DETC & Government jobs

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mdg1775, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    Is there anyone who has had experience with qualifying for a Federal Job (GS, WS, etc.) based on college credit earned through a DETC Accredited institution? I am under the impression that per OPM that any institution with accreditation recognized by the US Department of Ed., can be used to qualify for a position with education based requirements. Please advise.

  2. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Your understanding is correct based on your indicated requirements qualifier.
  3. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    while the Government does in fact accept NA degrees each agency sets its policy with regard to academic qualifications (as in setting something greater than the minimum). I have posted a number of times on this issue. Take a look at the series you are interested in and be careful. Most engineering positions require an ABET degree (I don't know of any NA schools that are ABET). Law degrees must be from ABA schools. I have both RA degrees and an NA degree. The NA degree was accepted by based upon the HR folks validating the accreditation.

    If you are looking at internal review (auditor) positions make sure you ask the particular agency and get an answer in writing, expecially if a career move is planned.


  4. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member


    I went down and asked my Personnel folks (specialist, supervisor, and qualifications) and they all seem to sing the tune, "as long as its accredited." I am looking at Internal Auditing positions (I want to be an OIG) so I can use my Criminal Justice and experience; without being relegated to going back to street (Casework) criminal justice. I started the conversation of RA Vs. NA and I got a bunch of blank stares back from them! I guess that the gist of what I learned long as its accredited and the US DepoEd recognizes it, that no specialist in this agency will decline it
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Fed...

    Whaddaya wanna bet they'd blindly accept "accreditation" from an accreditation mill? Unless they specifically cited USDoE-recognized accreditation, the response you describe sounds like fake accreditation would also slip through.
  6. NikolasHorthy

    NikolasHorthy New Member

    Gov't Jobs and Accredited Degrees

    Yes any institution with DoEd recogn. accreditation is enough for a Gov't job. I know because I used to give these types of jobs away, in one of my career rotations! Yours Truly Nikolas Horthy
  7. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    Re: Re: Fed...


    I wouldn't want to try it! LOL

    I just hope that isn't the case. And I think that this calls for me to provide some due diligence; direct them towards some information (degreeinfo, Detc, etc.) and loan them a copy of my Bears Guides. Maybe I should wait until I get "my" position squared away.
  8. Jobs in the various OIGs almost universally require full-field background investigations. Individual government HR people might not know a mill when they see one, but these days-- post Callahan-- the OPM does, and they're the folks that'll adjudicate the results of the background investigation once it's done.

    For jobs where a background investigation isn't done, the onus is on the agency HR folks to spot the fakes. There, it's a coin toss. Their mistakes are usually brought to light years down the line, when the employee in question is promoted into a higher-graded position that DOES require an investigation, and the Millspeak Two-Step begins ("I didn't know it was a mill, I actually DID real work for this degree, I'm qualified anyway...")
  9. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member


    When I underwent a recent background check the OPM Investigator (Field Agent) stated that they have a "query" that they can run to determine if a school is accredited or not. Have you ever heard of this? I recall that he contacted me and asked me "where was Thomas Edison State College well as NCU." I heard him "Typing" as I replied (probably just taking notes in regard to my responses) but I wonder if there is such a database...and if so, is it accessible to the public?
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Dennis...

    The Feds were working on such a thing, but CHEA has had one for a long time at
  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Non ABA law degrees


    I was under the same impression you are about the federal government requiring law degrees to be from ABA schools but when I went to the DOJ website and looked at the listings, all they say is, "A J.D. degree and membership in the bar of any state". No mention of accreditation at all.

    I'd GUESS that federal law jobs in states whose federal district courts restrict bar membership to members of that state's bar (like New Mexico and Arizona) might impose an ABA requirement if the state bar does so, but I didn't see any evidence of this in the listings.

    So am I looking in the wrong place?
  12. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    Re: Non ABA law degrees

    Yes and no. Each agency sets the exact parameters for degree acceptance. Each agency can set more stringent standards but cannot relax established minimums. Minimum being the operative word. The extent to which education is scrutinized is predicated on whether there exists a positive education requirement. Without a positive (meaning you gotta have it to qualify) education requirement any accredited degree will be accepted.

    Vacancy announcements are only a part of the picture. Keep in mind that selection officials will be reviewing the applicant's package and making decisions based upon qualifications. There is a decided difference in meeting the minimums and getting the job. A non ABA school, DETC (or other nationally accredited degree) may get an individual qualified but will it get past the screening process? In some instances you will find a specific ABA requirement, ABET requirement, or other specialized requirement. While this process seems harsh it is a reality. Recognized degrees carry more weight.

    (As a side note: on nationally advertised positions maybe only the top 3 candidates will be looked at for selection. There has been some movement to make this number higher for the final selection. This practice is also why it takes so long to get to the interview and selection.)

    I also want to point out that in most cases educational requirements can be waived as described in the announcements. However, you won't get to be a doctor at the VA by claiming you can ace the game of Operation without the nose lighting. The same can be said of Attorney's or other regulated fields.

    While I believe that positions may exist for those practicing attorney's (practicing being the emphasis) without ABA degrees to qualify for government positions I think they may be the exception and actual folks without ABA degrees within the government may be rarer still.

    Having rambled on a little, I would venture that an enterprising non ABA law school grad who was practicing could land a position within the government and rack up some good experience. I would also venture that patent law and/or contract law would be a good place to look.

    I also want to disclaim by saying that I have never been involved with the hiring of attorney's (although I seem to spend a lot of time with them) and can only venture on their selection based upon my observations. The hiring I have been involved in with engineers resulted in folks being selected with degrees from ABET schools.


    the best place to look would be at the agency in particular and the folks already on staff and where their degrees were earned.

    Since many agencies only change management at the SES level a look at current staff would shed some light on hiring propensity of the career individuals who make the selections.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2005
  13. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    But wasn't there a change?

    Okay, I understand that, but my question remains.

    Didn't the federal government USED to limit attorney applicants to people with degrees from ABA schools? I could SWEAR that the position announcements used to say that.

    If so, what happened?
  14. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    sorry if I confused the issue.

    How about the following from the OPM qualifications manual:

    "There is no OPM qualification standard for positions in this series, as OPM is prohibited by law from examining for attorney positions or establishing qualification requirements for them. These positions are generally in the excepted service, and agencies establish their own qualification requirements for them."

    I agree with your assertion and in fact if you go to and search on the 0905 series you will find a bunch of vacancies with the ABA requirement. In fact after looking I only found a few that did not specify the ABA requirement. I really believe that the requirement may be based in part on the end purpose of the position as established by the agency. I also, as mentioned above think that areas of law that do not regularly result in trials may have a lesser requirement.

    I think your assesment of the jobs might help with understanding of the need, or not for the ABA requirement.

  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Very good; thanx.
  16. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member

    To Sum it up...

    1. If I am applying for a job it will depend on the knowledge and diligence of the HR Person to determine whether a Nationally Accredited Degree is valid or not (if it is a local promotion, in-house move, etc.).

    2. If I am going for an OIG job (which I am), then the Field Investigator should be able to easily determine if I have a Nationally Accredited Degree...whether its valid or not (which it will be if I decide to go that route).

    3. The BIGGEST QUESTION: What if I decide to just get "Semester Hours" towards an Accounting Degree? Many Job announcements say "B/A in Accounting or was supplemented with 24 Semester Hours in Accounting or Auditing (6 Semester Hours may be in Business Law)."

    I am a little concerned what a personalist will do if he/she sees my B/A in Sociology...then some years later with 30 Semester Hours in Accounting not applied to a specific degree.

    I am just feeling like am "damned if I do...." But one thing to my credit; at least I already have valid RA I am climbing from the middle instead of the bottom.

  17. Re: To Sum it up...

    I work in an OIG-- though not as an auditor-- and while I've never done a survey, it seems that more than a few of the auditors I run into have non-accounting bachelor's degrees supplemented by either graduate or undergraduate accounting courses (a few of the local community colleges, for example, offer 30-credit certificates targeted specifically at folks with non-accounting bachelor's degrees who want to qualify for the CPA exam. Strayer Online has a diploma along those lines, too.)

    A mid-career applicant who's transitioning to auditing brings different things to the table than a recent, "traditional" college graduate. I tend to think that it makes a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting or something similar an easier "sell" to the interviewers.

    My take? Don't sweat it.
  18. mdg1775

    mdg1775 New Member



    that "sigh" is a sigh of relief. I never look at the "silver-lining" in the cloud; I worked in the field for a number of years (Contracting/Auditing)...and going back to pick up the 30 hours I need in accounting will just give me a "Fresh Look" for today's needs.

    Now, I just hope my name is on the "Cert" that get's sent in for possible interviews! LOL


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