Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ShotoJuku, May 14, 2008.
Does anyone have any info on or as to what is the USDLA?
The USDLA is an organization of schools which offer or will offer distance learning programs. There are no real standards for admission, and USDLA membership is NOT accreditation or anything close to it.
USDLA membership of a school should not be construed as an indicator of quality academics, any more than AAA membership is indicative of one's driving skills.
Thank You Sir!!
Most of their members are bogus schools.
Would that include CSU (SCUps)?
I don't see that institute on their site. But here are the list
• American Intercontinental University (AIU),
Hoffman Estates, IL
• American Public University Systems, Charlestown, WV
• Berkeley College, West Paterson, NJ
• Capella University, Minneapolis, MN
• Grantham University, Slidell, LA
• IDL Systems, Boston, MA
• Monroe College, Bronx, NY
• Pioneer Telephone Cooperative Inc., Kingfisher, OK
• Sessions Online School of Design, New York, NY
• Allied Health Institute , Fort Lauderdale, FL
• Almeda University, Boise, ID
• American States University, Norwalk, CA
• Atlantic International University, Honolulu, HI
• Barrington University, Mobile, AL
• Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC
• Education Resources Services DBA
American Northeaststate University, Union City, CA
• Association of International Education Assessors (AIEA), Murfreesboro, TN
• Dorcas University, Honolulu, HI
• DOXA International University, Coral Springs, FL
• Educations Systems DBA John Adams High School, Edina, MN
• InterAmerican University, Washington, DC
• Institute of Construction Management & Technology,
• JLF University, Miramar, FL
• Madison University, Gulfport, MS
• Midwest Missouri University,St Louis,MO, USA
• St Clements University, Niue - South Pacific
• St. James Business College LTD, Washington, DC
• Stratford Career Institute, St. Albans, VT
• University of Central California, City of Industry, CA
• The American University in London, London, England
• Novus University Law School, Palmdale, CA
• Washington American Global University, Wilmington, DE
• AMDG, Metairie, LA
• All American University
• American Central University, Wilmington, DE
• American International University, Lexington, KY
• Bethany Divinty College, Dothan, AL
• Camden University, Wilmington, DE
• Carribean Training Education Center, Miami, FL
• Central Pacific University, Honolulu, HI
• College of the Humanities and Sciences, Tempe, AZ
• Dorcas University, Honolulu, HI and El Monte, CA
• Farrington University, Henderson, NV
• Hartford University, St. Paul, MN
• Keystone University, Seoul, Korea
• Lacrosse University, Bay St. Louis, MS
• London Institute of Technology and Research, London, England
• Lifetime Career Schools, Archbald, PA
• Melville College, Guyana
(Flight Attendant Training School)
• Mist University, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
• National University Virtual High School, LA Jolla, CA
• Pacific Natioinal University for Professional Studies,
North Butler, NJ
• The Queens University of Brighton, Berkeley, CA
• Trinity Distance Learning Foundation, Wilmington, DE
• Saint Regis University, Wilmington, DE
• South California Polytechnic University, Taiwan
• University of Northwest, Howard Beach, NY
• Washington International University, King of Prussia, PA
The USDLA does have an accreditation division (DLAB). Only one school has gone through the accreditation process with them. That is the Clayton College of Natural Health...or something like that. The school is now accredited by the USDLA.
There are a lot of questionable schools that are members of the USDLA. However, the USDLA does make sure that it is known on the site that those schools are not accredited by any US DoE recognized agency or the USDLA itself. I would like to see the USDLA no longer accepting membership of questionable schools.
When the USDLA decided to go into the accreditation business, I wrote them to inquire whether or not they would be accrediting schools otherwise not accredited by recognized agencies. They did not respond to repeated inquiries. We now know the answer.
It is deceptive to "accredit" academic institutions with "accreditation" that is not recognized by CHEA or the USDoE when such schools are otherwise without such recognized accreditation.
It is also redundant, since we already have a recognized accreditor of DL-only schools (DETC). One would think that if Clayton-the-Diploma-Mill-or-Whatever was substantive, it would have sought recognized accreditation. One might also think the USDLA would have standards high enough that such otherwise-unaccredited schools would not meet them. One would be wrong on both counts.
I'm sorry for the USDLA. This is a bad thing.
I respectfully disagree. Who says the feds have to be the ultimate source of determining academic legitimacy? Besides, if that were inherently deceptive, then no new accreditor could ever arise and that doesn't strike me as a very healthy accreditation ecology.
Why is that bad? Do you think that of Equis, AMBA, AACSB, and ACBSP there should only be one? If not, what's the difference?
That's probably true, and I'm not trying to say that USDLA accreditation is meaningful or that Clayton is legitimate. I just think your arguments are too broad here.
They're broad because this is a discussion board, not an academic paper.
It's deceptive because "accreditation" has a very specific connotation among consumers of higher education, and USDLA accreditation fails to rise to that level.
The "not-yet-recognized" argument is interesting, but accrediting Clayton is no way to go about getting recognized.
As for redundancy, those other agencies you mention aren't solely in the business of accrediting DL schools. DETC is, and so is USDLA.
What is the USDLA's rationale for opening up a new accreditor doing the same sort of thing the DETC does?
AMBA and Equis have distinctives in their roots in the British and Continental European business school communities, ACBSP as an accreditor of choice for teaching-oriented programs contrasts with the AACSB's focus on research, and IACBE has their criteria based on student and organizational outcomes. What need was the DETC not meeting that DLAB seeks to meet?
I don't know anything about Clayton College or whatever it is. But what Rich posted about new accrediting agencies doesn't make much sense. The DETC had to start somewhere, the ACICS had to start somewhere, the APA had to start somewhere. The USDLA's DLAB was a continuation of the GATE accreditation started many years ago. I know Madison University enquired about the DLAB accreditation a couple of years ago but didn't meet any of the standards and didn't pursue. So that speaks for something. At least it is not a WAUC.
Blackboard, the online format that many regionally accredited universities use is a member of the USDLA. Should Blackboard be associated with such a devious association?
Is DETC suppose to be the only DL accrediting agency ever?
All the regionals accredit schools which have DL programs, so the answer is obviously no.
I do think it's a bit suspect for the USDLA, with their membership roster packed with less-than-wonderful schools, to start an accrediting branch which is essentially redundant to what DETC has been doing for many years already.
Robbie - I sent you a PM.
Can anyone find the publication of their accrediting standards on their web site. I looked and all I saw was the high level "Principles...".
A good place to start is accrediting good programs and/or schools. Clayton is not that.
USDLA could avoid all of this by accrediting schools' programs--schools already accredited institutionally by a recognized agency. Then, if it chose, it could pursue USDoE and/or CHEA recognition. Instead, it chose to foist unrecognized accreditation on an otherwise-unaccredited school. The potential for misuse by such schools is huge.
But you don't really know that. And if it's not "a WAUC," how large is the margin between the two?
If USDLA was accrediting DL programs in already-accredited schools, it would be a lot better situation, as you allude. So, you actually do understand, which is nice.
No one called them "devious." But what they're doing--granting unrecognized "accreditation" to an unaccredited school--creates a deception, no matter how well-meaning.
Most, but not all, non-regional accreditors accredit schools in their respective fields without "competition" (for lack of a better word). DETC has staked out DL, but certainly has no sole claim to it. If USDLA wanted to pursue proper recognition and got it, fine. But that's not the case (yet?).
A potential niche is accrediting DL programs in already-regionally accredited colleges and universities. The quality and execution of these seems to have a great deal of variability. In this way, DETC would morph into an industry association more than an institutional accreditor. (Which I contend, makes them redundant with the RA's.)
USDLA's first step doesn't indicate they're heading in this direction, though.
I agree with you Rich on the fact that the USDLA needs to do a much better job on the schools it allows to become members. A lot of those schools use the Logo of the USDLA as a lure and deception that they are indeed "worthy".
What doesn't make much sense to me is why would an already accredited school with recognized accreditation want to waste money on pursuing accrediation with a nonrecognized agency?
I don't know anything about Clayton so I will have to remain neutral. But your points are well taken.
Here's a hypothetical: Let's say the USDLA and its membership developed a set of standards, best practices, etc., that were valuable to anyone running a DL program. Let's further say that they develop from those a set of accrediting guidelines. Two potential benefits would exist. First, the school would benefit from better, more efficient practices as it ran its DL program(s). Second, if the USDLA's processes and such became renowned, the value of being accredited would become apparent.
None of this seem to be in evidence presently.
The following is quoted from the USDLA Press Release. This is just FYI. Dr. Flores is speaking to the "certification" of Clayton College.
"USDLA Quality Standards certification is a stringent program. The college can be justifiably proud of its accomplishment," said Dr. Flores. "Even greater, though, is the confidence this gives students. With certification comes the assurance of fair treatment within a strong, responsive distance learning program. And because 'continuous improvement' is built-in - the school gets better and better!"
A school undergoing the certification process must agree to abide by the USDLA/QS Code of Conduct and complete a lengthy self-study. The certification process culminates with an on-site review by a USDLA site team, including interviews with faculty, staff, and students, to verify the institution's compliance with the Standards of Practice.
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