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Find and evaluate Bad Online Distance Learning Schools - Warnings - Experiences

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 14:56:57 GMT
From: "Bonaventura Hadikusumo"

PROBLEM:

A distance learning school from california
(CALIFORNIA COAST UNIVERSITY, http://calcoast.edu ). After we paid some of the tuition, they dont do their job professionally, i.e. answering our simple question for more than one month, we tried to call ... nobody answered the phone, we sent a letter via email and faximile ... nobody reply our letter. Therefore, we decided to stop paying although we have to lose 1000 USD. We better lose 1000 than 5000 USD.

Do you know to whom we should complain? at least by using this mailing list, we can help people for not being cheated by them.

Thanks Kusumo

REPLIES:

From: "Sam Zahran"
Reply-To: distancelearning@egroups.com
Try the following resources:
http://www.newpromise.com
http://www.gnacademy.org

Always find out whether or not a college or university is accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies in the US (for example, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools). Contact the California Attorney General about your loss of money.
Regards,

Sam Zahran

Virtual Campus Director Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, NC

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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 13:33:24 -0700
From: John Hibbs
Reply-To: distancelearning@egroups.com

Kusmua, I am sorry for your problems here; John Bear and others have warned about them. However, and many on this list will disagree with me, I am not at all sure that you should automatically either accept those with accreditation credentials, or reject those who don't have them. So, how can you check out a course provider?

1. You can belong to lists like this one, and many others and simply post a message: Does anyone know anything about ABC University in San Diego, California? You'd be surprised not just how much others may know about ABC, you will also find institutions who are seeking to find YOU..they too can be checked out this way..easily, cheaply and with great confidence in the collective wisdom.

2. Ask for names of graduating students. They may be reluctant to give these, but at least you can try. I for one would be awfully careful of an unknown institution that replied: It is our policy to not divulge such information...that response may be fine for Harvard...but for a small respectable course provider, it is the opposite of what you can expect.

3. Ask for names of the instructors and their phone numbers. Or have them call you. Again, if it is a small and relatively unknown institution, such phone numbers or phone calls will help you decide.

4. Exercise the "smell test"...if it smells like a fish, and looks like a fish, and feels like a fish, it probably is a fish. And if it smells like a rotten fish, for gosh sake' don't buy it.

My point is that accreditation is part of the smell test. But not all of it, that is for sure.

and

It seems to me that one should take most of the cautionary steps I have described, for any course provider...maybe even Harvard, who might be world class in 98.5% of the courses offered, but horrible in the single one you wish to take. My point is: *Before* money crosses hands, DO take the time to carefully check out the provider.



John Hibbs


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Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 15:18:30 -0600
From: Steve Eskow
Reply-To: distancelearning@egroups.com

It needs to be pointed out that accreditation, in the US, provides money back protection: accredited institutions will refund tuition within a reasonable period after instruction starts, and on percentage basis if the student waits before withdrawing. So: it is the unaccredited institutions that have the power to collect fees, provide little or nothing by way of instruction, and keep the student tuition.

Steve Eskow

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