Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by mbwa shenzi, Jan 13, 2016.
Nouvelle, yes. Malheuresement, French is not my forte.
If you ask me, it's a bit of both.
Yes - a bit of both. It appears the new ones may not all be from the same stable.
Charleston State - "English" (?) almost indecipherable. A nightmare of auto-translation from an unknown language. (Possibly Klingon? :smile: )
Regent International - perfectly acceptable English - as far as I read, anyway.
Asante rafiki yangu. Siku njema. (Thanks, my friend. Have a nice day.)
Hasaca National University is now TransPacific University (the URL is still hnu-edu dot us though) and Fred DiUlus is a member of its Board of Trustees. Apparently, hewas involved with Paramount California University too, http://paramountcaliforniauniversity.club/docs/pcu_catalog-Paramount-California-University-former-catalogue-of-prograns.pdf
Hasaca National was ASIC accredited, and TransPacific University is ASIC accredited too, as was Paramount California University. I really wonder what happened to worldtraveler, the ardent supporter of Charisma University.
Let's note that "ASIC accredited" doesn't mean the same as being "accredited" here in the U.S. It has no bearing on the degree-granting legitimacy of the schools in question. And given the nature of some of the schools ASIC accredits, I'm not so sure it has any meaning at all.
I consider ASIC accreditation meaningless. ASIC has no remit outside the UK, and the awarding of university status and the right to award degrees in the UK doesn't come from ASIC. They can, however, legally accredit whatever they want but on the other hand, no one is under any legal obligation to accept ASIC accreditation, and certainly not as something comparable to RA. It's an interesting idea by the way, that US based university through ASIC should hold something comparable to US regional accreditation.
ASIC "accreditation" is even more insidious than that. It provides an opportunity for unaccredited schools to get one over on potential applicants who, naturally, don't understand the nuances of accreditation. From the looks of the list of ASIC-accredited schools, that is a thing.
You're absolutely right as I see it. As for ASIC, their take on accreditation is certainly interesting:
ASIC License, Accreditation Service for International Colleges
Surprisingly came across this... entity... twice today while doing internet searches. After the second search, I figured something was odd with Google keywords, and started exploring. I think they may be doing a rather ingenious key word fishing operation, maybe. Their website appears polished at a quick glance, but is riddled with peculiar wording, ludicrous mumbo jumbo, spelling errors, highly suspect stock photos, etc.
Some other possible caution flags....
Uses a dot.com versus a dot.edu....
No physical address but multiple building and property pictures...
Continually implies that they are "State University" but suspiciously never lists which state...
Proclaim that they are "The Best University of The State"....
Announce that they provide "life experience" degrees....
References to being in operation since 97, but website created in 2013....
Appear to have alumni graduates from before their website creation...
Uses an Ohio phone number and reference being in Cleveland, but Cleveland BBB has a June 2015 inquiry regarding them, and stated they could find no record of their existence nor does the Ohio Secretary of State...
Cleveland BBB complaint, from above, states a person was informed that they could have a degree issued based on their experience, for a fee. BBB complaint is that they requested a refund and never received it.
Absolutely bizarre PRLOG post by the entity it's self? Highly peculiar wording... view points... etc...
There are only two names that I've found brief references to as far as employees; staff, faculty, or administration. Both names, have some interesting google search results related to diploma mills, prison sentences, witch craft, energy crystals, paranormal ghost hunting, fraud, and psychics... can't verify they are the actual people linked to the site though..
Multiple "is this college fake or legitimate" sites that are peculiarly worded have the school listed... and appear to ONLY list that school. With almost all links, going... straight to the "entity's" website... Whois for the sites are interesting as well...
One of their recent alumni profiles had a name unique enough to Google, and well... interesting...
Another alumni name with a very unique name, and the internet only pulls up one individual in the world, with a very different complexion...
Another alumni... was discovered by a journalist, during an investigation of diploma mills, which he stated the entity was selling doctorates for $449 +$100 if you'd like summa cum laude designation. The journalist determined the photo was taken of another person with a different name, at his actual graduation from a different school...
Interestingly enough, their media contact number is the same mysterious number as their admissions...
They list accreditation from ACICU... which I've never heard of... and a quick search pulls me back to this site.... sigh... should have just searched on here first... but it was an interesting rabbit hole to go down.
The term "accreditation" is, unfortunately, rather worthless in general. We understand what a school SHOULD mean when they use the term. That meaning differs from country to country and even from industry to industry.
Nurses can be accredited. It has nothing to do with degrees. Some states, at least historically, referred to their state approval process, sometimes formally and sometimes informally, as "accreditation."
What it comes down to is, unfortunately, the US has a patchwork system that is confusing and of benefit only to private entities to the detriment of the students they supposedly serve. There is no easy marker for what makes a school "good" and that, really, is what people are looking for. We use terms like "legitimate" but what someone wants to know is, is this school good? Is this something that will help or hinder my getting a job. Is this a degree that will help me get that promotion or will it be a time bomb on my resume?
We don't have a good marker.
We used to say "Oh, well, RA. It's RA. If a school is RA it's good!" Then we added more qualifiers as more schools picked up RA. RA but not f0r-profit. Then we went on further, RA but not non-profits that act like for-profits. Then we kept going. RA but only if they also have the following programmatic accreditations. And on it goes.
Remember when Florida established a public university and it was denied initial accreditation? Meanwhile, have you been watching as UPeople has been seemingly knocking it out of the park? There is no standard. And that is a problem in a system that is supposed to standardize some of these things.
The fact that as I sit here right now I can imagine someone with a degree from LBU not only successfully "using" their degree but even successfully defending against any criticism of that school from a future employer shows that what we tried to do was legislate so that school recognition didn't come down to a popularity or branding contest. In that we've failed. Outside of the Ivy League, school recognition and reputation is greatly affected by sports to the point where I'm sure that some kid growing up in Arizona may well be familiar with Penn State but not with any of the unfortunately named actual state schools in Pennsylvania such as California University of Pennsylvania or Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Aside from having the misfortune of being based in towns named after states, there is nothing wrong with these schools. Some of them have very well known programs regionally. But they didn't have Joe Paterno so they are lost in obscurity outside of their state.
ASIC can't tell us if a school is good. Hell, our own recognized accreditors can't tell us that. It's a very serious problem.
Neuhaus has some good points. Accreditation is a gatekeeper of sorts but you have schools like the University of Phoenix that people's perception of is so jaded that they either disregard it (accreditation) or believe it to be unaccredited. The unaccredited part baffles me as I have encountered it several times. Coupled with other comments, it is just the reputation the school has.
Neuhaus mentions Louisiana Baptist University. It is true that some people find utility with the degrees as do people who graduate from Graduate Theological Foundation. LBU has a campus (rather than a storefront or operating out of a church basement) and like GTF has some prominent (in their world) graduates.
Louisiana Baptist University has from time to time had graduates who compare the rigor of LBU with RA schools (not always a reliable indicator since it is self serving). Here is what Jabbezz said over at Baptist Board:
"My undergrad degree (BA in pastoral ministries) was earned at a regionally accredited university. I then earned the MA in church ministries (54 hours) at a regionally and ATS accredited seminary. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) was then taken at the Baptist Hospital in my state. Acceptance was then gained into a Doctor of Ministry program at a regionally and ATS accredited seminary, which I completed with an emphasis in pastoral ministry. I share this only to state that my earning of the LBU Ph.D. was not to obtain the title "Dr." DMin graduates enjoy that title, if they choose to use it."
"The rigor between the two programs was quite similar. Keep in mind the DMin is a professional (oriented toward the practice of the ministry), while the PhD is a research degree. The individual courses were similar in course content, requirements, etc. My PhD dissertation was double the length of my DMin dissertation. And while the PhD is unaccredited, much more "blood, sweat & tears" were invested in this dissertation than its DMin counterpart."
Anecdotally, I have a relative who, at a family function a few years ago, was irate that UPhoenix ripped him off. He enrolled, you see, and when he didn't do anything for any of his classes they failed him. He literally never logged in. He thought that once he paid Phoenix he just waited out each semester and, in time, they gave him a degree. He was quite pissed that they expected him to do work AND wouldn't give him a refund.
I know many colleagues who have taught at Phoenix, especially when they had physical mini-campuses all over the place. Most of them also taught at community colleges and some local four year colleges. So it was the same instructors and many (though not all) liked having a canned curriculum rather than having to develop their own course, especially for level 100 courses.
Honestly, short of just selling the degrees like Axact did, I don't think rigor is the problem.
But if we did a study where we applied for 100 jobs with identical resumes except half listed LBU and hte other half listed UPhoenix as the place where the applicant graduated with their B.S., assume no graduate study and the job only requires a B.S., I have a sneaking suspicion LBU would outperform Phoenix. That's a really inconvenient reality we may have to face. The problem is that it tears down some of our notions about the gatekeeping and how it should work.
Maybe we should be evaluating each school individually. Maybe an employer should really consider whether Phoenix is good enough and whether LBU does as well using the same criteria. I don't know. Accreditation offers us an easy check. But it is clearly not sufficient for what we hope it will do which is allow us to not have to check each school individually.
Separate names with a comma.