SAERA, Spanish university offering online training in neuropsychology , other subjects

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by laferney, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. laferney

    laferney Member

    IS this organization, SAERA, a legitimate educational provider in Spain? It offers 100 % online programs in Neuropsychology/ Applied Neuroscience, Speech therapy etc. It says all programs are are certified by University Isabel I de Castilla -does being certified give it legitimacy?

    From their website:
    The School of Advanced Education, Research and Accreditation SAERA, was founded in Spain in 2013 in order to meet the education needs in the Optometry and Audiology Areas. Since 2014, we have also incorporated advanced education courses in Psychology, Psychotherapy and Neuroscience.

    Our philosophy is to offer high quality courses tailored for Health Science professionals looking to keep studying with a flexible schedule.
    Is the University Isabel I de Castilla an accredited university in Spain?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
  2. asianphd

    asianphd Active Member

    It is a private degree. It is legal but the degree itself may not be recognized officially.

    The degree is more like a private professional degree rather than an academic degree. In Spain, they have two kinds of master's degree: "master oficial" and "master propio". "Master oficial" is just like master's degree as we know. But "master propio" is another thing.

    The Isabel may only certified but not they per se who issue the master.

    Try to search "master propio" to learn more about Spain's master's.

    Here I help to find you some:
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  3. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Why, Michael, are you thinking of taking this program? I'm sure it would go well with your dissertation-only doctorate from the University of Central Nicaragua - you know, the one for which you felt the need to post a massive defense at Or your master's degree from Adam Smith University, a known diploma mill.

    And doesn't it seem strange to you that the SAERA web site constantly refers to its program as a "master" rather than a "master's degree?" In other words, when will you learn?

    I am not an expert on the different types of alleged degrees discussed on this forum that are based in countries such as Spain, Poland, and France. But I have read enough about them that they sound sleazy as hell, especially when they use a term like certified to describe its relationship with another school.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    These are all medical/healthcare credentials and so you'd expect to be able to find healthcare professionals actually using these credentials in their work. That is, if it's for real. Spanish healthcare pros are not going to waste their time and money on something that is a sham. On the plus side, I got to learn a little about the South Australian Endurance Riders Association
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You would get a Master from University Isabel I del Castilla. But this is a "MAster propio". I completed one Master propio from another Spanish school. I live in Canada and evaluated it at WES. WES recognized as a graduate diploma with 30 credits.

    So it is a legal and valid degree but in the Spanish system, it cannot be used to get admission to a PhD so it translates as a graduate diploma most of the time in the American and Canadian system. However, other foreign credentials might give it a different interpretation.

    Master propios normally are way faster to complete than official degrees as they don;t require a thesis. In Spain most people do these degrees unless they want to pursue a PhD.
    Mac Juli likes this.
  6. laferney

    laferney Member

    Thanks for those who responded appropriately. I learned something new with your posts about the Spanish degree system!
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  7. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    As you already have a PhD, this might add some credits to your teaching portfolio as long as the school grants you ECTS credits. One thing is that the program is really expensive compared to other Masters propio. If you can read Spanish, you can get a much better deal from If you don't care about the credits, you can get the same masters from a private provider without University certification for few hundred euros from different schools.
    Unlike the US, in Spain you can legally put in your CV a degree from a private provider that is not accredited to provide evidence of knowledge of some field. There are hundreds of schools that offer training in many fields and they all offer Masters degree that do not need to be recognized by the government as long as advertised as propio.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    As an aside, I'm not sure that's all that unlike most of the U.S.
  9. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Maybe not, but you have people in this forum blasting people for taking a degree from an unaccredited school. In other parts of the world, nobody cares if you have a degree from Adam Smith or any school if this adds value to your CV. You are expected to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited school but unless you are using this education to become licensed or for a faculty position, it is all considered continuing education. Coursera and a lot of education providers also unaccredited but the market accept them, if Adam Smith or other school provides training online that is relevant to a profession, why blast them?.
    In Spain, online education is free market, anyone is allowed to grant a masters degree as long as you state that is not official, the market evaluates if the education is relevant and the employer evaluates if the school has some credibility and not the state or some regulated institution. This creates affordable options for the population that do not need to fear of being ridiculed because they opted for an affordable online option.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  10. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I'll speak only for myself and try to say this with a bit more precision. I have blasted people for taking a degree from an unaccredited school which is not just unaccredited, but is in fact a degree mill. I have done this because these people would like to use such "degrees" as an indication of knowledge that they do not actually possess. These people will pay a fee and receive in return some phony certificate which is supposed to represent the acquisition of knowledge that was never actually acquired. In short, it's a fraud. You have been on this board long enough to know this is true. Now if I wanted to be generous I would say that these various unaccredited schools exist on a sort of continuum of legitimacy. Beginning at the low end there are the outright frauds and we have had many conversations about these. That they exist is beyond debate. There may be others that are not so obviously fraudulent but have been found to fall somewhat short of legitimacy as evidenced by the consistent unwillingness of objective third parties to rate them as equivalent to accredited degrees/schools. They may have some value but organizations such as WES or NACES do not consider them as equivalent to courses/degrees. I for one would see it as a waste of time to list a bunch of Coursera courses on a CV. There is, after all, no way to even know if the individual actually took the course. Now I know that other countries have their own systems of higher education and many of them have elements that I am not familiar with. We've had many conversations about these systems and the problems associated with trying to discern equivalencies. I, along with many others, tend to rely on the equivalency organizations and if, for example some credential is found to be the equivalent to a US Bachelors degree then I'm happy to accept that regardless of it's origin. As for Adam Smith, I believe that it is generally considered to be a degree mill. This is a widely held opinion.

    "Adam Smith University is accredited by the republic of San Marino as a recognized Higher Educational Institution [5] on 18 November 2009.

    Four states in the United States of America and Korea specifically list Adam Smith University as unaccredited.[1][6][7][8][9] The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board identifies the institution as operating from Liberia and Saipan, but states that it has "no degree-granting authority from Liberia or Saipan."[1]

    Without recognized accreditation, ASU's degrees and credits might not be acceptable to employers or other academic institutions, and use of degree titles may be restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions.[10] Jurisdictions that have restricted or made illegal the use of credentials from unaccredited schools include Oregon,[6][11] Michigan,[8] Maine,[7] North Dakota,[11] New Jersey,[11] Washington,[6][12] Nevada,[6][13] Illinois,[6] Indiana,[6] Texas[1][14] and Korea.[9] Many other states are also considering restrictions on the use of degrees from unaccredited institutions.[15] "

    If there is objective third party evidence to indicate otherwise then I'd be happy to see it.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I don't know enough about them to have an informed opinion, but if it's true that they became accredited in 2009, then it sounds like all of the criticism predates that accreditation.
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    But I'm not willing to just let it go at that. What does it mean to be accredited by the Republic of San Marino? It's 24 sq. miles of land with 30,000 people living in it. Why should I believe that they know anything about accrediting universities? To me it seems more likely that someone has passed an envelope across a table in some Italian café and then *poof* the school is instantly "accredited."
  13. laferney

    laferney Member

    When I did the degree from Adam Smith University it was listed In John Bears' Book College degrees by mail 100 good schools that offer bachelor's master's doctorates and law degrees by home study. Around 1995 or so. He liked the school because they used accredited work . tests etc to award a degree like Excelsior etc did and noted the President was a respected academic at that time, Donald Grunewald, who had been president of Mercy College between 1972 and 1984. At the time John wrote this book he was the guru of distance learning. I received a degree based on regionally accredited courses and felt John Bear was a creditable person. I still do. I don't use the degree . I've explained this before on degreeinfo in other post. At that time John believed in this programs's worth. He later changed his view. i don't believe anyone should get a degree from Adam Smith now as the evidence is in. but the 30 hours of regionally accredited courses i did for it had value value.
    I'm sure John Bear can confirm what I've said.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing your views, they are well taken. My point is that accredited education is very expensive, if I am already a licensed counsellor and just need to upgrade my skills with a new therapies, maybe an unaccredited Master's from a low cost unaccredited would be fine for me. I believe it is the employer responsibility to check for credentials, if I live in the US and show up with an Adam Smith degree, I better be ready to defend this option, the employer is going to wonder why I decided to go for a credential accredited by the republic of San Marino and not just take a certificate from a local continuing education college or University.

    Your work and the forum objective is noble, you are helping people to make better decisions by providing information. My only criticism is that some members blast anyone that decides to take a degree in Nicaragua, other third world nation or an unaccredited option for cost reason.

    The OP is a perfect example, the person decides to take a PhD from a Nicaraguan school and an online degree from Spain for cost reasons but then you have at least one member blasting him for these options. Maybe the OP has a family and has no budget to spend 100K for a better degree but has the dream to teach few classes at a local university, what is the problem if he or she wants to do a San Marino and Nicaraguan accredited degrees? For adjunct jobs, many of these positions pay so low that a person with a PhD that has a positive evaluation from a NACES accredited evaluation service is all you need, why do you need to spend 100K just to get the same low paid job? Isn;t smarter to get a San Marino and Nicaraguan degrees with a total cost of 5K rather than a UoP degree for 60K just to get the same job?

    If Adam smith is not accepted or illegal to use in some states, then the person wanting this degree would need to check before enrolling. If the school is just a paper printing institution with no learning involved, then the employer needs to check the reputation of this school before hiring a person.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2020
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, there is corruption around the world. I agree that accreditation from countries with weak governments is practically the same as no accreditation at all.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    As for the Nicaraguan school, I don't mind saying that when it popped into my awareness some years ago I was skeptical about it's legitimacy. Since that time I have been sufficiently educated by others so that I now accept it as a legitimate school and the degrees are wholly acceptable. As you know, there are always people who criticize. Sometimes I'm one of them, sometimes not. In the end I typically rely on the old "utility" argument and so I'm happy that you're getting good use from your degree.
  17. laferney

    laferney Member

    As for the University of Central Nicaragua degree I have 2 NACES organizations that state { equal to a regionally accredited doctoral degree in Psychology fr0m the United States.) It is accepted By the APA, APS, and other leading psychology organizations for full membership. . My college promoted me to Adjunct professor from Instructor with it. So it has paid off for me. It did require alot of work ( 30 credits past a master degree (CAGS) getting 5 published works in peer reviewed /editor approved publication and a corresponding paper tying it together. A project on transitional housing on state hospital grounds was also part of the process. i researched for over a year to find a university willing to do a PHD by published work where you didn't have to be a faculty member till I found one.
    It was doctoral level. Equal to a regionally accredited degree in the US can range from Harvard to the Union Institute.
    There has always been snobbery in education and on this site. Mine is better than yours.- seems to be the mantra. I don't like degree mills because they cheapen the value of earned degrees. but many unaccredited programs have value. As John Bear said all colleges start out as unaccredited- some morph in to diploma mills -some reach full accreditation.
  18. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Okay, let's see if understand this . . . You are using John Bear as an excuse for getting a mickey-mouse master's from Adam Smith University? John is hardly responsible for your inane decision, you are responsible for that.

    And you allegedly read this "around 1995?" Here's what I wrote about Adam Smith in my book Name It & Frame It? two years earlier, in 1993, in the chapter on degree mills:

    2200 West Main Street, Suite 500
    Wailuku, Hawaii 96793
    (800) 732-3796

    This eleven-page catalog of this degree mill, which "grew out of the Adam Smith Career Institute, which was founded in 1986 in New York State" and purports to grant bachelor's and master's degrees, does not list majors in religion but notes that students can develop majors in specific fields in the humanities (which normally includes religion) and self-designed majors. The catalog states, "Adam Smith University was founded in 1991. As a new institution of higher education it is not yet eligible to apply for accreditation." This statement, however, gives no indication that they would qualify for accreditation further down the road. According to the catalog, the university "maintains a library of more than 2200 academic and professional books." (To give an indication of how small this is, call the library of a legitimately accredited college near you and ask how many books they have in their holdings. Then compare it with the holdings of Adam Smith University and have a laugh or two.) Adam Smith University's toll-free number is located in North Tarrytown, New York (even the informational package I received had a New York postmark), which indicates that the university's address may be a mail forwarding service. (They formerly used a mail forwarding address in Metairie, Louisiana, which was strikingly similar to that of Columbia State University, also listed in this chapter.) The university purports to grant credit only for legitimate learning experiences such as course transfers from regionally accredited colleges and examinations such as the CLEP, TECEP, and Regents College Examinations of the University of the State of New York. Bottom line: their degree is unaccredited and not worth much. If you want to earn a degree through course transfers, credit by examination, and life experience credit, you're better off with one of the legitimately accredited undergraduate schools listed in Chapter 9.​

    (I've edited this post as it was essentially just one long personal attack.) ​
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2020
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

  20. laferney

    laferney Member

    Steve has exposed himself to be a fraud and show us who he really is. He spent today texting hate. I spent most of mine as I have all week in wearing personal protective gear taking care of patients in 3 healthcare facilities. I'l let the readers decide who is the better person.

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