DEAC/Higher Digital

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Kizmet, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't have time to read everything you linked to but this was to your point

    "One item to watch for is whether other entities will follow the Department’s lead and stop relying on the distinction between regional and national accrediting agencies. For example, many regionally accredited institutions will, as a matter of practice, only accept transfer credit from other regionally accredited institutions. State agencies, programmatic accreditors, and licensing bodies also sometimes require regional accreditation, as opposed to national accreditation, as a prerequisite for approval, accreditation, occupational licensure, etc., based in part on the perception that regional accrediting agencies are more prestigious than their national counterparts."

    So the DOE is changing their language but it's unclear that this signals any real change in attitudes or practice down where the rubber meets the road. They would like people to use the term "nationally recognized" but there's no mandate and there's no real motivation for the Regional Accreditors to shift their practice. I don't think there will be any meaningful change until there is a structural shift and (minimally) DEAC is subsumed by the Regional Accreditors or, on a larger scale, they are all incorporated into a single national accrediting body.
  2. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    For me personally, assuming the study isn't dripping with bias to one side or the other, it would be useful to have credible study data about the comparison of operations to point to instead of just relying on personal experiences/opinions and the opinions of others that are based on things outside of how each operates. Even if that data showed RA over NA, I would embrace it. I do see your point about outcomes, and at the end of it that really is all people care about even if what helped produce some of them or a large portion of them is based on perceptions/misperceptions or not.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's one of the things I kinda touched on earlier:

    Regional accreditors adopting the change in terminology would only benefit national accreditors at this point because regional accreditors currently hold the power-prestige position and have no need to eliminate the real of perceived line between the two.
  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Internally it was communicated by... every now and than HR would pull people from their official job roles due to them being caught with non-regionally accredited degrees.
    Externally they seemed to go back and forth on whether they listed it on the postings, but I can earnestly state that the applications were not processed if they were not regionally accredited. There was certainly a level of hubris though, as we paid very well and could recruit from top tier schools.
  5. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    While this is anecdotal and I prefer a measure of anonymity on here. My institution has an entire department that works throughout the year on our documentation, learning outcomes, assessments, student services, faculty qualifications, reports, etc. for our regional accreditation audits. At the dean and chair levels, we all have approximately 3-6 weeks of work each year to generate our accreditation data and reports. That is simply a lot of work hours, which equal a lot of expense, but provides a tremendously valuable data trail. While... there are nationally accredited schools that don't even have a single full time person doing this, yet alone this level of immense data generation and processing. It is certainly one of the reasons that many NA schools do not even attempt to go for RA, and while it doesn't necessarily guarantee better quality... it certainly creates a data trail that upon careful analysis would require significant fraud at all levels to falsify.
  6. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    "Being caught"? Wow! Hopefully a number of those innocent people sued after that was done to them. That's ridiculous. If a company is going to take a stance like that, take it and don't hire those people. But to harass and fire workers over what is a fully legal and legitimate college degree is unconscionable, never mind unprofessional. That sounds like a horrible place to work as I doubt that's where the insanity stops if that's where it begins.

    They likely went back and forth because even though they knew they could get away with it internally, they knew externally they would be rightfully vilified.
  7. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I listen to anecdotes like this. I believe what you're saying. At the same time, what are there, a couple thousand NA schools? Is it possible this is common with them all? Maybe, but how can we know for sure? This is why I would love to see it studied in a way that compares and contrasts operations and policies. It may not change perceptions, but it would help remove that space of doubt that exists there for anyone willing to have a civil conversation about it, not the people with NA Rage (I coined that term last summer after this: ) like we see sometimes here or other places online where education is discussed.
  8. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    The more time I spend visiting other companies, learning, consulting, training, the more fortunate that I feel for having started my professional career where I did. At the time, I knew our leadership team insisted that we always either adhere to best practices or establish them, I just didn't realize how rare that was. In almost a decade and a half, there probably was not a single quarter where I did not have meetings with management consulting companies who reviewed our key performance indicators and other metrics, while also comparing us to others in industry. During large projects and events, I was often fortunate enough to participate in those meetings and eventually lead them on a weekly basis. It was also one of the few large corporations, that in my experience still adhered to the golden rule, as a matter of a core value. We simply did what was right, regardless of the financial consequences. None of the employees who were identified were fired, they were simply reassigned at full base pay, while they resolved the issues. While they were ineligible for overtime field work, people were looked after. We did have MANY lawsuits against our hiring practices, training programs, and promotions. Including related to what was mentioned above, quite honestly, too my knowledge (and I was involved in several) we had never lost a single one. I should note though, that this was all related to engineering degrees, which I believe some people will agree that there may be a distinction.
  9. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The only way I can see it as the right thing to do is if the job required a specific programmatic accreditation that not as many NA schools have compared to RA schools as I know that tends to have importance in engineering fields, but outside of that... yikes! If your degree is legitimately accredited, and you've demonstrated you can do the job, an employer expecting anything beyond that is just going too far, especially after the person has already been hired. That's just crazy.
  10. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    At the time, I wasn't really even aware of what the distinction between the accreditation even met. I was just under the impression, for right or wrong, that they simply went to borderline diploma mills. In every instance that I remember where the issue came up, they had graduated from the now defunct ITT Technical Institute. Which while nationally accredited, certainly did not have a high quality reputation. I won't state that that regional accreditation guarantees superiority to schools or programs that are nationally accredited (Levicoff might), but all of the additional requirements certainly (or I would argue) lead to a significantly higher propensity to have a higher quality level, student outcomes, and reduction in potential for fraudulent activity.
  11. Michigan68

    Michigan68 Active Member

    You are correct.

    In 1999 when I was hired at Ford Motor Company as a Manufacturing Engineer, I had a BSBA from Aspen University, and an AS in Manufacturing Technology from Penn Foster.

    Now Auto Companies want to see a BSME or BSEE or BSEET from an ABET Accredited program. Nothing stating NA or RA. Now NA students can get a degree at Grantham for fulfill the ABET part.

    So for approx $30K of schooling from NA schools, a person can easily get a starting $70K job from a Top Automotive Company in the Detroit Area.
    sideman likes this.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I did, and...

    ...I agree with this completely.
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    One of the reasons that DETC DL was for new startups is that traditional schools with B&M campuses with sports programs and student services had requirements that DL schools don't need.
    The financial stability for DL schools is measured differently.
    Research vs Applied degrees also came into consideration. Not all NA schools are DL, some are not. But DETC/DEAC are accrediting DL schools.
    There is a trend that some accreditation agencies are now offering both programmatic and institutional accreditation such as AACSB that accredits business schools and business programs.

    Many NA schools use RA degreed instructors, professors and follow/mimic RA programs. Same Textbooks etc. Some professors are teaching in both RA schools and NA schools and provide exactly the same content.
  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    You're right, there is a reason for it. My point is that because we're dealing with competing private entities it is impossible to say that the issue is actually institutional quality versus artificially creating barriers to entry to keep out competition.

    For years, for-profit schools were barred from RA. The institutions accredited by an accreditor have a say in who gets to apply for accreditation. If all of the Ivies got together and announced they were creating their own "Ivy Accreditation" they would control who could, and could not, get it.

    Would it necessarily be the case that William and Mary simply didn't live up to their standards? Or what if the member institutions just kept them out because they wanted to keep the group small and tight so that the "Ivy" brand wasn't diluted? Where the accreditor has a self-interest in the outcome of accreditation we cannot know how much of the decision is in the public's best interest versus the institution's best interest. Simple as that.

    If having dinner at Neuhaus's house is the pinnacle of social achievement, and Neuhaus's reputation as an exceptional host is driven in part by the company he keeps, then can we truly say that Steve Levicoff was not worthy of an invite for some reason or that Neuhaus simply didn't want to invite him into the sanctum sanctorum so that he and his guests could hold it over Steve's head?

    Which is pretty much why I think the government should either get out of the accreditation business entirely or take the whole thing over. This half-in, half-out nonsense serves interests other than the taxpayers.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Which years were those? The University of Phoenix has been regionally accredited for more than 40 years, before DEAC even accredited bachelor's-granting schools. Before UoP there were almost no for-profit schools offering bachelor's degrees anyway. Thus, the emergence of for-profit degree-granting universities was always covered by the RAs.

    Can't argue with that.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I have a working theory but I'm still in the data gather phase

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