Why choose DETC?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bennylinus, Mar 10, 2010.

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  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I believe the vast majority of master's degrees offered by DETC-accredited schools do no have a thesis component.

    I'd use a less-stellar example for the RA school. If I was the DETC school official, I'd choose them from one or more RA schools, but not Ivy League.

    If I was interested in demonstrating that DETC programs don't produce comparable graduates, I'd compare them to master's theses from an RA DL school like Walden or Capella.
  2. Dono

    Dono Member

    I was curious about the Taft DBA. I looked at their DBA catalog and found the following:

    7. Q. In terms of educational quality, is DETC
    accreditation equivalent to regional
    A. Yes, the official at the United States
    Department of Education responsible for the
    recognition of accrediting bodies has written that
    recognition granted by the Secretary of Education to
    DETC is “identical” to regional accrediting bodies.
    We can provide employers or other interested
    parties with a copy of this letter. The Council on
    Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) holds a
    similar view.

    So, there we have it. RA and DETC are identitical. I think we can all move on now.
  3. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    I hope you're joking.
  4. Dono

    Dono Member

    Ok, I'm out here in Afghanistan...trying to have a little fun. Joking about equality....However, Taft does have that statement in their DBA catalog.

    Thought is was interesting for that claim to be made in writing from what seems like a good school. I haven't seen a DETC school come out and say DETC and RA are equal and state they have a letter to prove that the DOE and CHEA agrees.

    Definitley not serious....
  5. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    One answer would be when the DETC program offers majors, faculty, classes, specializations, or similar things that aren't available at the RA competitior. Notice that I'm not talking "niche degrees" here. Even programs in common widely-offered majors differ quite a bit in these regards and there might easily be reasons for preferring one program over another.

    Why aren't you willing to grant that some people might have more positive reasons for liking some of the programs that DETC schools offer? Why must we assume a-priori that DETC students' motives are reprehensible? (It's faintly insulting.)

    Well, you can't "earn" a DETC degree in four weeks. That's something to be said for them, I guess.

    In reality, class difficulty is typically a function of the material and the professor. If you have credible reason to believe that classes at DETC schools generally simplify the material and that DETC professors demand less work from their students than RA profs would expect, I'd like to hear it.

    I think that's true, but as you've said yourself, we don't really know how large that utility gap is. We do know that many (but certainly not all) employers, including the federal government and many private employers, do recognize DETC degrees. DETC degrees serve many students very well.

    I think that its wrong for Degreeinfo to suggest that DETC programs are little better than unaccredited and to always steer all inquirers away from DETC schools. There's no need for every thread about a DETC program to devolve into iteration #27469 of the 'RA or no way' rant. It just makes Degreeinfo seem less open-minded and friendly, and it can create serious and lasting resentments.

    I support a more moderate approach in which people interested in DETC programs are made aware that utility defects exist (in a friendly fashion, without brow-beating them). But if they conclude for themselves that a DETC program will work in their circumstances, then we should respect that. I wish them all the best.

    I do agree that many of the DETC schools are way too generic. DETC really needs to recruit some academic stars to their linup the way that the New York Regents have managed to do. If DETC did that, then this whole anti-DETC argument would evaporate like a puff of smoke.

    See this thread for something that illustrates my point that it really isn't the accreditation that's at issue, it's the schools.

    If schools are strong enough to stand on their own reputations, if professionals in the relevant fields already know them, then their not being RA won't hinder them. If schools are so obscure that their accreditation is the only thing that gives them any credibility at all, then DETC might not be strong enough to carry that load. It's doubtful that RA is strong enough either, and low-end RA (and DL) degrees aren't always going to be viable in competitive hiring situations.

    That reduces degree 'inferiority' into a straight-forward function of accreditation, which I believe is simplistic. There are many more variables than that. Differences in accreditation might not always be the most important. I prefer to look at more academic variables.

    That's something that Degreeinfo is very loathe to acknowledge, because it's also fighting a battle on its other flank against B&M proponents who are contemptuous of DL. Many DI participants have degrees from low-end DL programs. (Hell, I do.) So there's a constant drum-beat around here that it's all about the accreditation and that if a program is RA, then that's all that anyone needs to pay any attention to.

    The fear is that as soon as we start looking at additional academic and programmatic variables, then the low-end RA schools and many DL programs won't always show so well compared to the more prestigious B&M competition.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If one finds a program that fits their needs uniquely, I would imagine one might be willing to sacrifice in other areas. Students attending DL RA schools do. Students attending unaccredited schools do, too.
    Oh, but I do. It's the rationalizing on false premises--usually after-the-fact--that gets me. And who said anything remotely close to "reprehensible"? I suspect that many students enroll in DETC accredited schools without knowing the difference. That's not reprehensible, but it is uninformed, which lends even more value to threads like this one.
    No, it isn't. You can't "earn" an RA degree in that timeframe, either. But it is theoretically possible to document one's learning in a short time frame at a few schools.
    I'm not so sure about this one, except that so few DETC-accredited schools have been regionally accredited, too. One has to wonder why.
    But there is a gap. And if all other things are equal, why accept inferior performance in the product (degree)? Of course, seldom is it that all things are equal.
    This is false on two very big fronts. No one reasonably places DETC accreditation near non-accreditation. That's an utterly false premise. Second, who really says "RA or no way"? Seriously, who? I don't. I just think many posters with degrees from DETC-accredited schools gloss over the real issues and hate it when their bubbles are burst with the truth.

    If I found a degree program that really fit my needs at a DETC-accredited school, I'd go for it. But I wouldn't b.s. people about it.
    Me, too. But every time they bring it up, it merits a response. It's not like anyone is on a unilateral campaign regarding this issue; no one's on a DETC witch hunt. But if there are two sides to the story, why smear one with that "RA or no way" crud?
    Agreed. I've suggested another way, which is for DETC to get out in front regarding DL. Right now they just seem like a wannabe. Which is too bad, because even if they catch up--or already have caught up--they'll still look second-rate.
    Agreed. Except that even low-end RA programs are (a) not normally perceived that way by a non-perceptive public and (b) they don't face the automatic utility limitations NA schools do, fair or not.
    Acknowledging your preferences, the realities of the academic and business worlds are a bit different, where many decisions are made transactionally, not substantively. For example, in the military, degrees from DETC-accredited schools are acceptable. They don't try to sort through them to find some to be superior to others. And there's ample evidence that employers--in many cases--don't as well. Either the degree comes from an acceptable source or it does not. Not always, of course, but often enough to matter.
    I don't agree and I think that statement twists the observable facts. Who says it, that the only thing that matters is RA? Who equates Capella with Stanford, for example? Degrees from either school would work in many situations, but no one would dispute the advantage the Stanford grad would have in many others.

    You can't ignore the huge impact accreditation has on a degree's acceptability. There is no other single factor that is as important. The lack of accreditation--or the right accreditation--can keep someone completely out of the game.

    Let's assume for argument's sake that there is a DETC-accredited school that is truly better than an RA school. I mean, really better. The degrees it issues represent a higher quality of education. There will still be situations where such a degree would be unacceptable, and I can't imagine a situation where an employer or a school official would make the distinction that the degree from a DETC-accredited school is superior to the one from the RA school. So even if this hypothetical situation were to occur--and perhaps it already exists--the accreditation issue would still trump.
    Of course this is true. But it's a strawman: no one is saying that all RA schools are comparable, nor are the degrees they issue of equal value.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  7. Caulyne Barron

    Caulyne Barron New Member

    DETC-approved doctoral degrees haven't been around long enough for this to have any data to sustain at this point. Unfortunately, I think you're right-- but there's not enough data to support the claim.

    The issue of transfer of credit is an important one-- but there are a number of RA schools that will not accept credit blindly from any institution. Schools need enrollment dollars-- therefore the more credits they make you take at their institution, the better.

    The question has been asked why DETC schools don't pursue RA accreditation. As someone who is actively involved in the discussion at a DETC school, it comes down to a number of factors:

    1. Having 'sufficient' full time faculty (The RAs won't tell you what that is-- just that you probably don't have it.)
    2. Having governance structures in place that the RA's will approve if the company is a for-profit-- (Again, they don't say what that would be-- but that you don't have it.)
    3. The time and expense of an accreditation system that is less prescriptive coupled with the 'no substantive change' factor-- once you start the process, you can't make any changes or offer new programs until approved -- and this process can take 4 to 7 years to get RA. DETC schools like how they can adapt to changes in the marketplace more quickly than their RA peers.

    There are, like in the RA system, a lot of good and bad programs in any accrediting body.
  8. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    So according to Dr RD Excelsior College will accept my 25 year old credit?
    Evaluated by WES and also by ECE they both gave a little bit different title to the degree.
    I read on their web site that they don't accept credit older then 10 years.

    Test - Failed

    The other local state university RA was able to accept only 50% toward their program because the other didn't match their classes- noting wrong here.
    At least they looked at old credit. Only because its Typical in my case only DETC awarded me 70%.

    Test - Failed

    Each case is individual.
  9. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    True they can't today teach at RA universities but can they teach in NA universities.
    This can be a start.

    I think accredited Doctorate will be a plus when experienced administrator applies for Principal job.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is. But when some people try to make sweeping statements about these issues, then those sweeping statements can be taken apart. And almost always, it's by people who have already enrolled in schools accredited by the DETC.

    I have no dog in this hunt. No agenda. I benefit in no way from anyone's success or failure with a degree from a DETC accredited school. I benefit in no way from the success or failure of any DETC-accredited school. I don't work in higher education; I don't even teach as an adjunct (any more). And in my business affairs, I have no problems with accepting degrees from DETC-accredited schools as on par with those from RA schools.

    Frankly, it would be just fine with me if taking a degree from a DETC-accredited school was, generally, as good as taking one from an RA school. But it isn't. And no amount of protestations to the contrary will change that.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    That's a very tiny universe, my colleague.
  12. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    A very similar case has already been tested. See this thread:


    I don't believe that graduates of Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Cold Spring Harbor, the American Museum of Natural History or Christies encounter any more difficulty finding professioal positions than graduates of similarly prestigious RA institutions. The people that hire at that level, for those kind of positions, aren't paying a great deal of attention to institutional accreditation. They are interested in institutional reputation, typically in their own narrow specialty.

    The fact that the NY Regents schools are accredited by a non-RA accreditor is largely irrelevant. People don't hire these graduates because they love New York. Most employers have never heard of NY Regents accreditation, just as most have probably never heard of DETC. Employers hire these graduates because they respect the schools that they graduated from, for reasons that are largely unrelated to the accreditation.

    Now admittedly, DETC doesn't have anything in its roster that's remotely comparable to these places. But the problem isn't really the accreditation itself, it's the weakness of the schools that DETC accredits. If DETC found some way to lure a world-class academic institution to sign up with them, that school would continue to be world class and that's how the people who employ its graduates would continue to perceive it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  13. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

    The 10 year limit at EC is on technology credits for the BSBA from the business school (And you can appeal the credits if you're not going for the IS/IT focus of the degree). And they also have a 20 year limit on business credits for the degree as well.

    But they will take tech credits over 10 years old as applied professional credits towards LA degrees. In fact, they accepted my 18 year old CIS credits from Strayer University and even allowed me to use them as an Area of Focus (kinda like a minor major minor... 21 credits, 6 at UL required.)

    Before I applied and enrolled at EC, I bothered the hell out of them for 2 weeks straight making sure that I wasn't going to have to do a credit appeal on my classes & certs because of their age. And they told me every time - Nope, not as long as its not towards a degree from the business school.
  14. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I think you are making one major mistake by putting all DETC school and all RA schools in the same category for comparison.

    For example there are or used to be very disputed Doctorates and this is not an attack on you but simply there are RA universities that in time in history are questionable in their approach.

    So my conclusion is very simple.

    Its the school that the student chooses based on the school ability to meet or exceed expectations.

    I remember you and Steve Levicof had a problem with utility of Liberty Doctorates. Are these doctorates better then one will earn at DETC university.
    I wander if they are inferior to some DETC universities new Doctorates.
    Given all the criticism I read about the research short untraditional doctorates.
    Liberty got in to trouble over this approach.

    I have no problem with experimental degrees but it is a deception to sum all RA as one class. It is not.

    I personally think that the big 3 are fast degrees and inferior to many of the DETC universities.
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information.
    I tried the IS, IT and one more non Business rout at EC and TESC.
    EC rejected all my credit transfer, TESC did their own assessment and accepted very low number of classes. Then I was surprised when local state university was able to accept around 50% but the number of students was overwhelming and it was very difficult to enroll in classes as most were taken and I had to wait almost a year for some.

    The cost also was a factor.

    I must admit that I didn't try to push or write letters to any of the schools.
  16. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

    Hmm.. How to approach this one. Many universities allow you to take CLEPS & DSSTs for class credit. Many universities allow you to transfer credit into their programs.

    All the big three have really done is taken off the limits of how many CLEPS, DSSTs, and Transfer credits that other universities have. (And EC will even evaluate DETC credits for application to a degree program.)

    I know people who've taken 90%+ tests to get through the school, and I know people that have only taken a handful of tests for credit. Personally I'm sitting at about 30 credits of tests that I've transfered in. 1/4 of a degree and all stuff you'd deal with in Freshmen & maybe even sophomore year.

    As far as the courses being taken from them, so far I like what I've seen from EC. Its a good amount of work for each of the classes that I'm in, definitely something that you can't skate through. I've taken B&M courses from Strayer University (back when they were only Strayer College) as well as Potomac State College and the University of Alabama. There may be a little less rigor than those schools' classes, and on the flip side, there has been more rigor than some of the classes I've taken in the past, but don't confuse 'rigor' with 'amount of busy work'.

    As far as value, I could say that for the most part, the experience at EC has been more inexpensive, but that's a lie, simply because EC not only has cost me what I'm paying to take classes and enroll, but what I've paid in the past to these other schools to obtain the credits.

    The only thing I've (personally in my experience) that I've found inferior about EC is how people view the name. But that's not going to stop me from applying to Masters programs to get where I want.. Shrug.
  17. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    You are correct, I hold some bad feeling because I couldn't transfer credit.
    Also EC Business and Technology programs are Professionally accredited.
    So there is value added and will have better recognition.

    In my case I got what I needed and it was from DETC school.
    I saved time and money, then I got what I needed career wise.

    The EC or TESC degree is as good as one passes an exam or the classes one took in another university / college. Well there are a lot of test preps that teach people to pass an exam. This is not always an indication that a students have the knowledge of the subject. Its inferior to instructor lead classes with home work, papers, Labs, and exams.
    Its hard to asses the value because it can be on many levels.
    If a person transferred credit from quality university then its one thing if it just testing out its another thing.

    All classes I took required reading, writing assignments and labs in some classes I couldn't just take finals.
    The whole process of reading the text book, watching DVD and talking with instructor, submitting 10 to 14 tests in the end of each lesson , 14 lessons complete a class. Questions formulated to test learned materials etc. DETC schools specialize in that, DL studying.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2010
  18. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    At UoP, such a doctorate would be unrecognized for hiring and pay purposes. One from Capella, for example, would be just fine. I have to think there are many other situations where such degrees would be categorically excluded, despite the stellar nature of the awarding organizations. Sorry, but that's just the way things go sometimes.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't, and I've made that clear in this very thread. But many others do. And that's a reality graduates from DETC-accredited schools have to face.
    In these circles, yes. But I doubt if any Union Ph.D. has ever had any trouble with the utility of his/her degree based on Union's troubles with the OBR. This isn't to equate a Union Ph.D. with one from, say, Chicago. But you're badly overstating something you're not really knowledgeable about.
    Funny, I don't remember that at all, either for myself or for Steve. I don't think I've ever commented on Liberty's doctorates, but if you can pull the thread where I did, fine.
    Whether or not such RA degrees are "inferior" in some way you're not stating, the fact remains that such degrees are far superior in doing what degrees are supposed to do. Sorry.
  20. simon

    simon New Member

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