18-credit Executive MPA

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by sanantone, Mar 3, 2023.

  1. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The U.S. has 1-year master's programs that are 30 to 36 semester hours, but outside of self-paced programs, students usually take courses over three semesters (fall, spring, and summer). If given clearance, a student might register for 12+ credits in a semester to finish faster. Although being able to finish a non-competency-based program in eight months without transfer credits is unusual, what is most concerning here is the number of credit hours and courses. This degree doesn't need to be accelerated by taking more than a full course load. Nine semester hours in a semester is the minimum to be considered full-time at the graduate level.

    Even though they say this is a 1-year program, it is really an 8-month program with two 16-week semesters. The only way this program will take a year is if you start in the spring and don't take courses in the summer.
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The irony here is that WES Canada may very well accept this as being equivalent to a Canadian Masters because, you know, RA or the highway. Meanwhile a degree from a DEAC accredited school will still come out with the usual qualifier about how DEAC isn't good enough.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I first sent an email to two email addresses at MSCHE. I got no response after 9 days. I sent the same email to two other email addresses. I finally got a response, which doesn't make much sense to me. A diplomatic response rather than directly addressing my question.

    My email


    I would like to know if the Executive Master of Public Administration program at Marywood University has been approved by MSCHE. I am concerned about the quality of a "degree" that only requires 18 credits. This is more like a graduate certificate.

    MSCHE's response

    Marywood University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Its current status is Accreditation Reaffirmed. The university was first accredited by MSCHE in 1921. Its accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2017. Marywood University’s next evaluation review and visit is scheduled for 2025-2026.

    MSCHE accreditation applies to an institution as a whole, rather than the specific programs or locations within the institution. MSCHE does not approve or accredit individual programs or locations. All programs offered in the name of Marywood University, and all locations at which those programs are delivered are included within the scope of the Marywood University’s MSCHE accreditation.

    The MSCHE accreditation review cycle is continuous and accreditation does not expire. Each institution is reevaluated and monitored on a regular and consistent basis in accordance with the institution’s assigned accreditation review cycle and Commission policy and procedures. An institution maintains its accreditation unless it is voluntarily surrendered or withdrawn by the Commission for cause, after the institution has been afforded due process.

    Public information regarding Marywood University, including its current Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS) which indicates the credential levels and the educational sites included within the scope of Marywood University’s MSCHE accreditation, is available on the Commission’s website, https://www.msche.org/institution/0531/.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    This is the kind of response I would expect if you had asked the same question to ChatGPT.
  5. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    They don't accredit individual programs. Fine. I knew this. But most commissions have to approve new programs (part of the substantive change process). If if they don't consider adding new programs a substantive change, shouldn't they at least outline the minimum credit requirement for each degree level. Next, we will have a 9-credit master's degree.
    Rachel83az and Johann like this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    We just might. A "Stonewall moment." It's a wonder they didn't link arms and chant "Our Credits are Bigger" or something. This "answer" (?) is certainly not up to any reasonable expectations.
    Maniac Craniac and chrisjm18 like this.
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    When I spoke with Capitol Technology University a couple of years ago, they said that each of their doctoral programs had to be approved by MSCHE. They even put a "pending approval" note on the webpages for their new programs.
    Maniac Craniac and Rich Douglas like this.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As you're implying, and others are also saying, this is pretty standard. I'm working with a university now that is prepping to introduce two new doctoral programs. They're pending accreditor approval.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  9. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    This is what I was wondering. Are they doing something along the lines of Reed College in Portland OR, where a "Reed unit" is worth around 4 semester or 6 quarter units?
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    If Marywood (or any school) devised any non-standard academic unit, I'd think:

    (1) There'd have to be "Permission from On High" - i.e. Accreditor
    (2) They'd not be slow in advertising the fact. And they don't. Otherwise it would be sold as "18 Marywood Units" or something -or the equivalent (greater) in credits-du-jour. And it isn't. 18 credits is what they say. And I'm pretty sure that part wasn't written by ChatGPT.

    If anyone finds that Marywood has, in fact, done something like this - please let us know. I don't think they have - the "chant" was just my idea of sarcasm.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2023
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The phrasing on this website leads me to believe that this may just be, well, poor phrasing. As in it may be an 18 credits on top of another degree or something like that. Work has been very busy otherwise I would just call and ask. Marywood, just up I-81 from my own alma mater, is a very small school. And they ran into some trouble some years back when their accreditation for their nursing program was suspended (later reinstated) leaving some nursing students in limbo temporarily. I can see them wanting to up their online offerings as a means of survival.

    So I can buy that it is either an 18 credit "add on" to, say, an MBA OR that it is actually a grad certificate that has been most unfortunately named so as to give it the appearance of a Masters when it is, in fact, a grad certificate.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I recall now that Capitol Technology University needed to get approval from the State of Maryland for each new doctoral program. I read some of the MSCHE guidelines, and it appears that they don't approve new degree programs. Schools only need to apply to offer a new credential level. If you're already approved to offer master's degrees, you can add new ones without seeking approval. I haven't yet read any possible guidelines for the length of degree programs.
    Maniac Craniac and Rich Douglas like this.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Poor phrasing, yes. Unfortunate, yes again. Deliberately so would be far worse. Hope it isn't.
  14. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    The page says:
    That makes it pretty clear that this isn't some sort of certificate like a micro-masters or mini-MPA. If it was a top-up after getting another Master's degree in a related subject, that would be an interesting idea. It would be like retroactively enrolling in a dual degree program. However, the wording on the page doesn't leave room for that kind of interpretation.
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  15. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The webpage says that the program is designed for those with five years of post-bachelor's work experience. It doesn't mention that a master's degree or graduate transfer credits are required. Someone on the other forum contacted them, and they mentioned needing five years of post-bachelor's experience but didn't mention needing a master's degree.
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The reason why I am suspicious here is because...why would anyone enroll in the regular MPA?

    "You can enroll in a regular MPA at 30 credits or an Executive MPA at 18."

    OK, fine, 5 years post-bachelors work experience. Got it. That's not a lot of experience. Certainly not enough to put you at the "executive" level of anything. So it would position their "regular" MPA as being only an option for those with less than five years of experience.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Makes sense - but maybe they might not. When WES looks at the transcript and finds 18 credits... they're hawks about details like that. Even worse than WE are. :)

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