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Army Warns to Avoid 'Diploma Mills'

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - The Army is warning Soldiers to avoid unaccredited colleges and universities that offer instant degrees supposedly based on military experience or training.

"The Army Human Resources Command is initiating an all-out campaign to warn Soldiers about these educational establishments and to work with Army educators and personnelists to ensure Soldiers are not enticed by unscrupulous vendors to purchase these fraudulent documents," said a message sent to all Army activities earlier this month.

"Soldiers who knowingly purchase one of these documents from a 'diploma mill' and attempt to have it placed in their official military personnel file for purposes of promotion (or) assignment consideration or other military reasons are perpetrating a crime, which may be punishable under the (Uniform Code of Military Justice)," the ALARACT message said.

"Diploma mills" are schools that offer certificates, degrees and diplomas for a fee. They are not accredited or recognized by the Department of Education, the message said. Army tuition assistance is not approved for these schools, promotion points are not authorized and the credential will not be posted to official military records, the message added.

The message also listed resources educators, personnel specialists and Soldiers can check to see if a school is accredited. The Web site www.goarmyed.com lists all accredited institutions used by Soldiers to obtain degrees. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation Web site, www.chea.org, lists all colleges and universities that are nationally and regionally accredited. The American Council on Education also publishes a book and CD, "Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education."

The Department of Education maintains a database of accredited postsecondary education institutions and programs.

For more information on accredited educational opportunities, visit the Army Education Center at 120 Dickman Ave.

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