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Bill to crack down on diploma mills stallshttp://www.modbee.com/opinion/state/dan_walters/story/346983.htmlBrainstorm: Diploma Millshttp://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/index.php?id=603Psst. Wanna Buy a Ph.D.?http://chronicle.com/free/v50/i42/42a00901.htmInstitution Accreditationhttp://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Avoid Fake-Degree Burns By Researching Academic Credentialshttp://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/diplomamills.shtmThe unsavory world of diploma mills is a complex one, and a number of government agencies have attempted to regulate their activities with varying degrees of success. The Internet has aided operators of these educational "institutions" who frequently offer advanced degrees for little, or more often, no coursework. This past Sunday the New York Times reported on the case of Dixie and Steven K. Randock Sr. from the town of Colbert, Washington. The Randocks have been accused of operating more than 120 fictitious universities, and the federal government's concern goes beyond the mere matter of a phony degree. Law-enforcement officials fear that the growth of such diploma mills offers terrorists the potential to obtain bogus degrees in order to obtain visas in the United States. At the state level, about 20 states have passed laws to prohibit the trade in phony diplomas, but the U.S. Congress seems to be moving a bit more slowly on the issue. The first link will take visitors to a New York Times article from this Sunday about the world of diploma mills. The second link leads to a piece from Dan Walters of The Modesto Bee which talks about a bill in California that would effectively crack down on diploma mills. Moving on, the third link leads to a timely piece of commentary from former university president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg on diploma mills, which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week. The fourth link leads to another special report from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Thomas Bartlett and Scott Smallwood, which investigates the profusion of dubious doctorates in the education sector. The fifth link will lead visitors to the U.S. Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, which can help those wondering about the authenticity of an institution. Lastly, a link to the Federal Trade Commission's page on how to avoid "fake-degree burns" is offered for additional information and assistance.
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