New York State Board of Regents Accreditation?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I was recently looking at some University of Scranton's new faculty appointment and came across someone who earned their Ph.D. in Comparative Biology from Richard Gilder Graduate School. I was curious, so I looked up the school.

    It turned out that the school is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents (NYSBRS) and the Commissioner of Education. Dr. Galen was a postdoc fellow at both Drexel University and his alma mater.

    Although not CHEA recognized, they list the NYSBRS as a National Career-Related Accrediting Organization.

    "National career-related accrediting organizations generally review vocational and professional institutions, many of which are non-degree and for profit. These organizations typically accredit whole institutions rather than individual programs or schools."

    The NYSBRS is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an Institutional Accrediting Agency.

    "Scope of recognition: the accreditation of those degree-granting institutions of higher education in New York that designate the agency as their sole or primary nationally recognized accrediting agency for purposes of establishing eligibility to participate in HEA programs including accreditation of programs offered via distance education within these institutions."

    Drexel and Scranton are reputable and respected universities (at least in PA), although Drexel's ranking dropped 31 spots in the most recent USNWR's ranking.

    What are your thoughts on this accreditation? Is it generally respected? Maybe Steve L. (the accreditation expert) can chime in.
  2. copper

    copper Active Member

    Established in 1784 way before CHEA! They are legit! Ask any kid who has to take Regents exams every year in New York. They oversee pretty much everything that is public education in New York.
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  3. chorizo

    chorizo New Member

    New York State Board of Regents Accreditation varies from accrediting regional career schools to some big name graduate schools including the Rockefeller University, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; both of which are really big names in biology.
    They have been around for a long time, and many grads from programs only accredited by them have been doing quite well.
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  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Indeed. As usual, one should beware of the "if-then" statements when it comes to accreditation. Yes, this is one where the accreditor is obviously legitimate, but the reputation of the individual school is going to be far more important when it comes to utility.
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  5. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    This accreditation was discussed many times.
    There are a relative handful of degree-granting programs that rely on NYBOR as their sole accreditation; all at least "legitimate". They include two or three Associates-granting career schools, and the rest are schools affiliated with big-name organizations, often absolutely stellar in their fields. Like this one: a graduate school arm of the American Museum of National History. Same category are Rockefeller U. and Cold Springs NL, or Christie's Auctions. One school people get kicks of is a Russian Orthodox seminary in Jordanville NY (Holy Trinity, hosted in the eponymous monastery which is basically a HQ for Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, or ROCOR). "Headed by an Archimandrite!" (NB: most of it's history the Rector has been the Primate of ROCOR, a Metropolitan; Archimandrite is 3.5 steps down).
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  6. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Also, Cornell University used to be accredited by NYSBOR. They dropped it in the early 2000s. I believe they held it concurrent to their RA.
    Rockefeller University is a very well respected school and has close ties to Cornell's Medical School and they are only accredited by NYSBOR. We have seen their faculty at respected institutions all over the world including Canada where we know WES might well give them a weird evaluation. Of course, it's also possible WES in its list of countless caveats is OK with NYSBOR. It's difficult to say without actually submitting the degree for eval.

    NYS has one of the strictest standards for starting a school. Registration (NY's version of "state approved") is no joke and requires a pretty hefty evaluation. New York also keeps a database of all registered programs and which licenses (if applicable) they qualify you for. It's the only state I've seen with a system like that. Accreditation is a separate process.

    From what I gather from reading historical documents, this was actually fairly common many years ago, New York is just the only one left. Pennsylvania and Oklahoma both also had state agencies that were recognized accreditors by DOE. Both have been out of the business for a long time.

    The New York Board of Regents is the degree granting authority for the state. Hence the reason Excelsior was once known as Regent's College. It was literally the college arm of the Board of Regents. To my knowledge, the only degree the Regents currently award is the Doctor of Medicine to graduates of medical schools that don't award doctorates. I've seen one. It's definitely something that is quite unique in that it is a degree awarded by "The University of the State of New York" which, of course, is not a university at all but the umbrella under which individual, separately accredited SUNY schools fall.
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  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is my point, too. Yes, the Regents are the only state board recognized by the Department of Education as an accreditor, but the accreditation isn't all that meaningful externally (in terms of degree acceptance). The institutions it accredits, on the other hand, speak well for themselves.

    I once supervised an adjunct faculty member who finished her doctorate at Central European University. At the time, CEU was registered in New York and accredited by the Regents. When she graduated, I tried to get her pay upgraded (doctorate holders received more pay per course). The university refused. A few months later, CEU became a candidate for regional accreditation and voila! She got her status upgraded. No matter how hard I pleaded about the DoE's recognition of the Regents and the quality of the accreditation, they just wouldn't listen.

    (CEU is still accredited by the Board of Regents in New York and is also accredited by Middle States. So there.)
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  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Too bad they had to go and change it. Regent's College had a nice, substantial ring to it. Excelsior is always high on our "worst names" list. Nothing wrong with the school itself, though.
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  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is how all Regents External Degree Program (later "Regents College Degree Program) degrees were issued. All three of mine say "The University of the State of New York" as the awarding institution.

    After I was commissioned I was doing a records review. I saw that my two bachelor's degrees (no one cared about the associate's) were listed as coming from "SUNY Albany." I called the office that handled this aspect of officers' records and simply could not convince them that I did NOT graduate from SUNY Albany (or any other SUNY), and that my degrees were awarded by USNY. They simply would not hear it since no such "school" was in their database. I finally gave up and my records from then until I retired reflected "SUNY Albany." (I would have to think Excelsior College is in their database of schools.)
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    For those who don't know, when the Regents got out of the external degree business, the program was privatized. The new, free-standing school was allowed to use "Regents College" for just 3 years before they would have to change to something that didn't have "Regents" in it. They chose "Excelsior," which is also the state motto.

    I don't have any diplomas or transcripts with "Excelsior" on them, but I've never shared others' antipathy towards the name. It seems fine to me, especially compared to Prometheus College, Campus-Free College, The Graduate School of America, and a host of other oddly named schools.
  11. copper

    copper Active Member

    "Doctor of Medicine to graduates of medical schools that don't award doctorates. I've seen one. It's definitely something that is quite unique in that it is a degree awarded by "The University of the State of New York" which, of course, is not a university at all but the umbrella under which individual, separately accredited SUNY schools fall." Nuehaus

    True statement! I have colleagues that graduated from foreign medical schools that awarded Bachelors of Medicine or Diploma of Medicine and Surgery or 5th Pathway, etc., after passing all the exams and residencies, the NYS Board of Regents awarded them a diploma that reflected the Doctor of Medicine degree. So if you think about the whole process, they aren't really "foreign medical graduates" anymore after jumping through all the NY hoops!
  12. copper

    copper Active Member

    I just typed the whole name of the University of the State of New York into the US Department of Education and it yielded one result = Excelsior College with a name change history of:

    Name Change

    08/01/1984University of the State of New York Regents External Degree Program, Regents College Degrees

    01/01/2001Regents College of the University of the State of New York


    You are correct in saying SUNY Albany not the same as USNY Albany! I'm sure it gets confused all the time though!

    With that said, don't confuse the NYS Board of Regents as an accrediting agency that once accredited The University of the State of New York Regents external degree program with the now Excelsior College!

    The University of the State of New York offers the diploma Doctor of Medicine and the NYS High School Diplomas!
  13. copper

    copper Active Member

    About the University of the State of New York (USNY)

    "Each entity of this educational system is both an official and organic component of the University of the State of New York. The challenge and the opportunity are for the sectors to work together as a whole bringing unmatched resources in people, information, facilities, technology, artifacts, and relationships to face educational issues of the twenty-first century."

    "Conferral of M.D. Degree
    The Board of Regents is empowered to confer the M.D. degree on New York licensees who meet specific requirements."
  14. copper

    copper Active Member

    To clarify, Excelsior College is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Prometheus College? Well, maybe... Sisyphus College? Definitely not! :)
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Interesting. I don't know why they bother, unless they're substantively involved in the process.

    There are two kinds of doctorates: academic doctorates and first professional doctorates. I don't see why it would be a problem for a school that doesn't otherwise award doctorates to award a first professional doctorate. It's a very different animal.

    (Among academic doctorates, there are two kinds: scholarly and professional. "Professional" is not to be confused with "first professional doctorate.)
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  17. copper

    copper Active Member

    The Physician and Surgeon credential is a license to practice in the State of NY. A large number of applicants in NY come from foreign countries where the MD is not awarded. In some countries the equivalent degree is a Candidatus Medicina or Diploma of Medicine and Surgery or Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) among a long list of other names Here is one, "Médico Integral Comunitario" title. see:

    The State of New York allows one to attain the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the USNY based on the rigorous completion of numerous requirements. Some graduates have medical degrees from countries and schools that don't even exist anymore so I think it is a wonderful $300 option the State of New York offers these Physicians! (read requirements)
  18. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    The American Museum of Natural History is a world famous research institution in several areas of biology such as evolutionary biology and paleontology.

    There has been a lot of discussion of NYRegents accreditation in Degreeinfo in the past. (Some of it by me.)

    I'll repeat my own personal opinion that accreditation doesn't matter a whole lot in the case of PhDs in academic subjects. In the case of the Richard Gilder Graduate School, it's mostly about eligibility for federal funding. (Accreditation is often crucial in the case of licensed professions where licensing boards require particular accreditations, often specialized programmatic ones. Think 'medicine'.)

    What matters more with PhDs is general reputation of the degree awarding institution, along with who a student's research supervisor was, the student's research area, and so on.

    The NY Regents accredit a number of very high profile schools. These schools aren't high profile because of their accreditation.
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  19. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The process is also flexible beyond what is stated. I became aware of the program when a former doctor of mine advertised himself as DO/MD which I thought curious. He explained that he came to the US and attended an Osteopathic medical school and became a DO and practiced in New York without a hiccup. The problem was that he desperately wanted to go home and do medical work in his native Pakistan. Pakistan, however, refused to accept his US credentials despite the fact that US-trained DOs are generally accepted for medical practice in other countries even if osteopaths in those countries are limited in practice to manual manipulation.

    So, he took his case to the NYBOR and they gave him an M.D. I don't know how he managed it since the application states that you need to have graduated from a foreign medical school but, you know, this isn't really that big of a state and it was unique enough of a case that he was probably just able to get a personal exemption. New York DOE is such that you can rather easily call and get a person on the phone and, within a transfer or two, be in touch with someone who has some substantial authority.

    The requirements, however, are not so numerous. You have to be a graduate of a foreign medical school that is equal in philosophy and rigor to a US medical education but that didn't award an MD. And you need to be licensed as a physician in New York. The latter cannot happen unless the former is already established. You need to have a suitable medical school education to get a physician's license. New York periodically releases a spreadsheet of those granted the M.D. All licensed physicians (obviously) and so there is no real need to intensely scrutinize them. That was necessary for them to become licensed in the first place. It's a $300 administrative service that allows someone with, say, an MBBS, to put "MD" after their name so as not to confuse the American public.
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised to hear that. I didn't think the American public was so easily confused. Here, my doctor holds a Bachelor of Medicine degree. Nobody's confused. She's not listed as an MD but I had no trouble checking her medical license online. I did that only because I was curious to find out where she earned the degree. She's Canadian, but did her medical studies in Ireland.

    Darn fine doctors they make, in Ireland! Long history. First Irish hospitals - an speadal - opened in Pre-Christian times. Free care to all who needed it. Each hospital had an administrator, whose duties included keeping disturbances away from patients, e.g. wild dogs and the mentally ill - who had their own institutions. Back then, Irish doctors were legally required to treat patients free, if they were unable to pay. Each doctor was required to have four medical students at all times. Fast forward to 1800 - Ireland had more medical literature (from all countries) than any other country on earth. There were well-known families with generations of physicians, who kept extensive libraries - adding to them over several hundred years, some of them.

    My previous doctor was great, too, but she moved her practice out-of-town. She was of Indian origin - I thought she had possibly trained in UK. Wrong - I looked today. She's a MD - earned it in the Caribbean.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020

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