Know anyone burned with an Unacredited degree

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by mcjon77, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    Hey all,

    I was just wondering how many of you all know people with unacredited degrees who have suffered as a result of it. I know a few that have paid a penalty for having UA PhDs. They are both very nice people who I honestly don't believe realized the importance of regional acreditation or that their school wasn't acredited. They both got there degree sometime in the late 80's or early 90's.

    The thing is that both of these people did work and wrote dissertations. Whether their dissertations were of the quality of an RA PhD dissertation, I do not know, because they were never reviewed by an RA institution. One of the people just found out that her PhD of 10+ years is practically worthless. Thankfully these people don't work at the university I work at, but they do work for other schools, and they are good instructors.

    In one school they are aware of the problem with the person's PhD and simply keep her at the level of a person with only a Masters degree (her masters is RA). In the other case (different school) I don't think they know about the legitimacy of her degree. The problem for her is that she cannot move to another university because they will check her degree, find out it is bogus, and not hire her, or hire her at a lower level. She has decided to persue an RA PhD to make herself competitive in the marketplace.

    I guess I'm writing this to find out if others have had similar experiences with people.

  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Besides Laura Callahan and Todd Saldana? Well, there's the two faculty applicants whose resumes I recently tossed because they listed doctorates from unaccredited schools. But they'll never know.
  3. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    I was thinking along the lines of aquantinces as opposed to folks we have read about. Rich, ust wondering, why did you not tell them why their application was dumped. One of the people I was refering to only found out her degree was worthless when she tried to apply for a position at another school and the Dean or Department Chair told her that her PhD was unacceptable.

  4. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    It makes absolutely no sense to tell people why they were not accepted for a job. All a company would be doing is making themselves vulnerable to lawsuits, whether or not it would be nothing but a nuisance suit.
  5. Broderick

    Broderick New Member


    Were their degrees (PhD's) from legit unaccredited schools (like in California) or shady operations? Also, were their masters from RA or NA establishments? If they did not list the doctorates, would they have been qualified and recieved a second look? Did they need the doctorates for the position?


  6. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    You know, in my physical (non-internet) life, I don't know anyone with a non-accredited degree.

    I do have an old acquaintance from many years ago that's currently serving as an administrator/professor at a CA-approved university. He hasn't suffered any ill effects, as far as I know. (His own Ph.D. is from UC Berkeley.)
  7. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    When I was working at a California community college, I learned that one of my faculty peers had completed at PhD from Lawrence University in Santa Barbara some years earlier. Unfortunately, the college did not recognize his unaccredited degree. His request for salary increase to doctoral level was denied. The college did not list his PhD on any of its publications and no one referred to him as "doctor".

    While he was not really "burned", he was not able to realize his goal of professional advancement.

    Tony Pina
    Northeastern Illinois University
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Whose needs were served by engaging them? Not ours. It was simpler to just ignore the applicants.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    One had a degree from St. Regis, the other from Columbia Pacific University. The first was an utter fake, the latter a legitimate--if unaccredited--school for a long time. But both should have known that applying for a teaching position at an accredited school while claiming such degrees would not be acceptable.

    Both had master's degrees from RA schools.

    Both would have been qualified to teach if they'd not listed their "doctorates." Neither needed a doctorate to teach.

    The SRU case was cut-and-dried. The CPU case was a bit different. What I finally decided was that someone applying to an RA school for an academic position shouldn't list an unaccredited degree. Would an added explanation from the candidate help? Doubtful. The SRU doctorate-holder actually indicated in his resume that the degree was awarded based upon life experience. As if that explained things!

    If either had claimed degrees from NA schools, I certainly would have contacted them and explained that, for this position, such a degree would have been unacceptable. And if they had other degrees that would have qualified them to teach, I would have considered them without prejudice because national accreditation, like DETC's, is legitimate, if sometimes not acceptable.
  10. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    And logistically it can sometimes be difficult. It is not uncommon to get many, many responses to academic job announcements, even for part-time positions. Responding just may not be possible.

    Tom Nixon
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2004
  11. Broderick

    Broderick New Member


    Not to second guess, but I totally agree with you on the SRU case, even if he/she claims they didn't know the issues surrounding it, they should still be smarter than that, especially with a masters. However the other candidate, don't you think it was a tad harsh and biased (prejudiced)? A legitimate, yet un accredited degree that wasn't even required... the possibility exists that that person might had even more knowledge than one without because of the doctorate and the subsiquent research. Maybe an interview would have been better before making such a decision. And maybe there is a contradiction that you would accept the candidate if they had a DETC degree as well as other qualifying degrees but you won't in this.

    Just a thought, but your the boss and the buck stopped there.


  12. Broderick

    Broderick New Member

  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Nevermind

    It is, Michael, but I think your original objection has merit. I have always found CPU to be legitimate; schools that have been much worse have continued to remain approved by California.

    I chucked the resume because someone applying to a university should know better, plain and simple.

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