Below is a list of thirteen (13) known nationally accredited U.S.-based institutions operating in Vietnam, many in cooperation with a local partner.
For the record, national accreditation (NA) is not comparable to regional accreditation (RA), which is generally considered to be the “gold standard” of higher education accreditation in the U.S.
If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between regional, national and specialized accreditation, check out this FAQ page on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) website. (SACS is one of the regional accrediting agencies in the U.S. ) Most nationally accredited institutions are private and have missions focused either on career education or religious education.
Credits earned from NA schools are generally not transferable to RA institutions, nor are NA degrees accepted by most RA schools. This is problematic for a student who, for example, who earns a bachelor’s degree from a NA school and then wants to apply to a MBA program offered by a RA school. Some NA institutions share this information with prospective students (it’s called “truth in advertising”), others do not. I know of a number of Vietnamese students who have encountered this dilemma.
Here are examples of two national accreditors. The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), as its name indicates, accredits mostly proprietary (i.e., private, for-profit) online schools. Among the 114 on DETC’s list are Allied Business Schools, Cleveland Institute of Electronics, Gemological Institute of America, National Paralegal College, National Tax Training School, New York Institute of Photography, and most of the nationally accredited schools that do business in Vietnam.
Another one is the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which accredits “postsecondary institutions offering certificates or diplomas, and postsecondary institutions offering associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in programs designed to educate students for professional, technical, or occupational careers, including those that offer those programs via distance education.”
Among the 680 institutions that ACICS has accredited are the Bergin University of Canine Studies, Golden State College of Court Reporting & Captioning, Golf Academy of America, ITT Technical Institute, Kaplan Career Institute, and the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, in addition a few that are active in Vietnam.
Apollos University (CA) This university was accredited by DETC on 9 February 2012. Below is information from the DETC report.
17011 Beach Boulevard, Suite 900
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Phone: 714-841-6252 or 615-594-1896
Dr. Paul Eidson, President and CEO
Founded 2005. Offers Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in
Organizational Management and Doctor of Business Administration
Bakke Graduate University of Ministry (WA)
California Miramar University (CA) Formerly Pacific Western University, an unaccredited school founded in 1977 that received quite a bit of (unfavorable) media attention in its day. CMU changed its name in 2007 and received DETC accreditation in 2009. It is also ACICS-accredited.
California Southern University (CA) – Formerly the Southern California University of Professional Studies (SCUPS), an unaccredited school founded in 1978. At one time, it was owned by Donald Hecht, who also owned Northcentral University, a private, for-profit online university based in Arizona. SCUPS changed its name to CSU in 2007 and received DETC accreditation in 2010.
Griggs University and International Academy (MI) Affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Adventist Church’s Griggs University graduates first Vietnamese MBA students (Source: Adventist News Network)
IMPAC University (FL)
Lincoln University (CA)
If you know of any nationally accredited institutions in Vietnam that do not appear on this list, please let me know and I’ll add them.
Updated: 13 February 2012