State approved non-accredited colleges/universities

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by anngriffin777, Dec 9, 2013.

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  1. anngriffin777

    anngriffin777 New Member

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    Here is a good question. Some schools are state approved, but not accredited by any agency recognized by the US Department of Education. For example, California Pacific University has this status. On that note, is their diploma a real and legitimate one, or do you guys still feel this school is a higher class of diploma mill? If you knew someone had a doctorate from this school, would you call them Doctor Jones (or whatever)?

    "California Pacific University is approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. California Pacific is not, however, accredited by any higher education accreditation organization recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. California Pacific University appears on the current California Postsecondary Education Commission list of state-approved institutions".
     
  2. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

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    When I started my journey and sorted through all of this, I had a lot of questions too, and there are certainly many people who can help you rank this or that. The ranking (you asked what is higher) is filled with an overlay of facts and opinions, but there are a lot of variables that play a role in that process in which YOU make the decision on where to enroll. Much depends on your field and the credentials of that field.

    Maybe think of it like this- in California, schools that have gone through the state approval is like a business license. In other words, they have been approved by the state to conduct business as ABC. Seperately, in education, there are agencies that accredit various schools for various things. You can see how the two are not one in the same, yet can still be legal.

    In my opinion, there are many ways to earn an education. There are fewer ways to earn a credential.
     
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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    Accreditation is independent verification of legitimacy, which is important, but it's not the same thing as being legitimacy itself. So yes, an unaccredited school can be legitimate -- WISR is a good example. And all schools (other than spinoffs) start out as unaccredited, so if they were all bogus then none of them would ever become accredited, and we know that's not so. However, there's a lot of fraud out there, so tread very cautiously.
     
  4. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    A few points about state-approved schools:

    1. State-approved schools aren't necessarily bogus. For example, the State of Oregon is often considered to have the toughest anti-degree-mill laws in the US. But at the same time, Oregon recognizes that some unaccredited schools are legit, and provides a system for reviewing and approving them.

    2. State-approved schools aren't necessarily legit. For example, Breyer State University is widely regarded as a degree mill, but it operated legally in several US states with lax oversight of unaccredited schools. They moved from state to state as the laws changed (they ultimately decided to leave the US entirely and to settle in Panama).

    3. State-approved unaccredited degrees are legal in the state where they were issued, but their use may be restricted in other states, depending on state law. Regional or national accreditation is accepted everywhere, so an accredited degree is guaranteed to "travel" across state lines. With a state-approved degree, however, there is no such guarantee. It's kind of like a gay marriage license: a gay couple can be legally married in the State of Washington, but if they move to Florida (where same-sex marriage is barred by the state constitution), that marriage won't be recognized, even though it was performed legally in Washington.

    Under Oregon law, for example, you can't legally use an unaccredited degree that was approved in California, unless you add the following legal disclaimer:

     
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  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

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    Another perspective is that all degrees can be categorized according to their utility. If you want to go to Harvard Medical School then a degree from CPU is unlikely to help you out much. I don't know how you imagine that you might use a PhD from CPU but I'd guess that it's really not going to open any doors for you.
     
  6. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    CPU has had some "firsts." From the Wiki:

    "California Pacific University was the first collegiate institution to be approved under the qualitative standards mandated by the State of California Educational Reform Act of 1977. Moreover, it was the first institution approved by the State of California to offer academic degree programs by distance study without residency requirements. The University's Master of Arts (MA) in Management and Human Behavior is California's oldest California State Approved distance learning degree program."

    CPU has been in business for around 35 years. The founder, Dr. N. Charles Dalton, (genuine RA doctorate) passed away about three or four years ago, as I remember. I believe control of the school passed to his daughter, who also holds a doctorate from a regionally-accredited university.

    CPU does not appear to have graduated any students in the past year or two. The school's Performance Fact Sheet is here:

    http://www.cpu.edu/reports/7-2013_CPU_SCHOOL_PERFORMANCE_FACT_SHEET.pdf

    One could, I suppose, benefit from an unaccredited Ph.D. in Management in one's own business. It would not, of course, suffice for a position requiring an accredited degree. Dr. Bear's advice on this is always sound: if you're undertaking any degree program, ensure first that it meets your present and anticipated future requirements.

    Indeed, very few unaccredited degrees are great door-openers in very many situations. That said, CPU has been around a long time and that alone says something for the school. If I were considering an unaccredited business degree (which I'm not) I'd definitely look at CPU, but the number of recent grads (zero) makes me wonder how long the school will continue to operate.

    Johann
     
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  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

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    And one other related point: it is often difficult to tell the difference between a "legit" state-approved school and a "bogus" state-approved school. Unfortunately, the bogus ones generally don't admit that they are bogus -- on the contrary, they do everything possible to appear legit.

    In theory, of course, you could figure out which ones are bogus and which ones are legit, by conducting an unbiased, behind-the-scenes review of each school's academic and administrative policies. But that's what accreditation agencies do. Unaccredited schools, by definition, haven't received that kind of independent critical evaluation.
     
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  8. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD New Member

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    I can only answer for myself, but:

    (1) No

    (2) Higher class (if that at all) diploma mill

    (3) No
     
  9. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

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    Ram PhD says that the diploma of state-approved California Pacific is not real and legitimate; that it is a diploma mill; and that he/she would not call a PhD holder "Doctor."

    Can this be the same Ram PhD who, earlier today, in another thread, asked "Does anyone know where I can find a cardiologist with an unaccredited MD? I'm not really concerned about the accreditation of her/his degree, I'm more concerned about getting by-pass surgery at a really good price."

    Presumably this person would be willing to have heart surgery done by a California Pacific M.D., but would refuse to call him/her "Doctor."
     
  10. Delta

    Delta New Member

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    Happy Holidays Doctor Bear!
     
  11. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD New Member

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    My comments per the cardiologist were in jest, John. My point being that if one were going to have by-pass surgery, imho, one would most definitely be concerned that the cardiologist's degrees be reputable.
     
  12. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Hmm - can't get one of those - strictly business degrees at CPU.

    MD? -- Well, you could try enrolling at USAT in Montserrat or (maybe easier) go see the "Mahatma" at International University of Fundamental Studies, St. Petersburg, Russia. You might even get "accelerated" and skip a lot of bothersome coursework, at IUFS. :jester:

    Johann
     
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  13. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    I've always liked CPU - and realized the limitations of its degrees. It has always been honest about its position in the educational food-chain. And even if its degrees have 'way lower acceptance than those of accredited schools, I just don't see CPU fitting the accepted definition of "degree mill," especially for the Bachelor's offering. To earn a Bachelor's from CPU, you must have 90 credits going in - from an accredited school. CPU teaches the last 30 credits - strictly in business subjects, which is the only field in which CPU instructs. I've taken a fair number of business subjects at college and university -- and I'd say that's one of the easier fields to teach well, as a lot of the basics remain stable and are fairly easily illustrated. Concepts like income statements, bond premium and discount, marginal utility etc. don't change overnight - unless perhaps your name is Bernie Madoff, or you worked for Enron. :smile:

    I see no reason why CPU could not do an effective job in these basics and a Bachelor's degree from there is worth something - even if it lacks the utility afforded by accreditation. But MBAs? Why bother when you can get a distance RA MBA for something like $6,000 at Eastern New Mexico State?

    CPU Doctorates? Not for me either, thanks. I don't care how well CPU teaches them, because that alone will not give the degree acceptance or standing. CPU doctorates cost not much less than a Hyundai and even a cheap car like that will probably get you better mileage than the degree. Fact is, my Hyundai gave me seven good years before being creamed by a Buick! :smile:

    An undergrad degree from CPU doesn't make too much sense, due to low acceptance - not substandard instruction. A grad degree makes no sense (to me) at all, in light of the acceptance issue and - in the MBA case, low-priced accredited alternatives. But just because earning them makes little practical sense to me, CPU degrees are not relegated to "mill" status, as I see it. "Unaccredited" is as far down the list of pejoratives as I'm comfortable with, regarding this school.

    Johann

    Johann
     
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  14. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

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    Ram: "My comments per the cardiologist were in jest, John."

    John: Oh. Perhaps we need a different typeface for the the jestishly challenged. (There was a major case, not too many years ago, where a cardiologist at a large hospital in Las Vegas turned out to have a fake degree. And then there was that jumbo jet pilot who was a regular lecturer, as a heart specialist, on cardiological aspects of air travel -- also without benefit of a legitimate medical degree. So we probably could have found you one.)
     
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Active Member

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    Why would anyone do this?

    I've asked about this before but have never received an entirely satisfactory answer...outside of religion and ministry, of what possible value is a Ph.D. from an unaccredited school? You can't teach with it. No one is likely to hire you. You can't get research grants with it. More and more you can't even use it in advertising your business without running afoul of State regulators.

    What GOOD is it? What's the POINT?:thinking:
     
  16. Johann

    Johann Active Member

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    Old quote from Dr. Bear: Be sure the degree meets your present and anticipated future needs.

    Slightly newer one from Johann: If all one's degree-needs are ego- or self-inflation-related, the unaccredited "doctorate" might be just the ticket.

    If, in someone's exalted self-opinion, the unaccredited doctorate is satisfactory evidence of whatever that person wishes to prove, then the "doctorate" has achieved the desired end - no matter how many others are frowning, rolling their eyes, giggling behind the person's back, or writing nasty jabs in a forum. :smile:

    Speaking as someone who admits to never having earned one, I believe that a Doctorate is justly considered a major milestone in life. Admission to doctoral ranks should (ideally) include welcome and acceptance from other scholars of highest achievement and - in general - respect from those who haven't (or haven't yet) reached that level of scholarship.

    If one earns a "doctorate" i.e. a doctoral "degree" with no recognition, substandard or (gasp) bogus recognition, one will (and should) miss out on all the above - from any legitimate source. Such "doctors" have to make do with self-congratulation, or the sycophancy of the "lesser lights," i.e. dimwits, who "awarded" i.e. sold them the thing in the first place.

    Johann
     
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  17. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

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    Why would anyone do this?
    I've asked about this before but have never received an entirely satisfactory answer...outside of religion and ministry, of what possible value is a Ph.D. from an unaccredited school? You can't teach with it. No one is likely to hire you. You can't get research grants with it. More and more you can't even use it in advertising your business without running afoul of State regulators.

    What GOOD is it? What's the POINT?
    Nosborne48

    An awful lot of people with unaccredited PhDs are in jobs where a Master's is required but a Doctorate is not. So the value of the degree to them is that they can legally and correctly call themselves "Doctor." In the case of marriage and family therapists, for instance, an MA is usually all that is required . . . but a PhD may well produce more clients. Community college teacher is another common job where the Master's is usually enough but being listed as "Dr." is a prestige thing.
     
  18. Vinipink

    Vinipink Accounting Monster

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    Dr. Dalton's PhD was from California Western University AKA California Coast University (Back then when they used to award PhD). His daughter does not have a RA degree and is from CCU as well. According to the CPU new catalog she is not part of the administration on the listed individuals. This making me believe that she may have sold the University(not sure).
     
  19. henald

    henald New Member

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    Most companies or organizations won't care whether or not a school is approved by a specific state or not. That basically means that a school has taken the time to go through the proper channels in order to operate within that state. What most companies are going to care about is whether or not your degree is accredited. Accredited schools have taken the time to create a curriculum that meets government standards and expectations for education. Sadly, almost anyone can open a school and offer an education, but that doesn't mean that the education is worth the money required to do the schooling. Shoot for an accredited school instead of a state accepted school. Companies will care more about accredited degrees because they know that the education you received meets at least a minimum expectation of education.
     
  20. ambrosialombardo

    ambrosialombardo New Member

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    Thank you very much cookderosa for your answer,
    Loving the comparison you made, sums up pretty well the subject
     

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