English-language Título Propio Degrees - Master Thread

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Messdiener, Jan 8, 2023.

  1. Johann766

    Johann766 Active Member

    That's true however San Miguel is from Mexico while UCAM is from Spain.

    In Mexico it seems that Universities are allowed to award all degrees as propios, in Spain in contrast to that I thought that I read here that propio PhDs and Bachelors are not allowed.
  2. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    To add another school to the list, I recently stumbled upon the Iberoamerican University Foundation (FUNIBER): https://www.funiber.org

    From what I can see from their various sites, they're an association of multiple universities:
    I have yet to check the legal standing or accreditation of these universities in their home countries, but many of the degree programs mention that your diploma will be "issued by the University where he or she has registered". So, you may have some selection there, and they offer courses in a number of different fields: ICT, health & nutrition, psychology, business, law, etc. And, most programs are offered in both English and Spanish.

    A quick Google search didn't turn up too much, other than their various sites in different nations. There were a few, sparse comments on Reddit about this being a possible scam as people hadn't received their masters diplomas, and there's also a complaint in Portuguese about the Brazilian government not recognizing a FUNIBER diploma, as FUNIBER itself is not a university. (Caveat lector: I'm not fluent in Portuguese so am relying on the hope that there aren't too many false cognates with Spanish!)

    Anyway, it looks like an interesting project, and I hope to dig into it more in the coming weeks.
  3. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    A quick addendum:

    If you click around through some of the other fields, you'll see that they have even more partnerships and universities to receive degrees from. For example, engineering degrees can also come from the Technological University of Panama. Or Environmental Studies degrees could also come from National Polytechnic Institute in Mexico and University of Santiago (Chile).

    Fingers crossed, these are all legally established schools with accredited programs. If so, the next step will be to check out pricing.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Iberoamerican International University is in the United States. I'm not finding any mention of accreditation on their web site. Nor do I find it listed with CHEA.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Accreditation? Well, it says it's "authorized by the Puerto Rico Council of Education." And that's ALL it says. Not quite the same thing, huh? :) I'll pass.
  6. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Not knowing the first thing about tertiary education in Puerto Rico, I looked up the PRCE that Johann found. They've got a listing of all the institutes, colleges, and universities they've approved, which you can find here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/xckq9q0i6qv69xqqo14vt/Directorio-IEP-AGO2022.xlsx?dl=0&rlkey=td4eeqfjutpnelyccxvyujnhz

    I looked through about two dozen different colleges and universities, and every single one had a page with 'licensures' or 'accreditations'. Almost all mentioned the PRCE approval (with the associated approval number), which seems to be the bare minimum to operate a tertiary center or institute in Puerto Rico. More than half also mentioned regional accreditation, all of which seemed to be from Middle States.

    As of yet, I don't know enough to know if RA is going above and beyond (to attract people from outside of PR) or if it's a standard like in the rest of the US. Either way, it's quite the interesting topic to explore.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'd say it's this. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Those institutions holding RA have gone through the hoops etc. to earn it, just like mainland US schools. The degrees of Puerto Rican RA schools would, of course, be good-to-go in Mainland US. Mainland US is where, many grads of these schools are doubtless headed, for job reasons. Middle States was probably the usual Regional Accreditor for Puerto Rican schools.

    From Google:

    Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico's 3.2 million residents are U.S. citizens. However, while subject to U.S. federal laws, island-based Puerto Ricans can't vote in presidential elections and lack voting representation in Congress. As a U.S. territory, it is neither a state nor an independent country.

    I don't suppose FUNIBER carried RA. If they did, I'm sure they would have said so...
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2023
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Authorized (licensed) but not accredited. OK for me, I don't EVER want another job. I HATE work! Maybe not so good for you... :)
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And I wouldn't look for propios from an RA school. Not allowed. Regional Accreditor has to approve EVERY program they teach, No exceptions - even in Puerto Rico.

    "Mama don't allow no propio-teachin' round here." (Apologies to Charlie "Cow Cow" Davenport)
  10. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    This was my understanding as well, but I also thought that governance there was slightly different from the mainland states. Thus, my uncertainty as to how accreditation and other educational norms function there.

    For certain. Time to look at the University of Leon and a few of the others from FUNIBER?

    Perhaps, it was a mistake to put FUNIBER in the propio thread! Perhaps, an admin can split this set of posts off into its own thread?
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    FUNIBER is not RA. The member Universities may have the full accreditation or equivalent of their respective countries - but they are not RA. That's strictly American. (And Puerto Ricans are American citizens). They may well be RA - equivalent, and be found good for US use, but not RA itself. I got the impression FUNIBER itself was granting degrees, in conjunction with its member schools. If I was wrong (as is likely) I apologize.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2023
  12. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    Many/most/all of the degree pages (at least on the US & Spain FUNIBER sites) that I looked at said that it would be the partner universities issuing the degrees.

    Yet, a quick Google image search does show some FUNIBER diplomas, so this may vary country-by-country.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  14. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'm coming late to this discussion bringing only a casual familiarity with the propio degree.

    I find myself questioning whether I would put one of these on a resume CV as an actual Masters degree. From the sound of it, you have a decent chance of it being evaluated as a diploma or certificate if you actually got the thing evaluated. For the price, even if you scored 3 credits for the whole thing I think you would be getting a bargain!

    The spread of courses here reminds me of the non-credit bearing certificates schools often award, often through the same for-profit provider, in "continuing education" subjects like mindfulness, "customer service excellence" and the like. They, like anything, can certainly be used to fill in some gaps on a resume. I once dated a woman who had a BSW (and eventually MSW) from traditional B&M schools. However, it was her AAS in Early Childhood Education (earned post-bachelors) from Thompson Education Direct (now Penn Foster) that landed her in her job that, according to social media, is where she has been since. She was certainly qualified to work with kids with her BSW. However, she credited that ECE associates with being a really engaging conversation piece at her interview. It helped set her apart from the others even though her role was not specifically ECE, per se.

    I am finding, however, that I am looking at these and not getting strong "Masters degree" vibes from them. To me, they look and feel more like if we called them "Certificate of Mastery" there would be zero confusion. I may even be inclined to go all in and say "Graduate Certificate." Calling this a Masters degree, however, I think could be a dangerous game that, as it compares to diploma mill sports, is like saying that blowing yourself up with dynamite is safer than blowing yourself up with C4.

    If "legal" is all we're after then state approved or exempt should be good to go for you as well. Yet, we know the potential perils of that in the US job market.

    I would be wary of using one of these as a primary credential. That is, the credential that qualifies you for a job. Eventually, all that has to happen is you piss off the wrong coworker and suddenly HR is getting anonymous accusations about you having a fake degree. If I had, as I do, an MBA from an RA school, an MSM from an NA school and decided to tack on a "Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing" I don't think anyone would ever really fault me for this. But all that really has to happen for this to look much shadier than it is is for someone to pop on, find this website, see that you paid around $200 for your "degree" and then you can, what? Print out the rantings from this forum to assure an employer that it's legit? This degree that you paid for using paypal for less than the cost of a single US based graduate credit?

    These are some pretty cool looking certificates. And if you're "using" the "degree" in a wholly hobby capacity I suppose there is no harm. But this feels like an inviting the evil eye situation to put one of these on a resume and present, or even subtly imply, it as equivalent to a US Masters degree.
    Messdiener likes this.
  15. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    I agree on proceeding with caution with these propio degrees in how they are used for resumes /C Vs. I'm sure foreign credential evaluators like Validential would likely give all these programs an accredited US Master's degree evaluation. WES Canada might as well. These are currently the only two evaluators in North America that have given Universidad Isabel I / ENEB's Master's programs full recognition that we know of. However, these programs should be earned to fill or enhance competency gaps and for life-long learning only. They are also good for continuing education as a bridge to higher degrees or for completion of lower ones depending on the foreign credential evaluator you use. These degrees don't measure up to the status of official degrees but they often contain some hidden gems depending on how they are used.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2023
  16. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    At this point, people in this fold are aware of which evaluators have a history of giving what level of evaluation to these degrees, it's been debated and analyzed to death, so it's years past the point of that being a concern anymore.

    An employer may not be fond of foreign degrees, and if that's the case they probably never were and probably never will be.

    There is also the issue of some of the schools not being anything prestigious, but if that were the standard every employer used to decide on an applicant, 99.9% of the people on this forum would have never gotten jobs since most have not gotten degrees from prestigious schools. Granted, they were mostly from domestic schools and that helps, but still.

    Personally, I would have no issue listing a foreign degree on my resume. And for the attack scenario you mentioned, I would have a successful evaluation handy for if someone tried to pull something post-hire.

    In the end, I wouldn't want to work for a company that would look down on a foreign degree. Says something about them that might go deeper than just the degree.
  17. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    WES is a NACES member but why use Validential when they're not a NACES member? At that point you might as well pay any random person to give you a favorable evaluation.
    Rich Douglas and Johann like this.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think that's exactly what one is doing, with evaluators who do not belong to a proper, recognized professional association.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    "Recognized" is, in this field, a bit of a term of art rather than science.

    Higher education in America is largely self-regulated. Yes, the states determine who is legal, but it is the accreditors (and their umbrella organization, CHEA) who determine who is "recognized" ("accredited'). The exception to this is where federal financial aid is involved, in which case the US government also acts as an umbrella organization, recognizing which accreditors are recognized to recognize (accredit) schools. This parallel system largely overlaps, however, making this a technicality. The higher education "industry" is, for the most part, self-regulating.

    Many professions are self-regulating, sometimes stepping in when government fails (medicine) or is inadequate (law). But most do so without any government recognition. Coaching is an example of this. While the International Coaching Federation is widely recognized as THE professional organization in coaching--which is also bestowed on the credentials they issue--anyone can call him/herself a coach.

    So, what about foreign credentials? For a very long time, consumers of foreign credentials--employers and universities, mostly, were on their own in evaluating these degrees. The AACRO used to provide this service, but it wasn't well-known. But in 1987, NACES was formed as alternative services began to arise. Like the accrediting agencies, NACES was an attempt by these services to self-regulate.

    That begs this question: is a NACES member service "recognized" while something like Validential is not? I don't think this has been measured in any meaningful way. Anecdotally, I've seen situations where a foreign degree evaluation is called for, but NACES is not mentioned. And I've seen some where it is. Of course, there are tons of situations where no one will look or ask, and many more where you can't tell what is required (but will discover it when you apply with your foreign degree).

    With such things "recognized" is in the eye of the beholder. It would behoove one to find out ahead of time to ensure one meets the requirements for the foreign credential evaluation. Again, and again, and again....
    Johann likes this.
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. And if you're pretty sure - or absolutely KNOW your foreign credential WON'T pass -- you know the um- "alternatives" where it most certainly WILL. And send 'em your Warsaw-issued driver's license (or parking permit, or ...) while you're at it. Might get you an upgrade! If you so decide -- good luck with that!

    That's the kind of thing that can REALLY bite someone, pre- or post-hire. I'm sure that's not news to most readers here -- but something to keep in mind, anyway.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2023

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