In May of 2009, GetEducated.com’s Diploma Mill Police mascot, Chester Ludlow, a pug dog, purchased an online “Life Experience Degree” from Rochville University.
Chester received a fake diploma from Rochville that certified his graduation from the unaccredited online college. Chester’s story made national news, warning online students to beware of diploma mill scams.
Now, over a year later, “Washington Post” reporter Neely Tucker investigates another infamous Rochville University alum, William M. Drumheller III, a Virginia minister at the Harrisonburg Church of Christ. The “Post” reports that the minister has been convicted of murder, along with sexual misconduct and running a Medicare scam.
The “Washington Post” uncovers a shocking chain of events that led to Minister Drumheller’s demise. Not only did the minister leave his wife after an extramarital affair, but the “Post” reports that residents of the small Virginia town and members of Drumheller’s church soon learned he had “beaten his girlfriend’s 14-month-old son to death in 1970.”
In addition to felony charges, and after spending time in jail “repenting” from his malicious behavior, Drumheller was convicted of credential fraud.
On his resume—the document that enabled him to pursue a theological career—Drumheller lists a Masters in Divinity degree from Rochville University online.
The “Washington Post” called GetEducated.com to ask about Drumheller’s education background and his Master’s in Divinity from Rochville University, an online life experience college.
Vicky Phillips, Chief Online Education Analyst at GetEducated.com, is quoted in page 5 of The Washington Post article, explaining how she tested the school’s standards last year when she sent $499 and the name of Chester Ludlow, her dog, to Rochville requesting a life experience degree on the dog’s behalf.
“Chester got full transcripts express mailed to him from a post office box in Dubai,” she said of the stunt, which gained national publicity. “It said he graduated with distinction in finance. He had a certificate of participation in student body government. He even got a car decal.”
Drumheller, in the ‘Post’s” interview, said he thought Rochville was a legitimate online institution. But Rochville—with no campus in Rockville, Maryland or anywhere else—is widely regarded as a diploma mill.
The online school is not accredited by the U.S. Education Department.
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