Archive for February, 2008

Legitimate Online Universities vs. Diploma Mills

A question was recently submitted about diploma mills from Dr. M. Taylor in Detroit.  She wanted to know more about diploma mills after seeing a report on NBC news.

The NBC news story appearing in January 2008, warned that “not all cyber degrees are created equal”, and continued by highlighting a recent online MBA graduate who chose an online education in hopes of earning a job promotion.  His primary reason for choosing an online degree was the need for flexibility to accommodate his hectic work and personal schedule.  The report went on to note that “more and more working adults turn to online education as an option, [but] experts say the number of phony online institutions is growing too.  One study estimated several hundred counterfeit diploma websites generated about half a billion dollars a year selling phony diplomas.”

As the NBC story eluded, it’s important to understand the difference between a “diploma mill” and a “real” educational institution. The growth of on-line learning has been essential in creating opportunities for those seeking professional and personal growth and has been accepted at the highest echelons of academia as a way to promote lifelong learning. But with all good things, there are those that will seek to abuse the system. But to preserve the opportunities that online education provides, it’s important that these few “bad apples” don’t dilute the value of legitimate online degrees. This can only be accomplished through increasing public awareness in differentiating diploma mills from legitimate distance learning.

So what exactly is a diploma mill and how can you spot one?  Recognizing a diploma mill can be tricky, but they often share some common characteristics. Generally speaking, you can spot a diploma mill if they offer to sell a degree for little or no work.  Others will offer a degree in as little as five days or allow you to use your professional experience instead of taking courses as a means to your degree.

Here are a few other telltale signs that can help you identify a diploma mill:

  • The school website does not have a .edu top-level domain.
  • Degrees can be obtained within a few days, weeks or months from the time of enrollment, and back-dating is possible.
  • Faculty members hold advanced degrees from the institution itself or from other diploma mills.
  • Academic credit is offered for “life experience,” and this is featured heavily in the selling points of the institution.
  • Tuition and fees are paid on a per-degree basis rather than on a per-semester, per-quarter or per-course basis.
  • Promotional literature contains grammatical and spelling errors, words in Latin, extravagant or pretentious language, and a sample diploma.
  • The school’s website looks amateurish or unprofessionally made.

And what ever happened to the student who was the subject of NBC’s investigative report? The story concluded that “online education is booming and gaining legitimacy” and was happy to report that the recent MBA student did earn his promotion after graduation from a legitimate online university. So while “not all cyber degrees are created equal”, a good one can help you achieve your goals.

04

02 2008

What are CalSouthern Graduates Saying About Their Experience?

The students of CalSouthern are a diverse and successful group of accomplished individuals. While most of our students reside in the United States, many others live around the world. They represent a wide variety of professions with varied educational experience and share the challenges of balancing careers, personal lives, and education.

Many of our students choose CalSouthern because the flexibility of the online structure allows them to arrange the travel, job, and family commitments around their education.  Traditional campus-based schools with fixed schedules do not permit this same flexibility.  Other students choose CalSouthern because they realize that professional career success depends on what you know and the degrees you have earned.

Click here to read more about what our CalSouthern graduates are saying about their educational experience at CalSouthern.

03

02 2008

B.B.S. – M.F.T. Presentation- March 27, 2008 10:00 A.M.

Board of Behavioral Sciences M.F.T. Presentation – Save the Date!
March 27, 2008 10:00 A.M.

California Southern University is proud to present another orientation for all students on the MFT Licensure track! At CalSouthern we understand the importance of keeping you up to date with the latest developments regarding licensure. We are very pleased to announce that Sean O’Connor, from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, will be coming back in March!  Sean visited us in August last year and he plans to return with the latest news and updates regarding MFT licensure.

Sean is an Outreach Coordinator with the BBS and he will be presenting information on MFT licensure requirements and processes.   This presentation will be open to staff, faculty and students so if you are in the area and would like to visit our University, be sure to make a reservation by calling 800-477-2254 ext. 4225.  For those interested in viewing the presentation, but are not in the immediate area, we will be filming the presentation and will make it available for download on our website.

This is an exciting opportunity that you will want to take advantage of if you plan to obtain licensure in the state of California.  Seating for the conference is limited, so please reserve your space early.  The presentation will be held in the main conference room at California Southern University and will last approximately 2 hours.

We hope to see you here.

02

02 2008

Meet your 2008 Student Advisory Committee

CalSouthern is excited to introduce our 2008 Student Advisory Committee.  This year is sure to be exciting and we are looking forward to the opinions and insight of our students.  We would like to thank everyone who applied to be a part of the committee.  Our first meeting will be this month so check the e-newsletter to read about Committee updates and news.

CalSouthern Student Advisory Committee

School of Behavioral Sciences:
Joe Chavira – Mexico City
Shawna Colletto – Arizona
Stan Rockwell – Virginia
Lisa Dungate – New York
Dolores Delrosso – New York

School of Law:
Randy Ricks – Nevada
Jerri Liu – California
Derek Mezo – Colorado
Jody Kaiser – Vermont

School of Business:

Bashar Elkhatib – California
Belinda Yuet Chi Chua – California
Dr. James Noonan – 2002 Graduate – Massachusetts

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02 2008