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

    Posted by Russ

    And I have met people with no college who are brighter than college graduates.
    Should we give them degrees for life experience? Wait!! Forget I said that!
  2. russ

    russ New Member

    This is exactly the problem with this board, Rich, is that you guys lump all unaccredited degrees into the same pot. Differentiation is necessary and the only way to be fair to those who have earned legitimate degrees at schools who do rise "above the heap" as you phrase it.

    I don't have a problem with your disparaging remarks about diploma mills and schools who hand out degrees with no real work. To put all unaccredited degrees in that same category because you are too lazy to differentiate however is insulting to those graduates and the hard work they have gone through to get their degrees.

    You can stake out this arrogant position and maintain it with the help of the like-minded on this board but that does not make it right.
  3. russ

    russ New Member

    Too late.

    Besides, that is being done by RA schools as well. Steven Spielberg received a bachelors degree from an RA school in California with very little actual coursework and no testing out. They even waived his last project that was to be a short film because of his "life experience."

    Makes sense to me.
  4. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    More false information from Russ. It actually is the EXACT opposite of what Russ says. It is the general public that lumps all unaccredited degrees into the same diploma mill pot. The members of this board generally recognize that there are a very small number of legitimate unaccredited schools. The number is getting smaller not larger. There are so few unaccredited schools that rise above the heap that one can't really blame the general public for lumping all unaacredited schools into the diploma mill category.

    Again, I ask Russ, what DL general education unaccredited school are you talking about here, Russ? You cannot discuss specifics because it is YOU that is too lazy to differentiate the good unaccredited from the bad. It is you that insults the whole education system by asserting that all legally bestowed should be considered valid, legitimate, and deserving of our respect.

    Russ continually tries to deceive and obscure the truth. He never discusses the merits or lack thereof of individual schools. He only makes false statements about what others believe and say.
  5. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    You continually write false statements and half truths. Since you do it so often and repeatedly I can only conclude that you do it on purpose.

    The first sentence above is a LIE. the second sentence should read.

    They only waived his last project that was to be a short film because of his "life experience."

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2005
  6. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2005
  7. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    While legitimate schools do not automatically award credit for life experience, there are, fortunately, ways to provide college credit for prior learning via examination, portfolio and other assessment measures.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Call me arrogant doesn't change things, "russ."

    As for right and wrong, those things tend to work out over time. Please share with us the contributions you've made to the field of nontraditional higher education. Mine are known. Yours?
  9. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Apparently, even THAT is not true. He didn't submit "life experience". He submitted "Schindler's list" as his film project. Surely an Oscar-winning movie is worth 4 quarter units, no?

    Apparently, the guy has over 4 years of college, and no credit for "life experience".
  10. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that's why people call you a "troll", Russ.

    Perhaps you missed these remarks of mine, made on this very thread about ten or fifteen posts ago:

    "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."

    I think that I've made considerable efforts to differentiate out some valuable unaccredited programs. I've named at least a dozen of them and I've supplied reasons why I like them.

    You on the other hand have accomplished absolutely nothing except incessantly trying to pick fights with Rich and insulting the board.

    You insist that we need to "differentiate". But you refuse to acknowledge the many differentiations that we've already made, which implies that you don't agree with them.

    So, explain how you would do things differently than anyone here already does, explain and justify whatever new criteria you choose, and then use them to try to defend some programs that you think that "this board" is currently treating unfairly.
  11. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    I am also a "differentiator" about UA schools, and always have been; not with Rich's or Bill's skill, but a "differentiator" nonetheless.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Unaccredited DL schools I liked in the 1980s:

    California Coast
    California Pacific
    Columbia Pacific
    California American
    International College
    International Graduate School
    Western Institute for Social Research
    U. of Santa Barbara
    U. of Santa Monica

    Unaccredited DL schools I like now:

    California Pacific
    University of Fairfax (not Fairfax U.)
    U. of Santa Monica
    SCUPS (sorta)

    The main theme? Almost all of the schools on my 1980's list are either accredited or gone. Two are still alive, and one (sorta) has been added. I'm sure there are more, but these are the ones that leap to mind.

    The lesson? That there aren't many legitimate, unaccredited DL schools left. For the most part, they either got accredited or they went out of business. As for the rest of the chronically unaccredited, I could do without them.
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Rich: Of the unaccredited schools you liked in the 1980s, can you publish updates: accredited (as of); went out of business (as of); don't like 'em anymore (as of), etc.?
  14. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    This is so true. When I was asked if CCU was accreditied, I would say, "No, they are state approved." Sometimes I would have to go on tho say, "I know they a quality school because...." The general mind set is unaccredited equal mill. What is even worst is Accedited by Bob's Big Boy Accreditation equals accredited is peoples mind. RA or NA is just one that does not need explanation.
  15. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Hi Rich: I had not heard of U. of Fairfax or U. of Santa Monica. Both look impressive for those interested in the specific angle represented by each school.
  16. bing

    bing New Member


    Why do you like SCUPS....sorta? One thing about SCUPS is their psych programs. One can become licensed in CA. With their law program, one may take the CA bar exam.

    Why do I ask? I must be on a mailing list. I received an advertising mailer from them today in the mail.

    I wonder what it was that SCUPS failed at in the accreditation attempt.
  17. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    If Russ is gonna criticize people, it probably oughtta be me I guess, because I apparently take a much harder line than Rich.

    Here's my comments on his list:

    Sarasota - now RA and called Argosy. Its vocational emphasis doesn't thrill me. But their merger with the American Schools of Professional Psychology makes them a major APA-accredited clinical psychology player.

    Union - now RA. I like interdisciplinary studies as much as the next humanities major, but Union really needs to focus. It can't realistically be all things to all men.

    Walden - now RA. They once granted a Ph.D. to Maxine Asher for her invention of intuitive archaeology. Hopefuly things have changed a bit since. My impression of them now is vocational and no-nonsense. Which is probably sad in another way.

    Saybrook - now RA. This used to offer conventional classes in San Francisco and only latterly went DL, I think. It was associated with some of the big names in the humanistic psychology movement in its formative years. If you are into that, its top tier. If not, it might seem a bit flaky.

    California Coast - too unfocused in their early years to be very credible. They focused on business during their middle years but I didn't like their multiple-choice graduate courses. Now they've dropped the doctoral programs and have been accredited by DETC. I wouldn't put them on a favorites list.

    California Pacific - I'm unfamiliar with this one.

    Columbia Pacific - once had the reputation here in the bay area as the place to go with the dissertation topics that you couldn't do elsewhere. It was kind of exciting, actually, in a 70's alternative way. People actually had the feeling that the big earthshaking breakthrough in something edgy like parapsychology or alternative medicine might come from CPU. Either that or it would implode. It ended up imploding.

    California American - are still around, offering business programs. (Mostly to Asian immigrants, I think.) Don't think that they do DL. They are OK as far as unaccredited B-schools go, but it doesn't show me anything to justify choosing them over accredited alternatives. Certainly not one of my favorites.

    International College - not familiar with them.

    International Graduate School - not familiar with them.

    Western Institute for Social Research - it's still chugging away over there in Berkeley. I don't like its politically correct tone, but I trust the opinion of the former Degreeinfo participant (a law professor) who was studying there for personal interest and who indicated that he liked it. It wouldn't make my personal favorites list, but it's a reasonably good one.

    Greenwich - I'm not fond of the unfocused model. They suffered from very bad management there at the end, tried to play the offshore accreditation haven game and self-destructed in a spectacular ball of flames.

    CIIS - now RA. I wouldn't call this a DL school, either now or in the past. They actually offer very little DL. But the place is certainly fascinating. I think that they were probably strongest academically in their early pre-accreditation days as the American Academy of Asian Studies. Founded in 1951, they eventually became a degree-granting graduate school called California Institute of Asian Studies in 1974. AAAS/CIAS' longtime (and part-time) president was Frederick Spiegelberg, famous Stanford professor of Indic languages. Back in 1951 Spiegelberg had been in India on a Fulbright grant and had been visiting every ashram and holy man that he could find. He recruited a small but all-star cast of teachers from around the world, including Alan Watts (who he lured away from Northwestern University) and Haridas Chaudhuri who was recommended as the best available man in India on vedanta and yoga by Sri Aurobindo in Pondicherry. AAAS was a small community of very committed people meeting in a homey environment in an old Victorian house. Michael Murphy (founder of Esalen) remembers the Friday evening colloquia chaired by Spiegelberg, Watts and Chauduri: you had to get there an hour early to find room and the atmosphere was electric. Sadly CIIS seems to me be slowly drifting away from its roots. They still offer Asian studies Ph.D.s, but these are increasingly submerged in a tide of trendy fluff. But at one time AAAS/CIAS/CIIS probably represented the ideal of what the best CA-approved schools hoped to be.

    U. of Santa Barbara - I don't know much about it and am currently underwhelmed.

    U. of Santa Monica - they are still around but i've never paid much attention to it. I'm not aware of anything that particularly thrills me.

    SCUPS (sorta) - I look at SCUPS and my first question is "why"? Non-accredited schools are like method acting: you have to know their motivation (and your own).
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    CPU I think is what really ruined the credibility of the CA approved schools.
    And I think their real motivation lay in their "sister" school IUAS,which I think is hands down the greatest absurdity in the DL history.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Out of business:

    Columbia Pacific (c. 2000--they became a new entity)
    California American (the one in Escondido) (not sure)
    International College (during the 1980's)
    International Graduate School (c. 1987)
    Greenwich (depends on when you call it)
    U. of Santa Barbara (not sure)

    Still Not Accredited:

    U. of Santa Monica
    Western Institute for Social Research
    California Pacific


    CIIS (sometime in the late 80's or early 90's)
    Sarasota (ditto)
    Union (1985)
    Walden (sometime in the late 1980's)
    Saybrook (ditto)
    California Coast (recently by DETC)

    The exact dates are, for the most part, available in Bears' Guide.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Failed DETC attempt.
    Restoration of doctoral programs after failed attempt.
    Didn't hang in there and get better after failed attempt.
    Didn't like how they altered an excerpt from Bears' Guide and used it in their promotions.

    Like 'em for the reasons you cite, but wonder (like I do for many such schools) what purpose they serve that isn't better served by accredited schools?
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