DETC accreditation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Jason, Mar 3, 2001.

  1. Jason

    Jason New Member

    I have noticed a couple of schools in my searches that are accredited by the 'Distance Education and Training Council'. Is this a recognized accrediting organization and if so, does this accreditation hold as much weight as others? I'm still not entirely sure on what to look for in accreditation.
  2. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    You will often see the term "second rate" used here with regards to DETC accreditation. Strictly speaking of its "legitimacy", DETC is the equal of the regional accreditors. DETC is recognized by both the Dept of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These are the two bodies that, through their recognition, provide legitimacy.

    A degree from a DETC accredited school will transfer to any other DETC accredited school. Credits and degrees from DETC accredited schools do not transfer as readily to a regionally accredited schools as do credits and degrees from a regionally accredited school.

    Preliminary data from a research project currently underway by Rich Douglas and John Bear indicates an acceptance of DETC transfer credits by approx 47% of the regionally accredited schools polled. This is markedly less than acceptance between regionally accredited schools.

    There is ongoing debate regarding the acceptability of DETC degrees within the business world. Little evidence has been provided to conclude a significant difference between regionally accredited and DETC accredited degrees in this area. Of course, if a job requires a license or certification that can only be attained after a completing a regionally accredited degree, this would naturally preclude a DETC degree for that job.
  3. Ken

    Ken member

    I would investigate all other opportunities before moving down to DETC schools. If you consider Regionally Accredited equivalent foreign schools, you will likely find something that meets your needs without considering DETC schools.

  4. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Hi, Jason!

    While DETC is definitely legitimat, it has historically focused on vocational schools, such as ICS (the Sally Struthers school). They are working to change that image, but if you're just starting the higher education process, it would be unwise to go the DETC route for an undergrad degree, since there are so many excellent choices among regionally accredited schools... and I submit that there is virtually no circumstance in which a DETC degree would be superior to a regionally accredited one, while there are a number of circumstances where a regionally accredited degree would be superior.

    Additionally, there are several DETC-accredited schools with a long history of extrememly sleazy, deceptive and/or fraudulent marketing practices, and DETC seems to have no problem with this sort of sleaze, further tainting the DETC and, by association, the legitimate schools it accredits.

    Also, *some* employers (we don't know whether it is 25 or 2500) do not accept DETC degrees, and, as Paul has said, a majority of RA schools do not accept DETC degrees... so there's really no reason to limit your options.

    I hope that helps.
  5. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    The major survey of registrars that I did last year, to which Rich Douglas has applied sophisticated statistical analysis (and which will be presented at the national registrar's convention in Seattle next month) suggests that roughly half of registrars readily accept DETC-accredited degrees.

    There is, importantly, a second relevant process, in which DETC schools (and others) can submit their individual courses for evaluation by the American Council on Education. DETC-accredited programs with ACE evaluations have a much higher acceptance rate. There are more than a few schools (such as Thomas Edison State) that will not accept DETC-accredited degrees, but will accept courses that have a favorable ACE evaluation.

    My belief is that DETC acceptance is much higher in the business world. That research is the focus of Rich's current doctoral work, so much more will be known in due course.

    John Bear
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    What Paul says is true. The reason second-rate is sometimes used to describe DETC is simply because Regional Accreditation (RA) is the accepted normal accreditation within the USA. DETC is easier to get and doesn't indicate as high quality standards as RA. However, as Dr. John Bear recently mentioned, second-rate is far ahead of third-rate in this context. Third-rate would mean unaccreditted.

    Regarding the acceptance of DETC schools in the work place, Paul speaks of a lack of quantitative studies which is true. It would be a difficult thing to try and quantify because the reasons that people are hired or passed over is a very delicate topic (from a legal perspective) and is hard to quantify. However DETC accredited are second-rate schools and it is accepted that in general RA school degrees will usually be held in higher regard than DETC schools. The reputations of schools in general is a continuum of shades of gray. The higher up on the scale your degree is the more opportunities you can expect will be open to you. In general the RA schools will be above the DETC schools and the DETC schools will be far above the unaccredited schools. What I suggest is that the potential student should strive to get a degree as high up on the reputation spectrum as they possibly can.
  7. jnate

    jnate New Member

    Perhaps the best way to look at DETC is what you need out of it. If you need a degree for a promotion (i.e. in the military), then DTEC is just fine and acceptable. For example, offical military websites list CCHS as an Accepted School for a Masters degree for Nurses who want to be promoted. However, DTEC will not cut the mustard if you want to go to IVY leabue school.

    J nate
  8. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Do you have any breakdown on what *kind* of institutions accept and reject DETC degrees for graduate admissions?

    I would expect that DETC degrees are much less competitive at prestige universities that receive lots of applicants. A powerful doctoral program perhaps. But they might be more widely accepted at the smaller, more obscure schools that may be having trouble attracting enough applicants to keep a masters program viable.

    On the other hand, an obscure school may be more concerned with issues of perceived academic propiety, and may be less willing to bend rules than a school with an unsinkable reputation.
  9. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    This is very true. Many companies and also government agencies require RA degrees for positions. My company will not reimburse degree studies that are not RA. Typically to get employee reimbursement you must take RA classes or else be working towards a professional accreditation.

    DETC is considered inferior to RA accreditation but I would also put forward that DETC studies are preferably better than a non-accredited program. Also, many DETC schools have been around for some time and are well established.

    Therefore, be sure to know what you want. Utilizing an educational product is not that much different than buying a car. You can shop for that Rolls Royce (Ivy League) all the way down to the lemon (one of those time-bomb degree mills) that will quit on you when you least expect it and continue to cause you problems for as long as you use it.


    John R. Wetsch, Ph.D.
  10. H. Piper

    H. Piper member

    True enough, Chip. The DETC actually showed eager willingness to embrace sleazy, "crooked correspondence schools" by appointing Harcourt/ICS president Bob "The Nooch" Antonucci to its Board of Directors.

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