Groupon University

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Kizmet, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Actually, Vincent, you are quite mistaken. My Ph.D. is from a regionally accredited university - you can look me up on Wikipedia if you want more information. And, strictly for the sake of humor, people with doctorates tend not to have a résumé - we have a curriculum vita. And I have never omitted my Ph.D. from my C.V.

    But your assumption illustrates a tendency exhibited by those without advanced degrees - they presume without doing their research and verifying their assumption, thus putting themselves in an embarrassing position. As Sweeney Todd said to Anthony Hope, "You are young . . . you will learn." :D
    If you look at my post again, you will find that I named a few "actual, quality universities" in Europe. My complaint is not with legitimate universities, but with the cheap-and-fast imitations that have been under recent discussion in this forum.
    You, too, Vincent. But, notwithstanding that you misspelled my last name, I prefer Steve. Have you heard the old expression, "When you've got it, flaunt it?" When you have the real thing, you don't have to flaunt it. And will not constantly be put in the position of having to defend it, whether on your résumé or in multiple-page threads on DegreeInfo. :rolleyes:
  2. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    I must admit it might, indeed, be a good solution.
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    It's not nearly as difficult as sites like this may make it seem. You're getting a very high concentration of topical--albeit valid--perspectives that make it seem that way because of the type of site you're visiting. The average employer is not even well-versed at all in accreditation matters, and lots of people are working with fake degrees (a lot more people than any authority is likely willing to ever admit) so having a legit one is already a checkmark in the positive column.

    The caveat with any foreign degree is that it's foreign and that will make you subject to certain levels of ignorance from the general public which includes potential employers, and the more your educational journey ventures outside of the anglosphere in America, the more ignorance you're going to encounter on your way back in. Of course, not all schools from foreign locales are created equal in terms of reputation levels, and foreign schools with strong international reputations will subject you to far less scrutiny than schools with lesser reputations or no reputation at all.

    I have no issues with degrees earned through this arrangement. I think these programs are good for people who are economically disadvantaged (and that is an unfortunate circumstance for most people in this world), for people who aren't interested in pursuing a Doctorate but always wanted to engage in graduate studies, aren't needing a career boost, and are in the "this is it" category with regard to their schooling, and for people who are seeking a low-cost way to prepare for graduate study at a more recognized institution or to see if going on to spend many thousands of dollars for a Masters at a more well-known school is something they want to do.

    Now, if I saw this on a resume, the main thing I would want to know is if it's legitimate. Once that checks out I wouldn't much care about all of the other things brought up, but I know that not all employers will think this way, so it's important to be aware of the reality that even resumes listing U.S. regionally accredited degrees get trashed for certain biases (for-profit, unranked, current school scandal in the headlines, screener hates your school's sports team) so you definitely have to expect a degree like the one we're discussing to run into a number of roadblocks.
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  4. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    Well, that's great news! If your complaint is not with legitimate universities, you must have no issue with the partner university either!

    What I find ironic is that someone with an advanced degree, speaking with lofty words to extoll the virtues of research and verification, scorns the research and verification which people have done here to show that the university is legitimate and the degree is legitimate as well.

    Not constantly, no, but I've had to defend plenty of things that are very real because people simply didn't understand them, see my post immediately preceeding this one on this thread. Now, if you don't think my WGU degree is real, or that five years of maintaining a happy, profitable client list does not constitute work experience, or that someone could obtain a CCNP by study and practice without years of experience - all things which caused frequent questions and defense - then all hats off to you for standing firmly on your principles.

    Most of the defense people have had to mount against criticism are geared toward some small minority of people here who don't understand European accreditation and dismiss it or think that anything they don't agree with is suspicious and illegitimate. For anyone outside of those two categories, this has mainly been what I would call a friendly discussion or an open conversation. Maybe it's because I don't have a PhD, but I rather enjoy discussing the merits or pitfalls (those which seem reasonable and not alarmist or elitist) of an option that people may be presented with :)

    Heck, I'll even agree that a 3-month MBA would look suspicious even if someone got it from a US university, that accreditation matters, and that some options in this vein are outright shady and operate in a legal gray area. The latter two do not apply period to ENEB's arrangement with their partner school, which is accredited and issues the degree. If a legal degree from an accredited university is a scam, you've completely lost me.
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  5. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    I read the wiki page. Do you still consider yourself an evangelical Christian?
  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    This isn't really the case. It seems to be a situation whereby you've misinterpreted the fever dreams of this forum for a poll of American hiring.

    The vast majority of employers don't check accreditation at all. Of those who do, generally speaking, a degree from an NA/FBA school is, frankly, "good enough." Of the yet smaller minority that specifically requires an RA degree I can only say that almost all of them don't actually seem to know what that means. It happens a lot. An employer hears that something is the "gold standard" and then they put it into a job posting not understanding what they listed. You know all of those screenshots all over Reddit and elsewhere that show a person applied for a job that required X years of experience in a programming language that has existed for less than that amount of time? Similar mindset.

    One of my colleagues, a hospital HR Manager, was hiring a chaplain once and asked me to take a look at her job description. The position required a minimum of 2 units of CPE and a Master of Divinity from an ATS accredited seminary. I said "Sarah, the posting looks good. But I think you're stance against non-Christians might be a bit harsh." She was taken aback and I pointed out that according to her ATS requirement, virtually no Rabbi, Imam or Buddhist Chaplain would be eligible for employment even with fully accredited degrees. She had no idea. In fact, she fully intended to interview one of her per diems, a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America which is RA but has no theologically specific accreditation at all.

    It happens all the time. Some hiring managers think that their own personal credentials should be the gold standard for hiring. And Human Resources is often looking for a quick template to quickly define a suitable candidate.

    Neither actually hold water in practice. What holds most recent grads back from employment is a few things: 1) a lack of direction. They apply to everything and don't actually have a narrative as to why they are a fit for that specific role 2) lack of experience, if internships aren't your thing then a part time job on the fringes of your industry will do just fine. But don't be shocked when the pharmaceutical company doesn't hire you based on your 6 years of working at a bagel shop part-time. 3) horrendous resume and cover letter composition. I really wish I could show you some of the nonsense people send in. Just google "resume templates" and have a crack at it. Some of these folks aren't even trying.

    And yet, every day and every year recent grads get hired. Some are much more successful than others. Engineers are engineers, they don't really count for this. But Finance grads I've seen come and establish careers within a 3 years timeframe while others languish in hourly hell with no sign of escape.

    Either way, the landscape is not at all as you are describing it.
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  7. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    As a general rule, there are five areas I do not discuss: politics, race, religion, sex, and sports. I find your question to be somewhat from left field, Jason, thus I will cordially decline answering it.
  8. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    ...this said, is is a good solution for the problem. This does not mean that there aren't new problems it would cause.
  9. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    I could echo both @LearningAddict and @Neuhaus, but suffice it to say that I agree with them. I would add one more reason why people can't get jobs: too much saturation in the target market.

    My negative experiences with people asking lots of questions were me coming right out of school with little in-industry experience (1.5 years as a lab technician for the school) into a saturated space (computer networking) without the right credentials (held a CCNP and CCNA Security but only an Associate's). After landing my first IT gig, I have been a shoo-in for most other IT jobs because my experience and skills line up, resulting in something like a 6:1 Offer:Rejection ratio for any company I had a face-to-face interview with.

    It is only because of my successive negative experiences early on that I'm cautious, but things are not that bad getting a job.

    Now, I prefer the entrepreneurial lifestyle, but that's a very different issue to have :)
  10. Thorne

    Thorne Active Member

    Funny story, actually. A former colleague of mine had a fake MSc Computer Science from a famous degree mill that shares its name with Cambridge and got hired into a pretty big regional company as their IT Manager, so I don't think its hard to break into the job market even with a totally fabricated credential, especially if you have a good resume, the right experience, and a broad smile.

    Me? I just prefer not having to actually lie to my future employers, so I'll get my qualification first :D
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You are mistaken. I don't know how you could have come to such a conclusion. But you're dead wrong.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Perhaps you should.

    Or, perhaps, you should get a better understanding of the role of accreditation in the US vs. most other nations. Our system is not controlled by the national government; it is self-regulating. That isn't to say that the national government has no role, but it does not have the primary role in determining what is and what is not recognized as a degree-granting institution of higher education.

    This is what makes accreditation so important in the US. The legal status of a school is determined by its respective home state. State laws range from being very stringent to not being at all evaluative. The legal right to operate simply isn't sufficient. That's why our universities began to form their own associations and set their own standards at the beginning of the 20th century. (All of our regional associations were formed over the next 50-or-so years.)

    Good luck in your learning.
  13. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    There has been a post or two (or more) in other threads where someone claimed that he has a credential from an unaccredited school. I don't believe those claims were ever for credentials at the Doctoral level. IIRC, Stanislav was one person who mentioned this, so it's a possibility that TB is referring to that.
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    This is news to me. Whether I agree with him or not - and I don't always, Steve is an interesting person and I like to know about him. (Same goes for Stanislav). I've never seen the posts you mention - and can't find any using the search thingy. I've never before seen Steve accused of holding an unaccredited degree; he's made it plain that at one time he briefly attended a Master's program at a law school that was unaccredited at the time - but does not hold (or claim) a degree from that school, which has long since been folded into another institution.

    Can you (or Steve) enlighten me here? Just curious, interested and generally nosy, as usual. :)
  15. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Well, if I must . . . I had planned on ignoring this issue, but some of you seem to have an obsessive interest in me, so . . .

    What we have here is an example of the difference between TeacherBelgium, LearningAddict, and Johann, the first two of which believe unreliable sources or misinterpret older posts, and the latter (Johann) who takes the time to do accurate research, admits when he is mistaken, and is altogerther credible.

    So the winner is . . .. Johann, who is 100% right in his assessment of my academic history. Again, those who have an obsessive interest in knowing my history can do an Internet search on my name, hit the first link for my wiki, and read it yourself. (Disclaimer: I did not write my own Wiki biography. It's considered unethical to tamper with one's own bio on Wiki, and I have always honored that. The Wiki piece is about 90% correct, and I don't worry about the other 10%.)

    So, any questions? None of my degrees are unaccredited - they are all regionally accredited, and I spent less than one semester at a then-unaccredited brick-and-mortar law school in California (in an M.A.. program, not a JD. program) before I became thoroughly bored with California and split during Thanksgiving week for my beloved east coast.

    As for Stanislav, he has (to my knowledge) never alleged that I hold an unaccredited credential. Instead, he has occasionally ribbed me because I pursued my regionally accredited doctorate in a low-residency university-without-walls environment while he pursued his in the traditional way. He has said that his ribbing is intended with humor, and I take him at his word on that. He's a thorn in my side occasionally, but he's one of the good guys.
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  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Definitely not me. As far as I know, the three degrees I ever saw Levicoff claim are all accredited.
    All I do, occasionally, is taking objection of ol' Steve thrashing other people's accredited degrees. I merely show how easy it is to dump on his own credentials, using same kind of nonsense he recently began to spew. I'm quite fond of Steve, our resident crazy uncle. After all, he managed to get 3 accredited online degrees before online degrees even existed :) (he'll take objection, but "nontraditional" or "experimental" is the oldey times name for "online", and all his degrees are "nontraditional". Unlike mine. I earned my only online degree last year, and it was from University of London).
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  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't know that I agree with this. I have two doctorates earned nontraditionally, but neither was--at all--done online. During both, the internet was present and in heavy use, but neither degree program was delivered via the internet.

    Here's an example. Each "course" in the "taught" portion of my Leicester program consisted of a set of academic articles, connected by 30 or 40 pages of connecting material written by the faculty. You didn't receive electronic copies of it, though. Instead, you'd get a package in the mail. You read the materials--and sometimes additional books. Part way through the course you'd receive four research questions related to the topic. You would then write a 5,000-word paper answering one of the questions--your choice. (Of course, you were expected to go far beyond the provided materials in your quest to write each paper.) You then submitted the paper (typically via e-mail) for grading. Your feedback report and grade would arrive in the mail. Because there was no teaching--nor any group interactivity--you had nothing to do online. And I don't think sending in an assignment via e-mail meets anyone's definition of "online."
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  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And the winner is....all three Doctors. Good points in each, and well-presented. Today I learned.
  19. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I don't know where you're going with that one. I certainly don't make it a practice to "believe unreliable sources", just the opposite in fact, and we all misinterpret things, yourself included. You've been involved in so many dustups with so many people over the years (almost always started by you, let's be honest) it's hard to remember who has said what in response, but I'm certain someone did attach an unaccredited background to you as I did read it here (and I have no issue with unaccredited schools). I said "IIRC" because I wasn't 100% sure if it was Stanislav who mentioned it but I believed he did because he usually is one who brings up your past, but that's not as important as the fact that it was said.

    And there we go, so it's not like your unaccredited past is a falsehood. That is probably what the person who said it was referring to, and TeacherBelgium must have read it at some point in the past and just got it mixed up, he's human. It's not that big of a deal and didn't call for TeacherBelgium to be disrespected over it.


    As an aside, I find some of the sucking up here of disrespectful posts to be appalling. We need to be better than that, smh. No one is above anyone here, regardless of what they may say or think about themselves or what credentials they hold, and disrespect should never be encouraged. It reflects just as badly on the encourager as it does the offender.
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  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Steve can defend himself, but I disagree. It was a personal and disparaging remark that was false.

    The Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities became a candidate for accreditation almost from the beginning of its existence. Naturally, since the Union was made up of many other colleges and universities, all accredited. Colloquially called "The Union," it struggled financially when it was split off into a separate, degree-granting institution. In fact, it was sued into bankruptcy and (briefly) lost its candidacy. But the ship was righted and, after what might have been the longest candidacy period in history, Union was granted full accreditation. It has remained fully accredited ever since.

    In the very early 2000s, the Ohio Board of Regents decided to stomp on Union and threatened to revoke the school's license. (This after it had recently passed an accreditation renewal.) There were some legitimate complaints regarding the quality of some doctoral work, and whether doctoral committees were providing adequate supervision. But the OBR took things to an extreme and set out to destroy Union. (This also meant the Union's accreditor put them on probation.) So Union made some changes, limited the scope of the doctoral degrees that could be earned, and cleaned up their finances (yet again). The OBR lifted its action. The Union's learner-centered nature was largely destroyed as more structure, limitations, and a school-centric approach was enforced. One can argue for or against the changes. I'm against them, but I understand. It's been smooth sailing for the almost-two decades since. But no, Union never lost its accreditation, and Steve (and I) graduated after the school was accredited.

    In the general public, slanders like "degree mill," "diploma mill," and "unaccredited" get tossed about pretty freely--and often mistakenly. (How many UoP graduates have been told their degrees come from an unaccredited school? A lot, even though UoP was a candidate for accreditation immediately upon opening, became fully accredited quickly, and has been so accredited for about 45 years since.)

    When someone like TeacherBelgium libels another poster regarding the nature of his school, it affects others who have attended that school. Are we affected materially? No, of course not. But this is supposed to be a discussion board about nontraditional higher education. Posters ought to get their facts right about that subject, at least.
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