When is it justifiable for a person to list or use an unaccredited degree?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by potpourri, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. potpourri

    potpourri New Member

    If a person graduated from an unaccredited school, and lets say the person has an unaccredited Bachelor's degree then we would most likely agree that this credential (degree) has little or no utility at all.

    Now, if a person graduated from an unaccredited school and got a Bachelor's degree, and also graduated from an accredited school, with a Bachelor's degree or higher, which the rationale would be that this demonstrates that the person has graduated from both an unaccredited and accredited school, would this give some legitimacy in your opinion as to the justification of listing in this case?

    In other words, when I have had discussions with others about this topic they say that they could see listing the credential (degree) when there is an accredited one stacked with it. Of course, the credential (degree) from the unaccredited school would still be unaccredited, but having an accredited credential (degree) verifies that the person has demonstrated competence at that level of the unaccredited one.

    Obviously we aren't talking about diploma mill situations or where a person does little or hardly any work. We are talking about a person who graduated from an unaccredited and accredited school and whether a credential (degree) from an unaccredited school should be listed at all and with having the accredited one along with it gives it more legitimacy to list it or not?

    Do you agree with this rationale? Have any others been in this same type of situation? If you agree, why do you agree with this rationale? If not, why do you not agree? Thanks.
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I figure that if you have both an accredited degree and an unaccredited degree, leave the unaccredited degree off the resume.
  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I agree. I have a BS and MBA from California Coast University (pre-accreditiation) and never list them.
  4. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Potpourri: We are talking about...whether a credential (degree) from an unaccredited school should be listed at all...

    John: There are times when, for a specific situation, it could be advantageous. One example: during my full time involvement with Greenwich University (Hawaii), one adjunct faculty member was the prominent psychologist Stanley Krippner, who was a full professor at a regionally accredited university. There were situations where it was beneficial for a job applicant to say, "I did my Master's in Humanistic Psychology at Greenwich University under the supervision of Stanley Krippner." Ditto for a man from the midwest who spent three years working under the direction of one of the world authorities on the Roman legions.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Accreditation doesn't bestow legitimacy, it's just an independent opinion of that legitimacy. That's important, but not the same thing. If your degree from an unaccredited school is legitimate, then list it if you wish. If not, having earned another one wouldn't affect that either way.

    (Yes, I'm aware Oregon and maybe a few other places are meddlesome enough to regulate this. If that applies to you then give that as much or as little respect as you think it deserves.)
  6. sideman

    sideman Active Member

    I agree as well. I think it also helps to have some outside authority legitimize it. In my case it's the CBE (California Bar Examiners).
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry, but I have to do this . . .

    How is legitimacy determined? Is it just one person's opinion? How many times have we heard, "I worked really really hard for my degree from (insert name of your favorite degree mill)."
    Someone might think it's "legitimate" simply because they wrote a few papers and paid a pile of money. Those "timebomb" news stories continue to appear where people say, "I thought it was legitimate. I worked really hard..." I never believe any of them.
  8. OutsideTheBox

    OutsideTheBox New Member

    One could list such a degree if your not sure under [Other Education] and note the school is not accredited and sought at the time for personal interest a degree. Although this works best with religious degrees since many seminaries and the like are not accredited it looks respectable. But only if from a decent program I love my Universal Life Church $29.00 doctorate and its legal use since its religious in most places in the US but I would not list it save to have fun.
  9. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I would have listed CCU degrees from the time they were unaccredited.
    The school was a better unaccredited university.

    The school is not some internet presence, the work is real and verifiable.
    Also today they are accredited this means something even to the graduates from unaccredited times.

    One need to follow their state laws regarding the use of the unaccredited degree.

    I advised a friend who was having hard time to find employment to remove his RA MBA from the resume. The types of positions he was targeting a technical degree and certifications were the right thing to have on the resume.
    MBA was overkill and confused the hiring managers if this person wants to be manager or direct contributor. He got more interviews and
    was hired as a Sr Engineer with Adobe. He has his MBA proudly listed now.

    So at times even additional accredited degrees can be over qualification.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2012
  10. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    Perhaps if the degree and school is legally accepted via a recognized state regulation agency such as the BPPE and thus legitimate.

    Although religious degrees are by-and-large exempt from any secular regulation and are "legal" by default, those who have been "blessed" by a state regulation agency should carry a bit more weight.
  11. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    One other thought:
    Legitimate is one thing and accredited is another. For me listing a "legitimate" degree along with my four "accredited" degrees would'nt be a problem, but that's just me....and perhaps a few others here too.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Poached from another forum:

    As I say above, I stole this very good link - from DLTruth, as a matter of fact. Thanks, guys. It contains a Federal Government take on use of unaccredited degrees. Quite detailed -and quite useful, I think. It looks like the OPM may not be nearly as vehemently "anti-unaccredited" as some would have us believe.

    General Policies: Application of Qualification Standards - Part 4

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2012
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    They might, but there isn't some divinely ordained threshold for academic legitimacy. To some extent like beauty, it's simply in the eye of the beholder, or like obscenity, we "know it when we see it". Lots of people like the world to be sortable by convenient rules, but I don't think most things are really simple, and that this is one of them. We already know that legitimacy and accreditation aren't the same thing. There are unaccredited schools that people respect, like NationsU, and then there are accredited schools that many people do not respect.

    So who should decide? Ultimately we're grownups, and have to make the call for ourselves.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'm not exactly sure of what you mean by "by and large exempt" but I'd be willing to bet that by far, most religious degrees offered in the USA are from RA schools.
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    So you're saying that if Dr. Duck thinks that Knightsbridge is "legitimate" then that actually makes it legitimate? I don't subscribe to this whole "I'm OK. You're OK" philosophy. I actually think that there are standards to establish legitimacy and I think we know that similar standards exist in virtually every country in the world. In the USA it's regional accreditation and/or national accreditation. In other countries it's the central government that sets these standards. This is how degrees transfer from one country to another. I know that there are some people on this board that think Nations U is a good school but I'd like to see someone with a Nations degree being admitted into Oxford grad school. Also, some people may think that certain RA schools are substandard but I never see names mentioned along with any serious analysis of why they fall short of some standard. Accreditation = legitimacy. That's the whole point of it. There MAY be a couple of unaccredited schools that would be seen as legitimate but even if this is the case, it represents a vast minority of unaccredited schools.

    My answer to the OP's original question is simply this: It's appropriate to list an unaccredited degree on your resume if you don't care what potential employers think or if you're certain that they themselves don't care.
  16. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    What I mean, and I don't have any statistical numbers, but it appears that from what I've seen there is a plethora of "religious exempt" seminaries and the like that are out there; Florida seems to have their market share.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    On a side note, Knightsbridge, which awarded Hayes his 2nd fake doctorate for the same unsupervised work, is now closed. It's what happens when you want to fit your car back into the garage that held your "university." Sheesh.
  18. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Is there a full moon out tonight? Is the Mayan prophesy commencing its fulfillment? Is hell serving up snow cones? How in the world did we get ShotoJuku and Rich Douglas to both resurface at once???
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    No, I'm saying that academic legitimacy is a matter of opinion, not fact. He might believe it is and you might believe it isn't, just as someone might believe that a particular public policy is good and someone else might think it's bad without either one being "right".

    At least in the U.S., academic credit will transfer into an institution based on the policies of that individual institution, which can vary an awful lot more widely than you're suggesting here.

    You won't. You won't see someone who graduated from Harrrison Middleton University go there either, since UK-NARIC won't recognize American national accreditors. But I don't see how that makes degrees from either of those institutions inherently illegitimate.

    Dickenson State University in North Dakota is in the news for this right now, actually, having essentially sold degrees to foreigners who didn't complete all the requirements necessarily to receive them.

    The point of it is to offer independent validation of legitimacy, and that's not the same thing. You're an engineer, so I know you know what an equals sign is. This isn't the place for one. (Of course, that's my opinion.)

    I think where accreditation comes in pertains to the old saying that just because everyone is entitled to his or her opinion doesn't mean that everyone's opinion is equally well informed. Accreditation decision makers are supposedly very well informed, lending their opinion heavy weight that is taken seriously by most observers. And that's great.

    Indeed, and I would agree with you that this is a minority of such institutions, but even now you've opened up a big can of worms, because you've admitted that you may think for yourself and draw your own conclusions in these cases. Good for you! And if you and I looked at some of those cases we might draw different conclusions, but that wouldn't mean either of us were wrong, simply that we disagree.
  20. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    Now if I could only win the Powerball!!! :banana:

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