Monday, September 26, 2005

Diploma Mills Watchdogs in Washington

It seems that Washington State is a hot spot for down and dirty, quick and easy (and inexpensive) college degrees by the Net or mail. An article in the Spokane Spokesman details the diploma-mill problem.

University of Illinois Professor Geoge Gollin has a Website that records and publicizes the problem and various actions against them. While Gollin got his real doctorate from Princeton, he notes that a non-accredited Parkwood Univeristy offered him a bachelor's, master's and doctorate in "systems engineering" for $4,400.

Mike Ball, Washington's Associate Director, Degree Authorization and Veterans Programs, for the Higher Education Coordinating Board points to legal loopholes that make his state a breeding ground for such tripe. As the article notes, "A school must have an actual building in the state to give the HEC Board jurisdiction, Ball said. State laws, written before the rapid advance of the Internet, don't consider if an online school's registrant lives in Washington."

His counterpart in Oregon says his state is different. Alan Contreras of the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization said, "In Washington, you can buy a degree for $500 in the morning and put it on your resume that same afternoon."

No comments: