CSU— NA to RA???

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Gbssurvivor1, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I don't know that I'd use the behavior of any one school to draw such broad conclusions. It might also be sorted by the most recent accreditation pursued: SACSOC up front, DEAC (received in 2001), ACE institutional membership gained sometime after authorization and before accreditation, and State Authorization at the bottom from back in 1993 when they were first founded.
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    That's fine. I am comfortable drawing such conclusions.
    Vonnegut likes this.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Well, that makes one of us.
  5. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    When I posted the update in here, it was because I was at the SACS conference with the person CSU hired to help facilitate them obtaining RA. They’re earnestly doing significant work to achieve RA.
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Vonnegut hit the nail on the head, I'd guess. They are currently focused on RA status and list it first. I suspect that is also a greater source of pride at this point in time as well, achieving the "gold standard" so to speak.

    RA requires a track record, a history, a longevity, and financial stability that can be very difficult for privately owned schools to achieve. Note: I'm not saying that this quality is directly related to education quality. Although lacking this quality can lead to the temptation of poor quality.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Okay. I'll jump in for real.

    Candidacy for RA is a big deal. It essentially says, "We think you should be accredited, so we're going to watch for awhile to make sure." The vast majority of candidates go on to "full" accreditation. (Although, several nontraditional schools--like IGS and Prometheus College--did not. And Union lost its candidacy over....finances before finally getting it.)

    I have no problem with them listing it first, and I'm glad it isn't an aspirational statement like, "We've applied for accreditation with these guys." Again, candidacy is really important and a school should definitely have a statement on its site about that status.

    Because DEAC has no candidacy status, they frown on any forward-looking statements about accreditation. You're unaccredited one day and accredited the next. But the RAs have had candidacy status since long before I was born, and did I mention that becoming a candidate for RA is a big deal? :)
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    RA definitely has the broadest appeal and acceptance. I don't think anyone actually doubts that. An RA degree meets the requirements of almost any broad degree accreditation requirement. An NA degree may or may not.

    The thing is, though, that it isn't a binary choice. There are plenty of anecdotes showing that people do just fine with an NA degree or, more accurately, that accreditation was not really considered at the granular level that we consider it.

    Listing a candidacy above another accreditation doesn't really "prove" anything. And, as I have pointed out quite often, if the best part of your resume is your university's accreditor then you have some very serious career barriers ahead of you.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    As someone who earned an associate degree and a bachelor's degree from a DEAC accredited school, I am very much aware of this.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It isn't, at the individual level. But when some people who have made that decision work for them and then try to generalize it to the aggregate we run into disagreement.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Sure, but the opposite is also true.

    At a certain point, enough anecdotes become statistically significant.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Fine. When is that?

    (Hint: no one yet knows. The only data we have on it is now two decades old.)
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    You are correct. We don't have the data and we don't know.

    My point is only that aside from the anecdotes, the landscape has changed in that a small number of NA schools also achieved programmatic accreditation which, at the time of your research, would have been unheard of.

    There are different variables at play. Does an RA but non-ABET degree help an Engineering Tech more than an NA/ABET degree? We can't really know. But it changes the math.

    I haven't really seen any NA advocates around here saying that NA is 100% fine and has no limitations whatsoever and there is no difference in utility compared to RA. I usually see RA or the Highway and "Well, it depends..."
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Not lately. But I recall quite a few in the past. It was frustrating responding to them that things were more nuanced that what some agency stated.

    Same with RA. We used to have someone here who was incredibly hostile to schools with DEAC accreditation. (TRACS and other non-RA accreditors, too.) I think that tended to spoil the good will necessary for robust examination of the issue. I used to get lumped into the "RA or No Way" crowd, even though my feelings were extremely far from that. But because I confronted exaggerations regarding national accreditation, people saw me as an advocating opponent, when all I really wanted was balance and some semblance of truth.

    I even suggested in a thread that earning a professional doctorate at a DEAC-accredited school might be a good idea in some situations. I really got torched for that!
    Bill Huffman, Neuhaus and tadj like this.
  15. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    That accreditation debate raged for years. Here's my uneducated but long time observer view. (At least what my old feeble brain can recall.)

    The arrival of the Internet made distance learning feasible and it started gaining in popularity. Traditional schools totally ignored the possibility and so some non-traditional serious schools started popping up. Accreditation for the most part was not an option for these schools. This created a rich hunting ground for many bogus schools and diploma mills which started feeding off the confused victims. The best information at this point in time was Bear's Guide. Eventually traditional schools and the accreditation agencies caught up with the demand and picked up the lead on distance learning. Eventually leading again to an environment where the diploma mills were easily identifiable and relatively little reason to ever debate the topic. ;)
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Needlessly, because the realities never changed.
    Distance learning existed in the 19th century with the University of London. The real explosion came from a more socially revolutionary era of the late '60s and early '70s, largely from the Carnegie Commission. But no one can argue that the development of the World Wide Web poured rocket fuel into that engine. But I can be convinced that, because of the Web's overall integration into our lives, it is (along with this pandemic) changing how people understand, use, and feel about DL.
    This is such an important and oft-forgotten point.

    Early editions of Bear's Guide made little distinction between really bad schools and good, alternative universities. So many unaccredited schools were really, really good and innovative, but John tended to give the benefit of the doubt to the operators of less-than-wonderful schools. Even the Diploma Mills section was benign (while being bluntly accurate). I think John got more impatient with them as time passed (and lawsuits stacked up).

    I have editions going back to the 6th (1980). It's still fun to go back and read about some of those characters. I have a related project due to come out in 2022, using 40 years of accumulated materials. John and I don't want to set expectations too early because we don't quite know what we're going to do, but I've got the lead on that.
    There are just a handful of legitimate, unaccredited schools left, and those are being chased towards accreditation (or doors being shuttered) by the state of California. Frankly, it's kind of sad. I miss some of the really innovative schools from those days. They're (almost) either accredited or gone.
    Bill Huffman likes this.
  17. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I should have been more firm in my assertion that the post only covered my personal observations on the matter. I was going to mention the old mail correspondence schools for a more complete presentation but that was really prior to my personal observations on the topic. (With the sole exception being ads on free matchbook covers when I was a little kid. :D)
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Bro, I wasn't trying to correct you--you're dead on as usual. I was just trying to add detail. (And add and add and add....:))

    Unfortunately, I am a contemporary witness to so much of what we take for granted these days. It takes me longer to warm up on the driving range, too. :cool:
    Bill Huffman likes this.
  19. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Columbia Southern offers one doctorate--the DBA. What's interesting is that candidates can take either a theoretical or practical approach to the dissertation or project.

    Also interesting is their tuition: $435 per credit for 61 credits. Today that's under $27K for a doctorate from an RA school.

    Also interesting is that the degree is self-paced, to an extent. You have between 4 and 10 weeks to complete each course. One could, possibly, do the degree in less than 2 years. (Assuming one course at a time; it's not clear to me if you can double up. Also, this excludes any transfer credit; the school will allow up to 9.)

    Not interesting: The course work, which is just another DBA re-hash of an MBA.

    Not interesting: Other than an early course about doing doctoral-level research, the dissertation or project is tacked onto the end, instead of integrated into the curriculum like we've seen at some schools lately.

    Not interesting: It is a for-profit school.

    Interesting: It appears accreditation came after just 1 year of candidacy, a very short time. This would seem to indicate the school is able to do what is says it will do.

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