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Cat awarded online high school diploma

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A cat belonging to a US and Canada Better Business Bureau exec has been granted a high school diploma.

Yes, it's an online high school. According to a report by msnbc.com, the two-year-old feline graduated from Jefferson High School Online (JHSO), an institution so confident in its pedagogical perfection that it offers a money-back guarantee.

Oreo is the cat's name, and she lives in Macon, Georgia. All Oreo needed to do to earn her ersatz sheepskin was answer 14 questions to determine her "elective and life experience credits" - including questions about her level of physical activity and her favorite musical genre - then take an online quiz, which she did with the help of her favorite human, Kelvin Collins, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia.

Oh, and there's the $199 fee.

JHSO doesn't ask much from its students. In the Accounting category of the life-experience questions, for example, a drop-down menu lists "Basic" as a skill level below "Balance Check Book." What, we must ask, could be a more-basic accounting skill than balancing a checkbook? Sharpening a pencil, perchance?

The quiz includes a series of multiple-choice questions - but unlike any test you ever took in school, this one includes a "JHSO Test Wizard" that offers hints should you answer any of the exceedingly simple questions incorrectly.

Each question offer four possible answers, and you have four tries - with hints - to get each of them correct. Should that prove too challenging, the instructions soothingly remind you that "There is no specific time limit but remember that you are online and many things can occur during the time it takes you to complete the test."

Many things, indeed, such as deciphering how a hint such as "Don' [sic] get gassy!" relates to a simple chemistry question. Well, possibly even high school chemistry is tough if you're a kitty like Oreo.

Should you have any questions about the value of a diploma from JHSO, an 850-word essay explains the value of accreditation. but buried near the end of its high-minded verbiage is the admission that "In an effort to keep program cost down and the current motivational based format of JHSO, JHSO has not sought nor been approved by the US DOE, CHEA or DETC organizations and does not represent itself to be an 'Accredited' program of any of these organizations."

And although the achievement of a JHSO diploma, according to the website, "can be used to advance in life and gain proof of your accomplishments," the JHSO administration notes that "each individual employer and institution are [sic] unique and you should check with them prior to completing this program to make sure they will accept it’s [sic] motivational and achievement basis."

We can only assume that Oreo - even with the smarts to achieve a high school diploma - isn't sophisticated enough to perceive the irony of the company behind JHSO, MMDS Ltd, being located in the Carribean island of St. Kitts.

But Oreo paid too much for her diploma. Another MMDS Ltd diploma mill, Vencer High School Online (VHSO), offers the exact same service for a mere $174.

Oreo could have saved twenty-five bucks. Dumb cat. ®

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