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Distance Learning Degrees-Accredited and Unaccredited
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eslandflteacher



Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:11 pm    Post subject: Distance Learning Degrees-Accredited and Unaccredited Reply with quote

Greetings,

With reference to the discussion on Distance Learning degrees on the General Middle East Forum and the UAE thread on a similar topic, and in the same vein, I wonder if there is any one here who has information on the issue of acceptability in the Gulf region of American credentials (masteral and doctoral) whose issuing institutions are not accredited by the usual private accreditation bodies, recognized by the US Department of Education?

By the way, I am referring to legitimate academic institutions that are state licensed, registered and/or approved to grant degrees (by any of the individual American states)--and, not so-called "diploma mills" that are illegal businesses masquerading as schools, issuing fake degrees for fees. I look forward to hearing responses and insights.

With anticipation of a lively discussion,

Kenneth
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2004 6:52 pm    Post subject: mast - what?? Reply with quote

"Masteral". Interesting word.

Other possibilities: Masterful? Masterly?

M a s t u r b a t o r y?

BD
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17632
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ESLand,

Although Bindair's answer was amusing, it didn't help much. Smile (I choose Masterful)

But, I too am just a bit confused. Are you saying that your American degree is NOT recognized except in your own state? Nor do I know what is meant by 'usual' accreditation bodies. As far as I know, there are quite a few different accreditations. I can say that my BSc came from a small state 'teacher's college' (as they used to call them) in the upper Midwest, and it was accepted all over the Gulf.

I expect that none of us probably know the answer to this. I handed in my copies of whatever and haven't the foggiest notion if anyone ever looked at them or not. I know that HCT ordered transcripts from all my colleges and universities.

I'd be interested if anyone actually knows what happens to all these copies of things we hand in. The current problem in the UAE with the Ministry of Education (not Higher Education) suggests that there is some kind of 'verification.'

VS
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it's not accepted by the US Department of Education it is highly unlikely it will be accepted elsewhere.

Why not just come clean and tell us where it's from?
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Nor do I know what is meant by 'usual' accreditation bodies. As far as I know, there are quite a few different accreditations.


There are half a dozen or so regional accrediting agencies that are recognized by the US Dept. of Ed. They have names like The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges. You can find them on the DOE web site.

There are also lots of UNrecognized accrediting agencies. Some of these are set up by groups of unaccredited (by the regional accrediting agencies) schools, which, in effect, then "accredit" themselves. I can think of one of these schools offhand: Canyon College in Idaho. It set up its own accrediting agency and bills itself as "accredited".

Generally, "fully accredited" means accredited by one of the regional agencies that are recognized by the DOE; credits, degrees, etc. from fully accredited schools are usually accepted without question by all government agencies, all schools, and all private employers.

Some professional organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, accredit schools and programs for their own purposes. Such accreditation generally has advantages within the profession but does not affect whether credits will transfer to another school. It can affect licensure requirements within a profession on a state-by-state basis.

Then you've got your religious accrediting agencies, etc.

Bottom line: Know before you go. Find out *who* accredits your school, and see if it's one of the DOE big six.
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eslandflteacher



Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

(To VS:)

Bindair is correct in his explanation. The major six privately-instituted regional accrediting agencies are recognized by the DoE through the Council on Higher Education that accredits the accrediting agencies. In the US, the DoE does not accredit schools, colleges or universities, leaving the task to the private sector.

Therefore, your BSc from a midwest school is likely accredited by the
regional North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (NCA), while your college of education program was likely accreditied by
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and/or Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

In addition to this system, there is a whole rank of state-authorized institutions with various designations such as approved (as in the case in California [example, Calif. Coast University]) or licensed as in the case of Preston University in Wyoming or authorized as in the case of Century University in New Mexico. None of these institutions are accredited by the regional agencies, but all are legally instituted schools that have the right to award degrees in accordance with state law.

My question was in regards to this class of American universities.

(To Mr. Jones:)

However, as to your comment that if a degree is not accepted by the DoE therefore it will not be accepted elsewhere, that is factually not correct statement since the DoE does not accredit colleges or programs, leaving the matter up to different govening bodies (i.e., regional, national and professional accreditation agencies).

Nonetheless, I didn't know I had to come clean about any of my degrees. But thanks for asking, they are from Wayne State University, USNY Excelsior College, University of New England and University of Tasmania. They are all fully accredited by the appropriate authorities. But, this is not about me. Is it Mr. Jones?

Kenneth
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17632
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a mess. Leave it to the US to have such a decentralized, incomprehensible system. I suppose that it is fine as long as you never leave America's shores (as most don't). But, that rather leaves us with an unanswerable problem. Unless someone who comes on here actually knows what happens within the Middle Eastern bureaucracies concerning this (which is likely as opaque as the US maze), I don't see how we can do anything but speculate. (which you could have done on your own Smile )

Just out of curiosity, are all of your credits easily transferable all over the US? Or are there places that will not accept them because of their localized accreditation?

VS
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eslandflteacher



Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply II Reply with quote

Hi VS,

My American degrees are from regionally accredited universities, and, therefore, are pretty much universally recognized within the US. My Australian degrees are considered equivalent to regionally accredited; thus, equally recognized.

I would be curious to know if such distinctions as we had noted above are made or observed in the ME. Or, perhaps, they may view an American degree as such regardless of its issuing intitution. Care to hazard a view?

K
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:03 pm    Post subject: Murky Reply with quote

Dear eslandflteacher,
I'm not sure that a "generalized view" is possible; it may well depend on where you apply. The "more respected" employers likely do check up on an applicant's qualifications (I know mine -the IPA - did), while others may take them at "face-value". Moreover, there may be no set standard for evaluation, with some places accepting quals that others might not.
I know this is not very helpful, but, as you may already know, it's difficult to impossible to get "hard and fast" answers to just about anything in the ME.
Regards,
John
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear eslandflteacher,
The reason I asked was to check if it was on my blacklist. What I normally do is check out if it's on the US News list; if it is I presume it's legit. If it's not then I check out a thirteen page blacklist I downloaded from the University of Michigan. If it's on that I junk the application. If it's inbetween then I have to do some more research.

I have caught out at least half-a-dozen job applicants with degree mill stuff that had worked, or had been working at educational institutions in the Gulf, so I am probably more thorough than other people hiring.
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eslandflteacher



Joined: 05 Feb 2004
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:17 am    Post subject: HELLO AGAIN Reply with quote

Dear all,

To Mr. Johnslat,

I guess I would agree with your assessment regarding the absence of "hard and fast rules" in the region, but I was interested to learn if that issue--as I had framed earlier--had come up with anyone.

To Mr. Jones,

What you are suggesting is interesting. Perhaps you can share with us some insight based on your lists what you would do with applicants from such schools as I have noted earlier. As an HR or recuiter, how (and more importantly why) would you accept/reject such applicants.

K
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jeddahteacher



Joined: 17 May 2004
Posts: 291
Location: Arabia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The United States Department of Education has a list of accrediting agencies that goes beyond the regional accrediting agencies mentioned above. They list additional agencies that they recognized for accrediting distance education courses.

An internet search of the institution granting course credit or degrees that one suspects should have its particular accreditation listed on its web page.

A stop at the USDE website would confirm whether or not the accreditating agency is legitimate as far as US government employment and student loans are concerned.
Cheers,

R.Reis
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17632
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2004 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jeddahteacher, but that doesn't really tell us what the ME Ministries of Educations do concerning accreditations these days. Therein lies the mystery. Wink

VS
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livinginQatar



Joined: 05 Jul 2004
Posts: 30
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can usually find out by contacting the Embassy of the country you want to work for. They will give you a certificate of approval of your degree. I had to get one from the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington DC before I came here and got a job.

If you apply somewhere, they usually check out your credentials before they hire you. If they have any questions, then they will contact the local US Embassy which usually has an academic or counseling section with lists of accredited institutions etc...

A friend of mine had problems here at the U of Q: they didn't recognize her associate's degree because she had a GED..... which they (or the Ministry of Education) didn't count as equal to a high school degree. Go figure.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17632
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi livinginQatar,

Now there is another new twist!! Not accepting a GED (a secondary school equivalency exam for non-Americans who don't know what it is - done by people who left secondary school - and later gained the maturity to realize that they needed an education and better make the effort to actually advance in the job market).

It is situations like this that make it so complicated. And I have rarely found the embassies in the US of any of these countries to actually understand their own country's process. Their 'approvals' of my certificates seemed to be merely a rubber stamp of papers that were 'notarized' - which actually only verified that I was the person I said that I was.

I guess what it comes down to is that if you did the normal - graduated secondary school, went and got a BA at your local college or uni, then did an on-campus MA, you should have no problem. If you did anything else, you may run into bumps with the Ministry rules - or maybe not.

But, as there are more and more educational institutions and consequently more teachers, they seem to checking more. And we only tend to hear of it after problems occur.

VS
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