Ashford University receives WASC accrediation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Shawn Ambrose, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    That is great news. It just goes to show that "we" (the posters here who seem to know what the outcome of everything would/should be) can be wrong...just like Trident last year.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    This IS great news. We have to like it when a school improves its position. Good for them!
  4. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

  5. LGFlood

    LGFlood New Member

    Since they are based in Iowa, it would make sense that they are regionally accredited through the NCA, not WASC. However, now that they are operating in California, they have received the WASC accreditation. Perhaps they haven't found time to post it to their website yet.
  6. DxD=D^2

    DxD=D^2 Member

    Wow! That is good news for Ashford.
  7. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Ashford was accredited initially by HLC because of its small campus in Iowa; however, the vast majority of its 70,000 plus students were serviced, not by the small Iowa campus, but but Bridgeport Education's office in California. HLC requires that institutions have their major presence in a state serviced by HLC, which Ashford did not. That is why Ashford needed to seek accreditation by WASC. Fortunately, Ashford was able to do what public universities cannot: make major radical changes in the organization and operations in a relatively short period of time.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't see the big deal. I would have been surprised to see WASC go against the HLC's prior decision regarding accrediting this school. The interesting thing will be if they can retain WASC accreditation without any trouble. Trident is an apt example.
  9. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Although for-profits like Ashford tend to take a beating in the press, one distinct advantage of the private-sector is the ability to leverage resources and make radical changes in structure, function and staffing, if necessary. Companies like Bridgeport (Ashford) and Apollo (Phoenix) are likely to survive, while City College of San Francisco is in danger of losing its accreditation and shutting down precisely because the nature and culture of a large public higher ed institution impedes its ability to make the changes necessary to address the problems identified by the accrediting commission.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I agree completely.
  11. icecom3

    icecom3 New Member

    I was just coming here to rub this news in...err I mean make the announcement.

    There was no doubt in my mind that AU would succeed. As I believed, and so many others have mentioned, this was a geographical problem, not a bad school problem.

    I hope all the AU grads feel a sense of vindication and relief.
  12. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    No, it was factually a combination of geographical issues AND internal quality issues with its educational offerings, and that is taken directly from the accreditor's findings. Let's not act as if the latter didn't happen when WASC publicly stated it, and those statements are widely and easily accessible.

    The bottom line is that Ashford and its group has a lot of money, and a lot of palms were more than likely greased. Still, no matter how much money you have you can't change culture overnight, especially not one as notably inept as Ashford's, and I strongly doubt that all of the well-known issues this school has had are fixed.

    Relief? Perhaps. I'd be relieved too if a school I got a degree from had serious publicly-known quality issues and was yet able to avoid well-earned destruction. But any vindication they feel will be devalued when they express themselves through barely coherent grammar. After all, that is the Ashford mark of excellence...
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Wow. So it was bribery and not, as Dr. Piña suggests, an institution that recognized a problem and shifted resources towards resolving it.

    I assume you have no evidence of bribery in this case, right? And you're anonymous, so we can't rely on your prior experiences in these matters. On the other had, we have Dr. Piña, a well-known and -regarded practitioner in this field suggesting an idea that is totally consistent with previous situations like this, none of which include schools bribing accreditors. So......

    Bribery it is! Congratulations on the fine deduction, certainly consistent with your moniker. ("Would you believe....")
  14. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    I read the original accreditation report for Ashford. The bottom line is that Ashford grew too large too fast because Bridgepoint concentrated its resources heavily into recruiting and invested too few of its resources on full-time faculty and academic support. The fact that half of Ashford's students dropped out was a pretty good indicator of what was ailing the company and making the F2F campus really nice for 900 students did little to help the other 70,000 + Bridgepoint also did not give Ashford much academic autonomy from the corporate office.

    Ashford got a heavy hand slapping and realigned its resources. It has shrunk its admissions personnel and has grown its academic personnel. While I do not condone the past admissions practices of Ashford and Phoenix, I think that it is telling that I am hearing the accusations of bribery in the case of their accreditation efforts, but I'll bet that if the Community College of San Francisco is able to avoid losing its accreditation, there will not be the same accusations of bribery.
  15. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Bridgepoint (unlike CCSF) is currently facing numerous lawsuits focusing on their business practices; there have been credible allegations of securities fraud and stock dumping. This doesn't mean, of course, that Bridgepoint is guilty of bribery, but it doesn't seem too surprising that the idea might come to mind.

    Getting accreditation from WASC may not solve all of Ashford's problems. There are some very unhappy investors and some very aggressive attorneys that are circling Bridgepoint like sharks. They may have bigger teeth than WASC.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2013
  16. basrsu

    basrsu Member

    Ashford and WASC

    This just in from Ashford's President...I teach online with AU as an adjunct:

    As you are aware, Ashford University has been pursuing accreditation with the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) for more than a year now. Today, I am very pleased to announce that Ashford has been granted initial accreditation with WASC.

    This is exciting news for Ashford and it represents the culmination of a great deal of work from numerous individuals at our University. It also shows that WASC clearly understood that we listened to their feedback and accelerated changes that were already underway to meet WASC requirements and to support greater student success. In fact, WASC’s accreditation review process, which included rigorous reporting and multiple site visits by representatives of the accrediting body, proved to be a beneficial endeavor that elevated Ashford University as an educator and institution.

    It is worth noting that, within their final report, the WASC visiting team found “an institution that has been fundamentally transformed and whose culture has been changed in significant ways, including a shift from a market driven approach to an institution committed to student retention and success, a transformation that is enthusiastically supported by the Board of Trustees, the new President, administration, faculty and staff.”

    I appreciate WASC’s recognition of our efforts and I thank every one of you who played a part in that endeavor. Receiving WASC accreditation means that Ashford will now be able to move forward with minimal disruption to our students, staff, and faculty. I know the last year has been a challenging time for all of us, yet your dedication has been remarkable and has helped us overcome the challenges we faced.

    As always, we remain committed to continual improvement and to the strengthening of Ashford University.


    Dr. Richard Pattenaude
    President & CEO
    Ashford University

  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Congratulations to them. Now the question they ought to be asking is, "What can we contribute to the WASC community?"
  18. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    "The bottom line is that Ashford and its group has a lot of money, and a lot of palms were more than likely greased." Wow, this statement has absolutely no merit whatsoever... OR you must be an AU graduate with inside information, yes?

    When a system has issues or is broken what you are saying is that it could not be fixed honestly? There HAD to be some underhanded activity going on in order for AU to get accreditation - I disagree.

    No, I am not an AU graduate plugging my school. I am someone that believes in 2nd chances and the truth. They have proven themselves and have been granted regional accreditation, deal with it.
  19. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Whatever. I believe in second chances, too. But Ashford has had MANY more chances than that over the years in a number of different ways, most of which they've failed with. I also wasn't born yesterday, so I'm not apt to believe that problems as serious as Ashford's can be fixed as quickly as this, and certainly not by the weak leadership that's been in place. I stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago, I'm sorry that you haven't yet.

    I said it MORE THAN LIKELY happened. Did I say it DEFINITELY happened? No. And, you don't know anymore than I do what this institution may have done behind closed doors. That said, Ashford/Bridgepoint has a history of improper financial dealings, and the only other person that seems to remember that it in this thread is CalDog. Others may be conveniently forgetting it? Either way, read his factual post, deal with THAT truth, then think again about being so certain Ashford's dealings are always legit.

    I'll never understand the need people here have to constantly defend this garbage organization. If they improve, dandy. But the truth of that will be seen over a much longer period of time than what's been monitored so far. You know it and I know it.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm not defending Ashford. I have absolutely no opinion about the school.

    I am, however, defending the process of argument.

    A lack of evidence is not evidence.

    Just because you made a baseless accusation doesn't make it true if no one refutes it. It remains baseless and, thus, false. If you have evidence that such a thing occurred, you should provide it. Otherwise, it just isn't true.

    And just because no one refutes your baseless accusation, that doesn't mean anyone is asserting that "Ashford's dealings are always legit."

    Finally, I'm not defending Ashford. But what you said is legally actionable, and I'd like to see your evidence for it. Got any?

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