Is the term regionally accredited still used?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Dustin, Jan 17, 2022.

  1. chris richardson

    chris richardson Active Member

    Looking at many masters programs and above and a good amount of schools still want an RA undergrad. For international equivalency, RA is still the standard. Regardless of the Dept of education change or utility of a NA degree within the US for .gov and many jobs, for now RA still matters IMHO.
  2. DrSchmoe

    DrSchmoe Member

    I see the answers here consist of two types, whether it is a term still used and whether it is important. I'll start with whether it is a thing. Yes, it is:

    The question now is whether it is relevant, or important. That depends on who you ask:

    Employers, and hiring managers? Absolutely not. Nationally accredited or regionally accredited, we don't care. If it's a STEM job, the degree is just a checkmark. It's the technical part of the interview you have to pass. Either you know your stuff or you don't.

    Grad schools. I know for a fact they don't. Even when they state they do, they don't. Most/all top grad schools look at candidates holistically. I have come across many resumes where they clearly attended DETC/DEAC undergrad schools and went on to get masters at prestigious schools like UCLA and Georgia Tech.

    The DI community: They care. Your value here at DI is based upon whether you attended an RA school or not. But let that not be a worry. The stalwarts of DI are not spending their time trying to find cures to cancer; they're here typing up 15k+ posts. They may turn you into a jack-in-the-box and send you into the fields for insulting them, but they're not hiring managers who'd be interviewing you for your next job.

    One concession: I understand that many non-RA schools do not participate in the DOE financial aid programs, so you would have to check with the school.
  3. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    This is incorrect, particularly in the STEM fields. There are Fortune companies that still specifically list ABET & RA based degrees as qualification requirements.
  4. DrSchmoe

    DrSchmoe Member

    I agree. They "specifically list" as requirements. They do on paper. I won't disagree with that.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Do you have evidence to support this conclusion about the population of employers? Personally, I don't know of any except a study done with HR professionals two decades ago. While it seems certain things have changed during that period, we don't know to what extent, nor can we simply accept your conclusion prima facie.

    Do you have any evidence of this? I've been part of this community since its inception and that's not my impression at all. There have been a few people who took that stance--one in particular--but I don't recall anyone doing that in years. I suggest this is a gross and inaccurate simplification of a complex issue and the people involved with it.
    Which is exactly what you're doing. You're just not up to "15k+" posts yet. How is what you do any different from anyone else on this board?

    Secondly, what contributions to this field have you made? That isn't a loaded question; I'd really like to know. Teaching, publishing, practice, what?
    What does this even mean? How does one poster possibly do this to another poster...with a post?
    Ummm....I've been hiring people for jobs for decades, as have many others on this board.

    Most assessments posted here are informed opinion, based on experience, education, and (sometimes) research. Almost all assertions are supported or observable. Yours, in this post, are neither. But I'm looking forward to seeing you change that, rather than doing the very thing you decry in others. Complaining about insults while insulting people is a little hypocritical, no?
  6. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    That is not a universally true statement. Many don't care because the requirement is simply an accredited degree and for that they take a look at a database of accredited degrees. Others can't tell the difference between an unaccredited and a credit degree. Others want a regionally accredited degree. An example would be to be a teacher. This is also the case with many licensing boards.

    But then you can't even universally say that a regionally accredited degree (or to borrow from Prince what were formerly known as regionally accredited degrees) are acceptable. I know of cases where the University of Phoenix degree will not get you transfer credit into a regionally accredited School and will not you get you into a graduate program. I also know of cases where a University of Phoenix degree well not qualify you for jobs such as teaching. Not a written rule but an unwritten prejudice. That may go for other for profits as well.

    It is hard to speak definitively because there are exceptions. And for many people it is not based on any objective issue or qualitative issue it is simply history, custom, what we think we know, and so on.

    So what does this mean? It means do your homework and if you're hedging your bets then you probably want to err on the side of a regionally accredited degree OR do your homework about how to navigate the system and get around it. For example, if you were to get a nationally accredited undergraduate degree and then researched and found regionally accredited graduate schools that would take the degree. Then utilize your regionally accredited graduate degree for whatever you needed such as licensure or a job. That route may not be all that valuable since many nationally accredited degrees are fairly expensive. That route has occasionally been utilized by people with an unaccredited undergraduate degree who got into an accredited graduate program and saved a lot of money. Always risk with that approach such as policies changing and schools no longer accepting an unaccredited undergraduate degrees even on an exception basis.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I can recall only a couple of posters who evoked "doctor" in their online handle on this board. I don't recall any that did so under their real names and held legitimate doctoral degrees. But we do know many, many posters who both hold doctorates and post under their real names.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    What a foolish comment. First, people here disagree on this stuff all the time. Second, reaching thousands of posts isn't that hard when one is part of a community for twenty years, and as Rich observed, if you think that's an unproductive hobby you're in the wrong place. Finally, a few of us actually do hire people or otherwise are HR experts.
    Rachel83az and Johann like this.
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Different employers have different standards is the universal truth.

    I know of employers that would only hire new grads out of one or two schools. My employer was very selective. They only hired from what they considered top tier schools. Now a few years after I was hired they stopped hiring from Berkeley because Berkeley grads got priced out of the range that my employer was willing to pay. They recruited heavily from the University of California system though. I only saw one or two resumes ever sent to me by HR from the State University system. The one I definitely remember, I hired him. He had all A's with only one class with a B grade. I never talked to anyone at HR about NA schools because I doubt they would have been the least bit interested in the topic.

    I do assume that most all companies do not have any rules against nationally accredited schools. I consider that good. But I also assume that most companies have the idea that hiring new graduates from higher status schools is better for the company. I quickly admit here that "higher status" school is a very subjective idea.
  10. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    "Dr. Schmoe is the founder and director of The Functional Neurology Center and Co Developer of The Brain Health Online Summit. Over the past 10 years he has been working with patients with complex neurological dysfunction.

    He has treated thousands of patients with head injuries, vertigo, dysautonomia, dizziness, movement disorders, neuro-degenerative and developmental disorders. He enjoys seeing the most complex cases Integrating neuro-rehab, manual therapy, lab work and nutrition. "

    Not sure that is our Dr. Schmoe but there does not seem to be many other Dr. Schmoe's that I can find on the Internet.


    Jeremy Schmoe Chiropractor. Minneapolis MN - WebMD ... › ... › MN › Minneapolis

    Dr. Schmoe works in Minneapolis, MN and specializes in Chiropractor. RATINGS AND REVIEWS. Have you seen this provider? Be the first to leave a review.

  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Oh, man. I might be very wrong. I assumed "Schmoe" was a made-up name. Jeremy? I thought it would be "Joe."

    Still, he hasn't identified himself as such. If so, I'll withdraw part of what I said about evoking "doctor" and one's real name, but it is still a very rare thing and smacks of egotism. Further, being a chiropractor lends zero credibility to his posts. Again, if that's him.
    Dustin likes this.
  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    One of the problems with hiring based on prestige is that you're walking just a few steps from discrimination. Not always but in some cases.

    Say, for example, I have a company policy that I will never hire anyone unless they graduated from Harvard. Then a fully qualified candidate who is a person of color and who possesses a degree from an HBCU applies for a job. But, nope, Harvard only.

    Harvard's demographics make it such that the likelihood of my hiring a person of color are very unlikely. And if that candidate sues us and says it was for racial reasons then a company saying "Sorry, we only hire from that school that is mostly white people" is not really a great defense. It's the reason why many HR departments try to break down some of these biases in hiring managers because it cuts down on diversity. And I don't just mean racial and gender diversity. Hiring all of your engineers from a school you believe has "the best" engineering program may not appear like a bad thing but it can lead to new ideas and new background experiences not being brought to the table.

    Every year we sit in a conference room with the law firm our company contracts to review our Affirmative Action outcomes. Contrary to the talk radio talking points, this isn't where we hire people based on demographics. It's where we look at how diverse our workforce is and look at what strategies we can implement to attract a more diverse pool of candidates. They say it's a bad idea and as they're a nationwide consulting firm I'd say it's probably not an isolated opinion.

    They were some of the champions of us dropping the RA requirement for the same reason. Two equally qualified candidates arrive, one with a degree from an RA school and another from an NA. We reject the second because their degree "isn't accredited enough" despite the fact that legally there is no difference in the eyes of the government.

    You can get away with a lot of stuff when you're hiring interns or entry level professionals. That's why schools often dedicate space for recruiters to sit down and meet with candidates right on campus. Colleges WANT us there recruiting their soon to be grads. However, for anything after that first job out of college the playing field no longer becomes so level.

    Hiring a first year engineer? Cool. Hire some from Cornell or Clarkson or Binghamton. It doesn't matter. On paper they're all the same.

    Beyond that, it's very rare for two candidates to actually be completely equal in terms of experience, demonstrated skills etc. And to zero in on a school's accreditation is 1) something that I have not seen a single degree verification company doing 2) not something an HR department has time to do themselves 3) Really unimportant compared to the other factors surrounding that candidate. I say this because the likelihood of someone coming up for these jobs at a traditional college graduate age with an NA degree is incredibly small. NA schools typically appeal more to working professionals. The result is that they are in a different pool of candidates.

    You get resumes from your local university? Sure you do, for recent graduates. You're not relying on your local university to refer to you a mid-career database administrator who has been out of college for over a decade. Likewise, the NA grad is not coming up against those recent grads. They are mid-career and they have a resume beyond their degree.

    To say that you won't even consider an experienced and otherwise qualified candidate because of school reputation would be bad hiring on a good day. In the current environment it's just stupid.

    None of this, of course, is intended as a criticism of you or your company. I just lay it out because it's a very different thing that gets discussed as though it isn't.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  13. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    It was a very nice informative post that I had no thought of as criticism.

    I guess I should mention though that my previous comments were referring to new college grads. This was mentioned in the first sentence and was intended to apply to everything following, sorry if that was unclear.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It could also be actionable.

    Workplace discrimination takes two forms, but only one gets any real attention. That one is in the case of a discriminatory action. Manager A doesn't hire Candidate B because Candidate B is black. Pretty cut-and-dried there.

    But the other form is more insidious--and sometimes more harmful: discriminatory outcomes. This is what Neuhaus is laying out for us. You can be well-meaning and your actions could seem non-biased. But if they create a discriminatory outcome, there is still discrimination.

    (This is something CRT tries to address, and did so quietly for decades until it was perverted into a political bomb that did not resemble the original idea.)

    By the way, this is also the basis for most of the objections to laws tightening access to the ballot box, like requiring voter ID or allowing a hugely populated county to have only one polling place. That's sort of what happened in Texas, when the state ruled that each county could have only one drop-off point for early and absentee voting. That was fine in rual (read: White) counties where getting to the drop-off was pretty easy. But imagine that for an extremely populated county, like Harris (Houston)? Both counties are treated "equally," but one is dramatically more impacted than is the other. And gee, guess which one?

    Discriminatory actions and discriminatory outcomes.
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Oh no, not at all unclear. However, one of the reasons why I fall into the "Well, it depends..." camp on the RA/NA debate is because I look at the nuance of hiring that a lot of people lump together to form broader conclusions. If my company only hires first year interns out of Yale then of course they would never hire someone from the University of Phoenix (if we were picking on for-profits that day). However, if you're hiring a database administrator and they have the experience, the certificates, and a bachelors degree from a less than desirable school there is every chance that person could find themselves working at that same company.

    So it was kind expanding on that notion lest someone take what you were saying and run with it in ways you may not have anticipated.

    Hiring can be complicated.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  16. AuditGuy

    AuditGuy Member

    We have long had a corporate policy requiring regionally accredited degrees, which was implemented after some issues arose. In the very rare instances where NA degrees show up, we have reclassed a position to broaden the requirements.
  17. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Sounds like some interesting stories might be in there? :)
  18. Jahaza

    Jahaza Active Member

    Here's an interesting example of that. This job at the National Defense University requires that an applicant have

    "A Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education (or international equivalent) in a discipline related to the JAWS curriculum (i.e. military history, history with a concentration in military history, international relations, security studies, or political science).

    "Minimum of two years' documented teaching experience at a regionally accredited college or university."
  19. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    One of the most ardent defenders of my company's former "RA or the highway" rule softened her position when it turned out that the small private business college where she earned her associates (highest degree) was NA before it closed.

    Another colleague at SHRM actually went so far as to do a full presentation at a conference on how degrees from for-profits were not to be trusted. When I inquired as to where she had earned her doctorate she, without hesitation, said "Walden University!" She has since stopped doing that presentation.

    These things all make for fun conversation around these boards and very fun sound bytes on TV and YouTube.

    But at the end of the day...this stuff really doesn't come up that often. And when it does, it isn't in a vacuum.

    Thanks for sharing your story of sensible hiring processes.
    Dustin, Rachel83az and Bill Huffman like this.
  20. DrSchmoe

    DrSchmoe Member

    I checked the website. The poster doesn't realize that there are three levels of accreditation. The vast majority of people think that if you're not regionally accredited, then you are unaccredited. They say "regionally accredited", but then they have a link to the US DoE below which has the list of schools they accept as regionally-accredited. That list has numerous nationally accredited schools there.

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