Quality Education Vs Accreditation


“The act or process of educating or being educated; the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process!” Inquiries into furthering my educational aspirations were made to various colleges within my immediate environmental area. Several schools contacted required placement exams that I did not challenge, as I am adept and capable of dealing with college examinations. What got to me was the disparaging remarks from some college recruiters regarding their standards for education as opposed to another college. One of the schools I’ve attended is a two-year degree school, while the other is a two-year degree school. They hold real estate in the same zip code and compete for students in the same local. They educated local students, out-of-state students, and students from other countries and nations.


One school considered itself superior to the other because of its accreditation. The school that was described as inferior did not have Middle States accreditation. The school was described as below standard by the others. The so-called superior school is led and operated by an on-HBCU affiliation, while the other happened to be shown and used by an African-American staff. The self-described outstanding school has made plans and designs and bid for the take-over of the African American school. The self-described special school admits it does not accept credentials from the so-called inferior school. I have attended both institutions and received excellent instruction from their teachers. While the lessons learned were an invaluable source of information, my education from personal academic research (self-taught) has enhanced my knowledge base. Money was not a factor in my research, study, and practicum. The knowledge and information derived from the HBCU School proved equally rewarding as the other, if not better!


Personally, I would say that I received more educational value at the HBCU (Historical Black Colleges and Universities) than at the other collegiate institution, although both required money.

Students visiting college campuses are encouraged to become students at that particular school. The tour guides show all the amenities and accolades offered to enroll you and gain your tuition monies. But what about the quality of education provided by the particular schools? Most colleges will often quote their accreditation compared to other schools of choice. What does accreditation have to do with a good and valuable quality education? Money! And the ability to make money! Education does not and should not require money!

In 1899, Dr. Matthew Anderson, an outstanding community leader, and his wife, Caroline Still Anderson, founded Berean Manual and Industrial School. Dr. Anderson was a pivotal influence in Philadelphia’s religious, business, and educational history. Dr. Anderson founded the Berean Presbyterian Church and the Berean Savings Fund Society.

Caroline Still is the daughter of the great William Still, a Philadelphia Abolitionist and a member of the Underground Railroad.

One of seventeen children, Mr. William Still (a self-educated man) was born in Burlington County in 1821. His father escaped slavery from Maryland to New Jersey and later was followed by his wife and children. William Still left New Jersey for Philadelphia in 1844. Three years later, he was appointed the secretary of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society.

“When Brother William Still was 23, he left the family farm in New Jersey for Philadelphia to seek his fortune. He arrived, friendless, with only five dollars in his possession. Mr. Still taught himself to read and write. He did so well that he gained and held the position of secretary in the Pennsylvania Abolition Society in three forms. Brother Still provided the all-white society with his views on how to aid fugitive slaves. After all, he had been one himself. He was such an asset to the group that he was elected chairman in 1851. Still held the position for the next ten years. He also became chairman of the Vigilance Committee in 1852. Still was the first black man to join the society and was able to provide the first-hand experience of what it was like to be enslaved.”

“Mr. Still established a profitable coal business in Philadelphia. His house was used as one of the stations on the Underground Railroad. Brother Still interviewed escaped fugitives and kept careful records of each so their family and friends could locate them. According to his records, he Still helped 649 enslaved people receive their freedom. The number is compounded with the number of enslaved people saved by Sister Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad.”

“William Still, a self-educated man, began his campaign to end racial discrimination on Philadelphia streetcars. He wrote an account of this campaign in Struggle for the Civil Rights of the Coloured People of Philadelphia in the City Railway Cars (1867). He followed this with The Underground Railroad (1872) and Voting and Laboring (1874).”

“William Still, a self-educated man, established an orphanage for the children of African-American soldiers and sailors. His other charitable work included founding a Mission Sabbath School and working with the Young Men’s Christian Association. William Still died in Philadelphia on July 14, 1902.”

The Concise History of Berean Institute:

“In 1904, Berean Institute of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, qualified for state aid and received a grant of $10,000. Over the years, state aid has enabled the school to expand its services and diversify its programs of study. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania funds now provide a significant portion of the total operating budget. Berean Institute embarked on a program of expansion under the dynamic leadership of the late Dr. William H. Gray, Jr., who utilized many influential citizens of Pennsylvania, including former Governor Milton J. Shapp. Dr. Gray served as Chairman of the Berean Board of Trustees. Under Dr. Gray’s leadership, Berean Manual and Industrial School began operating as Berean Institute. He also had Berean Institute’s current building constructed in 1973.”

“Mrs. Lucille P. Blondin served the school for forty-five years and became Berean Institute’s first President. Mrs. Blondin retired in June 1993. Dr. Norman K. Spencer was appointed the second President and Chief Executive Officer. Under Dr. Spencer’s leadership, contracted programs funded by the City and Commonwealth agencies and community outreach projects have been added. Hon. John Braxton, former Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, heads a list of distinguished Board of Trustees members.”

“Berean Institute enrolled students in full and part-time programs. Most of the students are residents of the Commonwealth and live in Philadelphia. Other students have come from Central and South America, China, India, Puerto Rico, Tonga, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Tanzania, the Dominican Republic, England, Cambodia, Viet Nam, and states along the eastern seaboard of the United States.”

“Several students come to learn a marketable skill, and their Berean training fulfills their current educational aspirations. Many others regard the school as a stepping-stone to further education. Berean has many graduates who have earned four-year college degrees and others who have completed graduate studies at some of the area’s outstanding institutions of higher learning.”

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Education granted Berean Institute approval to award the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree on September 15, 1976, and the Associate in Specialized Business Degree on December 27, 1976.

Again, education is:

“The act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life; the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession; a degree, level, or kind of schooling: a university education; the result produced by instruction, training, or study: to show one’s education; the science or art of teaching; pedagogics.”

A definition of education: ‘The act or process of educating or being educated; the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process; a program of instruction of a specified kind or level: driver education; a college education; the field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and learning; an enlightening experience:

Dictionary.com Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009, why does another school rate its accreditation over and above another? Money! Many colleges and universities rate their educational values based on the amount of money in their coffers and the amount they can amass! Another tool to increase superiority in the education business is to attain and maintain accreditation and as many acquisitions as possible.

Several opinions suggest education achieved through these venues is designed to prepare people/students for the job market instead of being prepared for life skills—the skills required to carry one’s posterity and their descendants that follow into prosperous futures.

Is it fair to assess the stature of a collegiate institution above any other based on the amount of money needed to be spent or the amount of education achieved? Ivy League institutions turn out many students unprepared for life’s challenges, but many of them are rich and have spent thousands of dollars to attend those schools and graduate from them. On the other hand, many poor people lucky enough to qualify for grants, loans, scholarships, etc., are better prepared to face the challenges set before them (so it seems).

Many poor and working poor students seem to value collegiate-level education as if their lives depended upon it, so they tend to work harder to achieve the degree status. The document can be deemed worthless when the graduate cannot find the desired job they have studied. It is even worse when the graduated student is worse off than when they started college. They are now burdened with school loan debt and the debts they have had to meet before attending college. Working at McDonald’s and the like seems to be the only attainable job for many. The competition is fierce. Mostly, these students are grouped in with applicants who are not college-educated, and many do not have high school diplomas! The knowledge attained is not considered or tested by many of these employers. They have to work with kiosk-type pictures on a cash register computer. Is this not insulting to a student who has studied computer science, read and write computer programs and their languages, and other academics?

Why is it that many non-ivy League students find themselves out of work? Why do many of them find they are the first to lose their employment positions compared to their Ivy League colleagues? Why is it that many inner-city college-educated graduates find themselves less likely to be selected as team leaders than their counterpart Ivy-leaguers? Many employers advertise their openings with statements that don’t require a college-level education. They ask that candidates have a high school level education. College-educated candidates apply to those openings and find themselves scrutinized out of the running, i.e., background checks, credit checks, criminal histories, schooling activities, etc. Why do college-educated candidates find that not only do they have to compete with ivy-leaguers, but they also have to compete with high school-educated folks?


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.