Southern Evangelical Going With ATS?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Martin, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Martin

    Martin
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    Southern Evangelical Seminary is now an "Associate Member of the Association of Theological Schools". According to ATS's website the Associate member status lasts for five years, then the school is either to apply for candidate for accreditation status, or to continue as an associate member. Does anyone know if SES is planning on gaining ATS accreditation?

    I find this interesting since ATS requires a one year residency for MA and MDiv programs (pg3) but, as many here know, SES does not require that. For their MA degrees SES only requires 12hrs on campus, and for their MDiv SES only requires 18hrs on campus.

    Is SES going to be giving up their distance program in favor of ATS accreditation? Or are they going to remain associate member?


    Btw. I find it interesting that ATS does recongize TRACS (see pg2 of ATS link above). I wonder if that means those schools that say their ATS accreditation does not allow them to accept TRACS credits are using ATS as a cover? Just a question.
     
  2. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Martin

    18 hours is one year if full time is 9 hours.

    On the master's I think the hours are also lower by ATS guidelines . . .
     
  3. Martin

    Martin
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    I think they are probably preparing for their PhD program in Apologetics. I was told by a teacher in the school, several years ago, that they were working towards offering a PhD/Apologetics program. By gaining ATS accreditation SES will (a) have their PhD graduates prepared to teach in most major theological seminaries (b) have a program that is respected by most theological schools (c) attract more students. The fact that SES says that they have "gained associate status with the Association of Theological Schools in 2006" indicates to me that they are indeed seeking accreditation from ATS.

    As for their distance education program, I think El_Guero is correct. However I am not sure that SES's on campus requirments for the MAR or MA are enough for ATS (only 6 and 12 hrs).

    I am sure of several things however....

    1. SES has looked into what ATS accreditation would mean for their distance learning program and, I assume, it must not threaten SES's current set up.

    2. ATS will become more open to distance learning as time passes.

    3. ATS accreditation does allow member schools to accept credits/degrees from TRACS only accredited schools. Any school that claims otherwise needs to be directed to the ATS webpage linked in the OP.
     
  4. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Martin

    I am just mussing out loud, but could they be pushing ATS to finally come out with a clean guideline for internet degrees?

    Just wondering if coming under their umbrella might be one of the last straws needed to bring it all together.

    Talked to ATS several years ago - it was a strange convesation. Something like:
    "We encourage everyone to have an internet degree program."
    "Then what would the on campus residence requirement look like?"
    "Just like any other degree - they have to do one year in residence at the main campus."
    "But, do the internet classes count as on the main campus?"
    "That depends upon the school. Some do that."
    "Which ones do that?"
    "We have them listed on the internet page: http://www.ats.edu/member_schools/distance.asp "
    "OK, which ones have internet based degree programs?"
    "We don't track that you will have to contact the individual schools."

    NOTE: what is implied is that you can earn you with a combination of satellite campus work and dl . . . they just don't seem to want to say that out right.
     
  5. Humblesmith

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    I am currently attending SES distance program.....or at least I'm attempting to, while keeping a more-than-full-time job plus family stuff. I don't know what ATS or TRACS requirements are, but I do know that SES has mentioned nothing about changing their distance program. I would doubt that they would, since roughly half of their enrollment is distance folks. I do know that they've been working toward getting a PhD in Apologetics, so I can only assume that this ATS move is part of that.

    I'm not sure what other schools do for their distance programs, but SES is not internet-based. They looked into it a year or so ago, and concluded that it would add nothing to the current distance program. Currently, they video record all the class lectures, with student Q&A. We are required to watch all the lectures. Then tests are either proctored, or are take home writing assignments. So the classes are almost exactly like being in class, except that you have to email or phone in the questions, and you don't get the hallway conversations.

    The MA degree is 60 hours, with at least 12 taken on site.
    They're having to add a series of specific titles to the library to qualify for the PhD.
     
  6. Dave G.

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    Ses

    I talked with the dean about two years ago at SES, to see if they were going to seek regional accreditation from SACS. He said no, that they had all the accreditation they needed from TRACS. Either SACS or ATS could accredit their research doctorate. TRACS is supposed to be accrediting PhD programs sometime soon, but I haven't heard an update on that for a couple years.

    FWIW, although RA (regional accreditation, like SACS) is generally considered better than NA (national accreditation, like TRACS, ATS, or DETC), I am a big supporter of what TRACS is trying to do. Is this over the limit for acronyms in a single sentence? We'll see if it crashes the board. :laugh:
     

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