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Diploma Mills

Posted in News Articles on 04/13/2009

Last month we talked about the competition for jobs and the temptation of applicants to “fluff” their resumes to get jobs.  One of the most common areas of fabrication on resumes tends to be in the education.  Many applicants stretch the truth about receiving degrees, their majors, and even attending college.  And if the degree itself has not been fabricated, are you sure the school is legitimate?  Are you sure the degree is not from a diploma or degree mill?

What is a diploma mill?  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.  Some such organizations claim accreditation by non-recognized/unapproved accrediting bodies set up for the purposes of providing a veneer of authenticity.

In the past several months there have been articles in all of the major news publications about a Spokane couple who operated numerous bogus online schools and earned several million dollars.  Many of those who were caught in the lists of thousands of “students” at these schools included government officials, teachers and others in positions of trust.

How can you avoid hiring someone claiming a degree from a diploma mill?  At BackTrack, we maintain a database containing the names of accredited schools and diploma mills.  The first thing we do is match the school name listed by your applicants against our database.  If the school appears on our diploma mill or suspect list, we will contact your company right away.

Interested in learning more?  Contact BackTrack at 800-991-9694.