The DHS Inspector General

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Vonnegut, May 30, 2020.

  1. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

  2. newsongs

    newsongs Active Member

    According to Wikipedia, here is some additional information to take note of concerning CCU (pre-accreditation):

    Before DEAC accreditation in 2005, among other non-nationally accredited schools at that time, CCU (which was accredited by the State of California) was investigated by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) as part of a study for subsidies given to federal employees for coursework and degrees from non-nationally accredited schools.[1][4][5] CCU completely passed the GAO review, and CCU completed its national accreditation soon thereafter. CCU graduates with a degree earned during the school's pre-DEAC accreditation period (but approved by the State of California Bureau of Postsecondary Education) had occasionally run into difficulty when trying to use their pre-DEAC accredited degrees.[6][7]

    Nevertheless, from early years before DEAC accreditation, California Coast University had full state approval of all academic programs from the State of California which made the degrees legal and academically legitimate nearly everywhere in the world. The original approval system, which established minimum standards[8] for earning credits and minimum time required for completing a degree, was controlled by the California State Department Of Education's Private Postsecondary Education Division,[9] which became a branch of the California Department of Consumer Affairs in 2007. Applicable California laws were in revision several times[10] which increased the importance of gaining DEAC accreditation for California Coast University.

    State approval was most important to foreign students and graduates who did business overseas where state approval is the norm. CCU graduates in USA were able to defend their legitimacy in landmark court cases most notably in Texas.[11] Texas accepted the legality of CCU degrees.[12] Many states such as Oregon[13] approved a small number academic programs (such as CCU’s) that were not nationally accredited as a way to avoid creating monopolies of the accrediting agencies, regulating them instead as public utilities. CCU succeeded where other nontraditional institutions failed, largely because CCU was one of the first nontraditional universities to be created under the California law, and CCU offered unique programs that were not available elsewhere. Also from its early years CCU received favorable reviews from leaders in nontraditional education.[14]

    Employers in the business community have been generally supportive of CCU graduates[15] from the beginning as a way to moderate the rapidly rising cost of college education. Many thousands of mid career adults were able to continue their educations while continuing to live and work in remote locations. The original intent of the Private Postsecondary Education Division was to make the approved degrees comparable[16] to otherwise accredited degrees. A substantial difference between academic acceptance and professional acceptance has been noted as a divergence in education between academic degrees oriented toward research and professional degrees[17] oriented toward practice.

    Innovations In education[edit]
    Since the early 1970s, California Coast University offered off-campus self-paced degree programs to mid-career adults. Students were accepted who had verifiable years of full-time employment in the major field or a closely related field.[18] In the 1980s, seven years of verifiable full time on the job experience were required before entering the doctoral programs. Five years of experience were required to enter the master's degree (MS) programs, and three years of experience were required to enter the baccalaureate (BS) programs. Academic approval by California required not less than nine months or one academic year to complete any degree program. A variety of methods was used to earn credits in structured programs, supplemented by practice lessons and final exams to complete the degree requirements. BS candidates were required to complete a research project. MS candidates were required to complete a thesis. Doctoral candidates were required to complete a dissertation and defend it in a personal appearance before peers, proctors, or the Graduate Committee.[19]

    Academic programs at CCU were designed for enhanced job performance in which typical students received support from employers and were granted access to libraries and research facilities comparable to traditional universities.[20] Faculty members were drawn from a combination of qualified educators in traditional universities and recognized business leaders in established corporations.[21]

    California Coast University provided distance learning for education of engineering management oriented to technical and business management practice for more than twenty years offering degree programs at the BS, MS, and Ph.D. levels approved by California State Department Of Education. CCU stopped offering the engineering part of the program for new students during a change of staff and reorienting of the CCU programs in preparations for accrediting by DETC (DEAC). The long-time dean of Engineering Management at CCU, Peter L. Shanta,[22](1921 - 2004) an industrial leader in composite materials and holder of several patents,[23] died at about the same time that competition increased rapidly from traditional universities for distance education of engineering management degree programs.[24] Engineering students already in the CCU programs were allowed to complete the degrees in a teach-out agreement with DETC, causing CCU to continue staffing its Engineering Management department after accreditation. Teach-out agreements are normal and usually required by laws and other rules[25] for accrediting agencies. CCU gradually shifted its resources to other programs to meet students needs.

    The Education Department was expanded at CCU to offer a more complete distance education program, and new programs were added for Health Care Administration and Criminal Justice. Business studies were subdivided into similar but distinct degree programs for administration, marketing, and management to meet the needs of a diverse student body.[26]

    California Coast University was one of the first educational institutions to offer high-level degrees specifically designed to improve job performance and direct a substantial part of the program toward profit making businesses. Expansion of the Education Department is a key factor in the continuing success of California Coast University. Criticisms arise occasionally about CCU programs or policies,[27] but not more than occur for other universities.[28]
  3. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    CCU was never "accredited" by the State of California. They were approved to operate which is really a different thing. (Note I don't think that wording in the parenthetical statement came from Wikipedia.)
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member


    The bio error sounds pretty simple and common. The degree is a "Doctor of Philosophy." While the major study is something specific, I would not be surprised if someone creating that bio didn't understand the distinction--I suspect most people have no idea "PhD" stands for "Doctor of Philosophy." I could see a situation where someone reading his biographic material to type up that bio--doubtful he did it himself--thought the degree was in philosophy.

    Besides, there is absolutely ZERO advantage in listing his degree as one in philosophy instead of management. None at all. This points to it being a staff error.

    Now, what about accreditation? It is common for degrees awarded by schools before they become accredited to be treated as if they came from accredited schools. This is normally a reasonable assumption. But in CCU's case, accreditation by DEAC came after the school was in operation for THREE DECADES. Also of note, CCU had to drop its doctoral programs (including this guy's PhD) to get DEAC accreditation. (It was allowed to resume professional doctorates like the EdD after operating for a couple of years and when DEAC expanded its accreditation scope to include professional doctorates.) This means that, again, the PhD this guy earned was excluded.

    It comes down to your own assessment of the facts. Personally, I couldn't care less about someone's CCU degree, whenever it was earned. It's not scandalous to have a degree from CCU. Some people might not be impressed, but again, there are a lot of other things to worry about.

    I see that elsewhere he omitted the source of his PhD. That's not honest. Whenever I see it, I like to go hunting. I usually find a suspicious source.

    (Full disclosure: I'm a DHS employee.)
    newsongs and copper like this.
  5. copper

    copper Active Member

    I really don't see the "big deal." He earned a "legally issued" PhD and the school became accredited. Apparently, the school is not permitted to now offer the PhD but only the professional doctorates. Sorry, I'm simply confused on where the deception is. I know a person who completed a PhD in Nursing from a school that was undergoing regional accreditation and graduated while it was a "candidate for accreditation." The degree was awarded and the school now only offers professional doctorates. Does that mean she is deceptive in calling herself Nurse Ratchet, PhD, RN?? I don't think so! This DHS guy did nothing wrong if he earned the degree and title! His alma mater underwent the accreditation process and is now accredited. Does this not make his degree even more valuable?? Sorry for my ignorance and confusion.

    If you continue to read the article, the author attempts to discredit or make shady the California Bureau of Post Secondary education. This is a biased article!
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
    newsongs likes this.
  6. newsongs

    newsongs Active Member

    Also, the article suggests the GAO investigation into "unaccredited diploma mills" is a knock against CCU, but the school passed the review.

    "U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) as part of a study for subsidies given to federal employees for coursework and degrees from non-nationally accredited schools.[1][4][5] CCU completely passed the GAO review, and CCU completed its national accreditation soon thereafter." (Wikipedia)
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Oh, I don't know that it is biased. You'd have to show why that is the case before you could support a case of bias, not to mention the supposed motivation behind the bias.

    More likely, the author makes some assumptions that are commonly held but not necessarily accurate. Like the one where unaccredited schools are degree mills. Or that the University of Phoenix is unaccredited. And so on.

    Back when California had a three-tier system, it went like this:

    a. Accredited. Schools accredited by recognized agencies did not have to go through any other scrutiny by the State.
    b. Approved. This was programmatic approval, not institutional approval. A school could operate one or more Approved programs while the rest of it was....
    c. Authorized. This was a very low bar. Schools merely had to submit affidavits regarding 13 areas of their operations, and claim at least $50,000 worth of assets invested towards the school.

    There were a lot of innovative schools that came out of this system. And there were quite a few flat-out frauds. But it was fun sorting through them all.

    Under that system, you could have a school like International College. A cool, creative school, it's bachelor's was (at one time) partnered with an accredited school. It offered a master's degree that was Approved. And the rest of the college was Authorized.

    Why say all that? Because California Coast University was the first non-resident, unaccredited university in California to have all of its programs Approved by the state. That ain't nothing. But you cannot expect an author of a news article to make those kinds of distinctions.

    I found it interesting that the author picked up on a little bit of ancient trivia about CCU. CCU started out as California Western University. This name had been abandoned by a school in San Diego which became United States International University, a very innovative RA school, now part of Alliant International University. (The law school was split off in 1975 and continues to use the Cal Western name to this day.) This little bit of name-based shenanigans was not nice. CCU was (eventually) forced to abandon the California Western name in favor of California Coast.

    So there were some good things and some bad things about CCU in its early days. I have to think, though, that the unaccredited CCU and the DEAC-accredited version were quite different. But whatever you make of all this, I don't see where the guy was dishonest or misleading in any way.
    newsongs likes this.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm not so sure Wikipedia is a solid source on its own. Much of what is posted there is sourced elsewhere, but I don't see a citation for that last (and very important) statement. In fact, it does not appear in the Wikipedia entry for CCU.
  9. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think there was a time before DETC/DEAC accreditation when Masters degrees in Psychology from CCU were recognized by the Cal State Board of Behavioral Sciences to seat for the exam and become
    CA state Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist LMFT.

    I don't know how or if their current MSc Psychology degree qualifies for the LMFT.

  10. newsongs

    newsongs Active Member

    LMFT's are required to do practicums and this is not something CCU has ever accommodated to my knowledge. (They perhaps could have done their hours outside of the school). Their doctorates in Psychology did allow graduates to sit the Psychology exam and go on to be licensed as Psychologists in CA after completing their 3000 hours in internships. This is no longer the case - since their PhD or PsyD in psychology are no longer offered.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, the state was quite populated with approved (but unaccredited) counseling master's programs (and quite a few doctoral programs in psychology) that qualified graduates to sit for licensing.

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