Long Term Future of DEAC

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by freddyboy, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. freddyboy

    freddyboy Member

    With so many cost-effective RA options now available, will DEAC be able to survive long term?

    I would think that there is a niche market for small, online only universities. I do wonder though, if over, time that market segment will become smaller, to the point where these schools cannot remain profitable and viable, for the reason mentioned above.
    I'm very proud of my California Coast BHA. It's opened many doors in the workplace and helped me gain entry to an excellent B&M RA Graduate School. Its allowed me to join professional organizations such as the American College of Healthcare Executives. which lends additional credibility to the credential.

    However, will DEAC be around in 15-20 years when every state school is offering some type of online degree (if the current trend continues).
    From what I can see, DEAC has made some strides in quality and rigor with the new leadership. It seems that Dr. Matthews' vision of DEAC is that it raises its standards on par with the regionals. But would the regionals ever accept a national accreditor as their equal as a matter of policy?

    I think that over time, DEAC could become obsolete. With so many DL experts here, I would love to hear your take on this important subject.
  2. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I don't think most people know the difference between NA and RA.

    My prediction is large, overpriced for-profit schools will die first.
  3. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Once a federal governmental bureaucracy is created, it can NEVER be eliminated. It can only grow in size. Imagine that: an enlarged DEAC.
  4. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    DEAC is not a federal governmental bureaucracy
  5. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    And accrediting agencies can close. (See the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association, SCASA, which lost recognition effective 1993 and closed circa 1995.)
  6. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Who funds DEAC?
  7. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The institutions accredited by DEAC pay DEAC.

    The same is true for the other accreditors as well. Accrediting agencies are private organizations recognized by USDOE. They are not government agencies and they don't receive direct payment from the government.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    They already do, in the sense that they're silent on the matter. Regional accreditors do not restrict the schools they accredit from accepting credentials from nationally accredited schools when it comes to transfer credit, enrollment in higher level programs, or hiring faculty.

    This is good, because it means that parity can happen one regionally accredited school at a time, rather than requiring some watershed event.
  9. freddyboy

    freddyboy Member

    I'm under the impression that the regionals view DEAC as more of a vocational accreditor vs. an academic one as a matter of policy. I'm also with the impression that regional accreditors have agreements or some type of association with each other to assure similar standards. Is that incorrect?
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    To the extent that difference is made at all, I think that's more the Department of Education, which determines the scope under which an accreditor operates. And regional accreditors oversee many schools with unquestionably vocational programs, such as community colleges, so this is probably a distinction without a lot of practical effect.

    I don't know. But if they do it doesn't affect what I said. Individual schools are in the drivers seat here.
  11. freddyboy

    freddyboy Member

    Hi Steve, thanks for chiming in. I can see where you are coming from and that does offer some hope that DEAC will continue its growth in overall recognition.

    Part of my original question really is more of a market question. Will there always be a market for online only accreditor since the regionals are increasingly accrediting distance learning -only programs...see Trident, Capella, et al.
  12. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    At this point, how many RA schools don't have an online program? It may be harder to pick out the ones that don't at this point.

    The DEAC will continue to be fine. The only way it goes south is if it becomes mismanaged and I don't see that likely either.
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There are more questionable accreditors than DEAC (not in terms of legitimacy, but in terms of longterm viability). DEAC is just the most visible.

    The New York Board of Regents accredits a very small number of schools. Most of their accredited programs only award associates degrees. The notable exceptions are the few doctoral programs they accredit (which include Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan Kettering's biomed doctorate). But still, an accreditor with a small number of accredited schools split between well-respected graduate level studies and associates level career schools? Why would New York even bother?

    DEAC, unlike the NYS Board of Regents, has a bottom line to answer for. New York is so far hocked up at this point, accreditation doesn't even rank as a secondary concern in budget talks. But DEAC is also not hurting for institutions seeking their recognition. Maybe they all hope to use it as a stepping stone to RA. Maybe some of them are content to stay at the NA level (unless anyone here feels that a doctor who graduates from Rockefeller University will hit career obstacles because they have an NA degree).

    But let's not forget the main benefit afforded by accreditation (beyond the .edu and the appearance of legitimacy); access to federal financial aid.

    Let's also not forget that we are seeking numerous programs emerge using a Western Governors University model of "as many classes as you can cram into this time period." New Charter University (NA) and Patten University(RA) (owned by the same parent) use a similar model. Both avoid financial aid. Sign up like you're signing up for Facebook, give them a credit card and get yourself a-studyin'. Capella is now doing a similar program (Called Flex-Path) for a limited number of degrees, both undergraduate and graduate.

    This is probably good business and that's why for-profit schools are doing it. No longer will they be criticized for being for-profit private entities taking our hard earned tax dollars. Rather, they charge a nominal fee and if it costs you a boatload of money in the end, you have no one but yourself to blame for not having done the coursework faster.

    NA schools, for the most part, can still offer lower tuition. A $20,000 DBA from an NA school may not be worth the expense to many here. But it's kind of attractive against the $60,000 Doctor of Management at Colorado Technical University.

    But even in situations where the NA school's tuition is comparable to an RA school, you are undoubtedly dealing with a greater level of flexibility. NA schools typically allow more self-paced programming. You can find a school with no set term end dates. While RA schools are becoming more flexible, they haven't reached the level of flexibility of some NA schools.

    Let's not even consider reputation for a moment. If the whole thing came down to reputation, then RA would have won and the rest would be memories of accreditors of yesteryear. Will DEAC survive the future? Honestly, I think we will see a regional accreditor get into trouble before we see the DEAC go down. The regional accreditors are taking flak for accrediting the schools seen as the biggest predators. RA accreditation was seen as lending credibility to the online schools that came into being in the past decade. But the unintended consequence is that so many of them have been accredited that it is beginning to reflect poorly upon the RAs.

    Will DEAC survive? Maybe. I just don't think the issue is as black and white as some people make it out to be.
  14. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    DEAC definitely survives in the innovational higher education. Simply because most people do not know the differences among accreditation. I have encountered some people, they thought that National accreditation is better than Regional accreditation. Because National means bigger than Regional...
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    This is an especially common misconception with people who are outside the U.S.
  16. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    I think DEAC fills a niche. A couple of years ago it apparently tightened (strengthened) its accreditation standards and seems to be doing well.

    I would not necessarily recommend a DEAC accredited degree at the bachelors level due to utility (getting the max flexibility). However, for people who want an accredited graduate degree or doctorate, it can meet a need at far less cost. If you want accredited doctoral level education but don't want to pay 60 grand for an RA non traditional doctorate then the DEAC accredited doctorate meets a need. Generally, people earning non traditional doctorates from schools like U of Phoenix and NCU have about as much chance securing a tenured faculty position at a residential four year college as a person graduating from a Nationally Accredited doctoral program.

    Where DEAC schools will hurt themselves is if their cost rises to a point that it adversely impacts the advantage they hold in the market for people who want accredited credentials to assist them in skill improvement and for personal achievement.
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Just for the sake of argument, how can we objectively say that one form of accreditation is "better" than another?

    Regional accreditation has a very broad base of institutions. If you earn an RA degree, you are presumably going to be able to transfer a significant amount of credits to another RA school.

    But programmatic accreditation complicates that notion. Go ahead and earn some business credits at an RA school. Now try to transfer those credits to an AACSB accredited RA school. You'll likely find that only a fraction (if any) of your courses transfer.

    But even if we say, for the purposes of this discussion, that RA is inexplicably better than NA. That still isn't necessarily true. The number of exceptions are significant.

    Here's a nationally accredited Ph.D. which highlights a significant exception to that rule.

    But even if we treat New York Board of Regents as an anomaly (an NA accreditor which also previously provided institutional accreditation to an Ivy League University). What of theological education? If I become an Orthodox Rabbi but my school is accredited by the Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, is it because I just didn't know I should really be considering the program at Hebrew Union College (RA) to become a Reform Rabbi?

    I just find myself not able to objectively say that one form of accreditation is "better" than another because they weren't set up with a hierarchy in mind. They were set up with different focus areas in mind. But regional accreditors bled into vocational work, so can we fault DEAC and ACICS from moving into academic work? I still don't see how we can objectively state that one is better than the other. We can perceive one as better than the other based on the size and scope of their operations but that isn't the same.

    That's a lot like saying that the Olive Garden has to make much better food than Wolfgang Puck's restaurant because they sell so much more of it annually.

    All of the accreditors (national, regional and programmatic) derive their legitimacy from their recognition by the USDOE. The USDOE doesn't place them into a hierarchy. So, how exactly do we measure the notion of "better" in terms of accrediting agencies?
  18. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I was talking about Regional vs National accreditation. Why did you throw stated approval and religious for comparison? Religious schools are exception, do you remember the case of Tri-Valley University? Programmatic is another story, how many AACSB accredited school holds national accreditation and/or state approval only? If you don't believe regional is better than national, then you it is up to you to earn a degree that is valuable to you. I just stick with regional, so my children's future higher education. You also threw restaurants in the comparison, it seems apple vs orange to me.
  19. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

  20. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The religious accreditors are "national" accreditors (in that they are not regionally based).

    I also didn't mention "state approval" I mentioned the New York Board of Regents which is a National Accreditor recognized by the USDOE. The institutions on the list I referenced all receive their institutional accreditation through the NYS Board of Regents.

    You're making my point. "Regional accreditation is the best accreditation, well, except for these glaring examples..."

    I never said there was such a thing. What I said was that programmatic accreditation can limit the transfer of credits between regionally accredited schools thus limiting one of the key "benefits" of RA accreditation.

    I don't have a problem saying RA is better than NA. That's why I have an RA undergrad degree. I chose that program because I wanted to avoid any issues with my degree being accepted by NYS (which requires RA or state registered programs for state employment, because at the time I didn't want to discount the possibility of government employment). I also wanted to have fewer limitations if I applied to graduate programs. I'm not saying that NA is better than RA. I was simply challenging you to provide an objective reason for saying "RA is better than NA." Rather than doing so you've skirted the issue and simply are telling me that you choose RA for you and your children.

    That's not an objective reason. If "RA is better than NA" is your opinion, that's fine. But I just want to clarify the basis for your original statements.

    This might help:

    A simile (/ˈsɪməli/) is a figure of speech that directly compares two things through the explicit use of connecting words (such as like, as, so, than, or various verbs such as resemble). Although similes and metaphors are sometimes considered as interchangeable, similes acknowledge the imperfections and limitations of the comparative relationship to a greater extent than metaphors. Metaphors are subtler and therefore rhetorically stronger in that metaphors equate two things rather than simply compare them. Similes also hedge/protect the author against outrageous, incomplete, or unfair comparison. Generally, metaphor is the stronger and more encompassing of the two forms of rhetorical analogies.

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