University of Atlanta's new accreditor

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Steve King, Jan 19, 2014.

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  1. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Active Member

    You can have a baseline prereview straight away. Credential evaluation is not an exact science, so different credential evaluators may come to different conclusions about the same academic qualification. In addition to obvious things like recognition/accreditation status of the awarding institution there are tother hings that are taken into consideration, such as the purpose of recognition – academic or vocational – the higher education system of the country in which the degree was awarded and the place of the award in that system. Content and length of an educational program may be considered important – for example, according to ECE in Milwaukee, a three-year bachelor's degree from a European country corresponds to three years of undergraduate work but is not comparable to a US bachelor, because it's a year shorter. In many European countries on the other hand, a US bachelor is considered comparable to a European Bologna degree, but a student wouldn't be able to transfer more than a handful of Freshman year credits, because in the opinion of European NARICs and universities, first-year courses at a US university are comparable to high school level courses in their own systems.

    ASIC is legitimate, no doubt about that, but at my office we don't take ASIC accreditation into consideration because we see it as, let's say superfluous. Others take a different view, which is perfectly OK as far as we're concerned: if an institution is of the opinion that ASIC's accreditation process is rigorous and gives added value, I'd respect that.

    We require US universities to be regionally accredited, and of UK universities to be recognized bodies. However, we're free to admit students with degrees from nationally accredited US universities too, if we find think they've graduated from a good university accredited by a reliable national accrediting agency. If the university doesn't have any form of accreditation in the US, only ASIC accreditation like YUIN University, then our interpretation is that ASIC is of the opinion that the university has acceptable standard, but that's all. We won't evaluate any credentials on the grounds that the university doesn't have acceptable accreditation.

    Re Horizons University and the International Business School of Scandinavia: I see that they are so-called academic partners with at least one professor in common. However, IBSS is not a recognized higher Education institution in Denmark, a country in which any establishment can award degrees legally. IBSS is legitimate and the qualifications may be useful for vocational purposes but they have little or no academic value in Denmark and are not recognized by the state. The same applies to Horizons University and the fact that both institutions are accredited by ACBSP and ASIC doesn't influence our decisions on credential evaluation much. They're legitimate, can award degrees, but they're not formally parts of the higher education system in Denmark and France.

    This also applies to Wroxton College. It's neither a listed nor a recognized body in the UK but it's in the list of schools approved by the UK Border Agency to sponsor foreign students under the Tier4 system. ASIC was originally set up to inspect these schools for quality, so in my opinion it makes some sense that ASIC has accredited Wroxton College. It is however not part of the higher education system of the UK.

    Why ASIC started to accredit schools outside the UK is something we've been asking us for a while: our interpretation is that it is because they can, legally, want to and that there is a market for it. That's fine, and we respect those who value ASIC accreditation. Given the fact that credential evaluation isn't an exact science, I find it entirely possible that some evaluators will come to the conclusion that ASIC accreditation is valuable.

    Not that there haven't been notable landmines in the ASIC accreditation field. At one point in time, ASIC accredited a college whose principal (I think) was a graduate of the International University of Fundamental Studies and a prominent figure in the government of the Dominion of Melchizedek and until quite recently ASIC accredited a college which was an affiliate of West Coast University, Panama, and the World Information Distributed University in Russia. Although no longer listed in the ASIC directory of colleges, the college still displays the ASIC accreditation letter on its website.

    The College referred to in that UK Government news item about ASIC (link posted above), the London International College of Management was, to the best of my knowledge, accredited by ASIC, but later ended up on the UK Border Agency's list of suspended colleges and is now closed as far as I know.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2015
  2. potpourri

    potpourri New Member

    If you look at the University of Atlanta's tuition one would be absolutely foolish to pay such a high rate of tuition both at the undergraduate and graduate level. One could earn a degree from a regionally accredited institution at much less cost.

    I don't know why University of Atlanta decided not to keep DEAC accreditation but my guess is that there were some issues that they had with the school and that is why they didn't keep it.

    Please make sure to update your information the national accrediting agency is no longer DETC, formerly Distance Education and Training Council, but it is now DEAC, Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
     
  3. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    DEAC (DETC) under new director increased their requirements and made it harder to qualify for DETC accreditation.

    As a result some colleges lost accreditation or chose not to renew it.

    My friend who graduated from one such college that closed its doors in 2014 is not to happy now.

    His approach was to look at it as an opportunity so he went to another University to earn additional degree. He was accepted in to leading MBA AACSB accredited program.
     
  4. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Looks like the University of Atlanta is not accredited by anyone anymore. They are gone from the ASIC directory, and the school's accreditation page is now written in the well-known millish speak we've all heard before:

    UOFA Accreditation, Licensing & Memberships

    I don't know if they were dropped by ASIC or if they chose to withdraw, but if they were dropped I have to wonder how bad you'd have to be to get dropped by ASIC? Geez...
     
  5. b4cz28

    b4cz28 New Member


    They just moved it to the "Partner section"

    University of Atlanta Partners

    I attended this school for a very short time while they had DETC accreditation. It was the worst education experience of my life. No one could tell me how to complete course, I would turn in papers and they would be sent back with insane notes to rewrite for no reason. I followed directions to the letter and it was like fighting a river upstream.

    I posted some of the awful examples of the assignment directions and nonsense they expect us to figure out with zero instructor help on here at one time but it was removed. They had one paper marker/grader for the entire school--hundreds of students-one grader. I managed to speak to the poor Indian guy one time and he claimed he never sent my papers back to me, he had never seen them. I have to say, something very bad had to have gone down for them to gain accreditation. If they sent the courses to the DEAC for approval and it was the same material the students received, someone got paid.

    I ended up getting a full refund and then some to withdraw my DEAC complaint, my BBB complaint, my USDE complaint and my State of Georgia complaint.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2017
  6. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Taking the glass half-full approach, maybe that's a positive sign for ASIC?
     
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    As B4 noted, the ASIC verbiage has simply been moved to the Partner page, which says, "The University of Atlanta is accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC). The University has earned Premier status with ASIC for its commendable areas of operation."
     
  8. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I'm just guessing, but perhaps Georgia has a clause in its private post-secondary licensing law that says that schools can't advertise that they are accredited unless the accreditation meets some standard, defined somewhere in the law.

    California requires that accreditors must be recognized by the US Dept of Education. Maybe Georgia does the same.
     
  9. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The University of Atlanta is no longer listed at the ASIC website. The University of Atlanta's website once had ASIC logos peppered around the site, all are now gone. UofA's accreditation page once directly stated that they were accredited by ASIC with the last known date being Sep. 1st, 2016:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160901024619/https://uofa.edu/aboutus/accreditation/

    ... and that language + the ASIC logo has all been removed from that page since then.

    I don't believe the accreditation language was moved to the partner page, I believe it 's been there since they were accredited and they simply haven't removed it (Oversight? Indifference?) with the earliest archived date being Jan. 24, 2013:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20130124070349/http://www.uofa.edu:80/partnerProgram.asp

    Taking all of that information into account, I don't believe The University of Atlanta is accredited by anyone anymore.

    BONUS TWIST: The above accreditation page links for UofA show no accreditation, but this page listed on Google does: Accreditation, Licensing - Accredited Online Degree - UNIVERSITY OF ATLANTA

    I don't think it means they're still accredited, I just think it means they haven't done their spring cleaning.
     
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Thanks, LearningAddict. Maybe ASIC did kick them out.
     
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    However it happened, they are definitely no longer accredited by ASIC. Not for quite some time, as I remember. You can check the ASIC page yourself. International Colleges Directory | ASIC This school has been linked in the media to the Axact scam - Pakistan. Something about that here: Man spends Dh250,000 on fake degree | GulfNews.com

    ASIC also rescinded its accreditation of California Paramount U. after something like 40 days. That one has been AXACT-linked in the media, too. Sample here: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/23/world/asia/pakistan-widens-inquiry-into-fake-diplomas.html?_r=1

    A quote: "Mary, a businesswoman in Dubai who wanted to be identified only by part of her name, said she spent $210,000 with Paramount California University in the hope of a genuine third-level business qualification..."

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2017
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    A third Axact-related "school" that was accredited by ASIC for a brief while was Orlando University. There are two schools by that exact same name: a legit but unaccredited school that deals in grad. degrees and an Axact-related school. The Axact one was ASIC-accredited for a brief while - the site is still up: www-dot-orlandouniversity-dot-com. Media attention on that one too. Fake degree scam reaches Kuwait - Kuwait Times | Kuwait Times

    J.
     
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    From Kizmet's Axact news roundup today:

    FBI: Had he (Umair Hamid of Axact) heard of University of Atlanta?
    Hamid: Yes, Akber Mithani rented the domain for that university to Axact.

    I believe Akber Mithani is the father of the Mithani Brothers, Nick and Alex, who ran U. of Atlanta. IIRC, Akber or his corporation financed the purchase of the former Barrington U for his sons. It was re-branded as University of Atlanta and subsequently accredited by DETC. 5 years later, accreditation was not renewed. It was soon thereafter accredited by ASIC...

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2017

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