Diploma Mill or Accreditation Mill?? Pretty much the same. For the Diploma Mill, the person pays for a fake college degree in order to pretend that some course of instruction was completed, even though nothing was learned. For the Accreditation Mill, the students nearly bankrupts themselves pursuing an undergraduate degree that these days is largely worthless and irrelevant.
Whole internet referring sites have been set up by the so-called accredited institutions , and while pretending to be giving students valuable independent guidance on college selection, are in fact nothing but shills for specific accredited institutions.
Accreditation only came into major prominence starting in 1972 when accreditation and federal student aid were linked with the Higher Education Act, coupling accreditation with significant amounts of new federal student aid. Access to federal student aid became conditioned on approval from the “new gatekeepers: the accreditors.” Shortly after the passage of the 1972 HEA bill, it was estimated that less than 15 percent of proprietary institutions were accredited. Today, nearly all proprietary as well as all public and not-for-profit private institutions are accredited. [Source: Center for College Affordability and Productivity 2010, p. 196 Accreditation History ]
If you learn about how wealthy and successful people became such, you will never hear anyone say or report that it was because of their “accredited education” !!! And we all know the stories of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
For a more in depth discussion of the “Accreditation Mill”, the article by the Heritage Foundation is instructive: Heritage Foundation Accreditation
Contrary to the touted importance of “accredited education”, in France and much of Europe, one can obtain a doctorate degree (in fact any level degree) based on work experience alone, with the required time of work experience being 3 years [as reported in Wikipedia discussing VAE degrees: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validation_des_Acquis_de_l%27Experience ] While this process is the Law of the Land in Europe, it is considered “fake” in the US.
Blue Marble University is part of the rapidly developing parallel education system in which accreditation does not matter. Rather, competency is what is important. It is what you know, not whether you attended an accredited program. We are helping to sew the new fabric of education, sometimes referred to as “alternative education”, sometimes, “non-traditional education”.
So if you want an accredited undergraduate degree from an “accreditation mill” that will most likely take you 5 years to obtain (because “that required course is full”) and cost you a big fat student loan, go for it. Or you might consider one of our many affordable 5 year BS/MD, BS/PhD, or BA/PhD online programs in science and the humanities, or even our 4 year online BA/JD. Which do you really think is more valuable….
But in the end, rock solid education is achieved through a self-learning experience…and that’s what Blue Marble University offers. Affordable and relevant self-learning online degree programs.
And we are not alone in our thinking. Take for example these two world class educators:
Gideon Burton, who famously wrote that your Online Portfolio is more important than a college degree: “The credentialing system of college will ultimately prove less important than whether you use your college years to generate a body of visible and durable online work, openly accessible to the world, shouting who you are louder than any “graduated with honors” certification on a transcript one must pay to see.”
Gideon Burton Academic Evolution
We follow Dr. Gideon’s advice by requiring all undergraduate students in our combination Bachelor/Doctoral degree programs to construct an online portfolio of academic work and achievements.
And Daniel Christian who wrote that Accreditation is like a big stone in stream that people, being the water, are just going around: “If the accreditation bodies don’t respond to the growing suspicion towards them — and towards higher education as a whole — it will be like water going around a rock in a stream. People will flow right by them — whether the government assumes control or not.” [Source: http://danielschristian.com/learning-ecosystems/2011/05/13/reflections-on-fixing-accreditation-from-the-inside/ ]
At Blue Marble University, we are not concerned with accreditation. That is so “old school”. We present novel, unique, and exciting programs—-all online—-all so affordable you don’t need any student loans. We are helping to write the book on Distance Education…and we know it well.
Homeschoolers and Non-Traditional Applicants Welcome.
[This essay by Walter P. Drake, Director, Blue Marble University (October 2015), who also notes that he helped to create and develop Blue Marble University for his own family to become educated, and will be very proud for his son, now 10, to attend in the future.]