clearly stating not accredited

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by adelheid, Jun 1, 2002.

  1. adelheid

    adelheid New Member

    Hello everyone:

    I see so much talk in this forum about RA, CA approved, diploma mills, bogus accreditation - what about a less-than-wonderful university clearly stating that they are not accredited or recognized by any governmental ministry of education?
    Their degrees might still be less-than-useful, compared to RA degrees, but I personally would hold them in higher regard than someone "accredited" by, say, the WAUC.

    The most open and in my eyes honest legal disclaimer I have seen so far in my short but turbulent life :D is that of St. George University International, St. Kitts (don'tkill me again!) - I am aware of the past SGUI threads here and at a.e.d. and their history, - nevertheless I somehow respect this disclaimer:

    "SGUI is a private international university, and not a UK, USA or Japanese university and not accredited or recognized by any governmental ministry of education. It does not offer licenses and credentials. SGUI is a non-traditional university without the traditional campus, and has no offices or facilities in any other country except for the registered head office in St. Christopher and Nevis. Therefore, some countries or institutions might not accept our degrees. It is the responsibility of the student to confirm acceptance of the degree prior to enrollment. The university does not act as an employment agency and can not give assurance that its graduates will automatically obtain pay rises or employment."

    Does this bring the SGUI, with its open website, open legal disclaimer, and its "Charity projects" , "Children projects" and optional (?) "Residential tutorials" in the league of "less-than-wonderful-but-not-so-absolutely-bad" ? HAVE THEY CHANGED FOR THE BETTER??? Or am I missing something?

    Like Russel A. Morris wrote: "Let the battle begin!"

  2. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    I couldn't agree more. There are at least two moral issues when it comes to unaccredited schools:

    1. The student confusion issue. Does the prospective student/buyer know that the degree will have little utility?

    2. The social confusion issue. Is the prospective student/buyer dishonest enough to misrepresent the degree, regardless of what the school does?

    To my way of thinking, a school or mill is morally responsible for issue #1, but shouldn't be held fully responsible for issue #2. This is why I don't object, for example, to the Universal Life Church or General Delivery University; both are extremely honest in that they say what they're doing, and it's impossible to imagine any scenario where a student could be genuinely misled. And this is why I don't object to legitimate unaccredited schools that make their accreditation status clear.

    I don't know much about SGUI, but their disclaimer is about as honest as they come. I'm happy to see it, and it does speak well of them.

  3. George Brown

    George Brown Active Member

    SGUI have certainly changed their tune. They used to claim accreditation from the American Theological Association (a PO Box in Arizona registered to Arkansas Christian University) and the International University Accreditation Foundation, a lovely little setup created by the owner of SGUI, Rolf Pussel.

    They used to claim to have a campus in Oxford as well, whilst their website was covered in Union Jacks. For the record, they were initially an International Business Corporation on the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    So, it does appear that time heals all and SGUI has seen the light. Perhaps the preachings of Arkansas Christian University rubbed off on them? ;)


    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2002
  4. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    So the question becomes which is better the honest thief or the dishonest thief. As you have surveyed the honest thief is a rare bird. In this case the the change seems to have happened not long ago. The next question becomes would you trust your reputation and money with either one? Of course the answer is no. Both deserve a similiar fate and someone who becomes involved with either one is likely a fool.
  5. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Tom Head: "...This is why I don't object, for example, to the Universal Life Church..."

    This sort of thing is why I do.

    Syracuse, NY
    Police raided a "sex therapy" clinic, operated by Anthony Russo, a self-styled sex therapist. Russo, a high school drop-out, claimed a Ph.D. from the Universal Life Church, a California church that sells the Ph.D. degree for a donation of $100.

    Russo, who insisted on being called "Doctor Russo," and who drives a white Cadillac with the license plate "DOCTOR-1" has been operating his clinic for at least ten years. Following numerous complaints from dissatisfied clients . . ."
  6. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I think of such "schools" in exactly the same category as:

    1. The people who advertise, in Soldier of Fortune and elsewhere, for about $300, a complete set of lock picking tools, guaranteed to open the door of any car, "so you'll never lock yourself out of your car again."

    2. The publisher in California who advertised a manual called, "How Dishonest People Tamper with Their Electrical Meters to Steal Power from the Power Companies," complete with detailed diagrams.

    3. The series of "How to Kill" books featured in the catalogs of Paladin Press and Loompanics.

    4. The Anarchist Cookbook, with its detailed instructions on how to build bombs, sold, according to the disclaimer "for educational and entertainment purposes only."

    Honest straightforward advertising for terrible and often dangerous products and services.
  7. adelheid

    adelheid New Member

    I looked at the SGUI website again at and found that they do not offer any gassessmenth programmes, which I remember they did before (remember this gearn your degree by work and life experienceh slogan?). Apparently only gSelf-Directed Independent Studiesh and gDegree by Thesis/Dissertation (Research Degree)h are offered.

    So, I did some research by e-mailing them asking if I would qualify for the gassessment optionh (as it can still be found in their Application Form) and this is the answer that I got through e-mail today:

    gRequirements for the Degree by Assessment (of a Previous Publication):
    A person may apply for admission as a candidate for a degree by assessment of a previous publication, provided that
    a. he or she is a graduate or staff member or tutor of a university recognized by or affiliated with SGUI
    b. that the previously published work has not been presented to assessment to any other institution before
    c. that the previously published work follows the guidelines for all SGUI dissertations, and that is: it must be a contribution to academic knowledge and literature, show originality, reflect advanced learning and thinking, have a practical application, meet the paper length requirements, and be written in an academic style.
    An application shall be made on-line through our website and accompanied by ordinary mail to the registered head office and shall include:
    a. identification of the academic area
    b. the published work(s) on which the claim for admission to the degree is based, to be presented in, or translated into, English,;
    c. a statement, which shall be an overview of normally not less than 5,000 words, setting out ways in which the previous publication(s) provide(s) an original and significant contribution to the field of studyh

    This, together with the clear legal disclaimer about their non-accredited status in their website, makes one think if there have been changes for the better with SGUI, or, I ask this again to all of you: am I missing something?

  8. RJT

    RJT New Member

    Kennedy-Western and Central State University are two examples of fine State Liscened Schools that clearly state that they are unaccredited. City University of Los Angles is another school that is upfront, but provides detail on the owners prospective of accreditation. I am not looking to hear a surmon. ... Trinity and Aledia concern me as they claim accrditation, by unauthorized orgs., Washington International University is also questionable as they show thir faculty eating at a dinner, with no description as to who and what they teach.

    Rule of thumb

    Make sure the school uses RA professors
    Make sure are State Liscened and offer a Refund policy
    Make sure that they are reponsive to inquires.
    Check the BBB
    Ask to speak with Alumni

    Remember, If you do not have to work for it, you do not deserve it - a Diploma that is.

  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    A much simpler, safer, and more useful set of rules is
    make sure the school is RA

    RJT, regarding the last statement, I have a question. I saw on TV a fellow that said he worked for his PhD. As proof of his work he displayed his dissertation. The dissertation was a chapter by chapter summary of one book he had read. Do you believe that this fellow worked for his diploma?

    If your answer is yes then, no more questions.

    If the answer is no then, who is to decide how much work it takes to earn a diploma? Should it be the biased opinion of the student? Should it be based only on the biased opinion of only the school? Should it be based on an accreditation standard that is mutually agreed upon amongst many professional educators that come from a wide selection of schools?
  10. adelheid

    adelheid New Member

    Do properly accredited universities also offer the possibility to be awarded a degree based on an assessment of the applicant's previous published work?

  11. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I believe that honesty should be appreciated even when it is an honest thief.

    Let's take a real example from my own recent experience that is slightly related (okay only very slightly). I wanted to get the blue book value on an RV I want to selling. So I thought I'd just take it over to the RV dealer and see how much they would give me. After asking what all the features were, he gave me the blue book value over the phone, about $17,500. It was much lower than I expected so I decided to take it over to his lot and let him take a look. He looked at the RV and made me an offer of $14,000. I told him that I thought low book would be a fairer price. He swore there wasn't a dealer in the world that would come anywhere near even $16,000 for the coach.

    I asked to see his Kelly Blue Book. He showed me and it turns out that the base low book price was $17,500. I laughed, patted him on the back and with a huge friendly sincere smile said, "HA HA, good one Ray, you had me going there. Now let's add in all the adjustments and figure out the real book value." Now if he had been an honest thief he would have smiled back and we could have completed the next step within a few minutes. Instead he had to act all indignant and claim that $17,500 was the blue book price. It took another hour for me to find out that the low blue book was really more like $21,000.

    There's my real life example that tries to demonstrate that an honest thief is better than a dishonest thief.
  12. adelheid

    adelheid New Member

    Dearest Bill Huffman:

    I am sorry. I don't understand what you mean. Really.

  13. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    What I mean (assuming of course that even I can understand what I mean :) ) is that while I agree with Dr. Bear that the owners of diploma mills are dishonest and the practice should be deplored, I still feel that at least a little bit of honesty is good. Trying to put it into more concrete terms, I think that it is good that the ULC shows some honesty about what they're selling even though I deplore their overall actions. In the past, I have even called ULC an "honest diploma mill". (Of course the main reason I said that was that I find the oxymoron amusing.)

    If I still haven't made it any clearer but you've at least been slightly amused then I'll consider my posts brilliantly successful.

  14. adelheid

    adelheid New Member

    Dear Bill Huffman:

    thank you for your prompt reply. Now I understand what you understand what you mean.


  15. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Mr. or Ms. T suggests, among his/her reasonable advice for how to evaluate a school, "Check the BBB"

    Sadly, this sometimes doesn't work. At the time Columbia State University was the biggest phony school in the country, operating from a mail drop in Louisiana and run from a secret warehouse in California, they claimed -- correctly -- that they were members in good standing of the Louisiana BBB. And they were. When I tried to get the BBB to look into this, they replied, rather indignantly, that they could not be expected to evaluate every member, and that there had been very few complaints.

    I figure this attitude of the BBB resulted in many millions of dollars (of the $70 million that Columbia State stole) being spent by a public who trusted them.

    BBBs are independent entities, locally run, and affiliated with a national center. Each one has its own policies and procedures. Some have been very good on diploma mill matters, others, like New Orleans, worse than zero since the public trusts them.
  16. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Wasn't the horrible Columbia State degree mill also state licensed? I would assume that most if not all institutions that have been found to be frauds in a court of law were state lincensed.
  17. adelheid

    adelheid New Member

    In case somebody is interested, here is a website with information about the tertiary institutions of St. Kitts and Nevis and the applicable educational laws and regulations:

  18. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Jason Vorderstrasse, who contributes to this forum, has done a fine job with this site.

    I learned a lot from it. My goodness, 16 postsecondary institutions on this little dot with 38,000 people

    At that ratio of institutions to people, the US would have 123,851 universities.

    It was also interesting to learn that Berne's much-publicized qualificationfor federal loans not only covers only the non-mandatory 30 day residency period, but is for non-professional programs only.
  19. David Boyd

    David Boyd New Member

    The Orange County Register recently did a series of articles on the BBB. The Southern California operation looks as bad as any diploma mill. They probably didn't have many complaints on Orange County based Columbia State because at the time they (the BBB) were charging consumers a fee to file complaints.

    I know at one time their annual fees for members were based on the type of business and the number of complaints they were likely to receive.
  20. irat

    irat New Member

    sgui, motives, marketing, moxie

    The original thread started with the question as to whether a less-than-wonderful institution could be recognized for its good work.
    Sometimes assigning ulterior motives and intention makes sense. Sometimes just looking at the basic facts makes sense. Sometimes when we combine the two a clear picture of what is going on emerges.
    A previous entry in the thread looked at the used vehicle business. Their question becomes is the blue book price the retail price, that goes to the general public or is it the wholesale price the dealer pays for the vehicle?
    In either case, is the sometimes sleezy used car dealership who sponsers little leagure baseball, donates to the boy scouts and is a member of rotary about the same as sgui?
    Marketing for any business is important. The motivation in these activities is public relations.
    Perhaps a new question would be whether instiutions (mail drops perhaps) who are less-than-wonderful , are capable of the smart marketing that other businesses enjoy?
    All the best!

Share This Page