Central University of Nicaragua Degree Scheme

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

  1. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Why anyone is licensing Naturopaths in Canada or the US is beyond me. It isn't evidence based medicine. Britt Hermes who has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from an accredited US school turned into a whistleblower. She speaks around the country at science events. Hermes moved to Germany where she earned a Master's in Science and is working on a PhD. She is quite concerned about how a lobby has managed to convince more and more states and provinces to license them or is being lobbied to do so. She felt what she was doing wasn't ethical (not helping people) and saw some really unethical things that led her to leave it. She thinks most Naturopaths realize it but you invested a significant portion of your life and 160,000 on a degree so you push on.

    Somewhere I saw a Canadian news piece about homeopathic medicine in Canada (which is a different subject). It is sold in pharmacies and stores alongside real medicine and even packaged to look like it. Consumers with sick children have been fooled. Homeopathy is junk (not sure it even rises to the level of junk science).
    Rachel83az and Johann like this.
  2. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    Many of these foreign programs fall on a spectrum of recognition that is ambiguous from one credential evaluation equivalency to another. I did mention life-long learning which is what the purpose seems to be for these foreign schools that offer their programs to internationals by distance mode even when there is limited recognition in their home countries. These programs are serving a purpose for those who want a legal degree.

    While it can work for professional purposes, the idea of earning an academic award in an autonomous and inexpensive fashion seems to be the best reason to go this route. It’s actually why I chose this route. There’s really nothing I want to do that requires a Doctorate so I completed Azteca/UCN’s PhD solely for the life-long learning aspect as an autonomous, inexpensive, and distance program. It may help my career but I’m not really concerned if it doesn’t.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  3. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Any luck with your diplomas yet?
  4. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    I contacted them a couple of weeks ago. I was going to wait till February. I’m hoping to hear from someone after the holidays in January.
  5. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Well getting closer. After all that I hope you frame them!
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    This is a big problem in US pharmacies as well. It's disgraceful!
    Rachel83az likes this.
  7. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The Professor overseeing the program says that UCN is well aware of the challenges Americans face with this, particularly in certain states, and that they routinely tailor the program for those students. I doubt anyone from a foreign school (unless it's a prestigious one) is going to compete for top practicum slots, so I agree with you there. It's already difficult enough finding places willing to help would-be Psychologists gain the hours when their degrees are from domestic schools.

    Where I live these opportunities exist in a decent number with institutions, but I realize that's not the case at all in many other places and sometimes people have to move to another state to get a shot at becoming a Psychologist wherever they can get the hours (I've seen that mentioned a number of times over the years at SDN which usually breaks out into a salary-based cost-benefit debate).

    Then there is the situation where, even if the opportunities are available with an individual supervisor in private practice, they're not paying jobs and to get the hours you often have to pay out of pocket at the same hourly rate as their clients. That can get pretty crazy pretty quickly. The ones that are charging are usually more willing to take on students from lesser known schools because, well, they're getting paid. There are states that put limits on how many students can be supervised by a single supervisor, but it's a double-edged sword. While it's meant to promote a baseline for better quality supervision by not having supervisors stretched too thin, and to prevent some from overhiring for the purpose of becoming career supervisors rather than focusing on treating the general public, it also creates a bottleneck for the number of available spots which in turn maintains the shortage of Psychologists.

    A student really wants to get hired by an institution that will pay and they are out there. But that's where it gets really competitive and also contributes to the shortage because there are still only so many spots than can be filled, so lots of people get turned away.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    There is a lot of scams when it comes to natural medical products mainly because they are not regulated by the FDA so there is a lot of abuse from manufacturers that might just be selling sugar pills as homeopatic products. I lived in China for a while and I can tell you that Chinese medicine works but most of the natural products sold in Canada or US do not work mainly because of abuse of manufacturers and lack of regulation. However, a lot of "real medicine" or evidence based medicine is also natural like antibiotics. In Ontario, Naturopathic doctors can also perform small surgeries and prescribe medication like antibiotics. There is an effort to make to make more scientific natural medicine that includes Chinese Medicine that works and avoid fraudulent products that are sold in pharmacies as natural products that most likely are just sugar pills.
    In Quebec, acupuncture is regulated and at the same level as regular medicine. So there is room to profit from medicine from other parts of the world that is used successfully and include it as part of naturopathic medicine.

    Naturopathy also includes also therapies that we use everyday like counselling and psychotherapy, these are fields that are regulated already in many states and provinces.

    Naturopathy is not just pseudoscientific methods but it includes a lot of evidence based therapies like biofeedback, neurofeedback, mindfulness, etc that are proven to provide results. The idea of the regulation is to create university programs with natural therapies that have evidence of results.
    At least in Ontario, most regular doctors already use naturopathic procedures and avoid pharmaceutical medications by encouraging people to change life styles, behaviours, etc instead of consuming drugs so it looks to me that the trend will continue but in a good direction at least in Canada.
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, there is a shortage of psychologists and psychotherapists. The problem with these programs is that are not tailored to the US or Canadian market so it is hard to qualify not because of lack of accreditation but because the course work and training do not align with requirements.

    The other problem is that distance learning does not align well with the requirements of supervised experience where the student needs to be supervised by a licensed professional.

    There are already distance education programs that align with Psychotherapist and Psychologists licenses in Canada (Yorkville, Adler) but they are expensive. However, I guess if someone is really serious about this type of careers, they would need to just bite the bullet and pay the money.

    There is also the opportunity for UCN to work with professional associations in Canada and offer programs that align but the issue I see is that this would require expensive resources such as Canadian licensed professionals and this would make the program expensive and perhaps not as attractive. The bottom line is that the UCN program is cheap because it is taught by foreign professors making low salaries but these are not accredited to be professionals in the US and Canada and not qualified to supervise graduate for professional practice.
  10. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure how it works in all 50 states, I know zero about Canada when it comes to this, but in New York there are two main supervision points that have to be cleared. The first one can be cleared in two ways and that's with a supervised practicum or a supervised research project. Whichever a student chooses, it has to be done while he/she is still in school and it has to be 1750 hours.

    The second one is a supervised practicum that takes place after graduation with any institution that will accept you and it has to be 1750 hours. A school doesn't involve itself in the supervision in any way when it comes to the after-graduation practicum (unless that was part of the deal you signed up), that's all up to the mental health institution or qualified private practice professional you'd be working with. The way the rules are set up, you could technically do the research project second (which of course would be after graduation but would have to be supervised by the school) and the practicum first, but that would be up to a school's operational policies. In the case of UCN, I doubt that option would be available.

    Some may argue that going with a practicum for both supervision experiences is going to make you the most clinically-ready. I can't disagree with that. But, it may take a while to get into a practicum early into your PhD program, and when we're talking about a 3 year program the time to make it happen is very limited. At least if you get the first 1750 hours down by going the project route, you avoid one placement hassle and put yourself 50% of the way in with the hours you need.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  11. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    The problem with the "not just" pseudoscientific qualifier is that you never know when you go to a naturopathic doctor if you're going to be told to tie a banana peel to your feet to cure your kidney problems or if you're going to be given something that actually works.
  12. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I think specifically in the case of Nicaragua there is another thing that should also be noted.

    Earlier this year there were several headlines such as this one: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/nation-world/story/2022-04-21/nicaragua-tightens-grip-on-universities-to-stifle -dissent

    Of course, it's entirely possible that the Nicaraguan government shut down Unival for academic reasons. The problem is that you can't be sure at this point.
  13. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

  14. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  15. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I think there are many other countries with the same problem. One of them is Germany.
    Johann and Rachel83az like this.
  16. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    With the passion she appears to have for the health field, she should be seeing and helping patients in a different role. Pursuing a PA degree and license domestically would've done it. However, she seems very self-aware so she might've been concerned that the self-proclaimed issues of her naturopathic education could creep in and have a negative effect.

    All of that said, if she's happy with what she's doing now, that's all that matters in the end.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I agree, there is a lot of abuse mainly because the lack of accountability. I can just take a weekend course and claim to be a naturopath selling some sugar pills from a fraudulent manufacturer.
    There are also new versions of this like quantum medicine, someone introduced quantum university. I like science and quantum mechanics and looked into just to find out that was a new new version of energy medicine but with the name quantum to make it look new, there was not a single course in quantum physics in the PhD but just a set of non scientific techniques that looked more like Reiki or massage therapy.
    In some countries, it is taken seriously like in China but people actually go to Universities in China and use sophisticated techniques that work.

    In the case of regulated naturopathy, the naturopathic doctor is not so different than a regular doctor and focuses more in life style changes, healthy eating, exercise and herbal medicine and not in akashic records readings, psychic reading or healing or any of the fraudulent techniques that people use to promise miraculous healing.
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing. I read also another article that government is also putting pressure to limit the number of private Universities in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has a good reputation for education with good medical schools and a top business school in the country. However, there is current abuse and some schools probably grant few degrees in Costa Rica and hundreds abroad through foreign partners that sell them in Africa and Asia.

    In the case of Mexico, if the degree is not officially recognized, it is just considered a continuing education certificate either you call it Master, doctorate, or anything else because it is not recognized. The abuse comes from the fact that is some countries, they dont understand that in Mexico a University can be recognized by the ministry of education but grant non recognized degrees. As the prospect student has not intention to use the degree in Mexico, the student is happy to get a PhD from a Mexican school that is shown to be recognized in Mexico as it is to be used in their local country.

    In the US, the abuse comes from the fact that anyone can open a church and start granting degrees under the church authority and just make up names such as business theology, christian psychology, christian finance, etc mainly to be able to grant professional degrees under a church authority. The same idea, the foreign student is happy with a legal American degree that can pass the test of an Apostille certificate just to show that the person has a real american degree.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2022
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That's like permitting a pharmacy to sell illegal drugs, but only to foreigners.
    mintaru, Rachel83az and Johann like this.
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't believe it is as simple as that. As degree-granting authority comes from the individual state, not the federal government, your "In the US...." qualifier might be too broadly stated. Yes, in some states a "religious" school can hide behind an exemption and award very non-religious degrees. But in others that operation would be illegal.
    mintaru and Johann like this.

Share This Page