Foreign degree and, yes, Canada

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Stanislav, Jul 2, 2017.

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  1. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    I have a friend with an interesting dilemma.
    He is a graduate of a relatively large religious seminary in Ukraine. Religious degrees were not part of Ukrainian education system, although schools were "registered" (no clue what it meant). However, in 2015, new Education Law was passed, making seminaries eligible for accreditation.
    Now, as part of a new law, the state established a process for seminary graduates to get their degrees "approved" (get an additional paper saying their degree is equivalent to accredited one) if the degree was granted before the law came to effect. My friend's seminary got accredited in 2016. Problem is, he graduated in 2015 - right after the new law, but before accreditation! Graduates before him can apply for equivalency (and get it - it's a flagship school of a major Church); graduates after him have state-accredited degree. He has neither.
    Here's a $250,000 question: is there any way to use this degree in North America? Preferably Canada, where he wants to settle.
     
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Active Member

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    For immigration purposes he might be screwed. If the country of choice requires degree evaluations just for residency then I don't see how he can overcome this problem.

    That said, what the government does and what the private sector does are two different issues.

    My WES evaluation for Canada says that my MSM is unrecognized, though they note it is accredited and that they only consider RA equivalent. That's where I would be if I applied for residency with Canada. But my actual job search could absolutely include my degree being listed. And if employers didn't care to obtain my evaluation then I could carry on without issue.

    The easiest way to move forward, I would think, would be to get either a higher or equivalent degree from an unquestionably accredited school. Or to find work with that major denomination where denominational recognition would matter more than secular accreditation.

    I've also spoken to a handful of individuals with unaccredited or simply unrecognized (in the US) religious degrees who sent their degree work to an RA school affiliated with the same church and were able to get an evaluation that said the work completed was equivalent. They then used that eval for graduate admission or, occasionally, employment.

    So there's what the government needs and then there is what a private employer will accept. The former is pretty set in stone. The latter is the Wild West.
     
  3. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    I think you're right. One could have hoped for an enlightened credential evaluato. However, only a handful are available in Canada, and we know how WES is. Sigh. I hope in this particular case, it'll be moot, as he does have 10 semesters of study culminated in a Bachelor's from secular public University (in secular subject); he's also a qualified skilled tradesman. It's just such a waste that 4 years of fairly rigorous study can't be recognized.

    Thanks. Is it at all possible these credits can be brought into one of the Big 3?

    Work within same denomination is tricky. The Church in question is major in Ukraine but very minor in North America, and bigger churches of the same tradition may have issues recognising anything coming from it because politics. Knowing that you're knowledgeable about such matters, I bet you can deduce the denomination (and, indeed, the school) from that. Our local diocese is OK in having him helping or perhaps in minor orders, but the seminary in Saskatchewan gives him nothing in transfer, and out of his price range as a foreign student. Politics. Which should make sense to me by now, but doesn't.
     
  4. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    I mean Manitoba of course.
     
  5. Lerner

    Lerner Active Member

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    Can your friend go back to the same now accredited university to earn another degree?
    They may provide accelerated path to a second degree that would allow "retraining"
    or "re attestation"
     
  6. Stanislav

    Stanislav Active Member

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    It's easier if I just name the school. It's Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy of UOC Kyiv Patriarchate (not to be confused with Moscow Patriarchate version, Kyiv Theological Academy & Seminary).
    They do not seem to be offering any "accelerated" paths. Frankly, it's not such big of a deal for most students, since the main purpose of the degree is ministry within the UOC-KP, and the 2015 degree is still valid for that. He could return for Master's year, but only if he moved back to campus (at the magnificent St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery), or become an active cleric in the UOC-KP and take up the degree by correspondence. Correspondence study is not open for laity.
    All he wants is to have something to show for spending 4 years as a full-time seminarian. On close inspection, it does look like his immigration needs will probably be served by his secular degree (BS in "Management in Telecommunications Field").
     

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