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  Oregon ODA Unveils New Logo
Posted by: Tanya Heddankoff - 05-14-2007, 11:45 AM - Forum: Alan Contreras - No Replies

[Image: logo365.jpg]

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  Censored Posts from DI re Gay Al
Posted by: Administrator - 05-14-2007, 11:40 AM - Forum: Alan Contreras - No Replies

Censored Posts from DI re Gay Al

When news of Alan Contreras's sexual perversion broke, a DI poster using the name "Yerout Fatgayal" began wreaking havoc at Gay Al's previously safe haven in porn peddler's paradise.   The posts were immediately censored by the boy rapist panderers, but not before a sharp-eyed reader saved them, as well as one by "Neal Downs."

Quote:Yerout Fatgayal
New Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 7

Originally posted by Alan Contreras
Cmdr Nosborne, I have actually walked the decks of the USS Missouri. I'll let that fact confuse the chatlist people for a while, though you'll probably figure it out, given your background.

And if you like, I'll send you my poem on the defense of Taffy 3. It makes a change from degree validations.


I'm confused. Did you mean "walked the decks" or "sucked the dicks"? Please send us all your lovely poetry. Also feel free to post pictures of your dirty undergarments, if you ever make a change there too. Do you like to hum "In the Navy" when you are doing a sailor?

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04-09-2005 08:18 PM

Quote:Yerout Fatgayal
New Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 7

Originally posted by Alan Contreras
In general, Russ's argument is that employers get to decide whether a degree meets their needs. This is another way of saying that the degree itself may not be necessary (why did Spielberg bother?).

It is also another way of saying that a degree is, ultimately, just a piece of paper. That is the standard view taken by people who support diploma mills. I would be interested to hear from Russ the names of some degree suppliers whose product he would consider unfit for use in his business.

The state's position is that a degree should have an irreducible minimum core of academic work that is demonstrably at the college level appropriate for the award. That is, a doctoral degree must include original research or something equivalent.

The state's position is that a private employer should never accept an unaccredited degree as a valid credential unless the employer actually investigates the nature of the supplier and its degrees, or relies on ODA to do so.

The state's position is that all unaccredited degrees should be treated by private employers as being of doubtful quality unless the supplier can demonstrate to the employer that the degrees represent genuine academic work of sufficient quantity and quality.

Doubt and the expectation of evidence are attributes of thinking people who care about the difference between truth and falsehood.

Sorry about the oregonus, Uncle J, I borrowed it from the Oregon subspecies of Spotted Towhee. And you can see one more Spielberg movie: Empire of the Sun.


I'm one of those thinking people you mentioned who cares ever so much about the difference between truth and falsehood. Do you think the ODA was negligent in not investigating you more carefully before they hired you? If they really cared about truth in Oregon don't you think they should have found out that you are a sexual deviant?

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04-09-2005 08:00 PM

Quote:Yerout FatgayalNew Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 7


Originally posted by Alan Contreras
Sorry to have been away from the list during this discussion. Here are a few factlets.

The cost of a validation review for Oregon degree use is currently $250. This fee is required by the legislature, but does not constitute a major part of our budget.

Size and wealth are not factors for Oregon approval, although they can be for accreditation. Very small schools in Oregon have had no trouble becoming approved if they have a qualified faculty, an appropriate curriculum, acceptable policies on the award of credit and appropriate admission standards. There are some other factors, but these are the major ones.

I suggest that any discussion of what kind of unaccredited entity is a degree mill begin with one sharp demarcation: any entity that does not have the legal authority to issue degrees from the jurisdiction where it is physically located is automatically a degree mill because the degrees it issues are inherently fraudulent. The Oregon Department of Justice takes this position and so do we.

The reason is simple: in the United States, the authority to issue degrees is based solely in state authority except when superseded by Congress. There is no such thing in the U.S. today as inherent authority in a private party to issue college degrees. We know of no modern legal precedent to the contrary, and plenty in support of this concept. You may disagree with it, but foaming about it wastes everyone's time, it is the law and the norm in the U.S. Even "religious exempt" schools are not exempt because they want to be, they are exempt because of a specific provision of a state law. Half of the states do not even allow religious exemptions.

People sometimes forget that no accreditor, federally recognized or invented, has the legal authority to authorize a college to operate or to issue degrees. States, and only states, have this authority, except when Congress carves out a special case (i.e. the military academies).

When we discuss the differences among "gray area" unaccredited colleges, we are really discussing only those that have state approval to issue degrees, some of which are legitimate postsecondary providers and some of which are scams and substandard degree suppliers.


Thanks for those "factlets." Perhaps you could make some clarifications.

Size is not a factor in Oregon approval? Is it a factor in what you stick in your bodily orifices?

Did you mean "superseded by Congress" or "super seeded by a Congressman"??

Did you mean "gray area" or "gay area"???

Thanks for keeping us all informed about scams and substandard performers. Perhaps a sexual deviant like you has special insight into those areas.

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04-09-2005 08:12 PM

Quote:Yerout Fatgayal
New Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 7


Originally posted by Alan Contreras
This entity claims to operate on Jersey. I thought that was considered UK home territory. Can someone enlighten me?

I should mention that I don't find Cambridge International listed anywhere ese, either. I sent an inquiry about it to the UK.


I can enlighten you. Jersey is across the river from New York. They don't like sexual deviants there, so you better stay in Salem.

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04-09-2005 07:55 PM

Quote:Yerout Fatgayal
New Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 7


Originally posted by Alan Contreras
I have no additional information, just a one-sentence announcement. Because of my work I hear from a lot of agencies around the U.S. and the world. I thought this particular item would interest the group.

It's nice to see you are so thoughtful about which items are of interest to the group. Here's an item I think would interest the group as well. Do you think your decisions are based on the law and the facts, or are you in any way influenced by the fact that you are a sexual deviant?

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04-09-2005 07:44 PM

Quote:Yerout Fatgayal
New Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 8


Originally posted by uncle janko
Good for you! Good luck!

Now that the sexual deviance and perversion of Alan Contreras have become public knowledge, are you at all worried about who might be exposed next?

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04-09-2005 08:29 PM

Quote:Neal Downs
New Member
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 1

Get Behind Alan Contreras

It's time we applauded ODA chief Alan Contreras for making his queerness public. Since it appears that most of you who post here also are queer, I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I'm sure you all agree it was a bold and brave step to stand up against the onslaught of ridicule and debasement that is sure to follow.

Now these fundamentalist Christian schools like Bob Jones really do hate us queers, don't they? How dare those filthy rotten Jesus freaks insinuate that dear sweet Alan was acting improperly by trying to run Bob Jones out of business in Oregon. Any queer would have done the same thing. It's too bad he couldn't run every stinking Jesus loving one of them out of the entire state. Then we will have a completely queer state of our own. Thanks to all you queers here at Degreeinfo for your support. Let's all get behind Alan in every way possible. Be sure to give him your input.

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04-12-2005 08:57 AM

[Image: Gay-GetOut.jpg]

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  Alan Conteras's Personal Rampage, Unprofessional Conduct
Posted by: Trevor Nigel - 05-14-2007, 11:13 AM - Forum: Alan Contreras - Replies (19)

Alan Conteras's Personal Rampage, Unprofessional Conduct


Quote:State questions wellness expert's degree
Nisha Jackson claims harassment, says she may sue

Mail Tribune

A well-known women's health care practitioner and a state agency that validates academic credentials are fighting over her use of a doctoral degree in advertising.

The state Office of Degree Authorization has told Nisha Jackson that all promotional references to her Ph.D. in health-care management from Kennedy Western University must also state that Kennedy Western "does not have accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education and has not been approved by the Office of Degree Authorization."

"It's inherently deceptive for a health-care professional to call herself a Ph.D. or `doctor' without using the disclaimer," said Alan Contreras, administrator of the Office of Degree Authorization.

Jackson, 42, is the president of Southern Oregon Health & Wellness, and she works at Medford Women's Clinic. She has written a book on balancing women's hormones and presented health tips on KTVL-TV Channel 10. She hosts a weekly radio show Monday mornings on KDOV.

Jackson described Contreras' letter as "harassment," and said she may sue. She said she had met all the requirements of the Oregon law and spent "thousands of dollars" to remove any reference to her Ph.D. from her marketing materials.

She said Contreras is "on some kind of rampage to see me go down."

Accreditation is the process by which institutions of higher learning are reviewed and evaluated. It serves as a way to tell students, employers and consumers that an institution provides quality education.

"The whole idea (of accreditation) is that a college education ought to stand for something," Contreras said.

Accreditors are private, nongovernmental organizations created for the specific purpose of reviewing the quality of higher education institutions and their programs. In the United States, colleges and

universities may be accredited by any one of 19 organizations that have been recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education.

Kennedy Western is not accredited by any of them.

Kennedy Western's Web site says it offers "busy professionals a convenient and flexible method for earning Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate level degrees." Based in Agoura Hills, Calif., Kennedy Western bases tuition and course requirements on prior work experience. Classwork is done via computer.

Kennedy Western's Web site includes testimonials from people who say their degree has helped them increase their income and prestige.

Oregon is one of eight states where it is against the law to advertise an unaccredited degree for personal gain. The maximum penalty for violating the law is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for each occurrence.

The Mail Tribune's review of state licensing records shows that Jackson holds valid licenses to practice as a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner in Oregon. She has earned a bachelor's degree from Azusa Pacific University and a master's degree from Oregon Health & Science University, which are both accredited institutions.

Jackson's husband, Rick, who is secretary of Southern Oregon Health and Wellness Corp., said his wife has never used the Ph.D. degree to attract patients to her practice, as Contreras contends.

"She doesn't need to increase her practice," Rick Jackson said. "Her practice was closed (to new patients) before she got her Ph.D."

Contreras said the Oregon Board of Nursing asked him to investigate Jackson's academic credentials after the nursing board received information that suggested Jackson was referring to her doctoral degree without the disclaimer.

"She's obviously using (the Ph.D.) with the intent to add customers and enhance her celebrity," Contreras said. "We don't care if she uses (the degree from Kennedy Western), but she has to use the disclaimer."

Jackson's Web site and book jacket cite her doctorate without mentioning the source of the degree. The dust jacket of her book, "The Hormone Survival Guide," describes her as "Nisha Jackson, Ph.D." Her Web site, "Nisha on Health," notes the degree without mentioning its origin except for a small disclaimer at the very bottom of the Web site.

Nisha Jackson said the disclaimer meets all the requirements of Oregon law. It reads: "Nisha Jackson received her PhD in healthcare management from Kennedy Western University. Kennedy Western has currently lost there (sic) accreditation in the state of Oregon."

Contreras said Jackson's disclaimer fails to comply with Oregon law because it does not use the language required in the statute, and the disclaimer is not linked to her Ph.D. in a way that the average viewer would find.

He said that the disclaimer in Oregon's law was drafted after Kennedy Western attorneys challenged Oregon's law on the grounds that it violated freedom of speech. He said Kennedy Western attorneys agreed to the specific disclaimer language that is now in Oregon's law.

Contreras said that Jackson's disclaimer has a factual error, namely that Kennedy Western never has been accredited in Oregon. Prior to the settlement, he said, "it was absolutely illegal to use that (Kennedy Western) degree (in promotional materials)."

Kennedy Western and other unaccredited institutions (often called "diploma mills") were the subject of congressional hearings in May 2004. A witness who worked at Kennedy Western for three months told the committee "There is no value to a Kennedy Western education."

Nisha Jackson said she took a Ph.D. in health care management at Kennedy Western because it was "the only one I could do while living in Medford." She said the degree from Kennedy Western has no bearing on her practice of medicine as a nurse practitioner and registered nurse.

Contreras said Nisha Jackson was advised by letter and by phone in November to use the disclaimer. Rick Jackson said his wife sent back the required disclaimer form. Contreras said the disclaimer form had not been properly completed and he sent a second letter Jan. 6.

Nisha Jackson's attorney, Sydnee Dreyer, said it's too early to say whether she will sue. Dreyer characterized Contreras' treatment of Jackson's case as "highly unprofessional conduct."

"It would appear to be personal," she said, "and not a standard compliance action."

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  Judge Declares ODA's Alan Contreras a Civil Rights Violator
Posted by: Karl Watanabe - 05-14-2007, 10:58 AM - Forum: Alan Contreras - Replies (16)

Judge Declares ODA's Alan Contreras a Civil Rights Violator


Quote:Melinda Benton ("plaintiff") is a professor at a community college in Oregon. She holds a degree from Bob Jones University, an unaccredited institution that emphasizes conservative values....

Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983.  Plaintiff brought this 1983 action as a class action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Plaintiff alleged seven claims for violation of the federal and state constitutional rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, due process and equal protection. These claims were predicated upon allegations that the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization had decreed that plaintiff should be fired from her position at the college because her degree was "illegal" or face criminal sanctions and then later decreed that plaintiff need not be fired but must give a disclaimer regarding her degrees.

Plaintiff initially named four defendants: the Oregon Department of Education, the Oregon Student Assistance Commission, the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization and Alan Contreras, the administrator of the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, in his official and individual capacities....

After a bench trial, the district court found that defendant Contreras had violated plaintiff's constitutional rights. Specifically, the district court concluded that defendant "Contreras' application of the regulations to plaintiff's degrees resulted not from an intent to achieve the goals of the regulations, but because of bias toward the institution from which they were received." That finding is not challenged on appeal....

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  ODA Settles, Contreras Must Take Remedial Training in Defamation Law
Posted by: Karl Watanabe - 05-14-2007, 10:54 AM - Forum: Alan Contreras - Replies (15)

ODA Settles, Contreras Must Take Remedial Training in Defamation Law


Quote:Oregon settles with unaccredited university
Portland Business Journal - December 22, 2004

The state of Oregon has settled a lawsuit with a California-based university that involved how the state treats degrees from unaccredited institutions.

Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers and Kennedy-Western University President Paul Saltman reached an out-of-court settlement of the university's federal district court lawsuit against Myers and Alan Contreras, administrator of the Oregon Student Assistance Commission's Office of Degree Authorization.

KWU, based in Agoura, Calif., filed suit in July 2004 on behalf of three Oregon graduates to challenge a state law that makes it unlawful for a person to represent that he or she has a degree if that degree was granted by an unaccredited university. The lawsuit claimed that the Oregon law violated KWU graduates' constitutional rights by unreasonably restricting their ability to use a lawfully obtained academic credential. Under the settlement agreement, Myers and Contreras agreed that the state would not enforce this statute as long as KWU degree holders disclose their school's nonaccredited status when representing their academic achievement.

The settlement does not require any Oregon employer to accept unaccredited degrees as valid credentials or change the requirements for state employment, professional licensure, college admission or other areas for which a degree from an accredited school is required. Degree holders who fail to disclose that their degrees are from unaccredited schools are still subject to civil and criminal penalties.

In addition, the settlement agreement provides that the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization and Attorney General Myers will make an effort to secure an amendment of the statute during the state's next legislative session that would decriminalize the use of a nonaccredited degree as long as degree holders disclose their schools' nonaccredited status when stating their credentials for business or professional purposes.

According to the terms of the settlement agreement, all issues in the lawsuit will be resolved, and the lawsuit will be dismissed, once the contemplated legislation is passed. If the legislation is not enacted by the end of the 2007 legislative session, the lawsuit will move forward.

Oregon officials are also obligated under the settlement agreement to refrain from characterizing KWU as a "diploma mill." The attorney general's office also agreed to provide ODA personnel with a training session on defamation law.

KWU says it is authorized by the state of Wyoming to offer academic degrees at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level. The school says it delivers its programs through a combination of online learning and directed study.

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  ODA's Alan Contreras Exposed as Pervert
Posted by: Tanya Heddankoff - 05-14-2007, 10:43 AM - Forum: Alan Contreras - No Replies

ODA's Alan Contreras Exposed as Pervert


Quote:Is your college degree pervert approved? This is the Oregon deviant who wants to decide whether YOU are a criminal!!!

ODA's Alan Contreras is gay, and used to be in charge of harnessing the gay vote for the former Governor. When he did not win the last election, AC was without a job. Having peddled his questionable abilities to every state agency available and not being thrown any bones, the ODA position came up for grabs, because the predecessor was removed (he had put in for thousands of overtime hours, something not very popular, so was removed).

So Anal Contreras is a politician, as are all political aides and inside supporters. And a self-serving one at that. Now we know why he hates Bob Jones University so much, given their fundie teaching on gay issues.

Now look here - "Gay Birders of North America"
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gaybirding - Contreras posts here as "tringaal" - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gaybirding/message/1709

Posted on April 9th:

"I am getting kicked around in the legislature (what does one say to a roomful of flat-earthers?) and am sampling the job ads elsewhere. Speaking of flat earth, there is a great job open in Pierre, South Dakota, and another one in Kansas City....
Alan Contreras

Ahhh...There, there...

"And I think Narcissus Flycatcher MUST be gay (at least the immature males).

And gay men always like a Redpole - oops, wrong spelling. Maybe a Watercock.

I surmise that our lesbian members would prefer a Booby of one kind or another."

"...if you like bearded men in uniform, thin upon the ground these days, a great place to look...."

And much else similar.

He also posts here: http://lists.oregonstate.edu/mailman/listinfo/obol

More -


Alan Contreras, a Salem gay who is a lobbyist for Oregon's community colleges, recently made the switch from Democrat to Republican, despite the fact that 10 years ago he was an aide to a liberal Democratic state senator.

Citing ideological affinity with the GOP as the reason for the switch, he says that despite the alliance, "there's still a significant number of the party leadership who are not weirdos."

*Contreras in nude calendar sensation*


Now we know his motivation is perhaps more than fundraising. By the way, it's amusing that his best friend and "buffer zone" is called Richard Hoyer (no, not that one...), who is also a "gay birder".

Quote:Author: Alan Contreras
Date: 03-15-05 22:42
OK, folks, here's how we raise money for the reprint of Oregon Birds. We produce a calendar like the "Men of the Long Tom Grange" did to make money for the Junction City Schools.

We get the state's more decorative birders to pose for a not-quite-nude calendar. We'll have strategically placed binoculars, bird books, tripods etc. hanging about our, uh, persons to make it all legal.

Mary Anne Sohlstrom, Diane Pettey and I are up for it. Marianne wants to pose lying on a verdant pasture surrounded by Cattle Egrets. Not enough of them in Oregon in recent years to get the job done. Diane wants to pose with me but I need a buffer zone. Rich Hoyer, call Oregon soon!

Any other takers? Tim Janzen - hey, come back here, are you shy? Vjera Arnold, where are youuuuuu? Marilyn Miller, you can pose with a goose. Well, a few geese. Owen Schmidt can stand behind a stack of his video equipment.

Dave and Georgia Marshall will be on the front cover, holding hands and peering out from behind the Finley monument at Malheur HQ.

Hey Baccus, you want to do the photo shoots? Got to do it before mosquito season. Don? Hello?

Alan Contreras

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  George Gollin (George D. Gollin, George Dana Gollin) Dirty Laundry Still Available
Posted by: Administrator - 05-14-2007, 10:16 AM - Forum: George Gollin - Replies (25)

Whatever happened to the files, it looks like there was no loss of the Gollum breeding experiment's blog achive, which survived intact:  


















































Be sure to download these documents to your hard drive so you can easily search for the classic Gollum family dirty laundry, such as "papists," "chocolate vaginas," "spring rolls" and "go suck a giant cock."  Remember that Gollum is the guy who can't manage his family but thinks he can manage your education for you.

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  Good To see DL Truth Back Up
Posted by: Randall Flagg - 05-14-2007, 04:24 AM - Forum: Distance Learning Discussion - Replies (4)

I miss the little guy when he is out of order.  We do have to make sure that the gang has some competition.  Perhaps they were pissed off because we have shown them how it feels to defend the past, especially when their pasts are so very (iffy).  Of course they may have had nothing to do with the problems, but I wouldn't count on that.  Anyway, welcome back DL Truth.

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  What Are Some of the Problems with Accreditation?
Posted by: Administrator - 05-13-2007, 01:54 PM - Forum: Welcome to DL Truth - Replies (9)

What Are Some of the Problems with Accreditation?

The Need for Accreditation Reform

Robert C. Dickeson

Summary: Accreditation of higher education in the United States is a crazy-quilt of activities, processes and structures that is fragmented, arcane, more historical than logical, and has outlived its usefulness. Most important, it is not meeting the expectations required for the future. This paper distinguishes between the institutional purposes and the public purposes of accreditation, and suggests one significant alternative to the status quo.

What Are Some of the Problems With Accreditation?

1. America's reputation for quality higher education is in jeopardy of slipping.
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development in Paris recently reported that, among its 30 member nations, the United States now ranks 7th in the percentage of the population that enters postsecondary education and then completes a bachelor's degree or postgraduate program. In large part, this statistic is due to higher education's dismal record at student attainment. Accreditation should identify and report on student success. By so doing, students and families can make enrollment decisions based on better information, institutions can be put on notice to improve student success rates, and policy makers can reward institutions that achieve high success goals.

  • The National Assessment of Adult Literacy, released in December, shows that the average literacy of college educated Americans declined significantly from 1992 to 2003, and revealed that just 25 percent of college graduates scored high enough on the tests to be deemed "proficient" from a literacy standpoint. What role should accreditation play in this shameful outcome? From what institutions did these adults graduate? If accreditation is to have any meaning, achieving standards of literacy - prose, document and quantitative - should be at the core of institutional approval by accrediting organizations.

  • Fully one-third of students enter postsecondary education needing academic remediation in reading, writing and/or mathematics. Accreditation should evaluate the efficacy of institutional admissions policies and practices: are institutions admitting students who have some reasonable expectation of success, or are they playing a numbers game for financial purposes? Has the inflow of under-prepared students resulted in a lowering of standards for graduation? Institutional assessment at the course level is undertaken through the assignment of grades, and yet grade inflation is reported as a national problem. What is accreditation doing to assure that quality is not suffering as a result?

  • A recent survey of 4-year college presidents revealed that 74.5 percent of presidents feel that "Colleges and universities should be held more accountable for their students' educational outcomes." Accreditation should transform this impression - shared by many in the public and by public policy makers - into reality.

2. The public's need for critical information is not being met.
  • Students and parents lack reliable information about college-going, including admission requirements, available programs, actual costs, the availability and extent of financial aid, and the range of accessible postsecondary options. Accreditation should insist on greater transparency by colleges and universities in the information they share publicly, and expect that the public has complete access to relevant data about college access, costs, attainment success and the extent to which standards were enforced.

  • Higher education institutions and their associations have ignored repeated requests for transparency by national commissions and higher education organizations (National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education (1997); Business-Higher Education Forum (2004); Association of Governing Boards Ten Public Policy Issues for Higher Education (2005), to cite a few). Accreditation should include transparency as a condition of continued approval.

  • Accrediting organizations do not all agree that the public either needs additional information or that sharing it is wise. Some accreditation leaders fear that more public disclosure will result in: an adversarial, rather than collegial, accreditation process; a smothering of trust critical to self-analysis; unwanted press coverage of school problems; and schools withholding information. Still other accreditation leaders deny the very existence of public demand for more information and point out that typical accreditation reports do not contain the kind of information that the public wants. Finally, some accreditation leaders understand that more information is necessary, and observe that other countries' institutions provide it without negative effect.

  • In the absence of accreditation providing information that the public wants, the void has been filled by U.S. News & World Report, whose annual analysis and rankings of institutions has become the most popular publication of that organization. Institutions that complain about the U.S. News approach to public accountability should insist that accreditation organizations fulfill this responsibility by asking the right questions - and publishing the answers.

3. Traditional approaches to accreditation are not meeting today's needs.
  • Technology has rendered the quaint jurisdictional approach to accreditation obsolete. Some standards actually vary by region. The rise of distance learning and electronic delivery of educational content across borders means that provider and student can be nations apart. Campuses and content today ignore geographic boundaries. More and more students are crossing state lines to complete their education and enrolling in multiple institutions, often simultaneously. Accreditation should refocus efforts on student achievement for the growing number who undertake alternative forms of education, and expand international quality assurance efforts.

  • Accreditation currently settles for meeting minimal standards. Nearly all institutions have it, very few lose it, and thus its meaning and legitimacy suffer. Institutions are not accepting credits from other accredited institutions, presumably because they do not believe that accreditation equals quality. Basing accreditation on truly rigorous standards and differentiating among levels of quality attainment would more accurately reflect the higher education landscape. If there were levels of accreditation, institutions would compete for honored spots (much as they do now for U.S. News rankings) and higher education's stakeholders could differentiate among institutions, depending upon stakeholder interests.

  • Accreditation is conferred typically for a ten-year period. Historically this term made sense when faculty volunteers were required to write self-studies and to perform site visits. The explosion of knowledge, the power of information technology and the pace of institutional change, however, have made a decade too long a period for timeliness. Accreditation should concentrate on key qualitative and quantitative measures that can be collected, retrieved, analyzed and published on a continuous basis.

  • Accreditation structure is archaic and contains too many layers and filters. For example, public concerns are expressed through elected officials, who communicate to CHEA, which communicates with accrediting organizations that communicate finally to institutions. The complaint process of the accrediting organizations is hardly user-friendly, and the stated policies about complaints make it clear that the accrediting organization will not interfere with institutional prerogatives. This process reflects the criticism that accreditation is the captive of the institution.

  • Most of the costs of accreditation in the United States are borne by the institutions themselves. Costs include the dues and fees paid to regional, national and specialized organizations, the released-time granted to faculty and staff who volunteer to serve accrediting organizations, and the labor and technical costs of conducting institutional self-studies. As institutions are under pressure to cut costs, conducting quality accreditation should not be diminished or jeopardized.

  • There is an over-reliance on volunteers in the important accreditation process. As institutions hire fewer and fewer full-time faculty, there are increasing pressures on such remaining faculty to fulfill on-campus duties and also meet external accreditation responsibilities.

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  OPM on Acceptability of Unaccredited Degrees
Posted by: Administrator - 05-13-2007, 01:37 PM - Forum: Welcome to DL Truth - Replies (17)

OPM Operating Manual on Acceptability of Unaccredited Degrees

Here is a link to the portion of the US Office of Personnel Management's Operating Manual pertaining to the acceptability of unaccredited degrees:


The language is a bit convoluted in places, but overall this document shows that the feds take a very broad approach to determining what is an "accredited" degree, making no distinction between NA and RA.

Also, they make a fairly realistic evaluation of unaccredited programs. Generally if accredited schools are accepting the unaccredited coursework the work will be deemed equivalent of accredited as well by the feds. And even if it's not accepted, it still can be used for ranking purposes as long as it is not from a diploma mill.

Accredited--As a general rule all "accredited" schools are accepted as meeting minimum qualification requirements. The term "accredited" is defined broadly. It includes "the entire institution, applicable school within the institution, or the applicable curriculum if it was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education."

Thus not just RA, but also NA and any accredited curriculum, presumably even in the rare event that the institution itself is not also accredited.

"Correspondence or distance learning course work is also acceptable if the applicable school within the institution or applicable curriculum is accredited by an accrediting body that is recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education."

Unaccredited--Non-accredited education may not be used to meet minimum education requirements, but still may be considered during the ranking process when evaluating qualified job applicants who already meet minimum qualification standards.

Most significantly, there also are exceptions which treat unaccredited courses as accredited if they are accepted for credit by accredited institutions. These exceptions include situations where "an accredited U.S. university or college reports the other institution as one whose transcript is given full value."

This in effect makes each accredited school an evaluator of unaccredited programs, at least as far as the feds are concerned.

Non-qualifying--This is unaccredited education that is not within the exceptions. This includes "diploma mills," but is not necessarily the equivalent thereof. "Diploma mills" are expressly forbidden from use in the ranking process, while "unaccredited" education is expressly allowed in the ranking process, so clearly they are not equivalent. They define "diploma mills" as those "granting degrees with few or no academic requirements."

So the bottom line seems to be four groups of institutions, with the distinctions between the groups gradually becoming more blurred as you proceed down the hierarchy.

1. Accredited--includes both RA and NA, as well as DoE approved program accreditation, such as e.g., PMI, even if the institution itself is neither RA or NA.

2. Unaccredited but accepted by accredited--treated as accredited

3. Non-Qualifying--unaccredited and not accepted by accredited
a. More than a few academic requirements--not accepted for minimum requirements but accepted for ranking
b. Diploma mill--few or no academic requirements--not accepted for minimum requirements or ranking

This document does make it fairly clear that (for federal employment purposes at least) any unaccredited degree that is not an outright "diploma mill" degree does indeed have some utility. Acceptance of such a degree by accredited schools increases that utility to the point that it is the functional equivalent of accredited.

Altogether this doesn't seem like such a bad deal. It gives no value to the clear fakes, but does give a value to the bona fide unaccredited schools commensurate with their value as perceived by accredited schools. It effectively lets the education community itself decide what is or is not equivalent of accredited, rather than some deviant bureaucrat. And it doesn't allow an unaccredited school to stand as the equivalent of an accredited one when it is not accepted by the accredited ones as such.

It's interesting to compare this system of evaluation with more oppressive and less thoughtful systems, such as we see in Oregon. The Oregon system is clearly substandard to that of the feds, in that it takes the approach that every unaccredited school is automatically a forbidden degree mill unless they jump through certain government hoops. In Oregon a bona fide unaccredited school that is accepted as such by accredited schools is treated exactly like a diploma mill. Clearly that is wrong, unfair, and serves no good purpose. All it does is limit competition and oppress the poor and working class people who most likely have the unaccredited degrees in the first place.

[Post courtesy of Degreeboard.com]

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