More on accredited vs unaccredited

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by justsurfing, Jun 2, 2002.

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  1. justsurfing

    justsurfing New Member

    More on accredited vs. unaccredited

    Here are some interesting questions:

    If I were a graduate of some IVY league university: would I have the same “right” to BASH and criticize DETC and lesser known [or understood] state university RA schools and graduates; as I have witnessed bashing of legal/legitimate but not “US Department of Ed” accredited institutions by DETC/RA graduates here on degreeinfo.com?

    That would be pretty pompous and Marxist of me, would it not?

    What is the motive of this site/forum?

    Is it to ensure we maintain an elitist “class” of graduates, or to assist in providing OBJECTIVE information and dialogue for those who are looking for an institution that meets their needs? After all, we all don’t want to be professors, doctors, lawyers, or even continue on to graduate school.

    Nothing wrong with a “watchdog” group, but. . .

    For example, a successful B.A. graduate of Pensacola Bible Institute, FL may be unjustly offended by some of the members and content contained herein (degreeinfo.net).

    Lets keep it clean and above the belt!

    (Header edited by moderator)
     
  2. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    (Suggested new header: "Unimportant Post! Please Ignore!")

    Seriously: Check the archives, and the AED archives before that; this dead horse has been being beaten since 1995. We don't all share the same opinions about unaccredited schools "in general," except that we all pretty much agree that a degree from an unaccredited school is not as likely to be useful as a degree from an accredited school; and since we don't go around recommending decisions to people if we have reason to believe they'll regret them later ("Want to lose weight? Eat a half pound of peanut butter every night for dessert!"), we usually steer folks away from programs we don't think they'll find useful. It's as simple as that.

    As far as Lacrosse goes: Well, dude, I earned my regionally accredited bachelor's almost entirely by exam, probably for less than $3,000; and Steve Levicoff earned his regionally accredited bachelor's almost entirely by portfolio, probably for not much more than that. So if Lacrosse really does require all that work you've been saying they require, it seems to me that the cost-benefit ratio doesn't work out too well for you; you're basically saying you want to do extra work for less recognition. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


    Cheers,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2002
  3. justsurfing

    justsurfing New Member

    OK

    Tom,

    This post is not about Lacrosse University. We have already broached that subject in a previous post. Besides, the most “cost effective” analysis has already been done in this comparison. LU= $2000.00 including books [used]. TESC and Charter Oaks (while I believe are great bargains and RA) = $4500.00 to 5000.00 and does not include books. There is a substantial difference in cost.

    As far as the issue of your “recommendations,” are you being objective? If someone states within their inquiry that they are not interested in transferring to an RA school or the like, why continue to “bash” the “US” unaccredited institution.

    The “regret” issue: Referring back to the IVY League example, if I am a graduate of Yale, should I call your Excelsior degree “less than wonderful” since you may “regret” you didn’t go to an IVY League school . . . even though you may not have been able to afford it?

    “Acceptability” and usefulness are contingent on the needs of the individual.
     
  4. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Re: OK

    There are substantial differences, but they're not that substantial; according to a little book I co-wrote in 2000, minimum in-state tuition for Charter Oak State College runs to about $1,300 and minimum out-of-state to $1,500. You're probably talking much more than that by the time you actually factor in the credit sources, but it can still be done without being too far out of Lacrosse's price range. Edison can run as low as $1,400 in-state and $1,800 out-of-state if you have all your credits ready.

    No need for the quotes, unless you suspect I'm not really recommending anything (which seems to be pretty near the opposite of what you're saying).

    As objective as a human being can be, I think. Obviously I'd rather believe that unaccredited schools would always work and everybody would go home happy hand-in-hand with a rainbow shining in the sky, but what I hear from people who have done unaccredited degrees is that the road ain't usually so rosy.

    I'm not sure what "US" means in this context; I generally recommend that folks not earn their degrees from schools that don't hold some form of useful recognition, just as I recommend that folks not eat at restaurants that fail food inspections. I don't do this out of sick pleasure; I do this out of concern.

    What I learned very early on in my life is that, beyond a certain point, it doesn't really matter what people think. What I do know is that my Excelsior degree stands a good chance of getting me employed because it's regionally accredited; and it got me into grad school. Beyond that, I don't really care.

    Of course they are, and I don't think anyone has suggested otherwise. But you asked for opinions, not pastoral counseling.


    Cheers,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2002
  5. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Okay, I read it. Now where is the "back button?" ;)
     
  6. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Re: Important Post! Please Read!

    Okay, I'm sure there are some important and relevant questions posed in this original post, however I can’t get past the "Marxist" comparative to find them. I am no expert on Marxism, though I have spent a few hours in study on the man for a variety of courses, and I am trying my hardest to think of any philosophical, historical, or economic theory espoused by Marx that might be appropriate to the provided "Marxist" comparison.

    The scenario seems more an elitist position, which would be the opposite of a Marxist position. Someone help me out here.
     
  7. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Important Post! Please Read!

     
  8. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Re: Re: OK

    A very accurate comparison Tom. You might survive going to an unaccredited school but you won't feel very good for a few decades. As has been pointed out repeatedly unaccredited schools are not likely to be cheaper and have little if any utility so why would a person spend time and money to attend one? The only reason put forth so far that rings true is that it requires almost no work. So Justsurfing if you can think of ANY valid reason to choose Lacrosse University over the wide variety of RA choices please state it. Otherwise, you are not likely to be taken very seriously.
     
  9. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Re: OK

    It's not about affordability. As mentioned numerous times before, an RA degree from one of the big three (TESC, COSC, Excelsior) can be less expensive than an unaccredited or DETC program. If it is more expensive, it's not by more than $1000 or so, and if that amount of money is going to break you over the course of a degree program, you're probably better off buying food & paying rent than tuition.

    Your example of Yale is a red herring. Not all who apply to an Ivy League school are accepted (not even close), while I've never heard of anyone being turned down by any of the big three (not to say it hasn't happened). My sister-in-law has a Harvard M.B.A. and while she has never "bashed or criticized" my RA state school (UMass) Master's degree, I don't know if the same could be said if I had an unaccredited or DETC degree.

    The people who moderate this board, as well as most of the regulars, are simply consumer advocates for quality distance and non-traditional education. In many cases, a DETC degree has worked well for some people (the new Dr. Paul Coverstone for example), but people have to realize that is the exception. In much less cases, an unaccredited degree has worked for some, but that is VERY much the exception.

    The bottom line is that an RA degree will satsify any requirement for a legitimately accredited degree, and will qualify you to apply to any graduate school in the country. If pointing that out (as well as the pitfalls of "lesser" degrees) offends some people, then I'm sorry, but I think they'd rather find it out here than in the real world.


    Bruce
     
  10. Tom Head

    Tom Head New Member

    Re: Re: Important Post! Please Read!

    No luck here neither; maybe he meant Groucho Marx. ("I'd never join a club that would have me as a member.")


    Cheers,
     
  11. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: Important Post! Please Read!

    Ivy league graduates have the Constitutional right to free speech, yes.

    Sure. That wouldn't mean that their criticisms had any merit, but they could certainly make them.

    Your analogy fails, because while the ivy league may well have an attitude problem, it does accept credits from "lesser" RA schools in transfer, it accepts graduates of those schools into its own graduate programs and faculty ranks, and ivy league scientists regularly collaborate with scientists from elsewhere.
    To provide a relatively open venue for discussion of distance education and related issues.

    Look, if you want to enroll in Lacrosse, then enroll in it. Nobody is stopping you.

    But if you want us all to "acclaim" your choice, then you are out of luck. There is no guarantee that others will agree with and applaud your choices.

    Anything might be (and probably is) offensive to somebody. So what?

    Actually, I'm curious what has been said on Degreeinfo that would offend a graduate of Pensacola. I my opinion, places like Pensacola and Bob Jones get kind of a free ride here.
     
  12. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    If you don't care about how useful a degree is, and if you don't anticipate going to graduate school, why are you so fixated on earning a degree at all? If you just want to study for its own sake, then start studying.

    You can start a reading program at a library for ***FREE***. Academic libraries have a whole array of books, from elementary texts to graduate level monographs, plus sets of most of the important journals. Few of these libraries check IDs at the door, so just walk in and start reading tomorrow.

    If you want faculty guidance through the more complicated parts, take individual classes, either on-campus at one of your local Atlanta schools, or from a whole variety of DL providers.

    If you really want a degree and if money is your problem, investigate local colleges' financial aid offices. Ask abut things like work-study programs that could end up both paying you to go to school and giving you valuable job experience and contacts when you graduate.

    Why do you still insist on earning a *degree*? See my comments above.

    The whole point of earning a degree is to obtain an educational certification that *will be recognized by other people*. So what's the point of a degree that has little or no recognition? If your objective is simply to learn for its own sake, drop the degree objective. That way you can find less expensive and more flexible options, and if you earn RA credit from individual classes, you will have work that you can later transfer into a better recognized degree program if your plans change.

    But the fact remains that credits and degrees from "lesser" schools are recognized by the ivy league and its peers. The University of California has articulation arrangements with California community colleges to accept their credits as equivalent to UC credit. Cal Tech has similar arrangements with a number of community colleges. What's more, graduates of "lesser" schools often do pretty well. Secretary of State Colin Powell from CCNY, for example, or Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill from Fresno State.

    Your analogy between the ivy league and "lesser" schools on one hand, and accredited and non-accredited schools on the other, fails unless you can demonstrate that the same relationship holds between the members of both pairs. I have just argued that the relationships are different.

    Yes and no.

    If the only one who has to accept your degree is you, and if your education's usefulness is merely to meet your own personal needs, then you are perfectly right.

    But if you anticipate using your degree in a social context where you expect other people to accept it, then obviously you have to factor in what other people think. You have to meet *their expectations*, not only your own.
     
  13. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Important Post! Please Read!

    You missed an even more important question. What is your motive?

    Look Mr. Justsurfing, a degree value is based on the reputation of the school that it is earned from. The way it works is that the better the reputation of the school the more value/utility the degree will have. It is a continuous spectrum of rankings from school to school. A student should try to get the best degree that they can. This is because it will have more value and utility for them in the unpredictable future.

    In this large spectrum of relative reputations there's some gaps. For example, RA schools are going to generally be held in higher regard than non-RA schools within the USA. DETC accredited schools are going to generally be held in slightly lower regard. DETC accredited schools can be considered to be second rate but are far far above what would be considered third or fourth rate, unaccredited schools. In the unaccredited school category there are a number of third rate schools but most are fourth rate, worthless time and money wasters like your Lacrosse University from Louisiana.

    It is not being elitiest to speak the truth. My guess is that the only utility you're going to get out of one of the fourth rate schools is going to be when others are unaware of the low-quality of the non-wonderful program. Part of my motive is to help warn people about this so that they don't waste their time and money on these non-wonderful programs. What is your motivation?
     
  14. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Re: Important Post! Please Read!

    I am confused why you reposted this almost identical topic compared to the one you started a few weeks ago. At that time you said you had "no dog in this fight", but now you are attending Lacrosse University? You continue to believe that this forum is biased and elitest without just reason. If so why continue to post? Is there a reason you are trying to suggest unaccredited schools are good choices without providing any valid reasons? I must say your motivation remains a question I believe you should address.
     
  15. justsurfing

    justsurfing New Member

    OK

    Since MY motivation is in question, and no one wants to admit my original argument . . .

    First, my reference to the Marxist approach regards the “class” struggle of one group versus another. Meaning, while not a literal comparison, there seems to be a never-ending debate of “my school is more ‘legitimate’ than yours” (mostly because there is not a singular protocol of national Accreditation in the United States). It is a fact that one RA school may not accept credits from another RA school, especially if the RA is of a different region than another [i.e. Middle States versus SACS, and so forth].

    Second, seems the Lacrosse issue is still under debate. Well, here goes. What if I told you that I contacted a RA school and found that there were minimal differences between the curriculum of said institution and Lacrosse? That the only major difference between the two were $3000.00 and accreditation. Am I paying for the “accreditation” or for what my TRUE MOTIVE is, an education? If I am simply paying for the RA stamp of approval, oh yeah and YOURS, than I am guilty of compromising MY motive (an education). For arguments sake, if Lacrosse has a comparable curriculum to another RA school, why should you look down on my credentials? By the way, how many of you questioning my decision to attend Lacrosse have actually attended said school and know of their curriculum? I understand that Lacrosse is seeking or preparing for accreditation.

    If I attend Lacrosse, gain some real knowledge through means comparable to a RA school, than I can morally (and legally [Licensed by the Louisiana Board of Regents]) claim my degree.

    We should not call, or imply, an institution like (licensed and requires a real curriculum tract to degree completion) Lacrosse, a diploma mill! Like Jar Jar Binks says, “How whrude!”

    I believe that Degreeinfo.com is a worthwhile medium; I just don’t want it to become a “virtual Board of Regents” and elitists . . .that is why I posted this thread. That is why I presented questions and insight in this and previous posts.
     
  16. Re: OK

    Originally posted by justsurfing
    Meaning, while not a literal comparison, there seems to be a never-ending debate of “my school is more ‘legitimate’ than yours” (mostly because there is not a singular protocol of national Accreditation in the United States).

    Mill Advertising 101. Actually, yes, there IS a singular legitimate protocol of accreditation in the United States. The legitimate accreditors are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    It is a fact that one RA school may not accept credits from another RA school, especially if the RA is of a different region than another [i.e. Middle States versus SACS, and so forth].

    Show me a single instance of an RA school refusing to accept transfer credits from another RA school, *solely* on the grounds of being under the jurisdiction of a different accreditor, and your argument might have some weight. Otherwise, it's an unsupported supposition (which carries about as much weight, but less usefullness than, an unsupported suppository.)

    Second, seems the Lacrosse issue is still under debate.

    Who's debating? It's a mill. No debate there.

    Well, here goes. What if I told you that I contacted a RA school and found that there were minimal differences between the curriculum of said institution and Lacrosse? That the only major difference between the two were $3000.00 and accreditation.

    Then you'd be either lying or exceptionally gullible.. there are no other possibilities.

    Am I paying for the “accreditation” or for what my TRUE MOTIVE is, an education?

    Education is free. You're paying for a valid, accepted credential.

    If I am simply paying for the RA stamp of approval, oh yeah and YOURS, than I am guilty of compromising MY motive (an education).

    And if you're trumpeting the merits of Lacrosse, that's not all you're compromising.

    For arguments sake, if Lacrosse has a comparable curriculum to another RA school, why should you look down on my credentials?

    If Lacrosse had a comparable curriculum, there might be a point in arguing. But it doesn't. For what it's worth, I look down at Lacrosse credentials because they're not credentials at all.. they're proof that a check cleared.

    By the way, how many of you questioning my decision to attend Lacrosse have actually attended said school and know of their curriculum? I understand that Lacrosse is seeking or preparing for accreditation.

    Nobody, because there IS no "attendance" and there IS no "curriculum." Accreditation? Gimme a break.

    If I attend Lacrosse, gain some real knowledge through means comparable to a RA school, than I can morally (and legally [Licensed by the Louisiana Board of Regents]) claim my degree.

    And the only people who'd believe you are the meek and uninformed. Have at it, guy.

    We should not call, or imply, an institution like (licensed and requires a real curriculum tract to degree completion) Lacrosse, a diploma mill!
    Why not? It is. It doesn't have a real curriculum track (or, as you put it, "tract".. probably the most accurate statement of your post, on further reflection.)

    Like Jar Jar Binks says, “How whrude!”

    ??
     
  17. Starkman

    Starkman New Member

    Re: Justsurfing . . .

    Hey Justsurfing,

    Listen, there's people on this board from all walks of life, the same people who frequent discussions about restaurants, banks, car dealerships, and even the really important issues . . . food! So it's a given that there's going to be both differences of opinion--a freedom we all cherish--and limitations in expressing them--we're all typing here and not talking face to face; things get lost in the translation.

    But you know, the essence of these discussions about RA, state, and non-accredited educations are two-fold: opportunity--RA being considered the leader, by far in the real world, regardless of whether that's right or not, and the cost and quality of education each offers.

    As for RA verses anything else, it's simply expressed within these discussions that RA is king. Little bashing of the others--yes, some, but little. Mostly, it's just opinion being expressed.

    And as for the cost and quality of all three categories of education (RA, state and non-accredited), well, the cost is hit and miss anymore, and the quality is, like the RA verses non-RA dissucsions, simply another opinion expressed here. Little bashing--some, but little.

    I'm really quite thankful for the board!

    Oh, and Tom, that quote from Groucho? That was classic!
     
  18. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Re: OK

    Justsurfing

    1. Lacrosse is not cheaper than at least some RA choices. Roger Habeck completed a BA at Charter Oak State College for under $2100 total. So I guess with Lacrosse and similiar schools you are paying for a lack of utility and likely lower standards.

    2. I haven't called Lacrosse a degree mill. I simply don't have the needed information about instruction methods, testing, etc. to say such a thing. My suspicion is that, like CCU, it probably either is or is so close to one that the degree mill label is accurate.

    3. Even IF Lacrosse were equal to RA institutions, a statement I think is very likely untrue, the reason the RA schools have more utility and value in our society is that they have submitted themselves to a process that gurantees a certain level of quaility that Lacrosse and the like haven't.

    Again you have failed to identify even one reason why Lacrosse and similiar schools might be a better choice over the wide variety of RA Choices.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2002
  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: OK

    Actually there is. The controversy is generated by the fact that compliance with the "singular protocol" is not legally required. So it is possible to have schools that lack the de-facto national-standard form(s) of accreditation, but whose champions insist that they be accepted just as if they did.

    I have never heard of degrees or course credit being rejected because it was granted by a school accredited by another of the six regional accreditors. Doesn't happen.

    RA schools rarely reject credit from another RA school. What *does* often happen is that certain credits aren't counted towards particular program requirements. That is because of the nature of the course, not the accreditation.

    But if you don't care about other people's response, then why are you so indignant because we won't acclaim Lacrosse? Why would you even care what people on Degreeinfo think?

    I've asked you before why you don't just study for its own sake. I'm asking again.

    Look, anyone who has read my posts here (a small group, true), knows that there are a number of non-accredited schools that I like a lot. I've said so repeatedly. I've even started threads about them. One of my reasons for saying those things actually was, in part, to see how far I could push the Degreeinfo envelope. But I never got flamed. Ignored, yes, flamed no.

    Perhaps that's because one of the schools I like has its own private air force including supersonic jets. But it might also be because I have tried to downplay these schools as places to earn degrees, and promote them as places to study interesting and unusual things with exceptional faculty and unique facilities: the 30-plane airforce, the largest Buddhist monastic complex outside Asia etc.

    Here's how I'd respond to them.

    Some of the best educated people that I have ever met don't have university degrees at all. Others have degrees that they earned 30 years ago in fields totally unrelated to the positions that they find themselves in today. So I am not in the habit of judging a person's knowledge or skill based on their degree title. In most cases I have no idea where they went to school until long after I was impressed with their competence.

    The thing is, people learn lots of different ways, in a lot of different places. People have jobs, they have military service, they have hobbies and some study independently.

    I don't know about Lacrosse university. It might be a great place to learn, or it might be a degree mill. That ignorance about them is just the point.

    There are several thousand colleges, universities, specialized institutes, medical schools and seminaries in the U.S. *Nobody* is familiar with all of them. So there *has* to be some mechanism that checks them out and gives us some indication that they are all on the same page.

    If somebody presents a degree from a school that has been checked out, people have some expectation of what the degree means, even if they have never heard of the school. But if somebody presents a degree from a school that is a cypher, an 'X', nobody knows what to expect. It might be RA equivalent or it might be a total fraud. Who knows?

    So personally, I would just disregard the degree, and treat the person as I would somebody who tells me that they studied less formally. That doesn't mean that I would sneer at them or put them down, just that I wouldn't accept the degree at face value, but would want to see more.

    If you proved yourself knowledgeable and competent, I'd accept you as well educated. If somebody with no degree at all proved him or herself knowledgeable and competent, I'd accept that person as well educated. And if a graduate of a prestige university couldn't, I wouldn't.

    Of course, nobody will get a chance to see your skill in action if you never get a chance to perform. And unfortunately, employers know even less about new job applicants than they know about those applicants' schools. So you may not get a chance to demonstrate your competence unless you can create the presumption in the people hiring you that you probably know your stuff.
    That's what degrees help to do. And its why degrees have to be recognized if they are to perform their function.
     
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: OK

    There has been much discussion over what accreditation means in the United States.

    Here is a link for definitions from the US Dept of Ed site.

    http://www.ed.gov/NLE/USNEI/us/accred-whatis.html

    It says in part:

    "Both the federal and state governments recognize accreditation as the mechanism by which institutional and programmatic legitimacy and capacity are measured. In international terms, accreditation by a recognized accrediting authority is accepted as the U.S. equivalent of other countries' ministerial recognition of institutions belonging to the national education system."

    It goes on to list links for recognized Regional and National Accrediting agencies.

    North
     

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