Californian Bureau for Private Postseconday Education

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ebbwvale, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    I see that California has instituted a new legislative creature to replace the former approval process.

    Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education

    Californian distance learning will now have to meet the standards as supervised by this bureau. How effective will this initiative be? Will unaccredited schools opt for this instead of higher cost educational accreditation in make themselves marketable?
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    History has shown it to be hit-and-miss. More "hit" when there were three tiers and the state focused on the second one ("Approval") and did that program-by-program. We saw some really high-quality unaccredited schools rise from that process.

    More "miss" when there were just two tiers. Instead of weeding out the diploma mills--well, it did do a lot of that--it pushed the state to give Approval to schools it would never have considered before and would have left at the Authorized level. (Eliminating the "Authorized" level got rid of some really bad schools, but it also stretched the limited means of the state tremendously. The worst were broomed out, but the kinda bad were elevated to "Approved.")

    If the state gives them the resources, this can work. If not, then not so much.
  3. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    Funding is everything in anything if you want real results. I think that it may be good thing for the state to make sure that minimum standards are established for students. Not every student would be in a position to do that and good schools have to, at some stage, be unaccredited.

    The proof will be in the pudding.
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Some unaccredited California schools will opt for recognized accreditation. Example: California Coast University (now accredited by DETC).

    Other unaccredited California schools will settle for state recognition. Example: Frederick Taylor University (now unaccredited but CA-approved).

    And other unaccredited California schools will leave rather than meet state standards. Example: Breyer State University (now in Panama).
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Not necessarily.

    If new school is well organized, it can start pursuing regional accreditation before it even opens. If this is done right, then the new school can become a "candidate" for regional accreditation at about the same time that it opens. The RA agencies don't grant candidate status, unless they are confident that a school will eventually succeed. So in practice, an RA "candidate" school will be treated like a fully accredited school for purposes of financial aid, credit transfer, degree acceptance, etc.

    Alternatively, a new school can open as a branch campus of an existing accredited school. In this case, it initially operates under the accreditation of the older school, while also pursuing independent accreditation of its own. When it gets its own accreditation, it stops being a branch campus and starts being an independent school. But it has accreditation either way.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2013
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's not my understanding that accreditors will skip the requirement a school have graduated a class (or operated for two years) before they'll grant candidacy. But maybe I'm wrong -- do you have an example?
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Actually I think you may be right. It is possible for a school to become an RA candidate after operating for only two academic years (example: UC Merced, became RA "eligible" in April 2003, opened Sept 2005, became RA "candidate" in July 2007). But maybe not immediately upon opening.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2013
  8. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    The new law that establishes the BPPE is more ambitious than the old BPPVE enabling legislation. It requires the BPPE to post all kinds of information about each school, including (as I recall, it's been some time since I read the law) the school's catalog, complaints and disciplinary matters, and statistics on job-placement. I don't recall seeing that stuff on the BPPE's website.

    Part of the problem might be that the BPPE got started right when California's state government finances imploded. So it isn't clear that this thing was ever funded as it needed to be in order to do everything that it was supposed to do. It's supposed to make lots of site-visits and stuff, and I'm curious how often that happens in practice.

    Another problem seems to be that some of the old BPPVE's staff were lost during the interregnum when California had no state licensing law. So the new BPPE had to start out with people who were new to the whole thing, who needed to be brought up to speed.

    And a fundamental weakness in the law seems to be that the BPPE apparently wasn't assigned any legal staff of its own. So it can't really file suit to shut down offending schools, it has to ask the state attorney general's office to file suit in its behalf. But the California AG's office has its own issues, so I suspect that any BPPE cases would probably receive a pretty low priority and might either get triaged into the waste bin or settled out of court in such a way as to benefit the mills.
  9. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    Was Breyer State ever a functioning university?
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That's a vague term. Breyer State operated legally under state laws that were incredibly lax. It also required little (or no?) actual work to get their degrees.

    Your question begs an opinion, not an answer. My opinion is "no."
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Ram -

    If by "functioning" you mean - did they ever rake in money and confer "degrees" - yes, they were. In Idaho, Alabama, Idaho again, California and now Panama. At some point, I'm told by a couple of BSU "grads," there was actually coursework involved - although to what standard I can't say. I believe the owner has always resided in Ohio throughout all these "moves."

    I've even corresponded with two guys abroad who got good mileage out of their Breyer State degrees. One was in France, and his Bachelor's in IT from BSU was given a good equivalency there - a maîtrise, as I remember him telling me. The gimmick was - all the French authorities wanted to know was if it was "State-licensed" - and it was (by Alabama at the time). Apparently, State-licensed meant more there (France) than it did here. That was a few years back - I don't know if that's still the case. I hope not! He certainly got more from his BSU degree than any US grad I've heard from.

    The second fella was a South African. He had a Breyer State Doctorate (DBA) that he paid around $9,000 for. Why he decided to perch this rotten "degree" atop his fully-approved South African MBA I don't know. He was successfully self-employed before he ever heard of BSU, so it wasn't for job reasons, although he found the "doctorate" beneficial in a couple of ways. He impressed locals enough with his good MBA, his business savvy and his BSU DBA to snag a part-time teaching gig at a business school.

    He also said the "doctorate" improved his dating life. It went from "darn good" to "spectacular." To quote him as near as I can - it was years ago - "the chicks know it's not Harvard - but they're impressed anyway."

    AHEM - your mileage may vary. :smile: I have no such stories from this side of the ocean! Don't think for a moment that I'm a FAN of Breyer State - because I'm not. A dollar spent there is a dollar wasted, for 99.5% of people, and not much better for the other .5%..

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2013
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is stupid. There is no difference between the two populations about which you're making this baseless distinction. Also, you're numbers are just made up. Finally, it sucks to have someone just rip into you for no good reason and without provocation, but you're probably not bright enough to notice anyway.

    (I'm just pulling your leg, of course!)

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