Degree and accreditation mills mislead and harm. In the U.S., degrees and certificates from mills may not be acknowledged by other institutions when students seek to transfer or go to graduate school. Employers may not acknowledge degrees and certificates from degree or diploma mills when providing tuition assistance for continuing education. "Accreditation" from an accreditation mill can mislead students and the public about the quality of an institution. In the presence of degree, diploma and accreditation mills, students may spend a good deal of money and receive neither an education nor a useable credential.
In order for a respiratory care program to receive accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) , it must withstand a formal, structured and comprehensive review of the details of its operations and be deemed in compliance with standards and expectations by a team of experienced evaluators. The multi-month peer-review process culminates with a substantial discussion and analysis by an elected and appointed accrediting Board of Commissioners, comprised of members of the public and member institutions. Only programs that have withstood that level of scrutiny and review are granted accreditation by CoARC and can be deemed “accredited.” There is no short-cut to accreditation nor is it permanent; the certification of quality and integrity is the responsibility of CoARC and may be withdrawn, suspended or revoked at any time for appropriate reasons. All programs must re-apply for accreditation on a regular basis and undergo the same type of review.
Programs and institutions that have not successfully withstood this level of review and scrutiny may fall under the category of “degree mills;” the U.S. Department of Education (www.ed.gov) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (www.chea.org) have more detail and definitions about “degree mills” on their websites.
You may also encounter "accreditation mills" − providers of accreditation and quality assurance or operations that offer a certification of quality of programs or institutions that is considered bogus. Not all accrediting agencies are created equally. Like the process utilized by bona fide accrediting organizations to certify the educational quality of colleges and schools, the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) and other bona fide accreditors are subject to standards, expectations and practices applied by third-party peers who are knowledgeable about the discipline of accreditation.
The Department (www.ed.gov) and CHEA (www.CHEA.org) have more detail and definitions about “accreditation mills” on their websites.
Video about Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills
If you suspect a degree mill or accreditation mill is providing respiratory care education, please contact the CoARC Executive Office at (817) 283-2835 ext. 101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.