SMC University accreditation Status for PhD Programs

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by erhijakpor, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. John Rogers

    John Rogers Member

    I am sorry you had that experience. I started a year later and had a pretty good experience there.
    And to be clear, SMCU IS NOT recognized as equivalent to a regionally accredited degree in the US. The UCN Ph.D. is for the reasons I laid out before.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Not me, Jack. I haven't been asking any questions about any of this until this thread. There's been a LOT of discussion about SMC on this board over the years, but I've never really cared to contribute much--or anything at all. (I can't really remember either way; it's so unimportant to me.)

    Not me. I could not care less. It took me about 5 minutes to look at the situation and draw up the assertions I made. Even that was probably overkill for such a middling topic.

    Also, these are not my "colleagues." I've met exactly two people from this board in the 20-or-so years I've been posting on it.
    At no point did I question your integrity. What I said was your statements were not prima facie evidence. It had nothing to do with you personally as you must certainly know.

    Not from me. Certainly you must know that not only should you be careful about drawing inferences from a population based on a narrow sample of it--which you acknowledge--you absolutely should refrain from stereotyping an individual because he/she is a member of a group and you have drawn conclusions about that group.

    Again (as I keep saying), congratulations on your award, your ability to navigate the process with UCN, and your foreign degree evaluation.
  3. John Rogers

    John Rogers Member

    OK. Easy there. It seems our posts have gotten out of synch. I tried to apologize earlier, and will do so again. I withdraw any implication that you had anything to do with the horrendously toxic reception I received from, as well as the general attitude of disdain inflicted on anyone who dares to ask a question about SMCU. I don't like jerks, and this site is teeming with them. I apologize for lumping you in with them upon my return. It was unfair, and triggered by what I have come to expect from many of the contributors and, unfortunately, a few of the admins and moderators.

    I returned for one reason and one reason only - to offer assistance to SMCU students and potential students in the form of supported, factual information they have been requesting for at least the past seven years and receiving nothing but scornful speculation and ridicule for their trouble.

    I have transmitted my documents to LearningAddicted. Hopefully that will help some people, which I mistakenly thought was the purpose of this site. My bad.

    My regionally accredited Ph.D. and I will be on our way to try to help make the world a better place. You guys carry on with whatever you think you are doing here.


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  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You don't need to. Nor do I. I have said zero about you and, thus, have nothing to apologize for. What you've said is so non-offensive that it isn't worth bothering with.
    Sounds like a good thing. Good for you.

    And there you go again. Get the chip off your shoulder. You've done something; do you really care what a bunch of people who are not in your life really think about it? Correct the record where necessary and let it go.

    Speaking of correcting the record, you most certainly do NOT have a "regionally accredited" PhD. First, and obviously, regional accreditors don't accredit degree programs. But beyond that technicality, you still do not have one. You have instead a degree from a foreign school that is not ranked in the top 2,100 tracked by the Times, from a system not appearing in the top 100 country higher education systems in any reference I could find. (For what it's worth, zero Nicaraguan universities are in the times rankings. But other schools in that region DO appear in the listing.)

    Additionally, you have a foreign credential evaluation stating it is equivalent to a PhD from a regionally accredited school. This will likely be useful in some situations where an accredited degree is required, they check for these things, and they will accept a foreign credential evaluation. Most non-academic situations simply will not check--which means your Swiss Management Center degree would have sufficed.
    And there you go again with the "you guys"--as if there is some kind of organization here. Well, there isn't. So if a gaggle of uncoordinated posters give you the same grief over something, perhaps it is worth paying attention to. Or not. But the only organizing factor present in this thread is your doing.

    Yet again, congratulations on your award, your ability to navigate the process with UCN, and your foreign degree evaluation.
  5. John Rogers

    John Rogers Member

    Seems I have struck a nerve. I am sorry that it appears to steam your clams, but my degree is, in fact, from a regionally accredited school. That is clearly and specifically stated in my evaluation.
    I suppose the assertion that a gaggle of uncoordinated posters giving me the same grief over something might be worth paying attention to is valid, except that that gaggle was 100% wrong in everything they said, and spent the balance of seven years trying to humiliate anyone who disagreed with them.
    Here is another assertion I like - you are who you are by virtue of the company you keep (T.B. Joshua). The company I keep consists of decorated warriors and protectors. Your company, at least on this site, seems to be a bunch of pompous, uninformed jerks. And as a well-known member, I would guess you hang out here a lot.

    I appreciate the congratulations and well wishes on my Ph.D. from a regionally accredited university. Best to you as well.
  6. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Well, I've received the documents, and after a strong examination which included making contact with IEE to verify the evaluation reference number and the result on the documents, that verification was successful and I can say the following with absolute certainty:

    Doctor John Rogers: holder of a Doctorate, equivalent to a U.S. regionally accredited degree!

    Congratulations to Doctor Rogers!

    This case is closed!
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  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You are being self-congratulatory. You cannot possibly have such an effect on me.
    As I've clearly described this is incorrect. But now you're elevating it to a lie. I question your integrity (but not the veracity of your actual accomplishment).
    Jeez, you have a knack for repeating falsehoods after they've been refuted

    I keep no "company" here. I participate in a public, online discussion board with virtually everyone (again, just 2 exceptions) a stranger to me.

    Also, you're making this personal, which reflects very much upon you, not me. Perhaps you could examine why that is so? Just a suggestion, of course.
    You have to "guess" because you don't bother to actually find out. The real question is why that matters to you so much?

    You haven't shown in any way that anything I've posted is inaccurate. You just don't like it. Well, too bad.
    I've repeatedly congratulated you on your accomplishment, which you've never acknowledged. Fine. Instead, you self-anoint with an honor you have not earned.
    Exactly. A foreign degree evaluation service has recommended that a PhD from UCN is equivalent to a PhD from a regionally accredited school. But, as most PhD graduates should understand, equivalency and equality are different concepts.

    Again, I have no dog in this hunt, and would gladly accept and acknowledge anything I failed to get right here.

    As for Dr. Rogers, he has a huge chip on his shoulder about this. He'd better get used to it, because anyone who encounters this and truly understands it may choose not to be as understanding as I and others have been. Tick....tick....tick....
  8. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    I plan to complete my Azteca/UCN PhD in Education next year! Congrats on the Doctorate through Swiss Management Center / UCN.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
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  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Interviewer: I see you have a PhD from the Central University of Nicaragua. Wow, what was it like in Nicaragua?
    Candidate: I don't know. I never actually went to Nicaragua.
    Interviewer: Oh. Did you do it online? And was your degree done in Spanish?
    Candidate: No. In English. See, I didn't actually attend the UCN. I actually attended the Swiss Management Center.
    Interviewer: In Switzerland?
    Candidate: Yes.
    Interviewer: So, what was Switzerland like?
    Candidate: Well, I didn't go there, either. I did it by distance learning.
    Interviewer: So, it was an online degree?
    Candidate: It was.
    Interviewer: The school in Switzerland, they don't award the degree?
    Candidate: They do award a degree, but then the UCN awards you one, too.
    Interviewer: Why is that?
    Candidate: The SMC isn't accredited in Switzerland, so its degrees aren't recognized. But through their agreement with the UCN, graduates get a degree accredited in Nicaragua.
    Interviewer: Did you do your degree in one of Switzerland's languages, like German or French?
    Candidate: No, the school offers its degrees in English.
    Interviewer: Huh. I wonder why? Anyway, do you have anything that tells us your degree from the Nicaraguan university is legit?
    Candidate: I do. I had the degree evaluated by a foreign credential evaluator here in the U.S. They recommend it be considered equivalent to a PhD from an accredited school here in the US.

    All of the above assumes the interviewer actually cares. If he or she does, then this kind of torturous explanation will be in order. And as they say, if you have to explain it....
  10. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    I believe these type of school setups serve a purpose. The international students are money makers for these foreign institutions who are not making much of anything from their local students. These are 1-UP degrees from a Masters but I would not put them at the same level as Doctorates from public and private universities here in the US, UK, Canada, etc. Even then, most will just go on to be adjuncts, consultants, or some other side hustle with these foreign Doctorate degrees. Any career besides that could be explored without the PhD. I personally don't expect much more than personal enrichment and profile enhancement from my PhD. I wouldn't dare go back into academia with my PhD unless I decide to do some teaching, consulting, advising, etc. on the side. There would be a reasonable ROI for this degree to pursue those things. I can't say the same thing for the for-profit online schools which will probably be seen by the general public as equivalent in terms of value to these foreign credentials.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
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  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If one is not trying to leverage the degree directly (like working in academia), what is the rationale for pursuing the UCN part of things? Why not just let the original degree stand on its own? As we know, almost no one will ask nor care anyway. And if there is scrutiny, a bucket load of questions arise. And I didn't even get to the school's lack of university ranking while in a national system that is also unranked.

    I'm not questioning the legitimacy of it. I'm questioning the efficacy of it.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    One other thing: how much more (time, effort, money) does it cost to convert the host degree into a UCN degree? The SMC site doesn't address this. (Perhaps it is seamless with no additional cost?)
  13. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Candidate: I don't know. I never actually went to Nicaragua. I got my degree online.
    Interviewer: Oh, OK.

    Seriously, this is almost Levikoffian in anal retentiveness.
    USN is no Harvard, nor Florida State, nor even Union. This is no reason to try to lord over the guy. Who, in fact, does have a legitimate doctorate, whether or not it's a program worthy of recommendation.
  14. John Rogers

    John Rogers Member

    A legitimate question deserves a legitimate answer.

    The conversion cost when I did it was 2,000 euro. The tuition was 8600 euro, for a total of 10,600 euro.
    As it happens, I also have a degree from Florida State. And from Mercer University. And Webster University. And now, from SMCU/UCN. From the perspective of direct experience (probably not as legitimate as the site standard of baseless speculation, but direct experience is all I have to go on here), I would say that the most challenging and rewarding work I did was on my DBA/Ph.D. from SMCU/UCN. I published two books based on the research I did there, and I currently work with six other Ph.D.s at Stratum Zero. This group carries doctoral credentials from such luminescent institutions as Texas A&M, Harvard, and Yale, yet none of my colleagues seems to have any qualms about the efficacy (?) of my doctoral qualifications.

    As a Ph.D. (a legitimate one, at least) is almost entirely independent writing and research anyway, what difference does it make where you are geographically? Online degrees are far less expensive for an institution to administer. All the ivy league schools offer online programs now. Are you suggesting that an online degree from Harvard is less valuable than the brick and mortar one? Because if so Harvard has an ethics problem because they don't reflect the method of delivery on the diploma.

    Again... I am truly sorry that it upsets you so much, but UCN is a regionally accredited university. If you wish to dispute that, you will have to take it up with UCN. And IEE. And NACES. And the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education. UCN's regional accreditation was not my decision.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2021
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Another question: IEE (the credential evaluator in question) performs two types of evaluation. First, it does an evaluation of the program you actually did, called a "Course Report":

    This report identifies the institution(s) attended, dates of attendance, credential(s) earned, and the United States educational equivalent. It also lists individual courses taken with semester units, individual grade equivalents and an overall grade point average (where applicable).

    Then there is the lighter touch, the "Document Report":

    Identifies, describes, and provides a U.S. equivalency for each credential

    So, which of these was done? Normally, the second--the Document Report--would seem sufficient. But in this case, the graduate didn't actually do his course of study at UCN. Was the SMC scheme (and "scheme" in this case isn't pejorative; it means "method" or "process" for earning the degree part of the evaluation? Because the work was done at one school and the degree in question was awarded at another on the basis of that work, I would think a Document Report would be in order here, since the process is at stake.

    I haven't seen the report myself, so I can't say.
  16. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is hilarious. Can you just imagine what Steve would have said and done regarding this?
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Possibly nothing. But in my absurd example, I draw out the kind of thinking one can encounter, and how far down the rabbit hole you can end up going trying to explain this one.

    You keep saying this. This is deflection, nothing more.

    You keep asserting this, but it is false. Which regional accreditor accredits UCN? None of the institutions you cite are regional accreditors either. Here are the six regional accreditors:

    Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
    Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
    New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
    Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
    WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

    As we know, none of these accredits UCN, even though they do accredit foreign universities.

    What you have is a foreign credential evaluation from a private company unaffiliated with any of these regional accreditors. (But a member of an industry organization widely recognized for foreign credential evaluations.) That company has given you a report saying something like a degree from UCN should be considered equivalent to a degree from a US regionally accredited school. All fine and good. But IEE does not bestow accreditation. It is up to the receiving entity whether or not they wish to accept IEE's recommendation. Again, all good. But it isn't the same as saying the school is regionally accredited.

    Now, is this material, or is it a distinction without a difference? That's for each person to decide. But Dr. Rogers cannot expect others to simply accept his assertions, especially when they're factually flawed.

    I really don't care what he (or anyone else) wants to call himself. But I have a documented expertise in this field, and I choose to respond to his claims. I'm not trying to convince him or anyone else, but "facts is facts," as it were. And if I choose to (a) confront assertions that are inaccurate and/or (b) draw my own assessments, then that's my business. And it's still not personal, even though he's trying to make it so.
  18. John Rogers

    John Rogers Member

    There are six regional accreditors in the United States, you xenophobe.
    UCN's institutional status, according to the report from IEE. is "regionally accredited". It may shock you to know that those six U.S. accreditors do not have a monopoly on the term. Are you really trying to argue that accreditation terms are meaningless unless they are American? City College of Oxford is not accredited through any of the six U.S. regional accreditors. Do you look down your nose at Oxford graduates as well?

    You may argue semantically flawed to your heart's content, and I will cheerfully disagree with you, but factually flawed? You seem to have confused what is true with what you wish was true. While those things sometimes share common ground, they are not the same thing.

    Perhaps you would have more success applying your own education to something useful instead of trying to cast aspersions on mine in a disagreement you are clearly losing, yet intent on perpetuating. Bizarre.

  19. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    I'm just sitting in my corner, eating popcorn, because I don't think I've seen anyone get so worked up over degrees in a long time. Even the ENEB degrees (which are admittedly Masters and not Doctorates) didn't provoke as much... discussion and controversy.

    Different evaluators evaluate things differently. Maybe a UCN degree wouldn't count if it were evaluated by a different institution. Maybe it would. Maybe the next round of graduates won't even get it evaluated as a "real" Doctorate at all.
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  20. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Whether it's a course-by-course report or a document report, if the institution status on one report is "regionally accredited", and the US equivalency on the report is "Doctor of Philosophy", it won't change if you get another report type. Before you even submit these documents, schools an evaluator is familiar with are going to get mostly the same result with some exceptions. Exceptions would be like, programs from particular schools that an evaluator accepts for evaluation but have deemed some of those school's programs as less than equivalent in status or equivalency or both.

    UCN's legitimacy was determined years ago after tough discussion, so that's a non-issue. I'm not sure I like the idea of converting a Doctorate from one school with a murky history into a Doctorate from a more legitimate school. But at the end of the day, UCN has a system in place for it, and there are evaluators who accept it based on the legitimacy of UCN.

    Now, if I were UCN I wouldn't even think about doing something like this. On the other hand, I didn't grow up in the Spanish-speaking world where such arrangements are actually common and accepted without issue, so my viewpoint is based on ideas that are culturally different from those in that world.
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