Regional Accredited Degree in 4 Weeks

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by russ, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. russ

    russ New Member

    As I sure most of you know and may have commented on here, there is a website that is telling motivated adults in 15% of the cases can get their regionally accredited degree in just four weeks, 60% of the cases in 6 months and 90% of the cases in 1 year. The degrees would be based on life experience and taking a lot of exams (CLEP, ACE, etc.).

    So, if you are a good test taker with some life experience you may earn a regionally accredited bachelors degree in four weeks, or at the most, one year. What about the quality of that education or does that matter? For those who endlessly drone on about the value of regional accreditation and how it is the gold standard, what does this say about that standard? Is this much different than an unaccredited college who may actually require enough course work and some exams over a couple of years?

    Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with this but I do think it dilutes the argument that a regionally accredited degree is a superior education vs. an unaccredited degree (not diploma mill). It also strengthens the argument that this is more about money than quality.
  2. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    I truly don't have a problem with the concept. If you already have the knowledge (and to be able to use 100% testing, you had better), then, for some there is no reason to go the traditional route. Particularly if you are a 30-something who needs it for employment purposes or self-fulfillment.

    Likewise, if your interest is in graduate school, you may just want to finish the bachelor's degree to get it out of the way.

    We hear a lot here about the folks who pass the tests. Few volunteer that they fail, but it is a common occurrance. Yes, there is rigor, but it is in:

    a. having acquired the knowledge in some fashion; and

    b. being able to pass the tests.

    Many/most folks study for the exams. Is that any different than taking a course and passing a final exam? For me, it is not demonstrably different.

    The same argument is made about the GED and people wanting real high school diplomas. As it turns out, it's harder to pass the GED than it is to get that diploma. ACE each spring gives the GED to some about-to-graduate high school students. 30% fail.

    I think with credit-by-examination it is likely more difficult to pass all of the exams than it is to just sit through classes, no matter what the level.

    Tom Nixon
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2005
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Interesting opinion. I guess one could oppose the process, but you don't. That would mean you're in favor of it and, thus, must think the accrediting agencies who approve it must be in good order, too. Your points are, as always, self-defeating.
  4. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    It says absolutely nothing against the quality of the gold standard. What it says for the gold standard is that it debunks the argument made by degree mills that you must use their services to get credit for life learning.

    The difference between accedited and unaccredited is that accredited schools have proven to an independent third party that their credentials/degrees meet the standard. Unaccredited almost always means degree mill. Since unaccredited almost always equates with degree mill, it also means that the utility of an unaccredited degree will be significantly lacking compared to an accredited degree.

    BTW, like most unaccredited school apologists, you confuse degrees with education. A degree is a credential that means that you have meet the standard. It is something that a potential employer can look at and easily require for employment. An education can't be easily measured except how it might apply to a degree. Unaccredited schools rarely require anything near the accepted standard before they bestow their diplomas.
  5. russ

    russ New Member

    Re: Re: Regional Accredited Degree in 4 Weeks

    I don't understand the difference between education and a degree. How can you separate the two and say that one doesn't apply to the other?
  6. Deb

    Deb New Member

    Of course, you can have an education without a degree but how would anyone know what it covered? That is the point of gaining a degree through testing.

    A degree through an accredited source proves you have the education. A degree though a mill proves you have a credit card.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: Regional Accredited Degree in 4 Weeks

    An education is the mastery of some body of knowledge, which can occur in many places. A degree is a title awarded by a recgonized university, and also represents the mastery of a particular body of knowledge.
  8. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Regional Accredited Degree in 4 Weeks

    A degree is awarded for meeting a level of academic achievement. As Deb said you can get education in many ways, but when a degree is awarded it should mean something. If a bachelors degree is typically 120 hours minimum for accredited schools and unaccredited schools award the same bachelors degree for anywhere from no hours to 30 or so then they are short circuiting the standards, and blurring the definition of that achievement.

    Unaccredited schools should meet the same minimum standards as accredited schools else they are substandard and illigitimate. Bob Jones is a good example of a good unaccredited school that meets or exceeds the standards of accreditation, yet chooses to be unaccredited. Most others are substandard and choose to be unaccredited because they are not up to the minimum standards.
  9. russ

    russ New Member

    This is exactly what I am talking about. There are some good legitimate schools who choose to not become accredited. Thank you for being so honest in contrast to others on this board.

    Has anyone ever inquired as to why Bob Jones has chosen not to become accredited?
  10. plantagenet

    plantagenet New Member

    They have actually recently changed their mind, and have applied forapplied accreditation through TRACS.

    First result from a google search for "bob jones university accreditation".

    I shall refrain from making any comments about them seeing the light.
  11. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    We've discussed BJU and CCU to death on DegreeInfo as the two best examples of unaccredited institutions that are real schools rather than degree mills. What does it mean that these two best examples are becoming or have been accredited? It is not a validation of unaccredited degrees, at least not in my opinion. It just makes the argument stronger that, "if it is a perpetually unaccredited general education institution then it is probably a degree mill".
  12. russ

    russ New Member

    Or being forced to "see the light" due to powerplays like the ODA. The momentum definitely seems to be to force perfectly good higher education institutions into getting someones seal of approval. It's too bad, really. If they were a good school before, accreditation will not make them better.
  13. plantagenet

    plantagenet New Member

    The ODA certainly recognises them as legitimate according to this page.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2005
  14. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    Bottom line: accreditation is a way for legitimate schools to show they meet minimum standards. Are there legitimate unaccredited schools? Sure, but so few they are exceptions to the rule. Most people rightly associate unaccredited with degree mill simply because they have never run into such an animal. Is it better to tilt at windmills or see the world as it really is? My personal vote is the latter, but I am guessing Russ would vote for the former. :)
  15. russ

    russ New Member

    Actually, I have always been an admirer of Don Quixote.

    My logic is this simple: You tell me all sheep are white. The point and time that I find a black sheep, your statement is false. As long as there is one good unaccredited college or university out there or "exceptions to the rule" as you state it, I will fight for their right to never be accredited and still be considered legitimate.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is a strawman argument, set up and knocked down by the same person: "russ." It has no bearing in reality, making it a lie.

    No one around here says all unaccredited schools are bad.

    Many people here say the vast majority of unaccredited DL schools are really diploma mills. That's different, and it negates your analogy, permitting the existence of exceptions to the rule.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This shows a remarkable lack of understanding regarding accreditation. Accrediting schools is just one function of the process. Another, and certainly more important, is continuous improvement. Accredited schools are expected to continue to improve and grow as they mature, and they use their associations with the accrediting agency and other member schools as resources to do so. Financial stability, innovations, best practices, etc., are all areas where accreditation can be of assistance. Then there's the contributions to the field that each accredited school can make, a community of excellence fostered by the accreditor.

    Accreditation is not merely a meeting of standards and a stamp of approval.
  18. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    Actually, in most cases, accreditation dies, indeed, make them better. In the case of CCU (certainly one of the better and longest running legit unaccredited schools), the DETC required them to make changes to strengthen their institution, which they did. the result was a successful (but certainly not easy) bid for accreditation. CCU ended up a stronger organization whose degrees are now far more useful to those requiring an accredited degree.

    Did accreditaton make Keck any better? Unlikely. Will it make Cal State Channel Islands or UC Merced any better? Doubtful. However, these institutions were established with regional accreditation in mind.

    Tony Piña
    Administrator, Northeastern Illinois University
  19. russ

    russ New Member

    Thank you, Tony, for your thought provoking remarks.
  20. DaveHayden

    DaveHayden New Member

    As Rich rightly points out you are twisting statements into lies in order to be "right". Once again you are promoting the idea that many or most unaccredited schools are legit and that all unaccredited schools should be considered legit unless proven otherwise. Sorry, but that isn't how it works in reality. A school is welcome to buck the system go the road alone, but if does so it must then show in undeniable terms it is legit. Now degree mill like schools such as K-W don't like that much because they could NEVER prove legitimacy since they AREN'T!

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