EmployeeScreenIQ's Guide to Identify Fake Degrees
September 25, 2008
The use of bogus or fraudulent degrees is accelerating rapidly in today’s workforce. And those who engage in this behavior are getting better at perpetrating this type resume fraud. Diploma Mills are the most common tool used to perpetuate this activity.
EmployeeScreenIQ just recently published a Guide to Identify Diploma Mills and Fraudulent Degrees. This is a great resource for hiring professionals who wish to limit their exposure to claims of false degrees. The resource is free to anyone who is interested. We just ask for some basic contact information in return.
The following excerpt is a sneak peek to our 30 page guide. The entire resource can be downloaded by clicking here.
Definition of Diploma Mills:
According to Wikipedia, “A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The purchaser can then claim to hold an academic degree, and the organization is motivated by making a profit. These degrees are often awarded based on vaguely construed life experience [or no experience at all]. Some such organizations claim accreditation by non-recognized/unapproved accrediting bodies set up for the purposes of providing a veneer of authenticity.”
Impact of Diploma Mills:
Those with “degrees” from diploma mills are perpetrating fraud in a variety of ways. Most commonly, these phony degrees are used to obtain employment where the lack of such academic credentials would disqualify them from consideration. Secondly, many employers reimburse their employees for continuing education or offer merit compensation for academic achievement. Therefore a diploma mill degree is used to financially defraud employers. A fraudulent degree can be used to facilitate career advancement. Many employers require a certain degree in order to qualify for promotion. Lastly, these fake degrees can be used to misrepresent qualifications to unsuspecting consumers. Think of what a person who represents themselves as a doctor, a lawyer or an accountant, for example to do to defraud a patient or client.
EmployeeScreenIQ’s List of Known Diploma Mills
The first step in insulating your organization from degree fraud is utilizing a resource that identifies known diploma mills. If you have not heard of the university, proper due diligence is suggested. Pages 3-25 of this white paper represents our list of recognized fraudulent academic institutions (updated through September 24, 2008). This list is comprised of our own internal research and various government websites.
EmployeeScreenIQ’s List of Recognized Accrediting Organizations
Consulting the list of known diploma mills is just the first step. New diploma mills are popping up every day, so if it’s not on the list, you still have more work to do. Try to find the academic institution on-line. Check out the accrediting body. According to the U.S. Department of Education, “The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Here you will find lists of regional and national accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as reliable authorities concerning the quality of education or training offered by the institutions of higher education or higher education programs they accredit. Listed on page 26-30 is a guide to identifying sanctioned accrediting organizations as well as our list of Unrecognized Accrediting Organizations . . .
Nick Fishman is Chief Marketing Officer for Cleveland-based EmployeeScreen IQ, a best practices provider of pre-employment screening services throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Nick can be reached at (800) 235-3954 ext. 441 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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