Central University of Nicaragua Degree Scheme

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Rich Douglas, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    PhD in Education. Azteca supervised the program and UCN is suppose to award the official degree since Azteca’s degrees are Propio. I initially was going to go through UCN directly but the dean of programs there was out for several months due to illness and their email system delayed messages with responses not received till several weeks later.
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  2. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Good post with good information!

    I can see being able to add a class entitled "practicum" or "internship" but the location might be an issue. APA internships are out but someone might find a place with a Psychologist. Unfortunately, supervision is one way these people make extra money so that would add some expense. It is an interesting prospect though and in theory you could end up with a PhD that allowed you to sit for the licensure exam.

    Again, thanks you have added to our understanding of possibilities.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
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  3. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I would think the structured course PhD from UCN with a practicum/internship built in would be analogous to earning an MD from one of the lesser know (as opposed to well known such as Ross) Caribbean medical schools or Oceania University School of Medicine. Doable to get to licensure for some who do well and are tenacious (persevere).
  4. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    So... I am just a tad bit confused the costs/fees or tuition total, Is the cost to getting the degrees at Azteca and UCN roughly $5K each or for both? And you do get both degrees not just one , then pay $1K USD extra for the second? For a Doctoral/PhD, this rivals the other schools in South Asia or South East Asia, I am looking for schools such as this partnership, still have reservations about it though...
  5. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Well-Known Member

    Would the Ph.D. in Psychology with a practicum be more valuable than the M.Sc in Psy from HAU then, from what you're saying?
    Apparently lots of people employed at decent places have a UCN doctorate, from what LinkedIn shows.
    I think I'm gonna bite the bullet on UCN.
    HAU is quite expensive at 10k$ but it has a lot more resources too.
    Why is deciding so difficult when you have options pfff.
  6. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I am not sure what HUA is? On the surface, one is an MSc in Pysch and the other a PhD. A PhD in general has more prestige BUT in terms of licensure it is two different things in the US. To be a Psychologist (State License) you need a PhD. An MSc in Psych might qualify you for Psychological Associate licensure. They work under a Psychologist. Their advocacy group is fighting for independence to be like Licensed Mental Health Counselors.
  7. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    HAU = Hellenic American University. They are regionally accredited. Their MS in Psychology is here: https://hauniv.edu/masters-psychology

    @TeacherBelgium I would caution you to work very closely with whoever licenses/credentials clinicians in your area to make sure the degree you choose can actually lead to licensure. An online degree from somewhere like Azteca or UCN would not allow any practice or licensure in the US or Canada and I assume it is similar elsewhere. You need to meet very careful requirements, so that even online degrees from places like Capella that include internships don't meet licensure requirements and those are regionally accredited online degrees from the US.

    A foreign degree with a dual-award system where they can only award propios themselves (and are blacklisted by WES), it just feels like an impassable set of barriers. I don't mean to be impolite, but I see a lot of fanciful discussion in this thread about how a degree from somewhere like UCN could allow you to become licensed as a Psychologist like it's just a matter of checking some boxes, and I just don't see that being possible at all.
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  8. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    "Would not allow" is over stating the case. It may well work but there are a lot of difficulties and a lot of research necessary.

    It is a complex area:

    First: top jobs (and government) and prized APS internships require an APA PhD.

    Second: Some Psychologists may or may not want to offer you a position or supervise you when you are living in one country and earning a PhD from a Third World country by distance learning. Not in rules but prejudice (concern about sketchy appearance). On the Student Doctor Network some Psychologists react with derision towards Calsouthern PsyDs (regionally accredited, online, and eligible for licensure in a number of states).

    Third: There isn't uniformity across states. Some are very stringent (APA required). Most don't require APA but the degree must be Regionally Accredited. Some states will specify which are acceptable Foreign Credential Evaluators. I believe one state also said the Board would take the evaluation into consideration (ie not a guarantee). So, a board may say you live in Nebraska and got a PhD in Psych from UCN and Google and look at the buildings and that guy's 887 page Psychology dissertation and go "yah no thanks". Some online may work other it may not work (eg NY for counselors).

    In short, odds are probably somewhat stacked against you but perhaps not insurmountable. If you are in Belgium then what does the Belgian Psych Board say? You are also better off if you have connections in the field who will help you (network). That helps with some of the students at the online Medical School Oceania. They were already Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapists and so on before entering Med School and have connections and competent people who will write recommendations.

    You are in a better position is all you want to have a PhD that has some equivalency to Regionally Accredited and may help boost the appearance of your credentials (except for tenured faculty as has already been discussed).
  9. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    A saying to keep in mind depending on your goals, age, and utility. The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.

    I have seen people get unaccredited degrees that paid less than they would have for an accredited degree but in some cases took a few years to earn and commensurate effort. When they are done, buyers remorse set in. They start thinking that for some extra money and the same effort they could have earned an accredited degree. And although they knew the school was unaccredited and utility would be effected, the reality hits home in the post graduation period.
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  10. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    [​IMG]Diploma from UCN

    Attached Files:

  11. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    We don't have uniform standards for these things in the United States. It's state-specific, so it's not a situation where all states just deny a foreign degree without consideration. In New York State for instance (perhaps the strictest in the country in the standards department), a main requirement to become a licensed Psychologist is that your Doctorate be from an accredited school. It used to be written as "regionally accredited" just a short time ago and was that way for a very long but that's been removed after numerous challenges by students.

    The state accepts foreign credential evaluations, so assuming that the Doctorate one earns is deemed as RA equivalent by a U.S. evaluator, that first big hurdle gets cleared. After that, one would have to meet the requirements that any other person seeking to become a licensed Psychologist would no matter where they've earned their degree or which state they're seeking to become licensed in, like meeting the number of clinical contact hours (which is an action the student and the facilitator of their supervision is responsible for), and meeting the state-specified course requirements which can be done if the school is willing to individually tailor the program to it which in this case UCN is.

    As an aside, New York has also opened it up to teaching, so hours spent teaching psychology are now counted toward licensure as long as they are supervised by a qualified supervisor.

    The reason Capella's program like many others in the U.S. are not accepted in a number of states toward licensure is because they don't individually tailor their program to meet the specific requirements of each state outside of the state where they're headquartered, or have a program that's set up to where it's deep and nuanced enough to meet the requirements across the country, and that's common with many mental health programs in the U.S. which is part of the reason why we have the licensing issues we have now: lots of programs, not enough that meet the licensing requirements. Heck, most don't even meet the requirements of the states they originate from much less the requirements of other states, so from that you can see just how big of a problem we have here (60 Minutes did a story on this last year discussing the shortages we have in the field and how much suffering it's causing for people who can't even get an appointment for help). To allude to something I touched on earlier, the Advanced Certificate in Mental Health Counseling is gradually becoming a more common program as a way to address that problem and is being used as a Master's level alternative for many who couldn't become licensed as a Psychologist or those holding a Master's that doesn't qualify for licensure on its own.

    I can't speak for others on this one, but my own information is based only on UCN. The dual award arrangement with Azteca is different and murky, so I personally wouldn't consider it an option for this for someone in the United States. I have no idea how it would be received by any of the other 100+ countries so I have no take there except to say that each person considering it should definitely consult the appropriate governing bodies where they live before taking the plunge.
    Garp likes this.
  12. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    LearningAddict is correct and outlined what I did above in terms of State specific regs with the very helpful addition of NY regs. Good to know. Interesting about the deletion of "Regionally Accredited" from their requirements.

    TeacherBelgium, where are you trying to become a Psychologist?
  13. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Yes and for someone completing a clinical degree that leads to licensure in their home country and then trying to practice in the United States that is important to keep in mind. I'm not sure about Azteca but UCN's PhD in Clinical Psychology does not provide the necessary coursework for licensure even in their home country (they note that you need to transfer in the relevant PhD courses: https://www.ucn.edu.ni/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Guidelines-Psychology-UCN-2020-05-30-min.pdf see page 15) - and there's significant issues with getting this degree evaluated as equivalent to a US degree of any kind, as already documented heavily on this forum.

    Obviously there are people with foreign degrees who are practicing in virtually every profession in the US that has licensure, from Architecture to X-Ray Techs but this specific degree has major issues outside of that. People are incorrectly equating the theoretical ability for someone with a foreign degree to get licensed with the practical reality that someone with this specific degree cannot get licensed.
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  14. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm, I could be missing it, but I'm not seeing an actual problem there. As I understand it from my conversations with them, the Clinical Psychology program is effectively being treated as an ABD completion program so there wouldn't be an expectation for that specific program to have a standard 60+ credit course load available to be license-eligible on its own as a program of that kind is dependent on transferred coursework and a successful dissertation. After that, as always, licensure is going to depend on satisfying the necessary state or country-specific requirements which vary.

    It's good that they've brought this matter up in their documentation like California Southern did with their PsyD program and the issues it had with licensure in a number of states. I know with Cal Southern the issue was that they didn't have an actual clinical component to their Clinical Psychology program, so I wasn't too surprised about them having issues there and I did criticize the program here for that reason.

    Separate from the Clinical Psychology program, UCNs standard PhD in Psychology program includes a full course load of credits (180 ECTS, I believe) + a dissertation all of which is taken through them (barring any transfer credit a student may have, of course).

    Can you post a link or two to some information you've found detailing that the PhD in Psychology from UCN has had these issues in the U.S.? This is the first I'm hearing about it so it's piqued my interest. I have read that UCN as a school has issues with WES (blacklisted), but having issues with WES isn't exactly a rare circumstance for some schools and especially students, although on this one I do place some blame on UCN because of some of the associations they've made. We did have a gentleman here a little while back that had his UCN Doctorate evaluated as RA equivalent by IEE, but IIRC it was in business administration.

    And to be certain, we're analyzing the PhD in Psychology not the PhD in Clinical Psychology because those are separate programs with different requirements for each. With the PhD in Psychology, it may or may not be a conflict between theoretical ability and practical reality, it all hinges on whether or not this specific degree is actually in the total and auto-disqualification position it's being placed in here, I'm not so sure about that at the moment, but I'm interested in looking at the information you have to support that position.
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Clinical Psychology licenses require normally a PhD accredited by APA or CPA (Canada). You also require to do a residence to qualify for a license. It is not likely that a UCN degree would qualify you to be a licensed Clinical Psychologist. However, it might help to qualify to get a post doctoral certificate in clinical psychology from an APA or CPA accredited school provided that you can get a positive foreign degree evaluation certificate.
  16. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    In 2002 there were approximately five states that REQUIRED APA. Do you have evidence that APA has become the norm?

    As far as I know the majority of states don't require APA. That said, if you were to read postings for competitive jobs they often require/prefer APA and APA internship. The federal government requires it. There are still a lot of other jobs including private practice where the PhD or PsyD from a Regionally Accredited school and passing the Psychology licensure exam (etc as it varies by state) is enough. The question for UCN grads is can they tailor their PhD to meet their state's requirements and get the foreign credential evaluation and get past the State Board's eval.

    If I recall the 800 page dissertation guy calls himself a Psychologist on some website (not practicing) but by reference to his degree. He most certainly is not licensed and would look ridiculous under grilling by an actual Psychologist.
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    That's interesting! I took half-a-dozen undergrad psych. courses -- and we never even touched on grilling. Is it a widely-accepted clinical practice? A specialty? Are there any disorders in the DSM-5 that are particularly responsive to grilling? :)

    Yes - of course I know what you meant. And you're right. It just sounded funny.
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Clinical psychology is a bit different from other psychology licenses. It is normally more difficult to qualify but you are right, the APA or CPA degree is not mandatory but you are going to have a very hard time getting a clinical residence with a UCN degree.
    The UCN degree might be a good fit for a less strict license like a licensed counsellor provided that you meet the course requirements.
    It is not impossible but most likely you would need to to extra course work to qualify for a license with a UCN degree provided that you get an RA equivalence certificate from a NACES approved evaluation service.
    This school is often discussed here but I couldn't find many people in the US that have graduated from this school so it is hard to tell if it can be used for licensing purposes. I found 8 in the US only:
  19. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    A person would be better off sticking with a domestic school if they're going to engage in an ABD-style program. That being said, I doubt UCN gets many applicants to that specific program, especially not Americans. It's not exactly a common thing, at least not for Americans, from a Clinical Psychology PhD degree program to wind up in an ABD program to finish.
    Garp likes this.
  20. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, if you look at the graduates at linkedin, most of them are established professionals that completed the UCN credential as a continuing education or personal development.
    A clinical psychology career is a serious one, you would rather take a bank loan and get it from a solid school than taking a UCN credential just to save some money and then deal with all the problems that carry a foreign credential.
    I think people in this forum want this credential for personal development or to qualify for an adjunct position. Even for an adjunct position, I think a PhD from Capella or any of the for profit schools would work better for this purpose, I couldn't locate many adjuncts with a UCN credential but few below:

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