Reality Check - California Coast University

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by AuditGuy, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I've never taken a Cal Coast class and my only information about how work is/was assessed is anecdotal.

    But my understanding is that until recently CCU used multiple choice exams almost exclusively. And this seems to have been true at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    Personally, I think that any degree program (or any class, for that matter) assessed almost entirely by multiple choice exams is probably substandard. It's another reason why Cal Coast never cracked my list of the better CA-approved schools.

    Again, my understanding is that since they applied to DETC, Cal Coast now requires that students write essays as well as take the multiple choice exams. That's certainly better.

    But my concern is this: CCU's motivation for overusing multiple choice exams was probably the fact that they were scoreable by machines or by clerical employees supplied with the answer key. That reduces CCU's labor costs. So... is anyone really reading the essays now?
  2. JamesT

    JamesT New Member

    Reply to Bill Dayson

    According to a friend of mine, there is a significant difference between the older coursework and what is now allowed in CCU's accredited degree programs. Students previously enrolled who have not completed their degrees are still taking the old multiple choice tests and no essays or proctored exams are required.

    These students, even though they graduate with the same degree (accredited by DETC), are not required to do the same work for it! Thus, it is substandard for those folks.
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Where I taught, which is DETC accredited and aiming for RA, my courses typically had one paper, one unproctored open book mid-term, two quizzes, and a proctored closed book final examination. In other words, it was a range of outcome measurement, rather than simply one modality.

    The tests and quizzes included multiple choice, fill in the blank, short exposition portions, again a range. One of the courses (Contemporary Internet Topics) had no text (since there were none specifically in that area that pleased me) but instead a huge number of papers and articles compiled into a booklet for the class, and required a lot of analysis of the literature. That course required the student to have a huge amount of critical thinking capacity, since no answers to questions were simply suggested as being kosher by some text.

    All papers (marked on a 5-area 70 point scale) required a minimum of 2 outside references (meaning citation of two references not in the reading list), with bonus points for more than that, and penalty for inappropriate citation. A perfectly presented paper that was otherwise completely meaningless despite its presentation would have gotten a 15% final grade.

    That said, even open book multiple choice tests can be designed such that they are not particularly easy to answer. Even so, I think outcomes in many courses have to be measured by a variety of modalities, since no matter how they are designed, multiple choice questions don't necessarily measure integration of course content into the student's capacity to express the outcomes in a different, comprehensible way, for instance, nor do they measure critical reading capacity.

    (Addendum: the open book unproctored had a time limit.)
  4. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    We have had many threads in California Coast University over the years, but this has to be the most informative one that I remember (at least there is no one bragging about his intentions to use CCU's DETC accreditation staus to fool people into thinking that his CCU doctorate was also accredited).

    I agree that the California Coast University of the 2000s is a far cry from the California Western University of the 1970s. CWU/CCU was never authorized to offer degrees in religious studies. The one person I knew who claimed to have a CCU PhD in "comparative religion" (it was actually in education) also misrepresented the subject area and accreditation status of his other degrees, so I figured that it was not CCU's fault that an alumnus misrepresented his degree.

    As Bill stated, it is unfair to put Kennedy-Western on the same level as CCU, since CCU pursued accreditation and made the necessary program improvements to sucessfully achieve it. K-W has done neither.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    And who still tells everyone that he will hold a doctorate from an accredited school. While technically correct in a literal sense, it is utterly false in an academic one.

    We debated on these threads the responsibility of CCU to "teach out" its doctoral students already enrolled. DETC was adamant that it wanted CCU to teach out these students, despite the inevitable confusion.

    What I didn't think of at the time, but I think is a solution to such conflicts, is to require the DETC-accredited school to "split off" the doctoral programs into a separately named school, a name that wouldn't cause confusion by being too similar. So CCU's doctoral degrees could be issued by the "Anaheim Institute" or something. ("Degrees by Disney"? Too Goofy?)

    It would create a SCUPS/NCU kind of thing, but only long enough to teach out the existing doctoral students. And it would shut down certain charlatans interested only in fooling others.
  6. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Would that be true if CCU didn't have DETC (or any other USDE- and/or CHEA-approved) accreditation?
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Huh? No. CCU was not approved by the ODA, IIRC.
  8. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member

    This is in fact not true. I'm one of the remaining doctoral students in the Psy.D. program. A couple of my first courses utilized multiple choice exams but since then, all of the courses have required essays. Each course requires from 30 to 60 essays that are graded on demonstrated mastery of the subject matter and clarity of writing. Grades are also dependant on the use of references that go beyond material in the textbook. At this point, I've written hundreds of pages of such essays.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2005
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Rob, at this point in your program, do you feel the essay writing you've done has helped you lead up to your dissertation? For example, will you be able to roll up some of your writing into your literature review? Or do you feel your coursework will be quite separate from your dissertation?

    How are you doing in your program? Do you expect to graduate soon? And will you sit for California's psychologist licensing?
  10. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 New Member

    Where is here?

    As a general question, why don't people fill out their user profiles so we can at least know what country, what state or what city they are from? Consider it a request so we can at least see where you are comming from (no punn intended.)
  11. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    I like the idea. The new doctoral teach-out school could be called California Western University ;)
  12. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member


    I believe I answered a similar question you posed on a different thread a few months ago. Anyway, to repeat, I'm almost done with the coursework and will then have to do a literature review and comps. The Psy.D. follows the Veil model in that research is deemphasized in favor of clinical knowlwdge and skill. The majority of Psy.D. programs around the country do not require a dissertation but rather various things such as an in depth literature review, research project, or comprehensive case study, depending on the program. The idea is to produce clinicians that are good comsumers of research vs. scientist/practitioners which are what the Bolder model (Ph.D.) supposedly produces. The idea behind the Veil model and the Psy.D. is that training in psychology would be similar to training programs in other profession such as dentistry, optometry, law, medicine etc. I don't plan on trying for licensure in CA. I'm already at the highest level of licensure as a school psyc. with my Ed.S. and will continue in sch. psychology.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Sorry about the redundancy. Hopefully others will enjoy this update.

    I'm glad you're going to put your CCU doctorate to such good use.

    I didn't know about the Veil model. I'm going to look into it.

    Good luck in your studies, Rob. And thanks.
  14. Rob Coates

    Rob Coates New Member

    Sorry, I just realized I mispelled Vail (not Veil). I also mispelled Boulder (not Bolder). I'm A terrible speller I'm afraid.
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I remeber in the 90's a school diid just that.They created Taft International University so they can offer post graduate degrees. The accrediting agency didn't like this practice so they had to make changes or close it. Maybe some one remembers the exact facts.

  16. AuditGuy

    AuditGuy Member

    "Here" is a company in the midwest USA with 6,000+ employees. I've been with the company awhile and was recently charged with creating the Internal Audit function. Once we get our ship in order, I am sure I will create a new username with a full user profile.

    Currently, we are working on:

    1. Dealing with current employees
    2. Developing policy / procedures going forward.
    3. Easily the biggest risk, what do we do about 6,000 current employees that we've never validated their credentials?

    I was able to get maybe 3% (the rest are paper based or HR just typed in "See resume") of our employees electronically with a University name. So, anyone that claims a degree from Arizona State passes, since it is RA. It was the handful of Harringtons, KW's, and Panama Canal Universities that got tripped up.
  17. Alan Contreras

    Alan Contreras New Member

    Gregg asked whether a CCU degree to the master's level could be used in Oregon if it were not accredited. As of July, 2005, yes it could, provided that all such uses in writing carried the legally required disclaimer of accreditation.

    This disclaimer is only available to schools that have the legal authority to issue degrees in the state they are based in. Thus graduates of an entity like Kennedy-Western can (and must) use the disclaimer, while someone who bought a degree from a pure fake like St. Regis cannot use the disclaimer - they can't claim a degree at all.

    Of course, any employer can require accredited degrees, as the state does.
  18. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    There are two issues here that should be unpacked a bit more thoroughly. People often discuss the issue of open book v. closed book and proctored v. unproctored. An open book examination can be designed, without much trouble, to be at least as difficult as it's closed book cousin. Proctored v. unproctored requires some further measures to eliminate the prospect of "ringers" but it can be done. My point is this:
    Saying that a school allows "open book exams" does not, by itself mean anything. I have taken some truly brutal open book exams. They essentially give you the "book" (meaning text, notes ,etc.) knowing that if you spend too much time refering to these materials you will not be able to finish the exam.
  19. Dan East

    Dan East New Member

    I switched to CCU earlier this year, July to be exact. I have been very happy with the quality of the school, the course materials, and yes, the testing process.

    I must say I was not challenged while enrolled at Excelsior. Basically, I walked out of every 3 hour proctored exam in half that time and maintained an "A" average. Read the text, sit for the just one exam and presto! A good grade. And 3 credits.

    Different experience at CCU. Four short exams followed by a proctored final exam, coupled with 3 short essays based on 3 of a possible 5 topics. And, I agree with Jack Tracey that multiple choice is not necessarily easier, nor is open book a guaranteed cake walk! Case in point: I got a flippin' "B" final grade just recently! Sucks to be me!

    Oh, and CCU did not stipulate that every final exam had to be proctored. As of July 05, only a certain percentage. Now, CCU has just recently informed me that they have increased the percentage significantly (in my case, 80%).

    In conclusion, I am happy I made the move to CCU.

  20. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Wonderful, Dan.

    What program are you in? How long does it take you to complete a course?

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