Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Elbulk, May 11, 2018.
Indeed. Or is that possibly "defies explanation?"
At the risk of repeating myself more often than I should: I attended SMC University in 2013, and unless they improved massively until then, you should better avoid it.
I disagree, a state recognised institution from a EU member state is surely better than a NA degree
Not to a U.S. employer unless that degree from the EU has a very very popular reputation. If you need to whip out a degree evaluation to prove your degree is legit, you've lost. They'll move on to the guy with the Masters from Ashworth before giving yours a second glance.
I think degrees like this can be useful in some narrow situations. Like adjunct teaching, or moving from "Instructor" to "Assistant Professor" at some community college. Or just adding "PhD" to the business card, knowing that you have defense if someone'll question it.
But this actually is an important point: there's more to degrees than formal legitimacy. Just because something is "accredited" doesn't mean it is a good idea to attend. I love edge cases, and am willing to concede that presently eg. Charisma is an accredited institution; this does not mean there are no important reasons to avoid actually going there. Same thing about Euclid. More mildly, UoPx's reputation can make it a bad choice for many students, even though, Rich, I know from personal experience it does provide an education .
GREAT example is Carribean medical schools. Are they "accredited"? Almost always, yes. Can you get a medical license graduating from one of these? Technically, yes, at least in some states. How LIKELY are you to graduate, get residency and ultimately a license - and conversely, how likely is it that the whole thing will be a colossal expensive mistake? Well, this is another question, HIGHLY dependent on a school.
Your attachment shows as a blank black screen on my end.
Not defending SMC, I'll just point out that one evaluator's evaluation isn't necessarily gospel as you can have other evaluators turn out differing results.
Very true. There are at least a dozen of them, and we've seen with other cases (e.g., EBS MBA) that their evaluations can differ wildly.
Good comparison to the Caribbean medical school. You can go to a bottom tier U.S. medical school (they do exist) and still be miles ahead of someone who went to school in the Caribbean even though both technically meet the same requirement.
Most employers don't check accreditation. Of the employers who do actually check, not rely on an external service that only validates attendance and assure you that the degrees are "fully vetted," an NA degree will most likely be fine unless they use a resource like the student clearinghouse. Generally speaking, employers only ask for degree evaluations for foreign degrees where A) licensure is an issue and the person doesn't have the license yet and they want to see if hte degree makes the candidate license eligible B) academic institutions that don't want to end up on the news because Dr. X is revealed to have a PhD from a Somalian PO Box C) where the degree does not align perfectly to US degrees and the employer requires clarification.
As I've said before, having a foreign degree when you are clearly not from the same country as your degree CAN raise flags for many employers. If I walked into an interview with an MBA from an Indian university, yeah, I could explain I earned it online. But there is going to be questions as to why I chose an Indian school and, believe it or not, "It was cheaper!" doesn't sell as well as some think. So you have a degree from a Swiss school. How's your German? Italian? French? None of the above? Did you enjoy Switzerland? Oh, never been and earned it online. Well, OK. But if you're such a rockstar and had the whole internet at your disposal why did you pick this obscure school? It just makes things look shady.
Have an Ed.D. from Aspen university? The conversation may well end there.
I don't think SMC is a scam. I don't think they're a diploma mill. But I will break with the pack here and say that degrees like this with quasi recognition AND degrees from non-first world countries (unless you are also from there) are worth less on the US job market than NA degrees unless you are able to "rehabilitate" it by having a higher degree from a more respected school. So a bachelors from, whatever, Louisiana Baptist University, becomes less of an issue when you have an MBA from Liberty or a PhD from Regent. Likewise, that bachelors degree from an unknown school in East Timor is less problematic when you stack a Masters from Rutgers on top of it. As your highest degree? I wouldn't recommend.
But I do greatly agree with Stanislav that while we love us some accreditation talk, there is just a lot more that goes into whether a school is "legitimate" than many are willing to admit.
I, personally, wouldn't want to play around with an unaccredited degree. But I don't begrudge those who earn them as religious ministry requirements, particularly when that isn't their full time job (heck, even I fall in that camp as I've explained previously), or those for whom the degree is completely unnecessary or even redundant. I just don't like it when people act surprised when it turns out to not meet their expectations.
If I understand the issue correctly, the main stumbling block SMCU has is that it is a non-Swiss university operating out of Switzerland. Going down the checklist from ECE, the first thing they looked at was accreditation in home country. Ironically, University of Central Nicaragua is a fully recognized and accredited university in Nicaragua. The Ph.D. from there is probably more likely to be judged equivalent to an RA education.
Yes - it is. A post a while back on DI mentioned that at least three NACES member evaluators were known to have given UCN doctorates positive evaluations. I know we have one or two members who hold UCN distance doctorates and have had good mileage with them in the US. When we were all wondering if the school was OK, we had an on-ground poster in Nicaragua (novadar, IIRC) who assured us the school was real and functioning.
My only reservation about UCN - its large number of partnerships and validation agreements - with somewhat of a mixed bag of schools. I'm convinced that some of them are not of the quality of UCN itself. There's Azteca, for instance, that grants some of its degrees with a proper RVOE (Mexican Gov't approval) and a bunch of "own title" degrees - legal but of lesser standing. I'm too lazy to list all the cooperating schools. IIRC, UCN has an enterprising, experienced senior staff person or outside contractor dedicated to creating these partnerships.
Sometimes these schemes implode, when created with the wrong mix of schools, e.g the infamous University of Wales debacle, whereby 200+ overseas programs were validated without much oversight. I wouldn't want anything like that to happen to UCN.
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