DEAC (fka DETC) Success Stories

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Maniac Craniac, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Finances are definitely a factor (with DEAC being more lenient).
    I think I've noted many "why nots" over the years. But "why" is still a reasonable question, as in "why do a degree at a DEAC-accredited school when there are plenty of RA options available?
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Let's take this in another direction, if I may.

    Times of change are a good opportunity to revisit why things are done. "Because that's the way it's always been" isn't really sufficient.

    So let's flip this around...

    Why RA?

    There was a time, of course, when a regional accreditor made perfect sense. However, I am firmly of the belief that the government should either be in or out. If the government wants to regulate something then go ahead and regulate it. Don't claim the right to regulate it and then farm out that task to one or a small handful of private entities. The reason is because we call that handy arrangement a "monopoly" and it isn't nearly as fun as the board game satirizes.

    There have been times in our country where sometimes a handful of academics would get together and form an experimental school. Most never rose anywhere near the prominence of Union. Some graduated no more than a dozen alumni before folding. Under the RA scheme these schools never had a chance at becoming accredited. Now, we can argue that this is a good thing. Casual arrangements like this devoid of any corporate governance are a bad idea especially if we're introducing taxpayer funded aid into the mix. But those limitations don't mean that the education itself was bad.

    Beyond that, the cost to achieve RA is exorbitant. And very unlikely to be something you could ever undertake without a highly paid consultant, conveniently a former employee of that accreditor, walking you through every step.

    What if, though, you don't aspire to be a big, grand university? What if you are a collective of retired English professors who want to offer an MFA through a cohort model and only ever graduate a dozen or so people per year? You'll never attract the numbers to make it financially viable to achieve RA. Look no further than the naprapathic school that is DEAC now. There are two states in the country that actually license naprapaths. So uncommon is it that it attempts to autocorrect every time I type it. How could a school like that ever to hope to achieve the enrollment to sustain RA? It just doesn't add up.

    What of the Orthodox school that is currently applying for DEAC accreditation? TRACS is too evangelical for them. ATS is a possibility, I suppose. But these are not professional theology degrees like the M.Div. They offer two degrees. They appear to be one of the non-chalcedonian Orthodox churches which means, again, that their appeal is going to be very limited. They will never attract the enrollment for RA. They will never fit in with TRACS, ABHE or likely even ATS.

    These schools should have a path to accreditation that doesn't require hedge fund backing. That's the use for DEAC. Did they outlive their name? Sure, probably. But it's probably too much of a pain to change it AGAIN. But who cares? Organizations evolve. Sometimes the names keep pace and other times not.

    The point is that there is still a place that DEAC fills the niche for.
    Michael Burgos likes this.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The arguments against the regional accreditors are as strong as ever. But that's the real system, and national accreditors will always be "accreditation lite." But unlike some others, DEAC covers zero unique ground. We can argue over whether the regionals are artificially exclusive--I think they are ridiculously so. But having a prime system and an "other" system isn't helpful.

    It's all moot, though. These things don't change; they evolve. Slowly. In the meantime, my take is:

    1. There remain differences in acceptability of degrees from regionally and nationally accredited schools.
    2. We don't know the magnitude of these differences.
    3. These differences might be irrelevant for some or many people.
    4. DEAC accreditation is legitimate, as are the schools it accredits.
    5. The RAs are just as malevolent as ever.
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  4. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I started a response but deleted it when half done because I knew I would like your response much more! :D
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    People drift in here all the time saying that their diploma mill degree is legit because they worked really hard for it. We usually tell them that you can absolutely work hard for a useless degree.

    Making something difficult doesn't necessarily make it better.

    You're right, at present, it is "accreditation lite." And my point is that maybe exactly what we need is "accreditation lite" because the full bodied accreditation is too rich and shouldn't be the only option. It would be like if I went to a bar and all they served was Guinness. For those who love Guinness, what a great place! But it doesn't meet the needs of the broadest number of consumers.

    Universities, for the most part, began as finishing schools for the elite in the US. Now we have the audacity to educate even the children of poor kids. What constitutes a place of higher education has shifted dramatically since RA was first conceptualized.

    My original point with the unique ground that DEAC covers is that it covers those not covered by other accreditors. It's the miscellaneous bin. And we need a miscellaneous bin. Right now a Christian seminary has three specialized accreditors as options PLUS RA. A Jewish school has two options, both of which would only be open to it if the school is Orthodox. Buddhist school? You're SOL outside of RA. Cherry Hill Seminary (Pagan)? What option do they have outside of DEAC?
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I think we need one system regarding an issue as big as this. If DEAC was given the task (and changed its name), it wouldn't bother me a whole bunch.

    I don't know about Guinness, but that exists for Heineken: the Heineken museum in Amsterdam. It was where I had the only two beers in my life, ever. (Three were included with the admission price, but I just couldn't choke down another.)

    Yup. I think we need a national system.

    That's like saying Outback is unique from Ruth's Chris because they appeal to a different-paying clientele. So, they're both technically steakhouses, but one is definitely not much like the other.

    Ground covered by DEAC is completely covered by the RAs, except for finances (and, possibly, quality?).
    I don't understand. Why would this school be excluded from RA? (Except for the finance and/or quality issue we mentioned.) I just don't see where DEAC is unique. It was for about 5 minutes 30 years ago until the RAs caught on about DL.

    I do get the niche national (institutional) accreditors, but DEAC's niche is covered and smothered by the RAs now.
    RoscoeB likes this.
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There is no way a school with such low enrollment (owing to a niche demographic) could ever hope to launch a successful bid for RA. Even DEAC's fees are a stretch for many small schools.
  8. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Your case sounds similar to two institutions which have been fully or tentatively successful in bids for RA: the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts (founded 2007, NECHE initial accreditation 2015) and Maine Media College (founded as a private independent institution 1996 after having been a partnership with a state university, NECHE candidacy 2018, candidacy currently continuing).

    I would also welcome a good-quality, lower-cost accreditation provider.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Fine. Then its name should better reflect its mission. Budget Accreditation Agency (BAA), for example. Maybe get some of those schools California is trying to smother together with a Groupon.

    On a serious note, if DEAC's claim to fame is that they're cheaper--or that their financial standards for schools are lower--that's not a very good niche. And what of the little non-DL schools?

    The ground covered by DEAC is already covered by the regionals. They cannot possibly claim a real niche--and they never really could, except (perhaps) for the first half of the 1980s.

    And its not that institutional accreditors can't be niche. TRACS is. But DEAC most certainly is not, if it ever was.

    For a very long time, there had not been a DEAC-accredited school to make the leap to RA. Now, a lot of them are trying to do it. But I don't know of any RA schools seeking out DEAC accreditation. None. Why? Because it would be both redundant and useless.
    Bill Huffman likes this.
  10. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    University of Arkansas System, otherwise composed of RA institutions, launched eVersity with DEAC and are now merging it into the DEAC Grantham.
    Johann, MaceWindu, sideman and 4 others like this.
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    American Military University is probably the best-known RA DL school that made the leap from DETC/DEAC to RA. As soon as they got full RA, they dropped DETC/DEAC like a hot potato.

    I’m not sure why; I would have kept it at least until it expired, if not kept it altogether. Why not? All the things you need to do to keep RA, you need for DETC, as well. It was almost as if AMU said “Thanks, you served your purpose, now piss off”.

    My dad’s best friend was a Master Electrician for many years, and even after he retired, he kept up with the CE’s and traveled from his retirement home in Maine to Boston every time his license was up, to renew it. His thing was, “I worked my ass off for that license, you never give up something like that voluntarily”, which is kind of how I feel about accreditation.

    Steve Levicoff has told the story of how Liberty University got TRACS accreditation when they were on thin ice with SACS, as kind of an insurance policy. Once they were back in SACS’s good graces, they dumped TRACS.
  12. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I used to think it was Western Governors University, but over time I began to realize that—even though their enrollment and alumni base is huge—most people outside boards like these don't know of the time when they were DETC accredited.
    Johann likes this.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Western Governors U. was first accredited by DETC in 2001. It voluntarily withdrew from DEAC accreditation in 2014. It was (regionally) accredited by Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) in 2003. So, for 11 years it had RA and NA accreditation. It was also accredited by three other Regional Accreditors. That was the unique part -or one of them, at least.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2022
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  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Maybe I should amend that, for clarity. WGU was regionally accredited in four different regions, through the Inter-regional Accreditation Committee. I don't think all four Agencies involved had to go through all the usual steps. NWCCU would have done so, of course.
  15. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    An example that finances will get you in trouble with the accreditor. As I recall, Falwell Senior went on a building spree and into significant debt. The accreditor wasn't amused with the mentality that it would all work out and put them on probation.

    Of course, it did all work out thanks to a wealthy benefactor who (like ORU) put them back in good standing. And the rest is history. Law School with state and nationally high performing graduates, a medical school, and a significant endowment ($$$$).

    And produced at least one poster here with a PhD.

    Come to think of it LU, ORU, and BJU all moved out of the dynastic phases.
  16. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    That's good info. I didn't realize they had RA that early. I did remember them having dual accreditation for a while but didn't realize it was for 11 years. That's something. Didn't know about the last sentence at all.

    To Bruce's point, I can see the value in dual accreditation, and I think seeing all of the schools that went down as a result of the ACICS fallout shows a good reason for it, because you just never know what could happen. The accreditor could give you the boot, or the accreditor itself could go down in flames. But I can also see how adhering to two sets of accreditation standards could become a bother as well.
    Johann likes this.
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I see it as a minor bother. You're really adhering to one set of standards - that of the accreditor with the stricter standards. The other - you pretty much qualify for automatically, while doing so for the higher one. Example: you have to maintain financial and teaching standards for both - but the bar is maybe set a trifle lower on one. So you go the higher road and qualify for both. The only real pain is paying continuing fees to have both - and that's relatively minor, compared to all the other expensive things you have to do and maintain for accreditation.

    And yes - sometimes dual accreditation works - and dropping one doesn't. California Miramar U. is a case in point. They had DEAC and later acquired additional accreditation from ACICS. Then they dropped DEAC and kept ACICS. Bad decision - but not a disaster. In 2016 ACICS was de-recognized by USDoE for a time, and California Miramar's Title IV funding floundered with it, of course. Happily, Cal. Miramar were able to get back with DEAC fairly quickly and - no further problems. We had an old, rather cryptic thread on it here.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2022
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  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Wha? ....You mean we're the only people who have Google? :)
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  19. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Heh, after spending some time in the Reddit education sections, I'm starting to believe so.
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  20. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Accreditation information isn't always easy to find, especially not if you don't know what you're looking for. "You don't know what you don't know."
    Studious and Maniac Craniac like this.

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