Convert unaccredited diploma and knowlege to an accredited B.Sc in Computer/Software

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mastergeek, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member


    Which accredited universities offer the easiest paths (through distance learning, credit transfer, credit by exam, etc..) to convert unaccredited courses, knowledge and experience to an accredited Bachelor degree in the field of Computer science ?

    I live in Canada as a landed immigrant and hold a 4 year Computer Engineering diploma from an unaccredited private school in my country of origin (all private schools in the country are unaccredited due to a lack of regulation).

    Despite the unaccredited diploma, I have a job in my field as a software developer but I still would like to get an accredited degree for the following reasons:
    • Become eligible to nice jobs in the government and crown corporations, they typically require a positive evaluation from a credential assessment service for foreign degrees
    • Prove the validity of my credentials if questioned by potential employers
    • Be able to join IT professional associations that require an accredited degree

    The degree can be from any university in the world as long as it is accredited, that way I can get a positive result from foreign credential services here in Canada.

    Thanks so much!
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Do you have IT certifications? You can try Excelsior College, you can test out many courses, accredit your experience via portfolio and get credit for IT certifications.
    Do you speak a foreign language? You can get credit for this too.
  3. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member

    I don't have IT certifications as they aren't typically required for software developers/programmers as in other fields of IT.

    I checked Excelsior College but they don't seem to offer exams in the field of computer science. Are there similar credit by exam schemes that offer exams in computer science ?

    Yes I speak French and Arabic, that would be great if this can be credited towards a BSc degree :)

  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If the school you attended is legitimate, and simply isn't accredited because your country of origin has no such process, I'd still consider having WES Canada do an evaluation. You can't be any worse off if you do, and you may end up better off.
  5. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member

    Hi, I requested an evaluation from the Quebec ministry of immigration, which offers a similar service to WES Canada, but the evaluation said they cannot compare my diploma to a Canadian/Quebec credentials because it is awarded by an unaccredited school.

    I will contact another evaluation service like WES Canada or CES of uToronto in the hope that I get better results.

    I am also considering Prior Learning Assessment Recognition processes that are advertised by some Canadian universities such as Athabasca Universities, although of the university websites lack practical information about the actual steps to undertake. Athabasca University also requires an accredited degree in order to accept credits for transfer.
  6. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member

    Yes the private school where I studied is not accredited because no such process exited in the country (Morocco). There has been recent changes where a program can get accredited, meaning that it satisfies higher quality standards, but graduates of these programs are still unable to work in government jobs or pursue education at public institutions based on the private school credentials. The same program in my school has received accreditation but it's too late for previous graduates.

    Private schools are now a popular option in Morocco due to the low quality of education in public universities, there are a handful goold business and engineering public shcools but only the top 3% or so graduates can get in due to limited capacities caused by lack of financing.
  7. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2014
  8. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member

    Thanks for the Athabsca University suggestion. Which one would be easier ? A Bsc at Athabasca or at Thomas Edison State College ?

    I see that both require a minimum residency of 30 credits. Athabasca seems cheaper for a Canadian resident. TESC accepts CLEP and DSST exams which is not the case for Athabasca (they have their own exams for some courses)
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Thomas Edison State College and Charter Oak State College also give credit for certifications. If you have any ACE or NCCRS-evaluated training, that'll make receiving credit easier. Excelsior College and TESC are partners with, a company that evaluates portfolios and recommends them for credit through NCCRS. TESC also has a pretty descent, in-house prior learning assessment system.

    Western Governors University is probably the best college for getting credit for IT certifications. They are also a competency-based school, so you can progress through the coursework quickly based on your prior knowledge.
  10. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards Member

    The terms you are using here seem off. You have adopted either an odd vocabulary or something else. Search 'portfolio credit' and you will be on the right path, it is common and well established. Search 'unaccredited training' and you are off in the woods..
  11. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards Member

    Just about every school out there will consider portfolio credit, these have no monopoly on it..
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I never said they were. I actually said the opposite in another thread. I have no idea why you're focusing on me and not the people who only mention Excelsior.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2014
  13. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    I would try the University of Leicester and go straight for entry into one of their Masters degrees in computer science or software engineering. If you are an IT professional with a number of years of experience, they will take that into consideration for entry into the program in lieu of a bachelor degree. I emailed back and forth with them a few years ago about one of their Masters degree programs in mass communications, and they told me that with my 20-plus years of experience in radio/TV/journalism, they would take me straight into the graduate program, no bachelor degree required.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    They have a BS in Liberal Studies, you can finish a concentration in computer information systems. However, in your case, I think the British MSc makes more sense as it only requires 5 or 6 courses plus a dissertation. British schools are more flexible when it comes to admission without a BSc, you can try the University of Liverpool.
  15. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member

    Thanks for the Master's suggestion. Actually, I have already received an admission offer from a good university here in Montreal for a Master's in Software Engineering based on my past education and experience. Almost all the courses can be taken during the evenings.

    However, I thought that, despite holding an accredited Master's degree, I could face some career limitations due to my non-accredited undergraduate degree. For example, professional licensing bodies typically base membership eligibility on the undergraduate degree only. Also, but I'm not sure, some hiring departments for government jobs might disqualify me if a recognized BSc degree degree is required despite holding a recognized M.Eng. degree, due to the red tap that is typicall of government organizations.

    So, in order to eliminate those uncertainities, I'm looking for an easy way to get my undergraduate knowledge formally recognized.
  16. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    In that case, you may want to go the portfolio assessment route through Athabasca or TESC.

    Also, check the transfer credit policies of each college that interests you. Some schools will consider transfer credit from non-accredited schools. Franklin University does:

    Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions

    Franklin recognizes that quality academic offerings come from multiple sources. The faculty have established a process for reviewing coursework from non-accredited institutions, using the OBR definition of those institutions not regionally accredited. Students who request credit from work completed at non-accredited institutions must complete the Credit Review Form.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I would try this, Quebec is one of the most difficult provinces to deal with when it comes to paper work. Believe it or not, a Masters degree from Ontario is considered an International degree according to Quebec and needs an equivalency when applying for Government jobs in the Quebec government.

    WES Canada is more open to international education and have a free assessment tool that can help you to evaluate if the degree would be considered equivalent.

    If the degree was accepted for a M.Eng in Canada, this is enough proof that the degree is valid in Canada. It makes no sense that a University accepts it when it is not a recognized degree.
  18. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member

    I contacted Comparative Education Service of the University of Toronto to get their evaluation of my degree. They have a simpler process for sending documents, they just needed me to send the photocopies of the degrees and transcripts and they will take care of verifying them with my school. No need to go through the hassle of arranging for my school in Morocco to send documents directly as required by many other services.

    Regarding my admission for a M.Eng in Canada, fortunately there are still institutions that do their own assessments of the foreign credentials of prospective students to determine their ability to successfully complete education, instead of relying on one-size-fits-all solutions like external credential evaluation services
  19. mastergeek

    mastergeek New Member

    Good news! I received my foreign degree assessment results from Comparative Education Services of the University of Toronto and it says that my degree is equivalent to a 4 year Canadian bachelor degree :)

    This means that my degree is now recognized everywhere in Canada. The exception is Quebec where the bureaucrats explicitly state that they want results from the Quebec Immigration assessment service (no sure if they will really refuse one of the other assessment services). Whereas in the rest of Canada, they accept results from any of the approved assessment services in Canada. This new positive assessment means that I am now also eligible to apply for a TN visa if I get a job offer in the United States, and I could probably apply for a Professional Engineering license at provinces other than Quebec

    So my advice to you guys who are in a similar situation is to try a different approved services if the initial foreign degree assessment results are negative.
  20. Tlon

    Tlon New Member

    Mastergeek, a question for you. I looked up the CES U of Toronto site, and saw the following:
    Complete your education history in the Educational Credential Assessment – General Use form and make arrangements to have each educational institution mail official academic records directly to CES in a sealed envelope.

    From your experience it sounded like you did not have to go through that process, and that photocopies were enough.
    Can you describe exactly how you went about doing that? , process, link, email?, any info would be appreciated.

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