US Online University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by BillDayson, Feb 3, 2001.

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  1. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I was just trying to reach the US Open University's website, and I
    typed in:
    http://www.usou.edu/

    Which took me to something called the United States Online University in that amazing hotbed of higher education, South Dakota.

    Its accreditation page reads:

    "UNITED STATES ONLINE UNIVERSITY
    is accredited by the
    International Association of
    Schools, Colleges and
    Universities (IASCU) in
    Switzerland. IASCU is an
    independent, nonprofit
    accrediting association who
    recognizes traditional and
    distance learning institutions.
    IASCU is not listed by the United States Department of Education."

    Never heard of it. It's good that they tell us that the USDoE
    doesn't recognize it, but why do
    they claim it in the first place?
    They go on:

    "UNITED STATES ONLINE UNIVERSITY
    will seek accreditation from the
    Accrediting Commission of the
    Distance Education and Training
    Council (DETC), a nationally
    recognized accrediting agency
    listed by the United States
    Department of Education."

    They claim partnerships with a lot of firms I have never heard of, but among them is the University of Southern Queensland. I don't have a clue what that means. Probably USQ has a DL consulting arm that these people have contracted with.

    They don't offer doctorates, which is a plus in my opinion. And they aren't offering programs in every subject under the sun. They talk about realistic sounding course and thesis requirements, although they sneak in a reference to life experience credit as well.

    Another interesting feature is that they seem very interested in selling themselves as a software and consulting service. Given their professional webpage design, I'd say that there is more behind this than behind most of the South Dakota schools.

    Frankly, I'm not sure what to make of it.
     
  2. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Very interesting. They seem fairly legitimate, but the unrecognized accreditation is a cause for concern. Doesn't the DETC get quite annoyed if a school announces they are seeking their accreditation? We didn't hear a peep from either American Military or Columbia Southern until they were actually accredited.
     
  3. Looking around their website a bit, I think they seem fairly fishy.

    First, claiming accreditation from an unrecognized entity is a bad sign. A quick Google search turned up some other schools claiming IASCU accreditation: Internet Bible College, Newport University, Vision Bible College, Westbrook University. Not great company. And searching did not turn up a website for IASCU itself -- though I did find a picture of Newport University's certification of accreditation at http://www.instation.it/newporti/iascu.html

    USOU also uses the URL http://www.itd2000.com/ -- according to its history page, "The University entered into a strategic alliance with the Institute of Training and Development, Inc." This must have been pretty easy to set up, as we learn on the president's page that Herbert J. Kellner, Ph.D. is President and CEO of both USOU and the Institute of Training and Development. -- and that he "served as a Professor of Communications at Clayton University, established by the faculty of Harvard University." You can find this fine institution at http://www.culhk.com/

    The faculty page claims the "core faculty is a group of dedicated, outstanding professionals" and that there is "also an extended faculty of several hundred professors from prestigious universities around the globe" -- but they don't name a single one. And even with these hundreds of faculty, they have an invitation to contact them if you'd like to become a member of the faculty.

    The contact page gives the address as P.O. Box 131765, Carlsbad, California 92013.
     
  4. JimCarlson

    JimCarlson New Member

    Well the US Open University is located at http://open.edu .

    The US Online University has no connection with the Open University. The accreditation is the first concern but looking at the school leadership it would seem to be run by both qualified and credible educational professionals with experience in some forms of distance education (with the possible exception of the academic affairs dept).

    The majority seem to be from Germany and not all of the administration indicate where they received their degrees. This is of course assuming the information on the web site is correct.

    A concern are the programmes themselves as described on the web site. A Masters can be completed with 30 semester credits beyond a Bachelors. This is not a standard for masters. No mention of testing or disertation requirements is also concerning. These 2 points alone are enough for me to question the academic quality of the postgraduate programmes offered.

    It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

    Best regards,

    Jim Carlson MA ODE
     
  5. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    I think that 30 semester hours for a Master's degree is pretty much inline with the norm. When I looked at Master's programs (Criminal Justice), the schools (all RA) had the following credit requirements;

    Boston University-36
    Suffolk University-30
    University of Massachusetts-33
    Anna Maria College-30
    Western New England College-36
     
  6. mcqueary

    mcqueary New Member

    I like the "IASCU" acronym, phoenetically speaking. Just think: "IASCU: why do you think this accreditation is useful?"

    Larry
     
  7. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

     
  8. Frangop

    Frangop New Member

    Well, just to further confuse the issue,
    USOU claims that Uni of Southern Queensland (AN ACCREDITED AUSTRALIAN UNI)is one of its strategic partners. http://www.usou.edu/html/USOU/partners.html

    CFr
     

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