Wyoming Legislator Slams Accreditation

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by russ, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. russ

    russ New Member

    One of the lawmakers, Democrat Kathryn Sessions, said she supports tougher rules for distance learning but does not think accreditation is necessarily the answer.

    “I just don’t believe that the good should be thrown out with the bad,” she said. “I know how much money accrediting institutions charge universities and colleges — and I’m a little bit tired that they think they’re the end-all.”

    This is a comment on February 5th of 2005 about accreditation of post-secondary schools in the state of Wyoming. The legislator is obviously someone who believes that accreditation does not necessarily equate to quality of education.

    This is not about diploma mills. We all agree that no one should get a college degree without working for it. My point is that you have a bureaucratic system that is perpetuating itself by demanding that no one recognize any degrees that are not approved by it. Have we forgotten that accreditation is voluntary, not required?

    As most of us know, competition is vital to promoting excellence of any product or service. From personal experience at a regionally accredited university, I know that some of their professors and courses were as much of a joke as any unaccredited college could be. After all, look at the recent case of professor Ward Churchill at the regionally accredited University of Colorado who was head of his department in Ethnic Studies posing as a Native American when he was not one at all.

    Should RAs be the only acceptable accrediting agency as many of you say?
  2. galanga

    galanga New Member


    Also in that story:
  3. Khan

    Khan New Member

    Where did you hear that?
  4. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Have we forgotten that accreditation is voluntary, not required?

    Well it's not exactly the case isnt it?

    The United States has no Federal Ministry of Education or other centralized authority exercising single national control over postsecondary educational institutions in this country. The States assume varying degrees of control over education, but, in general, institutions of higher education are permitted to operate with considerable independence and autonomy. As a consequence, American educational institutions can vary widely in the character and quality of their programs.


    The USDE process is governed by federal law and regulations.
    The Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit.

    Although accreditation is a nongovernmental activity, it is used by the
    government as one of the tools to help protect the federal investment in institutions and ensures students and parents that basic standards of quality
    are being met.
    • The federal government has relied on accreditation since 1952

    Key to meeting accountability expectations of the public and government
    is accreditation’s capacity to provide reliable information about institution
    and program performance and student learning outcomes. Many of the
    recent reforms undertaken by accrediting organizations have led to standards
    and policies calling for developing and using evidence of how well
    institutions and programs perform and students learn when making judgments
    about accredited status.
  5. jugador

    jugador New Member

    I the late 1800's, the United States was awash with oil. John Rockefeller, owner of Standard Oil, gave an ultimatum to his competitors: "I will buy you out with Standard Oil stock or I will put you out of business. The choice is yours." Those who took his offer prospered and many became fabulously wealthy stockholders in his company. Those who fought him were destroyed. I hope the analogy is obvious. Like it or not, the RA people are making the rules and I can't see anybody else changing those rules. The regional accrediting agencies have set high standards, and I see no evidence that they discourage any educational institution from working/applying for RA accreditation. The vast majority of legislators (including Ms. Sessions, a graduate of the University of Utah) are from RA colleges/universities. Be assured she is in the minority when implying that multiple accrediting agencies might be appropriate. As I see it, the deck is politically stacked heavily in favor or RA accreditation. RA agencies do not hesitate to revoke accreditation when warranted. Just check the SACS web site and see the number of colleges on probation or recently having their accreditation revoked. Conversely, when a college applies and has demonstrated that it meets RA standards, they are promptly accredited. I see no evidence of any political effort to limit the number of RA colleges in the country or any region. Legislators know this and they respect the objectivity and honesty of the RA process. Why introduce another variable which complicates matters? The reader only needs to Google "Accrediting Commission International" to see what CAN take place when alternative accrediting agencies surface. The regional accrediting agencies are doing a fine job and all colleges not already having RA accreditation would be well advised to seek same. Why on earth would any US citizen in his right mind want a degree from a college that is not recognized by the majority of his fellow citizens? Only in cases where RA accreditation seems imminent would I even dream of such a thing. In particular, I am absolutely confounded by the people (not you) who find fault with regional accreditation. I can only assume they know in their hearts they have screwed up, and rather than admit their blunder, they incessently argue that they have not.
  6. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    I would have government prosecute fraud and not dictate anything.
  7. Fraud is one thing, but requiring every degree granting institution to be accredited is another animal. As long as an academic institution is providing a legitmate service and not just selling diplomas out of the basement, it should not be legislated. Let "Big Brother" keep their nose out of it!
  8. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    We agree.
  9. Do not forget, that in the American Law and Rights, education, is a supremacy of the States. A business and a licensed commercial privilege conferred by the state of incorporation of the University.

    "Educational institutions have no inherent or constitutional right to confer degrees; rather, degree conferral is business conduct, a corporate privilege conferred by the state of incorporation."

    (483 A.2d 1172):cool:
  10. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    A business needn't be a corporation.
  11. And although private accrediting institutions serve a valuable role in providing information to the public regarding the academic standards at various schools, these organizations are voluntary....

    (483 A.2d 1172)
  12. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Still trying to claim that cow dung is pure silver because someone says so?

    Look, folks, dung is dung, okay? And legislators sometimes back people they shouldn't for financial and political reasons.

    And cow dung just isn't silver. Sorry.

    (While we're on the subject of dung and silver, fiat money may be spendable just like a LOT of dung could maybe be sold for a little silver, but fiat money isn't silver either! Oh the wonders of artificial inflation!)
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Please define legitimate service.

    What you will get is QA - accreditation.

    Sub standard schools will provide sub standard education.

    Some one has to set a level of acceptance.

    In Russia this is done by State Attestation.
    They don't rely only on accreditation by the MoE.

    When graduates have to take state exams and be examined by a group of educators and professionals that represents the State National level of interest.

    There has to be QA mechanism to assure a level of acceptance.

    This is successfully done by ministries of education around the world.

    In US RA, NA and PA perform this task.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2005
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: credibility

    Down with junkets and lobbyists! They're the ruination of politics!
  15. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    You offer a service for a fee. I accept that service for that fee.
  16. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    The Secretary of Education is required by law to publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies that the Secretary determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit.

    Sorry but the big brother has to determine who is reliable
    to accredit education or training provided by the institutions of higher education.

    required by law
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2005
  17. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    As long as you will not try by that "Service" to build a bridge and my car has to pass that bridge.

    Than if because of that service you were able to secure a job and it turned to be that you service didn't teach you what they should have and the bridge collapsed and killed people.

    Well thanks god that there is additional level of QA - the Professional License.

    But not all professions are protected so what if this wasn't a bridge but a very expensive system that a person burned and because the employer was under impression that this person is qualified and had no idea that service for fee was SUB STANDARD.
  18. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Professional licensing is no guarantee of competence. The field of behavioral science has more quacks than the Planet of the Ducks. And the "legal" profession...well, maybe nosborne has something to say.

    I will build a good bridge because I can make no money from a bridge that falls down. And because of the criminal and civil penalties for building a bridge that falls down. Only government can get away with that.
  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Actually, a person with an accredited degree who passes the Bar most likely has the knowledge and skill necessary to practice law without making too big a mess. Well, if he also has a modicum of humility and is ABSOLUTELY, PUNCTILLIOUSLY, COMPULSIVELY honest.

    That's the real rub. Most lawyers ARE that honest, despite the rumors and bad jokes. If you haven't seen a charactor and fitness application form, go to www.ncbex.org and look at theirs. It is unbelieveable.

    (I actually held a final top secret clearance once in the Navy. I went through a more detailed background investigation for the Bar than for that clearance.)

    But there are a few lawyers, and they seem to be sprinkled everywhere, who are NOT honest. Because of the special position of trust the lawyer has in society, it takes just a tiny number of thieves and blackguards to do immeasurable harm.

  20. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Sure. What harm could you do in New Mexico? :)

    Despite what you've written, I'd think you'd agree that there are incompetent or barely competent lawyers. And inexperienced ones. I wouldn't want to be represented by an inexperienced trial lawyer.

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