DETC vs Regional Accreditation

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by macthumper, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. macthumper

    macthumper New Member

    I'm looking at several schools right now. I've noticed that 2 of them are accedited through DETC. What are the pros and cons of persueing a degree at a DETC school vs a regionally accredited school?
  2. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    RA is the generally accepted standard within the USA.

    DETC is generally considered second rate accreditation.

    DETC accredited classes/degrees are not as acceptable for transfer into RA schools.

    DETC accredited degrees are not as acceptable in the work place as RA but are much more acceptable in this context than in academia.
  3. manjuap

    manjuap New Member

    Which degree are you looking at?
  4. macthumper

    macthumper New Member

    Thanks Bill.... That's helpful information. I've gotten the feeling that DETC degrees were considered a notch below RA. But it's hard to tell from all the literature that I've recieved.

    manjuap.... I'm looking for an engineering program (associates or bachelors in mech. eng.). My first choice right now is Thomas Edison which has RA. But I've also come across 2 DETC programs that look tempting. One is through Thomson Education Direct, the other through California National U. Both look like decent programs. But I'm concerned about recognition. I don't want a degree from a program that is considered nothing more than a "matchbook cover school".... Are you aware of any other programs that might fit my needs?
  5. manjuap

    manjuap New Member

    Sorry! not aware of any RA-DL Mech degrees. Thomas Edison is also a good option.
    All the best.
  6. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    University North Dakota offers DL BS degrees in Mech E, CE, Chem E, & EE.

    Excelsior offers BSET (engineering technology) degrees in a variety of areas.

    In my opinion an engineering manager, an Excelsior BSET is better than a DETC engineering/technology degree, plus it will get you into a masters program.
  7. Myoptimism

    Myoptimism New Member

    Hey Mac,

    What do you want this degree for?

    Climbing the ladder at your current employer, switching career fields, personal knowledge (j/k)? What is the feeling you get from your company or companies you would like to work for as far as a real Mech E degree at a NA school and something possibly less at a school with superior accreditation?

  8. macthumper

    macthumper New Member

    Ian, I did look at Excelsior. At the time I couldn't find a ME degree program. They had an EE and some other engineering disciplines.

    BTW, I've been a big fan of your music for years :D

    Myoptimism, I have been in the engineering world for 20+ years. I have a trade school certificate in drafting (a lost art) but I have hit the point (actually well past the point) in my career where any advancement would mean I would need a piece of paper. I've been passed over for several jobs that I am qualified for simply because of the diploma (or lack thereof).... I've gotten mixed reviews on NA schools. Some companies think school is school regardless. Others want top of the line schools (with RA). I'd much rather spend my money and effort on a program that will be looked at favorably by as many companies as possible..... I also want to have the option of transfering my credits. My fear with a DETC program is that this will be close to impossible.

    One more question, how likely is it that an RA school (bachelor program) would transfer credits from a DETC school (associates program)?

    I find it odd that there are so few undergrad mechanical engineering programs in the DL world. There are plenty of computer, electrical, etc but not much in the mechanical world. That's one reason I'm asking for suggestions.
  9. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

    In general, IMHO, that's because most engineering DL programs are an outgrowth of the Continuing Education side, where they cater to people who already have a degree and want to move on in their field. Also it is easier for the schools, no labs required.

    Your other option is the more traditional night school approach. Many programs now offer nigh and weekend classes. Of course this depends on where you are.
  10. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I believe that you'll find it very rare that DETC credits will be accepted at an RA school. It would probably be easier to use the previous learning to test out those credits at the RA school. On the other hand, if it were just a few credits then you might be able to convince admissions to accept a few credits. The problem is that the policy will likely say that the credits won't be accepted. However, schools will sometimes make some limited exceptions to their stated policy. So it is really hard to say.

    What I believe can be said though is that the safest path is RA.
  11. Myoptimism

    Myoptimism New Member

    Here is a Mech Eng Tech bachelors from RIT. It appears to be online with a few residencies. The downside is the cost, very pricy. Perhaps you could fulfill gen ed courses at other schools and transfer them into this program or one like it.


    Another couple of possible avenues are to go the DETC route, then qualify it (more so) with an online master's in Mech Eng, or there may be a foreign degree (GAAP) in ME or that maps more closely than current RA offerings.
    Good luck.
  12. Charles

    Charles New Member

    See this thread:

    Also if you do consider a DETC school, you might want to see if ACE has recommended credit for its courses.
    The DANTES Catalog of Nationally Accredited Distance Learning Programs lists most DETC schools. The courses offered section indicates ACE recommendations if applicable. This catalog says:

    "The numbers in the ACE/CCRS column refer(s) to credit recommendations in semester hours made by ACE/CCRS. No entry means that no recommendation was available. ACE/CCRS produces the The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs, which is the civilian equivalent of the ACE Guide. The ACE Guide contains credit recommendations for military training.

    Through ACE/CCRS, college and university faculty evaluate workplace training offered by business, industry, labor unions, professional associations, government agencies, and other instructional entities and make college credit recommendations. ACE/CCRS evaluations may be helpful to students who later wish to transfer their credit to other institutions.

    ACE/CCRS recommendations are updated annually and are published in The National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs. DANTES distributes this book to education centers annually."
  13. macthumper

    macthumper New Member

    Myoptimism- Thank you for the RIT info. I did look at them a while back. But 2 things turned me off. First was the $ (as you stated) and second was that they require some residency (for labs I believe). Seeing the way my life is, a partial residency would not work. The more I look, the more I seem to think that TESC is the way to go for me..... But I do thank you for you insight and help.

    Charles- Thank you for the link the the other thread. That was more help to me than you know. I think I will avoid DETC schools at this time simpley because I don't want the headache of "fighting" for any future transfers.

    You have al been very helpful Thank you for your insights and willingness to share your knowledge. This is helping me see what I really need to do. :)
  14. wfready

    wfready New Member

    Try this one, Macthumper:

    This is ODU's videostream degree program (if you are familar w/ Teletechnet for VA,NC,SC, etc. then this is Teletechnet you can do at home via videostreaming).

    They have a BS in Mech Engineering Technology. They also have a degree completion program through Navy College. That is a BSET in General Engineering Technology (Electro-mechanical option).

    Best Regards,
  15. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    In my survey of 338 collegiate registrars two years ago (presented at the AACRAO registrars' convention in Seattle last year),

    19% always accepted DETC-accredited degrees for credit transfer or admissions purposes

    10% usually accepted it

    8% sometimes accepted it

    The rest ranged from rarely to never.

    As part of his Union Ph.D., Rich Douglas is doing comparable research with corporate HR officers.

    I hope that when he is done (probably next spring or summer), we can combine our findings into a formal paper on the topic.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

  17. obecve

    obecve New Member

    A new publication "Distance Education: Opportunities and Issues for Public Vocational Rehabilitation Programs" VR employees are encouraged to consider RA programs or DETC programs when looking for degrees for clients or advanced degrees for staff. VR programs across this country regularly sponsor both employees and clients (people with disabilities) in pursuit of degrees.Many of these people live in remote areas where moving is not possible. Terminal distance degrees in these areas often help advance employment opportunites. This publication is part of the 28th Insititute on Rehabilitation Issues and was sponsored by the Rehabilitation Services Administration. George Washington University and the Council of State Adminstrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. I was a member of the prime study group who authored the document. Although DETC does not have quite the same credibility as RA, it is gaining in respect as people begin to understand the value of distance programs. Employers have long accepted these degrees, academia will be the last frontier to move in this direction because it directly affects their market place and their philosophy about what education is.
  18. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Some employers accept DETC degrees while others do not. Just like some employers accept degrees from the top tier of RA schools and don't hire from the second tier.

    I agree with your main assertion that DETC degrees are gaining in acceptance but disagree that acceptance within academia is likely to get much better than where we already sit. However, if what you really meant was that distance learning is becoming much more accepted within RA schools then I absolutely agree with that.
  19. obecve

    obecve New Member

    Thanks, yes, I meant that DL was gaining more overall acceptance. DETC is always going to be more accepted among employers tahn among academics. Although, I do think over time there may be an increase in acceptance at 3rd and 4th tier schools as they compete for students and dollars, but that is a long way off.
  20. tomC

    tomC New Member

    D.E.T.C. accreditation

    Can anyone tell me if the D.E.T.C. will be moving up to the Ph.D.level for accredation, or remain at the Masters level.

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