Student journalists at a high school in Kansas conducted an investigation into their new principal over concerns about her credentials. The investigation led to that principal’s resignation.
The Pittsburg High School students looked into Amy Robertson shortly after she was hired in March, The Kansas City Star reported on Tuesday.
“She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials,” Trina Paul, an editor at the school newspaper told The Star.
During their research, the student journalists found some questionable information on Robertson’s resume – specifically a private school, Corllins University, from which Robertson claimed to have earned masters and doctorate degrees.
The students questioned the school’s accreditation, calling it a “diploma mill,” the Kansas City Star reported. Corllins University is not on the US Department of Education’s list of accredited postsecondary schools and a website for the institution contains multiple grammatical errors and links that lead to nowhere. A second website for Corllins University suggests the school has no physical address.
The US Department of Education confirmed the students’ report, The Star said, but added that it had no evidence that Corllins University was still in business.
Robertson told The Kansas City Star: “The current status of Corllins University is not relevant because when I received my MA in 1994 and my PhD in 2010, there was no issue.”
Pittsburgh High School journalism adviser Emily Smith said she was “very proud” of her students.
“They were not out to get anyone to resign or to get anyone fired. They worked very hard to uncover the truth.”