The new diving coach at Indiana University (IU) who arrives with credentials that include six Atlantic Coast Conference titles at Duke University and four Olympic medals as coach of the 2012 U.S. team in London also has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from an alleged “diploma mill” that issues fake degrees in the mail for money, the Indianapolis Star reports. The article is available at http://indy.st/11VfYuj.
According to the Indianapolis Star report, new IU diving coach Drew Johansen’s rèsumè included a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Rochville University – described as “a diploma mill that issues bogus degrees through the mail for a few hundred dollars” – for a job requiring a bachelor’s degree. The Indianapolis Star reports IU discovered that Rochville was not accredited “early in the hiring process” but the university’s human resources department gave “the OK to be flexible on the degree requirement” and that IU “determined Johansen’s coaching strengths outweighed any concerns.”
The Rochville University website states that Rochville “is a leading online university” that serves “the educational needs of over 38,000 working adults and individuals” and is “one of the first institutions to have acquired online accreditation status.” However, the Indianapolis Star reports that Texas has called Rochville “an illegal supplier of educational credentials” and using a Rochville degree with the intent to obtain employment is a crime in that state. The Oregon Employment Relations Board also upheld the firing of a state employee with a bachelor’s degree from Rochville in his application, the Star reports.
In order to combat diploma mills, the U.S. Department of Education launched an online database in 2005 to include the names, addresses, and enrollment of all schools with recognized accreditation. The database is available at http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/search.aspx. Although diploma mills are not recognized by legitimate institutional accreditors, some create their own fake accrediting agencies in order to appear legitimate. To check the authentication of an institution, visit the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website at http://www.chea.org/.
Diploma mills may also create a danger to employers since educational achievements can tell a great deal about a job applicant’s ability, qualifications, and motivation. Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), suggests employers check the education credentials of all job applicants to ensure they have obtained degrees from legitimate educational institutions. He has written an article on the topic, ‘The Basics of Education Verifications,’ available at: http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/2009/12/16/the-basics-of-education-verifications/.
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About Employment Screening Resources® (ESR):
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