Using the title "doctor" can lead to arrest in Florida

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by me again, Dec 11, 2008.

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  1. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    It is an arrestable offense in Florida to use the title doctor if one doesn't have a properly accredited degree. :eek:

    You can read about it here. :eek:
     
  2. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    This would seem to give Florida one of the toughest degree laws in the country: a criminal offense to use any degree from an unaccredited school, unless specifically approved by the state.
     
  3. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    Actually, subsection (a), seems to prevent even a holder of a nationally-accredited doctorate from using the title "doctor":

    I'm presuming that by "professional accrediting agency" they're referring to ABA, ALA, etc.
     
  4. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    e) A religious seminary, institute, college, or university which offers only educational programs that prepare students for a religious vocation, career, occupation, profession, or lifework, and the nomenclature of whose certificates, diplomas, or degrees clearly identifies the religious character of the educational program.


    2) No person awarded a doctorate degree from an institution not listed in subsection (1) shall claim in the state, either orally or in writing, the title "dr." before the person's name or any mark, appellation, or series of letters, numbers, or words, such as, but not limited to, "Ph.D.," "Ed.D.," "D.N.," or "D.Th.," which signifies, purports, or is generally taken to signify satisfactory completion of the requirements of a doctorate degree, after the person's name.


    It looks as though "religious schools" are exempt; yes or no???
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2008
  5. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Ironically, the State of Florida provided $200 million of a $350 million incentive package that recently lured my favorite (currently) unaccredited California-approved Ph.D.-grantor to start building a new campus in Orlando. (The Mayor of Orlando, the President of the University of Central Florida and various other unindicted co-conspirators were photographed with shovels at the ground-breaking.) The institute says that they are talking to WASC, so maybe they will be accredited by the time their first Florida doctors doctorize. I'd hate to turn on FOX News and see the Florida cops sending out SWAT.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2008
  6. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Brian: "It looks as though "religious schools" are exempt; yes or no???"

    John: So it would seem, as long as they only give purely religious degrees. But then, let us recall that Louisiana had such a law . . . and LaSalle University announced that all their degrees, whether in psychology, math, political science, or business, were religious degrees, since God created everything: the brain, numbers, and so forth. When the state Board of Regents sued LaSalle, the state Supreme Court held that LaSalle's argument was valid. Twice.
     
  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    And who is this favorite unaccredited California approved doctorate granter of yours which is now in Florida?
     
  8. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    Haha!!

    Kind of interesting considering all of the firestorms raging over the RA vs NA debates.
     
  9. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member


    Hmmm...

    I live/work in Florida (municipal government) and have had to register both RA and NA (undergrad and grad) degrees with the State. If an accreditor is recognized by CHEA / USDoEd then those degrees are acceptable in Florida; that would also include DETC doctorates too.
     
  10. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    I would hope, but this phrase seems to indicate otherwise:

    It's a somewhat ambiguous statute because "professional accrediting agency" could mean a) an accrediting agency that accredits professional programs such as the ABA for law, CAAHEP for allied health programs, etc. or b) an agency engaged in the profession of accrediting institutions, such as NCA, SACS, DETC, etc.
     
  11. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    Yes, it is somewhat vague and I suspect both a & b would apply but "b" certainly fits.
     
  12. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who has trouble trying to understand these Florida laws! I speculate that DETC is accepted in Florida because it's recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. That would include any DETC doctoral degrees.
     
  13. dlady

    dlady New Member

    I live in Florida and have been aware of this law for some time. I’ve read it, and speculate the following: The intent of the law is to protect the elderly from medical and other scams (which is good). Beyond that, it is so poorly worded that all the other speculation is warranted, however, outside of blatant misrepresentation of credentials in a way that could medically harm another, I would be fascinated if anyone were ever prosecuted. If I ever finish the HMU DA, I will gladly test the merits of the law to the fullest.
     
  14. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Dr. Lady: " If I ever finish the HMU DA, I will gladly test the merits of the law to the fullest."

    It could be fun. There was a time when Columbia Pacific University was clearly illegal under Florida law, and when former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson had accepted a Columbia Pacific honorary doctorate (and spoken at their UK commencement).

    Several years later, it looked as if Wilson was coming to Florida to watch a launch at Cape Canaveral . . . and the plot was hatched to have someone make a citizens arrest as he stepped off the plane.
     
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    And how well did that plot work out?
     
  16. ssteachn

    ssteachn member

    Sounds like a good thing to me. DETC doesn't even let themselves hand out Ph.Ds so it rather jives with their mission anyway.
     
  17. ShotoJuku

    ShotoJuku New Member

    Actually they (DETC) do offer a few doctorates now and more are on the way in January and June 2009.
     
  18. ssteachn

    ssteachn member

    Of course, but lets not confuse a Ph.D. with a professional doctorate. There can be some big differences between a Ph.D and DBA/Ed.D/Psy.Ds.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2008
  19. Kizmet

    Kizmet 版主 Moderator Staff Member

    Hi - Is there any information to show that this law has ever been enforced or applied? If there has been any sort of "test case(s)" it might shed some light on this discussion.
     
  20. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    It's unlikely that anyone's been adjudicated guilty under this law (that I'm aware of). However, a few law enforcement officers have resigned when it was discovered that their Bachelors degrees were fraudulent; their employers confronted them on their fraudulent degrees and showed them this state statute and they resigned in lieu of a criminal investigation.
     

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