Ashford loses accreditation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by agschmidt, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Totally agree with your post Dr. Pina. IMHO I think it's pretty much "wait and see" right now. I often think of this situation with Ashford to playing the telephone kids game. The original message somehow gets distorted going from one kid to the next until the message no longer resembles the original intent. Kind of like politics huh, hey that's a different topic
  2. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    With regard to the 90,000 student issue, I stand corrected.
  3. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

  4. BriDaub2015

    BriDaub2015 New Member

    I am currently in the process of switching from The University Of Phoenix to Ashford University, and felt that i needed to add to this discussion because I was told about this through my enrollment adviser at Phoenix because she was trying to scare my and get me to stay with them because they want as much of my money as they can get. I went and did some research on this and also spoke with my enrollment adviser with Ashford. I read a few articles about it and then I felt that I would not know the complete truth until I spoke with the school about it. I called my enrollment adviser and she was not worried about my asking about it she answered my questions very well and made sure she covered everything that went along with it so that I knew I had nothing to worry about. She told me that they are not loosing their accreditation. She said that they still had the HLC and think there was another one but cant remember it right off the top of my head. Then she said that they were denied accreditation in the west. That the only reason they were trying to get it in the west was like someone had previously mentioned that is where their online part of the school is located and a lot of the students are also from that area so it would be better for them if they had them as well as the other ones they have. But she reassured me that I have nothing to worry about with switching to them because they are not in risk of loosing their accreditation anytime soon. She also said that they plan on trying to get it in the west again here in the near future.
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    WASC recently started posting accreditation reports online.

    If you want to see their full 73-page evaluation on Ashford, go to this page, go to the box at the bottom of the page, find the "Commission Action" tab, and click on the "Team Report, June 2012 action" link.

    If you want the short version, click on "Commission action letter, June 2012" to see the 10-page denial letter that was sent to Ashford's president and CEO.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2012
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    That is great news but remember - they want you as a student also. Would they be willing to put those claims in writing?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2012
  7. NMTTD

    NMTTD Active Member

    Well, I seriously doubt they can and will invest the time and SERIOUS money into their academics, student services, and relocating their ENTIRE online program to Iowa from California (like the HLC said they have to by Dec of this year). A decision will be made in Feb 2013, and I hope/am willing to bet it won't be a good outcome. If they are smart they will try for DETC so they can maybe have some kind of accreditation.
  8. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Holy Toldeo! You've gotta be kidding. You went from one school with a terrible reputation (University Of Phoenix) and you're going into another (Ashford University)?; who despite the complete BS you were told by the Enrollment Advisor, IS in danger of losing their accreditation. Serious danger.

    Their EA's are paid to enroll you, they don't care about giving you the straight dope on anything, and often times they don't even know it anymore than the public does. They lied to me and told me I could double up on classes only to find out this was a complete lie because the program was new and this was its first run so doubling wasn't available at the time.

    Listen to me: I can't tell you what to do, but if you want a degree that won't be laughed at, from a school that actually has a reputation for teaching students well, and is also much cheaper to attend, there are A LOT of better options out there than Ashford University. You need to research what you're doing before you jump in and it looks like you're just going to the schools that advertise the most and have the most students. That's a big mistake and you will regret it.

    Back when I got reeled in to Ashford, the programs were fairly new and the reviews and rep weren't well-known yet. I unfortunately became a test animal. But that was a long time ago. You right now stand years after that with all of the necessary information in front of you to make a wise decision that I didn't have back then. Ashford is ratcheting up its marketing efforts because they know they're on the brink of going down. Everybody can see the big increase in their marketing. It's not a coincidence that it came immediately after being rejected by WASC and having the heat applied by HLC. Think about it. It couldn't be more obvious as to what they're doing. Why would you want to go into an uncertain situation like that?

    The HLC is not playing games right now; they're sending a message that they're prepared to knock weak schools down who won't comply with minimum standards. And the thought that this debacle of a school is going to be able to correct their numerous issues is laughable considering the magnitude and culture of the program. I fully expect Ashford's accreditation to be stripped and I have no sympathy for them. They've taken a lot of money from students and have had a long time to get things right but they've decided to continue producing a low-quality, low-accountability program with pathetic internal quality standards. Their imminent demise is expected and well-deserved.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2012
  9. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    If the DETC were to accept them, I'd be done with the DETC. But Ashford's quality standards are lower than any DETC school I'm aware of that issues degrees, so I'm pretty confident they'd be rejected. Hell, Ashford's quality standards are lower than any school "accredited" by the WAUC, but maybe old Maxine would give them a break, lol...
  10. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Did you see the link I posted on an earlier thread from the HLC?

    From the HLC notice:

    Ashford University’s online presence has grown significantly in recent years and the operations of that program have grown along with it. Most of those operations are based in San Diego, California. In early 2010, Ashford University informed the Commission of its intention to seek accreditation by the Western Association Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC), the regional accrediting agency that covers institutions based in California. This move was consistent with an HLC bylaw adopted in 2010 that requires all institutions accredited by the HLC to have a majority of their educational administration and activities, business operations and leadership located “substantially in the 19-state north central
    region.” The effective date for the new bylaw for currently accredited institutions was July 1, 2012. On June 25, the Commission sent a reminder to Ashford regarding the jurisdictional requirement and gave Ashford until December 1, 2012, to demonstrate compliance with this requirement or face possible termination of status.

    In addition, lets put aside the additional requirements that HLC imposed on Ashford and focus on the substantial location deadline. Opening a few "branch locations" wont work, because when you open a new location, HLC MUST approve it. The only way Ashford complies with this, IMHO, it to move the majority of their operations to Clinton, Iowa; and i don't see that happening in 3 months.

    The EARLIEST WASC will revisit Ashford, according to the press release issued by Ashford University, is Spring 2013.'s how I see this playing out...

    1. In February 2013 - Ashford will lose HLC accreditation due to the location issues. The academics may or not play a role in the decision; it depends on the August 10, 2012 report and follow-up visit from HLC.

    2. Ashford will appeal the decision, (which they can do). While under appeal, Ashford will remain accredited.

    3. Ashford will attempt to have WASC visit quickly; during the HLC appeal period.

    4. Ashford goes to court and sues HLC and WASC for an injunction to maintain accreditation.

    I ruffled a few feathers on a Capella University Alumni LinkedIn Board when an Ashford Dean announced that Ashford was hiring. My recommendation is this - I would not take on a new teaching position at Ashford, and if I were a student, I wouldn't attend Ashford until the accreditation issues are straightened out.
  11. NMTTD

    NMTTD Active Member

    I wouldn't attend Ashford at all, wether they stay accredited or not. They are NOT well respected AT ALL. You will not get any kind of decent education. You will have a piece of paper that says you are qualified for the job you want, but you won't have the education and skills to back it up. You will HAVE to use student loans to go to Crapford. They are way to expensive to pay for otherwise. $14k a year is to steep a price for a sub par education, laughable degree that is not respected in the least, and massive student loan debt with almost no hope of getting a job that will pay anything worth the expense. Ashford is a waste of time and money, and anyone who attends there now, knowing what's happening, is a glutton for punishment.
  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    All of this is your opinion. Would ASU be a better choice? Do they teach you how to spell "whether" better at ASU then Ashford? I find it somewhat sad when your entire post trashes the school with little regard for those that attended. If memory serves me right it was not long ago that you came here looking for advice and received some information which was somewhat eye-opening. How quickly we tend to forget and jump on the bandwagon to put others down so we feel better about ourselves.
  13. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Haha. That one made me chuckle. You're certainly consistent in your views, if nothing else.
  14. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    That sounds like a reasonable position to take considering the circumstances.

    I'm very curious about what steps Ashford is taking right now. I'm seeing a lot of advertising and hearing a bit about job openings, but that's about it.
  15. NMTTD

    NMTTD Active Member

    This is my opinion based on actual experience with Ashford. I am not just jumping on a bandwagon. If you had gone back and read previous posts I've made about it, you would see that I took 8 classes at Ashford, BEFORE all of this crap started, and it was a terrible experience so I left. I did not knock anyone who comes here asking for help, but if someone decides to start attending Ashford now, with everything going on currently and all of the information out there, then how should I feel? If I had chosen to stay at Schiller, even after all of the advice and info you all gave me, what would you and others think? And Schiller doesn't have the same issues Ashford does. Oh, and almost ANY other school would be better than Ashford. So yes, ASU would be included in that. And pardon me for being human and misspelling a word. Good thing YOU are perfect and never mess up.
  16. smokey2011

    smokey2011 Member

    You didn't just misspell a word, but I'm not here to be a grammar Nazi. Maybe Ashford didn't work out for you, but generalizing a whole school's reputation because of a personal experience is a little short-sighted. Maybe everything you experienced is true and my experience with Ashford is wrong, but the degree from that school has parlayed into a graduate program at a well-respected school for me. I enjoyed my experience at Ashford, but I also didn't have to pay a dime for my degree either. I agree that 14K is way too much for tuition, but that's not the most expensive online school out there either.
  17. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    When you say, "...laughable degree that is not respected in the least" I have to ask - respected by whom? Do you know everyone and have you asked them? Are you a hiring manager in a decision making position? By the way, you are pardoned.
  18. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    Great post, Shawn. You really laid out the key issues well.

    I didn't realize that they would need approval to open new sites, but it makes sense. That would apply to administrative operations as well?

    In that case, all someone would have to do to see if Ashford has ANY chance of keeping their HLC accreditation is to scope out Clinton, IA for a MASSIVE influx of Ashford personel. Failing that, it looks like their goose is cooked.

    Here is the part where I question Ashford's survival. They can appeal the HLC ruling all they want, but if they are no longer primarily operating in HLC territory then this seems like a non-starter. In terms of WASC, this would be their initial accreditation with them. As we all know, GETTING accreditation is a hell of a lot harder than KEEPING accreditation.

    I just do not see WASC approving Ashford's accreditation, frankly not matter what they do. Public opinion and the opinion in academia in general has shifted to a MASSIVELY negative view on for profit schools, particularly mega-schools like Ashford, UoP, and Kaplan. When was the last time we saw a negative for profit article that DIDN'T have a horror story about Ashford? That seems like way to much pressure (from both the outside and within) on WASC to grant them accreditation. This is especially true in the case of Ashford, when there is a sentiment among some that they got their HLC accreditation by gaming the system (buying a small 300 student Catholic college and turning it into a 70,000+ student for-profit mega-university).

    Beyond this, it seems to me that the changes necessary to have any hope of approval by WASC would basically DESTROY their business model. They MUST spend tons of money on marketing (far more than on educating the students) to maintain the high revenue streams. The numbers I have seen show them spending almost 4 times as much for student recruitment vs actually educating the student ($2,700 and $700, respectively). Add to that their ridiculously low graduation/retention rate, and it becomes obvious why they have to keep recruiting students at such a high pace.

    Looking at all of these things, short of a MASSIVELY SUCCESSFUL public relations/political lobbying campaign, I don't see an endgame where Ashford maintains it's accreditation while generating anywhere close to the revenue that it had in the past. With public opinion about for-profits where it is now AND how much press student loan debt problems are getting, I don't don't see the PR/lobbying being very successful either. If anything, I think Ashford and schools like it might make a great sacrificial lamb to slaughter in order to show that the powers that by are doing something about these issues.
  19. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    The Ashford Dean on the Capella LinkedIn board stated that she could not publicly discuss the measures Ashford is taking when I pointed out this timeline issue.

    The Dean also made a point of stating that in Ashford's view, the WASC team made many mistakes in the report, so we'll see.
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    There are two built-in assumptions here. The first is that accreditation is quick and easy with DETC, but if that were so the number of applicants wouldn't be so much higher than the number of schools that get accreditation from them. The second is that even if it's easy, that the people who run DETC aren't aware of how it would impact DETC's reputation to grant accreditation to Ashford under these circumstances.

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