This letter can also be viewed on the Bay Citizen website: http://www.baycitizen.org/letters/
Not All Unaccredited Schools Are 'Diploma Mills'
In the article “California Leads Nation in Unaccredited
Schools” (Jan. 14), Jennifer Gollan unfairly singles out
Frederick Taylor University. While the topic of unaccredited
schools is worthy of discussion, Russ Heimerich from the
Department of Consumer Affairs points out that schools like
FTU operate within the existing laws of the state of
Furthermore, Frederick Taylor University provides a valuable service to students who cannot further their careers within the traditional school system. As Dibyendu Malakar, one of the two students Ms. Gollan interviews, indicates that he “needed a graduate business degree to advance his career, but he was working full time and could not afford $100,000 or more for a two-year M.B.A. program at Berkeley [or] Stanford.” Malakar adds that the education he received at Frederick Taylor University helped him prepare to “get a job as director of product management at a software company in Cupertino” — an outcome that is beneficial to him. Additionally, Shakila Marando, the other student that Ms. Gollan interviews, reminds her that distance-learning education “is very convenient and I can work full time” while completing her education. For many working professionals like Mr. Malakar and Ms. Marando, our distance-learning programs provide an opportunity to earn a postsecondary education for students who may not otherwise have the means or opportunity to do so.
In fact, Ms. Gollan’s statement equating unaccredited schools to “diploma mills” reveals little understanding of the definition of distance learning or its benefits. Although I explained to Ms. Gollan that a distance-learning school does not need a traditional library (reading materials are mailed or available through the Internet), lecture hall or a dormitory, she still presents these issues as if they are shortcomings. Those who are more familiar with higher education trends know that Internet-based learning — not more classrooms and dorms — are being embraced by leading American universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Furthermore, because distance-learning programs are not subject to the costs of traditional education programs (campus, library, dormitory), these schools successfully leverage Internet technology to provide students with a quality education program at a more affordable price point.
Frederick Taylor University operates within the existing laws of the State of California and provides a unique opportunity to students who cannot further their careers within the confines of the traditional school system. If the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education changes its requirements, Frederick Taylor University will adjust its curriculum to continue to meet and exceed any rules or regulations set forth by the state of California.
Mansour S. Saki, Ph.D.
President, Frederick Taylor University