Touro Under Scrutiny Over Israel Class

College Faces Questions About Credits for Advocacy Session

By Naomi Zeveloff

Published November 17, 2011, issue of November 25, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

What’s more, 38 universities in the United States and Canada have accepted transfer credits for the class from Touro, meaning students may be effectively substituting advocacy for rigorous learning at colleges from coast to coast.

Shore would not provide the Forward with a list of the universities that accept the credits. He did connect the Forward with a George Washington University student who said she was approved to receive credit for the Israel Inside/Out course.

George Washington University officials declined to explain why they granted credit for the Jerusalem Online U course, saying they could not comment on individual student records.

However, the credibility of Touro, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, seemed to play a role. A GWU academic advisor said in an email: “[Touro] is accredited by Middle States as is George Washington University. When reviewing transfer courses we do not make the distinction between online or traditional classroom classes.”

According to Malcolm Brown, director of learning initiatives at Educause, a group that advocates for technology in education, universities tend to prioritize institutional credibility over course content when reviewing transfer credits.

“That is the only way this will possibly work,” he said. “If you have to in each instance make sure it was taught properly, that would be hundreds and hundreds of reviews. That would not be a practical approach. You rely on your collegial organizations to uphold the same standards you are.”

Brown emphasized that he could not address the academic legitimacy of Touro’s relationship with Jerusalem Online U. But he termed the phenomenon of an accredited college partnering with an advocacy agency to produce a course “somewhat unusual.”

“As you know higher ed tends to be more academic in the sense of being research and scholarly, and that doesn’t work well with advocacy all the time,” Brown said.

Because online education is in its nascent stage, standards are still being developed. In recent years, there has been a push for accrediting institutions to scrutinize online offerings with the same eye it turns to classroom education. Touro’s accrediting agency, for instance, has a set of protocols for online, or “distance” education so that the online programs adhere to the academic goals of the institutions.

Middle States said it would review any complaints about the class, but had received none.

Touro is at the beginning of a multi-year review process for reaccreditation by Middle States. After doing an internal self-study, the institution will be visited by a group of reviewers from peer institutions, one of whom will examine Touro’s online offerings. This process will likely be completed in 2015.

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Yeshiva University's lawyer wanted to know why the dozens of former schoolboys now suing over a sexual abuse cover-up didn't sue decades ago. Read the judge's striking response here.
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.