TRACS Video

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Peter James, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Peter James

    Peter James
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    I am not sure if anyone will really care, but I found this interesting video on how TRACS conduct some of their accreditation process.

     
  2. Greektim

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    Can you please summarize? Not all of us have time to watch an hr video of a hack accreditation agency.
     
  3. Peter James

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    Nah. You wouldn't appreciate the answer even if I gave it.

    The video converted me that Bible colleges and seminaries should be accredited, I was teeter tottering on going to Masters Divinity or something similar.

    I have read all the debates about how 'poor' TRACS accreditation is. However, I believe it is the perfect fit and I wonder why more Fundamentalist colleges don't use it since it is recognized by the US government.

    I'm sure you are against it, which doesn't bother me in the least.

    Thanks - Peter James
     
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  4. Greektim

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    Peter, you've only been here briefly so let me catch you up. If you can't handle the little shade I threw at you or TRACS, then you probably won't last long here. And I would love to hear some good arguments for TRACS seeing as I have 2 degrees from a TRACS institution. I dropped out of a PhD program of a TRACS institution b/c it was garbage. They may not all be that bad, but the accreditation itself is not respectable despite the school that has it. So while it was a knock, it was also a way for you to contribute beyond saying, "Hey, watch this hour long video" rather than you doing some leg work and SUMMARIZING!
     
  5. TCassidy

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    I don't think I would call TRACS a "hack" accreditation agency, but, in my opinion, the regional agencies are superior for a number of reasons. But TRACS is still recognized by DoE, in spite of their shortcomings. :)
     
  6. Greektim

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    You are just far more gracious than me.

    I will say this. A TRACS institution is not a diploma mill. But they are trying to compete with other schools of better accreditation without the means to do it. Examples: faculty (some w/ and w/out PhD's and rarely from first tier institutions) and library (small building with small holdings and low resources).
     
  7. Squire Robertsson

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    Considering the history of post secondary and post graduate Baptist educational institutions since 1900, all I can say is you've got to start somewhere.
     
    #8 Squire Robertsson, Jun 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
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  8. Peter James

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    Hi Greektim. Let me catch you up.

    I'm not here on a personal quest to convince you of anything; I'm not here to summarize something for you; I'm not here to tell you whether you should or shouldn't like an accrediting agency. And I'm not here to 'contribute' to someone as, shall we say, polite as you. I'm not here to present to you arguments.

    I gave a very simple testimony and then I threw the video out there for anyone who cares. If they didn't care, I didn't expect them to watch it. It was just another point of resource and a small testimony.

    How long I have or haven't been on this site notwithstanding, I'm not going to summarize something that, if you are all about scholarly accreditations other than tracs, you or anyone else are perfectly able to research on your own. Far be it for me to condense it to Cliff's notes since the type of accreditation you seek demands rigorous research.

    If no one cares about the video, then no one cares about the video. I watched it while at work doing something else, I got a little excited, I shared ... if that's such a bad thing, then this thread will die and that's okay.

    Thank you for your time,
    Peter J. Markavage
     
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  9. Peter James

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    T Cassidy - On an unrelated note, your tag line is a gem. I normally argue the way your tag line shows, going into semantics deeply to hold on to theology that might be a little shaky for me. I'll have to think about it further.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    I figured at least one academic snob would crawl out of the woodwork once I saw this thread.
     
  11. Greektim

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    Really? You can't summarize the man's point and save us an hour? If you think he is right and my opinion towards TRACS is off, then the onus is on you (the person who brought this up in the first place) to convince me otherwise.
     
  12. Greektim

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    So many ways to respond. I'll just say: :D
     
  13. TCassidy

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    See! You are learning to be gracious! :D:D:D:D:D
     
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  14. Peter James

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    This video simply went over the way a peer review is conducted by TRACS when visiting a college [it was a training video for school team member accreditors]; they emphasized the need to have people who understand the needs of every institution they visit. They also discussed the 10 items in their list that they ask every single school to abide by to become a candidate school. But they also discuss how they don't want to send someone who comes from a University to a small Bible college. They try to match up similar schools with similar schools when it comes to the accreditation.

    They also spoke about how they don't accredit programs but institutions and how they have turned away institutions who tried to get them to accredit only portions of their overall academic program.

    I know it sounds simple minded, but it helped me to see we should have some standards. It might not be perfect, I understand it is not Regional Accreditation and I'm not sure I need or want regional accreditation.

    Please let me address the other things you brought up:

    "I will say this. A TRACS institution is not a diploma mill. But they are trying to compete with other schools of better accreditation without the means to do it. Examples: faculty (some w/ and w/out PhD's and rarely from first tier institutions) and library (small building with small holdings and low resources)."

    I highly disagree. I went to my alma mater, Boston Baptist college, between 95-99. They were not accredited. I went because I did not want to get a loan and it was affordable because churches footed 'half' the bill at the time; yes, it was unaccredited but in candidate level with TRACs at the time. We received an administrator who had graduated with a Doctorate from Harvard Divinity School. Actually, he was told at Harvard that he was the 'nicest fundamentalist' they had ever met.

    Anyways, under his leadership - he wanted to bring the school under accreditation through TRACS, he wanted to add Study Programs [meaning study abroad, Israel, Greece, the whole 9 yards which he did), he wanted to start a segment of graduate school with extensions from other seminaries (which is being worked on, I know they have started though in what seems to be a test phase right now), and he wanted to continue to help people start churches and preach the gospel.

    I did not realize how good we had it with him [really with the Lord] until I look in retrospect. I have said some very mean spirited things about him and the college, but I am opening my own eyes to the type of bully I am.

    In terms of the 'library', I was privy to the library since I was a staff member working off my tuition. We did not have in our minds that we were trying to compete with libraries of other colleges. We knew we were a smaller college and that we struggled. But the librarian is still there to this day; I couldn't believe his dedication. He already had another full-time gig, but he found time to come in a few days, most nights, and on Saturday. I watched how he would go to other colleges, book sales, etc. He would come back with boxes upon boxes of books a dozen times a semester and say 'Most of it is junk, but let's go through it all and pick out the gems.' Which we did. He knew how to build that library with the small limited space that we had. We also worked to categorize all the magazines which had its own separate building.

    There was never a pretense at my college that we were trying to be someone who we weren't; we were trying to be an Independent Fundamental college education for those who wanted to enter the gospel ministry and start local churches. We were not trying to be a Liberal Arts college, though we did offer a 2 years associate for those who wanted a biblical basis. (Now, they offer a little bit more in non-biblical disciplines.)

    Anyways, I simply say all of this not trying to convert anyone. If someone doesn't like TRACs, then someone doesn't like TRACs. It was not my purpose to try to change someone's mind and just because I disagree with someone doesn't always mean I desire to prove them wrong.

    Thanks - Peter James
     
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  15. Greektim

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    Thank you for this post. It was most helpful.
    Having attended a TRACS school while they were doing this, I do believe it is a stout process. However, could you explain or direct us to the point in the video about the thing of a University to a small Bible college? I do not follow.

    So you had 1 administrator with a Harvard degree? What about the rest of the lot?

    You actually confirmed my point. As serious institution go, their libraries can't keep up. Maybe they don't desire or have the pretense to. But my point was a statement of fact not intent. They can't afford the faculty and library to compete. If they could, they would go ahead and get a better accreditation too.
     
  16. Rob_BW

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    Will online collections ever reach a point where they can compete with a standard research library? Or will the costs associated with thise subscription based resources keep them out of the reach of these small schools? Seems even the Ivy Leagues are complaining about the cost of the journal subscriptions.
     
  17. TCassidy

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    Boston Baptist College is pretty heavy academically insofar as their faculty is concerned.

    BBC & BBGST
    Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary
    Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit
     
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  18. Peter James

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    Hi Greektim!

    Apparently, they actually pull people from other colleges and universities that are already accredited in their organization and place them on the accrediting team of candidate schools. His point was that they wouldn't assign an ac-creditor who is teaching at a very large university and send them to a Bible college of 50-100 people. They understand the smaller colleges have needs and issues that are unique to them, so they will try to find ac-creditors from other smaller Bible colleges so everyone feels at ease.

    Actually, the faculty at the time was transitioning. One of my favorite professors had a Master's at an unaccredited school and they, rightly, asked him to beef it up to a Liberty University degree. He could stay on as long as he got a degree from them. But he found himself at odds with LU beliefs, so ultimately left.

    Other than that, the rest were going to Baptist Bible College in Clark Summit, Br. Patterson (still there) got his history degree at a place I honestly don't remember.

    But I do remember it was important part of the process that every faculty member have at least a Master's or more depending on what they taught and it had to be from an accredited school. I couldn't tell you more than that.

    I thought I was trying to say the opposite; they did the best they could. When I got there, I thought the books were busting at the seams to begin with. But he just kept bringing more and more and kept saying 'We'll figure out where to put them, don't worry.'

    God Bless - Peter James
     
  19. Squire Robertsson

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    Tim, am I to assume the only schools you would have Northern\American Baptists attend are:
    • Newton Theological
    • Colgate Theological Seminary
    • Rochester Theological Seminary
    • Crozer Theological Seminary
    • University of Chicago Divinity School
    • Northern Baptist Theological Seminary
    • Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
    I suggest you take a look at In Pursuit of Purity. On pages 175-180, you'll read how Fundamentalists look at these schools.

    To save some time and space below is the academic background of the founders of Maranatha Baptist Bible College and Seminary, now Maranatha Baptist University, from 1977-1979, MBBC Catalog:

    • B. Myron Cedarholm, B.A, B.D., Th.M. D.D Litt.D., L.H.D. Iowa State College, University of Minnesota, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Northwestern Schools, Baptist Bible College [Denver], Bob Jones University
    • M. James Hollowood, B.A., Th.B., D.D., University of the City of New York, National Bible Institute, Eastern Baptist College, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Central Baptist Seminary
    • Richard C. Weeks, B.A., B.D. M.A. D.D. Wheaton College, Albion College, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, University of Chicago [Residence work completed for Th.D.] Pillsbury College
     

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