Friday, November 18, 2005

Pacific Western University alumni Ireland

Looks like Dr Barry Mcsweeney may not be the only Irish member of the Pacific Western University Alma mater. Seemingly Dr Con Power, the chair of the Financial Services Ombudsman Council (Hat tip red rover) also got his PhD here. The pacific western university is seemingly governed by California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education under Code Section 94310. The courses that the Bureau approve of are.
BS BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/14/96 BS PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/14/96 MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/ MS MANAGEMENT -- Date Approved: 5/14/96 PHD BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION -- Date Approved: 5/14/96
However according on the state of Oregon web site it states that various states have lax accreditation laws. It states that
Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, Alabama, Wyoming, Mississippi and California have either no meaningful standards, excessive loopholes or poor enforcement owing to local policy or insufficient staff.
So trusting the California Bureau may not be very good idea. What Oregon says about Pacific western university is
ODA has no evidence that this is an accredited or otherwise acceptable provider of postsecondary education meeting Oregon standards.
So this throws even more doubt on the issue of the Pacific western Validity. Also a search on Postsecondary Educational Institutions and Programs Accredited by Accrediting Agencies and State Approval Agencies Recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Failed to produce a listing for the pacific Western University. The Ftc have an interesting site on how to stop fake degrees. one sign is
the emphasis is on degrees for work or life experience, and
I think I heard Dr Barry McSweeney say something like that. So it is not looking good for Mr Power. Maybe he did take some kind of course work there but it does not seem as if it is an accredited university.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr Con Power - Pacific Western University [PWU] - PhD [1988] and DBA [1990] – legality of awards + academic content

PWU was and is California State-approved

By letter dated 15th March 1989, the California State Department of Education, Private Postsecondary Education Division, confirmed to Con Power that Pacific Western University operated pursuant to California Education Code, Section 94310.3. The letter gave comprehensive information about the laws governing the award of degrees in California, detailed a rigorous institutional authorisation process, and confirmed that degrees granted by an institution in conformance with any of the categories under the California Education Code are all equally legal under the law.

Currently in 2005, Pacific Western University is a State-approved institution the California Postsecondary Education Commission [CPEC] and it is approved for consumer protection purposes by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education of the State of California [BPPVE] part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs][Bureau Registration Number 1927881]. The Bureau lists five regulated programmes evaluated as Degree granting programmes: - BS – Business Administration, BS – Public Administration, MBA – Master of Business Administration, MS – Management, and PhD – Business Administration.

In terms of recognition by the accountancy profession in the USA, currently all of the five California State-approved courses that comprise Pacific Western University’s Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate Degree Programmes in Management, Business, and Accounting have been individually approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) for Continuing Professional Education [CPE] credit for US Certified Public Accountants.

Con Power’s PhD programme

In October 1986, Con Power completed the Evaluation & Admission Application, and he was admitted as a student on the programme for the PhD – Business Administration. The eligibility requirement for entry to the Doctoral programme was a legally conferred Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree (or equivalent). Con Power submitted for transfer credits the certified Examination Transcripts for his degrees & professional qualifications – BComm [Hons – UCD – 1963], MEconSc [Hons – UCD – 1965], FCIS [Associate 1964, and Fellow 1975], and FCMA [Associate 1970 and Fellow 1975]. In the case of the FCMA, Con Power was placed joint second in the list of highest placed candidates for the Advanced Accounting & Financial Management paper, out of 1876 candidates who entered for the Part V examination in June 1970. The six elements of his PhD programme are given below.

1. Professional communications and introduction to research. – studies & submission in effective communication skills, an introduction to research methodology, and familiarisation with information sources.
2. Professional report writing. – studies of the methods of compiling and presenting data in his chosen area resulting in the submission of a dossier of his report writing capacity in many aspects of his career.
3. Functional awareness of career. – studies comprised the integration of four related areas relative to his profession – self, society, formal methods & procedures of the profession, resources available to the profession, and the submission of a formal Degree Programme Warrant.
4. Submission of a Qualifying Exercise of Doctoral material standard. Following studies in organising and presenting data and professional concepts through analysis, criticism, and integration, his Qualifying Exercise was “Ireland’s Strategic National Roads Network – A Key to Economic Development”, and this was subsequently published.

5. Submission of a Research Proposal. - Following studies in research procedures and in developing professional proposals, Con Power based his Research Proposal on two separate periods of research – [1] 1967 to 1972 as full-time Research Economist with An Foras Forbartha where his research and publications dealt with the Irish Construction Industry, management aspects of the industry, and aspects of the legislative, economic, and fiscal environment in which the industry operates, and [2] 1979 to 1988 as Director, Economic Policy, Confederation of Irish Industry where his research and publications related to all business sectors, and to each of the factors that impact on the environment within which Irish business operates. Con Power supported his submission with his then 190 published articles, and 7 published research reports.
6. Submission of a Dissertation or Demonstration of Professional Expertise [DPE], accompanied by a Research Summary. Con Power undertook preparatory studies of professional development in Operations and Strategy, Management Processes, and Data and Information Systems. The title of his DPE was “The Environment for Enterprise”, and this covered in an integrated manner various aspects of the legislative, regulatory, fiscal, and administrative environment within which Irish business operates. The Research Summary included an analytical exposition, critical context, integrative conclusion, and a list of published references. [Assessors: Dr Herbert W Haberland – MA, PhD (University of Chicago); and Dr James A Hayes - BA (DePauw University), MA (University of Chicago), PhD (University of Freiburg, Germany)]

Con Power’s post-doctoral studies for the DBA

After gaining the PhD on 15th October 1988, Con Power continued as a post-doctoral student, and he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Business Administration [DBA] on 27th August 1990. The additional submissions made by Con Power for the DBA are listed below, and for these he was awarded 31 semester credits in aggregate for the various credit sources listed in the Transcript issued to him by the University.

1. Qualifying Exercise. Following studies in the analysis of problems in business administration, the critical context and theory of the commercial and industrial economy, and the integration of personal and professional development, he submitted his Qualifying Exercise entitled “Health Promotion in the Workplace”
2. Research Proposal. In terms of methodology, Con Power proposed to relate his research work in an integrated fashion to many of the key factors relative to people development that impact on the competitiveness of business.
3. Dissertation or Demonstration of Professional Expertise, accompanied by a Research Summary. Con Power undertook preparatory studies relating to employment and manpower surveys, public service employment, and making it happen – reflections on leadership. He selected the following subject areas for treatment: knowledge-based industries, education, training within industry, employee shareholding, employee information & consultation, and health promotion in the workplace. Con Power’s dissertation was entitled “People Development – The Business Dimension”. His research in the selected study areas resulted in an additional 70 published articles. [Assessor: Dr Kelyn Roberts – BA MA PhD (University of Michigan) – then Instructor and Assistant Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)]
End – 27th November 2005

Anonymous said...

Horsecrap. This is not a PhD program. Anyone in California can open a fake school and get "state approval"; it's just a registration process. There is no attempt to assess quality or seriousness of the program. This kind of "approval" is a sad characteristic of California government: agencies, once created, have a certain amount of political leverage. They are rarely disbanded, even when they become totally useless, even counterproductive.

It's interesting that each of the claims in the above apology are missing critical elements: for example, how about a publications list for these multiple publications which followed from the dissertation? What does the program really consist of? Where are the exams and coursework? Who was on the dissertation committee? Were there no faculty of PWU on it? (Of course not; PWU doesn't have any faculty.) And, why isn't PWU defending itself in the Irish media, if it really is a valid university?

And, of course, there's the little matter of accreditation.

This blurb just shows how, by leaving out critical information, it's possible to bullshit your way into a superficially convincing argument. Pacific Western University is a diploma mill. That's the whole story.

(From a 25-year California resident, recently returned from 6 months in Dublin.)

Mac said...

How does a person uncover or expose a fake degree "Doctor" (PhD) working in a corporation?

Anonymous said...

I would like to shed light on Pacific Western University and its present operation. First, let's address the Oregon issue. Oregon has recinded its status on PWU as PWU has applied for national accreditation through the DETC (distance education training council) an accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The school will undergo its initial audit on July 11. Completion of this process may take 6 months or more. This is a good school, run by a new and highly competent staff of education professionals as represented by the hiring on their new president. Please check out the PWU web page and don't get sidetracked by the reterick. Wikepedia also has updated its page a clarifies some past inconsistencies.

Anonymous said...

Let's take a look at comments made by the respondent in January. Some former owners/administrators of PWU made some bad choices when trying to spin off Hawaii, PWU. This was an outright mistake and has been legally resolved. PWU California is in no way associated with Hawaii and is under new ownership with completely revamped programs and a highly competent staff of administrators in charge. I have spoken with the California Dept. of Education and the BPPVE and PWU is soundly in good graces with all. The BPPVE has visited the school in person for performance of their audit and review. You may also want to perform some research into upcoming legislation in the United States Senate Education Bills which, when approved, will allow agencies such as BPPVE, to be nationally recognized as accrediting bodies on the state level, that will be recognized by the US Dept. of Education. It appears that the bill with this attachment will pass the House and the Senate. This will all be a moot point when the DETC audit review process is complete as PWU will be a nationaly accredited institution later this year. By the way, California has one of the best systems of evaluation in the country and is working on enforcement improvement.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please post the results of the July 11th audit.

Anonymous said...

In the U.S., there are 6 regional accreditation bodies that accredit universities and colleges in their region. These are overall accreditations. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_accreditation

Then there are different specialized organizations that accredit individual programs -- for instance veterinarians or engineers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_recognized_accreditation_associations_of_higher_learning#Professional_accreditation
DETC falls into this latter category.

These specialized accreditations are no substitute for the overall regional accreditation. The PWU degrees are very compromised if the school lacks regional accreditation. Earning DETC accreditation without regional accreditation is akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at those with degrees and no experience taking shots at those who have extensive experience in their fields with or without degrees. Degrees fron PWU are authorized by the state of California. Oregon State may have different requirements as do universities. I can assure you that at every graduation there are Doctoral Degrees presented to individuals with or without degrees. Heck, Bill Gates at Microsoft just finished his degree and is the second richest person on the globe. PWU simply grants degrees to those who show exceptional knowledge in their field and prove that knowledge is not just gained in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

I am a lifelong resident of California and an education professional. Pacific Western Uni
is NOT accredited in California or elsewhere. In California (and acutally across our nation), PWA California is widely known as a 'diploma mill'. In fact, the use of it's degrees by individuals for professional or educational or employment purposes is ILLEGAL in the states of Texas, Nevada, Washington, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon and pending in 3 other states. If so many USA states have declared the use of PWA's degrees ILLEGAL, does that not suggest something? Usage of the degrees in these ways are chargeable to the individual who purports to hold the degree as a misdemeanor offense. Further, PWA just changed it's name to Miramar for precisely the reason of distancing itself from its horrendous reputation. It currently 'offers' no PhD or doctoral program at all. This is not a reputable university.

C W Shaw said...

Re Pacific Wester University

This Comment is in support of the University. I myself am a professional in Education and Youth Services with Business and Postgraduate UK Qualifications. I am proud of my work but the fact that my UK Qual are mainly state approved/chartered does not mean I think that they are any better than PWU awards. I myself enrolled at PWU Twenty Years ago and because of the detail they require in the Resume and Evidencing Documentation and Submission plan - compared to actually sitting in a classroom or lecture room and then sitting written exams - I have still not completed despite having paid half their fees at that time. Maybe I will but quite frankly if you are busy professional with a family PWU requires a lot of work and determination. I therefore at this stage DO NOT hold any PWU awards.
What worries me about those who critiscise is they seem to have no concept regarding liberty or freedom in education. You need a
clear competence level in a number of professions but this is not the same as the issue of degree awarding or the freedom of Non-Accredited institutions to exist.

So called Accredited Institution teach a lot of woffle and no one seems to mind.

A lot of good people including those you seek to malign have gone through PWU and paid for their education themselves and the awards are clearly legal - Often the existence of these institutions is a threat to middle class educational establishments.

PWU should be applauded and some of the detractors questioned - it is certainly not a mill by many standards. However, it would be a
travesty of freedom if all institutions were of the same academic standard (whatever that may mean).

Sincerely

C W Shaw

C W Shaw said...

Re Pacific Wester University

This Comment is in support of the University. I myself am a professional in Education and Youth Services with Business and Postgraduate UK Qualifications. I am proud of my work but the fact that my UK Qual are mainly state approved/chartered does not mean I think that they are any better than PWU awards. I myself enrolled at PWU Twenty Years ago and because of the detail they require in the Resume and Evidencing Documentation and Submission plan - compared to actually sitting in a classroom or lecture room and then sitting written exams - I have still not completed despite having paid half their fees at that time. Maybe I will but quite frankly if you are busy professional with a family PWU requires a lot of work and determination. I therefore at this stage DO NOT hold any PWU awards.
What worries me about those who critiscise is they seem to have no concept regarding liberty or freedom in education. You need a
clear competence level in a number of professions but this is not the same as the issue of degree awarding or the freedom of Non-Accredited institutions to exist.

So called Accredited Institution teach a lot of woffle and no one seems to mind.

A lot of good people including those you seek to malign have gone through PWU and paid for their education themselves and the awards are clearly legal - Often the existence of these institutions is a threat to middle class educational establishments.

PWU should be applauded and some of the detractors questioned - it is certainly not a mill by many standards. However, it would be a
travesty of freedom if all institutions were of the same academic standard (whatever that may mean).

Sincerely

C W Shaw

Anonymous said...

Obviously at one time PWU did provide a service to those students who could not attend a regular college. Somewhere along the way this institution lost it's way.
Those PWU students simply provided proof of the mastery of a subject by education and/or experience.
Those persons that accept a degree (PhD) from an accredited institution and have not sat in a classroom to earn the degree are simply applying the same course of action others have used at PWU. Yet we all have seen these degrees confered and think nothing of it. Sounds like double standards here.

Anonymous said...

PWU has a History of more than 30 years in existence as a private University.PWU has also a vast database of Research done from many parts of the world by a highly mobile, Innovative and motivated former Alumni.Mergers and acquisitions can make PWU a true provider of excellent Education that can even challenge Ivy league Universities it only needs to leverage "OPEN SOURCE" just like the way open Source software is giving major software corporation a run for their MONEY.