Kennedy-Western University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mjomran, Apr 12, 2001.

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  1. mjomran

    mjomran New Member

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    Hi all,
    I want in this article to defend Kennedy-Western University (KWU), since I found few sites describing it a s a diploma mill, which is totally incorrect.
    At KWU, the Ph.D. program requires finishing five courses, followed by a dissertation (150+ pages).
    The five courses cover advanced topics (e.g., Computational complexity, Optimization, Artificial Neural Networks, Natural Language Processing, Machine Vision…etc.) it is very clear that these courses are of Doctoral levels in all leading universities. In addition, the exams are difficult and are prepared and corrected by experienced professors from leading state university (UCLA, Texas, NYU… etc.), you can also request tutorial assistant from them and discuss with them the material. The exams are difficult (some are on-line) you can not answer them if you did not study them very well.
    Regarding the dissertation, it should show originality of work, and it should consist of at least 150 pages and you should follow a rigid format.
    So, as it is clear from the above KWU has nothing to do with diploma mills, and including it with these universities is a mistake.
    Best regards
    M. G. Omran
    Ph.D. candidate Computer Science
    KWU
     
  2. Mark A. Sykes

    Mark A. Sykes New Member

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    I completely agree, if anyone included KWU on a list of diploma mills, they have made an unfair characterisation of the institution.

    It should have been on the degree mill list.

    Mark A. Sykes
     
  3. Ike

    Ike New Member

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    Hi Omran,

    Why wasting your time laboring painstakingly for a degree that will lead you to nowhere. KWU is not accredited by an agency recognized by U.S department of education. The school has a mail forwarding office somewhere in the Midwest. Its administrative office is located in California but the school is not allowed to admit students from California. Isn't this dubious enough to trigger a second thought about KWU? The piece of paper (degree) you will receive from KWU will be considered worthless. People will laugh at you when they learn that your Ph.D. is from a degree mill. If you continue with your Ph.D studies at KWU, you will surely continue to defend you degree for the rest of your life and people will keep laughing at you once they discover that your Ph.D is unaccredited. You will be viewed as a lightweight by your colleagues and by anybody who is aware of how and where you got your degree.
    Even those of us who are pursuing accredited
    Ph.D through DE have some explaining to do, but once people understand that the degree is accredited, the regard for you and your Ph.D. will change.

    Ike Okonkwo
     
  4. Kristin Evenson Hirst

    Kristin Evenson Hirst New Member

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    You might want to check out this article:

    "States Struggle to Regulate Online Colleges That Lack Accreditation"
    Sarah Carr and Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 23, 2001 http://www.chronicle.com/free/v47/i28/28a03401.htm
    Includes a description of a visit to Kennedy-Western's office in Cheyenne, Wyoming:


    ------------------
    Kristin Evenson Hirst
    DistanceLearn.About.com
     
  5. mjomran

    mjomran New Member

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    Hi there,
    What is your definition of a degree mill?!
    Omran-KWU
     
  6. mjomran

    mjomran New Member

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    Hi there,
    What is your definition of a degree mill?
    Omran
    PhD (c) KWU
     
  7. Ike

    Ike New Member

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    A degree mill requires little to mediocre academic work while a diploma mill requires very little to no academic work (my personal opinion). For instance, any school that dishes out Ph.D. degrees for academic workloads that are comparable only to undergraduate workloads (A.S. and B.S. equivalent) is a degree mill. There are a few unaccredited universities that could not be regarded as a degree mill. KWU is definitely NOT one them. KWU remains what it is. A degree ..... or a diploma ....
    The truth is that KWU is not accredited and it will never be in the foreseeable future. The degree it awards will remain an object of ridicule in both professional and academic circles.

    Ike Okonkwo
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Mr. Omran,

    Since you live in Kuwait, perhaps there is an institution in Iraq which would transfer the five courses from Kennedy-Western. You would then have a genuine degree.

    Russell
     
  9. tcnixon

    tcnixon New Member

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    And, of course, another interesting aspect of K-W is that even though they are barred from accepting students from California, this is where they actually operate from.


    Tom Nixon
     
  10. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

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    Tom Nixon reminds us that "And, of course, another interesting aspect of K-W is that even though they are barred from accepting students from California, this is where they actually operate from.

    One of the very clear messages from the three members of the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, with whom I chatted at the DETC convention, is that they are very concerned with schools that are run (all or part) from California, but do not have California approval. But things often move very slowly in the regulatory world, and the notion seems to me that there may be a plan in place in 2002 that would address this problem. So the folks at Kennedy-Western, Century, and a dozen or more others, have plenty of time to prepare or lobby or both, as they choose.

    John Bear
     
  11. mjomran

    mjomran New Member

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    Mr. Russell

    I think you want to be funny. But first, I want to remind you (if you do not know as it appears from your post) that Kuwait University is ABET accredited. I got my BS and MS from there with honors and that Iraqi Universities are well known for their high academic levels and the excellent reputation of their graduates. Moreover, you should know that in Arab countries all universities are supervised by The Ministries of Education in their respective countries.
    Second, I thought by starting this discussion I would receive mature opinions and constructive advice. However, I found the quality of discussion by you (and some other participants) very poor and insulting. I would like to remind the administrator that it is their job to stop such FROTH.
    M. Omran
    Ph.D. Candidate KWU
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Mr. Omran:

    My post was indeed made in jest, and I apologize if you took it otherwise.

    It is only that so many non-accredited US schools fall into the less-than-wonderful category. Also, some who post do so under an alias, postulating questions which seem to lend credibility to degree mills. Others still, who have several legitimate credentials, will then enroll in a doctoral program which is clearly from a school that is highly suspect. For these reasons, as well as others, it often becomes a topic for humorous statements.

    All humor aside, if your intent is to earn a US credential which will enjoy broad recognition, I would encourage you to choose a school which has USDoE recognized accreditation.

    Best wishes in your pursuit!

    Russell
     
  13. JimCarlson

    JimCarlson New Member

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    Mr. Omran,

    In connection with Kristin's post I will draw your attention to the State of Oregon's list of unaccredited universitites available at http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/unaccredited.html . Note that KWU is listed and note in Oregon that degrees from KWU "are illegal for use in Oregon". I totally agree that Kuwait universities have a high standard and I personally would suggest that you strive to maintain that standard unfortunately KWU is not the way to do that.

    Good luck,

    Jim
     
  14. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman New Member

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    I believe it is good that you're getting an early start in defending your KWU degree because I believe you'll find that you'll be doing it a lot.

    Here's some more good practice for you. Please try to explain why KWU won't accept students from California. Here's my theory. KWU doesn't want to be faced with students that are California residents complaining about being ripped off by a degree mill to the California authorities. If someone from another state complains to the California authorities, it's much harder to get the authorities concerned about their complaint. Mjomran, I'm eagerly looking forward to your alternative explanation.
     
  15. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

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    I would sincerely hope that you reconsider your KW Computer Science adventure. Since you are aware that your Kuwait degrees are ABET accredited you should know that you will have a difficult time defending your nonaccredited degree.

    You may be working hard for your KW degree but that is a problem with this type of institution. Because it is not accredited you do not know how standards are enforced and the next gentleman to come along may just be awarded life experience credit without doing a lot of work. Doctoral programs that award experience for life credit is what doctoral study is NOT about. You do the coursework so that you can do the research and understand the material so that you can do a dissertation that is an original contribution to the field and be an expert in this field.

    The point of the matter is, you may actually be doing doctoral level work at KW but that does not mean everyone is. Thus, if you are going to do the work you might as well be pursuing a program that will be accepted.

    There should also be enough red flags based on the posts here that would cause you to reconsider. For example:

    1.) KW cannot accept students from the state of California.

    2.) KW is licensed in Wyoming and has a nearly vacated office.

    3.) KW offers programs that are not regionally accredited which is the accepted standard in the US - other than approved professional and DETC type of accreditation (of which KW does not fall under any of these).

    4.) Some knowledgeable folks on this board are telling you that you will have a degree that you must constantly defend.

    What puzzles me is what attracted you to the KW program in the first place? As an IT manager I would not even consider a KW graduate, for the following reasons:

    A.) The degree is highly questionable.

    B.) Our company, will not accept unaccredited degrees. Degrees by individuals must be from RA schools or their equivalent.

    John
     
  16. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member

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    Omran wrote
    and
    Oh, that explains it. For a while there I thought you had a copyright on PhD.......
     
  17. porky_pig_jr

    porky_pig_jr New Member

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    What you are describing really looks like Master of Science in Computer Science (which by the way is what I have, and *not* by distance learning) rather than PhD. The core of PhD is *not* advanced courses but the research and special free-form courses designed only for those enrolled by PhD. Yes, you do have to take some credits in addition to your BS or MS, spend a couple of years on that, but then you spend 2-3 years working on dissertation.

    This is just to put a bit of a perspective into this discussion. I guess it all depends why you want to have the advanced degree. With the program you've described above - well it really doesn't prepare you for academic/research career, but probably you don't care about this anyway, and just having the PhD title is sufficient. In this respect what I believe is just an inflated Master Of Science cirriculum should be good enough. It is at least better than 'Getting your Bachelor of Science in 4 hours'. (and forgetting everything you've crammed into your brains even faster than that)
     
  18. Chip

    Chip Administrator

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    In reviewing the comments made, I don't find any of them to be particularly immature. Sarcastic, maybe, but I do believe that everyone posting has attempted to honestly help you avoid a huge mistake.

    I would like to remind the administrator that it is their job to stop such FROTH.


    As one of the administrators, I can tell you that none of the posts above violate our terms of service. No personally insulting comments have been made, and the posters have all stuck to the facts about K-W.

    It's very unfortunate that you've made an unwise decision in choosing K-W, but that doesn't change the fact that the school you've chosen is, without question, a school whose degrees are very close to worthless.

    Even Columbia State had occasional students who did a fair amount of work before being issued their degree... but this doesn't by any stretch mean that the degrees had any value, or that the work equated with what one would do at a regionally accredited school.

    You've heard it from several others here, and now you'll hear it from me... as much as it may hurt to admit it, you made a terrible decision and, in all probability, have flushed a pretty hefty amount of money down the toilet, along with at least some amount of effort.

    I would very highly recommend that you ditch the program *now* and find a legitimate program where you might start over again. Depending on the quality of the work you've already done, you may be able to use some of it in a legitimately accredited program, so it might not be like starting *completely* over.

    The K-W degree is nothing but a time bomb, and you're much better off with NO doctoral degree and your two legitimate degrees than you would be with a K-W doctorate. Unfortunately, you *will* be laughed at by anyone who knows the school. No one here is trying to be mean spirited, we're just trying to save you some grief later on.

    The decision as to whether you continue to pursue this worthless degree is, of course, yours... but now you've been warned by some highly respected folks, and if you choose to ignore their unsolicited free advice, you do so at your own peril.

    If you *are* interested in pursuing a legitimate doctoral degree, let us know your area of study, and we'll come up with some suggestions for legitimate, regional or GAAP accredited programs that will suit your needs.

    Best of luck.

    Chip
     
  19. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

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    Five courses for a US Doctorate? Even if you calculate that every course carries the maximum credit (3 semester hours), that totals up to 15 semester credit hours. That's beyond the scam, that's into the joke category.

    Bruce
     
  20. Gerstl

    Gerstl New Member

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    To be fair, the number of courses is somewhat irrelevent with a doctorate. I took my Quals a year earlier than many in my school, and I had 3 or 4 courses at that point. Once the Quals where passed, I didn't have a course requirement (there was no course requirement at all, just pass the quals).

    The dissertation is the only thing that really matters, and it's the quality, not the quantity (# of pages) that matters there). If KWU where producing brilliant 20 page dissertations (math I would assume) then I'd bet people would be accepting of the degree. If they produce 1500 page piles of ****, then the degree is worthless--so where can we go to read these dissertations ?????
     

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