News story re. hospital administrator with K-W degree

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by galanga, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. revans

    revans member

    Contreras recently wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education on credentialism. I saw a quotation from it somewhere on this forum. I think it requires a paid subscription to the Chronicle to read it in full. I do not remember the exact reference.

    The acceditors aren't doing a very good job in my opinion. Í am very suspicious of them.

    Your point about the difference between a degree as an academic status vs. a job credential is well taken. Degrees originally were a status within a learning society (universitas), awarded after an apprenticeship and performance exams within that universitas. Wider society began to use those marks of status, degrees, as credentials for various professions in law, teaching, church, government and medicine. Gradually, degrees as work credentials in so many other departments of endeavor spead. So now we have degrees that represent not only standing in a univsesity, the original "gradus", but some sort of job credential, as well. In some cases the conflation of the two notions (academic status and job credential) is completely justified--medicine and academics come to mind immediately. In other cases, there is a much more tenuous connection between a degree and a job function. But when the world of work pays by degrees, even when the specific knowledge required for the job is not endowed by the degree, you have an environment ripe for abuse--buying bogus degrees for a hike in pay grade. Does this mean that the abusers are ethically right--no. But neither is an enviroment that encourges such abuse. An analogue: is cheating in school right ?--no, but if there are no proctors for exams, it does encourage the cheating.
  2. revans

    revans member

    Provocative points

    This is a provocative list. I'd also like to know (perhaps from Dr. Bear) what is a good estimate of the percentage of unaccredited degrees awarded of all awarded degrees or what is the percentage of unwonderful degrees to legitimate degrees in the U.S. right now.
  3. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    The difference between the worst legitimately accredited institution and the best, however big that difference may seem, is but a millimeter of separation compared to the chasm that separates the worst legitimately accredited institution and the rotten bucket full of businesses fraudulently presenting themselves as academic institutions.

    There is no defensible logic that allows for a discussion of the problems of rigor within accredited universities in the same context as a discussion of outright fraud perpetrated by bogus academic institutions.

    Have a discussion about one or the other.
  4. revans

    revans member

    rotten bucket of businessess...

    A degree from an accredited institution that validates a substandard, unearned or partially earned education seems to me the same outcome as a bogus degree that validates an unearned education. The processes are different but the outcomes are the same, and more shame on the accredited instituion for its failure; the bogus institution is obviously a fraud and one would hardly expect its product to be worthy.
  5. JimS

    JimS New Member

    I see the overall education system as a spectrum resulting from overlap between the individual entities. Degree mills at one end and the finest accredited institutions at the other end. Unaccredited doesn't mean it is necessarily in the middle, and always of less quality than every accredited school. I would place honorary degrees as generally closer to degree mills than some unaccredited schools.
    Just some thoughts for consideration.
  6. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Ummm.... In the middle? No the vast majority of unaccredited schools aren't in the MIDDLE. :) They are drastically lower, as in the bottom of the bottom.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2004
  7. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    And mills aren't part of the "educational system." They're fraudulent businesses.

    You know, for a pretty decent unaccredited school, Cal Coast is singularly badly served by some of its friends past and present on this board, who seem to think that being "soft" on mills and pure junk unaccredited schools somehow cushions Cal Coast against criticism. It doesn't. In fact, it makes Cal Coast look worse by association, and that's really unfortunate.

    As a defender of decent unaccredited schools, it seems to me that the refusal to admit that most unaccredited schools are simply not any good does the decent few (and also the ethical yet substandard few) no good at all.
  8. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Re: rotten bucket of businessess...

    Okay... here's my concern, at this point: A reader of this thread who is new to DegreeInfo and who is just trying to figure it all out is being misled, here, in part by the courtesy being shown to revans. Several posters have talked about businesses that pretend to be institutions, but perhaps out of a desire to be something less that straight-up confrontational they're leaving out the finishing phrase, " Kennedy Western." Bill Huffman was dead-on when he correctly pointed out, earlier herein, that revans is not making an argument but, rather, a senseless rationalization.

    Let the reader make no mistake about it: revans is singing the time-worn Kennedy-Western sad song here; taking unwarranted swipes at regional accreditation, generally, as a pathetic means of elevating the relative position of unaccredited degrees like those offered at K-W solely for purposes of making meritless, yes, strawman arguments.

    Kennedy-Western is a joke. It has always been a joke. It will always be a joke. It's not an educational institution. Period. It's a business; nothing more, nothing less... and a wholly, unambiguously and provably unethical one, at that. The mere act of arguing it either way here gives the sorry entity inherently more dignity than it deserves in any case!

    This is a classic George Bushian sort of completely wrongheaded, misleading... er... well... look, it's not even an argument. In order to say that "a degree from an accredited institution that validates a substandard, unearned or partially earned education" is the same as anything, one must ask the reader to presume that such a ridiculous thing even exists (or, if it does, is in any way common) in the first place. It's a well-known, tried-and-true coward's debating tactic that employs a red herring in the first comparative position in order to have at least something against which to compare that which is indefensible in the second. I challenge revans or anyone else to cite an unambiguously-clear example of the former in what he writes, above, at any regionally-accredited school. Or, if one can be found, then I challenge he who found it to show that it's anything short of exceptional among regionally-accredited institutions.

    On the other hand, one need look no further than Kennedy-Western to find a cogent example of revans's latter, above.

    Enough of this, already! This is an argument without a point; and by engaging in it, here, it's giving a knowingly wrongheaded bully an air of credibility which he simply does not deserve. K-W students and shills will argue irrationally to the bloody death; and by so doing lower the quality of all else within earshot. Do not play into their hands.
    • Regional accreditation = Good.
    • Kennedy-Western = Bad.

    Let's move on, shall we? Or do we continue to give this whining K-W shill a soapbox?

    Please. Now that someone (in this particular case, that would be me) has dared to just call all of this what it truly is, let's just please move on and leave poor, misguided revans no one to argue with. Learned we nothing in grade school?
  9. JimS

    JimS New Member

    "It is not the degree that makes a great man;
    it is the man that makes the degree great."
    - Nicolo Machiavelli

    I'm willing to let the argument die with that quote in mind

    I've been looking for the source of that quote for some time. Thank you.


    God bless George W. Bush.
  10. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    How altruistic of you. And nice try. In order for the quote to be relevant to these proceedings, howsoever passionately you would like it to be otherwise, the decidedly worthless sheet of paper that Kennedy-Western issues as a pitiful and unlawful excuse for a diploma would first have to actually be a "degree." Absent that, its owner is a fraud; and no man who is a fraud could ever be great.

    Uh, huh. :rolleyes: I caution the reader to consider the source.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2004
  11. revans

    revans member

    Re: Re: rotten bucket of businessess...

  12. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Res ipsa loquitur.
  13. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    With all due respect Greg, as mature adults, we should be able to make our points without insulting others. Although I agree with you on this topic I see no reason to insult revans or JimS. I see no reason to call them academic frauds or anything else. If we point out the fraudulent practices of KWU, and the specifics of why such schools are so substandard then there is no logical defense IMO. However, when we call names, and insult those who do not get it then we have no chance of helping them see the light.

    When I was first confronted with the some of the many shortcomings of KWU, and began looking into them this site was one of the first places I started asking questions. It is not easy to accept being duped, or to realize that you are on the wrong path. Rather than giving yet another person reason to leave this site thinking it is full of academic snobs, I say respectfully try to show them why you think the school or schools are fraudulent.

    Also, the GWB comment was way out of line and should be in the other forum. There is plenty dog wagging on both sides, and I am sure there are plenty of both sides in diploma mills as well.
  14. revans

    revans member

    appropriate disagreement

  15. DesElms

    DesElms New Member


    I like you. We've had PMs about KW"U" and I'm troubled now that you've seemed a bit less tolerant of it... and bit less concerned, in the past, about the perhaps unintentional but no less misleading civility toward KW"U" such as we're seeing here. I have zero-tolerance for any conversation here that, by expressed statement or subtle inference, lends even the remotest possibile credibility to KW"U" -- and were you of a mind to follow my advice (which is obviously more than I could possible hope for), you would be the same. It seemed to me that you once were... or maybe I misread.

    Perhaps everyone needs a reminder of just how bad KW"U" is; and just how much, therefore, everyone should be assuming the zero-tolerance posture:
    • Read, again last May's sworn and dispassionate testimony of U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander, and investigator for the United States Senate's Committee on Governmental Affairs, Claudia Gelzer, as she testified about KW"U" before the very committee for which she worked. No, I mean really read it this time.
    • Read, again, the sworn testimony before that same committee of former Kennedy-Western employee Andrew Coulombe. No, I mean really read it this time.
    Precisely how many swats over the head with a (figurative, of course) two-by-four do KW"U" apologists require before they finally get it? And precisely how much of their working all that out on their way to coming to grips therewith should we tolerate around here while new readers who don't understand what they're going through are misled? KW"U" apologists -- whom, you seem to argue, are merely trying to come to grips with their mistake -- want, so badly, for the sinking morass they've somehow gotten themselves into to actually matter; to count for something; to not be the cold, hard evidence of their gullibility that it truly is. But no amount of rationalization in the Pub or here or in any other fora will change it. It is what it is, and to call it, here, anything less than what it is -- whether or not in the name of civility -- flatly misleads people and exposes new potential victims to the possibility of being ripped-off.

    So please stop it, okay? It's the misleading tolerance for the common arguments that KW"U" shills and apologists use -- the very arguments, I note, that revans is using here -- that is so troubling. revans can claim all day long that he's no shill (or at least no apologist) for KW"U" and, if so, it would be a lie. Oh... look! revans proffered that very lie while I was typing this. Can I call 'em or what?

    Start thinking about others whom you can save from this tragedy, plcscott; and stand, firmly and unambiguously, against the cancerous KW"U" fraud here and everywhere.

    And, oh, by the way: When a political figure or his/her actions is/are used, briefly, as a way of illustrating an otherwise unrelated point, then that is not the same as making a post which incorporates said political figure and/or his/her actions as a primary or secondary subject thereof. The latter belongs in other fora, as you admonish. The former belongs exactly where I've used it right here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2004
  16. revans

    revans member

    It is, indeed, interesting to observe the use of language here and on other fora. DesElms and I clearly do not speak the same language, regardless of the fact that it appears on the surface to be English. Or is DesElms simply a delusional crusader ? I have no association with KWU, no reason to shill or to support this entity in any way. My point, which has been disagreed with virgorously, is a general point that may be applied to any phony educational entity with respect to any legitmate one that allows phonys to get its qualifications. That's it--no lies, no shilling, just a simple point. Agree or disagree as your lights lead you, but the accusations of shilling and lies are just over the top. Indeed, verba ispa loquuntur.
  17. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    Originally posted by DesElms:
    I like you as well, and agree with you 100% about KWU.

    However, I believe in treating others with respect if they treat me with respect. I almost completely disagree with revans, but I would rather do so in a respectful manner. As long as he or she is respectful to me, I will do the same even if we are at odds on a topic.

    Too much of the time personal attacks get in the way of enlightening discussion, and in my opinion does little good. KWU students and alumni are not my enemy. I probably would not tinkle on the owner/administration if he/they were on fire, but many students (not all) have been duped by KWU. The way that KWU is going to be exposed more for what it is, is to have the specifics of its practices discussed. This will shed more light on the school, and may even cause some to see the light before they get sucked in.

    From the testimony that you linked to you can see that KWU makes prospective students think that they are doing enough work to earn a degree, and that the degree they are "earning" is widely accepted. I submit to you that people that do not know about accreditation or the standards that real schools apply can be duped rather easily from the slick marketing and lack of knowledge.
  18. JimS

    JimS New Member

    I don't see why the Senate testamonies are considered absolute proof that KWU should merit such scorn from some of the members of this site. Those proceedings did not impress me. The "investigators" heard one side of the story (the side they wanted to hear), and were not interested in hearing rebuttals from KWU or its students.

    The KWU advertising techniques are not different than the accredited Univerity of Phoenix and other accredited schools. In my opinion U of P is more agressive than KWU in marketing.

    The degree requirements at KWU are not very different from the requirements at a RA school. For comparison I used PhD2B'sposting at Off Topic Discussions - "Can a non-RA PhD be earned in one year". The only major difference I see is that KWU only grants 9 credits for the dissertation.

    From my experiences at two State universities, the KWU model of granting credits by proctored, timed, open book exams is not unusual. KWU has just extended the use of that practise.
  19. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    I guarantee that not every ENRON employee was ripped off. However, once it became clear from testimony of insiders that ENRON was practicing fraud, the opinion of associates and former employees that had good relations with ENRON became moot. KW’s processes are academically bankrupt, they have no established process for assessing academic credit, they do not do due diligence on what is provided them, and after those facts became clear through testimony, anything else became moot.

    KW has indeed extended the use of that practice..... to the realm of the illegitimate. There is no amount of rationalization that can ever bridge the gap between what KW does and what legitimate universities do.
  20. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    Originally posted by JimS
    HOGWASH! KWU had a representative at the hearings, and did not attempt to argue anything. After an eruption of upset students and alumni that heard about it, KWU gave a very general statement saying:

    "As a result, the picture drawn of Kennedy-Western in the hearings was incomplete, distorted, and in some respects clearly inaccurate."

    I have asked over and over what specifically that KWU objects to and they have never ever answered. I wonder why? I sure suspect that the reason they did not go after the Lt. Commander or the former employees is because they knew that there was plenty of evidence against them. From the hearings these were not the only people or employees that were interviewed, they were the only people that testified at the hearings.

    Maybe you can enlighten us on what the degree requirements are. Most all schools require 120 semester hours for a bachelor's degree. KWU seems to require from 4 to 7 open book exams and a paper most of the time, and the most I have ever seen anyone claim to have taken is 9. This was from someone with no prior education, and after the senate hearings. I know people who have claimed to have entered the masters program with a requirement of only 4 exams, and a thesis that never sent in ANY undergraduate transcripts. Maybe you can tell us how KWU determines the number of courses a student takes, and how experience credit is given. I can testify that not one single thing I put on my application was evaluated or verified, not one. In this thread you did the same thing you are doing in this thread. You made strawman arguments and avoided answering any specific questions about KWU, why is that?

    So you are saying that at UMUC you had courses where you were given a book with no assignments, no course syllabus, no lecture from an instructor, and no contact from the instructor unless you needed tutorial support? At the point in the course that you decided that you are ready to take the one and only final exam covering the entire textbook you did so in an open book format?

    Trust me I know that KWU is impossible to defend, or even rationalize to yourself. It is nothing more than a money making business that masquerades as a university, but has few characteristics of one.

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