Same Exact Program: One Accredited/One Not

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by italiansupernova, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. italiansupernova

    italiansupernova New Member

    I enrolled in the Professional Photography program through the New York Institute of Photography awhile back for some personal enrichment and to start a new hobby.

    When I received my package in the mail there was a school mailing label on the box that reads:

    New York Institute of Photography
    Shipping Department
    430 Technology Parkway
    Norcross, GA 30092

    "That's the same address as PCDI" I said to myself. Then I glanced at the UPS shipping label next to the school label and it read "Student Services Professional Career Development Insitute". Also on the box above the labels it reads "Distance Education Co. LLC 43-01 22 Street L.I.C. New York 11101". Quite confusing actually.

    NYIP is state licensed by New York and PCDI is DETC accredited. It makes me believe that it's the same exact course just with NYIP logos stamped on the materials, etc. Or, perhaps, PCDI handles the workload.

    Anyone have any ideas?
  2. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Well, here's my first thought...
    Two schools, one accredited, one not, offer the same course. Let's say it's Psych 101. When the textbook arrives, it's the same text for both courses. What is that all about?
    Having the same course materials means very little. Part of it has to do with 1) what you're asked to do with the materials (expectations), 2) how your efforts are evaluated (standards), and 3) the credentials of the persons performing the evaluations (expertise).
    Might these be factors in your situation?
  3. italiansupernova

    italiansupernova New Member

    I see where you're coming from Jack, but I still don't see how PCDI is involved in this. NYIP makes no mention of this on their website nor does PCDI make any mention of it.

    I guess it's kind of like the Robert Kennedy College/University of Wales connection that was just brought to light (and not to mention it was featured in the MBA ads in the back of The Economist magazine).
  4. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    I don't know...I think this type of thing happens more than you'd think. I've taken courses from an accredited Bible college (accredited through ABHE) that have course materials developed and printed by Global/ICI University (also accredited but through the DETC). Though both schools are accredited in this example, one accreditor seems to be more widely accepted than the other (ABHE over DETC).

  5. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Here's the websites:

    Interestingly, PCDI says that their degree courses are from Ashworth College. And Supernova seems to have discovered that at least some of NYIP's courses are delivered by PCDI.

    It make me wonder how many of these schools contract with other schools to supply their content, then repackage it for different market segments.

    I don't like it. It makes education into even more of a business than it already is, and it makes it hard for students to know what they are really getting.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If you're accurate, that would make both schools accredited. The New York Board of Regents is a USDoE-recognized accrediting agency.
  7. italiansupernova

    italiansupernova New Member


    You're absolutely right. I forgot about NYBofR beging USDOE recognized.
  8. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Same Exact Program: One Accredited/One Not

    And a licensing agency. NYIP offers a certificate and PCDI a diploma and neither a degree in photography so "accreditation" is probably not an issue.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: Same Exact Program: One Accredited/One Not

    There are other USDoE-recognized accrediting agencies that accredit non-degree-granting, tertiary schools. I think "accreditation" still fits what the NY Board of Regents does with such schools. A matter of semantics, perhaps.
  10. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

    I can't speak knowledgeably about PCDI but I know quite a bit about NYIP. Founded in 1910 and starting the correspondence course in photography in 1922, NYIP is probably the premier distance learning course in photography. It's not more than that--not a program, just a course. In the last decade, they have added digital photography components to the original course and a new full course in digital photography, which is mainly learning to use Photoshop for photographers. I took their principal course in the mid-1980s.

    I became aware of NYIP from a friend who had taken the course in the early 1970s. The course structure and materials he had were the same as the course I took a decade or so later, just updated. Last year, I ran across the course material for sale in a used bookstore. Copyright dates on the booklets were 2002 or 2003 as I recall. Again, they were essentially the same materials that I had studied only updated. Indeed, some booklets looked to be unchanged except for the copyright date.

    The PCDI Web site says that they started as a real estate training program in 1987. If both organizations are using the same material, my assumption would be that PCDI is using NYIP's materials and not vice-versa. Or perhaps they have some contractual relationship whereby the course materials are printed and shipped out by PCDI. It is possible that PCDI purchased NYIP at some point, and we just don't know about it.

    I don't know anything about the difference between licensure and accreditation in New York. The NYIP course is a very good introduction to photography, in my estimation, but it is not particularly taxing. You read the modules, do the exercises, send them some images for review, and take a simple open-book test for each module. Once all modules are completed, they send you a certificate of completion. They grant no degrees. As decimon says, accreditation seems not to be an issue here.
  11. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

    Another thought. If NYIP could legitimately use the term "accredited" on their materials and Web site, wouldn't they?

  12. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

    Actually, 'Nova discovered only that the materials were mailed from the same address. The identification of the two sets of materials was only a supposition, unless I missed something in the narrative.


  13. marilynd

    marilynd New Member

  14. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    New York has been controlling education from before when Alexander Hamilton said, "Duel? Me?". Schools not RA accredited issue certificates and diplomas but not degrees. Far as I know, anyway.

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