Acceptability of Unaccredited Degrees

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I agree with the magnitude of that statement--there have been a lot of really absurd things--but the post-CPU era has not been a distinguished one for either Crews or Carr.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Let me add another: Clayton University. It looked like they had a real chance at becoming an alternative university. They got 3I approval from the USDoE, and had begun exploring RA. But they didn't maintain academic standards and slowly faded away. (Until the founder ran away overseas, where he now sells Clayton degrees.) But in the late 1970's through the mid-1980's, a lot of people did real work to earn degrees from Clayton.

    Oh, and another: Western Colorado University. WCU operated in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Its operators also founded the NAPNSC when it became clear WCU wasn't getting anywhere with its RA. The state forced WCU to close eventually, but the NAPNSC lives on, still unrecognized.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest


    I do think most of CPU's troubles were brought on by themselves as per news articles concerning lax requirements. Having considered them years ago I must say I was not impressed at the time with their programs.

    And I suspect CCU name change is to prevent CPU direct hits on search engine.
    In many ways I think the reality of CPU was written on the face of IUAS.

  4. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I'm talking about non-accredited (and non-religious-exempt) state-approved schools in general. (I usually concentrate on California, because I'm most familiar with my own state.)

    I don't think that the DL/B&M distinction is the same thing as the traditional/non-traditional distinction. There are extremely non-traditional B&M programs. There are DL programs that are extremely traditional, apart from their delivery format.

    I also think that the DL/B&M distinction is pretty fuzzy. B&M schools often offer a few DL programs. Sometime they offer individual DL classes but no degrees.

    (University of the West, the WASC-candidate that I mentioned in an earlier post, pipes a few of its classes by live interactive video to a growing assortment of remote sites (Buddhist centers) around the US and Canada. I saw an ad for their DL in the latest 'Tricycle' or 'Buddhadharma' or some periodical like that. But they don't offer anything online that I'm aware of and they don't have any DL degree programs.)

    If we are talking about "unaccredited degrees" as this thread seems to be, then we would be distorting things if we only paid attention to DL programs. If there are any valuable unaccredited B&M degrees out there, then obviously some non-accredited degrees are valuable. But of course it would be interesting to inquire into how DL compares with B&M in that regard.

    If you mean B&M, some probably are and some probably aren't.

    I'm not entirely sure what 'DL school' means, but why do you say that?

    I agree that the bulk of the CA-approved programs that I personally like are B&M and not DL. But that's true for RA programs as well. On average, I don't like DL programs as much as I like B&M programs.

    But even if most of the CA-approved DL programs huddle at the middle to low end of the CA-approved spectrum, that doesn't mean that the state doesn't know what it's doing. It does mean that I wouldn't construct a favorites list composed only of DL programs. Even the better CA-approved DL programs are generally back-in-the-pack and rather undistinguished.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    When speaking of unaccredited schools on this board, I prefer to distinguish DL vs. B&M for two reasons. One, DL schools are the central issue for this board. But, more importantly, I've yet to see a B&M diploma mill. Every diploma mill in history is/was "DL." (Or, rather, pretended to be.)
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Hi Bill,

    But as far as I know this is a distance learning website so shouldn't DL be the focus? B&M schools are a lot more difficult to fake than DL. Students actually attend classes,interact w/ teachers and actually see that something real is going on even if a bit flakey. In DL a lot of assumptions are going on. IMHO I don't think you can compare the two.

    Distance learning. Look at what has and is being approved in regards to unaccredited DL schools in California. How does the approval process past or present instill any confidence in consumers that DL schools are a valid option?Is this a joke or what? PWU,CPU,CULA ,FTU and the like.
    Now is it fair for John Gray and others to suffer for this ineptitude ?

    Same for the old CA authorization status:have a few assets ,vaguely resemble a university, pay money and your in. And degree requirements are usually if not always vastly inferior in unaccredited DL schools. Is this an organization that has any handle on the problems with unaccr.DL chicanery?

  7. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    That's an interesting idea. Are all 'degree mills' 'DL schools'? Obviously a lot depends on how we define those things.

    OK... if you have a classroom, then that suggests that you probably offer at least one class. (Whether you offer more than one class, or whether the one you offer is actually required, is hard to say.) There are clearly some schools that don't seem to have the facilities to house everything that they offer.

    The dividing line between B&M and DL is exceedingly fuzzy. If a classroom-based program knocks off too many requirements through PLA or life experience credit, does it cross some invisible threshold into DL-dom? (Even if it doesn't offer any DL classes?)

    I'll define "mill" to mean 'fatally substandard' and not just degrees-for-dollars scams. So I think that I'll assert that a mill might conceivably offer some instruction and employ a classroom, provided that what it offers bears little resemblance to what's usually expected.

    Actually, the BPPVE does try to insist that schools require a proper number of credit hours and that they employ qualified faculty. All that's as true for DL as for B&M.

    Religious exemptions do allow schools to dodge a lot of that. There are California religious-exempt schools that claim phony accreditors and offer life experience credit (but have beautiful ecclesiastical robes). Some of those wonders are B&M, offering D.Min.s from out of church basements and stuff like that.

    But yeah, 'DL' and 'degree mill' do kind of go together. A degree mill is going to knock off so many classroom requirements that it will be DL almost by definition, since its students will be somewhere else.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2005
  8. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I guess we need to rule out the diploma mills that show pictures of their campus that is really pictures of the Treasury Building, Lincoln Memorial, Taj Mahal, etc.
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Bill said:

    In another thread a Cal Coast poster
    noted in bold letters that a lot more was required for a degree there now that they are DETC accredited. This seemed to slip by. Wasn't this a top notch unaccredited school? I guess the BPPVE didn't try to insist enough.I thought it an eye opening statement. So from this are we to assume degree requirements are not comparable between unaccredited and accredited? Having done both I can say they are not.

    I suspect BPPVE lets the unaccredited do what they want as long as they in some abstract way resemble academia.
    I think that was the real definition of "wholistic".
  10. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Individuals that don't want B&M programs mentioned probably shouldn't make broad statements about accredited and non-accredited programs in general.

    While most of my favorite CA-approved programs are B&M, there are some interesting DL ones as well.

    I think that all you can expect the approval process to do, whether we are talking about DL or B&M, is for it to weed out the blatant mills. But beyond that, potential students and their employers really need to do their homework. People have to be familiar with what a school is doing and be comfortable with it. If they aren't sure that the school or its graduates will satisfy their needs, then they might want to play it safe and stick to accredited alternatives. Non-accredited schools, whether DL or B&M, are probably most suitable for unusual students in in special cases.

    (That's one reason why my favorite CA-approved programs are unique in some way. They serve specialized communities by offering things that are difficult to duplicate elsewhere, making them niche players.)

    If we select "usually", then that's probably true of unaccredited programs in general, whether they are DL or not. If we select "always", then the statement is probably false.
  11. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    There have already been countless threads about Cal Coast over the years. (Unfortunately the 'search' function doesn't work.)

    They always seemed rather 'back-in-the-pack'.

    If you are surprised that state approval doesn't imply accreditation equivalence (of whatever sort), you shouldn't be.
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest


    I don't think I said they shouldn't be mentioned just that it was my understanding that DL was the focus here.I just think it is difficult to compare the two. DL has a rather sordid history in California whether licensed,authorized or approved. My point is why does this continue to go on ? Probably because there is no one to observe the day to day happenings. There are no students, no teachers or classrooms. How often does the state check? Once a year or something like that? If you say there really isn't any difference between the two then why as Rich correctly states does this not go on in B&M.

    I have been doing DL since the 80's and it amazes me that this unaccredited/accredited argument still is going on as strong as ever. Running over to Liberia to verify accredidation,
    off to Malawi to seek legitamacy refuge,
    off to Seborgia for who knows what,
    Whistling Dixie ,CPU, Lazurus Long, Richard Hoyer, MIGS,Empire Washita for crying out loud this is ridiculous. Or is it? Perhaps just another day in the world of the never accredited DL school.
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    What do degree requirements have to do with approval or accredidation? Are we to assume that because approval is several notches below accredidation that so is the degree content? Why? I thought we've been told otherwise.

    Not as a DL school. Always mentioned as one of the best. Not that I have anything against them but why are we now told that the accredited degree is a lot more work?

    Not since they have been accredited and not that compare the two requirements.

  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I am noticing in my own studies that there's a distinction between learning something and getting a degree.

    I honestly don't know if I will EVER be able to write exam papers to the standard that the University of London requires. I may therefore never succeed in earning the degree. Indeed, with the dollar continuing to freefall, the financial end is becoming ever more burdensome. I may not be able to AFFORD to continue.

    But through the structured study course, I have LEARNED a great deal.

    It seems to me that any course of study, whether accredited or state approved but unaccredited, can be valuable as an opportunity to explore and learn. The trick is to determine whether the program contemplated will meet the student's foreseeable needs or not.

    I am not talking about mills, of course.
  15. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Check with Ted.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The dollar has been on the upswing against the British Pound:

    Exchange Rate on July 13th
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    But it hasn't recovered the ground it lost, nor is it likely to.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Oh, I don't know. Higher interest rates might do the trick, and those seem to be on the way.

    Lower budget deficits would help, too, but the current administration is a traitor to traditional Republican ideals regarding balanced budgets, so I don't think we'll see those (like we did under Clinton) for awhile.
  19. russ

    russ New Member

    Excellent point, Nosborne. Learning can take a variety of different forms some of which there is no formal way to quantify. A student who has the curiosity of mind and personal motivation can get more of an education from an unaccredited school (not diploma mill) than an unmotivated RA school student who is just going through the motions to get the sheepskin. The formal distinction would automatically be that the RA degree student has a higher quality of education and therefore more attractive to potential employers. In this case, that would be the an incorrect conclusion.

    By the way, if you have dollars that are weakening against the pound, use them to buy pounds to freeze the exchange rate at current levels if you can. Another idea would be to hedge your dollars using a market derivative that would increase in value as the dollar weakens. You need to have a sizeable position in dollars to do that. Otherwise, hope that the dollar continues to strengthen against the pound.

    Good luck!
  20. russ

    russ New Member

    Actually, I was not calling you arrogant Rich, I was referring to your position. It was not personal. If you re-read your comment it is clear that you wanted to put all unaccredited degrees in the same pot. I was arguing against that position.

    In reading your subsequent posts, it is also clear that your statement was not necessarily consistent with your own position. You don't put all unaccredited degrees in the same pot with diploma mills and have favorable opinions about some unaccredited degree programs.

    I stand corrected as to your actual position rather than your statement.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page