• September 2, 2015

Education Department's Online Resource Directory Listed Some Dubious Endeavors

The U.S. Department of Education publishes an online directory of organizations that can "provide information and assistance on a broad range of education-related topics." But how trustworthy is that directory?

A recent search of the Education Resource Organizations Directory revealed a number of organizations that might raise eyebrows. Among them was Victorville International University, whose Web site touts its "excellent reputation for graduating pristine domestic graduates who have gained success in their own industries alike."

Several telephone calls to Victorville, in California, all went to voice mail. Victorville is on the State of Oregon's list of "unaccredited degree suppliers."

Also listed was the American Association for Higher Education & Accreditation, which is not a recognized accreditation body. In an interview for a 2008 article in The Chronicle, an official with the association, D.A. (Doc) Brady, a hypnotherapist, called the rules for becoming an approved accreditor "retarded."

Both organizations were removed from the directory after they were brought to the Education Department's attention.

Also removed was California University FCE, which charges $100 for a service called "diploma equivalency." The certificates it issues look very much like real college diplomas.

Several such organizations, including Victorville International, have noted their inclusion in the Education Department's directory as evidence of their legitimacy.

Failing to properly vet who's on the list is a problem, according to George Gollin, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a diploma-mill watchdog. "It's naïve to create a resource that does not have some investigative capability to determine whom to include," he said.

Mr. Gollin did praise the department for culling those organizations from the list after being notified of their inclusion.

A spokesman for the department said that more than 2,900 organizations were in the directory and that an audit of the list was being conducted. The spokesman said the listings are submitted by the organizations themselves.


1. johnrodriguez - March 19, 2010 at 08:54 am

Thomas Bartlett,

Your statements on your article about Victorville International University are misleading the public. Victorville International University is in a real existence and answers their phone calls. You probably called when they were busy with prospective students or away from their desks. I was one time inquiring about Victorville International University; the follow-up discussions I had with them was very truthful and sincere. Victorville International University does not claim what it has not. The University was listed in the EROD website and so the stated such on their website. I do not understand where the University has misled itself.

I am still interested to attend Victorville International University because they maintain real office building, real staff members, and real faculty members. I have been in their office in Victorville myself.

You need also to understand that Victorville International University did state on its website that they were listed in EROD as education resource organization NOTHING ELSE. There are no additional claims the University was making.

There are many schools that are not yet accredited by agency recognized by the U.S Dept of Education, but that does not mean that they are not offering quality education. Victorville International University is still a new University that is walking on the right directions.

I just wanted to comment on your posting because I am a prospective student of Victorville International University.

Before we make any allegation against a school, it is important to be sure of what allegation we are making. It will be wise if you visit Victorville International University yourself to find out about them.

Thank you.


2. contreras - March 20, 2010 at 03:29 pm

I spoke last week with someone representing Victorville. He indicated that the school intended to request approval by my state, Oregon, after it was authorized by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary. Until it is authorized by the Bureau, it does not have degree-granting authority and any degrees it issues are not valid.

I was glad to hear that Victorville was going to apply for California authority, but until that approval is received, Victorville is not a degree-granting institution. There is no private right of degree issuance in the United States.

As for the Department of Education's various lists of schools and organizations, these have always been poorly managed, shoddy and unreliable. That is why we recommend using the list of accredited schools maintained by CHEA, which has in recent years done an excellent job of expanding its information service to the general public.

Alan Contreras
Administrator, Oregon Office of Degree Authorization

3. hollow - April 03, 2010 at 05:36 am

I am posting to clarify a few things that your article has misconstrued. I spoke with California University FCE today via (323) 464-5285, during which they clarified the followings. The Diploma Equivalency is only for Foreign accredited college graduates and American college graduates who need evaluation of their academic discipline. The Diploma Equivalency only applies to college graduates and it is recognized by the California Department of Education. The Diploma Equivalency is attached to the services listed below it, so in essence the lowest cost is $ 205.00 inclusive mailing. Students without College Degrees must undergo a rigorous academic evaluation process costing up to $ 2,000.00.

California University FCE explained to me that the U.S. Department of Education only deleted them for violating EROD policy on advertisement, which they are appealing through California State US Senators. California University FCE program is recognized by several Foreign and United States accredited Institutions. California University FCE is accredited by AAHEA and BBB.

4. hollow - April 07, 2010 at 07:30 am

I have taken extra time to investigate California University FCE during which I found the following.

California University FCE is registered with California Department of Higher Education as a Credential

Evaluation Institution. California University FCE is a member of several U.S. Department of

Education/CHEA recognized academic qualifying organizations. California University FCE has

successfully maintained an acceptable level of academic evaluations of studies for nearly ten


California University FCE evaluations of studies have been approved and are accepted by

the U.S. Government Office of Personnel Management. Moreover, California university FCE

evaluations of academic studies are accepted by the Bar Association for exams. California

University FCE has reciprocal recognition from so many academic qualify organizations

that it is inappropriate to label them a dubious endeavor.

5. cauniversity_cufce - April 07, 2010 at 03:41 pm

I find this article disrespectful of the true character our academic evaluation institution. Mentioning California University FCE in your article is an attempt to undermine its good reputation to the public by casting doubt about CUFCE credibility. Your remark of $100 equivalency diploma is libelous because the article suggests that we may be selling cheap diplomas to the public without having the applicant comply with the academic requirements of the accredited colleges and universities where they graduated.

This assumption is absurd because in nearly ten years of service to the public, CUFCE always maintained high academic standards. In fact most of our clients that applied for national or regional accreditation are now accredited U.S. colleges and universities. We assists U.S. state approved, but unaccredited colleges and universities evaluate and assess their academic curricula and academic programs that will be submitted with their application for national or regional accreditation. We adhere to the highest standard of excellence for credential evaluation in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education Guidelines, UNESCO legally binding instruments and other internationally established and other nationally or internationally established credential evaluation guidelines.

We help students, college staffs and academic institutions to receive their proper academic standing with the foreign Ministry of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Our staff attends conferences yearly for NAFSA, ACE, AIEA. AEA, EAIE and ABA to name a few. We do not award degrees, but issue evaluation reports with the diploma equivalency based upon our evaluation of the college accredited programs and courses attended by the applicant.

Dr. Nenita Valladolid
Executive Director

6. cauniversity_cufce - April 09, 2010 at 06:00 pm

California University FCE is a member of
The American Evaluation Association recommended
by the United States Department of Education as
evaluators for Educational Grant Programs.

Office of Postsecondary Education
Washington, DC 20006-8510


CFDA # 84.031A

www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/2008-031.doc - 2008-05-28 - Text Version

FIPSE Evaluation Resources: Finding a FIPSE Project Evaluator
www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/fipse/findprojevaluator.html - 51k - Cached

7. cauniversity_cufce - April 13, 2010 at 08:25 pm

California University FCE is a Credential Evaluation Institution registered with the California Department of Education. Key or Paste: California University 6550 Fountain ave Los Angeles, CA
into the search link, to receive listings of various programs under our name.

California Department of Education
1430 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

California University FCE participates in authentication of student and college grant programs. Moreover, California University FCE is registered with the State of California: Postsecondary Education Commission.

State of California: Postsecondary Education Commission
770 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814-3

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