What John Bear really said!!
#21
Quote:If I ignored your point, it was because it didn't address the issue.

PFFT!

Quote:Millard Fillmore and L.I.A.R. were both tongue-in-cheek fundraisers. Both were very brief. Both happened a very long time ago. No one was fooled, no one was trying to fool anyone, and the only way you or anyone else even knows about them is that the guy behind them told their stories--knowing then as we (and you) know now that they weren't anything to be concerned about.

rationalization trap, perhaps?

Quote:Yes, Bear and others recommended some unaccredited schools back then. That was the situation, and those were often the only realistic alternatives. But the situation has changed dramatically since then.

People were Fascists back then. That was the situation... care to complete the sentence? Does it make sense? If many do it, then you can no longer judge it on merit? PFFT!

Quote:Oh, and there's no such thing as a "paratrooper ID," fake or otherwise. And the notion that using a fake degree in some situations won't get you arrested, fine. But it's still lying.

Lying?

Quote:No one was fooled, no one was trying to fool anyone, and the only way you or anyone else even knows about them is that the guy behind them told their stories

RolleyesRolleyesRolleyes

Quote:In some countries, the notion of a private university is not accounted for. Thus, some despicable degree-sellers have set up operations, knowing the host government will just ignore them. They then claim to offer "legal" degrees. But being left alone to operate your diploma mill isn't the same as being recognized as a university, no matter who wishes it to be different. This can fool some purchasers. But most know better--joining the mill in a mutually beneficial fraud. Most casual observers will not see these distinctions. But we do, right?

Quote:No one was fooled, no one was trying to fool anyone, and the only way you or anyone else even knows about them is that the guy behind them told their stories


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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#22
(03-09-2012, 08:11 PM)Virtual Bison Wrote: Its like this, these guys cry wolf everytime an unaccredited school comes along. Pretty soon they loose their credibility.

(03-09-2012, 11:54 AM)Really? Wrote: I agree with that. All new schools start off as unaccredited. And look at the ones who had to operate unaccredited for a long time until times changed. CCU and Walden come to mind immediately, as does the University of Sarasota (now Argosy). Those schools simply couldn't get accredited in the early years, but times changed and they made it.

California was filled with good unaccredited schools (Columbia Pacific University, California Pacific University, California American University, University for Humanistic Studies, the California Institute for Asian Studies, International College and many others). And it was filled with diploma mills (University of Central California, California University Los Angeles, California Pacifica University, and many others). But with so many avenues to recognized accreditation, it's hard to justify staying unaccredited, with some really small schools as exceptions.

The subject of unaccredited colleges, including outright diploma mills is an interest of mine. I do know that some nations have rather liberal educational laws. Switzerland allows each canton autonomy in legislating institutions in higher learning and a number of questionable institutions. So has Singapore and Cayman Islands. Even in France there is one unaccredited school which actually has the endorsement of Nicolas Sarkozy.

In general, many schools will base their operations in one country but not market there and as long as they keep it that way the local authorities don't care that much. Kind of like the expression, don't shit where you eat I guess.

Agreed on all counts.
Quote:My own personal opinion, being a dye in the wool libertarian is that it should be the employer's responsibility to determine which applicant is qualified for a position. And for any government institution to say that a person cannot use their credentials on a resume or application is overstepping their boundries. I had seen all kinds of outrageous things on people's resumes, raging from fake employers, membership in non-existant professional organizations and certifications (fake certifications are actually a bigger problem than so called diploma mills in my opinion) and so on.

We depart here, but it's probably due to differing philosophies about the role of government. I'm sympathetic to the libertarian cause, but I feel it's a sliding scale. Consumer protection is one of those hot-button items in this area, but I feel the government can serve us in this area some of the time. So....

I wish employers would check, but they don't. That's been demonstrated empirically. That's why we need some baseline assurances on the supply end. And the other consumers--students--need assurances of a baseline of quality, too. (We can quibble over whether or not the federal and/or states do this well, or if the accreditors do, but students need to know and be protected.)

So should employers carry the risk? Well, without a means of knowing what is and is not legitimate, what is there to check? Employers certainly could not evaluate individually more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions (in the U.S.). Either the state (in other countries) or accreditors (in the U.S.) need to make those identifications so employers can use them (to the extent they will).

So, should the government prosecute the mill selling vanity degrees? If there is a public interest--protection--then perhaps. That's why we see the most aggressive actions taken against people in licensed professions who try to pull this stuff off. But what about a particular case? The Randocks.

Should the government have prosecuted them for their fake school? We might say "where was the harm?" and we may be right. After all, a diligent public (employers and students) would render a mill moot, right? But on the other hand, anyone who's lost out on a job to someone with a fake degree--or even an unrecognized one--has suffered an unjust loss. So where's the line? In the Randocks' case, it was the fraud--ripping off people--that mattered, not the illegal degree mill.

Quote:If an employer is too lazy to check an application then they get what they deserve.

Of course the real test is whether a person has the skills to do a job. I do not care how many degrees you have, if you cannot do a job right you will soon be on the street.

Degrees are proxies: they're meant to speak on behalf of the holders' skills and abilities. They don't tell the whole story, of course, but whatever story they do tell should be grounded. That means the beholder (employer) should have an assured take on what the degree represents. Finding out it represents little or nothing AFTER the hiring decision is a recipe for mediocre results--or worse.

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#23
(03-06-2012, 11:47 AM)Really? Wrote: This is from a source that is 30 years old. Perhaps what was reasonable then is not now? Got anything from this century?

Yes, here's some current info:

A brief list of some of the prominent Degree Mills:

http://www.instantdegrees.com
http://www.degrees-and-diplomas.com
http://www.universityofdublin.org
http://www.degreexpress.eu/?degree+adwords2
http://www.degrees-for-sale.com
http://www.customdegrees.com
http://www.affordabledegrees.com
http://www.degreexpress.eu
http://www.hilluniversity.com
http://www.belforduniversity.org
http://www.stanfielduniversity.org
http://www.stanforduniversity.eu/
http://www.concordia-college.net/
http://www.limburg-online.org/
http://www.lorenzuniversity.com/
http://www.alumnaservices.co.uk/
http://www.satisfieddegree.com/

And here’s a very brief list of a few of private B&M universities:

Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Stanford University, Emory, Duke, Rice, University of Buckingham, Richmond, BPP University College, and many many more. Japan alone has close to 600 private universities and Canada has 18 and Australia 9.
In the UK Royal Chartered institutions are devoid of any State control or State influence, yet Chartered awards from these institutions have far higher status in education, industry, commerce, etc., than universities degrees.
In addition, in many countries, apart from some government funding, State universities are totally independent and devoid of State validation or influence.
As I mentioned earlier, there are over 3,000 private universities in the world, with an increasing number offering quality DL courses and degrees via the Internet.


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#24
I'm sorry, a list of urls to diploma mills proves what?

Yes, many private universities exist. But their authority almost always comes from the government. You cite the UK. In the UK, schools operate under a Royal Charter or an act of Parliament. But there are also other quality control functions ensuring they operate well. The scandal at the University of Liverpool is an example of that.

Or take a place like Denmark, which has no process for approving private universities. Nor do they have a process for shutting them down. (Other forces must have taken care of that.) In Denmark, degrees awarded by unrecognized diploma mills were/are just that: unrecognized. They don't exist as degrees and have no standing, legal and otherwise. But the owners of such ersatz credentials can benefit on that other phenomenon that drives the diploma mill industry: people not checking too closely and not understanding what they see.

In the U.S. the authority to operate a university comes from the individual states. As we've seen, some states have been quite lax in exercising this responsibility. Usually it's because they didn't have a diploma mill problem--until they did. Most of those state--California, Mississippi, Alabama, South Dakota, Hawaii, Wyoming, and others--moved to eliminate this stuff. There are very few places left for diploma mills to operate--thank goodness for the internet!

A fake degree is a fake degree. Wishing it was real doesn't make it so. Imagine two of them!
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#25
(03-10-2012, 09:58 AM)Really? Wrote: I'm sorry, a list of urls to diploma mills proves what?
Yes, many private universities exist. But their authority almost always comes from the government. You cite the UK. In the UK, schools operate under a Royal Charter or an act of Parliament. But there are also other quality control functions ensuring they operate well. The scandal at the University of Liverpool is an example of that. Or take a place like Denmark, which has no process for approving private universities. Nor do they have a process for shutting them down. (Other forces must have taken care of that.) In Denmark, degrees awarded by unrecognized diploma mills were/are just that: unrecognized. They don't exist as degrees and have no standing, legal and otherwise. But the owners of such ersatz credentials can benefit on that other phenomenon that drives the diploma mill industry: people not checking too closely and not understanding what they see. In the U.S. the authority to operate a university comes from the individual states. As we've seen, some states have been quite lax in exercising this responsibility. Usually it's because they didn't have a diploma mill problem--until they did. Most of those state--California, Mississippi, Alabama, South Dakota, Hawaii, Wyoming, and others--moved to eliminate this stuff. There are very few places left for diploma mills to operate--thank goodness for the internet! A fake degree is a fake degree. Wishing it was real doesn't make it so. Imagine two of them!

Sadly, you have completely missed my point, or you simply know little about private universities or UK Chartered institutions, or don't appreciate how such institutions are managed. You also seem to have a strange fixation on degree mills!

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#26
(03-10-2012, 07:30 AM)Really? Wrote: We depart here, but it's probably due to differing philosophies about the role of government. I'm sympathetic to the libertarian cause, but I feel it's a sliding scale. Consumer protection is one of those hot-button items in this area, but I feel the government can serve us in this area some of the time. So....

I wish employers would check, but they don't. That's been demonstrated empirically. That's why we need some baseline assurances on the supply end. And the other consumers--students--need assurances of a baseline of quality, too. (We can quibble over whether or not the federal and/or states do this well, or if the accreditors do, but students need to know and be protected.)

So should employers carry the risk? Well, without a means of knowing what is and is not legitimate, what is there to check? Employers certainly could not evaluate individually more than 4,000 degree-granting institutions (in the U.S.). Either the state (in other countries) or accreditors (in the U.S.) need to make those identifications so employers can use them (to the extent they will).

So, should the government prosecute the mill selling vanity degrees? If there is a public interest--protection--then perhaps. That's why we see the most aggressive actions taken against people in licensed professions who try to pull this stuff off. But what about a particular case? The Randocks.

Should the government have prosecuted them for their fake school? We might say "where was the harm?" and we may be right. After all, a diligent public (employers and students) would render a mill moot, right? But on the other hand, anyone who's lost out on a job to someone with a fake degree--or even an unrecognized one--has suffered an unjust loss. So where's the line? In the Randocks' case, it was the fraud--ripping off people--that mattered, not the illegal degree mill.
Consumer protection is not a bad thing. Personally I wish they would put all of the scam artist mortgage brokers in prison. I hate mortgage brokers with a passion and for a good reason which I would rather not talk about here.

And those investment bankers who crashed the economy? No mercy!

But you see, by targetting the graduates of unaccredited Universities and Colleges, the government is really going after the little guys and ignoring the big fish. They are looking for easy targets and are playing a game of smoke and mirrors.

Here is what I would ask to you, why is it that Unaccredited schools exist in the first place? In the case of truely fraudulent operations in which students literally buy their diplomas, well I think its wrong. But again there are fine lines and sometimes one must cut this with a razor's edge.

In the case of several unaccredited schools, they filled a void. Long ago, the elites at traditonal Universities looked at disdain at part time adult students. Night school was not seen as carrying the same weight as traditional programs. At one time all distance learning programs were looked upon with suspicion. To take correspondence class was seen as being substandard. Later the internet led to a boom in online programs. Every change in educational method meets resistance in the beginning.

Many students choose to unaccredited because they are inexpensive. Keep in mind, in Scandanavian countries and other places where education is free and it is somewhat easier for average people to attend higher learning programs this is not an issue. But in the US traditional programs are very expensive and can leave students strapped with loans for years.

And in all cases I would say its none of the governments business to tell anyone what they can put on a resume or application. If they were really so concerned than why not pass laws making it a crime to lie about past jobs, skills or expieriences. Will the State of Texas (a Fascist police state if there ever was one) tell its residents that it is a felony to say that you have experience in building digital networks when all you really did is wire a home computer to the internet? There are just not enough prisons in the US to house everyone who lied on a job application.

(03-10-2012, 07:30 AM)Really? Wrote: Degrees are proxies: they're meant to speak on behalf of the holders' skills and abilities. They don't tell the whole story, of course, but whatever story they do tell should be grounded. That means the beholder (employer) should have an assured take on what the degree represents. Finding out it represents little or nothing AFTER the hiring decision is a recipe for mediocre results--or worse.

I got news for you. In my place of business there was a guy who claimed to have extensive freelance experience in programming when all he did is get some Programming for Dummies book. He lasted about a month or so before anyone realized he was a flake. Now I would not write the dude a letter of recommendation. But I would not want this guy to be arrested either.

People lie to get what they want in life. Sometimes its a big lie (politicians are notorious for big lies) and sometimes its a little one. Telling your wife that she does not look fat in a dress she just bought may be a little lie. Telling someone at a hospital that you are an MD when you are not is a big one and quite honestly should be illegal, and it usually is.

Its all relative I guess.
(03-10-2012, 09:22 AM)DR ANATIDAE Wrote: http://www.instantdegrees.com
http://www.degrees-and-diplomas.com
http://www.universityofdublin.org
http://www.degreexpress.eu/?degree+adwords2
http://www.degrees-for-sale.com
http://www.customdegrees.com
http://www.affordabledegrees.com
http://www.degreexpress.eu
http://www.hilluniversity.com
http://www.belforduniversity.org
http://www.stanfielduniversity.org
http://www.stanforduniversity.eu/
http://www.concordia-college.net/
http://www.limburg-online.org/
http://www.lorenzuniversity.com/
http://www.alumnaservices.co.uk/
http://www.satisfieddegree.com/

I checked out Instant Degree....

$130 for a Bachelors
$155 for a Masters
$210 for a Doctors?

Jeez I've been wasting my time and money! Big GrinRolleyes

Seriously, I wonder why so many fools are going biz berzerk over schools like Atlantic International University and you have operations like the ones abover selling degrees for $200.
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#27
(03-10-2012, 03:35 PM)DR ANATIDAE Wrote: Sadly, you have completely missed my point, or you simply know little about private universities or UK Chartered institutions, or don't appreciate how such institutions are managed. You also seem to have a strange fixation on degree mills!

Between the authority to operate (Royal Charter or Act of Parliament) and quality control (the QAA), what have I missed?

As for commenting on degree/diploma mills, is there a problem with that? Considering the title of the thread and a great deal of its content, diploma mills seem to be very relevant. And they're bad, wouldn't you agree? The people who run them and the people who claim these degrees are frauds, right?

(03-10-2012, 06:43 PM)Virtual Bison Wrote: But you see, by targetting the graduates of unaccredited Universities and Colleges, the government is really going after the little guys and ignoring the big fish. They are looking for easy targets and are playing a game of smoke and mirrors.

But is that happening? I don't recall cases where the government prosecuted individuals using fake degrees. They normally prosecute the diploma mills (when they can, which is seldom).
Quote:Here is what I would ask to you, why is it that Unaccredited schools exist in the first place? In the case of truely fraudulent operations in which students literally buy their diplomas, well I think its wrong. But again there are fine lines and sometimes one must cut this with a razor's edge.

In the case of several unaccredited schools, they filled a void. Long ago, the elites at traditonal Universities looked at disdain at part time adult students. Night school was not seen as carrying the same weight as traditional programs. At one time all distance learning programs were looked upon with suspicion. To take correspondence class was seen as being substandard. Later the internet led to a boom in online programs. Every change in educational method meets resistance in the beginning.

Many students choose to unaccredited because they are inexpensive. Keep in mind, in Scandanavian countries and other places where education is free and it is somewhat easier for average people to attend higher learning programs this is not an issue. But in the US traditional programs are very expensive and can leave students strapped with loans for years.

Education IS expensive, but there is a great deal of variability in this, with some really inexpensive options available out there. But cost can't be the determining factor here. We're not talking about a sliding scale of cost vs. quality. There is a baseline of what is and is not a degree. A few unaccredited schools have carved out very nice niches, but that's about it. The rest are either substandard or, in some cases, merely new and on their way to accreditation. (Even then, the student bears some risk.)

Getting around the qualifications system in order to save money is like getting around your car's safety systems for the same reason.
Quote:And in all cases I would say its none of the governments business to tell anyone what they can put on a resume or application. If they were really so concerned than why not pass laws making it a crime to lie about past jobs, skills or expieriences. Will the State of Texas (a Fascist police state if there ever was one) tell its residents that it is a felony to say that you have experience in building digital networks when all you really did is wire a home computer to the internet? There are just not enough prisons in the US to house everyone who lied on a job application.

I think that's why you don't see it happening. The users don't go to jail, just the sellers. (If that were the same for the "war on drugs" our prisons would empty out, too.)

Even in Oregon you don't see individuals actually prosecuted, and that state's ODA is as smothering as an agency can get in this matter. (Other states have very tight laws about what is and is not a university, but seldom do they try to legislate what people call themselves and with which degrees.)

So, I agree that the government shouldn't normally target individuals. And it doesn't.

Quote:I got news for you. In my place of business there was a guy who claimed to have extensive freelance experience in programming when all he did is get some Programming for Dummies book. He lasted about a month or so before anyone realized he was a flake. Now I would not write the dude a letter of recommendation. But I would not want this guy to be arrested either.

People lie to get what they want in life. Sometimes its a big lie (politicians are notorious for big lies) and sometimes its a little one. Telling your wife that she does not look fat in a dress she just bought may be a little lie. Telling someone at a hospital that you are an MD when you are not is a big one and quite honestly should be illegal, and it usually is.

Its all relative I guess.

Agreed.
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#28
(03-10-2012, 08:56 PM)Really? Wrote: I think that's why you don't see it happening. The users don't go to jail, just the sellers. (If that were the same for the "war on drugs" our prisons would empty out, too.)
For all practical purposes you are correct. However if you do read the various laws which exist, particularly the one in Texas which seems to be the harshest of all, it acually provides for penalties for individuals who attemt to "use" degrees which the state deems fraudulent.

Of course this practically unenforceable since its vague and begs the question of just what is fraduulent. In some states, I believe Mississippi being the best example, Universities can get licenses to operate based of very minimal (if any) qualifications. California is also pretty lax though some laws are changing this. But my question would be whether it would be consitutional for a state to determine that a degree approved by another state is legal. There are some important issues to consider here.

This may be that, while many public officials and public sector employees are sanctioned for using such degrees on applications, you almost never hear of actual convictions of individuals. The only rare times you do is when someone commits an outrageous action like claiming to have a professional license when they do not. But I see that more as an issue of claiming something you do not have. Even if I have an accredited Medical Degree, I still cannot call myself a doctor and treat people unless I pass the state license, server a residency and so on.

Many graduated of Engineering schools (including accredited ones) cannot use the title of "Professional Engineer" unless they pass the PE exam.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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#29
(03-12-2012, 07:01 AM)Virtual Bison Wrote:
(03-10-2012, 08:56 PM)Really? Wrote: I think that's why you don't see it happening. The users don't go to jail, just the sellers. (If that were the same for the "war on drugs" our prisons would empty out, too.)
For all practical purposes you are correct. However if you do read the various laws which exist, particularly the one in Texas which seems to be the harshest of all, it acually provides for penalties for individuals who attemt to "use" degrees which the state deems fraudulent.

Of course this practically unenforceable since its vague and begs the question of just what is fraduulent. In some states, I believe Mississippi being the best example, Universities can get licenses to operate based of very minimal (if any) qualifications. California is also pretty lax though some laws are changing this. But my question would be whether it would be consitutional for a state to determine that a degree approved by another state is legal. There are some important issues to consider here.

This may be that, while many public officials and public sector employees are sanctioned for using such degrees on applications, you almost never hear of actual convictions of individuals. The only rare times you do is when someone commits an outrageous action like claiming to have a professional license when they do not. But I see that more as an issue of claiming something you do not have. Even if I have an accredited Medical Degree, I still cannot call myself a doctor and treat people unless I pass the state license, server a residency and so on.

Many graduated of Engineering schools (including accredited ones) cannot use the title of "Professional Engineer" unless they pass the PE exam.

Yeah, going after every person who does this is not only practical, it might not serve a public interest. And even if it does, it would be dwarfed by the expense necessary to carry it off.

I like the idea of protecting the public with licensure around the professions that have the most potential to abuse the public if charlatans are allowed to practice. The rest can be handled by civil and private means.

I think both Texas and Oregon over-reach.

Reply
#30
(03-12-2012, 07:59 AM)Really? Wrote: Yeah, going after every person who does this is not only practical, it might not serve a public interest. And even if it does, it would be dwarfed by the expense necessary to carry it off.

I like the idea of protecting the public with licensure around the professions that have the most potential to abuse the public if charlatans are allowed to practice. The rest can be handled by civil and private means.

I think both Texas and Oregon over-reach.

We are in agreement here.

Licenses can be kind of funny. You can reference you degree or previous job titles by what it is or was but you cannot claim a license you do not have. To be more exact, if you are a Combat Engineer (a very old name for military personnel who are employed in the construction of fortifications, laying of mines and such) you can say that you are an engineer. Or in the case of some specific job titles in the IT field this is a commonly used term (e.g. Data Systems Engineer etc.) To my knowledge, Professional Engineers are mostly civil engineers who seek to be self employed or work for larger firms. They have the responsiblity of designing or approving various projects. They are also legally liable for such projects and can be sued if malpractice is proven.

Seldom is anyone convicted of practicing engineering without a license unless they actually claim to have such a license. One notable exception, and possibly the only one I know of is Fred Leuchter who designed execution equipment. He was convicted of violating New Jersey law for practicing engineering without a license and given two years probation and a hefty fine. It is probable that the real reason for his conviction has more to do with his controversial work in attempting to disprove the Holocaust by gathering evidence at Auchwicz. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_A._Leuchter
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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