Newlane University

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Mac Juli, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    They claim that they offer degrees for $1000-$2500, are not accredited (yet), but claim that they "[....] also have articulation agreements with accredited schools that accept credits or degrees earned through Newlane University".

    Well. - Does anyone have an informed opinion about them?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Where did you see any indication they ever intend to become accredited - I must have missed it?

    Two unaccredited degrees - AA in general arts for $1200, BA in Philosophy for $2500. You can get an accredited degree in a field that has real jobs for that money - U. of the People. Two great degrees for Children of the Wealthy who don't require access to employment and don't intend to pursue further degrees (because these will not give you access.) Your Trust Funds will remain intact, kiddies...

    I couldn't find any info on Articulation Agreements either. Where is it - specific info, that is - University names etc. This school does not look like it really meets any of our listed, valid reasons for seeking unaccredited schools. I almost wish it did ... but I won't lose any sleep.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's untrue that philosophy isn't useful in one's professional life. One of the best programmers I know holds a BA and MA in philosophy as his only academic credentials. If anything, the ability to think critically is increasingly important, and the study of philosophy directly facilitates that.
    RoscoeB and Maniac Craniac like this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Your friend is an outlier, in today's terms. Probably not one, starting out. Sure - you can (and always could) learn programming - and if you have the aptitude and desire, become really good - without earning a degree in it. But these days, it's VERY hard to gain entrance without one. Anything that sharpens one's thinking ability is beneficial - but these unaccredited degrees are not job-getters. Want a programming job with no degree these days? You'd better have proven experience and/or one hell of a portfolio!
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Another consideration - opportunity cost. Want to be a programmer? Then every hour spent studying for these two unaccredited General Arts or Philosophy degrees is an hour spent NOT learning programming. (You may even want to think twice about listing these degrees on your resume. )

    Who, among us, hath that many surplus hours? I guess your friend, besides being smart, must be a super time-manager. He earned two Philosophy degrees AND learned to be a great programmer. Not everyone can do that ... most people have to make choices.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You're assuming a person can only do one thing at a time while discounting the value of critical thinking. In the 21st century labor market both are serious mistakes.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    If you're assuming these unrecognized degrees are worth the time that would be expended on them - then I think YOU are making a serious mistake. I'm not discounting the value of critical thinking - I'm discounting the value of these particular unrecognized degrees. There's a difference. Critical thinking should enable you to spot it.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
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  8. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I've never heard of them until now, so my opinion is uninformed I guess.

    I like the fact that they only offer two degrees, an associates in general studies and a BA in philosophy. I have a BA in philosophy myself, so how could I not like it?

    If you are going to start a school, I always say start small, specialize in something and then do it well.

    Are these people doing philosophy well? I don't know. This is a competency based program, and I'm not 100% clear how to conduct a philosophy program that way. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't.

    It's certainly inexpensive.

    They seem to have started out in 2017 as a company called 'Teachur' which adopted the name 'Newlane University' in 2019.

    Here's their catalog. While their website is resolutely uninformative, the catalog has lists of classes and faculty, along with academic policies and procedures.

    To be quite frank, I haven't investigated this nor have I studied the catalog, so I don't know whether I like Newlane or not.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    My mistake, I should have been more clear. I was talking about the study of philosophy in general, not specifically through this particular institution.
  10. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    That depends on whether one's goal in enrolling is learning the subject or receiving a credential. If the student is interested in education first and foremost, then accreditation status might be a secondary consideration. An unaccredited credential will likely be less useful in some situations than an accredited one, while the education might arguably be just as good. After all, can anyone point to any accredited distance-learning medieval literature MA program that compares with Signum? What matters more than accreditation to many students is whether the education is valuable and sound.

    I don't understand the reason for your hostility. As for me, I'm not sure what to make of it.
  11. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Well, "Newlane has been registered as a proprietary postsecondary school in Utah since 2017, which is the first step toward accreditation". I interpreted this as intention to become accredited. I admit I might have overinterpreted this!
  12. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Newlane seems to be playing it straight and certainly doesn't seem to be making any false or misleading accreditation claims.

    On page 70 of their catalog, it says,

    "Newlane University is registered under the Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act (Title 13, Chapter 34, Utah Code). Registration under the Utah Postsecondary Proprietary School Act does not mean that the State of Utah supervises, recommends, nor accredits the institution.

    Newlane University is not accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education."

    After some searching, I verified that that they are indeed registered under the act, hence appear to be operating legally in Utah. (The list was on the consumer affairs website, not the state education website.)

    Their lineup of philosophy classes isn't bad. Kind of thin, but to be expected in a new school that expects to graduate its first students in 2020. (They say that people should think of what they are presenting now as kind of a beta-version of what they eventually hope to do.) But even as it stands, it's no worse than the lineup of philosophy classes offered by some RA Philosophy BA programs.

    I looked up a couple of their faculty and they looked like recent PhD graduates. Presumably young philosophers looking for an institutional affiliation and a foot in the door of university teaching. Nobody famous or particularly impressive, but they seemed qualified for the positions they hold at Newlane.

    The amount a student pays depends on how long it takes for them to earn their degrees. The four year BA is divided up into two segments, a two year general education segment that results in an AA degree in General Studies, and two further years that results in a BA in Philosophy. Each degree (the AA and the BA) cost a minimum of $1,000 and a maximum of $2,500, depending on how quickly a student completes them and on how many units they can transfer in. So starting at zero, a student can do what is at least superficially a credible BA in philosophy for as little as $2,000 and no more than $5,000.

    All in all, I'm starting to like it. I might even enroll in it if I didn't already have a BA in Philosophy. You know, I can imagine doing this BA, then enrolling in Signum's MA in Language and Literature. (I didn't see that Signum requires accredited degrees for admission.) You could get a pretty decent non-accredited education that way, easily comparable to many RA programs, even some of the prestige ones.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
    Mac Juli likes this.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, heirophant, you can at least be sure that my hostility isn't directed at you. And everyone here can be assured that although I've waited 24 hours before attempting a reply, I'm still mad as hell - and that hasn't abated one bit. I kind of hoped it would -- but no matter. Nobody cares. What got me going was:

    I made a statement that the utility (especially in the employment area) of an inexpensive accredited degree e.g. U. of the People - (or, I add here - a bunch of CLEPS and a few dozen ACE credits from Shmoop & Sons made "bio-degreeable") far outweighs an unaccredited program - in the employment market.

    What do I get? Sanctimonious finger-waggling: "Oh no ... you're disparaging critical thinking. Mustn't say that. First thing employers look for..." from the International Tower of Sacred Rebuke. Like hell I was. I'm not having it. Now or ever. I find it an unacceptable remark, especially from the owner of an as-yet unaccredited university - that concentrates on business skills. I can't make a comment that an accredited degree generally trumps an unaccredited one when it comes to getting a job? What the hell?

    (1) I wasn't disparaging anything except the potential utility of these Utah-approved degree-looking papers, in their present unaccredited state. "Be sure the degree meets your needs," said a wise man - I think his name might have been Dr. John Bear. If you need the degree to help you get a job - as the majority of first-time distance students well might - I still believe these are likely not to meet your needs, in the majority of situations.

    (2) Degrees such as these - or indeed those of Signum - are the province of people such as myself and the good Hierophant - i.e. the idle rich. Well, not quite, I guess. I mean people who have no need of a particular degree for employment reasons, and have enough disposable income that they can fork up for the degree they want without any trouble, if they so desire. If such people perceive a program - any program - as having value to them, they should go ahead. Plunk down the card and enjoy. You've earned it.

    Gotta run now. Have to work on my 'ignore' list. Hierophant - hope to see you around. I enjoy your posts.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    No one suggested otherwise. As I said, it was my mistake not to be clear that I was talking only about the study of philosophy in general.
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Its cheaper to earn ASc or AA degree from a local community college. Especially now that most of the classes are on-line.
    And it can be in multiple disciplines.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No - it's definitely not cheaper. But there may be good reasons to bite the bullet and do it anyway.

    Maybe they cost less for some students in California - CC is free there for some, I think. They can't go for $15 - $20 a credit (60 credits) in any other State. Community College Associate degrees generally far exceed the $1000 or so cost of this AA -- by multiples, in fact. However, CC degrees are accredited. That makes them a whole lot more useful than the Utah-approved unaccredited program under discussion, at least if someone is seeking a job.

    Also, there's a groundswell of complaints - the quick transition to online classes made necessary by the pandemic has not lowered tuition costs; many people are dissatisfied with this. We even have a thread on it someplace.

    Sorry to poke holes in your balloon, Lerner - but it is what it is.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  17. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Johann you are correct. I stand corrected.

    There is some assistance for many students.
    I factored need-based, and merit-based, scholarships, and grants that states provide for its resident students.

    CA tuition cost in a community college for in-state students is 1600 per year. With Cal grant its free.
    AZ around 1,800 per year. - with the state assistance awards are typically valued at $750-$1,500 and LEAP program can be 2,500
    NM around 2000 per year. CAG grant is for $1000/semester and can be applied for over eight semesters. And LEA is 1000.
    NV around 2700 per year. also has state grants and assistance programs.

    And yes there are sates that average CC tuition is 5K + per year. With state programs that may provide 1,5K to 4K in grants or assistance.

    A friend's son is studying at Luna Community College where tuition is about 1,700 per year. He has a grant and scholarship. that covers most of the tuition, being a school club member, and volunteering a lot for marathons (water stands) and cleaning activities in the community and school landed a scholarship of 2,500.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  19. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I meant hostility towards Newlane and/or philosophy BAs. I have a philosophy BA, so I wondered.

    Perhaps a prospective Newlane student already has a day job (or is retired like you and I) and isn't primarily looking for career advancement. Maybe he or she has a lifelong interest in philosophy, is fascinated by it and by how fundamental philosophical questions arise whenever we think deeply about anything. Maybe he or she wants to pursue that study in a credible and organized fashion, without it costing vast sums of money and eating up their savings.

    I don't want to concede the idea that philosophy degrees are useless in the job market. They aren't. (I know that for a fact from personal experience.) But that's a different argument. The one I want to pursue right now is the idea that maybe a Newlane student isn't just studying for the purpose of making more money and is actually interested in the subject that they are studying. I'm suggesting idea that a Newlane student might choose this program for much the same reason why a student would choose to enroll at Signum or multiple Degreeinfo participants have indicated interest in religion degrees.

    There might actually be things that are worth studying in their own right.

    I do agree that it might be best for a Newlane student to transfer in general ed credit from previous study if at all possible. If I enrolled in Newlane, that's what I would seek to do. Which would result in Newlane offering a reasonably credible Philosophy BA for $1,000 to $2,500. I don't know of anything else that would be competitive with that. It's certainly affordable for people of modest means who aren't "children of the wealthy" living off "trust funds".
    Mac Juli likes this.
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    All true. My point was - and I hope I made it reasonably clear (If not, it's on me) that if you DON'T need the degree for a job - you can enrol in whatever you want. Including Newlane or Signum - anything that interests you. And yes - philosophy grads have succeeded in the job market. Such degrees (mainly accredited ones) might well work for some - but not everyone. If you really really have to land a job, though, you might consider the likely percentages involved in various disciplines , before making your final course choices.

    And yes, I have some basic reservations about the whole study of philosophy. I view it the same way as I do religion. It's not for me - but fine for anyone else who wants to get involved in it. Why? Because I feel either philosophy or philosophers (I'm not positive which) have let us down badly - at least in the West. Western Philosophy appears to me to have failed to answer most of its own important questions for 2,500 years now. Not a good track record. Even psychology - not the most successful of sciences - has advanced further in less than two centuries than philosophy (Western) has in twenty-five. Has Eastern philosophy served man any better? I don't really know - but I look at the present Government of China - and I doubt that centuries of its philosophers made any lasting headway in the present human condition there at all. How d'ya like those Uighur camps, huh?

    Since age 40 or so, I've been privileged to study whatever I wanted to study. It worked out not too badly - and I'll study a few more things, I hope. I don't have philosophy on my list, though.

    Yes, as you say, there are things that are worth studying in their own right. And if you have no pressing need to study something else - e.g. something vocational, then that's what you should study. And that includes Philosophy, whether I like it or not. And if philosophy is what you feel you need to study - and an unaccredited degree meets your needs (i.e. you don't need it for a job qualification or further study at an accredited school) then by all means, Newlane looks like a reasonably-priced choice.

    Getting back to Signum (that's a relief) you're right. I looked and this time, I found nothing about a bachelor's having to be accredited. A couple of years back, I'm still pretty sure I did see such a requirement. In any case - they still ask you where it's from, your GPA if it's a US degree and - I forget - another question or two, if it's foreign. All this indicates to me that they have a strong interest in knowing at what school the degree was earned - and some other details. I'm assuming it has to pass muster somehow - and lack of acccreditation on a bachelor's degree might still keep a person out of Signum's Master's program. If entry is denied, one can still take the courses on an audit basis -- I think for the same fairly high price, I'm not sure.

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