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Degree Mills: The Billion-dollar Industry That Has Sold Over A Million Fake Diplomas Paperback – January 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 1 edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159102238X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591022381
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Allen Ezell and John Bear have done consumers, students, and employers a huge service in this superb overview of society’s problem with fake degrees and degree suppliers. Degree Mills is the best book on the subject and is required reading for anyone who cares about educational credentials. Whether you are thinking of getting an online degree, hiring someone who has such a degree, or rooting out someone with a fake degree, Ezell and Bear’s Degree Mills is the gold standard, your first and best source."
—ALAN CONTRERAS, OREGON STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION

"This is the peerless guide to diploma scams. This well-documented study is in the same league as other famous exposés such as Jessica Mitford’s The American Way of Death."
—BIMONTHLY REVIEW OF LAW BOOKS

"There’s an investigative vibe underpinning the book . . . [containing] unforgettable characters and the narrative pace of a thriller. [Provides] consumers and employers with a bevy of research tools to spot fake degrees. . . . Ezell and Bear’s investigative strengths shine a particularly bright and effective spotlight on a problem that has serious—and dangerous—repercussions."
—CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"This well-written and disturbing book reveals just how easy it is to become a ‘college graduate.’ . . . Read it if you have an interest in genuine education."
—STATESMAN JOURNAL

About the Author

Allen Ezell was the founder and head of the FBI’s "DipScam" diploma mill task force. He is also the author of Counterfeit Diplomas and Transcripts and Accreditation Mills.

John Bear, PhD, former head of new business development for Pearson’s educational division, is author of the bestselling Bears’ Guide series of educational books, plus numerous books on consumerism, computers, and other topics.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Fantastic book ~ well written, and VERY thought provoking.
ShaunSmith
Thank you, John Bear and Allen Ezell for continuing to do all you can to enlighten us and keep the public from being ripped off, duped and taken advantage of!
Suzianne
This book, like others he has authored, shows both insight and acumen.
VickyPhillips

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ShaunSmith on April 26, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok ok ok ~ a major point of this book is how degree mills are NOT a new social phenomenon, but their methods are constantly changing, evolving, and targeting both the naive, the deceptive, and the criminal. This book was fantastically written, well researched, with interesting apendicies to boot! here are a few of my favorite points of this book:

1. An indepth look as the the motive many degree mill 'customers' have in seeking these degrees. The authors discuss motivations to have a degree (even in a field where one is not required), advantaged in business settings, and even those folks who may not be fully aware of what they are getting themselves into when they first 'enroll.' In 2001, Laura Callahan, a top-dog in the department of homeland security, was summarily dismissed when her degree was in fact exposed as an unaccredited credential from a degree mill. In the appendix, the authors included, word for word, an essay Laura wrote about her entire experience, motivations, et cetera in purchasing a degree. VERY eye opening.

2. Very detailed descriptions of HOW diploma mills operate, get around state and federal laws, and even secure customers.

3. Discussion into the definition of degree mills, and how to navigate that grey area between a reasonable online university that may have new or innovate teaching methods in which accrediting agencies are still trying to grasp, diploma mills, and everything inbetween. See, most "Diploma mills" lay somewhere in the middle ~ between reasonable institution and outright scam ~ and this books gives tools to navigate those waters and make rational decisions.

4.Explaining how accrediting workd ~ which frankly is a mystery to almost all students at any major 'brick and mortar' institution. What is accreditation, how is it defined, who decides it, and how do you decide what is acceptable?

Fantastic book ~ well written, and VERY thought provoking.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey K. Friesen on March 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. I was looking for information about why a medical licensing bill I supported was being hammered by some people who claimed to be doctors.

What I found was that they were all graduates of diploma mills who had bought the degree and the BS hook, line and sinker. They honestly thought that a correspondence course made them a doctor. Insane. And kind of sad.

This book had great information to find out if someone has a bogus degree, how "accrediting agencies" are set up by the same diploma mills that they claim to accredit, and what can be done about it. It was written by the FBI guys who spent their careers going after these scam artists. There are several chapters of information that is very useful as well as some jolly good stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By VickyPhillips on June 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've been following the work of Dr. Bear for 25+ years. This book, like others he has authored, shows both insight and acumen. As online learning gains credibility there needs to be more readable advice on the degree mill scam industry and how it works. This book is a must-have resource for anyone involved in educational credentialing -- registrars, admissions officers, HR employee screeners - and it's also a very palatable read for anyone in the field of distance learning working as an administrator.
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By Suzianne on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you think fake degrees are harmless, think again. What does accredtitation mean? What does recognized accreditation mean and what is the significant difference between the two? Religious exemption information. What is a degree mill? How does this negatively affect you whether you realize it or not? This book and its authors give the most detailed, thorough look at this long overlooked or dismissed as irrelevant topic and it will shock you to realize that it may very well be you, the reader that was scammed or it could be that you the reader will be kept from being scammed due to the jammed packed wealth of information in this book! Thank you, John Bear and Allen Ezell for continuing to do all you can to enlighten us and keep the public from being ripped off, duped and taken advantage of! Wish I had of heard of these gentlemen and the topics contained in the book long before now! A MUST READ!
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