Education – A Return to Animal House – NOT!

Education can take different forms

I’m for education, but it comes in many forms – but not like that found in the Animal House movie. Let me share a few:

  1. Everyone wants to play matchmaker! This week a female friend wanted to hook me up with a missionary, who served in Pakistan…This all seems innocent enough, except that a homeopathic physician friend had two brothers machine-gunned down there… Bad memories – mind you…It remains an “unsolved crime” to this day… Besides I have an elderly mom to take care of, and now’s not the time or place – for relationships… It reminds me when I was a Peace Corps teacher, and students always tried to find me “dates”… If I really wanted a hookup, I’ve ask a Greek Orthodox female…with a masters in social work from the University of Chicago… a PhD in Biblical Archeology from Oxford…a striving counseling practice – to do so…She knows me the best by now, as we have been friends for several years…better than a “Fox on The Run” encounter ( youtube.com/watch?v=xj…)

  2. Now I don’t have a bias against culture. I have been a guest at Roman Catholic, Hindu, Islamic, and Native American weddings. Cultures have a different way of educating people. When I spend several years with Native Americans – as a guest – they had a unique way of educating people in their spiritual ways. Just sit and observe. And this is precisely my style – silent observation. Most educational endeavors should be done in silence.

  3. There was a discussion on Linkedin, initiated by an Islamic man, who lives in an Islamic society. And there is a liberal from another country, who appears to favor alternative life styles. When I came back to visit the discussion, it appears World War III had broken out. This is what I shared: “I think I am lost! I stopped by to visit XYZ’’s discussion on Apple and Google, but I think I ended up in “The Shootout at the OK Corral” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…) movie set.”
  4. I went to the Christian Science website at www.spirituality.com, and listened to the election talk. Not that I am a Christian Scientist, but there was an interesting observation, in the talk. The author told a story where they campaigned for candidate A, but candidate B won. They didn’t like this, but a few months later, the president solved an international situation, due to his being a peace corps volunteer in that country. So no matter whom you vote for, God has a purpose in the winner.
  5. Once I got a standing ovation from a blue-collar crowd. They were having a Karaoke night (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karaoke), which is “a form of entertainment in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music (and/or a music video) using a microphone and public address system.” I was singing the country song “Take This Job and Shove it:” (hear it at http://tinyurl.com/5dcpcf ).
  6. I was consulted regarding a sistuation…suppose someone had depression…Is the nature of the problem spiritual…seek a priest, minister, or rabbi… psychological…seek a Psychiatrist or Psychologist – perhaps cognitive behavorial therapy and/or the latest medications…organic… seek a general medical practitioner to diagnose an organic cause…or would one think “outside the box”, and consult an alternative modality…Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, or Christian Science practitioner?

Let’s get to the meat

Remember the old Wendy’s commercial, with the older lady yelling,” where’s the beef?” I can just picture folks in the audience yelling, “where’s the talk on education?”

Now that we are in a topsy-turvy economy, one option is to continue with education. Folks today are looking for fast options, and these new online universities look enticing. But let’s get down to brass tactics: who endorses these programs, and who endorses the endorsers?

Accreditation

In the US, we translate that into who accredits a school, and who certifies the accreditation agency. There is a good article on Wiki regarding accreditation at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…, where we are provided with a definition. “Educational accreditation is a type of quality assurance process under which services and operations of an educational institution or program are evaluated by an external body to determine if applicable standards are met.”

In the US, you are safe going with an established, regional accreditation agency, like those found at distancelearn.about.co…. This link also gives us a good idea who approves these agencies:

“When selecting a distance learning college, your best bet is to choose an online school accredited by one of the six regional accreditors. Both the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognize these regional agencies. They are the same regional accreditors that grant most brick-and-mortar public and private universities their accreditation.”

There is another website that cross-references all “recognized” US agencies, with the USDE and/or CHEA stamp of approval, at chea.org/pdf/CHEA_USDE…. In order to read the PDF, you need the free PDF reader at

  1. http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/

  2. foxitsoftware.com/pdf… (I prefer the Foxit version).

UNISA

Let’s cover one great school of distance learning, which has programs through the PhD level, for over 150 years. There is a Wiki article on this university at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. This program’s accreditation is covered, in the following article at unisa.ac.za/default.as…. “Unisa operates in accordance with the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997, as amended. It is recognized by the South African Department of Education (DoE), accredited by the South African Council on Higher Education (CHE) and all its qualifications are registered with the South African Qualification’s Authority (SAQA).”

Many years ago, I did apply for admission to their computer science program. I was operating a consulting business then, and had to drop out of a graduate NIU program. I was accepted into the UNISA Bachelors with Honors program in Computer Science. Unfortunately, this would entail extra work, before entering their masters program. I decided not to pursue it. However, if you pursue this option, look at ICAI in Canada. Their website is iaci-canada.com/distan…, and they have a partnership with UNISA. You can also take exams at any South African consulate or embassy office.

Next Time

As Porky Pig used to say: “that’s all folks.” In part 2, we will explore US community colleges. But first – we will return to the Garden of Eden

P.S. – Let’s end with a dedication song for Rocky Top University, and to honor Professor Phil, with his gift of “White Lightening” at a college party ( youtube.com/watch?v=_n…)

Randy Kemp

www.randykempcopywriting.com

 

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