Gus returns to DD ... with something to say about Empresarial
#1
Gus is back talking about the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica. At one time this entity offered graduate degrees via DL through the International Postgraduate School of the University of San Jose.

DD thread

http://www.usj.ac.cr/

I was doing my due diligence on this school starting in 1995. I was interested and thought that it may have been the Costa Rican counterpart to the public university in Peru that John Bear was touting* which allowed distance students to present their thesis or dissertation in English. From what I had been able to gather to that point, it looked legitimate.

Let’s remember, these were the early days of the World Wide Web and I had yet to get online. I carried floppy disks and small diskettes to save my WordPerfect documents. You get the picture.

The school was listed in the World University Directory and the Costa Rican Embassy in Washington confirmed that they were an approved private university in their country’s capital. Unlike some of the garbage being used by mills at the time, they had brochures with color pictures of their facilities which looked decent by Third World standards where universities were never adequately funded.

I moved to Miami in 1996 because my business at the time required me to regularly visit the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands and it was a lot easier commuting from Miami than New York. Since the North American agent for the International Postgraduate School of the Universidad de San Jose had an office in Miami (actually unincorporated Miami-Dade County), I figured that I would drop by and see what I could learn firsthand. I had called several times and left messages with the office secretaries or on his “answering machine” but never received a return call.

Imagine my surprise when instead of the 3 or 4 room office I expected, the address turned out to be Mall of the Americas. I was suitably impressed. That is until I went into the mall and couldn’t locate the school’s office listed on the mall  directory. I rechecked the address and walked outside, and began circling the mall. The mall had businesses ringing its exterior that you accessed from the outside only. I finally located their office - it had Mailboxes Etc. stenciled on the door. It was all downhill from there.

The “secretaries” were the Ring-a-Ding answering service in N. Miami Beach, the North American agent was named “Johnny Ortega” and beside his job in academia, he also operated a churrascaria (South American barbeque restaurant) in Sweetwater, FL – a small, working-class enclave located a little further west of Miami. At that point I realized that even if the school was somehow "legitimate", it engaged in too many questionable practices as far as I was concerned.

* The Peruvian university later got caught up in some FBI or Secret Service investigation but Bear came out of it smelling like a rose, of course.
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#2
Many countries in Central and South America operate under a system similar to the Costa Rican one.  (I hear that Malaysia also operates this way.)  The government approves the university to operate, but also authorizes the degree programs.  Checking to see if the university is approved is only half the chase; you also have to see if the degree is government authorized.  

Some of these schools (like Empresarial) offer unapproved degrees by DL to people outside their country, hence taking advantage of the gray area.  The school isn't violating any local law because they aren't offering the unauthorized degrees to locals.  Nobody outside the country has any jurisdiction to complain.  

Aside from the obvious quality issues raised by Little Arminius here and the poster Roberto Hernandez at DD, the potential legitimacy issue is a real one too.  Most employers (assuming they check at all) probably aren't sophisticated enough to check beyond confirming the existence of the university, its government approved status and the fact that the degree was issued.  However, anyone required to use a credential evaluator likely could encounter problems.  If the lack of government approval for the degree didn't knock you out at the first step, the Ring-a-Ding and churrascaria type issues likely would at the next.  

From what Roberto Hernandez posted it sounds like at one point Empresarial was doing a legit program, contrary to what the clones have always insisted.  But it also seems they got off the track due to some greedy med school administrators.  That's a shame because the market underserved by conventional programs continues to grow.  A legit, affordable and accessible offshore program could prosper.  Costa Rica is a lot closer for a thesis defense for most of us than South Africa is, and a whole lot safer.

It would be interesting to see what sort of results Roberto Hernandez or Dr. Ewald at NCU would get if they ran their respective degrees through several different credential evaluators.  Given that both appear to have been granted during the early phase of the operation, I would expect most would come back as RA equivalent.
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#3
Little Arminius Wrote:Gus is back talking about the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica.

Kind of funny that "Roberto Hernandez" posted on two different websites and the only intelligent discussion is here, where he didn't post.  Maybe next time he'll save himself the trouble and just start here first.  This is one place where comments on personal experiences with all DL programs are welcome.
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#4
There asre more filings in Dade County Court - routine stuff.
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#5
Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica (also known as Entrepreneurial University of Costa Rica & Empresarial University in Costa Rica)

Acronym UNEM

It's a private university located in the suburb of Zapote, in Montealegre, in the state of San Jose de Costa Rica. The begins of it academic life, was through the Business School of San Jose.

Unmet educational demand, by the 5 public universities, made possible the proliferation of 52 private universities, making a total of 57 universities that currently operate in Costa Rica.

The educational body to control and regulate the operation of private universities is CONESUP (National Council of Higher Education). http://www.sinaes.ac.cr/riacesen/index.p...Itemid=168

In the case of the Entrepreneurial University, its operation is approved in the assignment No. 336-97 of November 5, 1997 ( http://www.mep.go.cr/CentroDeInformacion...102452.pdf ).

Empresarial University in Costa Rica it's also been listed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); International Association of Universities (IAU) and the International Handbook of Universities http://www.unesco.org/iau/onlinedatabase.../c-nw.html Under Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica

Costa Rica, has the peculiarity, that his army was abolished in 1948 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Costa_Rica ), which induces the Costa Rican people to channel their efforts towards technological progress, driven by education.

The world was no stranger to this effort, which back in 1987, the President's Office, Dr. Sanchez, is winner of the Nobel Prize in Peace ( http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/p...s-bio.html ).

Public education system was established in 1917. At the time of study abroad, Costa Rica is an option to consider, as are Spanish and English, both official languages ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Rica#Languages ).

The low cost of living, the invaluable ecosystem, beaches and people, explain why more people choose to do their undergraduate and / or graduate there. With distance education, the benefit of higher education in Costa Rica, is not limited to natives of the region, or who, have the resources to travel and study there, but also opens its doors to thousands of people around the globe, that through e-learning now also access their education through virtual classrooms in distance mode.

All Private Universities in Costa Rica are autonomous, once that the National Council of Higher Education also known as CONESUP approve their operations, all institutions regulate themselves. http://www.sinaes.ac.cr/riacesen/index.p...Itemid=176

Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, has academic agreements, several universities worldwide, offering academic cooperation, sharing new developments and trends in order to raise the long-awaited forum at both student and faculty. Creidts granted by Empresarial University of Costa Rica are recogniced by NACES (US National bodies) http://www.unem.edu.pl/naceseng.html

The website of the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica is http://www.unem.edu.pl/indexeng.html
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#6
(09-05-2011, 08:03 AM)Jorge_Maduro Wrote: Credits granted by Empresarial University of Costa Rica are recognized by NACES (US National bodies) http://www.unem.edu.pl/naceseng.html

Thanks for the update on Empresarial, Jorge. The mods tell me that once is good but twice is spam, which is why your duplicate post/thread got deleted.

If Empresarial degrees truly are being treated by the evaluation agencies as RA equivalent, then anything the klones say to the contrary really is irrelevant (or more irrelevant than usual). Anybody have any first hand experience with getting an Empresarial degree accepted by an employer or for teaching?
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#7
Quote:Public education system was established in 1917. At the time of study abroad, Costa Rica is an option to consider, as are Spanish and English, both official languages ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Rica#Languages ).

If the reliability of this information is judged by the above, you are doing your school a disservice...English official language of Costa Rica? I heard Chinese is the legislative language of Cabo Verde... Rolleyes WTF are you smoking? This person doesn't even know what he's talking about...
A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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#8
(09-06-2011, 06:25 AM)ham Wrote: If the reliability of this information is judged by the above, you are doing your school a disservice...English official language of Costa Rica? I heard Chinese is the legislative language of Cabo Verde... Rolleyes

Good point, ham. In Latin America some things are more official than others. I assumed the reason he mentioned language was so that those who speak English but not Spanish would know they are welcome (or their money is welcome, at least).

The real issue with Empresarial is whether their degrees are going to be accepted as RA equivalent in the US. Looks like the Doctorados and most of the Maestrías are still not approved in CR, meaning they probably are not going to be evaluated RA equivalent by a legit credential evaluator.

The link he posted regarding NACES acceptance is pretty much devoid of any useful information. Undergrad credits from the CR approved programs may evaluate as RA, but other than the MBA none of the grad programs are likely to do so.

Note how the Spanish version of the postgraduate (postgrado) page distinguishes between the degrees available to "local" and "international" students, while the English version does not.

The fact that after all these years and posts Empresarial still isn't addressing that issue head-on (in English) says a lot. Failing to disclose material facts is fraud in most places, whether they speak English or Spanish. Here it seems Empresarial is not only failing to disclose but is actively concealing or misrepresenting the facts. (Which actually gives them a lot in common with most RA schools!)
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