School of Business and Trade evaluation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by laferney, Sep 7, 2023.

  1. laferney

    laferney Active Member

    I completed a M.A in Social Sciences form the School of Business and Trade (SOBAT)
    Programmes | School of Business and Trade (
    The 12 course content was good and relevant to today's world and the timed final exams not easy. I submitted it to Validential as I didn't need a NACES agency.
    They evaluated it as equal to a RA M.A degree in the USA. Total cost for the degree and evaluation less than 300 dollars.
    I did the degree for personal satisfaction as I just retired and do not need it for employment or further study.
    I'm sure there will be some critics out there but I found it worthwhile.
  2. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm, if I recall correctly, they have another Masters in Business Studies as well. They have overlapping courses within both degrees, I was thinking that Validential may evaluate it as RA, so, thanks for confirming that... I knew CUFCE would evaluate anything as RA as they are the 'bottom of the barrel' last resort type of option, I highly do not recommend the CUFCE. These guys are right behind ENEB for cost, ease, speed, and ROI/Value... I have a quick question, did SOBAT use online proctoring or browser locking of some sort? And were these open-book exams?
    MaceWindu likes this.
  3. MichaelGates

    MichaelGates Active Member

    SOBAT is open book exams. No online proctoring or browser locking.
    MaceWindu and Messdiener like this.
  4. laferney

    laferney Active Member

    The exams are timed - 2 hours to complete and you cannot cut and paste content of exams.
    MaceWindu likes this.
  5. Messdiener

    Messdiener Active Member

    What was the format of the courses and exams? Mostly independent reading and then essay writing? Any assignments during the courses?

    What was your total time for completion of the program?
  6. laferney

    laferney Active Member

    There is a textbook with multiple chapters to read for each course and a 50 question timed final exam. If you fail the final exam you can take it again but it has almost all new questions. To receive the open ware certificate for passing the course you need a grade of 6o and also for credit toward the degree. There is a transcript which lists you grades. Ranging from A-F and a final grade point average is issued. Even with an open book format the test would hard as answers are similarly posed and some require knowledge of concepts to answer. The courses prepare you for research as they emphasis writing and communication skills and statistics.
    You can get The ENEB master's degree in Business by passing one 50 question test or do the whole program.. To get SOBAT's Master's business degree you must pass twelve 50 question tests. It is cheaper the the ENEB degree even with Groupon discount and you can obtain validation that it is equal to a RA USA degree.
    NACES will probably not validate either ENEB or SOBAT as equal to a US degree. This is important to you if want a state or academic job. However in the business world a Master's in Business from SOBAT with certification as equal to a RA degree, I think, would generally be accepted. The program is self -paced- no time limit. I had previous knowledge form my other graduate studies that aided me to do the program at a fairly good pace. When you apply for graduation from the Masters you must send in a copy of an accredited Bachelors degrees. Sobat also has Bachelors degrees.
    MaceWindu likes this.
  7. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm, that's pretty good for filling learning or knowledge gaps in areas of interest (Social Sciences or Business Studies). I mean, this would be a good addition to ENEB because one is focused on Business Studies (mainly Business, Leadership, Management, etc), whereas with SOBAT you have an option for Social Sciences even though they have two Masters. For that amount of money spent, you can get a double Masters at ENEB and just one SOBAT, have it evaluated by Validential. For those wanting to see how NACES would work, I recommend trying ECE or IEE, hopefully it'll get evaluated as favorably as ENEB does.
  8. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Is there a limit to how many times you can take the exam?
  9. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    So we are clear - SOBAT is proudly unaccredited, no? This would mean Validential's evaluation is based on nothing, just one organization that is not held to any outside standard endorsing another organization not held to any outside standard, based on no evidence. Am I missing something, or this validation has no value?
    tadj likes this.
  10. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Hello! - SOBAT "alumnus" here. Nope, not as I did it!!
    Rachel83az likes this.
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "NACES" doesn't do that. It's just an association of many different evaluators which have long been known to provide arbitrary evaluations that conflict with one another, and I wouldn't conclude yet that none of its members would evaluate qualifications from either source as RA equivalent.

    Value is in the eye of the beholder. Do we around here actually know anything about the high standards to which NACES holds its members? Or do we talk about NACES so much around here solely because we've come to believe that evaluations from NACES members are useful in more situations than evaluations from organizations that are not among its members?
  12. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    It has value...the same "value" as CUFCE. The only difference is that Valdiential has more up-to-date endorsements from a handful of legit colleges, universities and licensing boards. Did these institutions ever seriously scrutinize their evaluation partner (looking at some of their magical "country unaccredited to U.S. regionally accredited" transformations)? I highly doubt it.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2023
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    What are you basing this on?
  14. laferney

    laferney Active Member

    The good thing about SOBAT is you can take the courses for free and get a certificate for each passed course -you only pay if you want to degree at the end. I took some courses in the beginning then decided that the quality was good and the process was legitimate. Before anyone judges this program try a course or two or try an exam or two-it's not easy. Any quality education is valuable. When I said NACES - I -meant their members -I did contact a couple of their members to get their opinion before I
    was willing to pay. All basically said if it is not accredited by the Swiss government they would not see it as regionally accredited. Switzerland accredit public schools, not private schools but they are legal. These can vary in quality from excellent to a degree mill. Everyone must decide what the worth is for any course or program they take. As we know NACES members sometimes vary in their evaluations -does this impact their creditability? I would think Valedential should be held to the same standard as just one of multiple degree evaluation services that might or might no determine the worth of your degree. This is usually one employee of the company designated to review your degree I wouldn't say SOBAT is "proudly" unaccredited-they are honest in their statement about this. But I feel if you show employers the course content and program structure they would be seen favorably -similar to Coursera course or other MOOCs or continuing education programs. Private sector employers most likely will accept a Valedential eval as valid. Public sectors are bound by state law. In Massachusetts for a state job a foreign degree must be done by either NACES or AICE.
  15. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    I am basing this on Validential's "regional accreditation equivalence" given to degrees from places such as Selinus University as well as legitimate-but totally unaccredited places like School of Business and Trade. Would Validential-endorsing colleges be comfortable with an evaluation company that doesn't evaluate but transforms the status of colleges from other countries? Perhaps. But I remain doubtful.

    Consider the Illinois State Board of Education or Dallas College, the sample Validential partners. Do you think that it is likely that they would be fine with degrees from SOBAT, if they leaarned that Validential hasn't done its job , correctly describing SOBAT's accreditation status in Switzerland or self-accredited Selinus?
  16. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I looked at the Selinus University as a one off with Validential, hopefully it is a one off... otherwise, they're dropping down the hatch like CUFCE, I've never seen a rejection from either though. I highly doubt any AICE member or NACES member go through various hoops just to make sure the evaluation is fully looked at through every angle, they'll do their due diligence to check and then when it goes through X hoops, it's sufficient. I think Validential does the 'basics' and that's it, not as concrete or sophisticated as the AICE/NACES partners, but do go through some 'basic' checks. I don't think CUFCE does anything but take your $$, always skip them...
  17. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    It's not a one-off though. CUFCE and Validential logos frequently appear next to each other on websites of various "special status" institutions, which makes me think that they serve very similar accreditation status-altering purposes.

    Selinus University and SOBAT can serve as examples of government-unaccredited schools that have received U.S. regional accreditation equivalency from evaluators at Validential. But they are far from being alone in stirring controversy with regards to Validential.

    A school that has been described as an "unaccredited diploma mill" (their words, not mine) by the American Osteopathic Association staff, mainly NUMSS, has received regionally accredited doctoral degree equivalency from Validential.


    How does NUMSS describe its institutional accreditation status? "Is NUMSS (Spain) Accredited Internationally? Yes, we are. We received official certificate from International Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (QAHE) attesting that National University of Medical Sciences is fully accredited by the United States based accreditation agency." Furthermore, "NUMSS (Spain) PhD program in Osteopathic Clinical Rehabilitation is legalized by the Spain Ministry of Justice. It is then endorsed by the embassies of most countries including Canada, the United States and most European countries. Additionally the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Osteopathic Clinical Rehabilitation offered by the National University of Medical Sciences (Spain) has been evaluated and approved in the United States by the California University Foreign Credential Evaluation agency."

    "Validential Corp, based in Southern California with offices in Florida, Texas and New York completed a Certified General Foreign Academic Evaluation (CGFAE) of the Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree issued to Dr. Vorachoat Ike Karunyasopon by National University of Medical Sciences (Spain) in 2016 and they accepted NUMSS (Spain) DO as equivalent to a doctoral (D) level degree awarded by regionally accredited universities in the United States on October 21, 2022. NUMSS (Spain) DO degree was then apostilled and legalized in New York by the Deputy Secretary of State for Business & Licensing Services on November 10, 2022"


    The following entity also boasts of Validential (and surprise, surprise CUFCE) endorsement: It's even government-endorsed...well, sort of. You see, it's located in no man's land.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2023
  18. 4252049

    4252049 New Member

    @laferney Thank you for the update. This is a great news for Sobat Alumnus. I also graduated a Master of Arts in Social Sciences at Sobat. If you don't mind, please upload your Sobat's document evaluated by Validential Corp. I really appreciate it!
  19. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    As an alumnus of SOBAT, are you also fine with misrepresenting your credentials? You've completed a degree at an unaccredited foreign institution (SOBAT is open about that) and now you want to have proof that you've actually attended an accredited one? Look, there are legitimate "tough cases" in the evaluation world. NACES members will tell you that "serious research" is required in those instances. A propio degree is fairly well-known in that industry (see the description below). But SOBAT isn't a tough case. Validential has taken a foreign unaccredited institution and given them RA accredited equivalence. This is unethical. Thankfully, most U.S. evaluation companies know that foreign country accreditation status upgrades aren't a part of their job.


    "In the US, programmatic accreditation ensures that a specific program being offered at an institution will meet certain standards for the field. This is especially important in fields such as nursing or engineering for licensure or employment but is not required for the majority of programs. Generally speaking, for US study, it’s the institution itself that faces the most scrutiny for students who want to study or work in other countries. In some countries, however, government recognition of an institution and accreditation of a program are *both* required in order for a degree to be fully recognized. To make things even more exciting, it is common for institutions to offer both: some programs that are accredited & fall under the auspices of the Ministry of Education or other higher education authority and some programs that are aimed at those wanting an employment qualification or who aren’t aware of that institutions might offer programs that don’t fit within the legally recognized degree system.

    These non-official, non-recognized proprietary programs do not provide access to further education at public higher education institutions or employment in government jobs, but they may have validity for employment in the private sector. Proprietary programs often have more flexible entrance requirements or a shorter duration than recognized & accredited programs. They are also often advertised to international students rather than local graduates. Sometimes these proprietary, institution-specific programs are known by special names such as Titulo Propio or Lato Sensu, but in other cases, identifying validated and non-validated programs requires serious research.

    Join us on a short trip around the world looking at a dozen countries where the program itself (not just the institution) needs to be accredited in order to be considered comparable to regional accreditation. We’ll work together to examine the resources and tools needed to identify programmatic accreditation."

    SOBAT doesn't have Swiss government recognition or the accreditation of any of their programs. Therefore, it does not constitute a difficult case for an evaluator.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2023
  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "This institution does not have accreditation in its foreign country of operation, but the opinion of this third party evaluator is that it is the equivalent of a regionally accredited institution in the US."

    None of that is untrue, and none of it is unethical to say, even if others' opinions might differ.
    Michael Burgos and Dustin like this.

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