Analytic Quality Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-17, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2017.

 

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Accreditation mill


core definition

An organisation that awards accreditation to institutions or agencies for money without requiring the institution or agency to meet appropriate quality standards, lacking any review of activity and without any requirement for subsequent periodic review.


explanatory context

Accreditation mills uaully provide accreditation to institutions for programmes without the usual quality processes. In some cases accreditation mills offer accreditation for the whole institution or even accreditation of an agency that itself accredits institutions.

CHEA have a section on their site about accreditation mills see http://www.chea.org/degreemills/default.htm.


analytical review

Wikipedia (2011) states:

An accreditation mill is an organization that awards educational accreditation to higher education institutions without having government authority or recognition from mainstream academia to operate as an accreditor. Implicit in the terminology is the assumption that the "mill" has low standards (or no standards) for such accreditation. Accreditation mills are much like diploma mills, and in many cases are closely associated with diploma mills. The "accreditation" they supply has no legal or academic value, but is used in diploma mill marketing to help attract students (Reference: Luca Lantero, Degree Mills: non-accredited and irregular higher education institutions, Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence (CIMEA), Italy)

Wikipedia accessed December 2016 states:

An accreditation mill is an organization that purports to award educational accreditation to higher education institutions without having government authority or recognition from mainstream academia to operate as an accreditor. Implicit in the terminology is the assumption that the "mill" has low standards (or no standards) for such accreditation. Accreditation mills are much like diploma mills, and in many cases are closely associated with diploma mills. The "accreditation" they supply has no legal or academic value, but is used in diploma mill marketing to help attract students.

Cohen and Winch (2010, p. 4) describe accreditation mills as:

An accreditation mill is a bogus accrediting agency that is not recognised by the authority responsible for governing education provision in its country of operation. They offer accreditation for a fee and will carry out little or no investigation into the quality of education provided by the institutions they claim to accredit. They often choose names similar to recognised accrediting agencies, and will even falsely add recognised schools to their lists of accredited members (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Accreditation mills are sometimes found to be located at the same address as a school they claim to accredit, or they may hide their location to make it more difficult to establish their legitimacy.


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

accreditation

diploma mill

institutional accreditation

programme accreditation

regional accreditation

specialist accreditation

accreditation status

re-accreditation

accreditation survey

accreditation portfolio

accreditation body


Sources

Cohen E.B and Winch, R., (2010), Diploma and accreditation mills: Exposing academic credential abuse, Verifile Limited, 20 January 2010, available at http://www.international.ac.uk/resources/Diploma%20and%20Accreditation%20Mills.pdf accessed 20 September 2012, page not available 30 December 2016.

Council For Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) 2010, Important Questions About Accreditation, Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills, http://www.chea.org/degreemills/default.htm, last modified 24 May 2010, accessed 20 September 2012, updated 30 November 2015, still available 30 December 2016.

Wikipedia, 2011, Accreditation mill, available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accreditation_mill accessed February 2011, this definition is likely to change. Page updated 13 November 2016, accessed 30 December 2016.


 Thanks to Renea H. Eshleman for correcting earlier definition of accreditation mill


copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2017



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