Preston University


Preston University

Preston University is an unaccredited university based in the US state of Alabama. [cite news |url=http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/AAR/PrivateInstitutions/fraudnotx.cfm |title=Fraudulent or Substandard Institutions with No Known Texas Connection |publisher=Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board |date=2007 |first= |last= |accessdate=2007-03-13] (Preston University has no known connections with the city of Preston in England, or any of the many smaller places called Preston in the English-speaking world. The university in Preston, England, is called the University of Central Lancashire.) In 2001, an official of Preston University stated that the institution had 30 "affiliated" campuses in 19 countries and about 8,000 students, mostly in Pakistan. About 18 students were reported to be taking classes at what was then Preston's official main campus in Cheyenne, Wyoming. [Sara Carr and Andrea L. Foster, [http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i28/28a03401.htm States Struggle to Regulate Online Colleges That Lack Accreditation] , "The Chronicle of Higher Education", March 23, 2001] As identified on its website, Preston University now has joint enrollment agreements with more than 40 affiliated campuses in 26 countries around the world and still serves about 8,000 students with quality educational opportunities. [ [http://www.preston.edu/ Official website] (Accessed 20 June 2007)]

In 2001, Preston University was found to be falsely claiming that it employed faculty, two of whom had never heard of the school. [cite news | url=http://chronicle.com/weekly/v47/i28/28a03402.htm | title=Some Professors Are Surprised to Be on a University's Roster | publisher=The Chronicle of Higher Education | date= 2001 | first=Andrea | last=Foster | accessdate = 2007-03-13] Since then, all Preston faculty are listed prominently on the school's web site and in its online catalog: [http://www.preston.edu/ www.preston.edu] .In Aug 2008, Singapore's The Straits Times reported that Preston University is a degree mill with some leading businessmen in Singapore owning Ph D's from Preston. [ [http://blog.thestar.com.my/permalink.asp?cat=21&id=17231 ] ] However, the Times article presented no tangible evidence nor any valid support for its claims about Preston University.

In 2007, the state of Wyoming enacted a requirement for all private schools to be accredited by one of the private accrediting associations in the United States. Because Preston remains non-accredited, it moved its operations to Alabama, which has well developed standards for private schools, and does not limit educational opportunities by requiring private accreditation. [Ronald B. Standler. http://www.rbs2.com/accred.htm] Preston University's academic standards are fully consistent with traditional academic requirements in the United States. According to its 2008 catalog, the school neither accepts non-academic transfer credits, nor does it award credit for "life experience." Students must earn their degrees through rigorous academic study. [ [http://www.preston.edu/ Official website] (Accessed 20 June 2007)]

United States federal law forbids the federal government from regulating or addressing any accrediting bodies that accredit schools that do not administer federal financial assistance. [U.S. Department of Education. http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg14.html#RecognitionCriteria] Preston University, because of its international scope, does not administer federal financial assistance. Preston therefore does not fall within the scope or mandate of most of the private accreditation associations in the US.

On March 15 2007, the The Chronicle of Higher Education reported, "In response to a crackdown on diploma mills in Wyoming, an entity known as “Preston University” is moving part of its operations to Alabama, where laws are laxer." [cite news | url=http://chronicle.com/news/article/1808/diploma-mill-crackdown-in-wyoming-sends-preston-u-to-sweet-home-in-alabama | title=Diploma-Mill Crackdown in Wyoming Sends Preston U. to Sweet Home in Alabama| publisher=The Chronicle of Higher Education | date= March 15, 2007 | first= | last= | accessdate = 2007-03-13] The Associated Press reported that a new school, Fairmount International University, would offer an online business program from Preston's former Cheyenne offices. According to the Associated Press, Preston and Fairmount would both be owned by Abdul Basit, who served as president of both institutions, and that Jerry Haenisch would serve as chancellor of both. [cite news | url=http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2007/03/17/news/wyoming/91016bed29c488e38725729e0082649c.txt | title=New law prompts online school changes| publisher=Associated Press | date= March 15, 2007 | first=Mead | last=Gruver | accessdate = 2007-03-13] However, Fairmount International University was not established and does not operate in Wyoming. [ [http://www.k12.wy.us/F/psl/degree.pdf] (Accessed 20 April 2008)] Preston's website now identifies its world headquarters location as Montgomery, Alabama. [ [http://www.preston.edu/ Official website] (Accessed 20 June 2007)]

References

* [http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/local/16904063.htm Preston moves, spins off new school; Kennedy-Western changes name]
* Information about Accreditation in the USA http://www.rbs2.com/accred.htm
* Criteria for recognition of accreditation associations in the USA. http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg14.html#RecognitionCriteria

External links

* [http://www.preston.edu/ Official website]


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