What to do with a P.W.U. Doctorate?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Police, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. Police

    Police member

    What to do with a P.W.U. Doctorate?

    Hello friends, I am writing from Puerto Rico, pardon the orthographic errors in english.

    This is my history, when I discovered this discussion board; I am already making a PhD in Criminal Justice from Pacific Western University. So, I tried to discard it, but I already had paid almost the totality of the program. Recently, I give the doctoral dissertation and culminate the program.

    Now, after finishing the doctorate I don’t know what to do. I would like that you give me some suggestions on this.

    I have gone to three universities in Puerto Rico, one public and two private in order to investigate if some of them recognizes the doctorate from Pacific Western University. I take all the documents related to the university (the recognitions of the Senate and the House of Representatives of Hawaii, the Law 446E of Hawaii on Unaccredited Degree Granting Institutions, information of the Department of Education of the USA that
    establishes that the accreditation is voluntary and that the states control the education inside their territory, the Constitution of the USA and information of the Apostille).

    The answers of the directors of the programs of Criminal Justice are the following ones:

    1. The first private university recognizes the doctorate, because PWU is degree granting institution under the laws of the USA.(Hawaii), but no for transfer credits.

    2. The second private university also recognizes the doctorate, but no for transfer credits.

    3. The public university also recognizes the doctorate, but no for transfer credits.

    But, the three people indicated to me that when they going to select a candidate to give classes, firstly they would select a candidate with an accredited degree, and a candidate with a legal unaccredited degree from a degree granting institution is the last option.

    The directors indicated to me that legally they must recognize the doctorate for two reasons:

    1.The accreditation is voluntary, and P.W.U. is a degree granting institution under the Law 446E of the State of Hawaii.

    2.In P.R., laws do not force to have a doctorate in criminal justice accredited.

    What you think, I must place the PWU in a resume or not.:confused:

    PhD Pacific Western University (unaccredited)
    MA Caribbean University
    BA American University of PR
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2004
  2. bozzy

    bozzy New Member

    Why not, they recognise it in PR.

    In Australia there was a chap that had his PhD from PWU (I think)and obtained a good position at a very good state Uni.
  3. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    A word often used is "utility." The PWU doctorate does not have much utility in academia. There may be the exceptions to the rule but these are exceptions. Essentially you will not get the same mileage out of the PWU degree than an RA degree. In addition, a PWU degree is considered by many as a mill which also greatly reduces its usefulness. As you indicated in your post you will be put at the bottom of the barrel when applying for an academic position.

    If you are interested in an acadademic position you will want to get an RA degree or equivalent. If cost is a factor I would suggest looking into UNISA or options available for doctoral research in Australia. You will not get transfer credits but you may be able to put your PWU research to work for you in a research based doctorate.

  4. Kirkland

    Kirkland New Member

    This is interesting information given that PR recognizes the degree for employment but not for transfer credit. Since they have indicated that they would prefer a candidate to have an accredited degree but would still accept a State licensed one, I see no reason why you shouldn't include your degree as part of your credentials as long as you are upfront about it and its legal and academic status. Given your other qualifications, it may be sufficient to land the job.
  5. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    A year ago, when you arrived on this forum asking for information concerning Pacific Western University and American International University (see here), you led the members of this forum to believe that you had not yet selected a program. Consequently, many members, including Dr. Bear, invested the time and effort to conduct research, state facts, and offer you informed opinions. Why don’t you simply reread all advice given to you on previous posts? Nothing has changed; three different universities have informed you (quite diplomatically) that they recognize you have received a piece of paper, but, as far as it representing a real degree, it is worthless.

    On a side note, I must commend you on your chutzpa. Did you really try to bullshit three universities with the same crap PWU uses to fool prospective students? It isn’t as if you didn’t know all of this stuff was bogus. We had already informed you of all of this, causing you to write:
    • ”Hello friends, thanks for so many suggestions, those suggestions have taken me to discard Pacific Western University,but i am still considering Preston University, what you think of this university?”
    This is all very funny, except of course, the part about you insisting that the Puerto Rican universities had recognized the Pacific Western degree and accepted their legality, which sounds an awful lot like shilling to me. No, come to think of it, that's pretty funny too.

    There’s a lesson in all of this, perhaps more than one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2004
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Re: What to do with a P.W.U. Doctorate?

    I think Police has a valid question. Things change in the course of a year. Look at NCU. They were not accredited, then accredited, now looked down upon for their "lack of academic rigor."

    Also California Coast is not accredited, now they have applied. This is a positive sign.

    Gus, do you think it is necessary to attach him in such a manner? Maybe a simple reference to the old thread with a "nothing has changed since the last post" comment would have answered his question.
  7. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    Re: Re: Re: What to do with a P.W.U. Doctorate?

    Concerning recognition, keep in mind that we are talking about the Pacific Western in Hawaii here, not their programs in California (for those who believe there is some kind of difference). You know, the one that was sued by the State of Hawaii.

    As to Police’s question, it is tantamount to asking: How can I derive the utility I seek from this degree? Because he knew the exact nature of the degree he was pursuing, what he is really asking is: How do I deceive others into believing the degree is legitimate? He was kind to list everything he has attempted so far (apostilles, the accreditation is voluntary argument, etc.).

    Do you think Police is sincere? Do you think he did not know that a PWU degree has no academic value? Last August he wrote:
    • ”Months ago, I requested to PWU a catalogue. I found it interesting, but with the information that I learned with you, I realized, that although the degree is legal and valid, is useless in the academic world.” [emphasis added]

    Police’s previous posts make interesting reading in light of his or her newly disclosed affiliation. Making innocuous negative comments or asking questions (to which you know the answer) as a means of presenting information that you think will be perceived as positive is a time-honored shilling tactic. Police knew his or her degree was “useless in the academic world.” Do you really believe he presented it to three different universities or did he or she just mention this to be able to also state that the degree was recognized (by all three, no less) as legal and legitimate? Reread the above quote. Reread Police’s past posts. It seems that he or she has been doing this for some time, even to the extent of using Jeffrey Brunton’s efforts as a means of touting the "legal and valid" angle.

    I don’t believe that I attacked Police, except to imply (geez, I didn't even come out and say it) that it would have been better (not to mention much more honest) to reveal his affiliation from the start. That’s one thing that has changed since his or her last post, and it is significant.

    I do not mind repeatedly warning someone (in response to what I believe is a sincere query) not to touch a hot stove because it burns. I do think something is wrong when that same person asks for advice on how to convince others that a hot stove does not burn.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2004
  8. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    Thanks for the memory refresher, Gus. I thought there was something disingenuous here, but could not quite place it.

    There are piles and piles of PWU "grads" traceable by internet search--disproportionately in Latin America. They talk a good talk when you talk to them at PWU (I know because I did). When you've been abd and your diss got trashed unfairly and PWU says fix it up, turn it in for revisions, and get your PhD in 9 months it's tempting (I know because this was my scenario with them). So I can sympathize with somebody who genuinely got taken in by them; phony questions rather deconstruct that genuineness.

    Why didn't I go with the attractive PWU scenario? I just didn't want people saying to me,
    "if that's a brownie you're eating, what's that farm smell?"
  9. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member


    I did not take the time to read the old posts from Police and I will not. If want you say is true about him asking the same questions hoping for a different reply, than I can somewhat see your point.
  10. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    Thank you, Randell1234. You have always been what I consider a model of honorableness. Realizing that a credential did not fully represent your true intellect, honesty, and integrity, you chose to pursue one that did.
  11. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    I am glad that Gus reminded us of previous Police posts. Gus pointed out an important fact that "Police" was advised on the usefulness of a PWU degree and obviously ignored it. Now that he made a dreadful decision to obtain this credential he is now desparately looking for acceptance of the degree. At this point Police is learning the unaccredited degree utility question the hard way. In the meantime PWU has been paid, delivered their product, and I am sure wish Police the very best in his future endeavors.

  12. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Re: What to do with a P.W.U. Doctorate?

    I call it a reality check. Police comes on this forum and commits academic fraud. Big deal we ignore that all the time. But he asks for opinions. This is the real world and in the real world you can't get a real Ph.D. in one year. Police's claim to a doctorate is bogus. People are going to treat his claim with indifference, ignorance, silent amusement, and disgust outside of this forum so what is wrong with a reality check within this forum?

    My opinion is that Police is a fool and an academic fraud. He's a fool because he was warned. He's an academic fraud because he claims a bogus academic degree.

    P.S. He's also apparently compounding his fraud by insinuating that PWU was granted degree granting authority by the state of Hawaii. This is a falsehood. The state of Hawaii does not regulate who can grant degrees. Hawaii simply puts some restrictions on the claims that can be made by institutions that claim to grant degrees and one of those restrictions is that the school cannot claim to be approved by or sanctioned by the state.
  13. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Hang it on the wall next to the SRU diploma?
  14. roysavia

    roysavia New Member

    A PWU degree carries no weight in Canada or the UK. The only degrees that are recognized are those that are RA or GAAP. Unaccredited or state approved degrees will probably get you fired or dismissed from any job competitions.
  15. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    This thread also exemplifies "if you don't like the answers the first time you asked, just ask again." That way, you can split verbal hairs and concoct nonexistent substantiveness out of the least discrepancies in answers. Neat!
  16. Pacific Western degrees

    There is an interesting article in today's Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Australia) newspaper under the heading of " Academic stripped of doctoral title' . The article concerns Mr. William Bittel, an academic in the University of Southern Queensland's education faculty, who has a Ph.D from Pacific Western. While the article does not really deal with the issue of unaccredited degrees in detail it does give a very clear warning of the problems they can cause.

    The aritcle says that PWU 'sells Ph.d for $US5400 ( 7100), but is not recognised by the US Government as a legitimate university'. It says that several US states list PWU as unaccredited and regard it as a 'criminal offence' to use its degrees'.

    Apparently, The Courier-Mail contacted USQ which has now forced Mr. Bittel to discontinue using the title of Dr. and has removed reference to the doctorate from all documents and websites. As Mr. Bittel has fully accredited masters degrees from Columbia and Oxford he will be keeping his position.

    Mr. Bittel said that he wanted a Ph. D but there were not correspondence courses at that level from accredited universities in the 1980s so PWU was a good option for him then. His Ph. D was granted on the basis of a textbook he had written before enrolling. He said that his textbook was a better contribution to academia than a traditional thesis on a very narrow subject. Mr. Bittel said that PWU had "legitimate academics who carefully marked his work" and even made him redo an assignment.

    Mr. Bittel blames the situation on a student who had not been happy with a mark he had received from him ( Mr. Bittel ) but the Acting Vice Chancellor of USQ, Prof. Malcolm MacKay, said his use of the PWU title was "bad judgement' and not condoned by USQ.

    An advertisement by the state department, Education Queensland, in 2001 says that it has been an offence since 1965 to offer or "purport to hold a qualification which has not been properly accredited". That makes the situation pretty clear.
  17. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

  18. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    Just a quick reply to the thread question -

    What to do with a P.W.U. Doctorate?

    Answer: Punt:D
    (for those football fans out there)

  19. bozzy

    bozzy New Member


    Please post that link to the advertisement as stated by Edu QLD regarding use of degree titles. My contact at Edu Qld says this only applies to AU degrees and qualifications. As you might be aware the state regulations differ from state to state, but all aussie qualifications offered in that state must be accredited in that state.


  20. follow up re PWU doctorate

    The advert about accreditation I referred to was actually in the Courier-Mail newspaper not online. However, Education Queensland's website is www.education.qld.gov.au

    I spoke to the Office of Higher Education in the department yesterday and here is what I found out :

    They are definitely interested in overseas qualifications and Queensland law applies if there is any Queensland connection even being able to visit a website. There was a successful defamation action in an Australian court against an overseas website recently. I would imagine that the defence argued that the website was off-shore and not subject to Australian law but the court found otherwise. If the website can be read from here then legally it is as if it is actually here. The same kind of situation applies with degrees. My understanding from Education Queensland is that if a website for an unaccredited university can be read in Queensland then it is technically operating here and could be in breach of the law. Naturally it is very difficult for the government to do much in such a situation. Only institutions approved by the Minister of Education can operate legally here.

    Regardless of where an unaccredited degree was obtained it is a breach of the law to use it for any kind of personal gain or benefit. That would include applying for a job or a promotion.

    Local universities usually reject all unaccredited degrees. In the case I wrote about, there was a mistake by the University of Southern Queensland. I understand that a university in Adelaide did accept a PWU degree. Education Queensland told me that the laws in the other states of Australia are similar so whether there will be more about that remains to be seen.

    My reason for posting my first reply was that the article of the academic in trouble seemed an amazing coincidence after the person asking about PWU degrees. It is an illustration of the saying about a timebomb in the resume. Clearly, even a legitimate unaccredited degree can cause the owner a lot of trouble.

    Education Queensland suggests that if anyone wants to check the accreditation of an institution or degree that they start at www.chea.org/ Apparently that is their benchmark.

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