Rejection Still Happens
There has been a lot of talk about Bob Jones University's recent announcement to begin pursuing the idea of regional accreditation. This is over and above their current national accreditation which has already shown to be less than adequate for many graduates. In our coverage of BJU's announcement we noted that while this is a positive step in the right direction it will do little for current alum, and even above that may do little for current students given the time and effort it will take to actually attain regional accreditation (given safe estimates I'd put it no less than 5 years, meaning every current student, including the incoming freshmen class will graduate without regional accreditation). In other words the announcement does little for anyone including current students who face an ever growing reality check upon graduation.
I personally believe that the issue of regional accreditation and its impact on grad school admission as well as future job prospects is growing and certainly not going away. As this recent blog post highlights. I feel bad for this kid. If you are reading I've been where you are, and in some ways still am. The gist of the article is that he is now receiving his second rejection for Grad School admissions based only on the fact that BJU does not have regional accreditation. I admire his handling of the situation, again it reminds me of me several years ago.
I also asked about how I could become an acceptable applicant. She said I would need to go back to nursing school and get an accredited BSN.
I ask the exact same question years ago and I got the exact same answer. I've actually gotten that answer several times. Time and time again you are told just do over your undergrad. That is an impossible pill to swallow when you think about how much time, energy, and money you spent at BJU. And quite frankly it is offensive that this even has to be. Again years ago BJU could have fixed this whole problem. The administration knew what accreditation was eons ago, and clearly if they are willing to pursue regional accreditation now than this issue never was about spiritual issues or the Bible, yet that is how they sold it to us decades ago. We were led to believe that choosing accreditation was a sell out and a compromise to clear biblical teachings. Clearly that was never the case, clearly the Bible never had anything against accreditation, because now BJU has national accreditation, and is pursuing regional accreditation. My story never needed to happen, Joel's never needed to happen.
She asked if I had known BJU was unaccredited when I chose that school. I told her I had no concept of accreditation types as a 18 year old freshman.
This is an important point to make. I didn't have a concept either, and I don't think you can expect our parents to have understood it either. Most people try to make the point that the burden lies with the student making the choice. This shows why that line of logic is silly. How was he supposed to know? BJU told him that no accreditation was needed. They told him everything would be fine. They told him that their school is just as good as any school and that their graduates don't have any major issues. Yet clearly BJU is in the position to know the truth behind accreditation. It *is* their responsibility to be upfront with the student. There are plenty of industries where the onus is on the producer to warn the consumer not the other way around. And I believe that this should be the case for education. If an institution makes a conscious choice to not have standard accreditation *they* need to warn the student.
Of course it also highlights the need for clarity on this topic at all levels of Fundamentalism. Kids who attend public schools have guidance counselors who's job is to point issues like accreditation out to the child. Their job isn't to peddle one school over the other, their job isn't to push every kid to one specific school. Their job is to help the kid navigate the murky waters of post-high school life including college choice, accreditation, and vocational choice. I know I didn't get any of that help when I was in high school. I had pastors who preached long and hard why I should never go to a secular school, and why I must go to a Christian school. I had teachers who all graduated from Christian school so they just reinforced the pastor, but I didn't have any legitimate counseling about college, vocation, or post-high school plans. And I know of very few Christian schools that do offer legitimate unbiased counseling on such topics.
This second rejection is really quite significant for me. It says the Barry rejection was not a freak incident. It tells me that, at least for CRNA school, regional accreditation really does matter. And it tells me that I may have to face ultimate failure: I may never become a CRNA because of my choice in undergraduate schooling. And that's a little depressing.
It is a tough reality to learn after spending so much time on your undergraduate. It is like getting slapped across the face by a lead balloon. You don't see it coming it and it hurts like hell. In some ways it never stops hurting, even if you figure out a way to fix the problem, or even if you eventually get into a grad school being told that your entire undergrad existence is invalid is very depressing. What is worse is that it may still follow you into your professional career even if you end up in a grad school down the road.
So, pressing forward...Later this summer, applications open up for programs that start in the fall of 2013. My USF application is almost ready to send in...I will then apply for Florida International University. Also, rumor has it that the only 2 CRNAs from BJU in the past both went to the Medical University of South Carolina.
I'm happy to see this person pressing on. Good luck, I do wish you the best. I do think it is a bit sad. Where are these other programs? Are they your first choice? Apparently not. Will you have to move? Can you move? Again for this person perhaps a program in South Carolina isn't a big deal, but for many who face this type of rejection they cannot move, and they shouldn't have to. This is an otherwise qualified candidate now having to choose to between never attaining an academic goal or moving himself states away for grad school.
All of this sounds so familiar. I've been there, and it kills me to see this continuing to happen with such frequency. Please, if you don't know about accreditation now is the time. Do yourself a favor and think things through. Make sure that BJU's lack of regional accreditation is fine with you. Don't settle just because you think that Christian education is some sort of spiritual requirement. It isn't. You can be a good godly Christian and go to a regionally accredited school. Do yourself a favor and spare yourself the trouble after graduation.