Opinions about a New Online College with State Approval, but no Accreditation [yet].

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by rodmc, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Who are they, and what degrees do they hold? The website doesn't mention them.
    Who is it? That person doesn't seem to be mentioned on the website, the Directory function and Search functions don't work, and no one uses that title (that I can find). What degrees does that person hold?
    In which fields? Who will run them?
    Interesting, but not really relevant. Running an online high school program is quite a bit different from running a tertiary school (with graduate programs, to boot!).
    Red herring. No one said you didn't have experience running an accredited high school. But that isn't the same as running a "accreditable" university.
    Not really relevant. It isn't a sign of quality to teach both secondary and tertiary students. Most of the best universities in the U.S. do no such thing.
    What does that mean? How do you "put students first" in a way not done at other schools?
    Red herring. No one said you were. But it is suspicious when a school makes this kind of distinction. He doth protest too much.
    What? Again, please explain how this college distinguishes itself in a way not done by other schools.
    Please don't tell us that was your market research. I have to think that you're more sophisticated than that, and that your tertiary school is designed to attract others besides return customers.
    Okay. Which part would you like? Seriously, you'll be picked apart quite frequently if you (a) don't show quality in your design and (b) toss out unsubstantiated (and refutable) marketing statements like this one. Some might perceive it to be spam.
    Okay, but it is relevant to see where you are now, too.
    DETC? Did I call that or what? And an accredited master's for less than $5K? I'm looking forward to that one.
    Several people have been involved in school start-ups to varying degrees. "Involved" because that's all you are; you're not doing it by yourself.
    Yes, they do. But this isn't one of them. Not yet, anyway.
    And thank you for this wonderful opportunity to observe. Good luck in your quest.
  2. rodmc

    rodmc Active Member

    The College will have an official launch in the Fall of 2013. The college website will be completely updated by then; including the names of our staff and instructors, doctoral degree holders, published research, etc. We just received State approval, so now that we are an official State college, we will be making great strides toward delivering quality online programs and full disclosures for the public at large. BTW, Minnesota OHE has some of the most rigid over-site requirements for post secondary institutions in the nation, so the fact that we have been approved to operate, is a giant first step. Thanks for your feedback and best wishes.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    So you're going to make all of those statements and just ignore requests for clarification? You made a lot of claims (degrees, staff, faculty, etc.) without being specific about any of them.

    Here's a start: you claim the president of Excel College has a doctorate. Isn't the president of Excel College Mark A. Ulven? Isn't he also the director of the hig school? Doesn't he hold just a master's? (It's not a big deal for an administrator, even a college president, to be without a doctorate. But the poster claimed the person had one, and he's not telling the truth unless Mr. Ulven isn't the president as claimed here: http://www.excelcollege.org/exc_student_handbook.pdf

    What else isn't true?

    Look, there's probably nothing too wrong with all of this, and Minnesota does have a good reputation. And hey, how hard will it be to get DETC accreditation? But when an anonymous shill comes on and posts a bunch of unsubstantiated (and in some places refuted) hype, that's not good.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2013
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You know from previous correspondence that I'm sympathetic to your efforts. But Rich does have experience in this area, and you shouldn't dismiss the objections he raises. Also, in my opinion it's misleading to refer to yourself as an "official state college" when 99% of people will assume that means you're a public institution. I understand that you want to describe your institution in the best possible way, I would too, but that's not the phrase to use.

    Beyond that, you say your site will be updated by the time you launch, so fair enough. And I agree that in a state like Minnesota it is meaningful to have gained approval -- even if it won't lead to your credits being transferable, you have to take one step at a time.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the one-topic shill has left? Too bad. Not a good way to start a relationship with this community. Excel College. Hmmm. I wonder if "PowerPoint University" was already taken?

    It will be interesting to see, if this thing ever really launches, how many of the shill's claims actually are true.
  6. rodmc

    rodmc Active Member

    Thank you, Steve for your constructive criticism. We greatly value input. Believe me, we are not trying to be anything more or less than what we claim to be as a State Registered College. Transparency is very important to our organization. The reason that I posted here initially was to provide information concerning the college; and to gather perspectives about operating as a State approved, but unaccredited college. Of course, gaining accreditation for the college is in our short term (24-36 months) goal. As you all know, we must wait for 24-months before we can submit the application to DETC. As I mentioned, the college website will be fully updated and operational before our official launch date, which is on July 15th 2013.

    We tried to be wise with organizing and structuring our school operations in order to meet DETC standards from the start. Much of how we operate today as a North Central Association accredited high school, will cross over to meeting the DETC standards. That is the advantage of already going through the accreditation process and being an NCA accredited high school. Of courses, there will be some differences at the college level. I realize that no college gets any respect or recognition until they become accredited. We will work hard to gain accreditation and respect. Happy Easter to everyone...

    Be exceptionally good at or proficient in an activity or subject.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I think it's commendable that a group of people are starting up a new college. I'm sure it's more complex than I can imagine. However, there is one thing about this thread that's bothering me. Secrecy. Why can't the president be named? Why can't the doctoral level staff be named? Why can't the specific degree programs be named? Why is the op determined to remain anonymous? You say that transparency is important to your organization but your actions say the exact opposite. You are determined to be opaque. rodmc - you're failing the sniff test.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 28, 2013
  8. rodmc

    rodmc Active Member

    My name is Rod Clarkson. I am easy to find. Feel free to give me a call at the phone listed on our website with any questions. No secrecy involved here and I have absolutely nothing to hide.

    Most of our staff is already in place, but we are also in the process of hiring additional doctoral department heads and a few additional instructors. One candidate is coming over from Walden University, where he designed and taught programs at their College of Business. It makes more sense for us to update our official website concerning new hires as get closer to launch. Wouldn't you agree? As you all know, DTEC and NCA HLC require full transparency, so why would we want to operate any other way? I can offer further details, such as staff and program updates as they happen. I don't want to jump the gun. Make sense?

    The information will be updated as we get closer to launch. We are working diligently to get many aspects finalized before we launch on July 15th 2013. I am sure that you can imagine how much work is involved in launching a new college. We are currently offering the degrees listed on our courses page; that are approved by the State of Minnesota, Office of Higher Education. You can review the State OHE website for approved degree offerings.

    We are currently developing a BS in Business, with consecrations in Management, Marketing and Accounting. We are also currently developing an MBA program. No secrecy and nothing to hide. We are actually very proud of current and future course offerings. I hope that helps with your concern regarding secrecy. So much more will happen in the next couple of months.

    Being it that we operate a Regionally Accredited (North Central Association CASI) online high school, it is pretty easy to determine that we are a legitimate organization. We have nothing to hide and we are totally committed to quality and working hard to do well with our new college students’ and stakeholders.

    Your feedback and questions are greatly appreciated. With so many degree mills operating online, my desire is to offer full disclosure so people don’t mistakenly group us in with these scammers. We want to collect insight from others and strive for quality in all that we do. Thank you all for your valuable feedback.
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Hi Rod - You see, the problem is that someone had to actually challenge you before you even began to disclose real information. You haven't said what your position is within this organization. You still haven't named the president. Websites can be updated continuously. Some places update their websites daily. But even if you don't want to update your site with this information you could still just type it into the message box here. I can understand it if you don't want to name a doctoral level staff person if the negotiations are still in process but you've already said that there are PhDs on staff. They've already been hired. So why not name them? You keep saying that you're all about full disclosure but then you refuse to answer questions. I wish you the best of luck with your endeavor but if you are supposed to be a PR guy for this organization then you're doing it wrong.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I'm going to be really really picky now but you keep saying that you're open to feedback . . .

    In regards to your website, you have a section on your front page entitled "Campus Beautiful Moments." At this time there are three photos displayed. All of them are misleading. The first misleading piece is the caption. There really is no campus. It's an online school. Now on to the photos. The first photo is a small group of students sitting together on a bench. Since it's an online school, this would never happen but clearly you're suggesting that it does happen. The second photo is a pretty woman in a library. There is no library. The third photo is a group of students wearing graduation gowns. Since your college has not yet opened, no one has yet graduated.

    Now I understand the use of stock photos in advertising. Lots of schools will use stock photos of "students" and we all know that these specific people are probably not really students, they're models being paid to have their photos taken. But at the same time we also recognize that real students actually do exist at these schools. In your case that's not true. You are deliberately creating a false impression by indicating that your students currently exist and that they hang out together and that people have actually graduated from your school.

    Misleading. Pickypickypicky me.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Or even the one--about the President having a doctorate--that is demonstrably false?
  12. rodmc

    rodmc Active Member

    The college will go live in July 2013. Our official website will be continuously updated as we progress toward our launch date. Every fact is challenged as being untrue. It would not matter what I offered for information. Fact: We have proven all claims to the State of Minnesota, Office of Higher Education (though review and audit) or we would not have been approved as a State Registered, Degree Granting College. Fact: We already operate a Regionally Accredited High School (North Central Association CASI) I find it no longer constructive or beneficial posting information on this forum. I would suspect that even when we do gain DETC and or HLC accreditation, there would be backlash from some members in this community. No benefit there for anyone. Thanks anyway for your feedback and suggestions.

    Best Wishes All...
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    What is the reputation of

    State of Minnesota, Office of Higher Education approval
    when it comes to unaccredited college?

    Is it on a level of Oregon, California or Wyoming?

    Just curious.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Better than California or Wyoming. I have no insight into Oregon.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm not here to bash Excel College, Edina MN. Just saying, it's a really popular name.

    The Excel Group in India (Tamil Nadu) owns the following schools:

    Excel Engineering College
    Excel College of Technology
    Excel College of Engineering & Technology
    Excel Business School
    Excel College of Architecture & Planning
    Excel Polytechnic College
    Excel College of Education

    Excel College (Manchester UK) is here: English Course Manchester | English School Manchester | Learn English
    Excel College (Malaysia) is here: Excel College Malaysia | College Petaling Jaya | College in Malaysia
    Excel Career College (Canada) is here: Excel Career College Courtenay BC
    Excel College (Nigeria) is here: Excel College...excellence through the Grace of God!

    And here's THIS Excel College, Minneapolis MN in 2007 describing itself as a "state approved, state-licensed college" offering degree courses. Excel College to Begin Online College Degree Courses in Early 2008

    Hey, that was in 2007. Same owners. What happened? Six years later, you're setting up from scratch in Edina? Did you somehow lose that "state approval and state licensing?" of six years ago? I think you have some explaining to do. :sad:

  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Just an observation. This thread deals with Excel College, an as-yet unaccredited school, offering (among others) associate degrees for around $5,000. With the limited utility of such an unaccredited degree, what inducement is there to enrol?

    For oh-maybe $3,000, and a suitable amount of work, a person could put a RA Associate degree together at one of the Big 3 - COSC TESC or Excelsior. If a DETC degree would suffice, such can be earned for around that $5,000 mark from accredited distance schools, e.g. Ashworth, Penn Foster, McKinley College, US Career Institute etc. (This does not constitute an ad or a recommendation for a specific school.)

    OK - there are times when an unaccredited degree might meet someone's needs - not mine, but it's possible, I guess. But why settle? I don't see any pressing reason, here. Certainly not cost. For the same money or even less, it would seem one could earn a degree with far more utility.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2013
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    For a bachelor's degree, there seems to be many better options. But if the OP (who disappeared after shilling a bit) is right about a $5K master's, it might be worth the risk. I suspect they'll get accredited by DETC--who doesn't? That will mean that even degrees earned prior to accreditation will functionally perform as those earned afterwards, even though they'd technically be from an unaccredited school.

    What I'm waiting to see is the post-DETC $5K master's the OP promised. I would be impressed by that.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Already done, by at least 2 other DETC-accredited schools -- one still offering it. Here's Taft U's sub-5K MBA promotion:
    Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programs Also, Aspen U. has had a number of 5K-and-under fire-sales on various master's programs in the past.

    Well -- at least one school didn't. Remember this one - the School of Liverpool Stickers? As I recall, there was quite a chuckle on the DL boards, including this one when DETC said "no thanks." I also remember a report of eerie, mocking laughter heard late at night at an Indiana truckstop when this school didn't make the cut for DETC ... :smile:

    Trinity College and Seminary - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2013
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    To be fair - as I'm usually not - there have been a few other denials of accreditation by DETC in the past reports, plus some (gasp!) Show Causes and withdrawals of accreditation.

    American Center for Excellence in Surgical Assisting - denied.
    California Institute of Arts and Technology - denied.
    ITeachU.S. - denied.
    Hawthorn University - denied.
    Perelandra College- accreditation withdrawn.
    Kona University - accreditation withdrawn.
    Yorktown University - accreditation withdrawn.
    Teacher Education University -accreditation withdrawn.

    In addition, I remember Nations U. being sent back to the drawing board. I feel that school will probably emerge accredited, likely some time this year or early 2014.

    Although my opinion of DETC is higher than Dr. Douglas's -- it is just an opinion. And I will confess I don't have an RA (or any) Doctorate to back it up. :smile:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2013
  20. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Remember, DETC takes all comers. There is no candidacy period, so schools can apply and be without any qualifying in-between.

    Some schools that have become "formerly accredited" by DETC were in the "I told you so" category. Barrington and CSM come to mind.

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