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

    Yeah that ABD status is ambiguous and will vary from school to school. I actually was admitted in advanced standing to Azteca/UCN because I had a surplus of ECTS hours. However, I had no doctoral credits. They treated my Master of Education plus my Graduate Certificate as equivalent to a Master of Philosophy so my degree program went from needing 180 credits (1 year of coursework, 2 years of dissertation) to just 120 credits (2 years of dissertation). I would probably just be a post-doctoral student at some universities while others admit me to another doctorate with some transfer credit awarded. It will definitely depend on the policies and programs of that particular school.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2022
  2. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Well-Known Member

    If someone already works in the medical sector, would that also hold weight and be something that a licensing board could take into account?
    What I mean is:
    suppose you get the degree, you meet the requirements mostly but not completely but there is demonstrable proof that the person works in clinical research and has been doing that for a few years already, hence has medical exposure. Could that make up for the hiatus?
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I’m not qualified to recommend educational options for people in that profession.

    Generally speaking, one should ask, “Who’s looking?” If you just want a degree so you can say you have it, lots of sources will do. If you want it to qualify for some profession, there are many different options. And if you want to impress someone, like an employer, the options change as well.

    If you want to enter private practice, the vast majority of patients will not know—and will not care—where you got your degree. The license will be the key in most situations. An MA from an unaccredited California university approved to qualify graduates in counseling might just do the trick. However, if you’re going to apply for jobs with companies and organizations, where you earned your degree will matter.

    Those are the distinctions. And again, I’m not qualified to make them in this hypothetical.
  4. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    I don't see that happening at all, and that take is not considering the purpose and value of what we do here in general. Discussing theories and possibilities is the bulk of what's done on this board and at least it's based on some educated knowledge of the topic most of the time. In this thread, people are discussing the connection between an RA equivalent degree and what that could mean for licensing purposes based on existing knowledge of how the U.S. states tend to operate, no one is speaking in absolutes on that because everyone here already knows that there are almost no absolutes in this realm, you're only perceiving it that way for some reason. Your take on the other hand is dealing in an absolute like - "no one can get licensed in the U.S. with a PhD in Psychology from UCN", but no one has seen the proof you're basing that claim on. When you were politely asked to show that proof, you went silent.

    The problem with your claim is that the U.S. system doesn't work the way you're framing it as with this. There is no universal blacklist against UCN that all 50 states are following, that doesn't exist, so saying in absolute terms that a person can't be licensed with a PhD from there has to be based on something we can see like a state letter from all 50 states showing why a degree like this is a no-go, or a state requirement page from all 50 states that details why a degree like the UCN PhD in Psychology can't help a holder become licensed in any of them, etc. When you used a link to make the point it was actually to a different degree than the one being discussed and has no relation to it. In reality, the states care only about an applicant meeting their requirements, and a legitimately accredited degree that is evaluated as equivalent to RA is going to meet the requirement of accreditation no matter where it's from. The rest of what's necessary to become licensed in pretty much all states is a matter entirely based on how the program is crafted (either it does or doesn't have the proper courses for the proper amount of hours), not where it's from. States set certain standards that have to be met and that's all they're concerned with.

    WES having a problem with UCN is already known, it's also known that WES has a problem with lots of schools out there. WES sucks though, they just have a ton of power, but their word is not the bond of God. There are plenty of other evaluators out there and plenty of them have no issues with UCN at all. I have my own issues with a few of UCN's affiliations, but that's another discussion.


    Outside of the licensing matter, many people in that field get the PhD in Psychology from any school for reasons like increased knowledge, promotions/better pay, not to become licensed. Why? Because most people can't just take off from working for a year, not get paid, AND pay a ton of money out of pocket for supervision. So, they don't bother with becoming licensed as a Psychologist, and who can blame them?

    Lastly on the foreign degree point, what happens at this board too much is that people speak in negative absolutes and do lots of trashing. It's weird to me that people do it. Remember all of that doom and gloom and tearing down of ENEB? "No U.S. evaluator will ever give this program a positive evaluation! The program is not legitimate! IT'S A SCAM!!!" Welp, a number of positive U.S. evaluations later, and look how all of that turned out to be dead wrong.

    It's best to wait for a reasonable amount of information to come in before jumping to negative absolute conclusions.
    Garp likes this.
  5. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    If someone has information specific to this degree's utility in clinical psychology licensing, I haven't seen it. What I have seen is a lot of "there are 50 states, so maybe one of them will license you" which is ridiculous.
    Johann, Bill Huffman and Rich Douglas like this.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You just did it.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, they can. It's never about having enough time. It's about one's priorities.

    There are 168 hours in a week. Let's say one uses 30 of them to earn a living (and that's stretching it). The rest are used on other priorities. Choices....choices...choices....
  8. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    So, is the blanket assertion that it won't work because APA is necessary. What it boils down to is a low density and untried degree with a lot of caveats depending on use. So, caution and thought is in order before jumping in with assumptions. Certain potential uses seem more probable or less problematic than others.
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    The key phrase here is "So, caution and thought is in order before jumping in with assumptions." It is best to error on the side of caution when considering degrees and their sources.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade. Cacoleman1983 is and should be rightly proud of his accomplishment. He's made it clear that due diligence was done and the degree will satisfy his needs.
  10. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    Yeah many if not all of us can fall in the habit of assuming something will or will not be accepted but the truth is everyone will generally have a different result even with the same degree from the same institution. I have personally fallen into the trap of painting a brush on degrees based on how they are categorized. I can judge for-profit schools harshly for putting so many in heavy student loan debt as well as not returning a great ROI for many of its students but I made a choice to go with what many would consider an obscure path to a foreign degree. Whatever anyone here chooses to do, make sure its right for you. Will I it use for anything outside of personal enrichment or profile boost? Only time will tell.

    We just have to make sure we make the right decision for ourselves and not regret it. I've honestly wasted a lot of money on many things that meant nothing in the long run. This PhD was worth my time and investment.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's a university. It has recognition in its home country. A degree issued by it might--or might not--be evaluated as equivalent to a degree from a US school. Otherwise, it will be evaluated qualitatively by everyone who comes across it. In other words, almost never.

    What I'm hearing from "cacoleman1983" are candor and transparency. About the process. About the degree. About what he intends to use it for.

    If someone from Nicaragua had this title, would anyone really bother to question his/her credential? I seriously doubt it.

    All the other discussion about using the degree to obtain licensure as a psychologist is purely hypothetical. As with any such venture, I highly recommend one checks out the plan thoroughly with the people who will have to process, evaluate, and accept it.

    In my life, I've seen a lot of people enter into educational situations afraid to ask the tough questions, largely because the answers might interfere with their dreams. Those can be expensive dreams! Measure twice, cut once.
    Bill Huffman, Dustin and Garp like this.
  12. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Yes, sir!!! Measure twice, cut once.
  13. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Well-Known Member

    I eventually went with HAU's master in mental health counseling.
    The stress and worry of the validity of the credentials and them meeting future needs is something that I took into account.
    Master would be ok for license as a psychotherapist but not as a psychologist.
    However, I assessed everything and I felt a click.
    Networking is very important and when I look at the background of HAUs faculty, they have degrees from NYU, Wharton etc.
    That gives some peace of mind.
    The degree is the same as on-campus students receive, so there won't be the stigma of an online education credential.
    Employer is willing to pay 20% of the course for this one.
    My own expense would be 8k$.
    I can deduct it for 50% from my taxes.

    In my decision, I considered the usefullness for licensure, the recognition, the logistics of the study process itself (I don't want to be in fear or stress of the university shutting down or not receiving my credential) and things alike.

    If this is something that I want to make work for me then it's better to invest in a decent and well-recognized degree than facing issues later on and having to re-take another degree and spend more in the end than going down the traditional path.

    It will be 3 long years but at least in the end I will have a credential that I can be proud of and that won't raise eyebrows.
  14. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    The most important thing is finding a local or state school if you are needing the networking aspect of the field. A foreign credential being operated online won't do that. If you are wanting a degree and don't need the network building, I would go with a degree like Azteca or UCN. If your goal is certification, licensing, and building a network, stick with a brick-or-mortar school or online school that is built for connections. Ultimately, you get what you pay for and my degree was for a check in box but had I needed for what you are needing, I would definitely recommend a school that will force you to make connections.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2022
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I have few foreign degrees and I live in Canada. I normally check if people with the same credentials that I want to pursue were able to use them in Canada. This means that if your goal is to become a psychologist with the PhD from UCN, you would need to see if anyone has been able to use it to become a psychologist in your country. If the answer is no, then you are taking a high risk that the credential would just become a nice looking diploma on the wall. If I could get an equivalence certificate in Canada, I would be able to use the UCN degree to teach as an adjunct. For licensing purposes this degree would be very hard to use for psychology, it is very hard to get in into a PhD in psychology as most of the time people need a good master's with a 4.0+ GPA, I don't see a psychologist college seeing with good eyes someone with an online PhD from a private nicaraguan school when local people were struggling to get a PhD to become licensed.
    I think the psychotherapist license is a good and realistic plan, the other plan is just too risky and it might lead to nothing.
    TeacherBelgium likes this.
  16. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Well-Known Member

    Exactly and in addition to that, having to live in fear that the college can shut down any moment or the partnership ends etc. or the school goes out of business, I couldn't deal with that.
    I prefer security.
    The master may be a bit less impressive than the Ph.D. but at least it's from a regionally accredited university (NECHE accreditation) and the program has accreditation from the European counseling board, so I would be able to get licensure as a psychotherapist. What also appeals is that they have 2 brick-and-mortar campusses (1 in Greece and 1 US) so I won't get weird questions about why the degree was online.
    I often notice in real life that people still question online degrees, even if they are completely valid. It's as if a butt-in-seat degree will always be more credible.
    I will likely immigrate to another country in the future so I also need to play it safe and take my future needs into account as well.
    Plus psychotherapist is definitely a job that appeals to me (private practice ). If they have some good clientèle they can also earn good money.
    I'm glad that this board helped me to make an informed decision and that I didn't let the temptation of a Ph.D. in psychology take over.
    I'm happy with my choice and excited for this 3-year-long adventure :)
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think the highest risk is the partnership, the degree is given by Azteca but granted by UCN. This can of arrangements are new and not well understood yet, the quality control issue of one school giving the degree but other granting it seems to be an issue with some degree credential evaluators. Eventually this might be the norm but still now is considered not so traditional.
    The online degree issue is not longer an issue, most people do now masters degrees online, it is becoming rare that people do part time master's degree face to face. Many traditional schools now give blended masters degree or totally online, students expect online learning now. The main issue is going to be the credibility of the university, if the schools is solid then no questions are asked. If you do it from a private school with no ranking, it is not going to be very credible.
  18. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Online degrees from "for profits" are often seen as "check the box" degrees as opposed to scholarly education. Strangely some people try to bury them even though they are accredited. I have seen therapists or coaches whose doctorates are from Capella, Argosy, etc and they don't list where on their bio pages. They want you to know they have a PhD but not that it is from an online for profit. It is a six figure check the box for marketing your services, check the box for personal satisfaction (goals), check the box for personal prestige, and perhaps some additional learning.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    In Canada, not all psychologist colleges recognize online degrees. The most liberal is Alberta, it is feasible to become a psychologist with a degree from Capella in this province. The online and for profit issue is not many times the main problem but the fact that new degrees use outsourcing models where the degree is granted by one school but given by a private company. UCN rents the name of the school so others can use it to sell the degree, as Nicaragua does not have a very strong accreditation system is questionable if the company giving the courses is actually being accredited by the educational system or it is just a way to bypass accreditation by outsourcing accreditation to a country with a weak system (e.g. Nicaragua).
  20. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    In an earlier post, I shot down for profit online schools and indirectly put them in the same category of value as accredited foreign degrees. When comparing the value, it wasn't so much to equate them but to discuss the limitations of them. The obscurity of both the for-profit and the foreign accredited degrees is what makes them a higher risk. They should be entered in with caution. For staring a new career, a brick-in-mortar school or at the very least a reputable online school that has good networking and name brand would be best.

    I have a coworker who had a very hard time getting any type of promotion or new job with her University of Pheonix BBA and MBA degrees. She had to earn a Master of Education Technology (same degree I have) before even being granted a promotion at our university. There is conflict at my alma mater about how minorities are paid less and was a major reason why I left higher education as a whole but I believe her UoP degrees were holding her back because her fellow coworker in that same position was getting paid the same salary without a Bachelors degree. I've also mentioned how a state-approved and religious exempted Andersonville Theological Seminary Bachelors of Theology degree was completed by my former Southern Baptist pastor. It has made no difference that I can see and my former pastor lists the Bachelors degree without the school's name.

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