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  • Writer's pictureDr.Orlando Short

Paper Mill

How can I determine if an accrediting organization may be a mill?

If the answers to many of the following questions are “yes,” the accrediting organization under consideration may be a “mill”:

  • Does the operation allow accredited status to be purchased?

  • Does the operation publish lists of institutions or programs they claim to have accredited without those institutions and programs knowing that they are listed or have been accredited?

  • Does the operation claim that it is recognized (by, e.g., USDE or CHEA) or CFI when it is not?

  • Are few if any standards for quality published by the operation?

  • Is a very short period of time required to achieve accredited status?

  • Are accreditation reviews routinely confined to submitting documents and do not include site visits or interviews of key personnel by the accrediting organization?

  • Is “permanent” accreditation granted without any requirement for subsequent periodic review, either by an external body or by the organization itself?

  • Does the operation use organizational names similar to recognized accrediting organizations?

  • Does the operation make claims in its publications for which there is no evidence?

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