Denver7 finds mistakes on diploma Eric Nelson claims is from Northwest Nazarene University

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 00:24:58-04

An Aurora School Board member running for state office is fighting accusations that he made false claims about his education. 

Democratic candidate Eric Nelson is running for State Representative in Aurora's District 42, which is being vacated by State Rep. Rhonda Fields as she runs for State Senate.

However, based on the information obtained by Denver7, Democrats are calling on Nelson to stop running for office and are urging people to support his opponent.

MORE | Aurora House candidate Eric Nelson once deemed 'not competent, trustworthy, of good moral character'

Nelson's campaign website and his Aurora School Board biography notes that he earned "a Master of Social Work from Northwest Nazarene University." Denver7 contacted the school, which had no record of Nelson.

On Wednesday, Denver7 Reporter Marshall Zelinger confirmed that Nelson sent a copy of his diploma via text message to the The Aurora Sentinel and The Colorado Statesman.

(PHOTO: The Aurora Sentinel)

Zelinger noted multiple problems with the diploma.


  1. The crest at the bottom middle is misspelled. (It says "Notthwest.")
  2. School officials stated that they offer a "Master of Social Work" but not a "Master of Science."
  3. The social work degree has only been around since 2002, but the diploma states 1999.
  4. Magna Cum Laude is a designation for undergraduates.
  5. The cursive paragraphs reference "Glassboro College" in "Glassboro, New Jersey." Glassboro was a school until 1992 when its name was changed to Rowan College of New Jersey.
  6. He would have been 20 years old in May of 1999.

There are also questions about his education at the University of Colorado-Denver.

"He also sent me two email to show as proof of his teaching at University of Colorado Denver, which has no record of him," Zelinger stated.

One was a recommendation letter from an assistant professor in the Ethnic Studies Department, who said Nelson "has been employed in various teaching-related positions and was readily available when called upon."

The other was an email from the University in November 2014 entitled, "Welcome to the University of Colorado Denver," with a user account for the school's portal.

The University of Colorado Denver is checking once again, but still cannot find proof that he taught there, as stated in his bio for Aurora School Board and his campaign site for State Representative.