1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    In my survey of HR managers, they showed a distinct preference for regional accreditation over that of the DETC. When provided brief descriptions of each, this gap widened.

    Without desciptions, DETC accreditation was about as acceptable as that from the World Association of Universities and Colleges (WAUC) and/or the Accrediting Commission International, both very active, unrecognized, and quite fake accrediting agencies. It would appear that employers could not, or did not, distinguish between them. But when descriptions were provided, the results fell in line, with DETC's acceptability going up and WAUC's and ACI's disappearing.

    Moral: RA is better for employer acceptance. WAUC and ACI are as useful as DETC--unless you get caught.
  2. Kirkland

    Kirkland New Member

    Of course, your research was only a smattering (.00005) of the population of corporations in just the U.S. and was focused strictly on one aspect of the hiring equation which did not model the myriad other factors which play heavily into a hiring decision. All of which limits the usefulness of this information except to say that RA is better.... ok! The practical reality is, if a candidate is otherwise qualified, national accreditation will work just fine in the vast majority of cases... that's from 26 years of corporate experience in line management (not staff) with Fortune 500 co's.

    This comparison of DETC with WAUC is unfortunate... I suppose depending on how I asked a question of an HR manager I could draw all sorts of unpleasant inferences. One example would be to provide a list of Regional Accreditors to HR managers along with a list of bogus sounding similar names... depending on the confused recognition results I could state categorically that a respected regional accreditor has the same recognition as the bogus one...

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2003
  3. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Hi Kirkland

    Do you understand that scientific research is done just as you discribed the research that Rich did? Do you think the research would have been accepted as PhD level if it were not solidly constructed?

    Two candidates are up for a position. Both have identical experience and abilities except for their degrees. One is from CCU and the other is from Illinois State University. Which do you think would be hired?

    We constantly get the argument from DETC students that DETC accreditation is equal to RA. Both common sense and empirical studies show otherwise. There certainly are a couple of first rate DETC schools (Aspen and AMU for example), but to equate these two accreditors in value and utility is foolhardy.
  4. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck



    could not this comparison continue within the ranks of the regional accreditors themselves. If one compares the "quality" of education delivered amongst the various institutions then would not some RAs have more utility than others? Further, is the issue with DETC accreditation or the schools themselves. A DL program from a RA delivered in the same format and exams evaluated in the same manner as a DL program from a DETC school is differentiated by what, the quality of the accreditor? What about the independent courses offered for credit by most major insitutions? Would my credits earned in this manner be inferior?
    I am not pro one or the other but would like a better understanding of the issues in the accreditation process that prove the inferior value.

    The utility value is certainly an issue. I may be missing the point, as I am a novice at the accreditation process but can you clarify the major differences that one should consider in the accreditation process itself that would cause me as a hiring official to have concern over the value of a DETC degree. Or more pointedly, what questions regarding this education would be prudent to ask to effectively evaluate the individual merit.

    As an aside, In the south we have a different evaluation standard. What's the quality of your football program? This one definitely devalues a DETC degree.
  5. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Re: Accreditation

    Hi Fed

    Certainly within RA and DETC accredited institutions there are some schools that have more utility and value than others. The question is are DETC accredited schools equal or nearly equal to RA accredited schools. The answer is, with a few rare exceptions, no. DETC is new to college level accreditation and is not well known in the academic OR business world. DETC has a few schools that are first rate (Aspen and AMU) and several more that are lacking but possibly improving and may at some point be acceptable (Andrew Jackson University, SCU, etc). The better DETC schools would rather have RA endorsement and tend to move to it when ever possible (WGU and AMU for example).

    As stated above the real discussion is utility and value. Overall RA schools tend to be of higher standard and achievement. DETC schools tend to be very small and academically limited. What is the best DETC school out there? Aspen? AMU? What is the best RA school out there Yale? Stanford? Columbia?

    The US standard for academic institutions is RA. From Community Colleges to the top schools that is the normal standard. Most people from the academic and business world do not even know that DETC exists. Any schools that have the ability to move from DETC to RA do so. Schools that remain DETC accredited are unable to make that move due to size, limited resources, lack of academic soundness or other issues. The number of sound DETC institutions is very small. If someone applied for a position (where an accredited degree was a requirement) from a DETC school I would want to make very sure it was a sound institution. If it was from Aspen or AMU, I would have no problem. If it was from another DETC school, I would likely reject the applicant unless I had sufficent time to determine its soundness.

    A DETC degree can be used to gain admissions to non-competitive graduate programs or jobs where a RA degree is not a requirement. In other cases where there is competition, it likely will not be sufficent. Has anyone seen a person with only a DETC degree admitted to a PhD Clinical Psychology program? My guess is no, but I would love to find more specific information.

    The question ultimately comes down why choose DETC OVER RA? Cost can be as lower or lower for RA. With the exception of AMU, most or all DETC programs are available from RA schools. The only other reason I can find is that DETC schools may be easier to get into and easier to complete due to lower standards.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2003
  7. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I believe that it makes much more sense to accept the data we have rather than rejecting it simply because it may not fall in line with your wishes. It's interesting that you seem to reject the study because it only covers small percentage of the US corporations, then assert that your own subjective opinion is more reliable!

    Rich's study matches perfectly with hiring at my company, for example. We go after the best schools in our general areas. These are all regionally accredited. The best candidates to measure the importance of educational factors in hiring is new graduates. When we look for experienced candidates then the importance of education details drops off significantly. Perhaps that is where the "problem" is, Kirkland? You're describing the practices for hiring experienced personnel?
  8. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    if RA is the better standard, what are your thoughts about Western Governors University maintaining both a RA and DETC accreditation. It would seem that the costs associated with multiple accreditations would have moved them towards the RA only.

    Secondly, I wholeheartedly agree with your statements regarding DETC ease of entry, but many RA DL schools do not require any GMAT or GRE and almost all will admit under some variation of a provisional student, how is this practice different? I am not sure about academic standards since I have had lax classes in both the RA and NA environment and rigorous in both. I would also agree with the position of the forum that a RA bachelors has more utility in almost every aspect. My concern is with the graduate level. By nature graduate studies are more guided or directed study in nature so the burden is more on the student to perform. Any thoughts?

    Can you elaborate more on Aspen and your thoughts for giving it consideration? What are they doing that is noteworthy? and the rest do not? And do others in this forum have a similar opinion?

    Can I take from your comments that the DL for a RA is superior than DL from NA? despite simliar modes of delivery, course content, and exam proctoring? And if so, what makes it so?

    You folks have convinced me to move on with a RA masters, unfortunately, utility and acceptance seem to be the biggest rationale.

    As an aside, I wish I had come across this forum sooner.

  9. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    WGU obtained DETC accreditation in 2001, and regional accreditation earlier this year. The next DETC review is not until 2006, so it will be interesting to see if they do indeed maintain both DETC and regional accreditation.

    College of Financial Planning had both DETC and regional, and dropped the former.
  10. dis.funk.sh.null

    dis.funk.sh.null New Member

    Looks like I opened up Pandora's box!

    The reason why I restarted this dialogue was meant to be for a different bearing.

    The recruitment process mentioned by Bill and Rich outlined going to high tier RA schools and recruiting new-grads based on their education...

    I am not sure a DETC school or even an RA-DL school is meant to be for people who have never attended brick-and-mortar-campus-degree education. In that case, new grads should have been attending a brick-and-mortar school rather than DL, since they lack the maturity, self-motivation and time-management skills to take on distance learning. Distance learning (regardless of its accreditation) is not for people coming out of a highschool in my view... So, recruiting new-grads from brick-and-mortar school is, in fact, the right thing to do in my opinion.

    I think distance learning is for mature people who already have degrees or work experience (be it from a DETC or RA-DL school)...

    So, doesn't this skew the results a bit towards work-experience rather than origin of the degree in question? In that case, isn't it better to go for a DETC school that is of good standard (like you mentioned, Aspen or AMU) rather than going to UofP-online when you'd know you'll be getting relatively similar education?


  11. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    I agree with your position. In an ideal world we would all graduate from top tier schools and come out with 30 years experience. If I would have approached this forum rather than checking with the US Dept of ED I would have went a different route initially for my masters. Silly me thinking that any federal agency really had a clue. In fact many government agencies actually have contracts with DETC schools (AGU) to provide advance learning and skills. Contracts also exist with many RA schools (Villanova, GWU). I guess the government has not caught on to the difference in quality. Could explain the $300 hammers.

  12. dis.funk.sh.null

    dis.funk.sh.null New Member


    I apologize if I sounded kind of discriminating or that if you took me for an elitist... it was surely not my intent :D trust me. I am merely saying, if one is a fresh highschool graduate, he/she should try to go for a brick-and-mortar degree school for undergraduate studies (RA or SA) rather than a DL school. This I say, not because I think DL degrees are bad (they are not bad by far, actually better in many cases), but rather that the student at this stage would not be able to take on DL studies effectively. Moreover, not every graduate in North America may wind up at a fortune 500 company for various reasons... I myself am one of those people who are employed at a company not belonging to a F500 category, but who cares if I am doing what I like anyway. There is more to life than fortune-500.

    Community colleges according to my knowledge have lower tuition than Universities so that could be an alternative (now I know these two words are somewhat interchangable in the US, but in Canada, a university and a college are two very different things)... So for a highschool grad, an RA or SA or CC brick-and-mortar school would be most suited. Not a DL school, even if it were RA, charging like one's life depended on the degree...

    For people who have been employed for some time (regardless of whether they have a degree), or are thinking of gaining more knowledge after getting a bachelors or associates, I think DL is a good way to go and DETC is a good option in my view since RA tuitions appear to be sailing in the skies from where I stand...

    While, someone may give the examples of Amberton, I may humbly state that Amberton only excepts people with US credentials... what about immigrants or international students? :rolleyes:
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Mr. Null:

    My study did not attempt to determine whether or not a candidate's level of experience mattered in the acceptability of DETC accreditation vis a vis RA, nor should it have. I cannot even imagine such a scenario. Also, participants in the study were asked to consider acceptability as it related to promotion, tuition reimbursement and hiring. Experience is implied in first two, and is a significant part of the third.

    I happen to believe that the more experience a candidate has, the less prestige of the degree-granting school matters. But there is always a minimum, and there are many cases where an RA degree is acceptable but a DETC degree is not. The opposite is never, ever, true.
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Re: Accreditation

    I don't know that this is the case. As you point out there are some very good DETC schools. I have looked at some where the course requirements seem a little more stringent that some RA schools I have looked at.

    CDU has quite extensive text requirements. I think these DETC schools often fill a niche market and with no residency what-so-ever they appeal to folks. For example, if you want a Masters degree in Catholic theology with no residency then CDU works.

    DETC has more limited utility. There are a few RA doctoral programs that will accept grads for admission (not widespread). In some job situations it also works. My employer requires a degree that is accredited. RA or NA is fine.

    I think it will be interesting if they begin accrediting doctorate programs such as EdD & DBA's, DMin's, etc.

    As an aside, most TRACS programs offer DMin's. Liberty offers more but we can excuse them because they are RA. With Oxford GS being a candidate, they have their first school offering a doctorate in Philosophy.

  15. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    No, I did not take any offense at all. Like you I believe individual circumstance and not necessarily preference dictate educational choices. My comment was to point out that the folks in government are not as astute or as learned as the members of this forum regarding practical applicability of accreditation. We often forget that what works for the government does not in the commercial world. We are more concerned with learning and applied learning than the type of accreditation. I will pay attention in the future when viewed from the standpoint of credit acceptance.

    DeptOfEd and others basically provide a buyer beware and let it go at that regarding accreditation and the utility of the same.

    Due to my travel schedule DL is my only method to move forward with academic degree enhancement. If not for the travel then I would be attending a local university. Hence my time gap in completing advance academic credentials. At least some of my hours will transfer to a RA institution, UNA. More if I transfer to NCU. They both have an articulation agreement with CSU.

    Regarding the university vice college. I was taught many years ago that universities awarded advance degrees and that colleges were below that level. Maybe somebody can address this thread in another area. My knowledge stops at tiers which address level and number of degrees.

    Kindest Regards,

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2003
  16. dis.funk.sh.null

    dis.funk.sh.null New Member

    Kevin, :) I am certain that I can relate to your situation and it is good that despite your schedule and responsibilities, you are pursuing higher studies. I really feel inspired! Don't let anything stop you my friend :)


    Mr. Douglas, :D you do realize that I wholeheartedly respect your study and your opinion, and have even indirectly pointed out that I agree with your results. I was merely stating my own opinion that your study is geared more towards new-grads, who I believe should NOT have graduated from DL programs anyway since they need on-campus undergraduate study to be able to take on DL for higher studies (by building sufficient higher ed background). Since, brick-and-mortar programs are NOT accredited by D.E.T.C, the argument is 90 degrees out of phase i.e. hyperbolic! :p

    I do know that you have done formal study for what you are saying and I haven't, but you should also account for some heuristics I have developed over the years... :)


    Ragards and Happy Holidays,
  17. MarkIsrael@aol.com

    [email protected] New Member

    "Never ever"? DETC requires proctored exams for all courses; RA does not. What if you're applying for a job and the hiring manager is Prof. Kennedy? :p
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm referring to policy. One can find situations where a company's hiring policy excludes NA, but never RA. This, by definition, describes the limitation in using degrees from NA schools. While an employer may or may not hire a person on the basis of his/her degree, there are no situations where NA degrees are acceptable and (as a category), RA degrees are not accepted.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Sorry, but heuristics is a specific research methodology. You haven't offered that. What you've offered is an opinion, and one that really doesn't have any bearing on the question of the acceptability of degrees from DETC schools vs. those from RA schools. Of course, you might be right.

    I would suspect there is literature out there that points to experience level and distance learning. Perhaps you could rely upon that instead of the unidentifiable (and unquantifiable) experience of one person.
  20. dis.funk.sh.null

    dis.funk.sh.null New Member

    Thanks for the *heads-up* Rich :) but heuristics are rules of thumb, gained either by experience or by formal study. In any case, I was stating my opinion (which I believe I am entitled to hold - or has that changed somehow?), and I think I agree with you on certain points to begin with; so don't be that defencive man :D Enjoy the holidays :)


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