Unaccredited Degrees Before Accreditation

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by russ, May 21, 2005.

  1. russ

    russ New Member

    There are thousands of people who obtained their legitimate degrees in schools before the school was officially accredited who are running around with unaccredited degrees. The state of Oregon has taken the position (consistent with many others) that your degree is only legitimate if you graduated after the school became accredited. Those who graduated before the school was accredited are out of luck.

    The fact is that every school starts out unaccredited and then has the option to pursue accreditation if they wish. There is no law or federal requirement that any school must become accredited. Students attending these schools during this time are like all other college students - serious about their studies and wanting to improve their desireability in the job market.

    It is wrong that the state of Oregon considers these degrees lacking in credibility with any other degree. It is also wrong that many on this board consider all unaccredited degrees as shams. Both of these positions are untenable.

    Since the states have the power to grant degree authority, there should be a uniform state law that is passed by all 50 states creating a minimal standard for any higher education institution to grant a degree. Accreditation could be added on top of degree authority as a kicker but not as the minimal standard or part of the uniform law. If such a law were passed, all states would be on the same ground in accepting degrees whether accredited or not.

    No, this is not the same as accreditation. Accreditation is regional, national and anyone can form their own private accreditation agency. This would be a state statute enacted by all 50 states and would only apply minimal standards.

    I (and Milton Freidman) would prefer the private sector determine the value or not of a degree with no statutory or other authority giving credence as the best plan. For those who argue that there must be some governmental standard, this seems to be a reasonable secondary solution.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Please don't feed the troll.
  3. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Mmmm... wouldn't that be nice. Just this once -- and maybe every other time this knucklehead spreads misinformation from now on -- wouldn't it be nice if everyone just ignored him and, therefore, his thread quickly fell to the bottom of the pile...

    ...where it belongs.

    Anyone who reads enough threads around here gets it and probably doesn't need to re-read it yet again here.

    Yes. Indeed. Please, everyone... this time, don't feed the troll. Don't even do what I've just stupidly done and comment on it, because that just keeps the thread alive. Let it die... as it deserves.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2005
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Just out of curiosity, where is the "misinformation" in his current post?
  5. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I suppose so.

    Some states make their approval to operate conditional on schools becoming accredited within a prescribed time-frame. If the school hasn't achieved at least pre-accredited status in the required amount of time, their approval is revoked.

    If people on this board think that, it's a minority opinion.

    I think that most of us do consider most non-accredited degrees to be shams. But I think that most of us also think that some non-accredited degrees are credible. But even the credible non-accredited degrees are apt to suffer from serious utility problems and probably should only be chosen by students who know what they are doing.

    Why should we do that when we already have accreditation? Want a uniform standard? Stick to RA. Problem solved.

    Ah, now I see. It's that last sentence. You want university standards lowered.

    Then why in the world were you just calling for new regulatory legislation in all of the 50 states?

    What's wrong with the voluntary and private-sector accreditation system?
  6. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Well, there's two things in there that might qualify as misinformation. The first is in paragraph 3 where russ states, "It is wrong..." This is clearly an opinion yet he states it as if it were a fact. Now I understand that the entire post is russ' opinion so in that context it's clear that the "In my opinion" part that was ommitted is understood (at least by me). The second piece of misinformation comes to us in the very next sentence. As Bill stated, I do not believe that most people on this forum believe that all unaccredited degrees are shams and I would challenge russ to prove this "fact." Of course, russ never answers his critics and so it's probably a bit silly to even offer the challenge. In any case, his use of the word "many" in this sentence allows him some wiggle room. How many is many? Could 5 be considered many? Considering that there are over 7,000 registered members, could 1% be considered to be "many." Can russ find 70 registered members of this forum that believe that there is not a single legitimate unaccredited university in the US. No, he can't. Can he find 5? No, he can't. Beyond all that, his idea of having all 50 states pass the identical piece of legislation is just silly. While, in theory, it could be done, in reality it'll never happen. My support for such legislation would depend entirely on the details but in general, I would have no problem with the general concept of a single national standard.
  7. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Which is, in part, why we all -- me included -- should have just left it alone, as Rich wisely suggested. But, alas, here we are.

    Oh, well... since we're here anyway... GROUP ON RUSS! ;)

    (just kidding... er... well... sort of)

    Good points, Jack... as usual. And you, too, Bill.

    I can't add anything -- at least at this point -- that's better.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Please don't feed the troll. All of this has been covered many times, and the troll is utterly unresponsive, except to post more drivel. Nothing new here.

    Please don't feed the troll.
  9. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    I understand what you're saying and I don't even really disagree but the "don't feed the troll," philosophy creates a problem, at least in the context of this forum. It allows the trolls or other denizens of the dark, to put information on the forum and the lack of a response/challenge could easily be viewed by many (especially newbies) as tacit acceptance or agreement with that information. I think that it is possible to make minimal responses that indicate the lack of acceptance/agreement, that avoid protracted arguments and avoid personal attacks. This would serve the purpose of providing a factual counterpoint to the trollinfo so that newbies and others are not actively misinformed. This is not an actual starvation diet but a fairly dull bread and water diet. It is a compromise strategy but overall may serve the purposes of the forum better. Just my opinion.
  10. Morgan Khanstein

    Morgan Khanstein New Member

    Shocked, disappointed, saddened

    Rich, I'm SHOCKED, DISAPPOINTED AND TRULY SADDENED by your ad hominem attack on Russ.

    I hope this forum doesn't become an ideological "goose-stepping," "mud-slinging" forum. I would hope that we might aspire to maintain dialogue and respect for each other's views.

    Certainly, I respect your work in the field of DL, your positions, opinions and contributions. I believe that Russ respects your views as well, otherwise why spend the time engaging in dialogue - which requires listening and speaking.

    Let's remember that a forum such as this remains interesting because of the back and forth. The surest way to bring an end to degree info is to have one opinion dominate and end the discussion. In fact, I believe that this forum calls for the "endless" discussion. If you don't have the heart any more, I'm sorry...
  11. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Shocked, disappointed, saddened

    Yes, but there is the rub, Russ does not participate in dialogue. He makes statements but won't typically repond to questions or even requests for clarifications. He makes false statements (typically misrepresenting what others have said) and ignores requests to back up or clarify his statements. He then comes back and starts up a new thread repeating all his same refuted points.

    Another question is, do we ignore or respond to the tenth itteration? My inclination is to agree with Jack. However, I'm happy to try a new technique. ;)
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thank you, Jack!

  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I used to be of the mind that every time someone like "russ" posted such nonsense, it was a public service to refute it. But it never ends; he just posts the same things again. Better to just point this out. Saying "don't feed the troll" sends a message that others reading this thread feel his posts are nonsense.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: Shocked, disappointed, saddened

    Referring to an anonymous flame-thrower who never, ever backs up his wild assertions a troll is hardly an ad hominem. After all, one cannot attack a fake persona--and we don't really know that "russ" actually exists--beyond his author's imagination. There is no "person" in the "of the person" ("ad hominem").

    Not feeding trolls is a very common aspect of netiquette. You act as if I'm the only person who's ever said such a thing. Not feeding trolls is one way to maintain civility on a discussion board.

    Endless discussion? Endless, yes. But "discussion"? Hardly. "russ" never supports what he says. It's not a discussion. Instead, it's one troll posting the same nonsensical drivel and waiting for the inevitable response. This is how he gets his kicks. I chose to post a little, one-sentence response. If you don't like it, tough.
  15. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    ad homunculos

    Two trolls, two words:

    La dracu.
  16. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Another non-issue from the "mill shills"

    I strongly support accreditation, but I would be willing to consider possible improvements to the current system. It does strike me as unfair that graduates of legitimate, but newly-established, schools cannot earn "accredited" degrees, even if their schools are accredited shortly afterwards with flying colors. Examples of new, as-yet-unaccredited schools include California State University Channel Islands, California State University Monterey Bay, the University of California at Merced, and the Olin College of Engineering.

    But in practice, I see no evidence that this is a significant issue (despite the efforts here to make it one). For example, CSUCI and CSUMB graduates have already started entering the workplace with "unaccredited" degrees; yet the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization -- the most active anti-diploma mill agency in the US -- hasn't bothered to put these schools on their infamous list of unacceptable degree providers. It appears that the ODA is willing to turn a blind eye to "unaccredited" degrees from legitimate new schools. And if the ODA isn't concerned, I doubt that anyone else is either.

    If there really was a problem, it could be addressed without federal legislation, simply by making regional accreditation retroactive. Retroactive accreditation is clearly feasible, because ABET (the national accreditor for engineering programs) has a retroactive accreditation policy. And ABET accreditation is even more rigorous and respected than regional accreditation.
  17. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Another non-issue from the "mill shills"

    Actually, it would be an extremely simple matter for an Oregon resident with one of these degrees to get the ODA to approve their degree. The troll likes to ignore the obvious, though.
  18. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: Another non-issue from the "mill shills"

    CSU Monterey Bay is now fully accredited by WASC. CSU Channel Islands has been granted candidacy status.


    UC Merced is scheduled to open in Fall 2005 and I expect it to have preaccreditation status by the time it graduates its first student.


    I think that's the way that it usually works with the more credible of the new schools. They are designed with accreditation in mind and they don't linger around for a long time as a non-accredited school.
  19. Morgan Khanstein

    Morgan Khanstein New Member

    Re: Re: Shocked, disappointed, saddened


    You don't actually believe that, do you? Your logic would open the door to anyone who wants to be threatening and abusive of others here.

    It's funny how whenever a defender of UA schools does get a little rough, all you RA Knights and Zealots begin squeeling like a lot of little Hobbits at the first sight of a dragon.;)
  20. Morgan Khanstein

    Morgan Khanstein New Member


    I would not endorse a national standard. Although you aren't endorsing this, I think the role of the Federal government should be somewhat limited (especially at this time in history). Thus, we need to strengthen state rights at this time.

    An alternative to establishing a national minimum standard is to have all states create tiers (from provisionally approved to fully approved). This would allow for new schools with low funding to start up and run, and it would also allow for experimental models to operate in good standing without having to pursue regional accreditation.

    When I think of quality assurance I envision a pyramid:

    At the base is the student and his/her individual commitment to excellence (study, reading, integration of concepts to life and profession);

    At level 2 is the instructor’s commitment to provide quality mentoring, feedback, guidance, etc;

    Level 3 is the instructor’s professional engagement in his/her field (e.g. membership in professional organizations, presentation at conferences, publication, etc)

    Level 4 is the institution’s mechanisms and resources, i.e. graduation requirements, record keeping, outside departmental reviews, library (or access to material), etc.

    Level 5 (the top of the pyramid – and smallest guarantee of quality) is the institution’s affiliations (including, but not limited to, regional or national accreditation).

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