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. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

    What are the fees for DETC accreditation? How does it compare to RA?
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    DETC doesn't publish the fees. But they do say this in their FAQs:

    Q. How much does the accreditation visit cost?

    A. The fees for an on-site review vary according to the size of the institution and the number of its courses and site locations. A school with one course seeking initial accreditation can expect the fee to range between $8,000 and $15,000. Larger institutions with many courses can expect a higher fee.

    The fees charged by WASC, on the other hand, are considerably lower.

    But I would suggest that the fees for applying for accreditation are a minor concern compared to the infrastructural and educational costs associated with becoming accredited by either the RAs or the NAs. I would also suggest that such costs--the essence of a school, really--are much lower with the NAs and the efforts and skill necessary much lower, too. We've seen one school make the jump from DETC accreditation to RA. But since there are NO inherent advantages to DETC accreditation over RA, one must wonder why that is. I suggest, again, it's because it's expensive and difficult to build a school that can get RA. More so than with the DETC.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2013
  3. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    The effort it takes to obtain/retain WASC accreditation is long, rigorous, and very expensive based on some input I received while attending CSUDH (they did not meet some WASC requirements at the time). A draft of the latest WASC accreditation handbook is here:

    I know nothing of DETC requirements.
  4. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

    Thanks for the info. I've got one particular recently founded school that is licensed in Arizona that I am keeping an eye on as it attempts to grow.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Having worked for a school that was ACICS accredited and starting the process with SACS, I would agree that the institutional resources required for RA dwarf those for NA. I don't think that it necessarily translates with "students learning more stuff", since the school wasn't planning to change their curricula or personnel as part of the process, but I can see why someone would believe they're correlated.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed. Both schools deserved their "I told you so" - no doubt of that! And yes, DETC does operate without a candidacy period. They do, however, have an initial "separation-of-wheat-from-chaff" phase. No school is listed as a DETC applicant before it has completed the self-assessment, i.e. readiness phase, that I'm told is no "walk in the park." Among other things, that requirement for being listed as an applicant lets a school that hasn't a prayer - and knows it - walk away without embarrassment. It's like they were never there! Probably there are quite a few schools that have put initial feelers out to DETC and subsequently "walked away."
    To where? Oh, I dunno. ACI maybe? :smile:

    Even though I like DETC, there's one thing I can't disagree with: DETC has definitely accredited schools that have done really bad things in their past - some of them right up until the day of accreditation. You got me there, Dr. Rich! :smile:

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

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't have you. We, as a community, have them!
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - we certainly do. And it's interesting (to me anyway) that DETC's accreditation of schools in Canada has been a rocky road. Long after CSM, there's been Meritus U. and Lansbridge U. - both DETC-accredited, both closed now.

    I note another Canadian school, Stratford Career Institute (Montreal) is now on the DETC applicants list. I think they are associated with, or even a subsidiary of a similarly-named school in St. Alban's Vermont US. Well -- OK, as long as they're NOT seeking accreditation as a degree-granting school. I've taken three of the Montreal school's programs over the years -- interesting, but no academic rigor whatsoever. No degrees for that kind of stuff -- please!

    That same school (Canadian branch, anyway) has also been peddling a totally unaccredited High School program for years. Maybe this DETC application is an attempt to legitimize that program - DETC already accredits about 12 High School programs. However, I don't see how DETC accreditation of its HS program will give a Canadian school's diplomas "equal rights" or much of anything, here. It sure hasn't worked for universities! Who knows what they're up to.... :sad:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2013
  9. honesroc

    honesroc Member

    Lol... I live just outside of this two-street town, and have never heard of the place. It would appear they have a presence there however - if only a P.O. Box.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Stratford Career Institute - Correspondence Schools - Distance Learning There...now you have. :smile:

    That's for info - not a recommendation! Plenty of Stratford and anti-Stratford threads on this forum. One poster said their tests "could be passed by someone with serious brain-damage." Well...I passed lots of 'em, so I can't really disagree. :smile:

    I don't rate them as a serious school. Good for someone who wants an easy, fairly nice-looking (and largely meaningless) diploma for a few hundred bucks and not too much effort.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2013
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Just curious - so I had a look at Stratford University - ACICS accredited - NA. Holy cow! Tuition for an Associate's is $33,300! $370 a quarter-hour credit for 90 quarter-hours: 20 courses at 4.5 quarter-hours each, or $1,665 a crack.

    That's a little rich for a school of this type, as I see it. Nothing wrong with NA of any kind, but shouldn't it cost accordingly? I know NA Full Sail U. (ACCSC-accredited) is super-expensive, but it has unique course offerings. Stratford offers applied Associate degrees in bus. admin and computer tech. for 33K+?

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2013
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Believe me, it wasn't an endorsement, just a clarification!
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes. I understood that perfectly, Steve. I was just asking in general - nothing directed at a specific person.

    I was kinda bowled over by the tuition cost at this NA school and wondering -- at those prices, why would anybody go there? Even if someone could afford $33,300 for one of Stratford U.'s NA A.A.S. degrees, why would they, when they don't have to? :smile:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2013
  15. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I don't know for sure, but if I had to guess I'd guess they have a lot of international students.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Good guess, Steve. They have a full page devoted to their International Student Office and its functions, here:
    International Student Office | Stratford University | Washington DC, Virginia VA, USA

    A partial quote:"The University is home to students and faculty members from more than thirty countries."

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2013
  17. rodclarkson

    rodclarkson member

    Just an update... Over the past year, we have been approved by the Minnesota State Office of Higher Education to additionally offer undergraduate certificates, bachelor and master degrees. This new approval was based upon the State's ridged standards concerning curricula, qualified instructional staff and fiscal ability to perform. Believe me guys, the State of Minnesota is very adverse to diploma mills and they take swift action on any college operating below State standards. All colleges within the State of Minnesota MUST receive USDOE recognized accreditation with 5-years, or you are forced to close. We do not plan on closing. We have begun the accreditation process with two Department of Education recognized accrediting agencies. We have our first onsite visit scheduled for just after the new year. At the end of the day, all that really matters is that we become accredited. We all know this to be a fact. We can have the best programs and the most highly qualified instructors, but without recognized accreditation, no college is taken seriously. We know this and we are making swift progress toward becoming accredited. After operating a State recognized, regionally accredited (North Central Association) high school system and serving thousands of students over the past decade, we fully understand the importance and value of accreditation. We are an American school, run by fiscally responsible, conservative American educators and business people. We have nothing to do with any foreign schools. More to come in 2015...
  18. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I would advise anyone interested to visit the website but also to read through this entire thread. I would also advise Rod to check in with one of the Mods because his posting privileges have been temporarily (I hope) suspended due to multiple logins, a clear violation of the DI Terms of Service. We all love to see a new school being born but we have a bit of skepticism after many attempts by unscrupulous mill owners to use DI as a part of their attempts to appear legitimate.
  19. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I just visit the site, and click on the Board of the Directors. I saw this:

    "Mark Ulven, ME.d. Ed.D (ABD)" Why's not Ed.D Candidate instead ABD? I though folks who put ABD because they drop out of the Doctorate program.
  20. rodmc

    rodmc Active Member

    I sincerely apologize. I failed to realize that I had a second user account and I will not use that account any further. That was an honest mistake. I would never wish to violate the terms of service concerning this respected forum. Mr. Ulven did not drop his doctorate program. In fact, he will complete in 2015. Likewise, Mr. Vaziri is also a Ph.D candidate currently at the University of Minnesota. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention, so we can update our website. Further, it would make no logical sense for Excel to operate a Regionally (NCA) accredited State recognized high school, and then turn to the dark side and operate a college degree mill.

    As I aforementioned, we fully realize the value of accreditation. According to Minnesota State statute, if we do not become accredited before our conditional approval expires; The State will force us to close our doors. The clock is ticking. We all know how long it takes to build a successful college. If we did not attain accreditation on time, we would be closed before we realize 100 enrollments. Our particular State (Minnesota) is very strict on regulation and compliance in Higher Ed. MN OHE made national news last year concerning their strict compliance. "Google it"

    If we wanted to start a college diploma mill, trust me, Minnesota is not the place. We would have looked at HI, LA, MS, FL, etc. or other easier states with lower compliance standards. We already have so much capital, blood, sweat and tears invested into the college, it would make no sense but for us to secure accreditation. Everything rides on our accreditation. I believe that we are making good progress as an organization to that end.

    Our ultimate goal is to offer very affordable tuition options for the “working man”. Personally, I happen to believe that we all want to see the cost of higher education decrease. I also happen think the student loan crisis in America is a very significant problem. We are focused on helping students to earn a high quality college degree at an affordable price. Are we going to be the next Walden or Capella? No, probably not, but that was not our intention. We are striving to be comparable to the State community college network, which offers solid degree programs.

    If the Degreeinfo community feels it would not be prudent for me to posts any further updates, I will refrain from doing so, and I will abandon the board entirely. We realize there are degree mills at large. We are not one of them. We realize the value of accreditation. As an organization, it is the cornerstone of our schools as a measurement of and commitment to quality. I mean, if you cannot hack the scrutiny of peer review, then you should not be in the market place, right?

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