Cherub College complains about ODA

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

Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby SteveFoerster » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:53 am

Bill Huffman wrote:In my opinion, the best way to try to "put a lid" on the diploma mill problem is passing laws against use of the diploma mill degrees. The simpliest handle available that can be put into a law is accreditation. Therefore, like the laws in Oregon and Washington State they have laws restricting the use of unaccredited degrees. Good for them. I hope similar laws are passed in more states.

In this case personal responsibility is even more simple. Students, employers, and other interested parties who value accreditation can simply check the CHEA site. It's free and takes sixty seconds. Given how poorly ODA is implemented there's definitely no good reason to expand their approach.

Cherub College is unfortunately in a jurisdiction that in the past has given licenses to operate to diploma mills.

The Bahamas? Which mills?

Therefore, the ODA by default assumes that these degrees are not up to standard.

Do you seriously believe that the people at ODA have the international education expertise to make that determination?

The VIU situation is rather amusing to me. It appears that the ODA should take VIU off their list of unaccredited schools. On the other hand I really don't have a lot of sympathy for their situation. (Wasn't a certain Ph.D. that used to frequent this forum thinking of taking a job there and he bowed out because of their perpetual unaccredited status?) Operating for years without any accreditation is irresponsible in my opinion, especially in this environment of massive accademic fraud gettng out of control. It primarily hurts the graduates. I have zero sympathy for VIU being on the ODA unaccredited institution list but do have some sympathy for the VIU graduates.

VIU was founded in 1998, applied for accreditation in 2005 (I think), and got it in 2008. So for this, you're unsympathetic that they're on an unflattering official government list years later? You seriously think that's not a big deal? Remember, just because VIU was unaccredited before 2008 doesn't mean it wasn't legitimate, it just hadn't gained independent verification of that legitimacy.

You know, maybe I'm wrong, but what I'm inferring here is this -- mills are bad, ODA doesn't like mills, therefore ODA is good. And I understand that, so far as it goes. But when people cross the line to suggest that it justifies ODA's mistakes that hurt legitimate schools and their students and graduates, to me that's not at all okay.

I have a bit more sympathy for Cherub's situation but I'll guess that Cherub graduates are probably less likely to be impacted by Cherub being on the ODA unaccredited list than VIU graduates.

Google searches don't respect borders. It's just as big a deal. Perhaps it's even more of a big deal since being published by an American government body, ODA's list is respected grossly out of proportion with the minimal care that goes into maintaining it.
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Re: A remedy for Cherub College, perhaps?

Postby johann » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:37 pm

"Call me irresponsible, call me unreliable..." (Jimmy van Heusen / Sammy Cahn, 1962)

Bill Huffman wrote:Operating for years without any accreditation is irresponsible in my opinion...

Thanks, Steve Foerster, for covering the matter of VIU's accreditation. It'll shorten my post. Consider another school, California Southern University. It opened its doors (as SCUPS) in 1978. DETC-accredited in 2010 - Thirty-two years later. I suppose that's "irresponsible." Please tell them that. I'd be interested in their response! :)

Know who I think is irresponsible? The ODA - for promulgating a list of schools that puts "rocket-science parlors" run by bullshine-fake-Mahatmas (IUFS) on the same list with some schools that I (and some others) believe are quite decent, though (in many cases, at least) unaccredited.

As for that brilliant poster - the Ph.D. OK. He might be brilliant, just let's not think he was infallible. First, VIU was accredited, contrary to his expectations. Also, IIRC, he once enrolled at a school that turned out to be a shape-shifting Tex/Mex caprinity of multiple locations. It's to his credit that he realized his mistake and withdrew.

What might work for Cherub College...

I believe Cherub College's web page states somewhere that its grads have gone on to well-known universities and provides a listing. Surely many Cherub grads who went on to advanced studies at American RA universities had to have their Cherub degrees evaluated by NACES-member evaluators, e.g. WES and ECE. Perhaps a sheaf of NACES-sanctioned evaluations might trump a wad of ODA paperwork in the legal arena? If a couple of lawyers presented a few such evaluations, perhaps the ODA might be persuaded to quietly back down and amend their list. .. Just a thought.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the Eugene streets at dawn, looking for the ODA." (Apologies to Allen Ginsberg)


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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby Bill Huffman » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:20 am

My thought that Cherub students would be hurt less is that I was assuming that Cherub would be recognized locally in the Bahamas where all the students live. I was assuming that more VIU students live outside Virginia. If someone looking at a resume is already familar with the school then it is unlikely that they would bother looking the school up on the Internet or care if it was in the ODA list.

My additional thought about having no sympathy for VIU is that from my point of view Oregon state law gives them a very easy way to be taken off of the list and if they don't take advantage of it then it is their choice. Regarding my respected collegues on this delightful website that are very bothered by the injustice of VIU being on the ODA unaccredited college list, I suggest that you do something about. I was bothered about THECB not allowing use of DETC degrees in Texas so, I wrote them some letters. They eventually fixed it. I'm not claiming they fixed it because of my letters but I'd like to think that it helped. Write some letters to the ODA, get your friends to write some letters to the ODA. Ask VIU if they are willing to pay the fee for your VIU degree to be evaluated by the ODA. You can continue being upset about it but, I'd suggest that you also take some action. Heck, start a new thread for the sole purpose of trying to get others to write a letter to the ODA.

Regards,
Bill
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby SteveFoerster » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:48 pm

I started out trying to do things the way you suggest. As I said, I've repeatedly informed them of the errors on their list. They insist they won't correct it without an investigation fee being paid to them of several hundred dollars. I am not interested in spending my time raising money for that sort of shakedown. At this point, I think they've had their chance to do their job, and it would be better to raise awareness of the problems with ODA than to accommodate their ridiculous demands.
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ODA and accreditation

Postby g-gollin » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:37 am

The ODA web site draws a distinction between regional accreditation and other forms of institutional accreditation.

http://www.oregonstudentaid.gov/oda-degree-authorization-academic-programs.aspx

Institutions required to seek authorization by ODA, include …

Most private colleges and universities in Oregon:
•Private for-profit colleges and universities with an Oregon campus,
•Private non-profit colleges and universities with a recently-established Oregon campus
•Religious colleges and universities offering non-religious degree programs

All out-of-state and international colleges and universities:
•Out-of-state community colleges, and public colleges, universities
•Out-of-state private colleges and universities, whether non-profit or for-profit, including religious institutions
•International colleges, including programs jointly offered by a school in Oregon, if the partner school would need ODA authorization to operate independently in Oregon.


http://www.oregonstudentaid.gov/oda-exempt-status-aproval.aspx

APPROVAL OF EXEMPT STATUS

In Oregon, there are 3 categories of exemption:

•RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION - Non-profit religious schools that offer only degrees in theology or religious occupations.
•ONLINE EXEMPTION - Distance learning programs that are accredited by a USDOE-approved regional accrediting organization, and do not have "assistance" in Oregon.
•OTHER EXEMPT INDEPENDENT COLLEGES - Non-profit regionally-accredited schools that have operated successfully under ODA authorization for more than 5 consecutive years.

Quick Facts about exempt status in Oregon…
•Exemption is determined by the ODA Administrator and communicated to the school when approved.
•Approval or denial of exempt status is based on review, and verification of certain criteria.
•Exempt status usually remains in effect as long as the school continues to meet the criteria.
•Exempt status may be denied or revoked as necessary.
•Exempt schools are required to submit annual reports to ODA.

Physical Presence in Oregon is defined in administrative rule 583-030-0015 (23) as:

“Any person or organization helping the school or its students or clients...” and a “person assisting a school includes, but is not limited to: advertiser, recruiter, admissions agent, advisor, teacher, mentor, tutor, supervisor of an internship or practicum, speaker, seminar or discussion leader, evaluator, member of a thesis or study committee...”


Where do you see that DETC-accredited schools are automatically exempt? I can't find that on the ODA web site.

On this page are listed 5 ACICS schools and 1 DETC school that have been approved to operate "campus-based degree programs in the State of Oregon." If DETC accreditation gave automatic exemption to schools, I imagine it would not have been necessary for them to go through the approval process.

Unless there is information somewhere to the contrary, it appears that ODA is following the state regs (as it is requred to do) by blocking the use of degrees in Oregon from NA and UA schools that have not been reviewed. So the protests about Cherub and VIU are better aimed at the legislative end of things, rather than the executive branch.
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby Bill Huffman » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:50 am

g-gollin, thank you for the informative post.
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby nosborne48 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:40 pm

I think I'm a bit confused about ODA. I thought that the agency had two distinct functions with different applicant pools and different criteria:

1) To authorize degree-granting schools offering programs to Oregon residents and which have a "presence" within the state. For this purpose, there are only a very narrow set of exemption. Not even all regionally accredited colleges are exempt; and

2) To validate degrees from unaccredited schools as legal to use in Oregon. This function extends ONLY to degrees from schools that lack DoE or CHEA recognized accreditation. If you earn a degree from a DETC accredited school, that degree is legal to use in Oregon without restriction and without any State review or approval.

Applying this to VIU, if the school has some form of recognized accreditation, its graduates can use their degrees in Oregon. Should ODA send a "cease and desist" letter, it shouldn't require more than a letter back citing the school's accreditation to make ODA back off. But if VIU wishes to establish a "presence" inside the State, including any recruiting agent, the school must obtain ODA approval first.

Clearly Oregon cannot impose any regulation on any school that does not have a "presence" inside the State.

So what am I missing here?
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby g-gollin » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:50 pm

nosborne48 wrote:So what am I missing here?


Perhaps you could read through the material on the ODA site, and then seek out the rules that have been formulated to implement the agency's enforcement of the Oregon Revised Statutes? Without that information, it isn't easy to do much more than speculate on the nature of the rules and regs under which ODA operates.
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Re:OARS section

Postby nosborne48 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:52 pm

dealing with the use of degrees:

348.609 Representation of possession of academic degree; complaints; civil penalties; rules; fees. (1) A person may not claim or represent that the person possesses any academic degree unless the degree has been awarded to or conferred upon the person by a school that:

(a) Has accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education or the foreign equivalent of such accreditation;

(b) Has been approved by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission through the Office of Degree Authorization to offer and confer degrees in Oregon;

(c) Is described in ORS 348.597; or

(d) Is located in the United States and has been found by the commission to meet standards of academic quality comparable to those of an institution located in the United States that has accreditation, recognized by the United States Department of Education, to offer degrees of the type and level claimed by the person.

(2)(a) A person who has been awarded a degree from a school other than a school described in subsection (1) of this section may claim or represent that the person possesses an academic degree if:

(A) The person has been awarded a degree from a school that has the legal authority to issue degrees in the jurisdiction where the degree is issued; and

(B) The claim or representation is accompanied by a disclaimer that states: “(Name of school) does not have accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and has not been approved by the Office of Degree Authorization.”

(b) A disclaimer allowed under this subsection shall be made in any resume, letterhead, business card, announcement or advertisement in which the person is claiming or representing to have an academic degree from a school that does not meet the requirements of subsection (1) of this section.

(c) A person may not use a disclaimer described in this subsection for a degree received from a diploma mill.
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby g-gollin » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:56 pm

That's the ORS text. But then there is an additional layer somewhere that describes definitions and enforcement. For example, somewhere ODA has decided that it is only exempting RA schools. It would be interesting to see the source documents that establish this distinction.
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby nosborne48 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:55 pm

Oh. Well, I did not examine the parts of the statute that have to do with institutions offering degree programs to residents of Oregon which I THINK is where the notion of "exemption" comes in. When I get a minute I'll look it up and post what I find.
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby Hungry Ghost » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:20 pm

nosborne48 wrote:I think I'm a bit confused about ODA.


If you are, then we both are. I think that your interpretation is the correct one and that George is confusing the Oregon statutes that govern your #1 and #2 below.

I thought that the agency had two distinct functions with different applicant pools and different criteria:

1) To authorize degree-granting schools offering programs to Oregon residents and which have a "presence" within the state. For this purpose, there are only a very narrow set of exemption. Not even all regionally accredited colleges are exempt; and

2) To validate degrees from unaccredited schools as legal to use in Oregon. This function extends ONLY to degrees from schools that lack DoE or CHEA recognized accreditation. If you earn a degree from a DETC accredited school, that degree is legal to use in Oregon without restriction and without any State review or approval.
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby g-gollin » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:52 am

Please post a link to the information on an Oregon site that classifies DETC-accredited schools as receiving automatic exemption as IS the case with RA schools.

Thanks.
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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby johann » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:38 pm

Unless there's something I missed, this would seem to do the job. Nothing to do with Oregon Student Aid, but lots about admissability of DETC..oh, yes, AND ACICS:

http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/accreditation.html

It states the requirements for use of a degree in Oregon:

In order to be valid for public or licensed employment in Oregon, a degree must be earned at one of the following:
•An institution accredited by an U.S. accreditor recognized as such by the U.S. Department of Education. Licensure by another state (except for the New York Board of Regents) does not by itself meet this standard.
•A foreign institution having the foreign equivalent of U.S.-approved accreditation as determined by ODA.
•A U.S. institution approved by ODA subsequent to evaluation.


Goes on to say:

For a complete list of legitimate accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, see the following website:

http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html That page lists both ACICS and DETC.

Seems clear enough to me, but then again, I'm just a layman - neither lawyer nor CHEA Commissioner, nor Oregon student applying for aid.

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Re: Cherub College complains about ODA

Postby g-gollin » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:53 pm

But the ODA web site also says RA, so we're still missing one piece of the puzzle.
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