Breaking News-Nationsuniversity withdraws DETC Accreditation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by saharapost, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. saharapost

    saharapost Member

    I just got an email now from the university stating reasons for it. I will include link soon. I am on phone at the moment. Please pardon my headline- ought to have read withdraws DETC accreditation application
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2013
  2. saharapost

    saharapost Member

    It is painful to read that NU withdrew its application. While it may be understandable that they had to do so at this moment, those of us who were looking forward to the good news got disappointed. The only conclusion one can make at this juncture is that, getting DETC is not as easy as most RA institutions make it sound. The mail reads in part:
    ''On another note, we want to bring you up to date regarding our efforts to gain accreditation. Due to an unexpected development with a State authority, NU withdrew its application for accreditation with a national accrediting commission. NU officials believe all requirements had been satisfied for accreditation, yet the last obstacle could not be resolved by the deadline imposed by the accrediting commission. We regret having to take the action, but it was the best action at this time. The NU Board of Regents is accessing the next step, which should be published soon.''
    More info in the attached link: email : Webview : NU Encouragement July 13
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Doggone it! :-(
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    NationsUniversity has been disappointing people for years when it comes to accreditation. For example, the following post was made by a different poster in a different degreeinfo thread back in November of 2009:

  5. saharapost

    saharapost Member

    I wouldn't think NU would not want to get the accreditation. But truth be told, it has been a long ride on the accreditation process and they ought to have got it by now. I think there is some sense(s) in the post you dug out- if NU had fought tooth and nail for the accreditation, they would've conquered all the obstacles that have been knocking them off for many years...
  6. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    At the risk of being "cynical me," I have to wonder if this is just another school that is perpetually "a candidate for accreditation" as a way of attracting students and yet never really has any intention/ability of following through.

    At it's most positive Nations is a great experiment. I'd like to see it succeed but at this juncture shouldn't we be at least moderately skeptical?
  7. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    In the USA religious schools do not need accreditation to operate legally (as long as 'fraud' is not involved). But accreditation always helps atract students.

  8. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    For that matter, in the USA secular schools do not need accreditation to operate legally.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's one conclusion, but not the only one available.

    Einstein tried to get us to understand that motion is relative. There is no special place one can stand still and observe the universe. This is relative, too. So, one conclusion is that DETC is harder than it's made out to be. Another is that this applicant wasn't even worthy of DETC's recognition.

    Which is right? Probably both.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Aren't there some states that require schools to become accredited?
  11. LGFlood

    LGFlood New Member

    That may be the case, but I would challenge anyone looking to obtain a legitimate ministry position without an accredited degree. Frankly, in most churches or parachurch organizations, I would think it would be more advantageous to have no degree at all (and have a lot of ministry experience) than to have an unaccredited degree. I have found that most unaccredited online degree programs in the area of religious studies are nothing more than mills. Please note I said most, not all.
  12. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Though I am disappointed as I really want to see a free tuition university of this kind obtain accreditation, I'm not surprised by the outcome. I actually stated resigning to the idea that NU wouldn't get accredited.

    I believe they've put in a legitimate effort, and this time they've hit some kind of regulation snag that they couldn't take care of in time enough for the DETC's liking. Oh well.

    University of the People is still up AFAIK, so there is still hope. However, it is $100 per exam for students in the wealthier nations, so it's less free but still a good deal.
  13. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Yes, like Wyoming for example. In Wyoming, colleges and universities must have recognized accreditation, or be in the process of getting such accreditation. That's why Kennedy Western/Warren National went out of business -- they needed recognized accreditation to stay open in Wyoming, and they failed to get it.

    Some states exempt religious schools from such requirements. But the religious exemption is not universal in the US -- in many states (like Wyoming), religious degree-granting schools have to meet the exact same requirements as secular ones.

    It would be more correct to say "in some US states", rather than "in the USA".

    Saying "in the USA" may suggest that the statement applies everywhere in the USA, which is not true in this case.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  14. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Nations now charges a $480/year "technology fee" to US residents, so it isn't exactly free either. Nations also tells US residents to budget for textbooks and for "the cost of a possible modest increase in technology fee or the addition of a tuition fee."

    The technology fee is waived if you are outside the US, or in prison. In that case, Nations is pretty much free, except for textbooks.

    How would a free-tuition university stay in business if they did obtain accreditation ?

    Suppose a school with recognized US accreditation announced a free-tuition, open-admissions policy. They would be swamped with applications instantly, from both the US and overseas. And they would lose money on every student, just like Nations does (according to Nations, "fiscal revenue from students accounts for less than 20 percent of the cost of providing the services").

    You can't lose money on every customer and stay in business. Nations is a relatively small operation, and presumably they get financial support from charitable donations and like-minded religious organizations. But if they got accreditation, they wouldn't be small any more -- their enrollment would soar immediately. And their losses would soar along with their enrollment.

    Everyone loves the idea of getting something for nothing. Unfortunately, it's not a realistic business model.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  15. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I'm aware of the technology fee, but the school is considered "tuition-free" which as I've always understood it is why everyone refers to this model simply as "free".

    The book list I read some time ago was so cheap price-wise that it didn't appear to even be worth a worry at all for the majority of students.

    Those are all questions for those schools to answer, and while I can't say what Nations approach to it will be, University of The People appears to have already addressed some of those issues through application fees, exam fees, and donor sponsorship for disadvantaged students. Learning material costs are also eliminated through online-based texts (Nations also does some of this as well). So, say you live in the U.S. and you finish an Associate degree through them, you're looking at about $2,000 in exam fees and perhaps $4,000 for a Bachelor's degree, provided you took every course through them without transfer credits. Not too bad.

    In this way, no one would be getting something for nothing. The student would be getting a degree at an incredibly affordable price, and the school would be bringing in money to maintain itself, at least that's how it would work for wealthier nations. In less wealthy nations, most students would be getting a degree basically for free; I'm totally okay with that.
  16. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    University of the People, like Nations, is presently a small operation. The following numbers are from "University of the People: the First Three Years", p. 32:

    New students enrolled, 2009-10: 489
    New students enrolled, 2010-11: 461
    New students enrolled, 2011-12: 361

    So they only enroll around 400 new students per year. Like Nations, they probably aren't covering their expenses with tuition and fees; they make it up with charitable donations ("donor sponsorship"). That's fine for a small operation.

    But what would the numbers be like if UoPeople had recognized US accreditation ? Probably bigger, right ?
    How much bigger ? Seems like the potential global market for an accredited American degree with free tuition could be rather large.
    So thousands of new students per year ? Tens of thousands ? Hundreds of thousands, like U of Phoenix ?

    I think UoPeople enrollments -- and expenses -- would soar if the school had recognized accreditation.
    I'm just not convinced that donor support -- which is what makes the free tuition model possible -- would soar at the same rate.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  17. AdjunctInstructor

    AdjunctInstructor New Member

    Not true ...state authorization rues have drastically changed

    Any school operating in any form while located in Tennessee must have Tennessee THEC authorization. On Oct 29, 2010 Amendments to the Higher Education Act, Program Integrity Issues, State Authorization, Section §600.9(c) stated that:

    “If an institution is offering post-secondary education through distance or correspondence education to students in a State in which it is not physically located or in which it is otherwise subject to State jurisdiction as determined by the State, the institution must meet any State requirements for it to be legally offering post-secondary distance or correspondence education in that State. An institution must be able to document to the Secretary the State’s approval upon request.”

    The playing field has drastically changed in the past five years. Accreditation is much more complex than ever before. Ask anyone who works in compliance. State authorization is in a state of extreme flux and it so happens that NU finds itself in a difficult situation in that the rules have changed concerning "what is considered physical presence". Moreover, THEC has very strict rules as to who can call themselves "University". Bottom line NU had a positive onsite visit and was due to be decided in June but had a very rapidly developing state authorization problem that could not be resolved within the 60 days that the problem cropped up. Thus, had to withdraw to avoid a 12 month reapplication penalty. I might add that it may come to the point that less financially robust schools may no have enough the money to gain accreditation. Just in past five years changes new standards has made the cost sky rocket. By the way the process of gaining THEC (Tennessee) authorization requires changing NU's name, paying several thousands of dollars and conducting and completing many processes similar to the accreditation process required by the national accreditor. Needless to say NU could not accomplish all that is required in the very short notice it was given
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
  18. AdjunctInstructor

    AdjunctInstructor New Member

    Read Tennessee's (THEC) policy and rules. You may find that if Aspen University was located and based out of the State of Tennessee they would not be permitted to call themselves a "University". Also any school regardless if religious or not if it offers degrees they must have THEC authorization. Believe me the process in attaining THEC authorization is complex and costly. Many who speak about accreditation issues just do not understand how the last several years have changed things as far as accreditation.
  19. saharapost

    saharapost Member

    Hmmn, true talk...
  20. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    So then the real questions are, are these schools aware of the inevitable enrollment increase (I think they would be)?, and do they have plans in place to be prepared when it does happen (why would we believe they wouldn't?).

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