A little respect for a James Monroe grad, plz

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by RFitzhugh, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    It concerns me with the amount of misinformation being put out there by people who are, for whatever reason, opposed to hardworking people getting degrees online, and for a reasonable cost. I am here to present another side of the story, with respect to the now 'infamous' institution known as James Monroe University. No doubt that it is one of most notorious institutions of distance learning, giving rise to lawsuits and legal issues with certain states (protecting their own "accredited" education racket), but consider what one of the alums who is proud of JMU has to say...

    My story:

    I received my Ph.D in Structural Engineering from James Monroe University in May of 2003, in exchange for a negotiated payment of $2695. I felt confident, having received both my undergraduate and Masters' degrees in engineering from JMU in January 2003 and April 2003, respectively. Upon graduation, I was hired by DFD Engineers, an internationally renowned structural engineering firm with projects primarily in the Middle East and Asia. I began assisting with engineering work on major projects in the field of condo and apartment construction, mainly in China, and, due to the massive uptick in global construction activity at the time, was given entire buildings to run full structural calculations on :eek::) within a few months of being hired. I felt very fortunate to have been thrown "into the fire," as it were, and have the utmost confidence that my doctorate from JMU gave me the edge over others at the time.

    Of course, now that economic conditions have deteriorated significantly due to the intractable global malaise, over 80% of my firm was laid off in the last 16 months, including myself. However, I remain upbeat about what my degree from JMU has done for me in the past, and will do for me in the future. In the meantime, I will be sitting for the PE as soon as I have authorization in hand.

    The point of this post was merely to remind those who google "degree scams" or "diploma mills" and see certain institutions listed, to think for themselves and ask individual graduates what their institutions have done for them. I would be surprised if many graduates from so-called "respectable" institutions could show you a portfolio of their built work (14 high-rise buildings) within two years of graduation.

    Many blessings,

    Richard M. Fitzhugh

    B.S., M.S., Ph.D, Structural Engineering,
    Alumnus - James Monroe University, 2003

    Graduate Engineer
    Dewitt Fore DeLulles Engineers, LLP (2003-2008)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2010
  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I started off my working career as a structural engineer but morphed into an aerospace engineer in a very specialized field. And a PE is generally considered equivalent to a BS degree.

    Sounds like you were successful in China but if you live in the US then I think you will have a difficult time finding a job. A company proving products requiring a PE to sign off documents may worry about the liability in having non-RA/ABET degreed engineers on their staff. Just think how a plaintiffs attorney would handle your qualifications in a law suite ("This company hires degree mill engineers") even if you had nothing to do with the law suite.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Purchasing a fake degree from a fake school did not prepare you or anyone else to perform work in anyway. Your ability to produce a portfolio of your work most certainly is not a result of buying a fake degree.

    If you cannot meet the real requirements of a real school, then why should touting a fake degree from a fake school be okay?

    You paid a lot of money for an utterly fake school. You could have just created the fake documents yourself and saved a bunch. Also, your personally named fake school would not have the additional liability associated with a name that arises from a web search with a multitude of items discussing its fraudulence.

    Red herring, perhaps?
  4. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    I would have never been hired by an engineering firm if not for having at least a bachelor's degree in hand. JMU gave me that. Getting the M.S. and Ph.D simply gave me the edge over those with merely a B.S. in Engineering. As for JMU's legal troubles, I've already pointed out that many states themselves have a conflict of interest in keeping competition down for their own subsidized institutions of higher learning. No amount of legal pandering will change the fact that JMU has produced quality graduates, highly sought after in their respective fields. I'm sure there are JMU graduates that have gotten little to no respect and are merely tasting sour grapes. Clearly, you are not hearing from the more successful graduates, because most are hard at work in their career and have to time or reason to grind an axe. As I always say, you can't let a few bad apples spoil the bunch. :cool:
  5. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    Rich - having a degree was integral to stepping foot into an engineering firm for the initial interview. Having three degrees, including a Ph.D (all from JMU), gave me the additional edge needed over those applicants holding merely bachelor's degrees from traditional schools. As explained earlier, most of the litigation against schools like JMU stem more from states' conflict of interest in funneling students and federal aid dollars to their own schools, rather than schools that are at the forefront of 21st century learning, sans the bricks and mortar. As for the graduates who felt "ripped off," there's always a few sour grapes in the bunch - even those from "traditional" schools.
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    My opinion is that RFitzhugh is either a troll or an academic fraud. If he has a degree from JFM as described or he is associated with this place then he's an academic fraud. If he is neither of those then he is simply a troll.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Please don't this as a personal attack, but since you're referring to yourself, I can't help but refer to you and your experiences (as written here).

    You don't have three degrees if they come from James Monroe University. You have zero degrees. By claiming otherwise, you are pretending that the degrees are real and counting on others not finding out or understanding the situation and circumstances. Any "edge" you had was illusory. You benefited only to the extent that the truth remained unknown to the other parties involved.

    Your comment about litigation against entities like James Monroe University is internally illogical. Since such entities do not receive "federal aid dollars," they cannot be a threat to "funnel" them away from real schools.

    There is nothing "21st century" about what James Monroe University did/does. Fake schools selling fake degrees have probably been around since, oh, I don't know, since real schools started awarding real degrees.

    Victim or villain? Each reader can come to his/her own conclusion.
  8. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

  9. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Re the title of this thread: Why should I respect someone who purchased pieces of paper from a degree mill?

    I may respect that same person for other reasons, but wouldn't knowing that they paid for fake degrees in order to deceive people hurt their credibility?
  10. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    By all means, please continue to deride my credentials, but do so knowing that it is possible to bypass the traditional system for even the hard sciences like engineering.

    I was recently interviewed for a couple of gov't engineering jobs associated with the federal stimulus outlay, and was contacted for a follow-up interview just this afternoon, with the project manager commending me on my background. So, by the end of the week, it is possible that you would be talking to the newest employee of a department of the federal government. Not bad for a JMU grad, eh?
  11. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    Deride my credentials if you'd like, but the fact is the degrees ARE real, e.g. as in "hanging on my wall." That's all most employers care to know.

    Cross your fingers - I've got a second interview for a .gov job dealing with some of the federal stimulus work. They seem impressed so far!
  12. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

  13. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    Sure, but .gov has over 15 million employees. And their vetting process, well... remember Michael Brown, one-time head of FEMA?

    I think I'm well under the radar. ;)
  14. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that the guy's just jerking Dereeinfo's chain for laughs. Google doesn't produce any hits for "Dewitt Fore DeLulles Engineers, LLP". The photo link in his first post shows an apartment building in Shanghai that's apparently toppled over, perhaps due to incompetent structural engineering.
  15. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Brown was a political appointement, not a civil service employee.

    But sure you could get a .gov job. For example the TSA is hiring for my local airport - a degree is not a requirement.

    You might want to read these reports:

    James Monroe is on the list of schools whose degrees cannot be used in Oregon:
  16. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    No hits on "Dewitt Fore DeLulles" either. It does seem to be pretty good evidence that he falls into the troll category.
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Strangely, Google has never heard of them. Your trolling isn't bad, but might have been more effective if you had used the name of a real engineering firm.

    You found a state engineering board that accepts unaccredited foreign engineering degrees for PE licensure? Sure. Which one was it?

    Not if you applied for PE licensure at a state engineering board. PE applications require complete documentation of education, under penalty of perjury.
  18. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    "Dewitt Fore DeLulles" ----> "Do it for the lulz"


    Congratulations, you guys all took part in my elaborate troll. I had WAY-Y-Y too much free time today. :)

    Also, I agree with everyone here re: degree mills. It's unbelievable that anyone could convince themselves worthy of a degree based on "life experience" or some other nebulous quotient.

    Please don't hate me! ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2010
  19. RFitzhugh

    RFitzhugh New Member

    But, see, there was the beauty of it. No hits = no chance of a libel lawsuit. Trolling is not worth a manila envelope arriving in my mailbox in 4-6 weeks. ;)
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    RF is getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. No respect.

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