FTU and TRACS

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Gabe F., Jan 4, 2018.

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  1. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

    Frederick Taylor University is now a "Corresponding Institution" with TRACS:

    http://ftu.edu/downloads/ftu_catalog_2017.pdf

    "Currently, FTU has “Corresponding Institution” Status with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) accreditation commission" (p. 10).

    Per TRACS, a Corresponding Institution means "an institution which has made initial contact with TRACS and is actively pursuing the process toward accreditation" (p. viii).

    http://www.tracs.org/documents/StepsTowardAccreditation.pdf

    I've mentioned it before, but I saw this coming. The moment FTU evidently changed ownership the catalog and website suddenly contained a Doctrinal Statement among other Christian references. Such things were never mentioned under the previous ownership.
     
    Bruce likes this.
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I'm wondering how much of a school's offerings have to be Christian in nature in order to qualify for TRACS accreditation. At one time they accredited Liberty University when Liberty's RA was in question, and while Liberty is clearly a Christian school, their secular offerings outnumber their religious programs.

    So, the question is, has FTU added some religious programs to try to backdoor recognized accreditation? If they wanted to become legitimate and get recognized accreditation, wouldn't have DETC been more appropriate?
     
  3. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

    Another interesting development: ALL degree programs have been dropped. There are only certificates listed. All of these are business-specific - nothing religious. Who knows? Maybe DEAC is the new target.

    http://ftu.edu/programs/
     
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Maybe "no degrees" is the new target. No degrees - maybe no need for traditional accreditation. Am I right in thinking BPPE's accredit-or-die policy is triggered solely for degree-granting schools? If so, FTU wouldn't be the first school to leave the degree market and concentrate on certificates etc.

    Although it is no longer DEAC-accredited, Cleveland Institute of Electronics is still selling certificate courses etc. No more degrees. DL degrees are a crowded marketspace; some schools perceive a greater chance of profitability in the pursuit of less expensive operations - diplomas, certificates. Maybe it fits with the operational efficiency for which the late Frederick Taylor was noted.

    Nothing to do with this case, but I have once or twice seen schools (I name no names) that have gone degree-less when there arose financial, academic or other reasons the school didn't stand a chance of achieving meaningful accreditation - and the operators realized it full well. Again, not suggesting such is the case with FTU - just saying it's among the things that have happened with some schools.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to see this happen - but if the school survives as a certificate-granting entity, maybe it's for the best. I think FTU California had a useful role as a degree-granting school for many years. (FTU Hawaii - not so much.) The situation is a bit reminiscent of California Pacific University (now closed) , but I hope for a better outcome for FTU. I believe California Pacific offered the very first State agency-approved (unaccredited) distance degree programs in the State. After 30+ years of operation, the founder died and the school was eventually sold. Under the new owner, several religious degrees were added, but the school soon ceased operation. Apparently, there was a BPPE violation involving reports not being submitted. The school was fined $5,000 and promptly closed.

    Here's the California Pacific U. story:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Pacific_University

    As I said, I hope for a better outcome for FTU.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  6. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

    Me too, but I don't see the current model as being sustainable at all. For example, the certificate courses are $1,500. Why would anyone pay $1,500 for, say, a marketing certificate from FTU when one can be obtained from any number of providers, e.g. a verified MOOC certificate (Illinois, Wharton) or even DEAC programs like Ashworth, for less money in most cases?

    FTU's website still lists graduate tuition rates. The MBA program was listed at $14,400.... that's $14,400 for an unaccredited MBA when Southeastern Oklahoma offers an AACSB MBA for $11,880.

    All of this really begs one question FTU has yet to really explain: What is their value proposition? I know what it used to be... but I have no idea what it is now.
     
  7. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    University of Texas-Permian Basin has an AACSB MBA for under $10K, even with those without business undergrad degrees.

    I'd like to think that their motivation in dropping degree programs is benign and a precursor to accreditation, but who really knows?
     
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Rethinking the situation, it looks possible that FTU's best days may be over. I'm presuming that they're not admitting people to those expensive grad programs - or any degrees. They obviously haven't had the time / people necessary to revamp the website properly and get rid of old stuff. That in itself is a bad sign. I wouldn't be surprised to see a closure notice. I'm theorizing here - maybe the religious courses might have been offered in the hope of gaining accreditation from TRACS for all courses - thinking it might be easier, quicker and less expensive to gain that, rather than other accreditation. Looks like it didn't work. I've seen this before - people (and schools) adopt religion in the darkest (and often the most desperate) hours.

    I don't pray for schools. Maybe someone else might...

    J.
     
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Another school that dropped its degrees and went the certificate route for a while was the unaccredited Pass Christian University (never located in Pass Christian MS). I think there was some problem with degree-granting authority (i.e. none) and they found it prudent to stop awarding degrees. After a while, the school ceased operations and its already-inherited .edu domain somehow passed to Paramount California U. aka California Paramount U. That school was said in the media to have links with Axact, the Pakistan-based scam company operating about 300 bogus schools. Paramount California is gone, now.

    My point: NOT that FTU is up to no good. Just that having to revert to non-degree status is usually a sign of really bad times for a school. It's like having to sell your car, buy macaroni and move into a rooming house. Sometimes it works out and things eventually get better. Sometimes they don't.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  10. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

    Turns out things have changed already. The degree programs are listed on the site again: http://ftu.edu/programs/

    ***But in an interesting development, the degree programs are listed as "suspended" on the BPPE page: https://app.dca.ca.gov/bppe/view-school.asp?schlcode=0702241

    And here's the official announcement on the suspension of the degree programs:

    http://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/actions/1002809_suspend.pdf
     
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Can't figure why they'd still be advertising degrees while under suspension. It's obvious what happened - per the BPPE, the school failed to have an application for accreditation in place - and at the required stage - by the deadline. The FTU site says to see the BPPE authorization - and when you click the link, it clearly shows the degrees as suspended. Sounds to me like Vine Branches Transformation Co. (the new owner of FTU ) is having trouble transforming its new acquisition. I don't see a good outcome, if this keeps up ....
     
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I would think it might well be a serious BPPE violation to advertise degree programs that the BPPE itself suspended. If the end is coming (and I think it is) let it be swift and merciful.

    "And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep." - Kenny Rogers
     
  13. Gabe F.

    Gabe F. Member

    I don't have anything official to support this, but I guess it's possible they have had their degree granting authority reinstated by virtue of being a "corresponding institution" with TRACS and that the BPPE page just hasn't been updated. I can't imagine they'd flagrantly violate the law.
     
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    You can't? Other schools have - quite a few of them. According to the complaint, Vine Branches Transformation Co., operating FTU has been reminded since May to relate positive accreditation info to BPPE - and it seems they didn't. That doesn't look promising from where I sit. Wait and see, I guess. New owner. As Ferris Bueller said, "What could happen?"

    Like I said, I don't pray for schools. But if anyone believes in "the miracle of instant accreditation," maybe they could say a few words for FTU...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  15. LUGrad

    LUGrad New Member

    Tracs has gone off the rails (Not sure if that's a pun). They have been allowing non-Christians schools to jump on board with them for extremely high fees. I guess there was a purge in Cali and they have taken a lot of schools that never had any theological offerings. They have always had lose standards, but lately they have stopped pretending.
     
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. Not good news. They keep that up and TRACS could become the next ACICS if they don't watch out.

    LUGrad: I guess there was a purge in Cali.

    Me: Right. For at least a couple of years, there's been an "accredit, die or move away" law with firm date provisions for unaccredited degree-granting schools. We're getting down to the wire now and the affected schools are supposed to have their ducks in a row - i.e. recognized accreditation or defined, significant and verifiable progress towards it.

    J.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    For now, my take: "FTU - can you SMELL what the BPPE is cookin'..."

    I checked the FTU site. Seems they're offering only two of their many listed Bachelor's degrees. (The ones in red, with links). The links are to BPPE-mandated pre-enrolment declarations, like this one: http://ftu.edu/downloads/ftu_pre_enroll_disclosure.pdf

    Found this older article, which doesn't speak well about FTU. Staff of six, talk of multiple-choice, open book exams, etc.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/us/frederick-taylor-universitys-cheap-mbas-on-the-internet-may-not-be-such-a-bargain.html

    Unless things have changed drastically, I think recognized accreditation might prove difficult. I could be wrong - that's far from unknown. And if push does come to shove, "Don't panic - there's always Panama."
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    OOPS! Looks like I may have spoken too soon. Latest development (today) the suspension on FTU degree programs appears to have been lifted! https://app.dca.ca.gov/bppe/view-school.asp?schlcode=0702241
    Seven Bachelor's degrees and one MBA - all BPPE approved ... again. It ain't over till it's over. And the fat lady doesn't sing her final number until 2020, so ... I'll stay tuned. And so can you, if you want to.

    I realize also, the NYT article refers to FTU under the previous owners - so maybe things will change big-time now. It was a really rocky start, though... hope that's over.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018

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