what is really accredited?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by morleyl, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. Frankie

    Frankie member

    That is true but legitimate unaccredited schools can be recognized by the ODA.


    Q. Are all unaccredited colleges degree mills?

    A. Not all unaccredited colleges are degree mills. Some unaccredited colleges provide legitimate academic work. However, while accredited schools undergo extensive review by an appropriate accrediting board, unaccredited schools are seldom reviewed by any outside entity. Unless these colleges are evaluated and approved by ODA, degrees from them cannot be used as credentials in Oregon.

    The ODA has allowed three unaccredited institutions to present degrees in the State of Oregon...


    As Thomas Edison State College puts it.


    "Thomas Edison State College has always held the belief that college-level knowledge, no matter how it is gained, warrants college credit. If you have extensive knowledge in a subject that is taught at the college level, the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process might be right for you.

    Formerly known as Portfolio Assessment, PLA is a flexible, efficient way of earning credits for college-level knowledge you have gained outside the traditional classroom."

    Demonstrating mastery over a course subject that was learned outside of a classroom is not a bad thing in the least.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2003
  2. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    We don't all need to gather information first hand in order to come to a conclusion. This would be a needless waste of time and energy. There are people who are considered to be trusted authorities, both on this forum and elsewhere, that provide information on these issues. Some of it gets double-checked and updated regularly. If you spend enough time on this forum, reading posts, articles, following links, etc. you will develop some considerable knowledge yourself. As it is, you seem to ask the same question over and over (The one related to portfolio assessment) and you also seem to keep coming back to this idea people should be open minded in there judgements of various schools and accreditation processes. This is what drives the suspicion that you have a hidden agenda, despite your reassurances to the contrary.
  3. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Hi Jack:

    Thats exactly the point. I arguing from the point of view that the concept of portfolio assessment is very useful to use especially for the adult learner. From my own experience I have seen different type of people that I have worked with some persons come from a well recognized school but their competence is not there. So its more than just comparing traditional with non-traditional to me.

    I am more concern to have competent graduates than wether its portfolio or classroom. There are certain task that a person may not be able to perform without taking a college level class, so it does not mean someone should not learn or do any work.

    My questioning came out of the fact that I have seen on here that there are some serious problems with schools that offer this route. Maybe you are right to say that they have done research to know these people are bad, but as an outsider the debate seem one sided to me.

    My intention is to get back to the basics of what can qualify to be degree material and how to validate that knowledge. Someone mentioned that a student at TESC had a 2 hour session with a professor and got 20 credits just like that. So why is it wrong if a school offer you a degree in 30 days? Maybe they are wrong, but how do you quantify that?

    Someone said before that TESC allow you get a degree by portfolio assessment theoretically but when anohter school says they offer that they are called diploma mills. I am trying to find where the criterias are to call a school such. Yes, you have a list of areas but why not question their process? That alone should drive the debate.
  4. Frankie

    Frankie member

    Here is the difference:

    1) Legitimate Prior Learning Assessment: The student must demonstrate mastery over a course subject to obtain credit. He does this by completing a portfolio of learning.

    A professor will analyze his portfolio and see if he has mastered the course content. If he has mastered it he will be rewarded the credits.

    2) Diploma Mill Life Experience Credits: You send in a CV, a fee and a request for a specific degree. Upon doing this, you are awarded the degree.

    Here are problems with number 2.

    -The CV can easily be falsified!
    -Having experience in a field does not necessarily meant that you have gained mastery over it. This can only be determined by a portfolio assessment.

    Do you see the difference? In number 1 you must prove mastery over every course challenged. In number 2 you could easily lie your way into an entire degree with one falsified CV.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2003
  5. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

  6. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    I agree with both of your points and questions. As I have said, I do believe in the proof of competence approach.

    You mentioned why re-invent the wheel, but the two schools I mentioned have two different approach and one came after the other. In other words there is always new valid ways to verify information.

    Please bear in mind that this is very cultural, because different countries have different approach to granting awards. In some countries experience is very important in the overall process. Again, the proof of learning is critical but that proof could be the execution of certain task. So if someone can drive across the US, obey all the traffic laws, then they prove that they are qualified to drive (may not be the best example).

    So what you are saying is that even though St. Regis may state on their website that they collect relevant documents, they really don't? Thats another issue.

    Fraud is fraud and I am not trying to defend that. I am more interested in approaches
  7. Frankie

    Frankie member

    Do they define what a "relevant document" is?

    Fair example...again we can use my number one and two examples:

    (Legitimate)-Number one: A professor of driving would collect driving abstracts, records of motor offences convictions, written verifiable references, licences in good standing and a detailed portfolio of learning on what the driver knows about driving. If he succeeds he earns credit in the driving subjects that he has obviously mastered outside of the classroom.

    (Diploma Mill)-Number two: The student sends in a fee along with a photocopy of a drivers licence and gets awarded a masters degree in roadology.

    See the difference?
  8. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    I see your point load and clear. But it seem that would be extreme for that to happen. They must at least draw the line.

    At least you seem to agree that if there is sufficient work done to prove the validity of the qualification then its not a problem. That approach somewhat exist today but is still costly..

    A lot of these Diploma mills refer to both TESC and CAEL as their model for awarding a degree. The issue is wether they perform the work to prove things.

    I could not honestly award a degree and have no real proof its even the real person. So my points all along is that the concept is not the problem its the means to get there.

    That Roadology is a good example anyway..
  9. Frankie

    Frankie member

    There is no problem if you can demonstrate that what you already know matches the desired learning outcomes of a particular challenged course. How you learned it is not important. What matters is that you have ACTUALLY learned it.

    Thank you.
  10. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    As I said before, I believe the research papers based approach along with some exams is also very good. I like the research paper over the portfolio because it forces you learn new things and approaches.

    In other words after getting the degree, you must have learnt something new. wether its learning to write or something
  11. Frankie

    Frankie member

    Sounds fair but there are degreeless people who possess years of practical work experience, college credits and job training programs etc...that find out that not having a degree is costing them raises and promotions.

    If the person has a wealth of knowledge and training but lacks that all important degree then prior learning assessment is their fast tracked legitimate way to earn an accredited degree.

    In this case the degree is a reflection and certification of the knowledge they already possess. That certification is the difference between a CEO position and a mid-level supervisory position.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2003
  12. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    Look, Morley, do some research! It's not a question of "...Someone said that TESC ..." if you're looking for "first hand" info then GO ASK TESC! If you want to know their criteria then GO ASK TESC! IF you want to question their process then DO IT WITH TESC! You gain nothing by repeatedly asking the same same questions here. As it is, you're just spinning your wheels (and continuing to make yourself look like a troll).
  13. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    THERE IS NO DEBATE! If you want to question their process, then question them, question the DOE, but don't repeatedly ask questions in a forum that is not designed to answer these questions. BTW, considering your stated background, why do you care about this issue? It seems to have nothing to do with you or your current educational pursuits.
    (I'm embarrassed by the fact that I'm shamelessly feeding the troll)
  14. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Hi Jack:

    I keep asking the questions because its not answered or discussed in a way that I was thinking. I have a lot of friends who are very good and would benefit from this type of process, so thats why I had an interest. In fact I had a friend who got laid off recently and he has a 3-year diploma from overseas and lots of experience. I worked with him and know he is very good. But 90% of the recruiters seem to ignore him because he does not have a BSc. So thats close enough to be concerned. I did recommend Excelsior College to him but then the evaluators did not give much credit for the diploma etc.

    So because of the red tape then the Diploma mills becomes a tempting option and thats why they prosper.

    I am not questioning TESC or any specific school, I just saying that there is no problem with a school that advertise that they offer a degree by life experience provided they follow a rigorous process.

    The other issue that I have a concern about is cost. If the person is already knowledgeable why do they need to pay a lot of money except for the make up classes they need to take.

    So to summarize, I am saying that we should encourage good academic standards but support new and innovative ways for people to convert knowledge into credits. Brainbench is another welcome option for testing and proving knowledge, they just need to get the proctoring portion sorted out.
  15. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

  16. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    We are not running a school? Who is this we you refer to? How do you propose we "support new and innovative ways for people to convert knowledge into credits"?

    What new and innovative ways are you referring to? The only concrete thing that I remember you mentioning in that regard is that SRU was good!

    P.S. Have you read the articles on DegreeInfo yet that cover converting knowledge into credits?
  17. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Well, what can I say? If the only thing you can remember about what I am saying is SRU is good then I have to give up.

    In respect to change, there has been change. There is a lot of schools offering portfolio assessment which means the process is widely accepted. WGU is a fairly new school offering a new approach to getting a degree. So its not years and years, things are happening as we write or speak.

    My questions came out of what I see on this forum from glancing around. People seem to beat up on the schools that offer the experience based degree concept. while I am not supporting SRU, no one can give a factual explanation why they are so bad.

    I like to be objective and even if I do not need a specific service, I still cannot just say its a bad thing. The other more objective question is wether you can prove that a SRU graduate is not qualified for the degree. Just a question, do not go off assuming now.

    I do not like hearsay and thats why I stick to my point so much, it seem a lot of people here are just commenting based on gossips and assumptions. People assumed that I support some diploma mill, no I do not support diploma mills. In fact I am trying to find a credible way to discredit them and make them change.

    Saying they are bad is not going to make them change, you have to objectively challenge their process and standards.

    in school, we sue to do debates every friday and you from time to time have to defend an area that you may not necessarily agree but the challenge is on the other side to prove their case. Thats where I am coming from. Use facts to attack not just assumptions

  18. galanga

    galanga New Member

    the ghost of millsmith past

    I think morleyl is the ghost of Ray Chasse come to rattle his chains, forever trapped in an infinite loop, seeking to discredit accreditation while vaguely pushing his own ectoplasmic agenda.

    WHILE {
    troll .eq. TRUE;
  19. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Hi Galanga:

    Your comments always seem too negative. I really do not think there is a basis for that.

    Thats the most I can say
  20. Frankie

    Frankie member

    There is no problem if you can demonstrate that what you already know matches the desired learning outcomes of a particular challenged course.

    No, diploma mills are similar to "get rich quick" schemes. They offer a "degree" without the need for the student to work, study or to even know what he is talking about.

    Maybe you would tell us about their process for granting "experience based" degrees?

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