Why Trident's Accreditation is NOT in Jeopardy

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Stu_Dent, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    No one cares to argue with you about whether or not the Yankees will beat the Red Sox. Just watch the game, will ya?

    No, the position you stated earlier is that it was unlikely to be lost, something that really can not be proven- not even in retrospect after the accreditor decides Trident's fate.

    None of us, to my knowledge, work for WASC. You are arguing with the wrong people if you take exception to the questioning of the school's reputation. The fact that you are now working on ad hominem doesn't bode well for whatever agenda you have.
  2. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I guess the words "Show Cause" mean nothing to you?

    On a side note, consider this a warning to keep your rant on topic and refrain from ad hominem.
  3. Stu_Dent

    Stu_Dent New Member

    I apologize but If you are issuing warnings then at least be even-handed and issue them to the other ad hominem offenders as well.

    Erm... you seem not to have understood my argument. It is precisely BECAUSE the "show cause" letter and the consequences of not satisfying WASC are so serious that I argue that given that the problems are fixable the risk of TUI not doing so is virtually nil. TUI will not, in my opinion, lose its accreditation, and I think it's important that students understand that and my reasoning for saying so. The problems are fixable, it can't afford for the solutions not to be accepted by the accreditors, so the problems will be fixed and TUI will do whatever it takes to secure its accreditation.

    There has been not one reasonable counter-argument offered by other posters in this thread or the other about the risk of TUI losing its accreditation for students to suffer heightened worry or the disruption of considering transferring elsewhere.

    Given this it seems to me to be the height of irresponsibility for people now to continue advocating that they do so, and I really have to question why they are continuing to try to stir up panic, fear and worry for people who are already needlessly concerned. I sincerely hope that others reading this discussion will develop the same skepticism and dismiss the ill-informed fear-mongers for what they are. Not to do so would be to raise a new risk: namely that through the ill-founded fear they create, a panic ensues thereby inflicting more damage on a university trying its level best to cope with an already damaging situation.
  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Fine, you win. Happy now?
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Yes. Ask yourself which level you are trying to reach here.
  6. Shal916

    Shal916 New Member

    Looks like we at this educationally deficient site are not at the level of argument as the OP but I will give him/her a thumbs up for his/her use of the thesaurus. We all know you are a very smart person but your elementary arguments should be stated in the form they are meant to be ELEMENTARY.
  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I didn't mean to sadden you. So in an attempt to cheer you up, I will add one constructive suggestion:

    WASC could extend Trident's accreditation, but place the school under "Warning" or "Probation" status, which are lesser sanctions than "Show Cause" or "Termination". In this case, Trident would continue to be regionally accredited, but its operations would be subject to a heightened degree of scrutiny and oversight by WASC, and it would be required to document continuing progress towards resolution of WASC's concerns. If such progress was made, the sanctions would eventually be lifted.

    Such sanctions are not unusual. For example, WASC currently has another school on "Probation", and yet another school was recently downgraded from "Probation" to "Warning".

    I have no inside information on the situation, but if WASC does decide to continue Trident's accreditation, it certainly seems possible that they might do so with strings attached.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011
  8. Shal916

    Shal916 New Member

    I did not want to get in to an argumentative writing contest with you but since you are constantly concluding that we, at this forum, are not competent enough to go against your arguments I will try to hinder any more great comments that come from you. You said that the problems which led to the “show cause” letter are easily fixed. First let’s define how “show cause” is according to WASC. A Show Cause action reflects the Commission's finding that the institution is substantially out of compliance with one or more of the Standards of Accreditation and must demonstrate within one year why its accreditation should not be terminated. As stated in the 2008 Handbook of Accreditation, the burden of proof now rests on the University. If this was an issue that was “easily fixed” like you say, WASC would have issued a warning and not go directly to a step that is right before a termination of an institutions accreditation. To be as smart as you and make it sound so easy for TUI to fix its problems would be indirectly saying that WASC made a wrong decision in issuing the “show cause” to TUI.

    Such easy problem fixes would not require WASC to issue the “show cause”. Second you argue that the consequences of not fixing the problems would have a very adverse consequence and therefore the institution would have to fix it. Yes the not making important changes would negatively impact TUI, but there is no evidence that WASC will even consider those to be any bettering of the problem. I think that you are confusing your levels of accreditation warnings. A “show cause” is not a first warning or probation that TUI fixes the problems and they are good to go. Trident must show that they in the future will not cause the same accreditation problems that they have caused now. How can an entity show that errors that they made in the present will not be repeated in the future? Trying to prove such situation in the future is very difficult and thus your assumption of the accreditation loss at “NIL” is false.

    Further, you go about saying that, “Personnel are being replaced and a new and more experienced man is running the university now.” This change is fine however it does not solve the problem that such mistakes will not occur in the future. Just by changing the personnel and having another “more experienced” person run the university does not show that a university that violated a current rule of WASC will not do it again in the future. From WASC, The Commission reviewed Trident University International under the WASC Handbook of Accreditation and found that the University was not in compliance with elements of two of the four WASC Standards for Accreditation: Standard 1 (Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Objectives) and 2 (Achieving Educational Objectives through Core Functions). Again, neither changing personnel nor putting a new experienced person to run the university will answer to the two standard violations.

    Further, you conclude your written constitution on why Trident will not lose its accreditation by saying that “the fixes are very likely to satisfy WASC.” I am assuming that you do not work for WASC or have an affiliation with them and thus to say that anything at all Trident does will satisfy WASC is “NIL”. You also write, “People on DegreeInfo.com are expressing worry and concern as to what they ought to do, whether they should go elsewhere, whether they should continue at TUI and so forth. The answer to that in my opinion is pretty obvious given that the assessment of the risk of losing accreditation is virtually nil and that is, TUI should be a potential school for any prospective student, and indeed existing students, for exactly the same reasons it was a potential school for them before this accreditation issue came along. The whole dear-me-the-sky-is-falling-what-to-do-what-to-do! Argument depends on the risk of losing accreditation and frankly there is no reason for expecting that to happen.” So your smartness would want prospective students, and existing students to not worry about the loss of accreditation status that Trident is in defines your smartness over all of us dumb people at Degreeinfo.

    As a student even if there is a .001 percent chance that a university I invested or am going to invest thousands of dollars into will lose its accreditation will deter me from going there. Also to go off topic, many employers are very serious in getting the most experienced and educationally found person as a potential employee and will research the educational background of the candidate. Just seeing that the institution was issued a “show cause” will greatly harm the candidate’s chances. You say that this accreditation “has absolutely no bearing on the quality of the educational experience at TUI.” No one on this thread mentioned anything about such statement and thus your advertising defense tactics should at the least have a root cause. In conclusion, I am not upset that such situation happened or anything that you said I was doing to bash into your argument.

    I do hope there is a “NIL” risk that TUI looses it accreditation, and TUI maintains its accreditation because so many of our military folks spend time there. We however, can’t make such a serious problem look as easy to fix as replacing the personnel and president. We at this site only TRY to recommend the best possible routes for any students in the education realm. You have your opinions and you have the right to say them. However, when you lash-out at other people’s opinions it tells us what type of person you are. I usually don’t drop down to this stage of arguments but I guess in order to get a person to understand other opinions you have to get to their level. Any risk for a student who has invested thousands of dollars into a school that has any chance of losing accreditation is a BIG RISK. If there was no risk involved than WASC would not have issued the “show cause”.

    You say, “First of all, there's the premise that all and sundry at TUI knew about the issue, had plenty of opportunity to deal with it yet knowingly chose not to. You say “Really? Is there ANY evidence for that assertion, which seems to assume that all the people at TUI, the managers, the administrators, the faculty and the staff were part of some big cover up, and knowingly acted in a deceitful manner?” Your smartness, we can also direct that statement towards you. How do you know Trident is doing anything? By them putting a statement on their website, you know they are doing everything to improve themselves. What evidence do you have that what happened now to them will not happen in the future. And what proof is there that what they are doing is what WASC is looking for. You seem like you are not affiliated with WASC or TUI so all your gathered information validity is also close to “NIL”. It is one thing to try to be act as others are inferior to you but to judge other peoples intelligence is wrong!
  9. Stu_Dent

    Stu_Dent New Member

    Possibly but this is now a different discussion from the question of whether accreditation will be lost.

    That the school may be more scrutinized, or may have other things to do does not seem to me to have a direct effect on students. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Currently the university is under an expansion injunction, so it cannot launch new programs, and that might continue; who knows, that's all speculation, and I gather that you know no more than me. However what restrictions might be placed on TUI post the show cause period are not as far as I can see likely to affect its students, other than those who might have gone there to take new programs which, at least for now, will not be offered.
  10. Stu_Dent

    Stu_Dent New Member

    I have tried to develop a summary of your arguments and my responses follow each.

    1. A “show cause” letter is a very serious step for the accreditors to take and because one was issued this must mean that the problems cannot be easily fixed by TUI.

    Personally I think the accreditors were as much or more annoyed by the failure to report than by the administrative screw up over transcripts and are laying it on the line to TUI as to how serious this is.

    However, to issue such a letter the accreditors need know nothing at all about what it might take to fix the problems and bring the institution into compliance with their standards. Fixing the problems is not their problem, so to speak, it’s TUI’s. They set standards and they determine whether they are being met. They need not and very probably cannot determine what needs to be done to bring an institution into compliance. That’s up to the institution. They can indicate the seriousness of the transgression, and that in my opinion is exactly what they have done.

    Thus the issuing of the show cause letter is not, in my opinion, related to the ease or difficulty of fixing the problem but rather is related to how seriously WASC regards the failures.

    My argument is then that because the consequences are so very serious, TUI will do whatever it takes to fix the problems and secure their accreditation, which will include finding out from WASC what needs to be done. Not to do so would be sheer stupidity. See my response to item 4 below regarding stupidity.

    2. There is no reason to believe that what TUI is doing will be regarded by WASC as a solution, partly because the solution must relate not only to their past behavior but also to their future behavior as an institution. “How can an entity show that errors that they made in the present will not be repeated in the future? Trying to prove such situation in the future is very difficult…”

    2. a. Changing personnel will not be enough to “answer ... the two standard violations.”

    I don’t agree and have made some suggestions regarding this in an earlier post where I listed things the university can do. According to their public statements they are doing many of them.

    Please bear in mind that there are quite specific failures which related to the violations of standards, and these have been made clear publicly. Therefore the solutions can be determined fairly specifically too.

    I suggest that it would be constructive and generally helpful to TUI’s students if you put your thinking cap on and developed some further suggestions yourself.

    3. Even a minuscule chance of the loss of accreditation will put me off going.

    That of course is your choice and I am not going to argue with you as to how you react to your perceptions of risk. My argument has been that the risk of TUI losing its accreditation is virtually nil. In my original post I mentioned that there’s a risk in driving to the supermarket to buy milk. I’m sure that some people choose not to do so even though the risk is so small. That’s their choice and good luck to them.

    3. a. The issuing of a show cause letter will harm students’ employment chances as employers will know about this and take it into account.

    That’s an interesting argument though purely speculative it seems to me. I’d argue that:

    - Most HR and other departments will know whether or not a school is accredited but are unlikely to know of “issues” in a school’s history.

    - Beyond accreditation, most employers are interested in the quality of the education provided by the school, and nothing in the “show cause” letter relates to educational quality at TUI. I’d expect that if an employer knew about the letter they’d also know why it was issued and what happened subsequently and would understand that it did not reflect on the quality of the education provided.

    - If you are thinking in terms of doctoral students and their employment in academia, I’d argue that the same reasoning applies.

    4. “How do you know Trident is doing anything? By them putting a statement on their website, you know they are doing everything to improve themselves. What evidence do you have that what happened now to them will not happen in the future. And what proof is there that what they are doing is what WASC is looking for.“

    Like you I know what the university is saying it’s doing, and what it says it is doing makes a lot of sense to me as an appropriate way to deal with the specific problems of failed administrative systems for transcripts of courses completed by students transferring in and a failure to report.

    Like you I also know from reports on degreeinfo.com that the university is reported to have set up a hot line and is providing students with specific information.

    Beyond that I don’t imagine that I know more than you, apart from what I know about organizations, managers, leaders and people.

    One might believe that the university is doing nothing, but given the consequences for them of that, that seems implausible.

    One might believe that having employed people who made a very stupid decision the university has made the same mistake again and very stupidly replaced stupid people with yet similarly stupid people. Again I find that implausible.

    I’d suggest that it makes sense to believe that because this situation is so serious for the institution it will make sure it hires less stupid people than their predecessors, it will find out exactly what it has to do to satisfy WASC, and it will do it.

    So it seems to boil down to this: You can either believe that organizations and people don’t learn from their mistakes and cannot take corrective actions, or you believe, as I do, that, particularly in these circumstances, they do and can.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    This thread is does not add much value unless you take it as people "shooting from the hip". I have a good idea: if you are looking for a program and considing Trident, weight out the facts and make a good decision (whatever that means to you). If you are not shopping for a program, sit back, watch what happens, learn something (or not), then comment. I am certain that none of us know all the facts and details of the audit and/or the remedy in place. This sucks for Trident graduates but, as it has been stated, this is not an educational quality issue, it is an adminitrative process issue.
  12. Shhhhhhhh..."Randell the Wise" has spoken...now go forth and heed his instructions. :silly:
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Me wise - heck no :sleeping1:
  14. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail: :hail:
  15. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    What we do know, based on the history of similar processes with other schools, both at WASC and at the other five regionals who act in a very similar manner, is that by the time a "show cause" is issued, things are very, very serious, and a pretty high percentage of schools who get to "show cause" eventually lose their accreditation. Lots of schools get a "warning", and a few even get to "probation" and are able to correct things and get back to a satisfactory status with the accreditor. This is less often the case with schools get to "show cause" status, precisely because the process is designed to allow schools multiple chances to correct things, and by the time they get to "show cause", time is running out, and there is rarely enough a school can do to rectify things by the time it's gone to that stage.

    But having read through this thread, it appears that Stu Dent is basically more interested in pulling stuff out of his ass, and making a bunch of unfounded assumptions and assertions, rather than making informed inferences based on the past history of WASC's actions.

    Pretty much the entire moderation team has said the same thing in one way or another: Other than what we know from what WASC has publicly stated, we can't know how serious the issues are, whether they can be corrected, what, if any, conversations and plans are being discussed between Trident and WASC. So to say anything else is simply conjecture.

    The data says that the likelihood of pulling out from "show cause" status and getting back to full, unrestricted accreditation is not by any means a given, and is considerably less likely than recovering full accreditation after the other types of warnings. That said, it seems likely that Trident *will* lose its accreditation, based on similar experiences with other schools in similar situations. There really isn't much else that can be said with any certainty.
  16. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I disagree!!!!! Randell is wise. That right - I said it! :smile:

    I would offer a small suggestion. To those who argue in favor of Trident keeping their accreditation. Use your energy and direct it to WASC, politicians or anyone who can influence change via pressure. For years, many told me Texas had the right to not "recognize" DETC as a valid accreditor. After years of arguing the point on this and other boards, I took the advice I am giving you now.

    Now in the end, did it really matter who had the legal right to do this or that? No, all that matters is that a policy that was wrong no longer exists. Victory is sweet!!!!!!!!!!!

    Either way,

    Have a good weekend everybody!

  17. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree Chip. Once "show cause" is invoked, The road to perdition is almost certain.

  18. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Do you know any histroy of schools that had a "show cause"? We can assume all we want but what has history shown us?
  19. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Here is a little bit of historical content:

    At its meeting, June 8-10, 2005, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, took the following institutional actions:

    Accreditation Terminated on the Basis of a Show Cause Report and Visit.
    Compton Community College, accreditation terminated on August 19, 2005.
    Accreditation continues pending resolution of any review and appeal.


    At its meeting, June 8-10, 2005, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, took the following institutional actions:

    Reaffirmed Accreditation on the Basis of a Comprehensive Evaluation

    College of the Desert
    Cypress College
    Deep Springs College
    Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
    Fullerton College
    Merced College
    Victor Valley

    Placed on Warning on the Basis of a Comprehensive Evaluation

    West Hills College Coalinga

    Accepted Progress Report with Visit

    Folsom Lake College
    Imperial Valley College
    Santa Monica College

    Removed from Warning on the Basis of a Progress Report and Visit

    College of Micronesia-FSM
    Kapi’olani Community College
    Kauai Community College
    Leeward Community College
    Maui Community College

    Continued on Warning on the Basis of a Progress Report and Visit

    College of Marin
    Honolulu Community College
    Windward Community College

    Placed on Warning on the Basis of a Progress Report and Visit

    Hawaii Community College

    Removed from Probation on the Basis of a Progress Report and Visit

    Brooks College

    Accepted Progress Report

    Butte College
    Don Bosco Technical Institute
    Palomar College
    Sierra College
    Taft College
    Ventura College

    Progress Report Not Accepted

    Oxnard College

    Continued on Warning on the Basis of a Progress Report

    Evergreen Valley College
    San Jose City College

    Extended Show Cause on the Basis of a Progress Report and Visit

    College of the Marshall Islands
    Salvation Army Crestmont College

    Accreditation Terminated on the Basis of a Show Cause Report and Visit

    Compton Community College, accreditation terminated on August 19, 2005. Accreditation continues pending resolution of any review and appeal.

    Accepted System Report with Visit

    University of Hawai‛i Community College System

    Accepted Focused Midterm Report

    El Camino College
    Lassen College
    Los Medanos College
    Mendocino College
    Palos Verdes College
    San Joaquin Delta College

    Accepted Midterm Report

    Cerritos College
    Contra Costa College
    Diablo Valley College
    TransPacific Hawaii College

    Approved Substantive Changes

    Canada College: Medical Assisting program, transferred from the College of San Mateo

    Cosumnes River College: establish 1) On-Line Dietetic Technician Program,
    2) On-Line Health Information Technology Certificate and Associate degree program

    Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising: establish one baccalaureate degree program in Business Administration

    Guam Community College: add certificate of Practical Nursing program

    MTI College: establish a Paralegal Studies Certificate program

    National Polytechnic College of Engineering and Oceaneering:
    establish 1) Associate Degree program in Hyberbaric Medical Technology with an orthopedic option, 2) Associate Degree program in Respiratory Therapy

    Northern Marianas College: establish the Associate Degree program in Natural Resources Management

    San Joaquin Valley College: establish 1) Criminal Justice Administration On-Line Program, 2) Human Resources Administration On-Line Certificate and Associate Degree program,
    3) Industrial Technology Certificate program, 4) Criminal Justice Corrections program at the Modesto campus, 5) Respiratory Therapy On-Line program, 6) new site in Sacramento, 7) Medical Office Administration program at Hanford extension, and the sites in Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield, and Rancho Cucamonga, 8) A.S. Degree completion program for the Hanford extension, and the sites in Fresno, Rancho Cucamonga, Visalia, Bakersfield, Modesto, Aviation, and Sacramento

    Santiago Canyon College: change location of the Continuing Education Division

    What it means in relation to the decision in this particular case? I have no idea.

  20. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

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