courses taken such as math, science, etc. and it is an unaccredited degree (in other words unrecognized)? Has anyone ever had an instance where they have had this happen before? In addition, if a person graduates with a nationally accredited degree (Bachelor's), and then goes to a regionally accredited school for their Master's and graduates, the fact that the Bachelor's degree has some accreditation to it would be better than for the person who has a totally unaccredited Bachelor's degree, how would this be dealt with as well?
    The really depends on the situation. There are many instances where individuals with non-regionally accredited degrees have been accepted into regionally accredited universities. The usual explanation is that such instances are evaluated on a "case-by-case" basis. Southern Virginia University is an example of an institution whose graduates were routinely accepted into RA schools when it was new and unaccredited and after it became nationally accredited (it has an RA candidacy meeting with SACS in February).

    To get back to your question: In most instances, the person with an RA masters, will probably not suffer any negative ramifications for the non-RA bachelors--particularly if the masters is in the same discipline as the bachelors. If the bachelors and master were in different disciplines and the person, say, wanted to teach in the bachelor's discipline, there may be some issues.
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  5. #5
    Lerner is offline Registered User
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    This topic doesn't sound right to me.
    I don't think you should use unaccredited and NA together for comparison.

    Under umbrella of unaccredited you have some OK schools and many not wonderful barely legal etc.

    Excelsior College accept more NA degrees now officially with limitation of degrees that require specialty accreditation such as nursing or engineering technology ABET, and TOSC also began to accept for some degrees NA transfer credits.

    Western Governors University accepts DETC NA degrees in to most of their Masters degree programs but will not accept unaccredited degrees.
    The CHEA transfer alliance improved NA graduates situation.

    Also there are NA accredited Masters programs that will accept NA/RA degrees but will reject unaccredited degrees as a policy.
    There could be an exception if lets say you attended RA or NA university and completed most of the credit work but for some reason didn't graduate and had to drop from the program.

    Then if you went to unaccredited school and earned a degree, such degree may not be accepted but the valid undergraduate work you did before can let you in to Masters program, you may have to take additional undergrad classes or transfer to big 4 and complete your studies there.
    Last edited by Lerner; 10-11-2009 at 09:36 AM.

  6. #6
    Dave Wagner is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Pina View Post
    To get back to your question: In most instances, the person with an RA masters, will probably not suffer any negative ramifications for the non-RA bachelors--particularly if the masters is in the same discipline as the bachelors. If the bachelors and master were in different disciplines and the person, say, wanted to teach in the bachelor's discipline, there may be some issues.
    Perhaps but there are local, state, and federal jobs (and some in education ) that require a regionally-accredited bachelors degree. The masters degree will not count. For example, substitute teachers in CA must present a regionally accredited bachelors degree; this would prevent someone with three years of regionally-accredited undergraduate training who went on to earn a Pharm. D. from participating in a profession that is poorly remunerated. The point being that individual evaluation of individuals does not occur for many education , local, state, and federal jobs; don't bank on exceptions.
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  7. #7
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    there are local, state, and federal jobs (and some in education) that require a regionally-accredited bachelors degree.
    In some fields, the bachelor's degree is the traditional "professional" degree; the master's degree, while nice to have, is perceived as optional. For example, engineering degrees have traditionally been accredited (by ABET) at the bachelor's level only. Nursing or education might be other examples.

    In such cases, you may need a properly-accredited bachelor's degree to meet professional licensing requirements. If you don't have one, then an accredited master's degree may not compensate. Some (not all) state engineering boards would automatically reject a candidate without an ABET-accredited bachelor's degree in engineering , even if the candidate had an MS from a top engineering school.

    In other fields, there may be more flexibility. For example, if you have an unaccredited bachelor's degree in business, and still manage to get an RA MBA , then the unaccredited bachelor's degree may not matter.

    It's not possible to generalize. In the best case, an accredited master's degree could completely compensate for an unaccredited bachelor's. In the worst case, an unaccredited bachelor's degree could be completely unacceptable, and an accredited master's degree might not help at all.
    Last edited by CalDog; 10-11-2009 at 01:05 PM.

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  9. #8
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lerner View Post
    This topic doesn't sound right to me.
    I don't think you should use unaccredited and NA together for comparison.
    Absolutely. There is a huge gap between the two groups in terms of degree acceptance. With employers, this gap widens tremendously when they find out about accreditation and unaccredited degrees.

  10. #9
    me again is offline Registered User
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by potpourri View Post
    Unaccredited or Nationally accredited degrees
    There is nothing wrong with getting an unaccredited degree or a DETC degree (aka a national degree). However, it's wise to be aware of the limitations of those kinds of endeavors.

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  11. #10
    Lerner is offline Registered User
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    Some unaccredited degrees are very wrong.

    Not only you can end up loosing your job, be ridiculed but actually having legal problems as well.

    So as I mentioned earlier there some unaccredited universities that are OK such as CA Southern Univ but there are plenty of mills that are also unaccredited and these will bring trouble and are complete waste of money.

    Unaccredited degree limitations are very high vs properly accredited degrees and they are not to be compared or even be written in the same tread.

  12. #11
    Abner is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lerner View Post
    This topic doesn't sound right to me.
    I don't think you should use unaccredited and NA together for comparison.

    Under umbrella of unaccredited you have some OK schools and many not wonderful barely legal etc.

    Excelsior College accept more NA degrees now officially with limitation of degrees that require specialty accreditation such as nursing or engineering technology ABET, and TOSC also began to accept for some degrees NA transfer credits.

    Western Governors University accepts DETC NA degrees in to most of their Masters degree programs but will not accept unaccredited degrees.
    The CHEA transfer alliance improved NA graduates situation.

    Also there are NA accredited Masters programs that will accept NA/RA degrees but will reject unaccredited degrees as a policy.
    There could be an exception if lets say you attended RA or NA university and completed most of the credit work but for some reason didn't graduate and had to drop from the program.

    Then if you went to unaccredited school and earned a degree, such degree may not be accepted but the valid undergraduate work you did before can let you in to Masters program, you may have to take additional undergrad classes or transfer to big 4 and complete your studies there.

    Good points. I don't see why UA and NA issues are being lumped together.

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  13. #12
    TCord1964 is offline Registered User
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    I agree that lumping NA degrees and unaccredited degrees into the same category is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. After all, nationally accredited degrees are just that...accredited.

    Not all unaccredited degrees are diploma mill degrees. There are some unaccredited programs which involve actual course work, testing and learning, and some enjoy a decent reputation. However, these programs are becoming very few and far between as most formerly unaccredited programs which were legit actually became accredited. An example that immediately comes to mind is Bob Jones University.

    That being said, there are some colleges and universities which will take credit transfers from unaccredited colleges on a case-by-case basis. I believe Liberty University is one of them. Some of the religious schools will consider unaccredited BAs for entry into graduate programs, probably due to the fact that some Christian colleges are not accredited.
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    me again is offline Registered User
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    the truth comes out

    I totally agree that just because unaccredited degrees have little or no utility, we not should necessarily lump nationally accredited degrees (aka DETC degrees) in the same category because there ARE some organizations that recognize nationally accredited degrees. Granted, nationally accredited degrees are not necessarily recognized throughout the United States; but conversely, regionally accredited degrees are nationally recoginized throughout the United States. Nationally accredited degrees are not regionally accredited throughout the national United States, but this confuses outsiders. In the U.S., "national" degrees or "DETC" degrees are considered to be inferior to the United States state university system.

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    Bill Huffman is offline Registered User
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    This would be different on a case-by-case basis.

    I would guess that in most instances an RA Masters would more than cover any issues with an unaccredited Bachelors. Most but not all, as an example for a tangential situation, I had a friend with a library science Bachelor's degree and a Computer Science Master's, both RA. He interviewed at Bell Labs and they offered him a software engineering position but told him that he would have to go back to school and earn a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science within four years. My point being that you can run into some strange and even silly requirements sometimes.

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  17. #15
    me again is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by me again View Post
    Nationally accredited degrees are not necessarily recognized throughout the United States; but conversely, regionally accredited degrees are nationally recognized throughout the United States.
    Foreigners who are trying to learn the English language complain that it can be confusing. The above comment demonstrates how confusing accreditation can be to foreigners!

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  18. #16
    BillDayson is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by potpourri View Post
    If the person were able to graduate with a Master's degree that is regionally accredited, how would a person be able to explain the fact that they were able to graduate with an accredited Master's degree, but when they go to list their undergraduate degree (Bachelor's), it is from an unaccredited school?
    Caldog has already commented on cases where bachelors degrees with particular accreditations might be required. (Engineering , nursing , teaching oftentimes.) In those cases, a graduate probably couldn't explain it away and would just be out of luck.

    In more typical situations, an employer might not even recognize that the bachelors degree is unaccredited. Or they might just assume that if the degree satisfied the RA graduate school, then it's ok with them too. If the bachelors degree does become an issue, I suppose that the graduate would have to be able to make a convincing case for its credibility. Probably some employers won't even be willing to listen and will simply reject the applicant. That's possible if they are screening applications in order to short-list a few for interviews. But if an applicant has really desirable work experience, an employer might conceivably be willing to tolerate iffier degrees.

    There are so many variables with this that it's difficult to have any one-size-fits-all opinion on it.

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