More on Breyer State University's Faculty

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Rich Douglas, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. back2cali

    back2cali New Member

    Thank you for your input,although many of the posters viewpoints are not my own and appear to degrade my hard work and accomplishment, I will still take what has been addressed to heart.

    On a side note, I have been asked to speak at a conference next month for one of my company's clients and I have been addressed in upcoming correspondence material as Doctor, which my company is excited for me on achieving this academic title.

    I will have to await and be prepared to meet any questions should one actually inquire more of my credentials.
  2. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    A couple of thoughts... Breyer State seems to be a school. Barrington is not a school but a diploma mill. Both are unaccredited; that is seemingly the only attribute they share in common. Breyer State is not accredited, so it should be avoided unless there is some very unique need or set of circumstances. Barrington degree holders who don't admit the unaccredited status of their degrees are trying to deceive people, in my opinion. Breyer State degree holders in most disciplines who don't identify their school and it's status are asking for trouble, because it is natural for others to assume that the business and other programs have been verified through the accreditation process; moreso, in the context of higher and secondary education.

    People who immediately dismiss unaccredited schools and their students are employing lazy thinking that is uncharacteristic of scientists. In fact, those who disparage unaccredited schools could be completely wrong, because they don't know specifically that the degree holder's training is in any way substandard or unacceptable. Now, that is the problem with unaccredited degrees; there is no verification that they are acceptable. That is, in fact, the only thing you can say about unaccredited schools and degrees that could be generally true. Unaccredited degrees are just that; unaccredited and therefore unacceptable for use where an accredited degree is required.

    Now, the way social scientists look at measurement issues is to consider levels of measurement and units of analysis, among other things... One way to look at any variable is to ask the question of acceptability in such a way so that nominal data is obtained; that is, yes or no. Other the other hand, it is possible to ask the question of acceptability in such a way so that at least ordinal data is obtained; that is, 1 to 10. Of course, schools are either accredited or they are not, and, hence, nominal data about acceptability is available for inspection. However, the fact that accreditation (a proxy for acceptability) is measured in a nominal fashion, does not make unaccredited degree holders, and doctorate holders, in particular, dishonest, stupid, or pompous. Unaccredited degree holders may or may not have substandard training, but one doesn't and can't know that without closer inspection. Instead of acceptability, accreditation could also tell us about rigor, cost, and many other things. However, there are many reasons, including size of the school, that could prevent accreditation.

    Another way that social scientists look at measurement issues is through units of analysis. One can often get the wrong answer by confusing whether a group or a member of group is being compared on a specific variable. Two common fallacies that arise from unit of analysis are the ecological and exception fallacies. For example, to understand what Barrington is and assume that all unaccredited schools share any of the properties of Barrington is the exception fallacy; properties of the exception are presumed to be possessed by the entire group. On the other hand, to encounter an unaccredited school and presume that it possesses all the properties of other unaccredited schools is the ecological fallacy; properties of the group are presumed to be possessed by all individual members.

    Again, to suggest that any unaccredited degree holders are dishonest, stupid, or pompous is not bright-minded or even right-minded, in my opinion. Because of units of analysis, levels of measurement, and many other important research tools, all we can really say about unaccredited schools on the whole is that they are unaccredited (for perhaps many reasons) and therefore unacceptable in situations where an accredited degree is required.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  3. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    No, they also share another common feature: both schools derive whatever legitimacy they may have from their licensure by the Alabama Department of Post-Secondary Education (ADPE). Barrington no longer exists; it was reportedly resurrected as the "University of Atlanta", which is still listed in the ADPE database (although ADPE also indicates that U of Atlanta's license renewal is overdue, as it expired on May 1).

    ADPE licensure is not necessarily a bad sign; for example, ADPE authorizes legitimate universities like the University of Phoenix or the University of Mobile. But these schools also have regional accreditation. Without recognized accreditation (and Breyer State's CSCCS "accreditation" doesn't count), it may be difficult for a third party to see a difference between ADPE-licensed, unaccredited Barrington and ADPE-licensed, unaccredited Breyer State.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    You should also check applicable state laws, depending on the location of the conference. If the conference is in (for example) Alabama, then there should be no problem using the title of "Doctor". But if the conference is in (for example) Indiana, then you (and/or your company's legal department) may have to reconsider in light of IC 24-5-0.5-12, the Indiana state law which covers "False claim of doctoral degree". Your Breyer State doctoral degree does not appear to meet the standard for legal recognition in that state.

    Your degree should be legal within Alabama, but since it lacks regional or national accreditation, there is no guarantee that it can be used legally in other states. In other words, you can now legally claim the title of "Dr." in some states, but not in others. Obviously, your company should be made aware of this issue when scheduling your future speaking engagements.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  5. back2cali

    back2cali New Member

    Is there by chance an example of the penalties of using such a title within a state that claims to have a law forbidding the use of an unaccredited degree and if so, what was the outcome?

    Jail time? Fines?

    Please share if you have an example resulting from this use. It would be most appreciated.
  6. Vinipink

    Vinipink Accounting Monster

    The above term is too broad and more clear definitions is needed, you cannot tag something as false when if fact is not false, now if the source of the degree has been identify as an illegal source, then a false claims has been identified. Notice the word legal comes into place. These vogue laws are subject to challenging and legislation will change them. Because a degree is not accredited it should not be consider false.

    Now, if you want to say your degree is not accredited does not meet our criteria for certain jobs or other areas that is fine, but calling an unaccredited degree false due to this term, sounds not logical to me. So, more details are needed to the interpretation of such term. In my case, I do know the limitations of my CA degrees, nor I will ask anyone to call me a Dr. Not even (if God lets me finish) my degree from Argosy!
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    My impression is that formal prosecution of unaccredited degree holders is rare, except in cases where an accredited degree was required for some purpose, and an unaccredited degree was substituted fraudulently instead.

    The bigger concern, I suspect, is public humiliation and loss of jobs or other professional opportunities. It's not difficult to find news stories describing such cases, and it seems likely that many others go quietly unreported, to minimize embarassment on both sides.
  8. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The State of Oregon was actually challenged about their policy on degrees by Kennedy-Western University, a state-licensed but unaccredited school. KW pointed out that their degrees, while unaccredited, were legally issued in the State of Wyoming. KW argued that Oregon was violating their students' First Amendment rights by preventing them from advertising their legally-issued Wyoming degrees.

    But Oregon responded that they had the right to establish tougher degree standards than Wyoming. A settlement was reached that respected both parties' rights: graduates of unaccredited state-licensed schools (like KW or Breyer State) are now allowed to advertise their unaccredited degrees in Oregon, but only if they add a legal disclaimer that states that their degrees do not meet Oregon standards. The disclaimer reads: "(Name of school) does not have accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and has not been approved by the Office of Degree Authorization."

    In practice, the disclaimer requirement seems to discourage people from using unaccredited degrees in Oregon. KW decided not to offer its degrees to Oregon residents, presumably in order to avoid acknowledging the disclaimer issue. In fact, its successor, Warren National, still has the same policy.

    By the way, Oregon's current hearing process for those who use unaccredited degrees improperly is outlined here. Don't know how often it is used. Potential penalties (could be any or all): prosecution as Class B misdemeanor, injunction against further use, $1000 fine for each violation, civil suit. My guess is that most people get off if they respond nicely to the initial inquiry letter.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  9. Vinipink

    Vinipink Accounting Monster

    But I bet you if more people challange this Oregon laws, they will change their position in this matter. But anyway, now days (despite I hold unaccredited degrees) there is a lot of options out there. I only wished that have those options back then(no regrets anyway). Things change:eek: !
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Oregon, like other US states, has a democratic system of government, so laws can be changed if the voters demand it. But I don't think there is a lot of pressure on Oregon state government to change their degree laws. On the contrary, many Oregon residents seem to be proud that their state is known for its rigorous degree standards.

    Oregon's degree laws could also be changed through legal challenges; in fact, Kennedy-Western tried to do exactly that. But KW/WNU was unable to win full legal recognition for unaccredited degrees in Oregon. If KW/WNU -- which is probably the largest, best-known, and wealthiest unaccredited university in the US -- couldn't challenge Oregon successfully, then it's hard to see who could.

    There is actually a third possibility: in Oregon, for example, you presumably could claim the title of "Doctor" legally, as long as you also added that "Breyer State does not have accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and has not been approved by the Office of Degree Authorization." In fact, Oregon specifically lists Breyer State as an unaccredited school that is subject to the disclaimer requirement. Oregon also points out, correctly, that Breyer State is "not a state school".
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2007
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    All the discussion over laws like Oregon's is funny, but pointless. It isn't the threat of prosecution; as one poster noted, these frauds (owners of milled degrees) suffer when they're found out.

    "backtocali's" employer may think this is great. But in my business, if an employer got caught assigning someone to a project who had such a degree could see the contract pulled. A BSU degree that cost thousands could end up costing millions.

    Then there's the public humiliation. We've seen a lot of that in the press about people with degrees with exactly the same academic (none) and legal standing (slim).

    So, good luck. As our colleague Bill Dayson has taught us, a degree is a proxy, a representative of a body of knowledge mastered by the degree holder. But unless others can be confident the degree really represents that, it is pointless. And as I'll tell you, that condition leaves only one way a degree like one from BSU can be utilized in the workplace: with employers who don't know and/or don't care. Yuch. :(
  12. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Friend, we are all saying slightly different things, but we are all trying to push you out of the way of the bus that you have stepped in front of (if you will permit me to end a sentence with a preposition). If your doctoral work and research is relevant to your speaking topic, you could mention your degree, but you absolutely should mention that it is not a regionally-accredited degree -- this is easy to do and credibly explains how you became an expert in your topic. Again, it is dishonest to pretend that you have earned a regionally-accredited credential, which is typicallly more difficult and more expensive to obtain.

    As for the ODA, it has evolved into a useful source of information but it maintains its status as a wellspring of humor. In response to the ODA, I have fined each agent of the ODA $1,000 dollars, if they enter my house while not clearly identifying their relationship with the ODA. See, we can each pass meanlingless laws and pretend that they mean something.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2007
  13. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    They look pretty similar to me. It's always possible that I'm missing something, so help me. What are some of the features that you think make Breyer credible?

    What about accepting the degrees and believing the educational claims instead of disparaging them? Is there anything that would justify confidence?

    Given that the majority of non-accredited schools seem to either be degree-mills or seriously substandard, some a-priori skepticism does seem to be justified.

    You said in an earlier post that any prospective employer who thinks less of a Breyer State degree than no degree at all must favor less education over more education, and can therefore be dismissed a "blockhead" with a low IQ.

    I replied that trying to pass degree mill degrees is likely to be perceived as dishonest, stupid and/or pompous. Dishonest because it's a false educational claim. Stupid because it raises serious questions about the graduate/purchaser's judgement. And pompous in the doctoral case for obvious reasons.

    That means that making educational claims isn't just a matter of 'can't hurt', or 'upwards from neutral'. Boasting an unaccredited degree can hurt, if somebody thinks that the claim isn't credible and suspects that the school in question might be a mill.

    That suspicion may or may not be true in the Breyer case (or any particular case), but it does raise real concerns.

    If your 'any' means 'all', I'll happily agree. But the fact remains that it might not really be the best idea to boast of a non-accredited doctorate if there's any significant danger of it being perceived as a degree-mill degree
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2007
  14. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    Bill, this is what I said, "There might be some downside to listing an unaccredited doctorate and characterizing it honestly, but this is not really downside, in my opinion. Consider that it is unlikely that you would want to work for someone who thinks that knowing less is better than knowing more. Your unaccredited doctoral degree might serve as a useful tool for screening out blockheads, a subtle IQ test for employers."

    I stand by those words, but I will gladly allow others to choose words that suit them to characterize the effect.

  15. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I don't really disagree; I'm eschewing generalizations about unaccredited schools, which are unaccredited for a myriad of reasons but share the common attribute of generating graduates with unverified and therefore unacceptable credentials in situations requiring accredited credentials. I think it is appropriate to mention a relevant unaccredited credential, as long as they are identified as such. When is such a credential relevant? Perhaps only when you are discussing a topic in which you possess some expertise.

    One of my primary concerns with generalizations about unaccredited schools is that attacks on that broad group of schools could limit education based on socio-economic, race, and religious distinctions. Yes, let's attack fraud vigilently but do so without destroying something we should and could protect. Encouraging everyone to think of unaccredited schools as fraudulent (which is not what you are saying) is a wrong simplication. Hence, my line of reasoning.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2007
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Mountain State University, a private school in West Virginia, uses the term 'State' in their name because West Virginia is the Mountain State. They were formerly known as the College of West Virginia.
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The Oregon ODA (and its administrator) seem to be popular targets of criticism, particularly among those with unaccredited degrees. But the criticism is largely misplaced, because the devaluation of unaccredited degrees in Oregon is not due to ODA policy or regulation. In reality, this position is part of Oregon state law (ORS 348.609), and like other state laws, was enacted after passing both houses of the state legislature, with the approval of the governor.

    The law may or may not be just or meaningful, but it is incorrect to suggest that ODA is responsible for it. The Oregon Legislature and the Oregon Governor passed the law, not ODA. ODA, like any state agency, is just following orders.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2007
  18. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    Deliberate disinformation, name-calling, and unsupported accusations are tactics also employed at other forums run by holders of unaccredited degrees. Ask for evidence to substantiate their claims and they get rather nasty.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2007
  19. back2cali

    back2cali New Member

    I have an unaccredited and unrecognized DBA from BSU.

    I am still proud of my accomplishment.

    thank you for all of your imput in the above posts as I enjoy seeing the various views whether I like them or not.
  20. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Astute readers will note backtocali is now on his/her fourth different signature line since the start of this thread. For the record, he has variously described his Breyer State University degree as follows:

    Curiously, none of these options explicitly name the school that issued the degree. While he claims to be "proud of his accomplishment", he acts as if there was something to hide. He'll have to keep trying to hide the facts for the rest of his career -- and he may or may not succeed.


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