American Positive Psychology Association and Accredited Schools

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Garp, Mar 19, 2022.

  1. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I saw a school accredited by this entity advertising in Psychology Today. One of the schools said the AMPPA was recognized by the US Dept of Education. I can't find it as a recognized accreditor. A couple of the schools on the list seem to have the same web site and crest. Of course no .edu. You can graduate and become a "Board Certified Neuroscientist or Neuropsychologist". Affordable PhD at the site. But....the whole thing seems to be nonsense or at least rather meaningless (unless I am missing them on the US DoE web site).

    Googled and found some people claiming a PhD from schools accredited by this entity. Misleading if they are using the very scientific sounding credentials and they aren't recognized by the State or by a recognized accreditor. In addition, one of the sites quotes Seligman as if he is associated with them or endorsing them but when you read the quote it is not an endorsement but a general comment.

    Caveat emptor
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2022
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    If I'm not mistaken, doesn't every school start out being unaccredited and every accrediting agency start without DOE recognition?
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  3. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Yes. I think a non-accredited school pursuing unrecognized accreditation is a red flag though.

    We see unaccredited schools that pursue programmatic accreditation like AACSB and that's not a bad thing because there's no intent to mislead.
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  4. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    The bad part in regards to psychology is that most states require a certain accreditation to seek licensure. I believe APA?
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, every school starts off without accreditation.

    Not every school starts off touting unrecognized accreditation, however.

    There have been DL schools with very fake accreditation right up to the day their recognized accreditation was announced. This was a DEAC thing for awhile when that agency started opening itself up to some long-time-unaccredited schools.

    It would be unusual today for a school to offer up its unrecognized accreditation, yet be legitimately striving towards real accreditation.
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  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yep - but not all of them stay that way. Most of these will, I think. Especially the one that has Texas Religious exemption. Don't think they'll be forking out for regular USDE / CHEA recognized accreditation any time soon. I've looked through some of these and I see handprints from the past. One Law school of a uni here sells a "board-certified Juris Diplomate" qualification. Familiar ring. That was something sold by the guy who ran "Monticello University" which was ordered shut down and later, had an outfit called Regus University. He is now around 74 years old and I believe he still has a registered lock on the "Juris Diplomate" designation. He was once involved with a Presidential American Uni (documents below) and I note there's an AMPPA school called American presidential.

    A number of very um - "unofficial" boards mentioned by some of these AMPPA- accredited schools. Such boards often turn out to be Certification mills. And very familiar talk of how the American Higher Ed. system is broken and if you go with these schools in the ads, you get the cheapest-on-the-planet degree and don't need predatory Student loans. The old schools I mentioned have been harping on this for many years. Ultra-familiar. A tempting offer, but I'll pass.

    Monticello U. is here:
    Something else he ran, here:
    Yet more, in which he is mentioned:

    DegreeInfo Thread on this guy: Pay particular attention to the mysterious bearded man who wrote post #13
    Mentions him and about 10 of his organizations. We have other threads.

    I think I've saved y'all a few thousand, guys. Donations gratefully accepted. (I jest, of course.) :)
    Yes, Chris and yes, Garp. This is is all both suspicious and highly redolent of the past, as I see it.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2022
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  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No matter how positive your psychology is - there are times to be negative. This is one. :)
  8. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Thanks Johann. It explains a lot. Advertising in Psychology Today but not worth much other than to cause people to part with money. One of their sites seems to indicate minimal "work".
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  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yep. Always a great selling point, in certain demographics. Fast easy and cheap - that packs 'em in. Always. :)

    Here's a quote on the Monticello and Juris Diplomate guy - Leslie Edwin Snell. This is from Allen Ezell's and Dr. John Bear's "Degree Mills -The Billion Dollar Industry."

    "The state of Kansas won a million-dollar-plus judgment against degree-mill operator Les Snell and his Monticello University but Snell moved to Colorado and was not pursued." (Emphasis mine - J.)

    Wha? It's that easy? If I'm ever in a financial jackpot I know where I'm moving! Marijuana's legal there now, too - hence "The Mile-High City." Too bad I don't like the stuff. But I could find something to do... :)
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  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I can speak from first-hand experience that, sadly, winning a lawsuit and collecting on the judgment are two entirely different things, with the former having almost no bearing on the latter. It can quickly devolve to a very expensive moral victory.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, when you have a truly "nightmare-grade" judgment debtor on your hands - as I sincerely believe Rich did. I know what that's like. I never kept count, but I was called upon to sue many people - and businesses - in my working days. (I'm not a lawyer - I was, for some years, a debt collector.) My "lawsuit total" was somewhere well into four figures, I'm sure. Sometimes you have to make decisions - is further pursuit of the judgment worth it? If it's a personal case, rather than business, it may not be worth it for emotional or aggravation reasons, even if there might be some chance, at least, of recovering money. And, business or personal, it is practically never worth it, if the defendant is truly "nightmare-grade."

    Probably, State attorneys made a good, educated guess at the chances of recovery from Mr. Snell and decided not to throw good State money after bad, pursuing a nightmare. Moving to Colorado? Just my little joke. I note Mr. Snell eventually returned to Kansas.

    Thankfully, nightmare defendants seem to be scarce enough that the growth of the US National Sport of Suing has not been impeded. Competition is keen in the three Major Leagues: Corporate Litigation, Personal Litigation --- and last but not least - Government Litigation. Go, Suits! :)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2022
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I don't think an unaccredited school seeking recognized accreditation is a red flag.

    I don't think an accredited school seeking programmatic accreditation from a new, unrecognized accreditor is a red flag.

    An unaccredited school marketing itself as being accredited by an unrecognized accreditor, to me, is a red flag.

    An unrecognized accreditor mostly or only accrediting schools without institutional accreditation is a red flag.

    Only two states require APA accreditation as of the last time time I checked, but positive psychology is not not a license-eligible specialty.
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  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I went the website for one of the schools, and it's clearly a scam. They're straight up lying about accreditation and how it works in the U.S. They also claim that they can teach students how to legally set up a private practice without a license. In my opinion, positive psychology is sort of a junk sub-field without much usefulness in research or in an applied setting similar to transpersonal psychology and spiritual psychology. But, if it has relevancy anywhere, it would be in human resources, health and wellness departments, social services, administrative positions at a school, and corporate training. It definitely will not prepare you to become a neuroscientist. You don't need a PhD or any degree to exploit the life coach loophole.
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  14. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

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  15. laferney

    laferney Active Member

    "In my opinion, positive psychology is sort of a junk sub-field without much usefulness in research or in an applied setting similar to transpersonal psychology and spiritual psychology"
    I disagree with this. Positive Psychology is a very researched area of psychology and is aligned with cognitive therapy in it's useful in applied clinical settings. There is a subdivision of Positive psychology under Division 17 of Counseling Psychology in the APA.
    I 'd agree that given the lack of accreditation and the numerous certifications offered by THE AMERICAN GRADUATE UNIVERSITY OF POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY it should be avoided.
    If one really wants to learn about Positive Psychology (and from the leaders in the field ) and doesn't have the 70 thousand dollar tuition to get a Masters degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania
    I suggest take the five course certificate in "Foundations or Positive Psychology from Coursera/ 'UPENN along with the course Positive Psychology by B Fredrickson at Coursersa/ UNC. Thes courses are taught by the leaders in the field and are cheap in price but not content .
    These courses will provide a great overview of the field and you will understand the very scientific research processes involved (esp in Course 3)
    Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods

    If you don' have time for this there is a Udemy course that is a slimmed down and cheap version of the the above called Flourishing (5 hours and taught by Seligman and other leaders)

    UPENN also has a certificate in Applied positive psychology online but is very expensive.
    Many accredited universities have programs and course in Positive psychology.
    So no need to study at unaccredited "schools'
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  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Absolutely true. Unfortunately, there are those who are scuffling along in such unregulated fields, who find it expedient to get a worthless quickie "doctorate," so they can put Ph.D. on their business cards. I'm told they often do this to push ahead of other
    unskilled "practitioners" trying to scrape a minimal living.

    Nothing worse than a worthless quickie!
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  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks. The variety of psych. and psych-oriented courses at Udemy continues to amaze me. Great content, known, proven teachers.
    I've benefited greatly from a couple of them. Just a dabbler, here - no psych. degree. I did get about 18 units of undergrad psych in B&M schools.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What is the "life coach loophole"?
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I think it can be a useful course to take, but the degree programs I've seen at accredited colleges are not clinically-focused and don't lead to an LMHC or LPC license. These programs also don't appear to be heavy in statistics training, which is a highly valuable skill for research psychologists. So, one has to wonder if this is the best sub-field to earn your master's degree in. I/O psychology dominates human resources. Cognitive and human factors psychologists are working in engineering and the tech industry. School, clinical, and counseling psychologists are the healthcare practitioners.

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