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Old 03-03-2016, 02:18 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,832 times
Reputation: 10

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Sorry if this gets long.

Am in the process of an employment background check for a Fortune 500 company. I'm perfect for the role and I'm ready to go!

My story:

In 1995 I graduated from a Technical Computer School (before they turned out to be scams) with a CERTIFICATE in Programming/Networking. I accelerated through the curriculum and graduated with flying colors. So much so, that they hired me to teach the day I graduated! The school was accredited and offered an ASSOCIATES degree. So, my programming CERT + the other CERTS offered (computer technician, desktop publishing, etc...) all made up to get the ASSOCIATES degree.

But, I only had the Programming/Networking CERTIFICATE at this point.

So I was hired as a teacher and one of the conditions was that I would complete the rest of the certifications so I could teach them. Makes perfect sense. I was no longer enrolled as a student, but was an employee but they offered the rest of the courses for free. Who at 25 years old would pass that up?

So I taught at night and continued the school (on their dime) during the day. Took me a few more months but tested out of all the certification programs and Graduated! Got a nice computer print out with my ASSOCIATE'S in COMPUTER PROGRAMMING and we had cake and the other instructors took me out for beers afterwards.

Again, this school was accredited.

Fast forward 20+ years. My resume has ALWAYS listed ASSOCIATES of COMPUTER SCIENCE from xxx. I earned it. The paperwork was lost years ago either between many moves or in our document flood a decade ago. I've never really thought anything of it. Never been asked about it. Always told my proud story in interviews when asked how I got into the business.

Obviously, said school is LONG out of business but when I needed to find my education dates of enrollment, I was able to call a random school in Texas who was the last listed "buyer" of my old school. They actually had me in their database and were able to provide accurate enrollment and graduation dates (FOR MY ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING CERTIFICATE).

I didn't want to embellish on my background check info so I listed the dates I attended as a student and listed CERTIFICATE in the degree section. All 100% true.

However. My resume lists me as having an ASSOCIATES DEGREE which is also 100% true but there doesn't appear to be any record of it. I have no idea what the school/company did with it. I guess I've always assumed it at least went in my employment folder but they were shut down or sold years ago. I don't think it ever was recorded anywhere official (not sure where that would be anyway) and like I said, I was an employee back then, not a student.

I just don't know if this is going to get flagged or what I should do about it if/when it does. I guess I never really put a lot of weight behind a Vocational Associate's Degree but I did earn it. Again, 20+ years, I've never been asked for it and it never really was more than a line on my resume to me.

UGH.

Thanks for listening and your advice if you actually got this far.
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:55 PM
 
9,778 posts, read 16,962,550 times
Reputation: 18389
Your defunct school was accredited by what accrediting agency? ITT Tech is accredited too, but it is not accredited by anyone that matters as far as college degrees go.

Education is verified through transcripts. If you don't have those, you are screwed. Can you track down the old department chair or anyone who can send you a notarized letter stating that you worked for them and graduated with a degree?

In my experience, a lot of places don't go through the effort of verifying formal education.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,832 times
Reputation: 10
I am not sure what you mean, sorry.

The school was accredited insofar as I attended via a GI Bill. So I'm former Military and the Government paid for it (whatever that accreditation entails). It was a legit school at the time.

As I mentioned, this was back in the 90's. Honestly, I suspect most of the owenship/management are probably dead by now.

They should be able to verify my employment with them if they want to go back that far. Again, I "GRADUATED" as a student with a CERTIFICATE but obtained my ASSOCIATES while working for them to be able to teach the classes.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:01 PM
 
9,778 posts, read 16,962,550 times
Reputation: 18389
The GI Bill will pay for a lot of things, all of which are "legit." Being legit does not mean they are "real" colleges, nor does "college" or "university" in a name mean that the institution is accredited by a regional body that accredits institutions of higher education. The place you got your degree from could have been accredited as a trade school -- not regionally or nationally accredited as an institution of higher education -- which means that you do not have a college degree but, rather, have a trade school cert that was packaged as a degree. Google your former school, as well as the school that bought them, and see what you can find out about their respective accreditation.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:59 PM
 
3,758 posts, read 10,629,747 times
Reputation: 6685
Quote:
Originally Posted by shouldIworry View Post
I am not sure what you mean, sorry.

The school was accredited insofar as I attended via a GI Bill. So I'm former Military and the Government paid for it (whatever that accreditation entails). It was a legit school at the time.

As I mentioned, this was back in the 90's. Honestly, I suspect most of the owenship/management are probably dead by now.

They should be able to verify my employment with them if they want to go back that far. Again, I "GRADUATED" as a student with a CERTIFICATE but obtained my ASSOCIATES while working for them to be able to teach the classes.
So, it doesn't matter if you attended class as a paying "student", or as a non-paying scholarship person, or as a staff member working on futher education.

No matter what, if it was a real college/university, they would have listed your dates of attendance (When your registered to sign up for classes) and your completion of the classes, and the date you matriculated (graduated).

It's entirely possible you don't really have a degree. Which isn't that big of a deal - you have the experience, you have the education that got you the experience - unless of course someone tries to verify your resume and accuses you of lying, or if a potential employer has an employment policy that all workers have to possess at least a 2 year degree. In those cases, you could be looked at unfavorably.

I'd try to find some record of your own of your degree. My degrees live in a specific location for that very purpose, just in case someone needs "proof".
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Old 03-11-2016, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Georgetown, TX and The World
455 posts, read 1,193,123 times
Reputation: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by shouldIworry View Post
I am not sure what you mean, sorry.

The school was accredited insofar as I attended via a GI Bill. So I'm former Military and the Government paid for it (whatever that accreditation entails). It was a legit school at the time.

As I mentioned, this was back in the 90's. Honestly, I suspect most of the owenship/management are probably dead by now.

They should be able to verify my employment with them if they want to go back that far. Again, I "GRADUATED" as a student with a CERTIFICATE but obtained my ASSOCIATES while working for them to be able to teach the classes.


Sounds like a tech school that might not have been accredited at all. If it was accredited what was the agencies name? The GI Bill will pay for anything edu related. I can take a CompTIA A+ course and the old GI Bill would of paid for it. CompTIA isn't accredited at all it's just a IT cert vendor. If you could let us know the name of the school and the dates you attended the whole accreditation thing can be cleared up in a few minutes. That being said if it was a real school NA or RA the accrediting body should know where your transcripts are. It's normal to have a plan to transfer old records to other schools in the same agency if said school closes. Now if its a fake school and it sounds like it is since you are being very cagey about giving up info. I would take your fake degree off your resume and file going to the school as a bad life mistake.
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Old 03-11-2016, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Georgetown, TX and The World
455 posts, read 1,193,123 times
Reputation: 418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
So, it doesn't matter if you attended class as a paying "student", or as a non-paying scholarship person, or as a staff member working on futher education.

No matter what, if it was a real college/university, they would have listed your dates of attendance (When your registered to sign up for classes) and your completion of the classes, and the date you matriculated (graduated).

It's entirely possible you don't really have a degree. Which isn't that big of a deal - you have the experience, you have the education that got you the experience - unless of course someone tries to verify your resume and accuses you of lying, or if a potential employer has an employment policy that all workers have to possess at least a 2 year degree. In those cases, you could be looked at unfavorably.

I'd try to find some record of your own of your degree. My degrees live in a specific location for that very purpose, just in case someone needs "proof".


My degrees, transcripts and official transcripts live in the cloud and also a lock box for the hard copies. My degree's can be verified by clearinghouse but just in case everything burns up in a fired and the cloud explodes. When I graduated I always requested two diplomas be made for me for redundancy purposes. I've heard too many stories of folks losing diploma's and having a hard time getting a new one in time to verify employment to just get one. Could be OCD but doing all this makes me feel secure knowing I'm covered.
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:58 PM
 
1,368 posts, read 1,111,023 times
Reputation: 2186
My degrees have always been verified during the background check. So lets call a thing a thing; school is defunct and there is no record of a degree. It is what it is. Hopefully, your new employer won't verify all of this stuff but as long as you can produce copies of your certificate you should be good. Take the AA off your resume.
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