School Employee Resigns After Degree Questioned

May 20, 2014

Providence school officials are reviewing the credentials of all non-union, non-certified personnel, after an employee was found to hold a bachelor’s degree from an unaccredited online university.

Nancy Stevenin was working with students from the Birch School, which was being shut down after a federal investigation revealed it was funneling developmentally disabled students into segregated, low paying workshops to do menial labor. Stevenin was helping transition students out of the program.

But when WJAR looked into Stevenin’s resume, the television station found it  listed a Bachelor’s Degree from Ashley University. Reporters say they were able to purchase a degree from Ashley within minutes over the telephone. The school is also not accredited by the Federal Department of Education.

Providence Superintendent of Schools Susan Lusi says Stevenin has stepped down, and she has ordered the district to check all future job applicants credentials more carefully. She has also ordered an audit of the credentials of other personnel currently on the school department's payroll.