I believe I just found out why my job hunt is taking so long. Potential employers think I am fudging my educational credentials — and though they are meager regardless (an Associates in Computer Information Systems), the misunderstanding throws doubt on the whole of my resume.
The only reason I discovered the issue is that when applying to (finally) work toward a Bachelor’s degree, my transcript was discarded because, in the words of the CSA patiently leading me through the process, my old school, ‘Ambassador University’, was listed as a ‘diploma mill‘.
My eyeballs almost exploded.
Now, anyone who attended those two-and-a-half years with me will tell you that I was not the greatest student, that I didn’t have my personal act together, and that those two claims to infamy were likely responsible for each other in a yin-yang sort of way. But I did manage to escape with a degree, and with a GPA that wasn’t the worst among my cronies. And I was eventually able to parlay that brief collegiate experience into a career history that I am very proud of — with the help of some very good role models in my industry.
Fast-forward 20 years, and there is a new ‘institution’ that is clouding up the Google searches, should anyone want to investigate my alma mater.
The web addresses http://www.ambassador.fm (registered in 1999), http://www.ambassador-university.com (2005) and http://www.ambassador-edu.org (2008) point to ‘Ambassador University Corporation‘ — which by all accounts (including their own slimy web presence) is indeed a ‘diploma mill’.
For the record, I did not purchase my diploma from ‘Ambassador University Corporation’, somewhere in the Middle East.
I attended ‘Ambassador University’ in Big Sandy, Texas!
Ambassador College, later renamed Ambassador University ( http://www.ambassador.edu), had been operated by the Worldwide Church of God ( http://www.WCG.org ), now Grace Communion International ( http://www.gci.org ), between 1947 and 1997.
After working under state-only certifications for many years, Ambassador University was accredited in 1994 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools ( http://sacscoc.org/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Association_of_Colleges_and_Schools ).
Unfortunately, the school closed its doors just several years later, due to financial problems rooted in a doctrinal shift among WCG’s teachings. (originally http://www.wcg.org/wn/97/97Jan21/press.htm , Google archive at http://web.archive.org/web/20070615154354/http://www.wcg.org/wn/97/97Jan21/press.htm , PDF of article at Ambassador_University_to_close_in_May_(press_release).pdf
A detailed account of this very-real but now-missing educational institution can be found by anyone curious enough at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambassador_University
I also learned that the CHEA database ( http://www.chea.org/ ) does not list Ambassador as having been accredited, or even that it ever existed (though I was unable to locate in this or any other database where a listing might show *formerly* accredited institutions).
Next week, I’ll try to explain all of this to the Registrar at Liberty.edu — and to several potential employers I have been shopping.
It’s even harder to explain the justice of this to my kids, who would simply like to trust that their Daddy can bring home enough money to pay for the Mac-N-Cheese, and renew the Netflix subscription.
Bogus Institutions and Accrediting Bodies’ by Peggy Bell Hendrickson