California Leads Nation in Unaccredited Schools, and Enforcement Is Lax

Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Dibyendu Malakar 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, Stanford or another accredited business school. So Mr. Malakar enrolled at Frederick Taylor University, an unaccredited school in Moraga. Because Frederick Taylor is listed in California as a state-approved school, he said, “I thought, ‘It can’t be completely bogus.’ ” In fact, he got his M.B.A. via the Internet in just a year, for less than $5,000. That may not have been quite the bargain it seemed to be, though. “I did not realize that it did not carry the same weight as Berkeley or Stanford,” said Mr. Malakar, who emigrated from India. “But it was not a complete waste.” Mr. Malakar said his M.B.A. helped him get a job as director of product management at a software company in Cupertino. Shakila Marando, a 33-year-old doula from El Cerrito, is seeking a bachelor’s degree in management from Frederick Taylor. Although she has been a student for nearly a year, she has never spoken to a teacher, she said. “They e-mail you a package of reading materials to read with a multiple-choice exam that is open book,” said Ms. Marando, who is from Tanzania. “For me, it is very convenient and I can work full time and read a little bit on the side. It is pretty easy.”

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