the Experts: Accreditation Issues
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Ask the Experts: Accreditation Issues
Featured Expert: E. Faith Ivery, Ed.D.
Question: I am about to receive my Associates of Applied
Science in Computer Aided Drafting, and I was looking into going
to a state university for my bachelor's degree, but they will not
accept my associate's degree. I was informed that they cannot accept
credits from my school because they do not accept ACICS accreditation.
I am told I would have to start all over again, and re-take all
my gen-ed classes. Is there anything I can do or am I just out of
luck? I know of no schools in my state that teach architecture that
accept this type of accreditation (nationally recognized.) Please,
if you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. - Mark
- accreditation! I cant tell you how many students have contacted
my company many in tears with the same problem. I
have called several proprietary schools and pretended to be a potential
student. I ask about transfering credit, and accreditation. I find
that most representatives of nationally accredited schools
don't understand the difference between accrediting bureaus, ACICS
and regional accreditation. So, often students enroll in these schools
with little or no understanding of the differences. They pay lots
of money, graduate, and then find out about accreditation.
The differences in accreditation has to do with the level of
content, curriculum and agency of the accreditor. (See the Accreditation
FAQ for more information.) The term national accreditation
does not define a better or worse accreditation than regional
accreditation. They are just different. It is important for the
consumer to understand the differences before selecting a school.
These proprietary schools are more entry-level in
instruction, and more skill oriented than theory-based.
They tend to quickly prepare students for employment. Their degrees
are meant to be for more terminal learning. Years ago they were
called vocational schools (or technical schools), and they issued
diplomas or certificates. I have known of students who retained
an attorney for recovery of tuition, because they were not properly
advised about the accreditation.
Drafting and architecture are two very different careers. Regionally
accredited colleges and universities consider architecture to
be a professional school within the institution. Most often the
admission requirements are higher than the general departments
within the college or university. There are a few regionally accredited
colleges and universities which accept direct credit from ACICS
schools: the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, Capella
University but they do not offer architecture degrees.
Some regionally accredited colleges/universities may allow you
to validate equivalent learning through a portfolio process, and
grant credit towards their bachelor degree. I know of no architecture
program to do this. I would suggest taking as many CLEP exams
as you can to replace your general education learning
with college credit ask the counselor at the regional college/university
which exams to take. Other than that, you basically will need
to start over at a regionally accredited college/university. You
may want to use your learning to start a job with a company that
has tuition assistance benefits to pay for your bachelor degree.
My recommendation is to always earn an associate degree at a regionally
accredited community college if you are planning to continue your
education for a bachelor degree. Many of their courses are
accelerated, and cost much less than proprietary schools. Proper
advising can assure
you take courses which can directly be transferred to a 4-year
program to earn the
bachelor degree. - Faith
More Ask the Experts.
Article: Writing the In-Class Essay Exam
by Emily Schiller
in-class essay exam I took when I returned to college was a disaster.
I had done all the reading, TWICE; thought extensively about the material;
and filled pages with notes from my own responses as well as from
class. I couldnt have been more prepared to discuss the novels
wed read. But I wasnt at all prepared to write essays
with time limits and no chance to revise. So what did I do? I took
the questions as jumping-off points and wrote everything I could think
of, had thought of, or might even consider. Every once in awhile Id
indent, so they at least would resemble essays with real paragraphs.
There was no logic to anything I did; I just spewed. Not good. The
professor commented (kindly, gently) that my ideas were superb and
my insights quite inspired. However, not only were my answers not
essays, they never really responded directly to the questions. Aargh!
After that, I learned to contain and direct my enthusiasms. Essay
exams are not a license to babble. They require reflection and control.
Here are some steps I created to help myself and, later on, to help
1) First, read the question carefully. Pick out the salient points.
What is the topic? A book, an event, an idea? What is the focus?
A character? A problem? What are you being asked to do with this?
Discuss? Contrast? Agree/Disagree?
2) Next, make a few very quick notes in answer to the question
or in response to the topic.
3) Now stop and take a breath. Then read over your ideas and ask
yourself which ones directly address the question or essay prompt.
Throw out whatever
is irrelevant to the task at hand no matter how much you love it.