Yet Rochville's degrees, awarded based on work experience, continue to be listed by hundreds of professionals on their LinkedIn resumes. LinkedIn, a popular online networking site, allows users to post a resume and work history to promote their expertise and network with potential employers.
Besides Rochville, many other colleges that have been revealed as degree mills are listed by LinkedIn users on their resumes—thousands of professionals are claiming fake degrees as the foundation for their professional expertise.
HR screeners be forewarned: degree and resume fraud is rampant on LinkedIn and in the United States in general.
Cooper once toyed with the idea of getting an online MBA, but instead became a professor of literacy and cultural studies at the University of the West Indies.
"To think that a dog had more ambition than me!" Cooper wrote in a recent column in the Jamaica Gleaner. "I decided to apply to Rochville for a PhD in chemistry. Why chemistry? Why not? I have good chemistry."
Cooper manufactured the following chemistry "life experience" and "work experience" on her application for a degree to Rochville, the reputed diploma mill:being "good at chemistry in high school" and working for 20 years at a Jamaican producer of household chemicals.
Within 15 minutes of emailing her application to Rochville University, says Cooper, a representative from the online school called her to find out if she had a bachelors or masters in chemistry or just life and work experience.
Chester Ludlow, a pug dog from Vermont, has been awarded an online MBA degree (master's in business administration) by Rochville University—an online college that offers life and work experience degrees.
Chester is believed to be the first dog to be awarded an online master's degree based on work and life experience credentials.
But did he earn it—or did he buy it?
“The difference between earning a college degree online or buying one is key,” says Vicky Phillips, founder of GetEducated.com.
Chester is the GetEducated.com mascot. In May, he submitted his resume—along with $499—to Rochville University online. A week later, on June 5, 2009, an express packet arrived from a post office box in Dubai.
Over the past decade, diploma mills in the U.S. and around the world have allowed con artists and criminals to purchase fake college degrees and transcripts fast and on-the-cheap. Armed with these fake paper pedigrees, criminals have committed felony fraud—and in some cases, even murder.
Hundreds of degree mills allow criminals to buy degrees online fast and cheap. No tests required! Just submit your resume for a work experience evaluation and get an instant degree.
The only graduation requirement: a valid credit card.
My friend claims he earned his college degree—a life experience degree—by “testing out of" courses and putting together a portfolio of his work and military training over the last two decades. Do real accredited universities ever offer life experience degrees? Aren't all universities that offer these types of degrees a scam? —Toddin Modesto, Calif.
Input “life or work experience degrees from accredited universities” into any search engine and you’ll be swamped with hundreds of websites that promise to review your resume and convert your experience credentials and training into a college diploma.
Real Accredited Universities or Scams?
Most of these websites are indeed scams, and the diplomas they promise are, in fact, fake. Most of these universities are "accredited," BUT by fake agencies.
However, a few of these schools are the real deal. A select few accredited universities in the U.S. do offer life experience degrees. These colleges represent solid opportunities for seasoned professionals to jump-start a college degree by applying credits from work training and expertise gained through licensing and other external credentialing agencies.