BJU accreditation was officially announced today at the SACSCOC Annual meeting in Dallas, TX

There are 14 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture

Does anyone know how that works as far as before-accreditation graduates? I suppose it depends on whether the party asking wants "an accredited degree" or "a degree from an accredited institution," though maybe even in the latter case they mean "a degree from an institution that was accredited at the time."

Regardless, congrats to BJU.

Edit: No, the status is not retroactive, assuming the newspaper has its facts straight, which I have to reason to doubt.  http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/education/2016/06/16/bju-appr...

G. N. Barkman's picture

It is my understanding that it is not retroactive.  However, from a practical perspective, I doubt it will make much difference after the newness wears off.  A few years down the road, BJU will be well established as an accredited university, and anyone with a degree from BJU will be accepted as having a degree from an accredited school.

 Congratulations to my alma mater!  (Good job Steve Pettit and other administrators.)

G. N. Barkman

Mark_Smith's picture

Do you know how much paperwork they're going to have to do now! Smile

At my place of employment, there are dozens and dozens of people hired in the last 9 years (that is since I started so I have direct knowledge) just to comply with data requests from our accreditation committee. They are constantly seeking information. Honestly, it is insanity you have to see to believe, and even then you don't believe it. 5 years ago our school started a data compliance office with two people. Today is has 15 and if hiring three more PhD statisticians for next years. These people all make MORE THAN professors.

For professors, the accreditation committee is constantly seeking proof "you are teaching effectively", which means you write rubric, grade with that rubric, and then write a 15 page report every two years that you followed the rubric and here is proof. It is soulless...

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Congratulations to Bob Jones University.  

David R. Brumbelow

Ron Bean's picture

It is my understanding that if you were a pre-accreditation grad and request a new transcript that transcript will note that BJU is regionally accredited. It is also my understanding that few, if any, schools seeing such a transcript are going to ask when the school was accredited. Looks like a win.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

I'm glad BJU is getting accredited, but it strikes me that for those with BJU degrees prior to accreditation, presenting the transcript as "accredited" when it wasn't at the time could get a job applicant in trouble.  You could argue "they got accreditation in 2017 with the same basic classes as they had when you graduated in 1995" or whatever, but something about Ron's comment from 10:43 this morning makes me really uneasy....

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

I'm glad BJU is getting accredited, but it strikes me that for those with BJU degrees prior to accreditation, presenting the transcript as "accredited" when it wasn't at the time could get a job applicant in trouble.  You could argue "they got accreditation in 2017 with the same basic classes as they had when you graduated in 1995" or whatever, but something about Ron's comment from 10:43 this morning makes me really uneasy....

It will not matter.  Two reasons.  If you are seeking a job that requires an accredited degree, you are only required to post that you have a degree from the institution in your job application.  Background companies will confirm that you have a degree and then will check the accrediting status on the accrediting website.  To be honest, what BJU is teaching and how they are teaching was the same when we went to college.  And what they taught me in Chemistry back in 1989 was exactly the same course, style and information I got from my chemistry classes at Marquette University.  Second, it is not your job to state whether your degree was accredited or not as part of a transcript request.  You only request it, it is the responsibility for the University to document it properly, and for the University to check it.

Many universities will loose accreditation and then will regain it.  No one goes back and tries to tie things to certain years.  I don't think it is deceptive at all.

Andrew K's picture

Bit jealous. The regional accreditation issue has been a huge headache for us Northland alums. And there's no help for it now.

Bert Perry's picture

David, I hope you're right, and would guess from what I know of your work that you are right at least in your sector of industry.  That noted, I receive the HSLDA Court Report each month, and each month, I read about a dozen or so families whose lives are significantly disrupted by somebody with an eye for minutiae.  My favorite one this month is a background check company that didn't even bother to contact the people who issued a diploma before declaring it invalid.

Hence I'm still thinking it might be worth BJU's time to make it very clear when they got accredited.  Sure, it should help previous graduates, too, but just make it double plus clear.

(my dotting of "i"s and such also derives from a few years doing military contracting....need I say more? )

On another note, Mark's comment illustrates the fact that accreditation for schools, just like ISO for companies, is not free.  Can be very valuable, but it sure ain't free.  

Aaron Blumer's picture

To Mark's comment, if it's taking that many people to handle data requests, it's past time for serious investment in better information systems. In this day an age, it should be possible to say to an accrediting agency "Here's your log on; sign into our system and help yourself." I'm sure they aren't that accommodating on their end, but my point is that it doesn't make sense to pay humans to do what software can do.

So if I were in that situation, I'd be looking to invest heavily in good data collection and report-generating systems. Even on the very tiny scale of the work that goes on in my cube every day, there was a report I had to do weekly that was taking hours to do every week (including work on the monthly version of it). So I put about 20 hours into automation. Seems like a lot, but now I do that report in literally a few seconds a week. Effectively no time at all. 

(But yes, it can be very hard to persuade management of the value of good automation! Sometimes you have to build it yourself.)

On the retroactivity question...

I haven't tried for anything academic, strictly speaking, but so far, in job-seeking and such, what I've seen is requirements bullet points that say things like "degree from an accredited institution" or a field for degree earned, name of institution, and an accredited checkbox. That sort of thing. I'm sure applications for degree programs are more finicky.

dgszweda's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

 

On the retroactivity question...

I haven't tried for anything academic, strictly speaking, but so far, in job-seeking and such, what I've seen is requirements bullet points that say things like "degree from an accredited institution" or a field for degree earned, name of institution, and an accredited checkbox. That sort of thing. I'm sure applications for degree programs are more finicky.

I have seen the same thing on job applications, but it has never hurt me before.  They typically (on job applications) never indicate the type of accreditation.  BJ has been nationally accredited for some time, and is recognized by the government as such.  I have also since gotten an MBA from a regionally accredited university, that has further covered me.  But I have not had a problem ever.  I am at a place in my career, where the checks are significantly more intrusive and that hasn't been a problem.

Andrew K's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

Aaron Blumer wrote:

 

 

On the retroactivity question...

I haven't tried for anything academic, strictly speaking, but so far, in job-seeking and such, what I've seen is requirements bullet points that say things like "degree from an accredited institution" or a field for degree earned, name of institution, and an accredited checkbox. That sort of thing. I'm sure applications for degree programs are more finicky.

 

 

I have seen the same thing on job applications, but it has never hurt me before.  They typically (on job applications) never indicate the type of accreditation.  BJ has been nationally accredited for some time, and is recognized by the government as such.  I have also since gotten an MBA from a regionally accredited university, that has further covered me.  But I have not had a problem ever.  I am at a place in my career, where the checks are significantly more intrusive and that hasn't been a problem.

A number of states specifically require regional accreditation for teacher certification. And yes, moving into the world of graduate studies at regionally accredited universities has been, at times, a problem.

G. N. Barkman's picture

It varies from school to school.  Several years ago, one of our young church ladies applied to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for a Master's program, and was denied because her under graduate degree was not from an accredited school.  (She was eventually admitted, and now holds a Doctor's degree.)  But, several of our church members, including two of my own daughters, were readily admitted into the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, (all part of the same university system) into various Master's programs.  We have one church member who is advancing through a Doctor's degree at UNCG with a BJU undergrad degree.  In fact scores of BJU grads have done successful graduate level program at UNCG, a school that has long welcomed BJU degrees with open arms.  Another church member is currently in a Master's program at UNC Charlotte with her BJU undergraduate degree, and had no problem getting accepted.

One of my daughters said the UNCG Master's program was easier than her Bachelor's work at at BJU.  It's good that the high quality education of long standing at BJU is now officially recognized by accreditation.

G. N. Barkman