Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
Private investigators and Internet researchers may have to look beyond public records and personal information databases to develop profiles of students. Student directories, which can list a student’s full name, email, field of study, address and year of graduation, confirm attendance and suggest other research avenues.
I searched a name at a search engine that returned the student’s Facebook link. Her Facebook page had limited information available, but the public profile stated she was a student at Hofstra University, graduating in 2009. Search the Hofstra student directory by partial first or last name to confirm enrollment and to go to the student’s personal Web page, if she has one. The school also has a Student E-Mail Locator, searchable by partial first or last name. This can be a useful tool to confirm that your subject is enrolled in a particular college. The site doesn’t release the email address, but it will forward your email to the student so she can choose whether to contact you.
Not everyone has a Facebook or MySpace page, so don’t stop there when you’re looking for Web pages for a student. Hofstra also hosts student personal Web pages, but you wouldn’t find this one indexed in a major search engine, only through a student directory name search at the Hofstra site. When you’re locked out of one site, look elsewhere. You may get lucky and find your student here. Remember, not all Web pages are going to be found through a search at Google or Yahoo! Build on the personal data you collect to shape the keywords you use in searching and the sites you go to.
Looking for other student directories? If you don’t find it at the school site, or you’re looking more broadly, here’s one search query example.
Was “Student Directories for People Finder Searches” helpful?
While some people may endeavor to scrub their online reputation, most people aren’t concerned about personal information on the Internet. Investigators make use of formally and unintentional, detrimental and laudatory personal information that’s posted online to check the background of witnesses, jurors, plaintiffs, defendants, insurance claimants, potential business associates or employees and anyone whose reputation and activities must be known. That’s a deep pool, and the Internet can offer a lot that isn’t otherwise easily accessible.
Government agencies that regulate professional licenses are increasingly putting violations by licensees on their Web sites. But don’t overlook private associations of professionals that discipline their members, because they may have descriptions of alleged wrongdoing that go beyond that on the government Web site. Take a look at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) disciplinary action for a David J. Burton (use your “find” tool). Now look at the State of Illinois, Division of Professional Regulation entry. He was charged with a violation of the code of ethics of AICPA, but the government site doesn’t have a record of this.
Generally, you find citations and enforcement actions at the Web site of the agency that regulates the specific profession. Select the profession in the drop-down menu at the Colorado State site for a list of license violations. This is a badly designed site, without a search by name mechanism. I have the same complaint about the North Carolina Real Estate Commission disciplinary actions, but those can be uncovered with a search engine query.
Here are some other government sites listing professional license disciplinary actions:
California Chiropractic Examiners (Search names in all disciplinary reports with a search engine query.)
California Court Reporters
California Physical Therapy Board, Citations and Disciplinary Actions
Ohio State Board of Emergency Medical Services, Disciplinary Actions (Search at Google example: kavanaugh intitle:”disciplinary actions” site:ems.ohio.gov/)
Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy
Ohio Accountancy Board Disciplinary Hearings
Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Standards and Practices Commission
Vermont Department of Education
Do you have a favorite site of professional license disciplinary actions?
Find accrediting agencies and accredited institutions of higher learning at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education Web site. Search by region, state, school, accrediting agency, institution, address or city. The list of search results includes address, phone number, Web site, name of accrediting institution and original date of accreditation.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation charts accrediting organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education. Search the CHEA database for accredited schools by name, state or accrediting institution.
Individual states also record unaccredited institutions. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs lists unaccredited degree granting institutions which have civil enforcement lawsuits in Hawaii, with links to the Complaints and Judgments.
Schools that once participated in the federal student aid program but have since closed can be searched by name, city or state.
State agencies that regulate postsecondary private schools may assist with finding the records of closed schools.
Read more about agencies granting diplomas which are either fraudulent or fail to meet established standards:
Avoid Fake-Degree Burns By Researching Academic Credentials
The U.S. Department of Education Web site provides links to each state’s Department of Education, and to private sites that have education related tools. Locate school names and addresses at the Standard and Poors site, SchoolMatters. Search by school or district name, city, state or zip code.
Some state Department of Education Web sites include a personnel directory. The New Mexico directory, which can be downloaded, lists schools and districts alphabetically.
The Michigan Department of Education has a Teacher Certification Verification database.
Find a private or public school, college or library at the National Center for Education Statistics, searching by name of school, city or zip code. Add a radius range of 1 to 50 miles to get other area institutions.