How to choose an UNACCREDITED school?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by LearningAddict, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm no one. I have in the past been in a situation where I was interested in one of more unaccredited programs and had to think about ways to narrow down the list. I highly doubt I'm the only person who has ever been in that situation given how many programs have been out there and the number of potential students.

    You mention programs that can be found at any accredited school, but that doesn't cover programs that can't be found at an accredited school, or the accredited options that are in small numbers and are very expensive and inaccessible to many people. Take the example Max mentioned: Say a person wanted to get a Doctorate in Natural Medicine. You're not going to get an accredited Doctorate in Natural Medicine for the prices an unaccredited school charges. The accredited schools charge up to and over $100K. Unaccredited options can be just a few thousand dollars. I'm sure people in that realm make the choice to go unaccredited often for that reason alone and there are quite a few options out there. What they do with it after that is another story, but given the choice between 100K and 3-5K, the 3-5K unaccredited option is an easy one especially if they understand that they won't be able to see patients (at least not without some legal gymnastics).
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  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That's not what Neuhaus said. He said no one ever set out with the goal of getting a degree from an unaccredited school (generically speaking). Yes, many people set out to get a specific degree from a specific school, but no one sets the initial search criteria on "Unaccredited."

    There are always exceptions and niche situations to be found. They do not take down the basic idea that, at least these days, there are almost no degrees from unaccredited schools that cannot be found at accredited schools. And those that might exist are often not truly academic subjects to be taught in a legitimate university setting. As for price, that is absolutely no excuse to take a degree from an unaccredited school. It is a shortcut, nothing more.

    So yeah, you might choose to get a degree in psychic surgery from some unaccredited school for 500 bucks, but that doesn't mean it falls anywhere in the realm of legitimacy, despite the unique subject matter and/or the price.
  3. ali

    ali New Member

    Which one is $500 exactly? I checked the links and they are at least few grand. ENEB is better; $250 and has pseudo accreditation.
  4. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    But my question never said what he was he posting about either. Of course no one is saying "I need a degree. Gee, let me go find the best unaccredited school out there!" It's not about intentionally setting out to choose an unaccredited school from the beginning, it's about ways of making the choice if the situation were to come about. Perhaps more hypothetical back story could be added, but I thought it went without saying (well, part of it was saying), and to just ask about what a person would look for if they were in a situation of choosing one.
  5. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Still depends though. If I want to learn something for personal enrichment (and people do that all the time), and the unaccredited choice costs 10-20x less, I don't think it's an excuse so much as it's a good reason. People may counter and say you can just grab some books and do it yourself, but my counter to that is always the point of having a structured environment. Not everyone learns things as well on their own, and a structured class setup and some skin in the game can make a difference.

    The example about NM holds here, too. You can't practice in most states, but that shouldn't stop people from being able to learn it in a structured system if they want to do it. If I want to do that, I should be able to without the only options costing $100,000 or more preventing me from it. In that field, many people go unaccredited not because it's a shortcut but because the accredited alternative will saddle them with debt for a very long time if not for the rest of their lives and the only thing they would be able to do in most places is be an unlicensed consultant who can't see patients anyway. It would be good for them to be able to at least make the best choice they could considering the unaccredited path they may go on.

    But at the same time, people who are in that realm see that type of thing as legitimate and take it very seriously, and they even have their own concept of hierarchies among schools that teach those types of things, not just and only psychic surgery but any number of things within that fold. Even though I don't take it seriously (because, you know, science) I won't judge them and mostly because I would never be in their space and have to concern myself with having to use their services.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  6. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    About shortcuts, we know there are lots of frauds out there looking for shortcuts just to be called "Doctor" in some field, or get to touch people without being questioned much which is weird and creepy. But I think asking this question here and to this member base, it's sort of implied that a person would be looking for a legitimate program.

    The way I see it, even though a program is unaccredited, you should still have reasonable safeguards in your arsenal. Like the quack schools I talked about earlier, yep, they definitely exist and in abundance. You may likely have to scrutinize schools in certain fields more heavily than others, but the point is that you should scrutinize no matter what. Look at the faculty and the credentials, look at the course list and description, if you can get a book list do that. If any of it looks fishy, run. Look at the reputation of the school and accept nothing less than good-to-sparkling. No rep? Be wary. Bad rep? RUN!

    If you're looking to get licensed in a field where accreditation matters (and that's most of them) in order to practice your profession legally and that's what you want to do, then you know better than to go to an unaccredited school.
  7. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    There are unaccredited schools people in that field respect and you see graduates from them pop up as consultants under licensed practitioners from time to time as you read clinic rosters online. I have no problem with that as long as they come from schools that have the positive reputation expected by consensus within that field. It's become more and more understood that the accredited option just isn't economically feasible for many so that's been a driving force behind this. I get that. My problem is when those who are unlicensed go beyond their scope, and it's even worse when somebody winds up getting hurt. It would be nice if everyone acted responsibly within the scope of their credentials but we don't live in a perfect world.

    It's not just isolated to natural fields. You also see this a lot in psychology. Person sets up a practice, isn't licensed, causes some serious damage to people, and eventually is seen hiding their face on the 6 O'clock news after being arrested. Those people don't all come from unaccredited schools so that's something to think about.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There are lots of ways to learn, including inside a degree program. But there is only one place you go to get a degree: a tertiary higher education institution. I don't care what people learned, where they learned it, how they learned it, etc. But I do care when people make claims about their degrees.
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  9. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Here's a question:

    Which is the "better" graduate degree in English literature?

    (A) a PhD from the University of Chicago - Claims to have the no. 1 English department in the United States and ranked as "National University" no. 3 in the 2017 US News rankings


    (B) an MA from Signum University - Not accredited, not ranked, and not a PhD. "Merely" a DL MA degree.

    I think that a good case can be made for a Signum MA being academically superior to a U. of Chicago PhD.


    Simply compare this

    with the faculty statement here --

    The U. of Chicago English department won't even admit new doctoral students unless they specialize in "black studies". Signum on the other hand explores the whole tradition of imaginative literature in English (and the earlier traditions that influenced early English) from medieval times to the present.

    As for me, I'm certainly more interested in what Signum teaches than I am in what the U. of Chicago wants to put out. An argument can certainly be made that a department that announces that it will emphasize one specific (and extraordinarily left-politicized) niche of English literature can't possibly be the best (or even a good) program in any of the other aspects of that literature that it dismisses, deconstructs, de-emphasizes or ignores.

    Signum embraces the historical tradition of English literature, particularly the more imaginative aspects of that tradition, as a labor of love as opposed to an expression of contempt. That's bound to have some impact on the quality and nature of the education that a student receives.
  10. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    Had a chance to visit the campus of U of Chicago and its an amazing place (when its not cold in Windy City). The black studies requirement is probably only for this year's admission cycle as I'm sure that the faculty there only wants to direct their limited research money towards studying great literature in this area. But you can't actually believe that Signum is better than U of C. I mean yeah it may be a better buy for the money but Lord of the Rings vs Langston Hughes I will take the later any day. Yes there is normally a time for escapism into great works of fiction but given the current state of America now is a better time focus and revisit writings based on real life struggles to determine how we can move forward as a better society for all.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You make it sound like their concern is consideration of otherwise overlooked literature rather than to promote a specific ideology. But when half of the faculty members who list their research interests include Critical Race Theory and/or Marxism, that's extremely doubtful.
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  12. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    Here is an article on University of Chicago and the direction that the English department has taken for the 2021 administration cycle.
  13. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    But the black studies requirement IS only for this admission cycle. It just is. And seeing how doctoral admissions are almost hiring decisions and driven by ebbs and flows of departmental priorities, this is not at all unusual. It's not like there is any year ALL subfields and methodological foci have equal chance of admission in a particular department, nor is it even possible.
  14. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Yeah, like a catalog and a faculty statement are things that are in any way comparable.
    Way to both introduce politics into conversation, AND be dishonest about it. This is true-form modern conservatism, there.

    I must say, this framing makes Signum seem both better and worse than it really is. There's a grandiose claim that Signum's catalog is representative of "the historical tradition of English literature". Yeah, like there's nothing in said tradition beyond Anglo-Saxon roots and Tolkien. Isn't, I dunno, randomly, poetry of Bob Marley in "historical tradition" of literature in English? OTOH, it makes it seem that Signum may make this claim, to the exclusion of, um, less traditional works and voices - in all aspects. Of course, it makes no claim like that at all; the school has certain focus because well, that's what they are interested in, not because it's "the tradition" and other things are not. And more power to them.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    So what do you guys think of Signum's Master's program in Early Germanic Languages? And please don't say it's unaccredited so it won't get me a faculty post anywhere. I know that. The Runes told me. :)
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    It strikes me as a kind of unaccredited programs that actually makes sense. For about twelve people it might appeal to, as a hobby. I would definitely not hold a degree like this against anyone.
  17. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of starting a thread where I post some examples of unaccredited schools, and we can dissect them and come to a consensus (or not, lol) on which one would be the best choice. I'm considering something that isn't immediately easy to decide on. We'll see.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I like the idea - just please make sure it's not an unaccredited school of brain surgery etc. Sounds interesting.
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  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sound good. Reckon I'll saddle up ol' Sleipnir, mosey down and take a look. :)
  20. Messdiener

    Messdiener Member

    Having studied Modern Standard German (Hochdeutsch) myself, I think that such a program would be utterly fascinating. It is in no way useful for my current career, but I wouldn't mind an inexpensive program from an unaccredited institute as a hobby. Surely, there are more than a dozen of us out there!

    Now, would I list this on my resume or CV? Likely not!

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