Is there really a market for this?

Discussions on the value or merit of unaccredited programs and institutions.

Is there really a market for this?

Postby johann » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:25 pm

One of the not-so-traditional schools I've rather liked seems now to have a rather odd model, for an unaccredited school. I wonder how it will work out for them?

California Pacific University http://www.cpu.edu is not accredited, but has been State-Approved for well over 30 years. The school confers business degrees - Bachelor's Masters and Doctorates. I believe a Bachelor's costs about $4,500. I think the process goes thus: The applicant must have 90 units of accredited study - NA or RA both acceptable, AFAIK. Then CPU teaches 30 units (10 courses) of business-related subjects and upon successful completion, a Bachelor's in Business Administration is conferred.

I've seen the same general idea before - but not from an unaccredited school. For example, DETC-accredited Catholic Distance University requires 80 units from accredited schools and then teaches 30 core units of religion courses plus 10 units of electives, for a BA in Theology. (It was once a 90/30 split, IIRC.) That makes sense to me. You come in with 80 credits, earn 40 more and graduate with a DETC degree.

The CPU model just doesn't make sense to me - a degree-completion program with an unaccredited school that requires 90 RA or NA credits. Granted, there are some situations when starting and finishing with an unaccredited school might be suitable. But switching to an unaccredited school when 3/4 of the work has already been done in an accredited environment? No, I can't make sense of that. :?: :?:

I'm not positive, but I have a hunch CPU may not have graduated any students in a couple or three years. http://www.cpu.edu/reports/7-2013_CPU_S ... _SHEET.pdf If that's so, maybe that's the answer to my question. :) What says the forum?

Johann
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Re: Is there really a market for this?

Postby johann » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:43 pm

Sorry - duplicate
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Re: Is there really a market for this?

Postby Rich Douglas » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:07 am

When California was much more fun and had a 3-tier system, it was very common for schools to offer multiple-degree packages. You could pay for and earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate, plus the B-M, M-D, and B-M-D combinations.

I have to wonder if this degree is just a feeder into their graduate degrees, even if they do price them separately.

Even in the late 1970's, John Bear was advising against getting an unaccredited bachelor's. With so many good accredited options available, even back then, it didn't make sense. (These days, with so many accredited graduate options, one wonders when it still makes sense to do an unaccredited degree at all.)
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Re: Is there really a market for this?

Postby johann » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:43 am

Rich Douglas wrote:When California was much more fun and had a 3-tier system, it was very common for schools to offer multiple-degree packages. You could pay for and earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate, plus the B-M, M-D, and B-M-D combinations.

What you say is true, Rich. I have an old SCUPS Catalog (predecessor of California Southern U.) offering combined Bachelor's & Master's programs. In other cases, the worse the school, the more fun it was! I remember a mill that offered a free B.A. to encourage enrolment in a Ph.D. program. :smile:

Rich Douglas wrote:I have to wonder if this degree is just a feeder into their graduate degrees, even if they do price them separately.

Possibly so. Their Master's programs require an accredited Bachelor's, the Doctorates an accredited Master's - although I'm sure an unaccredited degree from CPU itself would suffice.

Rich Douglas wrote:These days, with so many accredited graduate options, one wonders when it still makes sense to do an unaccredited degree at all.

I'm beginning to wonder, too. Maybe it's time for a notice:

To the last student at an unaccredited school - please turn out the lights when you graduate. :smile:

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Re: Is there really a market for this?

Postby Rich Douglas » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:58 am

Okay, but my last post needs clarification. There are some schools in some situations where an unaccredited degree might still make sense. I can think of three right away.

First, there's the niche school. I'm doing some pro bono work for one right now. They've been in existence for a long time (37 years) and are thinking about their future. I'm trying to help them visualize it. They offer a unique degree experience in a specialized area and I really believe their graduates get something from it.

Second, there's the licensing school. Especially in California, some unaccredited schools are able to offer degree programs that lead to professional licensure. There's an argument to be made that this is a good path for some people.

Third, there's the emergent school. You take a chance on it because it will (you hope) become accredited in the future. I taught for one of these--Virginia International University--when they were not yet accredited. They are now, by the ACICS. It was a terrific experience helping them build their school.

What is important to note--and what the hating clown shoes at places like DLTruth don't get--is that this is a nuanced, moving issue. It needs to be considered individually. And over time, it has become less and less a good idea to pursue a degree from an unaccredited school, primarily because (a) most of the cool schools have either become accredited or have shut down and (b) there are so many good, accredited options out there now. But advice in the past to consider one of many unaccredited schools was good then, even if it no longer holds. Again, haters know this, but decide to ignore it. (Ignoring being the key competency here, making one....ignorant.) The issues around earning a degree from an unaccredited school have not changed. But people's options have. Thus, recommendations regarding this path have changed as well.

It's only hard if one wants to make it so.
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Re: Is there really a market for this?

Postby johann » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:31 pm

Rich Douglas wrote:There are some schools in some situations where an unaccredited degree might still make sense....this is a nuanced, moving issue. It needs to be considered individually...The issues around earning a degree from an unaccredited school have not changed. But people's options have.


Well-said, indeed. All the above and the parts in between! :)

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Re: Is there really a market for this?

Postby johann » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:06 pm

As I said - I agree with every word of Rich's post. And CPU doesn't look like a niche, licensing or emergent situation to me. Even if one just plain likes the school, for whatever reason, I still see no compelling - or even good - reason to use 90 credits from an accredited school to earn a degree from an unaccredited one.

if the school ever becomes DETC-accredited (and I've heard only vague, unsupported rumors that this might even be under contemplation) then I fail to see how it would distinguish itself from competitors. There are other degree-completion programs and the market isn't exactly short of MBA programs. The doctorates would probably have to go away, unless the school has - or plans to have - cards (i.e. resources) it isn't currently showing.

My take: No, there isn't really a market for this (unaccredited degree completion) program.

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