Why Trident's Accreditation is NOT in Jeopardy

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

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I am concerned also and want more fact then, "...looks bad for them..." I think some background on other schools that had a "show cause" was ordered. I think it was a mixed bag. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that the final word will be issued by the school / agency - not by this board.
  2. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Another "Show cause" example:


    It looks like Ellis failed to appeal in the timeframe required. Has Trident filed an appeal? I would assume so, but I don't like to assume.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2011
  3. !question

    !question New Member

    what now

    This is somewhat off topic but could be helpful. What should students of Trident
    (*me* :( ) do to prepare in case the school does loose its accreditation? Also does anyone know of any other schools that might be a better choice. I'm looking for a computer science program.
  4. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    People who are grasping at straws will do anything and everything possible to find arguments to support their position when few such arguments exist.

    As I said above, nothing more can really be said that isn't conjecture, so it's really pointless to keep arguing, except that I suppose if you're losing and don't want to admit, you'll keep arguing and come up with more and more desperate arguments to try to justify your position. Problem is, everyone except the person arguing the unwinnable point "got it" long ago, but that still never stops the person in that position from arguing. It's called "denial" and is the first in Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of loss.

    As far as data goes, all of WASC's (and the other regionals) decisions are public and can be examined to determine the historical incidence of schools who get to show cause and then stay accredited for any meaningful period afterwards. There aren't many. Of course, the schools frequently use various prolonging tactics; one school accredited by the Southern Association received a show cause notice and then an adverse action of loss of accreditation, and has been fighting (without success) in the courts for a couple of years. It has already lost, but it has successfully prolonged the inevitable for a couple of years.
  5. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    I would, if at all possible, transfer credits *now* to another program. While in theory the credits should transfer even after the school closes if the school loses accreditation, in practice, it gets harder to do because documentation is more difficult, clarification on the subject matter of a given course can be difficult to track down, and so forth.

    Are you looking for an undergrad or graduate CS? Do you have a particular focus or intended career? CS being such a broad field, having a little more clarity makes it easier to find what you're looking for.
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    What is this based on? How do you "know it for a fact"? Do you work for HLC and a decision has been made?
  7. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    Sarcasm, perhaps?
  8. ebwhite

    ebwhite New Member

    I receieved this from Trident/TUI yesterday- (I did not contact them first)

    Trident University Communications

    August 16, 2011

    Hi Erik,

    I am writing to inform you of an issue affecting our school and some students. You are NOT affected by this issue, but I did want to explain the issue to you so that if you hear or read about it, you will have the facts.

    We have discovered that some undergraduate students and alumni may be missing one or more of their required general education courses. The way in which we historically coded and categorized earned transfer credits for undergraduate students did not previously identify these missing credits.

    As a result, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), our accreditor, issued Trident an order to Show Cause why the accreditation of the institution should not be terminated as of March 30, 2012. The Commission took this action because they found that Trident was not in compliance with elements of two WASC Standards for Accreditation and that our initial response was insufficient.

    We want you to know that our accredited status remains intact during the Show Cause period, and we are committed to taking the measures necessary to meet or exceed WASC standards and minimize any impact on our students.

    During the review of undergraduate academic records, we were able to confirm that you are not one of the students missing general education courses necessary for your degree, and this situation requires no action on your part. You should be aware that we will be updating your degree plan to reflect proper coding. Good luck with your continued studies.

    If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-888-328-6802.

    Thank you.

    Seems like they are taking action with the process and are trying to save the RA. We will have to see what WASC decides to do....
  9. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    I would imagine if Trident undertakes a diligent, sincere effort to resolve the issue, WASC will probably relent-- especially if they resolve the majority of the issues before March.

    Not only is the research going to cost a few pennies, but I imagine they will have to offer the missing courses to those individuals for free. This will add up. But, with the potential for significant enrollment numbers they could probably make that money up in a few years if they act quickly. As others have stated, their owners have deep pockets and might be willing to pony up to get the issues resolved.

    It's still wait and see at least for a few more months, though. I wonder how long it took them to reach out to students, as in when did they actually start sending these E-mails? How long will it take to complete the communication, including actually getting a response from the students affected? How long will it take to get all of them through courses, if those have to be taken?

    It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out. There may not be enough data for them to take to WASC until just before the deadline in March. I'm quietly keeping my fingers crossed for Trident, but it's a waiting game until that deadline from a spectator standpoint.
  10. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    And even if WASC did not relent, there could still be another option. Even in that "worst-case" scenario, it's possible that Summit Partners could still cut a deal to sell Trident off to some other for-profit school with regional accreditation in good standing.

    A move like this could make sense for Summit. Realistically, if Trident lost RA, then its value to Summit would be greatly diminished. However, Trident might still have relatively high value to some other school that could immediately incorporate Trident into its existing RA operations. If so, then selling Trident could be more profitable for Summit than keeping it.

    A move like this could make sense for another school. As noted in other threads, many large for-profit schools are struggling to maintain enrollments. Merger and acquisition activity seems to be picking up. There are probably other schools out there that would be happy to acquire Trident -- and thousands of Trident students -- if the price was right.

    A move like this could make sense for WASC. If they don't have any faith in the current Trident administration, then they might be happy to see Trident taken over by a new team with RA in good standing.

    Granted, it might or might not make sense for the students and alumni. But realistically, Summit Partners is a for-profit business, and investor interests have the highest priority.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  11. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I do not pretend to be real clear on how the "students" are moved from school to school when it is sold off and what happens with their records and why...anyway this is a sore point. Back to the question: When you say Trident selling the "school" to another school if they loss RA status, do you mean cutting a deal with another school to accept all the students and having them roll into the aquiring schools program without the loss of credits? In a sense, they are just sell the "students", not the school. Am I understanding you correctly?
  12. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    Wow, I hadn't thought of all that-- you've got a lot of good points there. Selling Trident to an RA school would immediately give its legitimacy back, as well as "grandfather" students into the acquiring school's programs.
  13. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The buyer gets whatever assets Trident has (as with any business sale). In this (hypothetical) case, those assets could include:

    - the thousands of enrolled students (who presumably are willing to pay tens of millions of dollars to complete their degrees)
    - the "Trident University" brand name (which presumably could be attractive to other students in the future)
    - Trident's contracts with faculty (who might have special teaching talents and skills)
    - Trident's recruiting and sales staff (who presumably have built up some skills and connections)

    If the buyer perceived the "Trident" brand to have particular value -- possibly for a school specializing in serving military personnel -- then it could be kept as a separate academic division within some larger school. Hypothetically, it could become something like "Trident College of the University of Phoenix" or the "Trident School of Kaplan University". Alternatively, if the brand has little perceived value, then it could be dropped entirely, and the former Trident students, faculty, and sales staff could simply be absorbed into the larger school.

    In either case, Trident would have to operate under the "umbrella" of an existing RA institution, in order to maintain RA.

    The institution known variously as "Touro University International", "TUI University", and "Trident University International" has been bought and sold before. It has been accredited independently, and it has operated under the accreditation of a larger school. These sorts of changes could happen again.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  14. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I know it all to well being a graduate of Touro University International - Branch Campus of Touro College!
  15. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Selling Trident???

    Another obstacle with a proposed sale of Trident to another for profit is that most of the for profits are HLC schools, while Trident is a WASC school. Not saying it couldn't happen, but you would need to have another regional "sign off" on this.

  16. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    Also, Trident probably has hired consultants (WASC Peer Reviewers) who can help them work through the issues. My current school hired a consultant to walk us through the ACBSP accreditation process; and my former school hired a consultant to work us through outcomes assessment.
  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Rather than buy Trident's carcass, if I ran a competing school I'd simply market a program that offered permissive transfer credit to Trident refugees. The students are the only thing that's really valuable -- poach them!
  18. truckie270

    truckie270 New Member

    Exactly - why take the baggage of Trident when you can throw a generous offer out on the table and have their students self-select to leave it behind?
  19. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    You could do that. But then again -- couldn't all of your competitors do exactly the same thing ?

    And if so, is there perhaps some way that you could gain a competitive advantage in this situation ?

    Well, maybe there is. As outsiders, you (and your competitors) wouldn't have access to Trident's confidential academic records. You wouldn't know who Trident's students are, or how to contact them. You wouldn't know what they are studying, or how far along they are. You wouldn't know the professors or advisors that they have been studying with.

    But what if you bought Trident, and gained exclusive insider access to this confidential data ? Would it give you a marketing advantage if you were the only school that knew (1) exactly how to contact each and every Trident student, and (2) exactly what to offer each and every one of them ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2011
  20. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    What I find really curious about this is that the letter is implying that the only issue WASC has is a relatively minor issue in coding and categorizing credits resulting in some students not completing requirements imposed as part of WASC's accreditation standards.

    Were this the whole story, I would think it would be WASC saying "Hey, we identified this, you need to fix it", the school going "Oh, oops! That's a complete oversight, and we'll fix it immediately."

    I could imagine that this sort of administrative oversight could happen pretty easily when schools are combined, students transferred between schools, etc. and I can't imagine that it would be enough to get a school on probation, let alone all the way down the path to "show cause."

    So something seems a little amiss here.

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