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Degree and Diploma Mills

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There has been a sharp rise in fake degrees. A search on the Internet reveals sites that offer university degrees for pre-existing knowledge. Just fill out a form, send some money, and within fourteen days you can have a Bachelor's, Master's, or even Doctorate degree. Some places require a minimal amount of academic work, but this is often substandard when compared to a real degree and years of study. These places are called "degree mills."

Then there are "diploma mills." These places offer bogus degrees from real universities. With improved computer technology and printing services, it has become relatively easy to mass produce a seemingly authentic diploma from top schools like Harvard, Cambridge, or Melbourne. There are degrees from less prestigious academic institutions available too. These companies are fraudulent, harmful to real business, and must be stopped.


Preview the lesson material:

Warm Up: Discuss the question with your partner for five minutes.

  1. How important is a university degree? Why do you think so?

Comprehension Questions: Answer the questions before/after your read the article.

  1. What is the best meaning of a degree mill?
               a. a company that prints degrees for universities
               b. an Internet site that gives credit for information
               c. a company where just about anyone can get a university degree
               d. a company that awards a degree after years of study
  2. What is the best meaning of a diploma mill?
               a. a company that helps people graduate from top schools
               b. a company that produces fake degrees from real universities
               c. a printing company
               d. a diploma mill and a degree mill have more or less the same meaning

Discuss: Discuss these questions with a partner. Remember to support your answers.

  1. What do you think of "degree mills" and "diploma mills?" Please explain.
  2. Do you agree with the author's conclusion? Why/not?
  3. Would you ever consider going to a degree or diploma mill? What if it meant a better job?

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