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Author Topic: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...  (Read 1509 times)

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Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« on: July 21, 2006, 11:57:39 PM »
I was thinking about the entire accreditation concept and am by nature a Libertarian so what is wrong with letting the free market decide the issue? It seems to me the government has say in mandatory educational institutions those of the K-12 variety at least at the state level. But in the matter of HIGHER education why not let the schools compete it would seem to me the large brick and mortar established schools won't die out and professional bodies and businesses can investigate to allow or not allow degrees from institutions. Yet DIPLOMA MILL is an unfair term for some schools. Face it if a consumer looks into lets say CLAYTON UNIVERSITY (Hong Kong) and chooses to apply and do some mentored guided study for a Bachelors in Business then he should be able to place that as a credential for employment. Let the employer decide how valid it is.

Clearly in some areas government oversight is required like medical schools and those professions that affect health and safety. But if I would get a BSc in lets say Business Management it should be none of the governments business WHERE I received that degree save if they are giving financial aid.

Any thoughts?

« Last Edit: July 21, 2006, 11:59:25 PM by RubySlippers »

Offline Elvi

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2006, 12:12:31 AM »
Surely, if the government doesn't give you financial aid, it doesn't say that you can't study in any way or form that you would like, does it?

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2006, 12:25:00 AM »
Actually it does the system they set up puts schools into a "legitimate" school and "illegitimate" school camp and that carries over to almost everything. I'm arguing that they have at least at the Federal level no right to do that and I would extend that to various professions. It makes more sense to me to let the AMA approve medical programs, the ABA approve law programs and other professional groups approve other programs. But if one got an unaccredited degree from a foreign school and wanted to use it outside of certain professions that choose to accredite schools and where states might have added laws like medicine then leave it up to the free market. Leave the Federal government out of the matter and in many cases the state governments. Its a very sound Conservative viewpoint on this.

Offline Elvi

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2006, 01:07:38 AM »
Well I'm afraid that you have lost me with all the abrievations and federals/state/legitamate/illagitamate stuff, but I think I get the gist of it.

However, what I am saying is, that if an employer chooses to employ you with a degree from a South Korean school of economic and social studies, (for instance), then surely that is their choice and not the governments?

The government is there to set educational standards for that country, it would not be doing it's job at either national or local level if it did not and a line must be drawn somewhere.
But that does not mean that employers MUST only take those qualifications into account.
In past jobs, where I have been involved in interviewing for posts to be filled, yes education plays a part, but also suitability and other experience.



 

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2006, 09:22:49 AM »
I say lets not get rid of it. The last thing we need is lower education standards. And why should a degree from say, Penn State be given equal weight to bob's online diploma mart? Sure employers could research those schools, but one, an employer is really not qualified to judge the curricula of a school and two it places, to me at least, an unnecessary and expensive burden on potential employers.

Personally I'd rather learn something at scholl instead of paying 500 and getting my diploma in a box kit that I can fill out and send in anytime for my free slip of paper, but hey, that's just me.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2006, 10:29:23 AM »
The abbreviations Elvi were for the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION and the AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION and my point is let the appropriate professional organizations oversee accreditations in their field not the Federal Government.

Of course there could still be accreditation from independant agencies I just don't think the government should be involved in the process.

And your saying that a degree from Penn State would still not carry weight its clear there would be tiered education but there is now. If anything States should be the only ones to limit degree use in their borders such as the practice of medicine is done by State law while the Federal Governemnt handles drug safety. This should be no different.

Its different with religious degrees in the United States are exempt from much of this most forgo accreditation and if I lets say recieved a degree in Biblical Studies the government can't get involved in that much. If they can stay out of that why not other degrees? In some cases one could make the arguement like for Medical Degrees but even then why not leave that to the appropriate professional association.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2006, 11:28:13 AM »
I see no reason for the department of education notto oversee college accreditation. Also there are private non-profit organizations such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation which have even stricter requirements than the fed. What in the world is wrong with having one blanket standard by the federal government? That to me seems saner than a variety of local standards which would be confusing to prospective students and employers. Oh and states can set standards as well, they just have to be more stringent than the Federal government as state laws can strengthen, but not weaken, federal law.

Oh and if you want your degree from one of those diploma mills, go for it, they are generall illegal in the US but many are based overseas. Heck there was one where you could pay 257 US and get a masters of Law without the thousands of dollars of debt. Personally, if a college has 2-4 staff members and a PO Box as its only overhead, I'd be a little skeptical about its ability to actually educate.

And the reason that there are federal laws for this stuff is for consumer protection. These places make millions a year off of generally unwitting or just not really smart, people who want a degree. Then when tey try and get one from a real school they find themselves unable to tranfer any credits or their diploma. I have no problem with some libertarian views, but that doesn't mean i don't want some government oversight of business, and that what colleges and universities are, businesses. Private schools are out to make money and after literally decades of scams (especially of returning GIs after WWII) the govt had to step in to do something. Buisness needs regulation, that much is a fact. Free Markets are great but they need to have some oversight despite what Adam Smith might have thought.


Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2006, 12:33:03 PM »
This is where we differ I think the Federal Government has little place protecting adults from making adult choices. And who says diploma mills the Federal Governement and they states targeted many legitimate schools here and abroad that offer non-traditional degrees. One calleed Clayton has degrees by learning contract a person finds two mentors with at least Masters degrees and they set up a learning program in a field involving independant guided study then when they are both satisfied as to your skills you can get a degree. Its the old apprenticeship approach to learning. And if your wondering they do require the mentors have traditional masters degrees from suitable schools like the University of London and the such. I would argue such a degree if field specific is just as good a bachelors as any career college in the United States offering a three year degree in Electronics or something. Clearly not a general degree like from a state college but in a specific field would be competative.

I think if they do have approval  they must include legitimate options like Clayton or schools where there is a real academic component, they do have some accredited schools one I'm choosing is and is all distance learning but I would like to have a school like Clayton if I choose a degree for personal growth and want a credential to recognize my work.

If anything maybe there should be a international agency to do this work maybe through the UN?




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Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2006, 06:33:34 PM »
I think a school's academic record and reputation speaks for itself personally

Employers will hire who they want to hire based on whatever criteria they need. Networking and word of mouth, plus reputation of a program all becomes part of the deal.

As for accredidation for legal, medical, etc. there needs to be standards, and quite honestly, sometimes the government doesn't get it right, but leaving organizations to police themselves doesn't do it either. I agree with the reason that was stated earlier, standards are there to protect the consumer most of the time.

Offline robitusinz

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Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2006, 09:40:45 AM »
If you privatize the accreditation process, then who says you won't have some corrupt accreditation system that sponsors diploma mills?

I think there needs to be a basic standard, and the government is there to provide that.  Different states have different levels of education required for public jobs, and most of those are far more stringent than the basic standards the government puts out.  The various profession boards ALSO have their own standards, and again, those are usually more stringent than the government's.

In the end, if you kill the accreditation process, then you pretty much cut the legs out from a lot of people.  I, for one, would hate to have to compete with some diploma mill flunky after busting my ass for four years at a real school.  I don't care about the reasons why said person got that degree...the fact that I have a degree that holds weight and represents hard work should definitely give me the edge over Joe Shmoe who got to google his research papers and crib his tests.

I think that online universities are a great boon to people who otherwise wouldn't have been able to acquire proper credentials, but I don't think that they should be given equal treatment in terms of quality to a true university.  People that get inferior degrees should expect inferior results, that's that.  My degree is from Florida International University...I expect that if I put up my credentials against someone from Princeton or MIT, I'm going to lose out to them.  In the same token, my credentials should put me head and shoulders above University of Phoenix online graduates, in much the same way that it does most community college grads.  So, accreditation or not, I simply don't want to have to compete with the flood of diploma mill flunkies.  Get second class degrees, remain second class professionals.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2006, 01:52:07 PM »
Actually a friend of mine has an unaccredited degree and USES it for a academic credential and did it very cleverly. What he did was a mentored program with two mentors one with an MBA and another an MA in Humanities.

Now to get this he had to do a great books program of guided study of great thinkers and writers for a third of the program all book lists documented with a written approval for the granted subject being completed. The rest was accredited distance learning and correspondance courses, CEU courses and documenting that a total of 25 accredited courses required split between business and law offerings (or related areas like Psychology) for 75 credits. Again all documented as the the course, credits and school offering the course. All this sent to a credit bank near the end to be tablulated with one report as a backup.

Then he noted the mentors academic and professional credentials in detail and the contracts with ciontact information.

He placed all this on a nice clean professional web site for any employer or other party to refer to if they wanted to know what he did. It works no one questions his degree after they go to the web page and he even was accepted into an accredited post-graduate certificate program and is doing very well.

I think the major issue is one must document and clearly make it easy to access everything involving the degree. If like his it was an honest attempt and had real work then who can argue its value? A diploma mill graduate cannot do this but he can.

Offline robitusinz

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Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2006, 04:23:52 PM »
I think the major issue is one must document and clearly make it easy to access everything involving the degree. If like his it was an honest attempt and had real work then who can argue its value? A diploma mill graduate cannot do this but he can.

Yes, and reading "Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from Florida International University" fulfills any and all documentation necessary to explain my credentials.  That is what government accreditation does.

What's your point?  Why would you want to get rid of something that facilitates the hiring process, plus keeps credentials validated?  Without accreditation, who the hell cares if you have a degree?

A degree is something with implied value...degrees are the currency of a credential market.  Once you undermine the value of degrees, then degrees become worthless.  Yeah, that's good for whoever didn't have a degree to begin with, but those that do have one want to make sure they stay valuable and competitive.

You don't want to do away with accreditation, what you probably want are more virtual schools or non-traditional forms of learning to be accepted and respected.  The only way that's going to happen is if the alumni end of proving themselves in the real world, and bring prestige to their university.  Right now, though, you've got a LOT of people with essentially fake credentials screwing up the jobs that they are SUPPOSED to be qualified for.  Every flunky that gets fired will bring down the prestige and value of his degree, and by proxy, his school. 

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2006, 07:46:27 AM »
Actually this came up on another baord and we were thinking what if a "degree" is called something less loaded. After all a degree has a certain connotation with it.But what if instead the unaccredited "degree" was called one of these?

Mentored Learning Diploma or a MLD like an MLD in Business or Liberal Arts. Could be promoted as a step down from a degree but with sufficient work could have a Diploma.

Certificate of Extended Learning or a CEL?

Diploma of Alternative Learning or a DAL?

We figure certificates and diplomas have much less legal reuirements if any exist so by taking a "degree" and simply calling it something that fits a "degree mill" could get around the problems. Example her if you take a degree a BS in Business from Clayton University (hong kong) its likely going to get noticed and questioned. What if instead they offered a DIPLOMA or CERTIFICATE it could still be an academic credential and as a lesser distincted offering is less likely to be noticed. After all a DIPLOMA in business studies or the like has a nice ring to it. And you don't need accreditation to offer non-degrees some states may require a school to be registered but I would suspect that would be much easier to get if you offer a four year equivalency DIPLOMA.

Offline robitusinz

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Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2006, 10:05:25 AM »
Ruby, a system similar to what you describe is already in place in the IT field.  Essentially, in the computer world, you've got a few huge mega-companies that have provided learning courses that result in a certification.  For example, Microsoft has an entire line of varied certifications in different fields...one could go through the required courses and take the requisite tests and eventually be declared a Microsoft Certified Applications Developer (MCAD).  That would mean that you're able to work with and innovate using Microsoft's various application platforms.

The essential problem that accreditation solves is standardization.  Employers don't have the time, nor the desire to have to research prospective employees' credentials.  Take the point of view of a large company:  dozens, if not hundreds of applications are submitted to major corporations on a daily basis.  What kind of manpower would you need if you were to research every resume and every credential?  Even if the applicants gave all sorts of information regarding themselves, who's going to read all of that?  Plus, if you research one resume, you would need to research all of them...there's no nitpicking or nepotism possible.  I realize that most large companies will do multiple interviews with a selection of candidates before making their choice, but that still doesn't alleviate the burden of having to swim through resumes to select those candidates.  Yes, the interviews count for a good chunk of hiring process, but the resume is what gets the foot in the door.

Now look at a small company's point of view:  You've got a web-design business, and are looking to expand...you need a new developer.  You get 10 resumes in a week.  3 guys have standard degrees from accredited universities, 5 have relevant Microsoft certifications, 2 have some sort of other credential.  If you can pick 3 people to give interviews to, who do you choose?  Personally, I would pick the 2 guys with standard degrees with the most job experience, and 1 of the MS guys with the most impressive resume.  I wouldn't even bother looking up the alernative credentials for the other guys.  A small business owner simply cannot afford to waste his or her time doing background checks on obscure credentials.

In the end, the crux of the issue is standardization.  While non-standard credentials are better than nothing, when you're in a job market competing with people with known, proven credentials, they're not going to help much, if at all.  The Microsoft Certification, and other programs like it, are a partial solution to the issue, but it's not the end-all, be-all.  The best solution to the issue is what we currently have...gov't accreditation.  And yes, degrees from accredited schools are expensive, you end up with lots of debt afterwards, and they take a lot of time, plus a good amount of inconvenience, but in the end, you reap what you sow.  It isn't exactly fair to have people studying at home, taking courses at a brisk, leisurely pace, paying chump change for their courses, and then have them be able to compete in the job market.  It's simply Unamerican, and I'm not even that conservative.

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Accreditation I say lets get rid of it...
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2006, 03:32:48 PM »
I was talking about this on another site and we came up with a solution for unaccredited programs that would get passed the legal and social stigma simply they have to offer something OTHER THAN a recognized degree by title. For example you say you have a BA or BS especially in the United States it means a 4 year liberal studies based education. You say an AA degree that is a program a bit over half that in most cases. We would agree there.

So why not offer in the case of such schools even a "degree mill" selling a degree pretty much using the terms Certificate and Diploma? Accreditation is not issued to such program schools and its clearly more of a career or focused area of training. Such a program is Commonwealth Open University they currently offer a BA or BS for six courses (broad topic) each worth 20 credits. Now most people will have a big problem with that. So lets say they off a Diploma under the same criteria of six courses- isn't that a different case altogether?