GAAP is not RA

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by DWCox, Aug 20, 2003.

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  1. DWCox

    DWCox member

    Since when is GAAP and RA one-in-the-same?
    Foreign degrees have limitations that RA degrees do not.
    Foreign degrees have limitations that U.S. nationally accredited degrees do not.

    For DegreeInfo to endorse GAAP degrees -- per the degree finder service -- while ignoring other U.S. distance-based nationally accredited institutions is not, at least in my mind promoting distance education wholly. DETC is distance education, period! TRACS institutions offer many programs that permit licensure in many professional disciplines.

    I understand that RA as a form of accreditation does offer greater degree utility. However, the standard in the U.S. is accreditation from a USDOE approved agency and CHEA recognition.

    Is DegreeInfo somehow connected to the big boys of RA distance education, ie. Capella, NCU, Touro, Union, Walden, just to name a few?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2003

    [email protected] New Member

    > Foreign degrees have limitations that RA degrees do not.

    You seem to be assuming (wrongly) that all DegreeInfo users live in the US.

    For people who live in the rest of the world, RA degrees are foreign, and some GAAP degrees are native.

    I got 2 Canadian degrees while living in Canada. Was that a bad choice?
  3. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    Got to love that U of Alberta degree.

    Canadian universities for the most part are indistinguishable from American universities. The general education requirements are significantly less in Canada and there are some 3 year degrees.
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    As Mark mentioned, this board is not limited to people living in the United States. Luckily, we have members from all over the world.

    I do think the concept of GAAP (and that's what it is, a concept) took a hit when St. Regis & Berne managed to get into the UNESCO listings, but I think you'll find that all the non-US schools listed on the degree finder are above reproach.
  5. DWCox

    DWCox member

    You are 100% correct, I did overlook the fact that this NG is not limited to the United States.

    Back to my original thought, how are smaller schools and other -- non-RA -- accreditation organizations going to gain utility if respect is not afforded by those of us knowledgeable in the accreditation and distance learning?

    DegreeInfo could be a much stronger vehicle for the advancement of DL than it is, if Degreeinfo truly embraced all USDOE approved and CHEA recognized accreditors.
  6. roysavia

    roysavia New Member

    Not at all. Canadian universities have some of the best programs in the world. I cannot see why a graduate with a Canadian university degree should receive the same recognition as a graduate with a RA degree. (I wouldn't have any problems getting accepted into some of America's larger corporations with my background).
  7. roysavia

    roysavia New Member

    ooops.....I left out a word " should not" :rolleyes:
  8. Jeff Hampton

    Jeff Hampton New Member

    The problem is not that Degreeinfo does not embrace these schools: it's that, to a large degree, RA institutions do not embrace them. And to a smaller extent, that some employers do not embrace them.

    When new people come here and ask about a DETC school, shouldn't they be made aware that many RA schools will not accept their transfer credits or allow them to study for graduate degrees? And shouldn't they be told that there are some employers who will only accept RA degrees.

    And then there is the fact that some DETC schools were "less than wonderful" not very long ago. If these schools had been accepted by an RA accreditor, I assure you many here would have reservations about that accreditor. But they weren't. They were accepted by DETC.
  9. Will someone please tell how regional accreditation came into existence in the USA. What was going on back then that defined accreditation as a need? Were the big universities the first to get on board? Or was it an effort to level the playing field for smaller establishments to compete with the bigger ones. Or something else? Please inform me on this, you experts out there.
  10. MichaelR

    MichaelR Member

    Re: Re: GAAP is not RA

    This is more or less the CHEA site, but it doesn't really give a history of why they exist.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Bear's survey of admissions officials showed a significantly higher level of acceptance of degrees from foreign schools that meet GAAP as compared to degrees from nationally accredited schools. This was true regardless of which GAAP criterion was used.

    In my survey of HR managers, there was no significant difference observed between foreign universities and DETC. The difference between ACCIS and and foreign degrees was significant, with ACCIS higher. Those results came from the set of questions that did not include descriptions of the categories.

    When category descriptions were provided, there was no significant difference again between DETC and foreign (GAAP). However, the level of acceptability for ACCIS dropped significantly, and it was significantly below foreign (GAAP).

    My take? The industry (institutions of higher education) definitely draw differences, and they hold foreign GAAP schools in higher regard. Employers are on each side of the issue, until they get some information. Then their responses change.

    It seems reasonable to recommend foreign (GAAP) schools along with--or even over--nationally accredited schools.
  12. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    I would be among the first to agree that RA and GAAP degrees are not identical. There are a number of differences that exist on several levels and this would probably include utility. If I'm fortunate enough to finish up my degree program in good shape I fully expect that I'll get a few raised eyebrows and that I'll have to answer a few extra questions in any employment interviews that occur. Some people may never believe that my PhD is the equivalent to a US RA PhD (although I'll bet they never say it to my face). It's a bit amusing to think that my degree would be very highly regarded if I were to move to South Africa while the "equivalent" US RA PhD would be regarded with suspicion. I believe it's one part name recognition, one part racism and one part xenophobia (I'll bet no one would look askance at a degree from Oxford, Cambridge or other "name" Western European universities). In any case, I'm mostly interested in your contention that a foreign degree has more limitations than a US nationally accredited degree. Would you say something further about your ideas on this topic?
  13. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Bruce: I do think the concept of GAAP (and that's what it is, a concept) took a hit when St. Regis & Berne managed to get into the UNESCO listings...

    John: One real advantage of the GAAP concept is that "generally accepted" can change. Mariah and I felt, a year or more ago, in the wake of MIGS, as well as our registrar survey, that the International Handbook of Universities was no longer "generally accepted" and so we removed it, in the 15th edition, from our GAAP criteria. Other decision-makers may well have kept it in their GAAP criteria.
  14. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    I truly doubt that top notch degrees like Oxford/Cambridge, Univ. of Glasgow, HEC/Sorbonne in Paris, St. Gallen in Switzerland, or any Australian school, e.g. would lead to serious problems in terms of recognition or acceptance in the rest of the western world incl. the u.s. - moreover, i think these schools are in most parts definetely by far superior to the vast majority of U.S. RA schools... (except the top notch programs here of course also).
    Don't you think so?
  15. DWCox

    DWCox member


    Of course one should be made aware that some forms of accreditation offer advantages that other forms of accreditation do not.

    It wasn't too long ago that the University of Sarasota was frequently referred to as a degree mill. This institution went on to gain SACS RA status.

    Most Americans do not understand our higher education accreditation process much less the accreditation/government approval process of foreign countries. Yes, many GAAP schools offer equal to or greater quality than do most US RA institutions, but most do not. Example, IMHO Mexico does not have as much as one institution which offers equal to quality as any teir 4 US RA institution.

    All US RA institutions are of solid quality but not all foriegn GAAP institutions are. IMHO many of the CA approved programs offer much better education than most foreign GAAP schools. I am not talking about the big name European, Canadian, or Aussie institutions.

    Degree utility is often based on the knowledge and subjective judgement of uninformed persons. A GAAP degree from a little known institution in a small foreign country probably will prove to offer VERY limited utility in the USA. If the degree is actually researched for appropriate accreditation/government approval than equal utility is a possibility. However, many HR professionals probably would filter out most small unknown GAAP degree holders in favor of a degree holder from a USA accredited institution.

    Again my comments are all related to degree use in the USA.
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Quite a strong statement, don't you think? I can't imagine how you can even begin to back this up with evidence. Especially it applies to your Mexico "example". My bet is thet Mexico has quite a few schools equal to or exceeding say MUM in quality. In fact, I bet that ALL properly recognized Mexican schools are.
    Not all, hence "generally accepted" criteria. But, again, your "most" estimate is outrageously unsubstantiated and USA-centric. I, again, would guess to the contrary. Remember that, in reality, universities are rarely found on obscure island nations and African anarchies.
    BTW, a majority of GAAP schools you see recommended here are UK/AUS/NZ/EU plus UNISA. What's the problem with them?
    Well, for starters, legitimate GAAP degree would allow admissions to aboul 100% of less-competitive ("bottom 80%") U. S. graduate programs. As to employment, a foreighn person will have much more serious problems than degree recognition. Differing business practices, licensing, language barrier, unverifiable work history, etc., etc. Of course, uninformed opinions also play role. On this very forum, one frequent poster stated that he ruled out a physician with a degree from Poland - based on low passing rates that Carribean school graduates show on licensing exams! How about that!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2003
  17. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

  18. Charles

    Charles New Member


    Maharishi University of Management?
  19. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    DWCox: "It wasn't too long ago that the University of Sarasota was frequently referred to as a degree mill. This institution went on to gain SACS RA status."

    John: By whom, dare I ask. I've been writing and reading in these matters for 30+ years and cannot recall ever reading or hearing that allegation.
  20. Jeff Hampton

    Jeff Hampton New Member

    Have you studied at any Mexican univsersities? I have taken two courses at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and they were exceptional. I've also studied at 6 US RA schools -- private, public, community colleges, research universities, top tier, bottom tier, DL, B&M -- and these courses at UNAM were among the best I have ever taken. Everyone I know who has studied there has been very pleased.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2003
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