Suffield College and University - New Diploma Mill?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by RedStickHam, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. RedStickHam

    RedStickHam New Member

    I just saw an online ad for Suffield College and University, This place just screams diploma mill.

    In addition to "life experience" degrees, there is a certificate program to become a "Certified Life Strategies Coach" with an emphasis on Wellness, Business, or a both. It's not clear whether or not they just sell these certificates or if there's any actual coursework invovled.

    Their comments about accreditation, including how non-traditional educational programs are not eligible for accreditation by the USDOE approved regional accreditation orgranizations, amaze me to say the least. Non-traditional education not eligible? Have these people ever heard of Touro University or University of Phoenix just to name 2?

    Perhaps they haven't read the warning signs on how to spot a diploma mill here at, because they have just about all of them!

    They even have all sorts of cool merchandise, including shirts, mousepads, stickers, a wall clock, a tote bag, and even a class ring from Jostens! Jostens must not be picky about who they do business with.

    Being a regular reader, I've learned alot about spotting diploma mills, and had a chance to apply it in this case. It concerns me because I think alot of people will see this ad, because it showed up on the free(with an ad banner) version of my Opera web browser.

    Just wanted to pass the word.

  2. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    what exactly is a diploma mill. What if they have a legal charter to issue degrees? where do you draw the line?

    I am not a supporter of diploma mills but maybe you should focus on the process more than the name. If someone can determine from your resume that you are qualified in your field then thats just as valid as someone who has a degree..

    There is a lot of great managers without an MBA so suppose this great manager gets a MBA from say suffield based on experience what is wrong with that?

    The main thing is to be fair, if how suffield issues the degree is questionable then thats another thing. Maybe they really have an issue with that but to have some general opinion of what a diploma mill is does not make a school one..

    I am not a graduate of suffield, just hoping people will do more homework on this issue
  3. capper

    capper New Member

    It is wrong to issue a degree based on experience without sufficient and in depth investigation into the knowledge and experience. Just because a person says they have such and such experience doesn't qualify for a degree. In addition, just being a manager does not qualify you for an MBA or a Management degree.

    Also, I just went to the link that was posted for this school. The link was dead.
  4. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Well, you seem to agree with me then. If the experience and training allows for an MBA then fine why not?

    My position is on the process and how things are evaluated. why could a person not get a MBA for experience and learning. They may have done a lot of short courses that helps plus work related activities that would aid the process..

    I do think that one can get a degree based on learning. Isn't that the criteria for getting degrees? Then only thing is to validate the learning and thats it. very simple.

    Some people are also very smart regardless of a degree or not, so sometimes maybe they are undermined because they do not have one. should they go back to school for 4 years, maybe not.. Do you think Bill gates should go back to school to get a degree?

    We just need to be objective, thats all
  5. Dr. Gina

    Dr. Gina New Member

  6. Ohnalee

    Ohnalee New Member


    OK, that's a very fair question. A competent manager with many years' experience could know as much as an MBA graduate, without the degree in hand. But here's my question: who is Suffield to award such a degree? For all we know, Suffield is a bunch of guys in Romania or something, just printing diplomas. What makes the Suffield degree something that people consider credible? What is known about a place like Suffield University that makes their degrees worth the money, or (to the employer) makes their diplomas worth the hiring of the manager?
  7. Dr. Gina

    Dr. Gina New Member

    Just to let you know, the diplomas have a script font signature on them, a dead giveway!
  8. morleyl

    morleyl New Member


    So maybe we will take the conversation to another level finally. I am not defending suffield exactly. It seem that universities like these are automatically descriminated without any real facts. Suppose they really have some part-time PhD from reputable schools that does the evaluation?

    In fact Suffield may not be good but may be there are good schools out there that offer a genuine degree based on experience. If we focus on learning and the validation of that learning then it does not matter the source of the knowledge.

    A lot of persons are working in a different area than their real degree but they are not questioned. They probably get more recognition than someone who is experienced but no degree in that field.

    We can look at it in two ways, recognition or learning. They both play a part. A lot of persons out there go without recognition yet has the knowledge. The best way to stop schools like Suffied from existing is to accept real options and force them to have a proper degree granting process.
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest


    Registrar: GO DADDY SOFTWARE, INC.
    Whois Server:
    Referral URL:
    Name Server: DNS2.NTPLX.NET
    Name Server: DNS.NTPLX.NET
    Name Server: SERVER.DTG.NET
    Status: ACTIVE
    Updated Date: 18-dec-2002
    Creation Date: 17-dec-2002
    Expiration Date: 17-dec-2004

    >>> Last update of whois database: Sun, 7 Sep 2003 18:09:49 EDT <<<

    Wonder if the doctoral dissertation is to research "Who Is Godaddy?"
  10. cmt

    cmt New Member

    I'm sorry, but this is a faulty analogy. An argument from analogy claims that things which resemble one another in certain respects resemble one another in further respects. The success of your argument depends upon the nature and extent of the similarities between the two objects ("smart people" and "Bill Gates"). The greater their dissimilarities, the less convincing the argument will be. Consequently your argument from analogy can be successful only if the dissimilarities between the things being compared are insignificant. Yours are woefully farfetched and I don't think I need to point out the obvious!

  11. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    whats your point? Obviiously you are carried away by what you are trying to say.

    The point I am making is that anywhere you go, you have people who are naturally smart and therefore they can be recognized wether they attended a four year college or not..

    Bill Gates has been successful so therefore he has fulfilled many of the things that people get a degree for in the first place. How many people really get a degree because they just want to learn a specific subject? most people go to school to be successful. if you are successful outside of the mainstream understanding then you can be recognized for that success.

    Maybe you should take a class in logic at a real school to understand the concept of analogy.
  12. Ohnalee

    Ohnalee New Member

    Morleyl, I totally agree with you that there's a market niche for the experiential degree, for better or worse. My only problem is that currently, we know nothing about orgs like this, that amount to just a website.

    Suppose you like the look of the website "Ohnalee University". You send in your resume, your portfolio of achievements, lists of professional orgs you belong to ... you wire $$ to Western Union because Ohnalee U. doesn't list an address or phone number on the site ... and in exchange you get a really nice diploma and a lot of other perqs (like a transcript, a toll-free # for your employer to verify your certification) (oh, and a class ring).

    Now: what do you have? How do you tell your employer (if s/he's skeptical) that Ohnalee U was a legitimate organization, when you know nothing about it yourself and nobody can prove how the university operates? "Maybe there was a Ph.D. on staff." Or maybe not ... maybe in truth it was just ... me!

    My point is (and it sounds like it's yours too, actually) that there is room in the world for work experience to substitute for classroom time. But until 100% experiential-award schools must go through a rigorous accreditation process (and those accreditors' standards are open to scrutiny too), websites like Suffield will just be the Wild West.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2003
  13. cmt

    cmt New Member

    The fact that your last statement is a classic example of argumentum ad hominem is hilarious on too many levels! I stand by previous post (which was most respectful). If you can point out any fallacies in my post – then do it!

    I never said I did not agree with you. I simply pointed out a flaw in your argumentation. Notice that I did not say that made your conclusion false. That would have been ergo propter hoc! ;) :D
  14. leebreynolds

    leebreynolds New Member

    I'm not sure I understand why everyone is pretending that "morleyl" is being intellectually honest. I believe that he is either someone who runs a diploma mill, or someone who has paid for the services of one. Why else would he repeatedly make such far-fetched arguments? Boredom?

    "morleyl" sounds to me like some of the car salesmen that show up in the forums that deal with buying a car. They'll come online and start making all kinds of twisted arguments about why you should pay the asking price for a car. Since they con and swindle people for a living all day they can be quite good at it and what I've read from "morleyl" so far sounds a lot like the things they post. Debating such a person on the facts and issues is a fool's errand because they're not interested in the truth, only in conning people, or in this case creating doubt about just how bad diploma mills are. The best thing to do is ignore them, or if you are going to debate them refuse to do it on their terms.

  15. g-gollin

    g-gollin New Member

    Hi folks,

    Suffield College and University:

    The URL for this site is

    Here are two questions/answers from the site's FAQ page:

    8. How, or for what can I use my degree?
    Some people want the degree to assist them in getting a better job. You might have the experience and the knowledge to do the job, but often times the person with the degree will be picked over the person without it. Getting your degree will level the playing field and improve your prospects considerably. Of course, there are those who aren't concerned about employment prospects. They might be self employed, retired, or, happy being at their current employment level. But they want the personal satisfaction of knowing that their knowledge can be transferred to a degree. They want to hang their diploma on the wall and feel proud of their accomplishment.

    9. How long will it take to get my degree?
    In most cases the whole process can be completed within 14 days.

    One might conclude that it smells like a duck.
  16. Ohnalee

    Ohnalee New Member

    smells like a duck

    So that's what that smell is. :p Yes, the school in question is definitely a diploma mill. But the idea that Morleyl posited was that a 100% experiential degree should be available for people who have the equivalent to an MBA in experience.

    Like it or not, there IS a real market for this type of degree. But it can be nothing but a sham because there are no established criteria for making that assessment. Now, you do have places like Kennedy-Western, which take lots and lots of your experiential learning and combine it with a set 4 - 5 "courses" you must complete for a degree. Call it the 85% experiential degree. And employers probably accept K-W, not because they have confidence in Wyoming's stringent approval process, but simply because they've heard of it. Brand recognition! BUT we get that same duck smell with K-W as with the other mills -- with no established and generally accepted criteria for large-volume experience assessment, all they really sell is pieces of paper.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Re: smells like a duck

  18. morleyl

    morleyl New Member


    Let me clarify here. What I was getting at is that people does get both training and experience in a specific area. You probably may have gotten training from several sources that adds up in respect to knowledge required.

    For basic areas the school could recommend exams available outside, not necessarily offered by them but could be factored into the overall scheme of things. Then the other option is to write papers on key subjects. So what I am saying may take 6 months but still based on what you already know instead doing it all over. Exams like CLEP, GRE etc can help with core requirements. use a similar approach to what I am mentioning but they cost a lot too.

    We need to under that a degree is a means to an end, not the end in itself. So if someone is a super engineer what makes them any less than another engineer who is average but have a degree. I Ido agree that the school need to be genuine and upfront with their schemes but there is some possibilities.

    Check out the engineering council in the UK, there is an experienced path to become a Chartered Engineer. Of course you will need to submit a paper and attend an interview to be admitted.
  19. morleyl

    morleyl New Member

    Hi leebreynolds

    I am a normal everyday person. I do not operate a diploma mill or support one. I just think people do jump to conclusions on this issue too quickly.
    I honestly do not think you have a clear definition of diploma mills. It seems that once life experience is mentioned then the automatic conclusion is that its a diploma mill.

    My Point is that you should focus on the methodology and then maybe you could discriminate from there.

    I would not support giving someone a transcript for credit in say 'US History' without any proof. So please be objective. That was exactly my point in the first place, you just jump to conclusion. Obviously you did not attend a good 4 year college either. You would learn to look at different sides of an argument and then you can conclude.

    Learning is a lifelong process so how can you say one method is really better than the other?
  20. Jeff Hampton

    Jeff Hampton New Member

    And of course, there's no reason to require this "part-time PhD" to actually have done any doctoral work. (St. Regis is a reputable school, right? Or Berne? If not, why not? Is it legitimate to grant degrees based on life experience or not?)

    And I'm sure that anyone who has ever earned a PhD has the the capacity to look at another person's resume and decide whether that person deserves a degree. In fact, it so easy, you can run an entire university with just one part-timer.

    I can't imagine how anyone could think this arrangement would not be legitimate.

    Did your "4 year college" teach you that it is necessary to include a personal attack along with each argument?
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2003

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