Ph.D. programs can lose accreditation

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by warwick555, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. warwick555

    warwick555 New Member

    I have found that Ph.D. programs can lose their accreditation, while the school at large can remain accredited. That's what happened at Union Institute and University. Ph.D. learners cannot get federal student loans, and they can't transfer their credits. I am part of a group that is suing Union over this situation, but the fact that they have kept their overall accreditation is confusing the issue.
  2. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    How can only one portion lose the accreditation? I understand if ABET or AACSB is lost but not RA but only one program?
  3. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    I don't see anything about Union losing accreditation here:

    Directory of HLC Institutions

    Are you referring to something that happened in the past?
  4. Caulyne Barron

    Caulyne Barron New Member

    Title IV status is something that the school can just decide isn't worth the hassle. While schools do have to be accredited to participate, that isn't necessarily something that was taken from them. It could have been a smart business decision.

    Transfer credit is always at the discretion of the receiving institution-- no one can guarantee that their credits will transfer unless they have an articulation agreement with the receiving school. Most doctoral programs do not allow transfer credit. Period.

    A regional body could place sanctions against a program, or say that they have to have approval before offering a new program. A state could restrict their degree-granting ability. I'm not seeing any of that here.

    The original poster doesn't mention what program.

    This is pretty standard language on their accreditation status page linked above.

    Stipulations on Affiliation Status:

    "The Institute may add no new centers or degree programs beyond the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, the Psy.D. (Doctor of Psychology), and the Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) without the Commission's approval. The Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Studies is limited to the social sciences and humanities research areas. The Psy.D. may be offered only in Cincinnati, OH and Brattleboro, VT. Contracts with non-accredited entities to offer 50% or more of a degree program are limited to the three MFA programs (Visual Arts, Writing, and Writing for Children and Young Adults) offered in Montpelier, VT."

    Looks like on their Re-Accreditation visit this year, they weren't as strong on assessment or strategic planning as the HLC likes, so they have some progress reports before their next re-accreditation visit, but this is all pretty standard stuff.
  5. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I recall some discussion on degreeinfo that the Ohio Board of Regents were looking at Union but I can't find anything negative on their web site.
    In fact they I found their approval for Union's bachelor and Ed.D. degrees.
    Colleges & Universities - Ohio Board of Regents

    The OP needs to pride more data including a link to the law suite. Until then I am skeptical of his claims.
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Union offers regionally accredited PhDs, as well as other doctoral degrees like EdDs and PsyDs. The PhD programs have not "lost their accreditation".

    However, it is true that Union's accreditors have put some significant restrictions on the types of PhD degrees that Union can offer. As indicated above in Post #4, Union is currently limited to offering the PsyD, the EdD, and the "PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies". Furthermore, the PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies is "limited to the social sciences and humanities research areas".

    Union has been sued by some former students who claim that Union did not disclose the limitations of their PhD-granting authority. Some Union PhD students have apparently alleged that they enrolled at Union with the understanding that they could receive PhDs in fields like biology or clinical psychology. They did not want PhDs in "interdisciplinary studies", which is the only type of PhD that Union is currently authorized to issue.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2010
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    When I originally enrolled at Union, one could earn a degree in just about any area supervisable by the faculty. This was unsustainable, of course. Later, the school issued the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, allowing learner to declare a concentration and a specialization. This is what I did when I earned mu Union degree. Later still, the Ohio Board of Regents limited the concentrations to a few areas.

    The transfer of credit issue has always been largely moot since Ph.D. students usually can't transfer very many credits when switching schools. When I enrolled in Union, you didn't even have to have a transcript of your studies after graduation. They changed that, but you still didn't have to have credits. That's what I did, IIRC. No credits or grades, just courses. I liked that.

    As for Title IV, Union had to suspend participation while it reorganized. I don't know the current status, but it was at one time restored. (This has nothing to do with its accreditation, unlike what is posted above.)
  8. cravenco

    cravenco New Member

    What a scary thought.

    Your almost done with your PhD, then "BOOM", your hit with something like this.
  9. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I'm always skeptical of posters who make a claim never to return (if the OP returns then I apologize to him).
  10. warwick555

    warwick555 New Member

    Original Poster for thread

    Some of these replies have been informative. Yes, the program was "reorganized" and "suspended" -- and those of us who had been in the previous program were not allowed to enter the new program. We were given a separate Dean and were not reimbursed for any tuition that we paid, for a program that was no longer accredited by a regional accreditation body. Our committee members were fired or quit due to all the administrative problems. I'm sure the poster who went on to complete his degree had to change faculty members several times, well beyond the norm for a graduate program. North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) is the regional accreditor for Ohio, where Union Institute and Univesity is based. Do a search for the school at their website, and the school is not found: AdvancED - Find Accredited Institutions We did not get what we were promised at matriculation. The one poster that indicates that it was a "financial" decision is correct. However, they did not include liablity for breach of contract in their financial decision!

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