- Ashwood University
Ashwood University is an institution which claims to award academic degrees based on "life experience". Ashwood University is not accredited by any recognised accreditation body. As such, its degrees may not be acceptable to employers or other institutions, and use of degree titles may be restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions.
Controversy and criticism
The website "onlinelearning101" lists Ashwood University among examples of
degree mills, and suggests that the name was selected because it "sounds like the very reputable Ashford University".cite web | title = Spotting Online Degree Mills and Diploma Mills| work = | url = http://www.onlinelearning101.com/online-degree-programs/accredited-degrees/spotting-mills.aspx | accessdate = 2007-05-24] Degree mills have been dubbed by John Bear, an ex-FBI consultant, as a "huge crime wave...and almost no one has noticed." [cite web | author = Bahur C | title = Diploma Mills - Fraud in Higher Education | work = | url = http://www.degreeinfo.com/article24_1.html | accessdate = 2007-05-24]
In an article in the Chicago Tribune it was reported, "Recently, I received approval for a series of bogus academic credentials, including a "Doctorate Degree in Medicine & Surgery" from a diploma mill called Ashwood University. All I have to do is persuade my editors to pay $699 "tuition," including a $75 surcharge guaranteeing me a 4.0 grade-point average." [http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-phony-degreesaug10,0,5358282.story PhD, the easy way] , By Russell Working,
Chicago Tribune, August 9 2008]
Oregon State Office of Degree Authorizationinforms that the state "has no evidence that this is an accredited or otherwise acceptable provider of postsecondary education meeting Oregon standards." [cite web | author = Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization | title =Unaccredited colleges| work = | url = http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/unaccredited.aspx | accessdate = 2007-05-24] The location of the organization's offices is not known with certainty; no address is given on the Web site or the whoisrecord; a 2003 Usenetposting [cite newsgroup | title = Re: Ashwood University | author = | date = 2003-09-03 | newsgroup = alt.education.distance | id = firstname.lastname@example.org | url = http://groups.google.com/group/alt.education.distance/msg/d6dee0b4ef8696b2?dmode=source | accessdate = 2007-05-24 ] indicated that the company is based in a California strip mall, but all diplomas are mailed from Pakistan.
Television producer Tom Kenny won an Ohio Valley Regional
Emmy Award(Service News Story - Consumer/Financial) in 2005 for his documentary on online diploma millsentitled, "Degrees of Deception". [cite journal | author = | title = Department of Communication Notes | journal = COFAC Collage (Western Illinois University) | year = 2006 | volume = 2 | issue = 1 | pages = p. 9 | url = http://www.wiu.edu/COFAC/newsletter/spring06.pdf| format = Dead link|date=May 2008 ] During his research for the documentary, Kenny bought a degree from Ashwood University; he chose a degree in aerospace engineering, a field he knew nothing about. The diploma he received had been sent from Pakistan.
In 2008, news media reported that the recipient of a doctorate degree from Ashwood University had resigned from her position with the
Tacoma, Washington, school districtamid an investigation into her use of that degree to obtain a promotion. School district officials said she had resigned due to personal issues. cite web | author = Debby Abe | title = Did educator’s doctorate come from 'diploma mill'? | work = The News Tribune (Tacoma)| url = http://dwb.thenewstribune.com/news/local/v-lite/story/6452187p-5748057c.html | accessdate = 2008-02-13] The local newspaper reported that Ashwood issued degrees based on "life experience".
An Australian satirical TV program,
The Chaser's War on Everything, claimed that they obtained an Ashwood University medical diploma for a dog named Sonny. The medical diploma, shown on the program, was issued a week after they paid 450 dollars.
The presenters claim that in the "life experience" part of the application for the diploma, they listed "has eaten out of hospital rubbish bin for 5 years (35 dog years) ... has significant proctology experience sniffing other dog's bums".
The academic transcript, reportedly given together with the diploma and shown on TV, listed that the dog got grades A in "Immunology", "Zoo Preceptorship" and "Medical Bacteriology" and an A- in "Oral Communication and Presentation Skills". [
YouTube: [http://youtube.com/watch?v=sJq8rqr4IcQ The Chasers War on Everything - Internet Degrees] ]
Speedy Degrees (speedydegrees.com), Ashwood University,
Belford University, Affordable Degrees (affordabledegrees.com), and Rochville Universityare operated by the same people. Other sources link speedydegrees.com to Ashwood University. [cite web | author = Oregon State Office of Degree Authorization | title = Office of Degree Authorization | work = | url = http://www.osac.state.or.us/oda/index.html | accessdate = 2007-05-24]
World Online Education Accrediting Commission(WOEAC), which lists this particular university as accredited is itself not recognized or accredited by the United States Department of Educationor the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
List of unaccredited institutions of higher learning
* [http://www.ashwooduniversity.net/ Official site]
* [http://www.wiu.edu/newsrelease.sphp?release_id=3683 Western Illinois University News report on Emmy award for "Degrees of Deception"]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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