Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Rich Douglas, Nov 21, 2021.
Regarding UNIVAL, I did find this statement under the Doctor of Liberal Studies listing:
Built on a foundation of ethics and values, our program provides you with the comprehensive tools needed to achieve your personal and professional aspirations. Unlike Ph.D. programs, the goal of Georgetown’s degree is not primarily research and the production of new knowledge; instead, our program encourages you to frame issues in ways that cut across traditional disciplines.
Georgetown? Knowing that Georgetown also offers a Doctor of Liberal Studies, I went to their website and found this:
Built on a foundation of ethics and human values, our program provides you with comprehensive tools needed to achieve your personal and professional aspirations.
Word. For. Word. When my first impression of a university is its plagiarism, I get a little squishy about considering it "to be even more interesting." Unless, of course, "interesting" means "sleazy" or something.
When I said interesting, I really meant concerning...Their other websites also left this impression. They have several sites. Here's one:
I was also intrigued by the Georgetown reference and the huge number of Master's degrees.
UNIVAL has the same level of accreditation as UCN within Nicaragua; https://www.cnea.edu.ni/universidades/todas?field_tipo_de_entidad_target_id=All&page=4 (see the very last entry, as there is another university called UNIVALLE there).
The university is also listed by the WHED database. They now appear to be expanding into the English-language market.
Here's yet another potential expansion, likewise accredited in Nicaragua;
Gee, the people behind Anabin sure don't mess around. However, I would hope their issues with distance learning were pre-covid (or based solely on the supervision matter), as since then it make sense that more distance learning would be employed. Heck, even my local EMT training programs have online classes whereas before that was totally not allowed.
The less reliable the national higher education system, the more individualized the evaluation of a candidate holding a degree from it becomes necessary. It is very clear that the oversight process in Nicaragua is unreliable. As a gatekeeper, I would have serious reservations about accepting degrees from such a system, particularly those earned by people from other countries with superior systems.
I live in a country with the highest-rated higher education system. I hold a doctorate from a school within it. No one asks about it. But I also hold another doctorate from a university within the 2nd-highest rated higher education system. I get questions about that one all the time. They all start with "why?"
But is it why a UK degree, or why “bother” with two doctorates? I’ve seen a lot more UK degrees in my life than I have folks with two doctorates, and the only one I met in real life was an MD/PhD.
The former because I'm an American. The latter doesn't come up much.
I agree with your reasoning but there is also the pragamatic aspect of this approach. If I live in Canada and work already in the public sector, if I can get a positive evaluation from a foreign degree evaluation service, the PhD from UCN might help me to get a pay increase just because the system allows it. Even as a high school teacher, if I get a degree from UCN with a positive evaluation, I might be able to increase my salary. If the degree requires minimum effort and cost 6K, it makes sense for me to get my PhD from UCN. Some people also do it for personal development, with the PhD from UCN and positive evaluation, I can put PhD in my email signature, this means something for some people.
You can argue that there are some local options with better recognition, but the reality is that very few people can make it to a tenure track position or a prestigious research position at a government institution. For some people is not worth the effort of spending 10 years doing a local degree that can lead to the same thing that you can get with a PhD from UCN.
I can see how a PhD from UCN can help me to get adjunct teaching work if the degree is in a field of demand such accounting. Counselling certifications is Canada require a Masters degree, if I am going to work as a self employed counsellor, it makes sense for me to spend 6K for a UCN degree rather than the 30K that costs a local option. At the end, if both can lead to the certification, the UCN makes more sense.
Germany or the UK might not accept UCN but maybe works for people in the US or Canada.
That's a big maybe. Most Canadian evaluation services have aleady blacklisted the university. The remaining two services (one in Quebec and UofT) have not performed an evaluation on it, so it's hard to say. Wouldn't you need to have an evaulation from one of the members of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services in Canada to have it count in the public sector? In Canada, the licensing bodies will ask a person to supply an equivalency evaluation. How would someone do that? This type of degree may only count in self-employment, or non-regulated types of work. You stand a bigger chance in the U.S. with a plethora of evaluation options. Still, the various U.S. state-licensing bodies may be more demanding and ask for a WES evaluation instead of NACES more broadly. The same thing goes for academic jobs. You would then face the same problem. From a pagmatic standpoint, it is still a huge risk. The degree simply isn't portable. Over $6,000 USD may be a large sum to pay for a non-portable degree.
Sure, in purely transactional situations, the "it'll do" factor might make it okay.
But as our good friend John Bear cautioned, be as sure as possible that the degree you seek will meet your present and future needs. It is the latter that I would fear.
I know a little about which degree will best fit your future and what one might have to do to change that.
I said that the majority of Canadian evaluation services had it blacklisted. This may be overstated. At this point, I've only been able to personally verify that two services had it 100% blacklisted: WES Canada and ICES. Still, it isn't a good sign when a university is seen as untrustworthy. The point about risk and portability remains.
Here is an example of a University of Central Nicaragua dissertation. It is 882 pages but bulk isn't everything. I found it a bit odd (information strung together). The conclusion read in a unscholarly report fashion (my opinion).
One of their Psychology evaluators is Richard Bolstad from NZ. He has a doctorate in clinical hypnotherapy. To my knowledge there are no accredited doctorates in Clinical Hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and practiced by people in the medical and psychology fields but subsumed under other fields. Perhaps he has accredited Masters degrees and supervises or evaluates at the Masters level.
The dissertation does look strange, but the same can be said about the originator.
It's good material for a University of Sedona dissertation.
That exact thought had occurred to me. This guy went for length but it has the superficial character of a couple of the Sedona dissertations I have seen. The people were proud of them but I suspect that is because they sincerely had no idea what scholarly work looks like.
It is concerning. Did his doctoral supervisors read it?
If WES Canada and ICES really blacklisted it 100%, then that's even harsher than in Germany. The Nicaraguan programs of the Central University of Nicaragua are acceptable in Germany. This does not guarantee that such a degree will be accepted for further study at a German university, but at least that is not legally excluded, which is the case with their international programs.
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