Saturday, November 29, 2008

Northwestern Polytechnic University

A citizen found a travel schedule lost by someone on the Shanghai subway. The schedule contains detailed arrangement of a government group visiting the US on a 14 days training and examination trip. However, there's nothing government issue on the agenda, but everything to do with tourism. The trip included stays in tourism gateways such as Hawaii, LA and Las Vegas.

One of the cost item was the 'invitation letter'. The US consulate in China as well as the US customs usually ask for an invitation letter issued by an agent inside the US to make sure a business group meant business. What they did not know was that these kind of letters are priced for purchase. The found document revealed that an invitation letter issued by the 'Northwestern Polytechnic University' costs $4,000.

That brought up an interest on learning about the invitation-selling school. A Google search of the school with its Chinese name returned 12,400 hits, with 387 unique entries. A Google search of the school with its English name returned 17,100 hits, with 477 unique entries, many of which linked from Chinese person's resumes and online profile. Clearly this is a school specialized in China related business.

The Northwestern Polytechnic University was set up in 1984. The US News reported the school currently has 195 undergraduate students. The school is credited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), a national accreditation agency.

Visitors from China should be noted that the national accreditation agencies like the ACICS were not recognized by many American universities and colleges. Colleges and universities in the US are accredited by regional accreditation agencies. Anyone can form a university in the US. Anyone can form an accreditation agent to accredit a university. You may use the diploma you received from the Northwestern Polytechnic University to decorate the wall in your bedroom. However, if you use it to look for a job, or continue your study, you may either be laughed at, thrown out, rejected, or be called a cheater in your face.

The six regional agencies recognized by US colleges and universities are:
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
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