Unaccredited Degrees Are Legal

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by russ, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I've never done that, but I highly suspect that I would be told that since KWU doesn't have a physical presence in Massachusetts, the MA Attorney General does not have jurisdiction over them.

    That may or may not be legally correct, but I suspect it would be more a case of them not having an interest in KWU.
  2. JimS

    JimS New Member

    I appreciate your credentials. But, I think you are making a generalization. Part of the fear of "outing" (which I think you mean something like being forced out of the closet?) is partly because of the way all nontraditional learning is down upon, including good RA distance learning programs.




    You would be correct in assuming a graduate would be afraid of an "outing" if that person felt it had been achieved in some dishonest way, or if the graduate misrepresented their credential. I could see that happening even to a graduate of a RA distance learning program.

    If I am incorrect on the meaning of "outing", please define it for me.

    Best regards,
  3. JimS

    JimS New Member

    Thank you Jake for providing a link to the Wyoming State statutes. I was looking for it. It is exactly like the copy of the Wyoming State statutes that KWU includes with, and is referenced in their enrollment contract.
    I was looking for that hyperlink because I wanted people who criticize Wyoming (for being a haven for diploma mills) to have the opportunity to read the actual requirements. I think Wyoming's requirements for private schools are adequate (especially the faculty requirements, which from my experience KWU exceeds).
  4. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    Not so, according to some former KW"U" employees and "students" at the May 2004 US Senate hearings and GAO investigations:


    "Kennedy-Western was the subject of withering testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, which held hearings on the problems of diploma mills in May.

    "Andrew Coulombe, who was hired by Kennedy-Western as an admissions counselor in 2002, described a rude awakening after arriving for work.

    ""I soon discovered this was like no school I had ever seen. I saw immediately that I had been misled by Kennedy-Western's recruiter. I was not going to be counseling anyone. I had been hired to be a telemarketer, using a script to sell Kennedy-Western just like any other product," Coulombe testified.

    "Lt. Commander Claudia Gelzer of the U.S. Coast Guard investigated Kennedy-Western as part of her assignment to the Committee on Governmental Affairs.

    ""Kennedy-Western courses are not what most of us have experienced at the university level," Gelzer testified. "Instead of structured interaction between professors and fellow students in a classroom, including homework, papers and a series of exams, Kennedy-Western requires students to pass one open-book, multiple-choice test for each class." "
  5. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    See this also.

    "Question from Steve Keuper. Kennedy Western University:

    " Many students at KWU feel that the sales folk have mislead them about accredidation not being so important, is there a way to get our money back?"
  6. JimS

    JimS New Member

    I meant this part of the regulation:
    "For institutions granting bachelors, masters or doctorate degrees, application shall include verification that not less than fifty percent (50%) of instructors employed or contracted by the institution have received a masters or doctorate degree in their respective field of study from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association recognized by the United States department of education"

    As far as I know, all of the faculty at KWU hold Ph.D.s from RA schools. I believe KWU makes a conscious effort to exceed the requirements of its Wyoming license.
  7. JimS

    JimS New Member

    There are also KWU students who do not feel they were misled. You can find disgruntled students and former employees who have made negative claims against any school (including accredited schools such as U.of Phoenix, ITT Tech and Capella). For example:
  8. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    And ...... an official at the Wyoming Department of Education disagrees with you (JimS) also about KW"U". See this.

    "When asked about Kennedy-Western's claims, however, a spokeswoman at the Wyoming Department of Education said the state's licensing procedure was never intended to replace the accreditation process. Legitimate schools are expected to seek accreditation, said Deb Hinckley."
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2005
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    The Lt. Commander Claudia Gelzer of the U.S. Coast Guard investigated Kennedy-Western as part of her assignment to the Committee on Governmental Affairs passed 40% of her required classwork and NEVER once communicated with one of the "professors" that work at this degree mill. It appears typical that very little interaction (if any?) with professors ever takes place at this scam. The list of professors at this place appears to serve the same role as the list of professors at all diploma mills, as part of the deception, part of the game to deceive people into believing that it is a university.

    Let's talk about the KWU committee that reviews applicants? Do you believe the testimony of the counselor that said that he was a telemarketer and not a counselor? Do you believe his testimony that he knew of no one that was ever turned down? Do you believe people that have said that they had zero degrees and were apparently "accepted" into a KWU doctorate program? What did KWU tell you about your application review, Jim?

    You were a victim of this scam in more ways than one, Jim.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2005
  10. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well, I have zero interaction with the professors who prepared my course syllibii at the University of London...does that make my future (subjunctive tense implying doubt about eventual completion) LL.M. a fake?

    That's the thing I can't reconcile about KW. As I understand it, all of the doctoral work is subjected to to evaluation and (I suppose) approval of R/A Ph.D. holders.

    Now, are these apparently otherwise legitimate scholars prostituting themselves? Or is a KW doctorate more legitimate (or perhaps less fraudulent) than we suppose?

    Notice please, that I do not extend my doubts to the institution itself. I don't like their advertising claims and for me, at least, that's enough to condemn the school.
  11. Jake_A

    Jake_A New Member

    And therein lies the brilliance and genius (or, one could say, cunning) of the KW"U" owners and investors.

    They (the KW"U" owners, etc) have crafted the program to require some semblance of academic work (1 final paper plus 4 courses could get one a Bachelors degree, a Masters, or even a doctorate - compared, traditionally, to at least, 40 courses for a Bachelors, 20 or more additional courses for a Masters, and many more, for a doctorate plus properly monitored and evaluated thesis/dissertations).

    In this sense, and only this sense, KW"U" appears on the surface not to be an outright diploma mill.

    At the same time, KW"U" provides an avenue for a "student" to earn a "degree" by ensuring that said "student" breaks little or no sweat, takes the fewest, easiest, and arguably the most painless route to a college "degree" (1 and only 1 open-book exam per course, period).

    KW"U" has zero, zilch, nada published, accessible, and independently-evaluatable processes for reviewing and assigning credit for work experience or past experience or life experience or whetever experiences one claims on one's admission forms.

    KW"U" has zero, zilch, nada published, accessible, and independently-evaluatable monitoring processes to ensure that the taker of that one open-book, online exam is the actual "student" and not a paid or family-member or friend stand-in.

    Yes, KW"U" claims on its website and in its glossy catalogs to have many faculty with RA PhD's. To my knowledge, no one anywhere has ever verified or independently-assessed the veracity of such claims.

    But let us grant KW"U" that one fact: that it has RA PhD faculty. There are no published, accessible, and independently-evaluatable verification processes to ensure that these faculkty actually teach any "student" anything or even grades the tests.

    Sure, the tests ARE graded - by someone - but who knows who?

    Sure, KW"U" claims that any "student" could request a tutorial (that is, submit a question/receive an answer) from a faculty member at any time but, holy of holies, this is totally voluntary, and is not required!

    A "student" may or may not seel faculty assistance. Having zero interactions with faculty will NOT prevent one from getting that Bachelors or Masters or doctoral "degree."

    Now, Nosborne, when you say "I have zero interaction with the professors who prepared my course syllibii ......" I am not sure what you mean. No feedback at all? No mail? No email? No grading/review of work or progress? No nothing? I somehow doubt that such is the case.

    Is it not required by your London faculty that you, at least, MUST spend a certain amount of DOCUMETABLE AND VERIFIABLE time on tasks ansd activities working towards your degree?

    No such luck at KW"U."

    Come to think of it, Nosborne, you should have enrolled for a PhD in Criminal Justice (or some such) from KW"U." You would not have had to worry about any of this. Not required!

  12. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    If a degree falls in the cyber forest...
  13. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that each student "report" done as the final step for each KWU degree is reviewed by one KWU professor. No one has ever reported that KWU has anything similar to the doctorate defense process that standard doctorate candidates go through.

    Regarding the "prostitute" question, my personal opinion is yes, at least for those that stick around for more than one year.

    Regarding your first question, those comments of mine were in direct response to Jim's statements implying that KWU professors were top grade. The point was supposed to be if the student has so little interaction with them then it seems that their quality or lack of would seem to be rather irrelevant.
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I have to be "in residence", that is, continuously registered, for a minimum of two years.

    I am not permitted to contact University faculty with academic questions. That's why I signed up with Law Tutors On Line.

    No coursework is set or marked by the University. There are no lectures or tuition sessions. There ARE exhaustive, structured study guides written by the various professors.

    HOWEVER, I am evaluated in common with all other internal and external LL.M. students when I take my course examinations, one exam for each of four subjects. One retake per subject is permitted.

    The method of evaluation, one final exam consisting of a handful of essay questions, is very common, even universal in American and English law schools, and probably Canada as well.

    The London External program makes better sense if one understands the structure of an English University. Degree candidates from all of the constituant colleges are examined by the University's Chief Examiner in each subject. Thus, the evaluation comes from outside the college and is completely blind and objective. Also terrifying.

    I was not in any way justifying KW. But I have an admittedly nasty habit of trying to see things as clearly as possible...probably the defense lawyer in me!
  15. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    KW Question

    The title of this thread is "Unaccredited Degrees Are Legal". This is certainly true in some cases; for example, the State of Wyoming clearly allows Kennedy-Western to issue degrees legally. But there are other cases where it appears that unaccredited degrees are not legal. Consider the nearby State of North Dakota, and the info presented here:

    Kennedy-Western, even though it is state-licensed, does not appear to meet the criteria for "a legitimate institution of higher education" in North Dakota. And the law stipulates significant penalties for using or issuing non-legitimate degrees:

    It seems as though Kennedy-Western could be putting itself at legal risk by issuing its degrees to North Dakotans. Yet the Kennedy-Western website explicitly indicates that institutions in North Dakota have provided tuition reimbursements for Kennedy-Western degrees. Is this an oversight on the part of their legal department? Wouldn't it be more prudent to avoid issuing degrees to North Dakota residents (just as they avoid California and Oregon residents)?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2005
  16. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: KW Question

    I assume that KWU will now be able to sell degrees to people with an Oregon address. I assume this because of the recently reached agreement between KWU and the Oregon state attorney.

    KWU doesn't exist in North Dakota so I doubt that they are very worried. They stopped selling to Oregon addresses only after they were contacted by the ODA. It would be most prudent (IMHO) for KWU to stop operating all together. I suspect that an interested prosecuting attorney could likely get convictions if they did prosecute. I assume though that it would have to be done in California though. California is where KWU actually operates from. However, since Californians aren't victims, no victims are complaining to their state government within California.
  17. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    sylly me

    I don't think Fowler has a category of phony Latinisms, but the so-called word "syllabi" certainly belongs in it. We all use it alot (misspelled to deflect charge of elitism), but "syllabuses" has a lot (there, now that's better) more dignity.

    I fear that "syllibii" means something really bad in Mordvinian or Vogul or some other Finno-Ugric language, but I'm basking in nervous ignorance.

    As you were.
  18. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    There you go, look no further for a difference. Fear of failure does not seem nearly as compatible with the KWU program. Although testimony was that KWU does like to have their counselors (AKA telemarketers) warn the applicants (AKA victims) that they will probably not be accepted. This apparently makes the applicants (AKA victims) much more likely to enroll (AKA fall for the scam) later.
  19. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Re: sylly me


  20. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I certainly did NOT misspell the word to avoid appearing elitist.

    MY misspelling arose from a combination of pomposity and ignorance!

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