Council for Higher
Education Accreditation

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Washington, DC 20036
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N E W S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 28, 2010
Contact: Timothy Willard
(202) 955-6126
Email: Willard@chea.org

CHEA Applauds Introduction of Legislation to Combat
Diploma Mills and Accreditation Mills

(Washington, DC) –The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) praised the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to combat diploma mills and accreditation mills.

“CHEA applauds Rep. Timothy Bishop (D-NY), Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) for their introduction in the U.S. House of Representatives of legislation to combat diploma mills and accreditation mills and the use of fraudulent degrees,” said CHEA President Judith Eaton.

H.R. 4535 – the Diploma and Accreditation Integrity Protection Act – was introduced on January 27, 2010. The bill’s purpose is to reduce and prevent the sale and use of fraudulent degrees in order to protect the integrity of valid higher education degrees that are used for Federal employment purposes.

“CHEA applauds this legislation as a measure to protect the integrity of credentials offered by legitimate institutions, which will benefit students and employers,” Eaton stated. “We need this legislation. This is legislation that everyone should support.”

Diploma mills – rogue providers of higher education – undermine the value of legitimate colleges and universities in the United States. Accreditation mills – often established by diploma mills themselves – attempt to convince prospective students that these operations have received affirmations of academic quality, without the thorough and painstaking review undertaken by legitimate accrediting organizations.

Mills reduce the value of degrees that are awarded. Mills and their fraudulent credentials threaten public safety, especially when fake degrees are offered in such vital areas as health, engineering and security.

CHEA has worked for seven years to combat diploma mills and accreditation mills through public education. CHEA’s Website contains a special section on “Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills” with information on how to identify and avoid degree mills.

Several months ago, CHEA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) developed a series of best practices for ways to discourage and eventually eliminate diploma mills in countries around the world. These suggestions are contained in a joint statement titled “Toward Effective Practice: Discouraging Degree Mills in Higher Education.”

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A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. For more information, visit CHEA’s Website at www.chea.org.