Why Is This Forum Still Here?

Discussion in 'The Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies' started by Rich Douglas, Aug 17, 2022.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And as for that Euclid - the Greek guy - no, thanks. Had enough of him in High School. No Royal Road to Geometry? Well, I never found one, anyway. But I still think that S.O.B. was lying about it... maybe to keep himself in a job.
  2. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I recently got my US citizenship and was comparing the passport strength of the US and Canada. While they are almost identical there are a few differences. One is that Canada requires a visa to go to CAR while Americans can go visa-free. I don't even know how you start turning a country like that around, when its troubles seem so insurmountable.
  3. Charles Fout

    Charles Fout Active Member

    Congratulations on becoming a U.S. Citizen. CAR? Central African Republic? Thank you for your efforts.
    Dustin likes this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sadly, Dustin, I guess the CAR doesn't know how, either. From The Canadian Government:

    Pretty frightening. Years ago, I wrote, either in this forum or on now-defunct DD, "CAR is Hell!" mostly because I had a real bad thing against former "Emperor" Jean-Bedel Bokassa, for murdering many schoolchildren. He died in 1996 but I still feel the same way about him. Name doesn't matter, but somebody got on my case, saying only Hell is Hell. I dunno -- in light of this info --- I've decided I'm still not retracting that statement.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2022
    Dustin likes this.
  5. cleenewerck

    cleenewerck New Member

    Thank you to Johann for being gracious to me in his post and realistic about CAR (where I have been of course, in 2016 when President Touadera was elected). Yes, there is a measure of stigma and opposition that remains attached to CAR, perhaps courtesy of Bokassa, but that was a long time ago. Plus believe or not many older people in CAR remember those days as better days. This being said, EUCLID obtained a second official HQ in The Gambia in 2013 and got settled there in 2015 while maintaining our CAR presence. We went through the entire accreditation process with their national agency called NAQAA and received full institution accreditation in 02/2022. We have a significant presence there (a nice building as well) and our academic operations have reached a good level since EUCLID began in 2008. I just finished a 3.5-year-long Ph.D. in public health at Texila/Universidad Central de Nicaragua because (1) I could afford that and wanted to qualify in this field which is important... (2) I wanted to compare the features and standards compared to what we do at EUCLID. I will post my comments somewhere else! My sense is that EUCLID is slowly overcoming the CAR issue thanks in part to The Gambia NAQAA accreditation but also a decent record of dissertations, articles, faculty work, annual reports, alumni, etc. Also through partnerships with ECOWAS, ACS, IACA, etc. We have trained quite a few people for governments and in the UN system. I cannot blame Johann not liking CAR or EUCLID as academic havens, and I think his recent posts are factual and sincere --- we are all getting older these days. Online learning became the norm under COVID and this may have been transformational, for better or worse. I will forever prefer the idea of being on campus somewhere great-looking (the campus, not me), building there a lifelong network of peers. I enjoyed that (a bit) in Montpellier and St Tikhon's in Pennsylvania and would have loved to experience Stanford or a nice East Coast university when I was in my 20s. I dreamt about that for a long time reading Erich Segal! For some people, affordable online options are a reasonable way to eventually accomplish those goals in a different way... Regards to all, Fr Laurent Cleenewerck
  6. James O'Brien

    James O'Brien New Member

    Out of place?

    Like a PhD driving a truck ... not out of place?

    Rev Dr Prof Sheila Danzig is never out of place or her understanding of higher education.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't know. To each his/her own.
    Nice non sequitur.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The consortium in Africa is call Ballsbridge. It is looks like hundreds of smalls unaccredited schools put together to create a great force of unaccredited education that validate itself because they are hundreds of schools put together that validate each other. Most of these schools are tuition free or low cost, very interesting model and might be valid if the educational experience is real.

    There is an evolution in education systems. I have followed this forum for long time, there were long debates about Northcentral University being a mill and that an online PhD was not possible, etc and now it is the most normal thing with so many PhD and online doctoral program.

    UNEM was discussed because it was one of the first schools that offered distance learning PhDs to Americans. Many discussions about their legality of their degrees, etc but at the end, they are just another no name private university in Costa Rica that probably makes no difference in a CV other than the few people that adjunct with this degree.

    The propio degrees are an effort to provide very cheap education within the legal system. Discussions about their legality, blah, blah but at the end, the ENEB degree or UNEM or Private University of el Salvador does not make a difference in a CV other than the learning experience. However, they are hard to use for licensing, faculty positions or prestigious positions that normally require a degree that is more recognized or aligned to the licensing body in question. Valid in general but with their limitations but maybe not so different to the more expensive options from low profile American schools that also lead to the same thing.

    Rich was a student at MIGS, I believe he enrolled most likely because he believed in the program but there was a lot of controversy about their degrees mainly because people with low reputation were involved in the operation and not so much because the school that is a decent low profile school in Mexico not so much different than Azteca. However, MIGS was really offering propio degrees because these degrees were not approved by the minister of education in Mexico and just doctoral programs with no official value but people were enrolling mainly because cost and ignorance that these degrees did not worth much even in Mexico.

    We joined this group because we love education and we love the non traditional approach to education but sometimes we are closed to new paradigms that might be valid efforts to provide education opportunities. However, we also witnessed abuse of the needs of people for affordable education and we observe everyday people abusing the system by making money offering scam degrees, degrees with little academic value, etc.

    There is a trend to make education more affordable and accessible, either with propio degrees or courseera type of certificates and degrees. There is also the trend that these degrees are not longer differentiators but the common standard, people are expected to get some kind of education either by using non traditional means such as google certificates but not longer these certificates are meant to differentiate you but just make you one more from the crowd.
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'll buy that. Every word. So - what can differentiate a person, now that degrees are a common standard - and certs etc. make you one more of the crowd? Whatever it is - I hope it doesn't cost $150K. :)
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    @RFValve BTW thanks for mentioning Ballsbridge. Quite a network. They even have a Canadian site - offering degrees in Metaphysical stuff, Holistic Psych, Quantum this-and-that. There's all kinds of degree-granting stuff here, now, that wouldn't have lasted a week, years ago. It appears AUCC and the Provincial Ministries are asleep at the wheel. Or dead - I'm not sure. :(

    Oh, Ballsbridge! My, how you've grown! :) I remember when it looked like one single "Uni" registered as an IBC in Roseau, Dominica. One of the "8 Copthall Crowd." IIRC, the founder of that "school" was Nigerian. Now, look at the network! They even have the "Ballsbridge Qualification Framework."
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2022
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The same way they always have: experience.

    There was a time when graduating high school was unusual. Then college. But employers--current and prospective--have always had other means at their disposal to make the distinctions they need.

    When employers were more vested in "lifelong" employment, they didn't have to rely on external validation. They hired, promoted from within, and trained where necessary. Now they have to make distinctions about people they don't know, and credentialing (about which I wrote a chapter in the most current ATD Handbook) is a part of that.

    So much of higher education's power to distinguish people came from its exclusivity. Degreed people largely came from a different class. But changes to "lifelong" employment--which I attribute to the shift from defined benefit retirements to defined contribution retirements--meant more mobility among employees. Employers had to rely on external factors--validating past successes and, yes, credentials--to make those distinctions in these people they did not know.

    But there are limits to this. Irrelevant credentials can, at best, be a waste. At worst, they can be a detractor, a distraction. I speak from experience on that one.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is true. Back then, everyone focused on institutional status, not whether an individual degree was "inside" or "outside" the approved scope of the school. That's why the International Handbook of Universities included MIGS its listing of the home university, the CEU.

    To Steve Levicoff's credit, he severely criticized this arrangement, primarily because the CEU was approved to award one master's degree--and no doctorates. He was ahead of the curve on the proprio issue, even though no one was calling it that yet.
    There was really only one questionable person involved. Everyone else was above-board and had solid, legitimate credentials.

    When it was clear that MIGS was not going to properly build out legitimate education processes and curricula, I contacted the authorities in Florida (where it was being operated). MIGS had not applied for a license from the state, and they were not happy about that. The whole thing was shuttered soon after that. The figurehead--the "Allen Glick" of the story, was a campus president at CUS Monterey Bay. This did him no favors. I don't know what happened to everyone else.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There were two efforts to do this in the U.S. before the DEAC got involved. One was sincere and legitimate--but couldn't get off the ground. The other was an accreditation mill.

    South Africa has a qualifications framework where such schools would go to be recognized: the SAQA. I recently checked up on a school discussed here and found it listed with the SAQA, to my relief.
  14. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It seems that Azteca is also listed in the handbook. As I said before, the propio doctorates have more value outside Mexico than in Mexico. Azteca is smart enough not to market these degrees in the US, their main focus on Asia and Africa.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm dense, but I still don't understand how Ministry-unapproved Azteca doctorados can be worth anything outside of Mexico - if they're invalid in their own country. Handbook or no handbook. And the reason I say that is: AFAIK there is no such thing as a doctorado propio . It is clear in other Spanish-speaking countries (especially Spain) that a University may award Bachelor's and Master's degrees for which authorities' approval has not been sought. These are propios - and have a certain value - YMMV. But doctorados without approval? ¡Estrictamente prohibidos! :(

    And if such a degree has no place - and hence no standing in its country of origin, how can it have any in another? I don't see how that's possible.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2023
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  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think it's just an example of the time-honoured art of gringo-fleecing. Y nada más. :(
    Charles Fout likes this.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The same way a doctorate from a diploma mill can be valuable.

    The distinctions we're making here--essentially, unaccredited degrees from accredited schools--isn't one made by very many other people. If someone looks at all, it will be to see if the school actually exists. But they're not going to try to see if the actual degree is official or not.

    Two decades ago, all we talked about was "GAAP" (Generally Accepted Accreditation Principles), because that's how AACRAO did it. The criteria were institutional--was the school listed in one of six credible ways? University admissions officials were left on their own to decide. Employers? They were really out of their element.

    The one thing that has changed since then is the foreign credential evaluation game. This middleman operation arose to make distinctions registrars didn't want and employers couldn't. Those consumers of your resume still don't make those distinctions, but many now know to ask for an evaluation. If they do, the proprio thing becomes a problem. If they don't, you have a layer of assurance--the school being legit--you don't get with straight-up diploma mills.

    The other distinction I see is that the proprio degree isn't likely to blow up (John Bear's time-bomb-in-your-resume) and bring scandal. I hardly think the distinction would seem like a difference to most people, even if it disqualified one from a job. The local school superintendent with the diploma mill doctorate would make quite a story for the local paper. That same person with a proprio doctorate? I doubt it.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Propio Doctorates are legal, there are not forbidden by law. The issue here is that legislations in some countries recognize a foreign degree if listed in the UNESCO book so Technically a doctorate cannot be recognized in Mexico but recognized in other countries.

    This most likely wont last forever, the foreign country would change the legislation and only recognize the degrees that are also are recognized in the country of origin. In the mean time, schools from Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico and Nicaragua are trying to cash from the legislations.

    There is nothing illegal about this. If you call your degrees "propio" you are legally covered. In Mexico non recognized degrees are just called "diplomas" and are meant to be continuing education. In Spain they are called "Master" mainly because these degrees were not part of the education system but only recently.

    The MIGS operations was also granting "propio" doctorates and people were buying because in the US as Rich mentioned, it was GAAP that was the standard for foreign recognition. Nowadays, evaluation services understand better the Mexican system and few evaluation services recognize the Mexican Azteca propio doctorates.

    Similar situation in India with alternative Medicine degrees. These were legal as long as you call your Degrees "Doctor of Naturopathy" or "Doctor of Alternative Medicine". However, the issue is abuse, IBAM was granting MD degrees with label "Alternative" Medicine but some graduates were abusing the title and used them to practice regular medicine. Many people in the US and other countries use the MDs from India to pass themselves as medical doctors, maybe they don't practice Medicine but might deceive employers in thinking that they are trained MDs with 4 year degrees (IBAM MDs were 6 month to 1 year programs), as the degrees were legal in India then the prospect employer was thinking he was hiring a real MD.

    Propio degrees were meant to be diplomas or certificates for continuing education. My guess is that people that legislated them, never taught that with the internet Universities would start abusing this legislation and use it to grant doctorates to foreigners.

    As Rich mentioned, the market of these qualifications are really people that just want to be called Doctor with a foreign qualification that is legal in the country. Mainly vanity legal degrees.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2023
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It's propio, Rich, Not proprio. No biggie.

    These Azteca doctorates are not propios. As I explained in my previous post, there are no "propio" doctorates. Master's and Bachelor's degrees that authorities' approval is not sought for - they're propios, and have value. The value and any restrictions are specified in the country of origin. YMMV on credential evaluation where you live.

    There are NO propio doctorates. AFAIK they're not allowed anywhere.. No standing in the country of origin = no standing elsewhere. Worth whatever an Axact doctorate is - zip nada bupkes. Unless someone slips up and thinks it's OK. And if someone does - that's not value - it's dumb luck. Very dumb.
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Simply put - it was asserted that one of these "propio" doctorates (which it isn't) was "worth more" outside Mexico than it was in its home country. My take: if it has no standing at home (unauthorized doctorate = not a propio) then it cannot be "worth more" abroad.

    Yes - it could slip through the cracks, possibly. But that's not value. It's not "worth more." The holder is undeservedly lucky.

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