Acceptability of Unaccredited Degrees

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Rich Douglas, Jun 14, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi Tony,

    Sorry timed out during interruption! With all due respect I think to even refer to most never accredited hoaxes as schools or universities inadvertantly compounds the problem. Most are scams not schools. They meet no standard whatsoever.

    I also think the title of this forum accredited v. approved v. unaccredited also inadvertantly clouds the issue. There is no comparison. If there was no vast history of fraud in the never accredited it would be a different. But of the countless thousands of the never accredited that have ever existed how many weren't mills? 2 or 3? Accredidation is the only legitimacy insurance available in DL.

    I don't see anything that could convince a prospective student that anything could be gained from a never accredited "school"approved or not.

  2. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    My guess as to part of the rational for the current title for this forum was

    1. Trying to pick a title that would not appear to be judgemental.

    2. Trying to pick a title that would more likely follow the intended classification even by those arguing for unaccredited degrees.

    I have these guesses based in large part on the fact that when this forum was created there was fellow going to KWU that was starting lots of new threads in the general distance learning forum and he would get very upset when people used the term unaccredited instead of state licensed or state approved.
  3. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    In this thread I examined the California approved schools operating in the nine San Francisco bay area counties.

    There were 486 of them. Of those 87 (18%) offered degree programs at the bachelors level or above.

    Of those 87, 33 had recognized accreditation by an accreditor other than WASC. They ranged from ACCSCT vocational colleges to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance.

    An additional 31 schools only offered degrees with religious titles and appeared to be operating under religious exemptions. Some had no urls, others looked pretty bad, offering life-experience credit and boasting accreditation by bogus accreditors. I particularly liked (that's meant ironically) Gral University in San Bruno (perhaps a misspelling of Grail University) and University of Plenum 000 in Redwood Shores, approved to offer the exact same programs as Gral. Interestingly, though Gral is only approved to offer religious degree titles, it is apparently offering hypnotherapy degrees in Japanese in Japan.

    Finally there were 23 schools that offered non-accredited degrees with conventional BA-MA-Ph.D. nomenclature. That's 26% of 18% = 4.7% of the total 486 schools. These are what Degreeinfo usually means when it uses the term 'CA-approved'.

    Of the 23, 7 appear to offer complete DL degrees (two more offer individual classes), but one of the 7 (Saratoga U.) is defunct. That's 26% of 4.7% = 1.2% of the total 486.

    So despite this board's fascination with them, the CA-approved degree-granting DL schools are a vanishingly small part of the total CA-approved scene, at least here in the Bay Area.
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi Bill,

    I guess my point is what have unaccredited schools ever done to even be considered as a degree option? Very little that I can see. While some may have been seemingly worthy 20 years ago many of those have been humiliated into oblivian.

  5. intsvc

    intsvc member

    Don't flame me for this!

    The ULC do degree's whereby a person pay's a fee, studies and is rewarded a degree based on the outcome of answeres provided for those studies...

    ...Just like a regular Uni.

    Is it wrong for people to use such a degree from say the ULC or FICOTW?
  6. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Pardon me? When did the ULC require "studies" and what kind of "studies", other than making sure that the check clears, are required for ULC degrees?

    To state that the Universal Life Church scam acts "just a regular Uni" is unreasonable (a flamer would use a far stronger adjective). It is difficult to imagine that anyone desiring any credibility at all would make such a comparison.
  7. intsvc

    intsvc member

    Alot of the ULC courses require research and reading relating to religion then the answering of questions, based on both essays and multiple choice questions.
  8. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    I won't flame you (which I guess means criticism of what you post). Please review what you have posted about ULC. This board deals with legitimate degreed distance learning from accredited schools both here and abroad. Some of us also support a few unaccredited schools with a demonstrated track record of integrity and substance (there are not a lot [TWO WORDS!!!] of schools like that). I am unsure how your defence of the academics of ULC will enhance your credibility. Please explain.
  9. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    I've never even glanced at the ULC programs. Most references that I've seen indicate that people buy these degrees as a joke,
    "Hey, I'm a legally ordained Minister! ;) "
    It may be true that there are stated expectations that a person must do some reading and answer some questions. It may also be true that if you don't do the reading, and just guess when you're answering the questions and receive a score of only 10%, then you still receive your degree. The fact that you "have to take a test" means nothing if nobody ever fails the test, regardless of how poorly they score.
    Just a thought that intsvc apparently hasn't considered.
  10. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    That might be (generally) true if you treat 'unaccredited schools' as a class and restrict that class to degree-programs.

    But if you look at unaccredited schools individually, you will find many that have considerable educational value.

    There are many unaccredited non-degree-granting educational opportunities being offered in countless subjects that don't purport to offer university credit. But they might have great educational value.

    And there are even some special-situations degree programs as well. A handful of the better California DL law schools might be examples of that.

    I'm very fond of the University of the West, which offers one of the stronger Buddhist studies programs in the entire English-speaking world. (That's including the ivy-league.) It's still just a candidate for regional accreditation at this point.
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi Bill ,

    Are you talking DL or traditional or both? I'm referring to DL only. CA approved traditional schools are probably fine but IMHO the state has no idea what it doing in regards to DL schools. Now some DL schools might be OK but the consumer has no real way of knowing.

  12. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Concerning the Universal Life Church, I've long been a defender of their ordinations. That's a function of my broader philosophical worries about religious foundations generally, a fondness for free-lance religiosity, and a sense that everyone is ultimately their own spiritual-director.

    And I suppose that if people think that they are the captains of their own faith (or whatever), then here's no greater authority on that particular path than them. So they oughtta be doctors.

    But that relativizes higher education to the point of absurdity. If a degree can mean anything that anyone wants it to mean, then its not gonna mean anything at all.

    Even if we bracket out the content of a degree program and replace it with 'X', earning a 'doctorate in X' suggests mastery of the scholarly apparatus. It suggests familiarity with the history of one's subject, knowledge of the relevant languages, the ability to form an original thesis and then to argue for it coherently and persuasively in the face of criticism.

    I might be willing to accept the idea of every individual being a doctor of their own religious path, but only provided that they can elucidate their path in the manner that's expected of doctors.

    There's absolutely no evidence that mail-order ULC doctors ever have to do that, so I don't consider their degrees in any way credible.
  13. russ

    russ New Member

    Hi Tony,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response and defense of your analogy. I am glad that we both agree that a car is a car (a degree a degree) and there is no argument there. Let us move on.

    Quality or utility (a form of quality) is what your analogy addresses and it does that well. To speak of unaccredited degree graduates performing at a level equal to or above RA degree graduates is to define a quality difference. The quality argument is problematical. The quality of any education is very difficult to quantify and is susceptible to various interpretations of "education" and the fact that RA graduates do not get the same quality of education from their various institutions anymore than unaccredited graduates do. Even if a quality difference exists, who is to say that the quality is significant enough to disqualify the graduate from saying they are a college graduate?

    I have met unaccredited college graduates who are brighter and more knowledgeable than those with RA degrees and the reverse is true as well. This will probably always be the case. My point is that a degree is a degree whether accredited or unaccredited as long as it is legal and they both should be given the respect they deserve.
  14. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Hello russ, you old troll. Newbies should be warned that russ habitually makes statements that are untrue, unsupportable and generally illogical. His above post is no exception. See you next time russ.
  15. russ

    russ New Member

    Thanks for stopping by Jack. Always good to hear from you. I am sure your "truth" is the only one that matters.
  16. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Hey russ, let's be clear. I'm not "stopping by," I'm here all the time. You're the troll, and a part-time one at that. You can go away now and try to dream up some new angle by which you can pollute the minds of newbies. I'll be here when you get back.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Except when it isn't. The literature is filled with cases of people losing jobs and otherwise being humiliated publicly on the basis of their "legal" degrees. That doesn't seem to happen to people with properly recognized degrees.

    The problem with giving degrees from unaccredited schools "the respect they deserve" is in assessing the correct level of respect. The vast majority of unaccredited schools are really diploma mills, so it is a simple thing to lump all unaccredited DL schools into one pile--why bother discerning the few that rise above the heap?

    "Legal" degrees lost Todd Saldana and Laura Hamilton (to name two of hundreds) their jobs. Running a school issuing "Legal" degrees added prison time to Ron Pellar's time. (I hear he's out.) And legal degrees are bringing embarrassment to John Gray and Charles Abell, among others.

    "russ" can assert any low standard he wishes. I'm sure he doesn't mind if others warn against it; it is reckless.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    At one point--and I pointed this out--"russ" was posting almost 8 times per day, on average. His average is now 1.41, and that's weighted with all those earlier posts. His is a one-issue campaign, so he needs time for it to quiet down so he can resume it and make it sound fresh again. But it doesn't.

    I'm still looking forward to his first actual fact.
  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Why do degrees deserve respect?

    My own answer is that it's the academic accomplishment that the degree represents that deserves the recognition.

    But if a meaningless diploma doesn't imply any academic accomplishment, then what's left?

    Once again, legality is simply irrelevant.
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    quote from Rich
    Very well put Rich.
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