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Accrediation question

Discussion in 'Pre-Optometry' started by plano1984, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. plano1984

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    As everyone may know by now that there will be 3 new schools opening this coming fall of 2009, which I believe is way too much and making the field become even more saturated. Well my question is, all these schools have the pre-accreditation approval by the ACOE and are now able to start accepting application for this coming fall term and the school is not full accredited until there first graduating class have good standing. I know it’s a long process for the schools to get this pre approve accreditation and ACOE wouldn’t approve it if they didn’t believe that the school is capable of producing future optometrist. So I was wondering if a student get accepted to one of these 3 new schools (Western, Midwestern, and UIW) and decided to go there, and by 2013, in there 4th year and about to graduated, the school doesn’t receive the accreditation due to poor board passing rate or other factor, does that mean that basically the student have spent the last 4 years and spent all the money being in debt for nothing , or is there a solution for the student if the school that they went to isn’t accredited?
     
  2. jymezg

    jymezg SCO c/o 2013
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    "Not less than 12 months prior to graduation of the program's first class, the ACOE will visit the program at the University's invitation to determine accreditation status."

    Its fishy, there isn't anything relevant on the ACOE website about "what if" scenarios. Both Western and Midwestern have other established health care programs like pharmacy and osteopathic, but that doesn't guarantee them success in a BRAND NEW optometry program.

    I personally wouldn't take the chance.



    You could always contact ACOE if you are really interested in those schools, they have that option for more info...
     
  3. itek2OD

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    Hmmm, I wonder if low application rates to these schools for accreditation reasons for a couple years if that will cause these new schools to shut down.:smuggrin:
     
  4. optometry55

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    A representative from Western told me that the first class that gets accepted will get an OD degree and will be Optometrists whether the schools accreditation gets turned down after the fourth year or not. So no matter what if you go to one of these schools in their first year you will be an OD if you complete the four years of school.
     
  5. fkajoshaj

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    How is that possible though? If you graduate from a school that is not accredited from the ACOE, doesn't that mean your degree is unacceptable? So why do they emphasize on accreditation so much? What does it mean if a school is accredited or not? Unfortunately, I thought I knew. But after reading your answer im confused again lol
     
  6. optsuker

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    To get a license to practice, states require that you graduate from an accredited school of optometry and pass boards.

    The fact that Western U continues to glaze over all the possible negative consequences that come with a start up program really scares me.

    The are playing fast & loose with the facts and the first class is going to pay for it. They want their seats filled and will tell you what you want to hear to get it done. Most applicants will be too naive to see through the sales pitch.
     
  7. fkajoshaj

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    yeah optsuker, thats what I thought as well. how can we take western's statement seriously optometry55? can you further elaborate? can they just blatantly lie about something like this? optsuker, if it was that straightforward, that in order to receive a license, one must graduate from an accredited school, why would they say otherwise? There must be something someone hasn't picked up. We need to get the facts straight over here. If it was that obvious, why would students continue to apply? If it was that big of a risk, im sure students wouldn't apply. I guess the risk is very miniscule?
     
  8. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    If someone graduates from a non-accredited school, they will have an OD degree. However, they will NOT be able to get a license to practice which makes the OD degree just this side of useless.

    In general, these are how these situations play out:

    The school is granted PROVISIONAL accreditation based on the program that they put in place. A program can not be fully accredited for a certain period of time. (I believe it's 5 years but I can not say with certainty on that. Check with ASCO) However, once the school is accredited at the end of the time period, the previous graduates are considered to have graduated from an "accredited" school because the school gains their accreditation based on the program that those initial students went through.

    The only potential pitfall would be if the school does NOT get their accreditation at the end of the provisional period. If that happens, all those previous students are screwed, blued, and tatooed.

    In optometry, I have never heard of that happening and I would think that a program would have to be so horrible, and so piss poor for it to occur.

    So while it is unlikely to become an issue, my personal opinion would be that students should not apply to any of the new schools for at least the first few years.
     
  9. LucidEyes

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    So, how many people here are actually going to try applying to these schools?
     
  10. oceanblue392

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    i was going to apply (i'm from so cal), but then i got accepted to SCO...and there was no point in finishing my app for western.

    but from the looks of it from the "class of 2013" facebook page, there are a number of people who are accepted and i guess planning on going to WU.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28695429493
     
  11. fkajoshaj

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    so KHE, do you recommend students that did not get accepted to the other accredited schools to attend one of these new schools if they got accepted? so you're saying, unless the school is dirt poor or some catastrophe were to occur, the school SHOULD get its accreditation?
     
  12. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013
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    I also applied to WU mostly because I fell for the sales pitch... they offered me an interview after I had been given time to think things through, so I declined.

    Aside from the accreditation issue (which is of course a big deal), these are the reasons why I personally wouldn't go there, or recommend it to anyone:

    • the tuition is HIGH considering they don't have much to offer for it
    • the first few classes will undoubtedly be guinea pigs for a new program
    • many of the students will be students who couldn't get in anywhere else
    • there won't be upperclassmen to show you the ropes or make the transition easier
    • with SCCO right around the corner, A) the area is going to become even MORE saturated, and B) if you stay in the area, WU grads will always be second best to SCCO grads for at least 5-10 years, or however long it takes to build a good reputation
    There are more reasons, but this is good enough for now. Anyone else can feel free to add to this list.
     
  13. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    Unless the school is dirt poor, or there is some catastrophe yes, the school should get it's accreditation.

    However, that is not a gamble that I would personally make (and I like to gamble) nor would it be something that I would suggest other people do.

    For those not admitted to one of the current schools, I would recommend reapplying next year. I would not personally recommend applying to any of the new schools for at least 5 years.
     
  14. jymezg

    jymezg SCO c/o 2013
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    is 200k in student loans worth the chance???

    For anyone planning on applying to the new schools, Ill be starting an opt school in my basement for fall 09. Tuition will be a 6pack of beer and a peperoni pizza. Your degree will be in crayon but will be just as good. :laugh:
     
  15. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013
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    Snap! Yo, I haven't taken any science classes, and I'm not sure what an optometrist does (they like pick out your glasses for you, right?) but could I get a spot at your school?
     
  16. optometry55

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    Well I appreciate those who have elaborated on what I had initially heard about the first classes of these schools. Western didn't tell me that my degree wouldn't be worth anything if they didn't get accreditation. Lucky, i didn't even apply there, I'm in at Pacific, but I do know people who are planning on going there. I'm going to pass this info on to them.
     
  17. fkajoshaj

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    KHE, what happens after one graduates one of these new optometry schools, but the accreditation has not been given by then? Lets say, they give accreditation after 5 yrs like you said, what does the doctor do? Just sit around for a year till it gets accreditation, then start applying for jobs? lol I am just curious because I already took two years off, and yes I did apply. But if I don't cake these OAT's, these new schools are looking pretty good to me lol I have a overall 3.03 gpa. My first OAT scores that I took from last year was 300AA, 320TS. So Im retaking the OAT again 12/31. If I do well enough to get into one of the current OD schools, then of course I will not bother with the new ones. However, if I dont do good enough to get accepted to the current ones, Im gonna have to attend one of these new schools. Im 23 years old, im balding lol I wanna get these 4 years over with so I can start a family and hold my own. So wish me good luck on this upcoming test! :oops:
     
  18. KHE

    KHE Senior Member
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    A couple of things:

    1) I can NOT say for certain that the duration of provisional accreditation is 5 years. This is something that you need to ask ASCO about. Go a google search for "asco optometry" if you haven't already visited their website. Contact them for their accreditation rules.

    2) Even if the accreditation issue were not in play, I would still not wish to be the first, second or even third group of people going through a new program, particularly for the level of tuition they are charging. There are always plenty of bugs to work out in even the most well thought out programs and as someone else pointed out, there will be no upper classmen or alumni to interact with. To me, this is a severe negative. During my time in education at all levels, I always found alumni and upperclassmen to be very valuable resources.
     
  19. fkajoshaj

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    This is what a Western attending student told me about this accreditation issue:

    i am a 100% confident that Western will be fully accredited. Why?

    1) they have done it before with other programs. Ex. the pharmacy program started 8 or so years ago & now they have a 100% pass rate on the board exam, 1500 applicants and have a better reputation than USC that has been around forever.

    2) no optometry program in history has been denied full accreditation.

    3) the faculty members of the OD school have served on accreditation committees & conducted site evaluation for other schools undergoing the process…they know what needs to be done

    4) the accreditation committee reviews the school during the charter class’s 3rd yr & writes a report indicating if the school will receive full accreditation. If not the committee makes a list of things western needs to change in 12 month window & if Western fulfills what’s listed then the school becomes fully accredited. Basically the committee doesn’t just deny the school and that’s it. They give them a window of opportunity if they need it, ensuring the school is accredited prior to the charter class’s graduation. Also initial accreditation is more difficult; the committee has higher standards for it when compared to full accreditation. The whole point of initial accreditation is to protect the student from paying 120K and not getting a degree.

    In addition
    - I know people who graduated from western’s other programs and are satisfied with their education and more importantly are successful in their profession
    - I know this charter class will be full of exceptionally ambitious and intelligent people. All of them come from highly ranked undergraduate universities and 3 of us have our master degrees. I think most of us have been accepted to other programs out of state but would prefer to stay in CA. After all, the schools in CA are known to be the most competitive in the nation.
     
  20. caliopt23

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    Sounds like you know several people who will be attending Western. Do you happen to know if the class is getting full as of now? I'm planning to send them everything by end of the month and i really hope they're still giving out interviews. Thanks
     
  21. fkajoshaj

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    28 seats are taken thus far out of 60-70....
     
  22. caliopt23

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    almost half! these are the people who have made the deposites, and its their final decision, right...i better hurry up :lame:
     
  23. eheaps

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    They have a full refund policy for deposits, as I sent mine in so they can hold my seat. Based on that I would assume the 28 number is inflated, as I'm not sure I will be attending there, waiting to hear from other school and other people are probably in the same boat. I have a feeling a lot of applicants view Western as sort of a "safety"
     
  24. fkajoshaj

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    eheaps, youre right. If i get into PCO, then Im not going. Im from new york, so PCO would be ideal for me since I wanna get away from home, yet be close enough to visit family whenever I miss them. So if i dont get into that, I might as well consider western or midwestern.
     
  25. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013
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    I'm sorry, but I have trouble believing that anyone who has truly thought out the pros and cons would choose to go to Western if they were accepted to either of the other two CA schools. Location and tuition are poor excuses in this situation.
     
  26. oceanblue392

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    Another question I would ask the new schools opening, is how much the economy has been affecting the construction of the new facilities. With the more established colleges, they have had a chance to build up an endowment-but with the new colleges, I dont know how financially sound they are. For all I know, it might not even have the slightest impact, but its an additional question to ask the new schools.
     
  27. eheaps

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    Western's new clinic building thingy is delayed until winter/spring 2010. The first semester is mostly lectures in the current facility with other programs and I think they are setting up a mini clinic or something. Also, Western is starting 3 new programs with no new building, so I'm not sure where everyone will be, especially things like parking and stuff as the new garage may not be ready in time. But once the building is up its supposed to be really nice, all new technology and such
     
  28. optmania

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    Wow.Thats going to effect students because they will not have enough facilties to teach each program independently. Which kinda blows. I was going to apply to that school now im reconsidering it. Eheaps are you still going to that school?
     
  29. eheaps

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    As of right this minute, yes. However, I have a few more interviews at some of the east coast schools over winter break (SUNY, PCO, NOVA) and am waiting to hear my decision fro SCO and one acceptance somewhere else will probably change my choice.
     
  30. CCTX87

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    Just FYI... I received this from University of Incarnate Word (I'm from Texas)

    "We continue to prepare for the launch of the Optometry professional
    program at UIW with the anticipated start date of Fall 2009. The admission
    application process for the first class of students is anticipated to begin in early
    2009. This information may be subject to modification in the next few months;
    please be assured that we will notify you as soon as any changes are made regarding
    application dates and guidelines.


    Once the admission application period begins, applications will be
    processed as they are received and offers of acceptance will be made on a rolling
    basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible during the
    application period. Qualified individuals will be admitted on a continual basis
    until the class is filled."


    I know a lot of people are upset about the new schools that are opening. This optometry school is opening not to far from UHCO (In Texas terms 200 miles), but if you do any research about optometrist in Texas you will see that there are over 100 counties that are without an optometrist. I still have not decided if I am for or against the new optometry schools... just throwing this out there.
     
  31. jymezg

    jymezg SCO c/o 2013
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    Of course, don't worry about taking science classes those are way to hard and boring anyway. But since it is a new school im kinda playing interviews and classes by ear. More of a wing it philosophy. Which brings up the next point...

    The accreditation issue is big, but in the grand scheme its pretty minuscule, the chances of it not getting accredited are low, alas there still is a CHANCE, something to consider. I'll throw the phrase "S*** happens ya hurd."

    The big issue about the new schools is the fact they are NEW. You WILL be a Guinea Pig as the first class. Think about the volume of info you will be taking in during those 4 years and then having to take your boards...can you really afford backups here and there. Its comparable to that class you had as an undergrad with the brand new professor that is horrible (because he lacks experience) but on a MUCH bigger scale.
     
  32. optsuker

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    Sounds like somebody received a list of talking points from Western's admissions office.
     
  33. optsuker

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    This class will be a mix of those rejected by all other programs (shouldn't have been accepted into ANY program) and some native Californians unwilling to leave the state, even if it means a sub-standard education.
     
  34. XxMsICarexX

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    thank you for very honest opinions from you guys. I got accepted to WU and PCO. I am planning to go to WU instead of PCO because I really like it there. But I am still debating on it. Also, I am waiting for UHCO to answer me. For people who never been to WU campus, please don't speak about it. I spoke to students and faculty there, they are absolute great!!!

    -Also, I felt like some of you guys just have a bit of hatred on people who applied to WH and got accepted. For the fact, the 1st class are not for only students who did not get accepted else where or low educated class. Please think before you speak!

    -We might be guinie pig - but once we have our OD degree and be sucessful w/it - we'll be glad that we made this decision

    -Sometimes in life - we must take risk - and I have faith in WH that they will bring great education + accreditation.
     
  35. optsuker

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    Taking unnecessary risks is foolish and I'd challenge you to weigh your options carefully.

    You're choosing an unproven, incomplete program that has no current students, very few faculty hired, and no track record over one the most established programs. Based on a "warm fuzzy" feeling and a high-pressure sales pitch during your visit?

    I've been on campus and know Dean Hoppe. They really seems focussed on growth over all else.

    You can cross a creek by jumping or taking the bridge. One choice has a lot more risk involved!
     
  36. jymezg

    jymezg SCO c/o 2013
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    I won't state facts because this thread has been beaten to death with them. What do you really like about WU? Not trying to bring hatred or anything I'm actually really curious as to why you are considering WU over PCO.
     
  37. blysssful

    blysssful SUNY c/o 2013
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    What does having been on the campus have to do with it? The clinic isn't even built yet, what would visiting a couple classrooms prove about the quality of the program?

    And I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly have no hatred towards anyone... it's a wasted emotion. I just hope for YOUR sake that you're really thinking this through. Don't let the appealing climate of Southern California or the aforementioned "warm fuzzy" feeling make the decision for you. It would be one thing if you didn't have other options, but turning down PCO for Western is a terrible choice.
     

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