Degree Fraud or Not?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bo79, Aug 26, 2004.

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  1. bo79

    bo79 New Member

    If you worked in human resources and you came across a resume with a BS and MBA from Capella University, and an MA from Ratchford University, what would you think and do?

    1. Would you right away think that this person is a fraud and throw the resume in the trash?

    2. Would you think that the person is uninformed about proper
    accreditation, and is uninformed that one of his degrees is from a
    school thats dose not have proper accreditation?

    3. In hiring process would you just ignore the MA and focus on the individuals BS & MBA?



    Please elaborate on this.
     
  2. JoAnnP38

    JoAnnP38 Member

    I'd be inclined for option #3 unless Ratchford University is an out-and-out degree mill. The fact that its not accredited doesn't mean you shouldn't list your work on your resume. If Ratchford is a degree mill then I'd probably opt for #1.
     
  3. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    Ratchford University is a degree mill.
     
  4. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    I would go with #1 because I doubt that #2 is possible. If you have an MBA from Capella you know how much work goes into a master's degree. It is extremely unlikely that the workload is comparable between Capella and Ratchford.

    Given the accredited MBA, listing the unaccredited and highly suspect MA is monumentally stupid (in this hypothetical situation). :cool:



    Tom Nixon
     
  5. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    We had a long discussion about Ratchford here. Ratchford is totally fake -- pay your money, receive degree.

    In this case, only choice 1 makes sense.
     
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    In this case, putting a fake degree down that is it at the same level as a real degree indicates to me that the claim to the real degree is probably also bogus. I wouldn't check though, I'd just go with option 1.
     
  7. roysavia

    roysavia New Member

    bo79,
    you should have added two more categories to your list:

    4. Offer him/her a high ranking position with the Department of Homeland Security.

    or

    5. Disregard the MBA and offer the candidate an adjunct professorship at SRU or Suffield University.:D :D
     
  8. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

    Remember, the job market today is not what it once was. An opening for a file clerk is likely to receive responses from high school graduates as well as MBAs. One person in my firm advertised for an assistant, and received 160 resumes in two days!

    If I worked in HR, and IF I were overloaded like others in HR, I likely would do nothing with the resume unless the Resumex or other database flagged it as a potential hit for a position. Then, I would likely look at the experience level and forward it onto the appropriate manager.

    The appropriate manager would likely give the resume a cursory look over to see if it was worth anymore discussion. If the job required any type of degree, a quick look would tell me there were degrees on there. The manager would likely wonder what a Capella was, and not worry about it.

    If the resume passed the initial muster, call the person in. That's when things may get interesting. Ask about the schools, maybe.

    If the person became one of some number of candidates, that's when things might get interesting, especially if the job app is complete (and the same degrees claimed) and the person knows there will be a background check. Some potential scenarios:

    Scenario 1: The background check indicates the MBA and BS are from a regionally accredited school, fine. If the MA is not, ignore it. Base hiring without it.

    Scenario 2: If the person's MBA and BS are non-existent, and the MA is, and the job requires any type of masters, send a "thanks, but no thanks" card.

    Scenario 3: The MA actually is non-existant, but the MBA and BS are. Well, I would trash it for grounds that the person lied- even if the job did not require a degree!

    Scenario 4: None of the degrees are valid. Trash the resume even if a degree is not a requirement.
     
  9. Mr. Engineer

    Mr. Engineer member

    How many of you work in HR in a positon that presceens candidates?
     
  10. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    There is no circumstance where I would consider hiring this person, regardless of their experience, credentials, work history or anything else.

    Why?

    He or she has attempted to blatantly defraud me. S/he has knowingly claimed a degree they do not have. The owner of Ratchford said in a private email that everyone buying a Ratchford degree knows exactly what they're getting.

    If this applicant is willing to be untruthful before they're even in the interview, then how can I possibly be expected to trust them with anything important (my customers, my records, my fiances, or any other part of my business?

    So it's an absolute no-go for me. The funny thing is, if the person presented him or herself with no degree, but with adequate experience and background, it would be a shoe-in. But the fake degree blows it, as Levicoff said, like shit icing on top of a fine wedding cake.
     
  11. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

    Mr. Engineer, by what do you mean prescreen?

    At my uni, we get a lot of unsolicited applications/cvs from hopeful faculty members each year (our on-line application is always open for such). If this person applied with us, and I saw a degree mill degree listed, I'd can it immediately, regardless of the real, accredited degrees listed. Why? Well, if you have real degrees, why list a phony one? What purpose would it serve? Putting something like that on a resume would make me question the person's honesty and motives.

    Just my two cents,
    Adrienne

    Coordinator, HR
    University General Requirements Unit
    UAE University
     
  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    I would not hire this person. I was reviewing resumes for a position and received a resume with a BS from a degree mill listed. The candidate otherwise looked qualified.

    There was no way I would hire this person; their morals are immediately in question.
     
  13. philosophy

    philosophy New Member

    reply

    I would make it a policy to check on the reputation of the school. If it is a diploma mill, and is able to be determined to be, then this would be grounds for you to not pursue anymore consideration of the applicant. I think the important component in any HR situation is to develop a policy where credentials will be checked and if it is determined that it is a diploma mill, then there will be no consideration. There are some applicants that do list unaccredited degrees. However, if it can be determined that this school, even if unaccredited, is genuine or legit, then I would simply not count it toward the qualifications, but rather, that it is additional training. Any education is worth something. However, when someone puts down a credential that is right out phony, then you have to read between the lines.

    You could also ask them to come in for an interview. What would be good to know is if the Capella degree is legit. You can call the school and they will verify whether or not such a person graduated from the institution and when. This would be interesting to know whether or not they did. In the interview, you can ask them about the educational experiences that they had at these institutions, and if they have any syllabus or if you could talk to a professor who had worked closely with them. When it comes to the diploma mill one, it will be obvious. Hey, no one said you can't have a little fun with it. You might be able to point out something to this person by doing so, and maybe, they will realize that this is not worth putting down the bad credential. I don't understand why if they legitimately graduated from Capella, why someone would turn around and purchase a degree from a diploma mill.

    You would think that if they did want to get a degree, they would do it legitimately. Let us know what you decide to do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2004
  14. Michele

    Michele New Member

    Another question

    I have an interesting situation at work. A co-worker of mine holds a position of chemical dependency counselor with appropriate education and certification, and has a legit BA in Human Services from a state univ. However, she's applying to become program mgr, which means she'd supervise (not clinical supervision, but program/administrative supervision) mental health therapists like myself who all hold legit masters degrees in counseling fields. I would have no problem with this at this point, and truly like/admire/respect her as a person and as a professional. However, when hearing that she was a candidate for the position, our current manager showed us her resume. No masters degree, but lists a PhD in Clinical Hypnotherapy from a "univ" who basically accredits themselves (I'm sure you can guess which). She got it when this place had a different name - now they are known as something else.

    It "came up" in our clinical supervision meetings (from us therapists) that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there exists no legit PhD in hypnotherapy.

    What are opinions about this scenario? I would love to know, since it's happening!

    ~Michele

    BSW - Univ. of Nebraska
    MS - Capella Univ.
    PhD Learner - Capella Univ.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2004
  15. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    In some big companies, such as my last employer which is one of the larger aerospace companies, all job applicants must submit their application electronically.

    At any one time there is usually 250,000 resumes in the data base.

    Managers search this database using keywords to locate potential candidates for a position. HR only got into the hiring process after the manager selected a candidate for hiring.

    One thing I learned from this experience is that a resume will get a higher ranking based on the number of times the keywords appear.
     
  16. Clay

    Clay New Member

    Fraud/Phd ref. Michele

    If Miclele is referring to the American Institute of Hypnotherapy, it was Approved in Ca. to grant degrees. I think they moved to Hawaii because DETC accreditation would only work for MA/MS at the time. If it was approved,when she received it, it is a legal piece of paper. If anyone can elaborate, please do. It was not a mill. I completed 45hrs.,of 60 required,and wrote thousands of pages. This was in response to questions asked of each course, requiring a book or books, on the specific topic at your level of study. I believe most DETC schools do similarly. I also attended several workshops and siminars, several hundreds of miles away, as part of the degree requirements. If the lady received a PhD., she was also required to write a thesis. The DCH only required reading numerous books, at progressive levels, and submitting a 20-30 page typed response to questions relating to the book. These were graded for content, punctuation, and analysis of the topic. I got gigs for spelling and punctuation, albeit I paid a typist to correct my errors, and never received credit for working with Shrinks who utilized hypnosis. Also, the siminars and workshops were a requirement for the DCH. I learned a lesson about NA/RA the hard way. Analyze her transcript, discount the" NEW AGE" garbage, and if her coursework was substantial, she knows as much, or more, about hypnosis than most licensed mental health practitioners. Minus the practical experience. If she is AIH she's legit.
    Clay
     
  17. Clay

    Clay New Member

    Addendum to Michele

    If she went to Columbia Pacific, in the '80's, the school was good. It was Ca. approved and legal. I would certainly examine her transcripts, to see if she did substantial study on the topic, and could document the courses stated. I got an MS in '88 and used NA college classroom/graded courses, military,and law enforcement courses(graded) as a portfolio. This fulfilled the undergrad component, after completing a lengthly paper. Then I did additional study and wrote a thesis for the MS.. Wasted a ton of money and time. RA/NA is the only way. Sorry for rambling, but if her degree is pre-debacle and Ca. approved it is legal, unless your state only accepts RA/NA degrees for her position, then it is still legal,just not serviceable.
     
  18. Clay

    Clay New Member

    Addendum to Michele

    If she went to Columbia Pacific, in the '80's, the school was good. It was Ca. approved and legal. I would certainly examine her transcripts, to see if she did substantial study on the topic, and could document the courses stated. I got an MS in '88 and used NA college classroom/graded courses, military,and law enforcement courses(graded) as a portfolio. This fulfilled the undergrad component, after completing a lengthly paper. Then I did additional study and wrote a thesis for the MS.. Wasted a ton of money and time. RA/NA is the only way. Sorry for rambling, but if her degree is pre-debacle and Ca. approved it is legal, unless your state only accepts RA/NA degrees for her position, then it is still legal,just not serviceable.
     
  19. adireynolds

    adireynolds New Member

    Ahh, okay. We don't have nearly that many in our database, so we review them all.

    This is interesting -- I wonder if career counselors, etc. prep people to beef up certain keywords in their resumes?
     
  20. DL-Luvr

    DL-Luvr New Member

    Fraud or Not

    It depends on a lot of variables:

    A- Does the company have a policy on the use of non-RA degrees ? The devil is in the details so it should cover applicants and employees.

    B- If there was no company policy and the degree was not a requirement for the position, it's not critical. For example, the position required an MBA and the Ratchford MA was in English. I'd probably note this on my review so that the hiring manager knew it, but it wouldn't disqualify the person.

    C- If the applicant was trying to qualify with a Ratchford MBA and there was a company policy, then the resume would go in the reject stack - not the circular file. But even without a company policy, I would bring this to the attention of my boss in HR and the hiring manager and let them decide.
     

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