A moral (and legal) dilemma

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Ender, May 28, 2004.

  1. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Maybe times have changed but up to 16 years ago I worked with several engineers in Italy who are proud have earned bachelors and masters degree in engineering or aerospace engineering from the USA. I do not know if they had to take additional Italian exams. Some engineers used something like "Ing D" (although they explained this was not a doctorate) on their business cards.

    The engineers I worked with used common english language reference books which certainly helped during design and development activity.

    Also congratulations on your excellent English.
  2. Ender

    Ender New Member

    Re: Re: A moral (and legal) dilemma

    Probably they used "Dott. Ing." that means "Dottor Ingegnere" (Dcotor Engineer). If you have a degree in engineering ("full" one, like a US Master one) your onorific title in Italy is "Dottore in ingegneria", so "Doctor in engineering" (I suppose you could guess :) ). You're entitled to use "Dr." (or sometimes "Dott.", also if this one is used for physicians) before your name.
    After the degree you can study to have the qualification for the profession. You must pass an exam, which is called "Esame di Stato" (you can guess this one), held under national strict control. If you pass it, you're legally entitled to enroll the "Albo degli Ingegneri", which is the national list of the professional engineer. At this point you can, for example, sign and stamp (yes, thay give you an official and numbered stamp) a project for a bridge, etc. Your onorific title, after the "Esame di Stato" becomes "Dottore Ingegnere" (in short "Dott. Ing.").

    About value of US degree: they are not valid in public careers (teachers, state careers, military, etc.) and for profession in which is required to be enlisted in a professional list, like lawyers, physicians, engineers, etc.

    Of course your degree is very probably accepted in private companies, and you can still work in a professional study as a lawyer and as an engineer as an assistant (an accredited lawyer will lead a proceeding or an accredited enginner will sign a project).

    Ah, Ian, thank you for your compliments :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2004
  3. Ender

    Ender New Member

    You and Aceman got the point. It is _only_ a problem of status.

    In my profession I work a lot for law enforcement. In Italy a part of police forces are military organizations. Since I work for provincial and regional commands, my usual interlocutor is a general or a colonel. In Courts is the Public Prosecutor. They already know I have all the experience to do that work, but sometimes, out of curiosity, they ask. Nobody will ask "where" and "when", it will be unpolite and, at the end, nobody cares.
    At that point, you know, in they eyes I drop from six feet to a couple of inches or so. Not as a professional, I am speaking about "social" status. Here in some "environments" goes that way.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I did. You're looking for an excuse to act unethically. If it was ethical, you wouldn't seek an excuse.

    If you truly "deserve" a degree, then go to a real university and get one. If you are unable to do that, then going to a diploma mill isn't going to make things better, and isn't going to make you a college graduate.

    A real diploma is better than a rationalization.
  5. Ender

    Ender New Member

    I am not seeking a place where to buy a degree. Places like "istantdegree" are for sure unethical. I already discarded them.

    My doubt was among those universities which are reported as degree mills in Oregon list but have still a somewhat real course of study. The question on their legality was to clarify if they have the right to issue a degree or not. Now I understand they can, also if a degree from, say, KW is broadly seen as acamedically valueless.

    Anyway, I got your point: a degree from universities like these is just a little different from those like "istantdegrees", since are obtained with very little study (or so I think from what I read browsing this forum), so they're unethical like a "direct bought" one. So... Acting in a way you feel not too ethical is not a moral dilemma?

    Anyway, I made my mind after all your replies here, so I think I'll pursue the "hard" way and I'll contact some real university to find if there is a distance learning program which I could afford to obtain a Bachelor degree.
  6. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    If Ender already has a good secure job, and his only problem is occasional slight embarassment when somebody asks him if he has a degree, then he doesn't really need a degree. He obviously wants one, but he doesn't need it.

    Well, why not learn something new? Earn a real degree in a related subject that's job-related, or perhaps in something of personal interest.

    So far, this entire thread has been about Ender's rather crafty attempts to get Degreeinfo to tell him that buying a fake degree is OK because he feels entitled.

    My opinion on that is that if he's determined to lie about his academic accomplishments, then his choice is whether or not to be a stupid liar. Does he really want to pay thousand of dollars/euros to an unscrupulous businessman for an admittedly worthless "credential" that he thinks will somehow justify his lie?

    Look Ender, if your exams are already almost degree equivalent, then honestly and ethically add to them, don't lie about them.

    You might want to consider Heriot Watt University's MBA program. It offers a legitimate examination-based graduate management degree from a well known Scottish university, and it's very unusual in that it doesn't require a bachelor's degree and seems to have open admissions. You could sign up for it any time you like and study at your own pace.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2004
  7. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    While I sympathize with Enders situation I must agree with Rich's analysis. Ender obviously has sufficient skill to find the "university" that he's seeking. He should not, however, look to degreeinfo for validation of his choice.
  8. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure that's it. Europeans may look with puzzlement, or disdain, at what they take to be the crass materialism of Americans while we think foolish the importance to some of them their image. "Status"or "face" or whatever may be of overriding importance to some.

    The only people I know of to research degree mills are American and they may be missing some of what motivates people to pay for those "worthless" degrees.

    Interesting thread.
  9. Myoptimism

    Myoptimism New Member

    Hi Ender,
    As an Orson Scott Card fan let me tell you that I like your name.
    I think that your best bet is to go with one of the 'big three.' The links are www.tesc.edu , www.cosc.edu , and www.excelsior.edu . As you may or may not know, the big three accept an unlimited amount of transfer credit. With these previously earned credits (and it seems that you have a substantial amount), along with as many additional credits as required (to be earned through various courses and/or through CLEP/DSST if available), you can earn a fully accredited degree that will be able to withstand the scutiny that can and often does happen in the many political environments we live and work in. Another option is www.athabascau.edu , a GAAP (comparable to accreditation) school in Canada. They offer a three year degree that also accepts an unlimited amount of transfer credit. This might be a very good choice for you as you may have already fulfilled all of the requirements. Please at least check this program out before you make a moral misstep, okay?

    Good luck,

    P.S. What school did you previously attend?
  10. Roya

    Roya New Member

    Hi everybody, I'm a new member.

    Ender's description of the "acceptance" of U.S. Regionally Accredited degrees in Italy is really hard to understand. European Union countries and, more so, countries members of UNESCO are, to my understanding, signatories of certain conventions and treaties. A number of these conventions contain explicit agreements between the countries that they will accept each other's government accredited/recognized degrees as legal and valid.

    Italian degrees accredited by the Italian government are evaluated as RA equivalent in the U.S. So, why U.S. degrees are not acceptable in Italy. To my knowledge, all fully accredited U.S. degrees are readily accepted as equivalent to local ones in France, Germany, Belgium, Austria and all other European Union countries. Why not in Italy? Is this discrimination against U.S. degrees in particular, or this Italian policy applies to all foreign degrees?

    A very arrogant policy, in my opinion, which should be examined carefully by the proper authorities of other countries so that Italian degrees are treated accordingly.

    Ender, if as you're saying a U.S. RA degree is not acceptable in your country, wouldn't be illegal to even claim that you hold a degree if that degree has not been recognized by the appropriate authority in your country. Or, what you mean to say is that legal degrees from other countries are considered legal in your country, but they have to go through the procedure you describe to get local equivalency?

    Legitimacy and equivalency are two different things. Generally, if you hold a legitimate degree you can legally use it in your resume to apply for positions in the private sector and you can even legally use the title "Dr" before your name. However, you need equivalency to use that same degree for professional licensing and government positions. As far as I know this is the situation in Germany and other European countries.

    Just my opinion from the little I know.
  11. Roya

    Roya New Member

    Ender, I don't want to discredit Italian higher education, we all know that some Italian universities are among the best in the world. However, it appears that the process that allows universities in Italy to obtain and/or maintain their accreditation is extremely lax.

    A number of times in the past some Italian (yes, government accredited) universities have been exposed for graduating students, especially foreigners, by their thousands although those students did not really qualify for graduation. This little secret was known in neighboring countries so people who could not enter local universities in their countries just went over to Italy, registered with those universities, paid their fees regularly and, then, enjoyed Italy for a few years, without ever setting foot in the university, until it was time to sit for their final, graduation exams. All exams were marked as "Pass", or whatever is the equivalent in Italy, even if the student had just signed his name on the paper!

    This went on for years until they were caught in the act. When finally exposed, thousands of graduates from those Italian universities had to sit (some years after graduation and while they were already practicing professions such as veterinary medicine) for special exams in their countries to prove whether they had adequate knowledge to deserve their degree.

    Just my opinion from the little I know.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2004
  12. mineralhh

    mineralhh New Member

    I'm involved with the evaluation of foreign degrees at a large german university. Generally we do not accept any US bachelor degrees (neither long distance or traditional) for full transfer credit because of the degree structure (general education courses etc.) and unknown education quality. Don't get me wrong, the US has without doubt some of the leading universities in the world, but the range of educational quality is quite broad. We accept only degrees from germany and select european countries at first sight, everything else gets evaluated on an individual course-by-course level. I can only advise any europeans to look at the local possibilities to earn degrees first when further academic evaluation of the degree (for phd etc.) at other european universities is planned.

  13. Ender

    Ender New Member

    This is the exact situation in Italy. A US degree is perfectly legitimate, but for some professions (attorney, physician) and in public careers, it has to be "validate", so an University commission must check your degree and decide if it is equivalent (in courses, exams, etc.) to an Italian one. Usually (well, as far as I know, always) you must take some extra-courses.
  14. Ender

    Ender New Member

    True. Corruption was also in Italian universities. To clarify the matter, some professors in some universities took money to allow students to "pass" exams. In a couple of universities the corruption had spreaded so large that you could buy all of your exams. This scandal was exposed some years ago.
    Anyway, it was not a matter of thousands of graduates (also if probably thousands of person had their degree "screened"), since a single "pass" costed a lot (some thousands of dollars and also tenths of thousands) and the number of exams you need to pass is usually around 20 - 30.
    The university in which I studied, Politecnico di Milano (http://www.polimi.it/), was never involved in such problems.
  15. jmetro

    jmetro New Member


Share This Page