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Nationally Accreddited, Regionally Accreddited, and Employment.
#31
(01-27-2021, 10:05 AM)monchevy Wrote:
(01-27-2021, 09:27 AM)eLearner Wrote: Let's not forget that Anabin also had a problem (and still has some reservations) with WGU, a regionally accredited non-profit school, as well as a number of other regionally accredited non-profit schools that here in the U.S. are deemed to be either well-regarded or at least acceptable. Think about this: they have reservations about Western Governors University but never had any about Ashford University, one of the notoriously-known worst schools of all time.

I've learned that somewhere in the world someone will have a problem with your degree almost no matter where you get it from. It's not worth it to get caught up in a million scenarios especially scenarios that are internationally-based unless you plan on living and working outside the USA which most people in the U.S. will never do. Research and go with the reputable school you can afford that offers you what you need and let everyone else go nuts with what-ifs.

(01-27-2021, 09:15 AM)monchevy Wrote: Meanwhile, a relative of mine who's a teacher was told he had to get a master's to get tenure. They didn't care where it was from or what it was in, it just had to be a master's. This was back in the mid-'00s, when the diploma mills were thriving. So he ended up getting it at Ashford, which at the time was, well... PEAK ASHFORD. They didn't care. He got his raise and his tenure, even though the degree wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. And he still lords it over the rest of us that he has a master's.  Dodgy

I wouldn't go quite that far. While Ashford was a terrible school, it was their predatory practices, lying, and overpricing that made them a bad school more than anything else.

At the time, it was indeed a diploma mill. "Lack of academic rigor" was among the reasons they had years of trouble trying to get accredited. The only reason they were accredited at all was because Bridgepoint purchased it as a regionally accredited school, but once it became Ashford, it turned into a diploma mill and couldn't get accredited on its own. And its crappy coursework was one of the reasons.

They were already accredited with the HLC during that entire time and that was in effect from 2005 until 2013 when Ashford resigned it voluntarily after being accepted by WASC that same year. They never lost HLC accreditation and were therefore never unaccredited. I remember the situation pretty well. It went like this: 

Sometime in 2010, Ashford applied to WASC. WASC initially denied them accreditation in 2012 (they were still accredited by the HLC at the time), but after some work Ashford was eventually granted accreditation on its own in 2013 through WASC, then Ashford voluntarily dropped HLC accreditation since it made no sense to carry two regional accreditors. The closest Ashford ever got to actually losing accreditation was when the HLC put them "on notice" in 2013 because it was found that "... the University had not demonstrated that it was substantially present in the North Central region as required by the Commission’s jurisdictional policies":

https://www.hlcommission.org/download/_P...052016.pdf

So while WASC's findings including their "questions about academic rigor" (direct quote from InsideHigherEd) that you mentioned were a bombshell and I have no reason to question the accuracy of WASC's findings, it was part of an initial denial, a very different thing from losing already in-place institutional accreditation which would've been a nuclear ordeal that Ashford almost certainly wouldn't have survived.

As for diploma mills, I've found that the general public defines a "diploma mill" very differently than people in these educational geek circles define it as. In these circles, a diploma mill is normally defined as an outfit that awards degrees with little or no coursework and usually for a small fee: you pay a fee, then 14 or so days later you get a diploma. What you're describing is normally defined as a substandard institution. Every diploma mill is a substandard institution, but not every substandard institution is a diploma mill. We hammered this home so much over the past 20 years that places like Wikipedia and GetEducated have accepted defeat and taken on our definition, lol:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma_mi...ted_States

https://www.geteducated.com/college-degr...loma-mill/

Good on them, ours is the right one. There is still some miniscule debate on the term accuracy of "diploma mill" and "degree mill", as a few still want to make distinctions between the two but that debate is all but dead as it's gradually been accepted to mean the same thing.
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#32
(01-27-2021, 11:33 AM)eLearner Wrote:
(01-27-2021, 10:05 AM)monchevy Wrote:
(01-27-2021, 09:27 AM)eLearner Wrote: Let's not forget that Anabin also had a problem (and still has some reservations) with WGU, a regionally accredited non-profit school, as well as a number of other regionally accredited non-profit schools that here in the U.S. are deemed to be either well-regarded or at least acceptable. Think about this: they have reservations about Western Governors University but never had any about Ashford University, one of the notoriously-known worst schools of all time.

I've learned that somewhere in the world someone will have a problem with your degree almost no matter where you get it from. It's not worth it to get caught up in a million scenarios especially scenarios that are internationally-based unless you plan on living and working outside the USA which most people in the U.S. will never do. Research and go with the reputable school you can afford that offers you what you need and let everyone else go nuts with what-ifs.

(01-27-2021, 09:15 AM)monchevy Wrote: Meanwhile, a relative of mine who's a teacher was told he had to get a master's to get tenure. They didn't care where it was from or what it was in, it just had to be a master's. This was back in the mid-'00s, when the diploma mills were thriving. So he ended up getting it at Ashford, which at the time was, well... PEAK ASHFORD. They didn't care. He got his raise and his tenure, even though the degree wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. And he still lords it over the rest of us that he has a master's.  Dodgy

I wouldn't go quite that far. While Ashford was a terrible school, it was their predatory practices, lying, and overpricing that made them a bad school more than anything else.

At the time, it was indeed a diploma mill. "Lack of academic rigor" was among the reasons they had years of trouble trying to get accredited. The only reason they were accredited at all was because Bridgepoint purchased it as a regionally accredited school, but once it became Ashford, it turned into a diploma mill and couldn't get accredited on its own. And its crappy coursework was one of the reasons.

They were already accredited with the HLC during that entire time and that was in effect from 2005 until 2013 when Ashford resigned it voluntarily after being accepted by WASC that same year. They never lost HLC accreditation and were therefore never unaccredited. I remember the situation pretty well. It went like this: 

Sometime during or after 2010, Ashford applied to WASC. WASC initially denied them accreditation (they were still accredited by the HLC at the time), but after some work Ashford was eventually granted accreditation on its own in 2013 through WASC, then Ashford voluntarily dropped HLC accreditation since it made no sense to carry two regional accreditors. The closest Ashford ever got to actually losing accreditation was when the HLC put them "on notice" in 2010 because it was found that "... the University had not demonstrated that it was substantially present in the North Central region as required by the Commission’s jurisdictional policies":

https://www.hlcommission.org/download/_P...052016.pdf

So while WASC's findings including their "questions about academic rigor" (direct quote from InsideHigherEd) that you mentioned were a bombshell and I have no reason to question the accuracy of WASC's findings, it was part of an initial denial, a very different thing from losing already in-place institutional accreditation which would've been a nuclear ordeal that Ashford almost certainly wouldn't have survived.

As for diploma mills, I've found that the general public defines a "diploma mill" very differently than people in these educational geek circles define it as. In these circles, a diploma mill is normally defined as an outfit that awards degrees with little or no coursework and usually for a small fee: you pay a fee, then 14 or so days later you get a diploma. What you're describing is normally defined as a substandard institution. Every diploma mill is a substandard institution, but not every substandard institution is a diploma mill. We hammered this home so much over the past 20 years that places like Wikipedia and GetEducated have accepted defeat and taken on our definition, lol:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma_mi...ted_States

https://www.geteducated.com/college-degr...loma-mill/

Good on them, ours is the right one. There is still some miniscule debate on the term accuracy of "diploma mill" and "degree mill", as a few still want to make distinctions between the two but that debate is all but dead as it's gradually been accepted to mean the same thing.

But they only had HLC accreditation because the school they bought had it. It came with the purchase. Once it was reviewed as Ashford, there were issues.
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#33
(01-27-2021, 11:38 AM)monchevy Wrote: But they only had HLC accreditation because the school they bought had it. It came with the purchase. Once it was reviewed as Ashford, there were issues.

Sure, the funny thing is that it was Ashford that brought it on themselves by reaching out for WASC accreditation. WASC's findings triggered an investigation from the HLC. That's always made me wonder what the HLC was doing for 8 years that they missed (or God forbid, ignored) what WASC found during an initial examination. Maybe they simply didn't see things the same way as WASC since the HLC (at least according to the document I posted) only had a problem with the region issue.
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#34
It’s totally unto your employer. In general, you are better off getting your degree from a regionally accredited school mainly because it is widely accepted as the gold standard. Also, some employers pay for their employees to enter into masters programs, so if you had a nationally accredited degree that might cause some issues.
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#35
(04-26-2021, 02:42 PM)Jesus is Lord Wrote: It’s totally unto your employer. In general, you are better off getting your degree from a regionally accredited school mainly because it is widely accepted as the gold standard. Also, some employers pay for their employees to enter into masters programs, so if you had a nationally accredited degree that might cause some issues.

Over the many years, it's been extremely rare to find employers outside of the education field stating a requirement for a "regionally accredited" degree, and believe me, people in these parts have been watching that: there have been many discussions about this at the other board, and even others. The medical fields used to have job postings with that in the past more often, but as once-termed "nationally accredited" schools began achieving programmatic accreditations in nursing and many other health fields, having earned a degree from a regionally accredited school began to no longer matter since the school's programmatic accreditation was usually what was needed for licensure. States like New York also began to change course and allow Medical Doctors from unaccredited medical schools to achieve licensure.

Most employers that participate in tuition assistance/reimbursement programs usually have language that simply states that the "program must be provided by an accredited school" or something of the like. I'm sure there are some that go as far as stating "regionally accredited", but I have actually found some that said "nationally accredited" which is funny because it shows that the person who wrote the language didn't really understand what they were writing, and this is common with most employers as they generally are not well-versed in these systems and how they work.

While it is indisputable that RA degrees have enjoyed wider acceptance, I never agreed with the term "gold standard" being used to describe regional accreditation because it and wider acceptance are not synonymous, but this is partly why the Department of Education finally discontinued its recognition of the RA-NA paradigm last year. They never treated any accreditor differently as each have always been held to same standard in order to be officially recognized by the Department, but over the years myths about the Department's standard differences grew to the point that a number of separating terms came up and created the idea that, by default, all RA schools were inherently better than all NA schools which isn't true but the perception is out there nonetheless.

I say all of that to say this: all things being equal in terms of price, accessibility, and course of study, a school that was traditionally recognized as RA and doesn't have a bad reputation is a more often a better choice from a utility standpoint, and it will be that way for quite some time until the term "institutionally accredited" fully penetrates and we as a country come to judge each school individually and not pre-judge based on the oversimplified RA/NA model like those of other countries have been doing ahead of us for a very long time.
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