Foreign DL Graduate Degrees

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Filmmaker2Be, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    There is nothing to imagine. All they would find is that the degree was awarded by a legitimately accredited school in Spain. Then it would come down to whatever biases and prejudices they may have against foreign degrees or online learning in general.

    I'm going to be honest with you, I don't think you've thought this through very well: given the tone of your first quote and this preference mentioned in the second quote, it gives the perception that you are partly ashamed of it, in which case you shouldn't be pursuing the degree in the first place. It makes no sense at all to go through a Masters program only to downgrade it and call it something other than what it actually is in some preemptive attempt at showing humility. You're contradicting your intent by doing that because what you really end up doing is lying since it's not a PG diploma, it's a Masters degree. If I were interviewing you and I read that on your resume, I would question you as to why you'd do that and your answer would come across as weird for you trying to explain why you'd lie about the level of the degree and it could affect your chances of getting the job since just one red flag (especially a weird one like this) can be the difference between hired and passed over.

    This is not accurate. "Arts" and "Science" degree designations are not as common to all international locations as they are in the United States. It's quite common for degrees outside the United States to not carry them. Taking a look at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, I don't see any of their official degrees carrying Arts or Science designations and I did look through quite a few of them, not all, but quite a few.

    Finally, keep in mind that some degrees in the United States don't carry Arts or Science designations, like most Doctorates and the Master of Business Administration for example. Here is a good list:
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Or knowledge.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I take it that it is not yet "your PhD"?

    Very few posters have become members of this board and THEN gone on to do a doctorate. (I know one idiot who did it twice.)
  4. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    I looked back at that and realized that I left out pursuing. I wish this forum would remove the time limit on editing and deleting posts. What I meant was the PhD I am pursuing is by distance (online).
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    WES is just one NACES approved service, if you shop around you will find one that will give you the RA equivalency. WES argues that Nicaragua does not have a strong education system so no PhD from Nicaragua is RA equivalent, this is WES but others might have a different opinion.

    The idea is that the NACES approved equivalency report gives you the right to use the PhD designation. It might be good enough for consulting, adjunct work or business card boost.

    My main concern is the PhD glut, with so many programs around, I am not sure the value of this degree for academic work. There are some adjuncts with this degree:

    Only two people might not be good evidence. I did not find a single one from University Azteca working at a US school.

    I found few working with degrees from Empresarial of costa rica, another school that is similar to Azteca that is in central america. Not the same as UCN but it gives an indication of possible acceptance of similar distance PhDs from Latin america in the US market:
  6. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    With the cost and flexibility of this degree, I only wanted to do the PhD for personal enrichment with no intention of completing a doctorate program to compete with other doctorate degree holders in the workforce. I will write my tuition off as a business expense. I am going into entrepreneurship and I already have some teaching experience at the community college level. Consulting, adjunct work and/or business card booster would be the only things I would want to do with this degree.

    I'm aware of a few NACES evaluators giving approval for RA equivalency for the UCN PhD degree. My concern was for Unversidad Isabel I / ENEB programs and rather or not they will receive RA equivalency on their Master Proprio programs while being offered for less than $300.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    At least when I was in South Florida, J. Silny was regarded as having better expertise when it comes to Latin America anyway.
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    So, just a word of warning concerning writing off tuition...,related%20education%20as%20business%20expenses.

    There was a tax court case some years ago involving a full time minister (Methodist, I think) who had become a methodist minister at a time when you could still do that without a degree. He went back to school, earned a bachelors degree in, I think it was, sociology and wrote off the expense.

    The IRS disallowed it because, in their view, the BA in Sociology qualified him for other work.

    In this situation, you'd be totally legit if you were a college professor with a Masters and they told you that you have until X date to earn a PhD otherwise you would be fired. It would be a bonda fide expense for your job AND would not actually qualify you for a new line of work. You're already a professor.

    Naturally, this isn't the tax advice board and you should consult a tax professional and not some random HR guy. I'm only sharing this because my father, clever scamp that he is, tried to write off the Masters degree that his then wife had earned and ran into exactly this problem when the IRS came knocking and it intrigued me enough to dig into.

    If you don't have a PhD now, the IRS will almost certainly insist that getting that PhD qualifies you for a new job (teaching) unless you're already in that profession. The IRS has quite a few roadblocks to people deducting hobby expenses. This is one of them.
    cacoleman1983 likes this.
  9. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads up.... I charged it on a business credit card so we will see how that goes. If not a business write off, I should definitely get the minimal education tax write off. I haven't taught for more than 6 years but had been thinking about going back into teaching. Not sure really what I want to do with the PhD as what you said about it being used as a hobby would be true.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I completed a Master propio from another spanish school, this was not that cheap but cheaper than a traditional degree. The main road block for me was that the University did not provide transcripts for propio degrees as it prints the outline of the program in the back of the diploma with the ECTS credits. Most evaluation services need the transcript to be sent directly from the University for evaluation purposes, this was not possible for me. I found a NACES service that accepted notarized copies of the diploma instead of transcripts, they provided an evaluation report that compares the degree with a postgraduate diploma with 30 credits in the US.

    I am not sure if ENEB provides transcript from Isabel 1 University but this is my opinion the main road block that you might have.

    Propio degrees are really continuing education diplomas but have graduate credit value, they are cheap because they are not official and not taught by the University but just "validated".

    The risk here is that if you have thousands of Americans running after these degrees, evaluation services might not consider them equivalent anymore with the same argument that is used by WES and other evaluation services when it comes to Universities that just "rent" the name to print diplomas but don't really teach the degrees. This is the case of Azteca, UCN, etc.

    The issue is that although this practice is not well perceived by some evaluators, you have British Schools doing the same thing as the University of Liverpool. It is way cheaper to outsource teaching to a local company than flying or having virtual classes with real on campus faculty that charges in British pounds, you rather have a local guy that charges pesos, rupees, etc.
    Education is becoming like any other business, just create a brand name and the sell it million times to reduce cost of development. At the end of the day, printing a diploma only costs few dollars so if I can make 100 bucks for every diploma that I print, this is extra income that does not take from my current enrollment as these are "propio" degree and not "official" that are the ones that I teach on campus with real faculty making big bucks.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  11. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    It won't get NA because to my knowledge (and please, someone correct me if I'm wrong) the evaluators only evaluate against RA equivalence. The closest result I've heard of was "U.S. non-RA" or something of that nature, which I guess could be inferred as NA but I doubt that's what the evaluators would mean it to be taken as.
  12. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    ENEB provides the transcripts, but from the ones that have been shown only ENEB's insignia is present with no mention of Isabel. Isabel provides an online verification system that I believe is only available to graduates, but it confirms and verifies completion and credit hours for each graduate.

    Are you able to share the name of that agency? Some may find that useful given how transcripts are handled with this program.

    The arrangement is pretty routine outside the U.S., so it would be a shame if services weren't aware of that or just didn't care.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    So, did his kids inherit the "clever scamp" gene? :)

    Seriously, here in Canada, the tax officials don't care why you took the course or what, if anything, it qualifies you for. If it's a registered Canadian school -private or public - you get a slip and use it to file for your tax credit. I've had tax credits from private schools for everything from computer programming to photography, gardening etc. Legitimately, of course. University & college - same deal. Tax receipt for any tuition I paid out of my own pocket: in my case, all of it . They don't care why you learned something or even IF you learned it. If you paid tuition you get the tax relief. It's not quite a straight deduction any more. You take a percentage of the amount and it comes off your taxable income. These "non-refundable" credits (and there are a ton of them) can't be used to reduce your taxable income below zero. In other words, using this type of credit, you can reduce your tax to zero, but you'll have to find something else to get a refund. And there's usually a legit way to do it.

    Not a bad system, sez me. I like it here!
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Online verification is not enough, most evaluation services require transcripts, in this case from Isabel to the evaluation service.
    I wouldn't like to share my service, the reason is that I have already a positive evaluation from them, if hundreds of individuals start sending evaluations to them from similar schools, they might change their mind about their opinion once they realize that these degrees are taught by a third party and the granting institution is just "validating". For the same reason people with reports for UCN don't want to share the service as well.
    I would suggest just taking the NACES list and start asking who would be able to evaluate your degree until you find the right one. As I said, with no transcript, you will find few ones on the list willing to do the evaluation.
  15. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Right. There won't be any transcript directly from Isabel, it's just not an option. Isabel is only going to award the degree and make the verification system available.

    I think I mentioned earlier that it may be a good idea to try multiple services. WES appears to be among the most stringent and inflexible, but they are also often used as the official go-to for schools in such a way that many of these schools list WES as the company they want you to get an evaluation from and won't look at evaluations from any place else.
  16. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    If the diploma looks like mine, the transcript is in the back of the diploma. Some services accept notarized copies, you can just send a notarized copy of the back of the degree.
    However, as I mentioned before, some services stopped evaluating "validated" degrees due to the massive number of graduates. If you check, WES wont accept Azteca and similar latin schools that "validate" just the degree.
    The risk here is that Isabel becomes blacklisted as Azteca and similar institutions. Over selling the degree might have negative consequences.
  17. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I evaluated a doctorate degree with them, they needed a copy of the diploma, transcripts sent by the university and letter sent by the university confirming the doctoral award.
    In Canada, I evaluated with ICAS that is Alberta government approved, the evaluation service only required a notarized copy of the diploma. I also evaluated with the University of Toronto that requested an online transcript of the degree only.
  18. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The pic of the Isabel degree on DegreeForum shows it to be just like that.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I checked the diploma and there is a concern, the diploma states that the course was taught by ENEB but certified by Isabel University. The diploma confirms that this is just a "validated" degree and some evaluation services do not evaluate such degrees. Getting it recognized in the US might be problematic due to the lack of transcript and the fact that the diploma does not confirm that Isabel grants the degree but just "certifies" the degree. My diploma does not state the name of the teaching institution and it clearly states "grants the degree" and not "certifies the degree".
    My guess is that someone would need to try to get it recognized in the US. You might want to try Spantran that specializes in Spanish and Latin degrees.
  20. Filmmaker2Be

    Filmmaker2Be Active Member

    Ohhh, I get it. You don't really care about the degree's designation not being MA or Ms (we don't use MSc in the US). What you care about is the academic reputation of the university issuing the degree. Isabel I isn't good enough for you, so you don't want to acknowledge you earned a real, full, whole, legal master's degree from the school because you're ashamed. Okay, I get it now.

    Dude, that's on YOU. I don't care how you list your masters degree on your resume. Just don't try to talk other people out of fully acknowledging their degrees because of YOUR hangups about the school from which they're being awarded.
    SteveFoerster likes this.

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