The Continents State University

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Mac Juli, Dec 12, 2020.

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  1. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Hello!

    There is a new "university" around. It is accredited by ASIC and BBB (yes, I think we all know it means nothing), it is tuition-free - but not free, as a "course attendance fee" is charged-,and it has a partnership with sophia.org.

    Well. Honest effort to become the next University of the People, a feeble effort by dolts or even fraudsters? Any thoughts?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
     
  2. tadj

    tadj Active Member

    Personally, I don't quite understand why they have received a religous exemption in the first place. They are registered as a corporation by Florida's Division of Corporations under the name "The Continents State University Inc." They have also registered as a religous exempt institution under the name "The Continents State University School of International Business and Theological Education." At this point in time, the university's website does not indicate they are offering any theological degrees. Their mission statement likewise does not indicate any commitment to religous ideas. It's a completely secular mission statement. The degree offerings confirm that trajectory (an MBA, a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and an Associate's degree in General Studies). The FAQ section is really interesting. Here's how they answer the question: "Can I find The Continents State University on the United States Department of Education website?" Answer: "Yes, the Continents State University is listed on the National Center for Education Statistics by the U.S. Department of Education. Click here: https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/institutionprofile.aspx?unitId=492087" That's potentially misleading. By the way, the last website features an Ohio address.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
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  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    That name. It will raise red flags everywhere you go.
     
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  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The supply side is where all the good stories were told. The demand side is where potential resolution lies.
     
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Tadj! I think (and I have no proof as yet) that this looks like an attempt to offer secular degrees under the roof of a religious-exempt school. My take: on the surface, it looks worse than the "Church Management MBA" scam some of the low-end religious-exempt schools try to pull. To me it's a definite no-no. But it's the State of Florida's call - not mine. BTW - the founder of Breyer State U. is, AFAIK, a long-time Ohio resident. He lived there, I think, throughout Breyer State's tortuous peregrinations through Alabama, California, Idaho (part 2) and Panama. I'm gonna look up that address - see if it possibly leads back somehow to him. Perhaps those two schools both calling themselves "...State" Universities is less than coincidental. I'll look into it and see if I can find a connection. It's a big state -- and it could be coincidence. We'll see.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
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  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I note from the site they are not allowed to enrol students in about 23 States. Well, that's about half the country... and the address on tadj's reference site is given as Columbus. Well, at least it isn't run from somebody's home office in a much smaller town, as I thought it might be. Or is it?.... still working on it.
     
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yep. Some, but that's all they are right now -- thoughts. Thanks for posting this one. Definitely a point of interest.
     
  8. tadj

    tadj Active Member

    Their list of partners is really impressive; "Continents State University is recognized by Cambridge Assessment International" in the sense that they "now officially accept the Cambridge Assessment English as part of the international undergraduate admission process." Furthermore, Continents is now a partner to Google (maybe due to the use of a search engine) and the "Economic and Social Council of the United Nations." This apparently means that they can "now attend meetings of the council." However, they cannot yet "speak and propose agenda items." ;-)
     
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    An impressive list - great names. But how meaningful are their associations? They're "recognized" by Cambridge Assessment. Yes, indeed - as one of the 50,000+ schools that accept Cambridge Assessment's standards for English for international applicants. And they can go to meetings of a UN council - but they can't participate. These are "Partners?" How, exactly does that work?

    I'm "recognized" by the owner of the corner store. He "recognizes" me as the old guy who always buys the same kind of lottery ticket on Friday. But that "recognition" won't let me run the register or stock the shelves. Can't run a tab for my lottery tickets, either. Not even if I call him "Partner." Same thing...
     
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    This Uni. teaches only a few programs. At least one is a Master's in Health Care Admin. The former President of Breyer State has always looked favorably on the Health care field. He holds degrees in this area , has written some books and has founded an organization or two. Still can't help wondering if he has something to do with this. IIRC, International Theism U, also Florida-registered, the one with "Ethereal Degrees" may somehow be related to Breyer State U. Not exactly sure of the nature of the relationship. Old posts here may help.

    Darn...The tinfoil lining in my hat has been picking up some "grumbling" signals from the Ether...
     
  11. tadj

    tadj Active Member

    They have received the same kind of "recognition" from the U.S. Department of Education. The department forgot to list them in the "Database of Accredited Institutions and Programs," but they still managed to partner with the government through a listing on the National Center for Education Statistics website. This is then interpreted as being "listed by the U.S. Department of Education" in the FAQ section.
     
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    We know why the USDE "forgot" - the school is simply not accredited - by any accreditor recognized by USDE. Although ASIC is known to CHEA as an overseas accrediting agency, that fact doesn't make them a recognized US accreditor, either.

    Re: USDE "Listing" I agree. Some will assign a meaning that isn't there. Old story.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2020
  13. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Active Member

    New in the sense that they're now using 'university'. Before that, it was Continents Academy, based in Ohio.
     
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  14. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    As we learned recently with Euclid, ECOSOC recognition is virtually always approved by the NGOs that apply to it. It provides no specific benefit except being able to claim an affiliation with the UN where none should be. You can read how to apply here. I smile when I see "We fight diploma mill and life experience degree issues" in the footer. Methinks the university doth protest too much.

    WHOIS data on continents.us shows it is 5 years old, registered by Austin Fox with the title CEO of the Continents Foundation. It doesn't have Form 990s listed with ProPublica. A search for their EIN turns up a GoFundMe with the description "We promote tuition-free higher education." and the URL https://www.continents.franklin.oh.us/ that is mostly an unmodified Wordpress template with no other content but has a subheader of "Foreign Credentials Evaluation." The address in the WHOIS for continents.us is a mail forwarding service in Orlando with the hilarious name "PhysicalAddress.com"

    I had to go to whois.us in order to do the WHOIS lookup for the .us top-level domain (TLD). "franklin.oh.us" was just registered March 21, with Continents being a subdomain of that domain. The registrar for that domain is Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) at their address in Columbus Ohio. This is strange but it might have something to do with student status allowing him access to that domain.

    It gets curious-er! For their part, the IRS provides their Determination Letter, and copies of their Form 990-N. The Form 990-N is a "postcard" version used by nonprofits with less than $50,000 in assets (not necessarily revenue.) The determination letter is in the name Northeastern University, 4577 Olentangy River Road G16 Columbus OH 43214-2460.

    The mailing address for the Form 990-N's is another mail-forwarding service, this one in Columbus, OH. Their Form 990-N's look very similar, except that the DBA name has changed repeatedly:
    • 2014: Northeastern University
    • 2015: Continents University
    • 2016-2019: The Continents Foundation
    The Principal Officer is listed from 2014-2016 as Ricky Madison and Ricky Willis Madison, before changing to Dr Ricky Madison in 2017 and being absent in 2018 and 2019. Mr or Doctor Madison filed for a trademark in November 2020 for "The Continents State University" that was dismissed on technical reasons, the filing was incomplete.

    As the DBA name "Continents Academy", they also got a DUNS number and registered for federal assistance awards. With the Ohio Department of Education, Ricky Madison is listed alongside Sura Madison.

    I'm not in a position to connect all of these dots, but I wish them the best.
     
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  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I wonder if that DBA requires a dissertation....
     
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  16. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I googled that address from the first Form 990-N, 4577 Olentangy River Road G16 Columbus OH. It appears to be an apartment building. That led me to a May 2016 meeting of the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools, where as Continents Academy, Ricky Madison appeared to get approval for Pharmacy Technician program.

    That led me to this (currently non-working link) where the Google Cache indicates Ricky Madison has a PharmD and is an evaluator (as Continents Academy). The Ohio Board of Pharmacy lists 3 licenses, none of which is Pharmacist. Certified Pharmacy Technician, Registered Nurse, and Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant. None appear to be active, but I don't know what "Closed/Withdrawn" means.

    Ricky Madison is a Pharmacy Intern in the State of Florida: https://mqa-internet.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/HealthcareProviders/LicenseVerification?LicInd=22141&Procde=2202&org=%20, for what it's worth.
     
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  17. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    I often wonder about the demented minds that come up with these bootleg names. The funny part is that sometimes they come from legitimately accredited schools. I guess nutjobs (and those with general bad taste) transcend the confines of accreditation.
     
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  18. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Let's start a school where we take payment in pieces of wood and accept generous transfer credit, headquartered in Connecticut. We can call it Barter Oak State College.
     
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  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes, they do. But all are welcome at DI. :)
     
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