VAE encore and encore !

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Peaceforall, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. Peaceforall

    Peaceforall member

    The best way to ignite an education forum is to talk about the French VAE (Validation des Acquis de l'Experience). Soon distinguished scholars will treat their adversaries of Shills, Idiots, Crooks, Romanian secret agent, even racist comments, etc.

    Anyhow, it is like for the French Publication Paris Match: "To increase circulation let's talk about the Monaco-Grimaldi family."

    I have a simple question to Mr. Contreras and US directors of admissions. Will you accept a VAE degree of a Maîtrise from a Public French University as equivalent to a US Bachelor's degree ?

    In France the VAE seems to be a great fade and I have picked this interesting posting from another forum:

    I am in France and I am absolutely flabbergasted (is it the right term ?) by the way the VAE is received .

    1) The VAE (Validation des Acquis de l'Experience) law exists since 2002 but it was quite a secret. Nobody talked about it even in the media; nobody knew it outside France (and our Education Nationale cries because it has less international students). No public French university applied it nor advertised it. It was considered an unapplicable law signed by a deceased government headed by Jospin.

    2) The "Mandarins" (nickname for the Left traditionalist faculty) were outraged and publicly said they will not apply it. And in any mean not up to a full degree equivalence (which was unlawful by the way).

    3) Then two years ago, I think, de Sorbon started to advertise the full VAE in France and later worldwide.

    4) In the US it was not well received many people. For them VAE was a fake invented by a "Diplôme Mill".

    5) Now in France all universities including the public ones advertises the VAE , The Newspapers (Liberation this week) and TV Station (TF1) do articles and subject every week on it. Also contrary to the tradition, according to a member of this Forum, two public French universities advertise it in English ! VAE seems to be so hot in higher education that a Dominica, an American and a UK university "re-discover" the VAE...

    Do you think that there is any relation between De Sorbon and this new fade? Nobody copied the Ford Pinto, but many companies are copying the successful Toyota Hybrid !

    The above is just a personal independent thought. It does not mean that you have to sign with De Sorbon or any other French VAE program but it is a debatable theory.

    <b>End of the citation.</b>

    I am now putting my helmet with my white cross. The red cross headquarters is in Geneva nearby my home in Budé and created by Henri Dunand.

    Pray for the Swiss team to qualify to the World soccer cup ! It will be great for my tiny country after Roger Federer and the America Cup.
  2. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    If the holder of such a VAE-based degree is that convinced that it is on-par with a U.S. regionally-accredited degree, then s/he should spend the $300 to $500 to have it evaluated and declared so by one of the reputable foreign credential evaluation services. If a VAE-based degree can pass muster with the likes of AACRAO or any of the NACES member agencies, then it should be acceptable to most any U.S. state or college/university. It's really as simple as that.

    The riotous, never-ending "is-the-French-VAE-credible-or-isn't-it" discussion that you're obviously trying to incite is pointless. It's a foreign credential to those in the U.S. To figure out if foreign credentials are worth the powder it would take to blow them up, those in the U.S. tend to use the credible foreign credential evaluators such as those to which I have linked, above. Said foreign credential evaluators either declare them equivalent to U.S. regionally-accredited degrees or they don't. To spend a lot of energy debating it, and getting all passionate about it, is probably a waste of time. That said, certainly some discussion is always interesting and informative.

    But let me warn everyone right now: A few of the VAE debates around here have, in the past, gotten so extreme, abusive, and out of control that it's downright outrageous and embarrassing. Anyone intending to take this thread to such extremes is itching to get his/her post(s) deleted, or the thread closed, or the thread deleted... depending on how bad it gets.

    Please keep it civil and at least reasonably respectful... okay everyone?
  3. Peaceforall

    Peaceforall member

    Thank You

    for your response.

    Do you, know by chance, if US Evaluators accept a VAE degree from a public French university as equivalent to an American accredited degree ? Or the response is still in limbo?

    Also does it means that if this one of those evaluators decidesin one way Mr. Contreras and the State of Oregon have to accept it as is?

  4. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    You know the answer,

    ODA has no problem with degrees from public Franche university
    I can only asume that degree earned via VAE procedure by reputble RECOGNIZED university will be accepted ass degree
    from WGU that was earned by chalange exams.

    I'm 99% sure that most of recognized NACES evaluation agencies will have no problem with such a degree if it was for example from university of Paris.

    Natioally recognized public university will be trusted with their judgement. The equivalency and exact degree major maybe open to interpretation but I have strong confidace that they will recognize such a degree.

    And you know what schools degrees via VAE or any other way even B&M study they will not evaluate.

    VAE via recognized accredited university is not the same as VAE via unknown quality university or from unrecognized, unaccredited university.
    Wile the second may have limited value it also may be a time bomb.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2005
  5. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Re: Thank You

    US foreign credential evaluators take things on a case-by-case basis. I cannot speak for them or predict what they will do. The VAE-type degree holder would need to submit his/her transcript and pay the fee and cross his/her fingers and wait to find out.

    I don't believe that the ODA has to accept the credential evaluator's decision. I mean... I think it has some latitude and discretion. Mr. Contreras has stated here, in the past, that the ODA's primary/preferred credential evaluator is AACRAO; and I presume that's still the case. I don't know if ODA uses any of the NACES member agencies, but I know that a lot of US accredited colleges/universities do; and Mr. Contreras has spoken favorably of them here from time to time. That said, as I just mentioned, I think ODA uses AACRAO pretty much exclusively.

    And I suspect that Mr. Contreras, absent some compelling additional information that would guide him otherwise regarding a particular institution and/or its degree, would pretty much take AACRAO's evaluation on its face. But I don't think he's required to or anything like that. Part of his job is to look at all factors, and not just the foreign credential evaluation. I suppose it's possible (though unlikely) that AACRAO could give a school or its degree the thumbs up, but then some other factors could make the ODA give the institution and/or its degree a thumbs down. It's difficult to imagine situation like that, but I suppose it's technically possible.
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I don't remember anyone arguing that VAE is fake. I have only heard apologists for a diploma mill, De Sorbon, argue that others are arguing that it is fake. This is apparently another example of that?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2005
  7. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    You might encounter less hostility if you didn't begin your post with a barrage of insults.

    Then you probably should direct your inquiries to them directly. I'm not sure why you are posting here on Degreeinfo. Do you want us to speculate on what they might say?

    I have to say that the only time that I have ever encountered the "VAE" initials, it's been on an internet discussion board in a post by somebody trying to promote a degree mill. I do associate the acronym with degree mills frankly, and whenever I see "VAE" being promoted I do respond skeptically.

    I suppose that legitimate "VAE" may exist out there somewhere, but if anyone wants me to accept a "VAE" degree, then they will have to demonstrate the academic (not just legal) legitimacy of the process that granted it.

    That isn't really a matter of getting me to accept the "VAE" concept in the abstract. As an American, I'm already familiar with prior learning assessment, something that the US has been doing for decades.

    The problem in these endless (intentionally) confusing threads is that degree-mills have latched onto the idea and try to sell themselves to American and other Anglophone students as being "RA-equivalent" because they are (supposedly) French and becasue they use "VAE". If any of us question the schools' legitimacy, that is treated as if it's an attack on "VAE" itself. So we are loudly told in broken English (no proponent of "VAE" is ever able to communicate clearly, which I think is quite intentional) all about some mysterious L-numbers that supposedly make "VAE" something that must be accepted by Americans.

    But the legality of prior learning assessments in France isn't the issue and never was. I'm sure that prior-learning assessment is legal in France, but who cares? The legitimacy and status of the schools selling prior-learning-assessment degrees to us is the problem that we face.

    Just because it's legal for American schools to offer examination and portfolio credit doesn't imply that all American schools selling life-experience degrees have to be accepted by without question by foreigners.

    I still say that if the French want to sell their higher education abroad, and if they want the Anglophone world to accept French degrees (particularly unusual or unfamiliar ones), then the French government needs to put up a clear comprehensible English language website that outlines their higher education system, explains how their quality assurance processes work, and provides a listing of which French higher education institutions offer programs that have successfully passed those inspections.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2005
  8. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    What Bill(s) said.
  9. Peaceforall

    Peaceforall member

    Re: Re: VAE encore and encore !

    I am so sorry that you took my posting so badly, perhaps because I do not master well your language. I did not want to offend anybody and I must add that those "nom d'oiseaux" (insults) came fron both sides.. It is like France during the "Deyfus Affair". Families were torn apart Our friend Unkle Janko, who is has an incredible European knowledge, remembers certainly the Daumier cartoon. "ils en ont parlé!".

    Note that being peaceful by nature and nationality, I never used those rude and degrading words.

    I am glad that the "Super Moderator" did not take it like you and answered my questions clearly and to my complete satisfaction . Your reaction shows that you are very sensitive on that matter.

    Being Swiss I must be precise. Those abusive words were witten in this and other education boards. I did not invented it. About the "fake VAE", I remember but I can not find it again, that a person from NARIC Canada wrote (in which blog?) that the VAE presented on the web should be a fake as it was signed by 5 French ministers, not one.

    Anyhow the responses I get on this forum were satisfactory, clear and professional. Thank you!

    Should I take my helmet off now ? (LOL)

    Again, please excuse again my first posting if you take it a barrage of insults, it was absolutely not the case.
  10. laferney

    laferney Member

    I wrote NACES several months ago about their acceptance of degrees by VAE. They had a member organization contact me -I received an E-mail from a Mr.Fry. I believe from ECE who stated that degrees by VAE were not accepted He stated the VAE process was meant to validate work experience in France and not for the awarding of degrees to foreign students. The ones promoting it were to foreign students are all unaccredited-most direct you to a " foreign degree validating service" not a member of NACES or AACRAO. I wrote several French Universities abou the possiblity of an American receiving a degree by VAE -ALL replied no or didn't respond.
  11. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    But I am a Romanian secret ag-- (oops).
  12. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Then that settles it, as far as I'm concerned... and so, now, the reason I brought it up in the first place should be evident. The French VAE construct, from what I can tell, is of the magnitude of a different educational paradigm altogether from US methods... including US PLA methods. That VAE-based degrees are not well-received in the US seems to me correct and appropriate.

    And, further, this discussion also dovetails a bit into the whole issue of work experience vs. coursework as appropriate degree building blocks. Along with Rich Douglas, whose take on that debate, generally, is one with which I strongly agree, one of two of the others around here who have made some of the best arguments in that area have already posted in this thread. Life/Work experience does not a degree make. Life/Work experience is not the same as education. The US PLA system, which establishes limits on the amount of college credit one may obtain via life/work experience, clearly recognizes that. The French VAE system clearly does not.

    The problem is exacerbated by the fact that diploma mills routinely exploit the confusion that those in the US have about legitimate VAE... which is entirely what Bill's post, above, is all about. And I agree with every word of it, by the way. VAE, just generally, has been so abused; and the French government has been so uncooperative about clearing it up, that it's just easier for Americans to blow-off all talk of VAE as highly likely to be diploma-mill-related.

    Even if that weren't true, however, the fact that even legitimate French universities might be willing to grant entire degrees based on life/work experience just makes it worse. Considering the fact that the US educational system looks down on the notion of entire degrees by PLA, it stands to reason that no US foreign credential evaluator will declare a VAE-based degree as equivalent to a US regionally-accredited degree. And that's as it should be, in my opinion.

    See, this is why the Romanians keep asking you to stop-in for those little meetings all the time. Once and for all, you have just got to stop letting that slip out!

  13. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Nom d'Oiseaux, by Umberto Eco.

    A Swiss peacenik, but with Medici blood, is dispatched to a Comorra monastery in Napoli and...
  14. Peaceforall

    Peaceforall member

    Point of information

    You are totally right. I went to the site of the Public University of Orleans

    Unfortunately it is in French, but the graph clearly shows you may get a National Diploma directly through VAE. (Obtention de diplôme).
    and their phrase:
    Obtenir tout ou partie d'un diplôme, en justifiant des connaissances, compétences et aptitudes exigées pour l'obtention de ce diplôme : Loi et décret de 2002

    is very clear : Quick Translation "to get granted an entire or part of a Degree"

    I am also very surprised by the NACES representative response about that the VAE valid for French or people living in France only. Nowhere, it is shown or written, and it would be totally illegal because of the European treaty,ECTS and Erasmus... He should find, like our moderator a better and valid argumentation. I mean:" moderator is right, Naces was not"
    (Ah mon anglais!)
    Good Night Sleep well
  15. George Brown

    George Brown New Member

    Re: Point of information

    Bonne nuit Alain. Moi aussie, j'ai etudie en Suisse. Pour un Australien, c'est pas mal, non? J'ai etudie a College du Leman, Versoix, pres de Geneve. Excuse mon Francais, mais ca fait presque vingt ans quand j'ai besoin d'utiliser.

    N'oubliez pas - Et puis ta soeur, elle balle beurre. Et quand elle battra la merde, tu vas lecher le baton!!!!


  16. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Re: Re: Re: VAE encore and encore !

    And so I went back and read again your first post and imagine my surprise when I realized that it was really quite fluent, smooth and well written. In fact, it was much better written than your subsequent postings in this thread. It's really quite remarkable.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Bill Dayson: "But the legality of prior learning assessments in France isn't the issue and never was. I'm sure that prior-learning assessment is legal in France, but who cares? The legitimacy and status of the schools selling prior-learning-assessment degrees to us is the problem that we face."

    Rich Douglas: Exactly. The degree and the process are separate.
  18. mineralhh

    mineralhh New Member

    Re: Point of information

    ERASMUS is a student's exchange program. ECTS is a transfer credit system. I do not see how these would relate in the context of vae admissions.

    the vae controversy in general is not overly inspiring. hint: try to find 10 people who have received a recognized degree based on 100% vae :)

    Please find someone whose entire recognized degree was based on vae. Do some empirical research!

    It might be interesting to debate though whether a 40% vae based degree with 60% coursework at lyon or orleans might not have a slightly :) higher acceptance than a 100% coursework degree earned at some ra-mill such as AIU.
  19. Peaceforall

    Peaceforall member

    Number of VAE Degrees by French Public Universities

    If i do not agree totally with you, please do not take it badly. I am quite sure that you will be interested by my reseach on VAE by Public French universities.

    1) On NACES: I think that NACES representative gave a wrong explanation (it does not mean a wrong decision!): As French universities does not and cannot discriminate against Foreign students (Cf. European treaty, the issuance of transmissible ECTS even for VAE and the Erasmus program even through VAE). If NACES representative is right a French Engineer through VAE will be given an equivalency by NACES but an English or an American one graduating from the same university, the same way, cannot. It looks strange and unfair to me.

    2) On the number of full diplomas given through VAE by public universities I did my requested homework, I think I can give this forum interesting checkable information.

    American friends, please do not think that: it is possible "legally" to have a full degree in France through the VAE but that in fact nobody gets it. It is simply not accurate:

    I checked carefully the facts;

    For example one French Parisian public university the CNAM (Centre National des Arts et Métiers) in 2004-2005 on their own website gave 49 Engineering degrees (Ingénieur) through full VAE.

    According to the Ministry de l'Education Nationale t 10.000 VAE degrees were issued since 2002, 6000 of them being mostly vocational.

    Please be assured that I have no hidden agenda. The above is just information to asses the reality of the VAE in France.

    Bonjour à l'ami Australien qui est allé dans une école Suisse très chère et très huppée.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2005
  20. mineralhh

    mineralhh New Member

    Re: Number of VAE Degrees by French Public Universities

    This in fact is very very interesting, the numbers I was told were considerably lower and I'm not claiming to be always you know by any chance of any website which supports such high numbers?

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