US Government Job Acceptance of DL DETC Accredited Schools

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by proracer, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. proracer

    proracer Member

    Does the US Government accept degrees from DL DETC Schools?
    Some jobs require a BS/BA Degree to be accepted for a job.
    Anyone heard of problems with these degrees?

    Thanks, Jim
  2. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    By and large, this is what is going to apply:

    Source: OPM

    In short, NA is fine. The usual language used in vacancy announcements is something along the line of "education must have been obtained at an institution that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education".
  3. BryanOats

    BryanOats New Member

    According to the US Office of Personnel Management - Operating Manual, Qualification Standards for General Schedule Positions, Acceptability of Higher Education for Meeting Minimum Qualification Requirements: "Correspondence or distance learning course work is also acceptable if the applicable school within the institution or applicable curriculum is accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education."

    Retrieved from

    This would suggest that the US Government does accept degrees from DETC accredited schools.
  4. proracer

    proracer Member

    It sure is reassuring that they accept their own accrediting agencies.

    Thanks, Jim
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Not "their own" accrediting agencies. The accrediting agencies they recognize for Title IV purposes, which is a bit different than using them for determining acceptability for hiring purposes.

    For decades, California has approved schools that award degrees unacceptable for entry into state universities and/or state employment.
  6. proracer

    proracer Member

    Is this true about federal employment? As long as the school is accredited by a recognized agency, employment should be no problem. True?

    Thanks, Jim
  7. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    Yes, as long as the education is from any institution accredited by an agency recognized by the Secretary of Education, you'll be fine 99% of the time. I've been reading vacancy announcements for ten years now, and I can't immediately recall a regionally accredited degree ever being mandated outside of some specialized positions such as medical practitioners and teachers. BryanOats and I each posted the link to the specific section of OPM's guidelines pertaining to education.
  8. proracer

    proracer Member

    Thanks, I have been looking at the possibilities of going to work for the Federal Government. The stumbling block is the degree. I have an associates degree from Excelsior. Most all of the jobs that I am interested in require a BA/BS or higher.

  9. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    What jobs?
  10. proracer

    proracer Member

    The job that is of the most interest me at this time is....Contract Specialist GS12.

  11. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I agree. I work for CA State Government. The key term is "Recognized". My RA AA and NA B.S. are "Recognized", as will be my NA MBA when I complete it. Recognized in government simply means recognized by USDOE and CHEA.

  12. I went to a federal job seminar not too long ago, they said that RA is what they look for unless they have something that is in high demand. Even than you might have a hard time getting advanced standing in their pay grades with a NA degree. I am not the authority on this but this is just what they told me, take it or leave it.
  13. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I think this is one of those things that's slowly changing.

    I can remember having emails back and forth with Mike Lambert at DETC, with his arguing that DETC wasn't "second tier" accreditation, and me arguing that it was.

    At the time, almost none of the RA schools were accepting DETC credits (other than through the ACE process) and quite a few employers considered a DETC degree "rinky dink." And let's not forget that DETC shot itself in the foot by accrediting a handful of shoddy schools with shady reputations.

    But... it seems that the tides are changing. I'm sure that originalbigjim's experience would match what a number of employers still say today, but, let's remember that distance learning degrees were for many years considered fraudulent or second tier regardless of their source... and there's pretty wide acceptance for them now.

    I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I think the same is becoming true of DETC-based degrees as well.
  14. Dr Rene

    Dr Rene Member

    The basic requirements for 1102 (Contract Specialist) GS-5 through GS-12 is

    A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with a major in any field;


    At least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.

    For 1102s within the Department of Defense, the following applies:

    Baccalaureate degree from an accredited educational institution authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees


    at least 24 semester hours of coursework in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Seems odd, since that's not how it works. One advances in pay grade by competing for jobs with higher grades. RA vs. NA? Probably not that big of a deal, especially during the HR screening. But a degree from a famous school might give one an advantage at the interview stage.
  16. proracer

    proracer Member

    It seems that the government employer is looking for degrees. BS/BA and even better a masters. Some of the positions require a specialty degree and the job announcement will specify the specialty.

    I looked into the contract position and was well qualified for the position but did not have the degree. As a mater of fact, 3 positions were open and they were filled by people with degrees and with little to no experience in the jobs.

    It looks as if employers are looking for the "educated" candidate. Job experience seems to come in second.

    Rest assured I am taking steps to finish the BS/BA, possibly even the Masters degree.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2008
  17. Dr Rene

    Dr Rene Member

    I believe the Office of Federal Procurement Policy has set the educational requirements for contracting specialist positions in the federal government civilian agencies. The Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act sets the educational requirements for contract specialists in the Department of Defense. The Defense Acquisition University has established partnerships with many schools. Some of these schools are DETC accredited.

    I believe the government typically only acknowledges government experience, as opposed to industry experience, when it comes to the 1102 career field. A graduate degree will allow you to enter at a higher grade---GS 9 or GS 11, depending on the location.

    My suggestion: Complete your BS/BA degree, ensuring you complete the required 24 hours in business courses, then get an 1102 (contract specialist) position in the federal government, then start your graduate degree and have the government pay for it.
  18. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Excellent advice Doc!

  19. proracer

    proracer Member

    Sounds like a winner to me. I have started the ball rolling and should hear about the transfer credits soon.

    Thanks, Jim
  20. makana793

    makana793 New Member

    Do the feds take into consideration things like name recognition or whether or not the school is online or B&M? For example, would graduates from AMU, NCU, Walden or TUI undergo greater scrutiny because of there namesakes?

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