Pride is a terrible thing to waste

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by RJT, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Re: Worked Hard


    You just seem to not get it. The amount of work you are personally putting in does not affect one bit whether K-W is a degree mill. There are several people, just like you, that put hard work in to a degree from Columbia State. In the end, they had a degree mill degree just like the other graduates from Columbia State. Repeatedly in your arguments, you are putting up logical fallacies that just do not prove what you are trying to state. "K-W is state licensed so it must be legitimate." No. "K-W has RA instructors so it must be rigorous." No. "I am working hard so K-W must not be a degree mill." Nonsense. If you do understand logic, why are you continuing to use these false arguments? You would be more truthful to say, "I know K-W is substandard and unaccredited, but it was easier and I hope it will provide the utility I am looking for."
  2. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Re: Re: ...or Dr Richard [Dick] Suhar?


    I appreciate your direct and honest post. I don't think it addresses the bulk of questions regarding K-W, but it is clear that you have no hidden agendas. I think the utility of K-W degree may be less than you hoped for. I wish you well.
  3. Peter French

    Peter French member

    And an unaccredited degree serves a purpose again...

    Thanks 'Dr Dick' and congratulations on your achievement. Again, a case where a Non-RA degree fits the bill.

    You state that all '...should look closely at what they expect any degree to do for them... a choice of a particular program is a deeply personal one...the individual should carefull examine their goals...'

    Really as with any program, it is the work, but the recognition given to the work that caps it off. However, as a fellow engineer, I will be interested to read your work.

    You have made it clear that it was a personal choice, and that you are not going around recommending KWU, nor, may I dare to siuggest, should you have to be going around defending your doctorate.

    I still maintain absolutely, that anyone who contemplates a non accredited degree at bachelors level, or does so before being adequately professionally qualified to at least the level of their peers [preferably above that], needs to think again.

    Peter French
  4. Lowell Kinzer

    Lowell Kinzer Member

    Re: ...or Dr Richard [Dick] Suhar?

    I was only addressing the credit-for-experience issue Bill Huffman brought up. Though Dr. Suhar has posted many thoughtful messages on the KWU VSU site and here on, my brief search of the VSU site didn't turn up any messages of his in which he mentioned getting x credits for y years of experience.


    Lowell Kinzer
    [email protected]
  5. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: ...or Dr Richard [Dick] Suhar?

    A most excellent and informative post Dr. Suhar.

    It appears that you entered into the KWU program with eyes wide open and fully appreciated how the degree could and could not be used. I'm sure that you're also aware that should KWU someday go out of business then there will likely not be anyway for others to verify your degree.

    A non-accredited degree may be a good choice for a few and it appears that you may be one of those. Please forgive me if I'm sounding like I thought you were looking for approval from anyone. (Let alone me) I did not really think that. I just wanted to make it clear that I do recognize that in some cases a non-accredited degree may be a reasonable choice.

    Thanks again for the information, I think that it lends further credance to what has been said before, that the classes offered by KWU are academically rigorous.

    If I understood your post correctly, KWU charges a fixed rate for their degrees but puts a time limit on it. If the person goes over this time limit then I assume that eventually additional charges may be made?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2002
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Off my chest

    Regarding how many classes you had to take, I suggest you ask some of the other KWU students. I predict that you'll find that there are some people with as many years experience that are doing the same number of classes as you. What would it mean if it turned out to be true? It would mean, IMHO, that KWU is a degree mill.

    If you are a real student of KWU then I suggest that you get used to defending your degree. There are going to be people that even call you a fraud for even claiming you have a degree and probably more that will just think that you're a fraud but won't mention it to you. So just accept your reception here as a little preview on how others will view your degree and good practice for you in learning to deal with it. Good luck on all your future endeavors except suckering others into getting a Bachelor degree at KWU.
  7. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Off my chest

    Sorry, I meant to say with similar number of years of experience without as many RA credits.
  8. Re: Re: Re: ...or Dr Richard [Dick] Suhar?

    Thank you for you comments. Time will tell if the Utility is there. I shall be testing the utility function. With an easing of my teaching load, hopefully later this year, I will prepare a technical paper for SME on the my topic. I have been published with my Masters credential. So it may be hard to determine the weighting of the non-RA degree. So far in local technical presentations the concepts have been well received in industry.


  9. Re: Re: Re: ...or Dr Richard [Dick] Suhar?

    From Lowel:

    I was only addressing the credit-for-experience issue Bill Huffman brought up. Though Dr. Suhar has posted many thoughtful messages on the KWU VSU site and here on, my brief search of the VSU site didn't turn up any messages of his in which he mentioned getting x credits for y years of experience.


    Lowell Kinzer
    [email protected]

    Let's discuss this credit for life issue. I for one was really upset when KMichael made his posting. His letter of acceptance was in clear violation of KWU's stated admission requirment. As the saying goes... where there is smoke, there is fire. Private emails were sent to the administration asking how this could happen with the explaination that this action undermines KWU's credability. I have noticed over the years that there seems to be this general trend of 5-7 class requirement. We are still waiting for an explanation. So far the administration has been pretty forthcoming in answering student concerns. I hope this continues and we get an answer shortly.

    From my experience with the program.... In Engineering Management at the doctoral level my catalog lists 9 courses in the program in addition to the required dissertation. You will notice that of the nine, three of the courses are related to strategic management issues in various settings, one related to Engineerinig Law, one related to Financial Management, one related to Systems Engineering, one related to statistical decision making, one related to Business Research, and one to Quality.
    The "good news" on this distribution is it relates to the Institute of Industrial Engineers definition of an "Engineering Management" degree per ABET. If the student takes a distribution of courses across these fields, he/she will get a rounded educational experience. The "bad news" is there is no assurance all students will distribute the courses accordingly. I did distribute the coursework.

    Now about life credit and the distribution of courses. I was evaluated at 65% which translated into 4 courses of the listed 9 required plus dissertation. I took more than 4 courses since I had an interest in more subject matter than the 4 would have given me. I questioned such a liberal granting of credit since the Life Experience models I worked with as an educator normally capped at 30%. I ask for the reasoning behind this figure. I received the explaination that my publishing and book review activites, teaching at the community college and regular college level, being a local and national level speaker, as well as the 2000+ hours of documented continuing education credit pushed me to the "cap". So after 30 years of Engineering Experience, I reached the "Cap". I felt I had a full expaination.

    The KWU businees model as stated in one of the moderator's post is the giving the student the last year of college in a degree completion mode. So from their model, the student should be required to take at least 30 semster hours of work. If we work the math, given the fact that the final paper counts 12 semester hours, 18 hours are left. Since all their courses are rated at 3 semester hours, 6 courses should be typical at the BS level. Is there a direct correllation between the "Life Experience Credit" and getting the student down to 5-6 course range ? I don't know. It is hard to tell since all the programs have various number of course offerings. Now when we get to the MS and Doctoral level, there seems to be no direct correlation as well since the programs have varying course requirements as well. In additon, the MS level is typically 30-36 semester hours. The student is indeed in the "last year" so the business model seems to fall apart.

    From Bill's query of cost, the cost is pegged upon the number of required courses taken. Fewer courses mean payment at the low end of the range. And yes, after the first extention, a $100 monthly charge is assessed. Any additional course work such as my election was charged at $300 per course.

    Actually Gert was the first to congratulate me. He has a keen eye for changes in peoples profiles. I thank all of you for your wishes.

  10. Well, let me do so now publically. I did it privately because I wanted to avoid triggering a flame war. But I am very appreciative now that people are discussing this in a respectful and reasoned manner.

    I’d like to discuss another issue suggested by one of Dick’s recent posts -- that of publication of his PhD work. Several people (most notably Bill Dayson) have questioned the paucity of published research coming out of unaccredited universities such as KWU. Last year, I did a literature search for publications listing another unaccredited university as the institutional affiliation, and came up with nothing. But I wonder whether this is because KWU students (and faculty) generally work for another organization -- and they may therefore list that organization as their primary institutional affiliation. So my question for you, Dick, is what institutional affiliation you would provide if you submitted your research for publication? Would it be KWU? Or big pharma in WP? or Suhar Consulting? Or … ?
  11. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: ...or Dr Richard [Dick] Suhar?

    Another excellent and informative post, I thank you.

    I am guessing that this is the KWU Achilles' heel. I say that because it appears that the KWU courses are academically rigorous. Why don't they apply for accreditation? I would guess because using standard credit transfer practices goes against their obviously successful business model. (Which based on the KMichael story apparently even means that KWU doesn't necessarily even follow their own stated policy if it means additional revenue to bend this policy.) From society's point of view, the outcome of this is that KWU graduates will not consistently have exhibited the knowledge/skill normally expected of a Bachelor degree graduate. From society's point of view again, the purpose of accreditation is to assure a consistent quality graduate.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I agree with Bill. Discussions about K-W's rigor--or lack thereof--are useless until they submit to outside evaluation. Of course, they've done the opposite--avoiding significant scrutiny by both governmental and accrediting agencies. This is not the behavior of a community of scholars.

    Let's assume that the comments regarding academic quality at K-W are supported. Say that the degrees are earned through a valid academic process. All this results in is hard work for a nearly useless degree. Degrees awarded by K-W are not recognized by any academic or governmental organization as being a university. The only way such a degree would be acceptable in a situation requiring an accredited degree would be by an act of ommision or commision. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the product, regardless of the process.

    Using courtroom jargon, one can stipulate (that is, accept without argument) that K-W uses a valid, thorough, academic process.

    And that doesn't change the substantive criticisms of this school one iota.
  13. I have a long standing involvement with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The work is targeted at Small Manufacturers and they comprise a large segment of SMEs membership base. SME does not publish dissertations but authors can make distillations of their work for a series of technical papers. I have noticed that this has become a common practice in the IE discipline. For example, Gougus's 300+ page dissertation on Fuzzy Non-traditional Capital Investment Criteria came out of Rutgers. Portions of his work were distilled into technical papers and some appeared in The Engineering Economist over the past few years.

    My "one man" consulting practice is titled Christine Associates.
    Christine is my wife who used to answer the phone. I will formally incorporate at some point as a Nevada S Corporation for tax purposes.

    KW had a blurb in a previous newsletter about one of the graduates working with Dr. David Wyld and publishing an extract on a Quality Control technique. That is the only reference I recall with respect to publishing. A comment about "Red Dragon" comes to mind if anyone cares to do a search on his name.

    Thank you for your well wishes and I do appreciate your postings on the Pub.


  14. And they may not want to publicize their association with KWU, even if the money is good.

    This article may be of interest:

    "Moonlighting for an Unaccredited University"
    Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 12, 2002
    "Mr. Gellin is hardly the only full-time professor who moonlights for Kennedy-Western. Lured by money, the prospect of what they say is interesting work, or both, at least 22 professors at 21 colleges work for the institution, developing courses, grading papers, writing exams, and responding to students' questions. ... While Mr. Gellin and some of his peers are proud of their work for Kennedy-Western, others decline to talk about it for fear that their full-time employers will frown on their second jobs, or that their colleagues will scoff at them. ... That's not surprising, given that many educators hold Kennedy- Western in low regard, troubled by the institution's secrecy and slick marketing, decision to avoid oversight by accrediting agencies, awarding of academic credit for work experience, and attempted moves to different states. The institution is barred from enrolling California residents, because it lacks a license from the state agency that certifies private colleges, and people can be criminally prosecuted in Oregon if they attempt to use a Kennedy-Western degree to apply for a job. The Idaho State Board of Education rejected the university's effort, in 1998, to renew its license to operate there because it lacked accreditation. Kennedy-Western then turned its attention to Wyoming."
  15. My K-W catalog (actually, K-W referred to it as a "brochure" in their e-mail to me last week) arrived today. It certainly is an attractive publication, but I can't claim to be overwhelmed by the content.

    Paraphrased from page 14, the requirements for admission to a bachelor's degree program are:
    1. A total of 5 years of full-time job experience, and
    2. "Any of the following:
    a. An Associate's degree, or
    b. Sixty (60) semester units .. provided the sixty units cover the general education requirements needed... or:
    c. Passing a General Educational Requirements Examination." (whatever that is.)

    The troubling "out," though, is this:
    "When an applicant cannot demonstrate completion of at least 60 units of lower-division subjects, the applicant will be asked to demonstrate overall knowledge of English and mathematics, as well as technical mathematics for engineering students."

    No explanation of how. Nor anything to address the usual 53 semester units usually attributable to other mundane General Ed subjects besides composition and math. :rolleyes:

    Given that the remaining requirements for degrees (including Engineering) consist of, at the most, nineteen 3-unit classes followed by 12 units of "Final Project Proposal" and "Final Project," it looks pretty bleak. Assume the best (no "life experience" credit for upper-division courses whatsoever) and a 69-credit bachelor's degree appears possible. Assume that the "5 to 7 classes" trend isn't an aberration, and a 15 to 21-credit degree is possible.

    So.. add my voice to the chorus. It's entirely possible that some people do put 120 hours into K-W bachelor's degrees, with transfer of legitimate credits from other schools and the anectdotal 5-7 K-W classes. They might even work hard. But the school?

    Give me an M.. Give me an I... Give me a.....
  16. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Dennis, the obvious problem is that they don't have enough pictures of the diploma awarding John Doe a Ph.D. in Business Administration in 1998. Every other page isn't making it, they should go for at least one per page.

    Also, they should make the picture of their Wyoming business license on the inside back cover at least twice as large, that will shut-up all those RA fanatics (seriously...try to picture a RA school publishing pictures of a business license in their catalog...).

    Bruce :rolleyes:
  17. I feel cheated. None of my diplomas have red, blue and gold ribbons. Do you suppose that's an upgrade that comes with the gen-yew-ine college ring that's featured on every third page?

    (Hey.. where *are* my diplomas, anyway?)
  18. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Apparently there's a fellow that goes by the handle of KMichael that posted a letter saying that he was accepted to KWU when he only had 2 years of job experience. So those KWU requirements for admission are apparently more for show than things that must really be followed. One astute KWU student mentioned on their bulletin board that it didn't seem fair that this fellows 2 years equaled his 20 years. I think he really missed the main point. The main point is that they both meet KWU's most important requirement, MONEY.

    I must admit that KWU does seem to have their own unique business model.
  19. If memory serves, WY law requires that they have policies. As far as I can tell, it doesn't require that they follow them.

    Of course, WY law also seems to require faculty with valid credentials.. hence, their drawing from the ranks of the RA schools. There's nothing particularly noble about K-W's use of RA faculty; it's a minimum standard.

    It'd be akin to taking out a full-page ad which reads, "Joe's Chicken Restaurant: We don't add lead to our food."

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