Northcentral University

Review Averages: 5.9 out of 10 (283 reviews)
Ranking: #59

Northcentral University in Arizona is a regionally accredited online school featuring distance learning degrees in business, education, and psychology. Its rigorous business school is recognized by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Northcentral students study at individualized paces and receive personalized guidance from faculty mentors when needed.

Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
For-Profit: Yes
Country: USA

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
NCU Ph.D. program is great for serious self-learners
PhD in Business Administration - September 18, 2017
I recently completed my Ph.D. in Business Administration with specialization in Healthcare Administration. NCU offered exactly what I wanted in a school: a completely online program that did not force me into a residency requirement (because my job would not allow an opportunity to stay in one location long enough to complete a doctoral degree); a regionally accredited school with a regionally accredited business program; and a relevant degree track. Over the years, I have read the comments about NCU on here and intentionally decided to wait until graduating to provide my own opinion as someone who successfully completed a doctoral degree. NCU is good school. You will not be successful in the Ph.D. program if you are not a competent self-starter who actively participates in your own completion of all academic requirements during the courses. The comprehensive exam at the end of your academic courses is not a joke. You must articulate your ability to think and communicate at a doctoral level in order to pass the exam (as is expected in any worthwhile school). The dissertation process is equally as arduous--but for a good reason. You are providing new knowledge to the area of research you chose to conduct your dissertation on. The academic rigor and scientific method are upheld by your committee members, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the academic reviewer who all provide input and direction into your research/dissertation. In the end, I would not want to compromise the quality of my dissertation simply for the sake of obtaining a degree. Likewise, the reputation of the instructors and dissertation committee members are reflected in the quality of a Ph.D. candidate's dissertation efforts. They are all professors at other universities and/or leaders in their respective professional areas of expertise. The teachers (or mentors as they are called) are all doctorate-level instructors--unlike some of the brick and mortar schools that only require Masters-level degrees. Some mentors are excellent and others are not that effective (just like any other school regardless of prestige). The biggest misconception that many new doctoral students tend to make is that they assume everything should be directed and specified in the smallest detail to them-- that is not the point of post-graduate degrees (especially a Ph.D.). You are expected to begin performing as an independent, self-motivated researcher who has the potential to be considered an expert in a particular field of study by the time you graduate. As such, NCU's Ph.D. program provides that opportunity for professional and personal self-development for serious students who also possess the requisite skills to begin and complete such a demanding degree program. NCU is not a "degree mill" whatsoever. The faculty expect a student to perform to the standards that are established in writing. Also, Ph.D. students are only as successful as the effort they make to read, read, read... and read some more on their area of study. This takes practice and it takes dedication over the years you will sacrifice to complete your doctoral degree. My Ph.D. program took me 5 years to complete. It was not easy. It was often very frustrating and I was exhausted weeks and months at a time from the relentless school work; revising of papers, demands of working through every single holiday and weekend without a break, and sacrificing personal time that I could be enjoying with family and friends in order to achieve this goal. But a Ph.D. is never supposed to be easy. You can never fully prepare yourself for the challenges of a doctoral degree. However, I am very proud to say that NCU offered a viable, relevant Ph.D. program that met my expectation as a legitimate degree-producing university. The future is in online classes-- those who make short-sighted comments about the perceived worthiness of a virtual university need to consider the significant shift in how academic programs are being redesigned for those who grew up in a world of quickly-changing technology. I highly recommend NCU for those who are capable and willing to fulfill all the obligations necessary for a doctoral degree. You will not be disappointed (regardless of the numerous frustrations you might face along the way) as you successfully defend your dissertation and your committee members say, “Congratulations, Doctor...”

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
ADA compliance is very much lacking
PhD in Business Administration - June 27, 2017
Have not graduated yet. Reached dissertation phase and am two years into the dissertation. The predissertation classes prepare you and several times a year require that dissertation related prep work be turned in. This includes extensive bibliographies, annotated biblio and essays/term papers related to the dissertation. When Pre-diss was completed, the rules changed and annotated biblio requirement was dropped. Several changes in how to engage in, write, report, assess you work for plagiarism, and hand in your work changed. The grading methods changed twice requiring everything be resubmitted and reworked from scratch. Then the rules for PHD committee changed, from your Chair assessing you most of the way, to all three committee members assess your work. After one year, the second year of the dissertation, my work went back to the need to redo from chapter 1, due to another program admin change and submission of proof of work change. The improvements requested went in circles, and kept changing for to changes in committee members. So, that cost me one year of tuition and related costs; no sufficient services or help were provided. My chair changed three times; they had trouble finding someone with an adequate background to oversee the work. I requested a disability related (brain surgery for epilepsy) reduction in work speed and increases in attendance breaks; they were very hesitant to do this, and my suspicion was the lack of continuity would cost me another Dissertation Chair. This program suffice for younger students; this would be my fifth 4+ year degree program. Compared with most schools, the schools ability is very limited and they don't like to stop the conveyor belt approach they are using. I am surprised this problem hasn't been resolved. They disenroll you if you ask for an extended break or any special needs to be met. Neurosurgery and head injury students take a risk with this school due to administrative actions. There is a total disconnect between advisors, loan officers and enrollment admin. You are forced to enroll even if you don't have your loan money yet. Otherwise you are disenrolled. Once you sign into a vlass, you owe the money regardless. If you don't sign on to a class, you are disenrolled. Administratively, they have major problems. I appreciate very much my teachers/mentors. I don't appreciate the institutions noncompliance with ADA. Trying to continue via a more professionally supporting venue.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Overall Good Experience
MBA - April 12, 2017
I am a couple classes away from completing my MBA through Northcentral University. The university is very affordable and offers flexible scheduling. will definitely recommend this school to others in the future. Thanks NCU for a great experience.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Busywork, Busywork and More Busywork
Masters in Education - February 10, 2017
For the past 4 days, I was enrolled in Northcentral University in the Master of Education Program. I have decided to drop my course and officially withdraw from Northcentral University. I have reached the conclusion that Northcentral University's Foundations of Education for Graduate Study is nothing more than busywork. If you want a high-quality university that offers online degrees, I recommend Grand Canyon University. Bye bye Northcentral University

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Completed My EdD in Organizational Leadership
DBA Organizational Leadership - January 28, 2017
I have been working full time and attending NCU. The course work was rigorous and required a high level of self-discipline. The course work was interesting and could be improved, but any process can always be improved. Many of my instructors were very helpful and I spoke with all of my instructors because I needed more interaction with my faculty. I worked hard and earned every grade, and it was challenging. I had instructors that were knowledgeable and were responsive to my needs. I teach in higher education and have been teaching for 16 years as well as consult and have extensive business experience. My EdD was truly an experience and extremely challenging. I have also worked as an advisor at another educational institution. So, I have been on both sides, serving and supporting students. I cannot speak for others and do not know the extent of their situations. I am sorry for your experience. I had some poor experiences at NCU; however, that comes with any situation, job, or event in life. It is how one navigates through the experience. In one bad situation, I had to go to the NCU leadership for assistance. In the end, it worked out well and I have to admit, the change made a difference whether I completed my degree successfully or not. I give God the glory and thank those who participated in my learning experience at NCU. I have always recommended NCU to my students and will continue. I wish everyone well.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good Alternative to Residency Programs
DBA Organizational Leadership - December 21, 2016
My experience with NCU was positive. The DBA program is very rigorous. The courses are well designed and challenging. You will need to be willing to put the time and effort into the program; be self-motivated; and do well as an independent researcher.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An Honest Review
Teaching and Learning Online - December 11, 2016
Many years ago, I enrolled in NCU's EdD program in Educational Technology Management. I did not have any issues with the courses per se as I know that you have to be extremely self-directed to complete such courses. I enjoy online learning a lot, and especially enjoyed this program, because it did not have any discussion board posts or silly online activities. Instead, all of the classes were based strictly on writing papers, researching, etc. I truly did learn a lot in the subject area. I also liked that I was able to finish the courses before the official end date. I even finished one of the courses in a span of 10 days (that was hard to do!) The problem came when the University decided to not only change requirements in the middle of my program, but, the constant tuition increases were becoming an on-going issue. It was at this time that the University put into place new attendance policies, increased tuition several times, and changed many of the requirements of the degree program. I know from several other students who were past their course work and into the "research, comp, IRB, dissertation phases" that there were several issues at the university which were severely affecting the reputation of the school. There was even a student (one of the top students at the university) who earned her PhD at the school who, at the time, complained about all of the changes going on and encouraged students to speak up about it. Because of these issues, especially with regard to the constant tuition increases, I decided to earn the certificate of advanced graduate studies instead. When I look back, I am thankful that I made the change for the following reasons below. First, I understand that earning a doctoral degree is a huge goal and undertaking. I also know that the reputation of a school is important. Unfortunately, in today's world, there is still a negative perception of online, for profit universities. I know that it is a controversial subject. However, I made the decision that having a doctoral degree from an online, for profit university would not make sense as I would not want to run the risk of listing this on my resume and being passed over because of the perceptions many people have of such universities. I would prefer to attend an online program at a state university instead. Second, I did not leave NCU in huge amounts of debt. I WOULD have had I stayed in the EdD program as tuition kept increasing overtime. I was able to get the same pay salary increase with my certificate of advanced graduate studies as I would have with the EdD. And third, I did not want to risk having a doctoral degree from a for profit university, since, as we know, they can go out of business over time. I always had in the back of my mind that this university was actually a business, and businesses can go out of business pretty quickly. So, while I may have been disappointed in not continuing with the doctoral program, when I look back all of these years later, I know that I made the right decision and am thankful that I did not blow all my money (that I didn't have) on a doctoral degree that would possibly be laughed at by future employers.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Marriage and Family Therapy - December 10, 2016
NCU is the worst university you can possibly attend. I've been there for over three years and have had seven different academic advisors. Currently I am in the internship phase and have received NO support. When I complain, I get ignored and yesterday spoke with the chair of the department and he basically verbally harassed me. It takes a week to a month for a supervisor to return emails/calls, if they ever do. They do not care about the students. My mentors were average and a few were great. Overall, it has been a horrible experience. Stay away from NCU!

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Well - I actually finished - Now What
DBA Computer and Information Security - October 8, 2016
It's too bad that this school treated me badly - I went through a life and death struggle with cancer while attending this program. Now I have my DBA degree - 30 years hands on experience - and I can't find one online teaching job. Crazy. I know I have better skills than any professor out there. 5 yrs and 50K later - Nothing

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
My experience at NCU
Ed.D. - September 6, 2016
I just graduated from the EdD program. NCU was my first experience with a 100% online degree program. The foundational courses were great. The readings were current and to the point, assignments aligned with course objectives and instructors provided prompt and thoughtful feedback. At the dissertation level, working alone as an independent researcher is tough. I think, as in any school, getting a supportive Chair is critical. The dissertation process includes a concept paper, research proposal, IRB review and, finally, acceptance of the dissertation and the defense. Based on the schools I attended as part of my post-secondary education, I found the level of academic rigor at NCU comparable to the others. For an adult in the midst of a demanding career, taking on a degree program is a real challenge. It takes a lot of perseverance to stick with the program but, given all my time commitments, the online option was the only choice for me.

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Old Comments

Nov. 9, 2010, 4:52 p.m.
+1 vote/
You're Kidding, Right:

I believe few open enrollment for-profit students confuse the academic reputation of their respective college or university and attempt to create a corollary to a tier one or two ranked university (I know I certainly do not).

On the contrary, many graduate (and doctorate) students understand the academic balancing act these for-profit, post-secondary institutions walk. As you stated "That said, there is certainly a place for online learning and there is little doubt they provide opportunities for countless students."

The challenge I have, and the philosophy I attempt to forward in this forum, is the significant failure rate, particularly at the doctorate level many students encounter. This is where we will agree (I believe), since academic rigor is secondary to profit generation, students arrive with transcripts in one hand and a check in the other, and they are "admitted."

These students fail for a number of reasons, locate this site and then post their complaint(s). The fact is, absent open enrollment, many of these students would not be attending their respective for-profit institution. It is these various entrance exams, GMAT, GRE, MAT etc, and GPA, writing samples, and recommendations that direct students to a tier one or two university and to a lower quality academic reputation for-profit university, as does scheduling and life responsibilities. The fact is, few adult learners can quit their day jobs and attend a traditional full-time university, at any academic level regardless if they could attain admittance.

The debate is not about academic reputation, for-profit students are aware they are not attending the Ivy League; it is not about "grounded" verses "virtual" learning, it is about completion rates and the individual’s ability to objectively assess their own academic ability in an environment where no academic assessment is offered, and their academic institution appears indifferent regarding the student's ability to complete their program of study.

You are correct, lots of bright folks complete these types of degrees (for-profit) and go on to do great things.
Nov. 8, 2010, 7:20 p.m.
+1 vote/
Do you folks really believe your online experience is comparable to a traditional graduate school program? Do you need a certain score on the GRE to get in? Are there GPA standards? 

I get a kick out of the way some of these online and distance learning programs operate. One "university" asked their students to find PhD's who will assist them in their programs with no renumeration.

I teach in a second-tier university graduate program. I attended a select university for my PhD. I assure you, there's a difference in the caliber of students and the rigor of the program of these "traditional" schools, and I'd bet the farm that these variations are even greater with online schools. No faculty member I know is lining up to take a job at an online university. Most, however, would move to more selective schools next week, given the opportunity.  

That said, there is certainly a place for online learning and there is little doubt they provide opportunities for countless students. And while there are some really smart people who opt for the flexibility and convenience these schools provide, don't deceive yourself into thinking you'll be a viable candidate for a big-time university professorship...that is unless you've published countless articles and have demonstrated an incredible contribution to your field. 

So, if you need some sort of creditial (like a licensed psyc) and you don't plan to teach at the university level, then go for it. But recognize what you're buying.
Nov. 24, 2012, 2:57 p.m.
-1 vote/
I applied for a PhD in psychology, and quickly realized, thru the equivalency process (for those who already have an M.A and wish to transfer credits) that they don't know AT ALL what they are talking about.... no practical knowledge of what the world of psychology is about, would not recognized APA accredited courses (go figure...). I sounded like the enrollment officer did not know anything.... but just wanted to add credits to complete ($$$)...

Oct. 24, 2012, 3:29 p.m.
-2 votes/
Avoid at all costs. And there will be quite a few costs you're avoiding, mostly in nonstop course structure changes, committee changes, and requirements for the PhD program. They'll drag you along in approvals, but you'll never give up because you're "just so close" to finishing. They list 3 dissertation courses, but I think the average is closer to 6. 
Sept. 26, 2012, 1:16 p.m.
-2 votes/
Northcentral is about money. They break their backs to get you enrolled (trapped), then forget all about you. You can never make contact with them on the telephone and they are just plain sorry! It makes you feel like you aren't even dealing with a real school...they are extremely rude and unprofessional (that is when you do actually speak with someone). They don't take the time to listen to your issue, they automatically tell you 'no' and its nothing they can do (but continue to charge you). They need to be removed from the online college program.
Sept. 20, 2012, 10:09 p.m.
+1 vote/
Can any of you explain to me the logic behind my dismissal from NCU on 09/17/2012 based on lack of attendance in a class that starts on 09/17/2012? something smells fishy, it may be a rotten fish. 
Aug. 16, 2012, 10:40 p.m.
-1 vote/
This university charges students the full tuition amount even though a student withdrew from the course only 3 days after enrolling in the course. After you request to withdraw from the college, your student portal is wiped clean so that you can not see the contact information of University officials. There are not video lectures. All the professors do is read your papers. They do personally nothing to teach the courses. If you really want to know how customer friendly this university is, wait until you ask to withdraw to see how you'll be treated. 
June 12, 2012, 11:46 a.m.
+2 votes/
It is hard to know what is going on now within the school these days as Alumni have been excluded/blocked from the learner message forum. 

I first attended NCU, because it was reasonably priced at the time, accredited and flexible.  In hindsight, sometimes I wish could have received my doctorate from a name school with major reputation, but that was not in the cards.  While attending, the price advantage and flexibility gradually eroded. The accreditation actually improved however, as my program, Business gained ACBSP accreditation in addition to the Regional Accreditation they already had.  

While my chair was quite competent, and gave relevant feedback, you will pretty much have to finish an NCU degree on your own, as it is mostly self-taught.   

June 14, 2012, 1:55 a.m.
+1 vote/
  I found the program to be challenging and rewarding, though at times frustrating. I feel that having the degree helped in my job search. Do you feel the degree helped you after you graduated? Keep in mind that there are benefits to publishing after graduating, especially if you publish in a journal. I currently have two papers I am submitting to journals. Best.
May 31, 2012, 6:29 a.m.
0 votes/
Sure that little piece of paper looks good on the wall but I need someone that can get the job done and raise my annual profits. I am not talking about some darn TPS reports. I am old school and if I hire you then you better be able to do the job I hired you for.
March 31, 2012, 7:26 p.m.
0 votes/
As a graduate of the school, I found the classes to be well designed. The assignments were described well and the text books used were very good. The mentors responded to questions within one week. There were a few mentors that did not understand my Dissertation topic; however, they also stated that and *did not* participate in my committee. My committee was very detail oriented and I believe fairly evaluated my work. From the time I started research 4 (the concept paper) to the time I handed in a copy of my Dissertation needed to publish and graduate, it took about two years. The Dissertation itself was well over 150 pages.
Now, on my resume, I have listed my PhD including my Dissertation Chair, Dissertation title, and school name. I have had great success in finding a job using the degree plus my work experience. I have spoken to other colleges, and they have expressed interest in working with me to publish journal articles. In short, I personally have not experienced any rejection of my PhD. One should consider the fact that most PhD programs are not part-time or online, and in my home state, most PhD students are not from the USA. NCU gives an opportunity for US (as well as foreign) students to earn a degree and to do so at their own pace via an accessible online medium.
Dec. 11, 2012, 11:01 p.m.
0 votes/
What subject PhD did you earn?
March 31, 2012, 1:18 a.m.
+2 votes/
As an experienced university faculty member,I caution prospective NCU students that a number of the faculty mentors will have no experience in your field of interest and will not be qualified to critique your research papers and comment on their content. Their best and generally their sole efforts will be concentrated on finding errors in APA style and perhaps grammar--and sometimes they are wrong. If you are looking for one-on-one time at NCU, you will not find it.

In addition, many of the NCU courses are poorly conceptualized.

What was that said to Dick Whittington? "Go West,young man?" 
My response: Don't.
Jan. 27, 2012, 6:31 a.m.
+1 vote/
There's a little bit of validity to everything that has been stated.  I am two years into the doctorate program.  I certainly find the program to be academically rigorous, much more so than the brick and motar university in which I earned my Master's Degree.  HOWEVER, it is a "teach yourself" school.  I miss the interactions with professors and the support.  I'm not entirely clear that all of the mentors are especially competent.  Some of their feedback is inappropriate, as indignation should be reserved for professors who actually teach... not grade your ability to teach yourself.  Much of my frustration has come from having already published in a major journal and yet being told that there's a problem with my basic approach to research.  Hmm... I wil complete my program, as I've come too far, but I would strongly recommend an alternative for those shopping.  It has not been a satsifying learning experience.   
Jan. 13, 2012, 5:04 p.m.
0 votes/
I am not a shill. I graduated from NCU and found the degree to be very useful. It was a difficult program and I think that current and prospective students need to hear from graduates.
Dec. 10, 2011, 3:36 p.m.
+2 votes/
I have an earned PhD from NCU. Of course I am proud of it! It was a tough degree to earn. I mentioned that I spent about 20-30 hours a week for five years working on it. There were tough times though, and there were many rejections of my work. Ultimately, blogging doesn't help you accomplish your degree. You have to develop a tough skin so to speak and resubmit your work after making much improvements to your Dissertation. My purpose of blogging is to demonstrate that you can earn your degree from the school. The degree is listed on my resume and it helped me get a better job. I don't believe that all the complaints are baseless, but I do believe every school has similar problems in their PhD programs. I believe the national average is that 50% of students drop out from PhD programs without earning a degree.
Dec. 6, 2011, 9:11 p.m.
+1 vote/
I'm glad that @Kathy's one month experience and the completion of an introductory NCU course under her belt provided enough experience and insight that she can declare all complaints in this forum as "baseless".  I encourage Kathy to continue to share her wisdom during her journey with NCU and Rockbridge Equity.  Hopefully, @Kathy will be candid enough to share both good and bad news, and not just disappear when she becomes one of the 85% who will not finish what they start at NCU.

For the non-shills that say they completed a PhD/DBA at NCU, would you kindly share your name?  An earned doctorate is a rigorous undertaking that the holder should be proud of.  You are proud of holding an NCU doctorate... yes?
Jan. 2, 2013, 5:27 p.m.
0 votes/
Just Google us! We are out there on Linkedin etc. 

From one of the 15% who finished!
Nov. 19, 2011, 8:17 p.m.
0 votes/
I believe that the majority of the bad reviews are from students who were not able to do the work for one reason or another. My experience within the PhD/BA program was that it was a well designed program. It was difficult and required much work. But it was also well worth it. My degree helped me get a better job and a significant raise.
Nov. 12, 2011, 7:38 p.m.
+1 vote/
I cannot believe how bad a school can be.   I have taken 4 classes and each one is worse than the last.   My very first assignment ws an "introduce yourself"  I got it wrong!  How did the instructor know me better than me!?  I had a stats class and the book didn't match the software which didn't match the syllabus.  It took the school almost 2 months to fix and they never told us. I have appealed tothe dean who always sides on the side of NO Action (hurt the student).   This is my last class.  I hope they get no government money.
Oct. 22, 2011, 3:36 a.m.
0 votes/
I was successful in the program. It is a good program. It is difficult and it requires many hours of work per week over many years to succeed. I estimate I was spending about 20-30 hours a week on average over *five* years. When you finish, you will have a published Dissertation and a respected PhD degree. You have a choice: you can be negative and jump from school to school looking for an easy degree, or you can be positive, and work through your degree and accomplish what you set out to do.
Best of luck to all.
Oct. 3, 2011, 3:37 a.m.
+1 vote/
I've been reading several of the threaded comments below and I am not surprised.  I left NCU's PhD program in business administration for several reasons.  The school raised tuition from $1800 to $2200/course, a 22% increase, with little to no notice (Hmmm...  Overall enrollments down?  Compensating for withdrawals and lower enrollments as students catch a clue and leave?).  It's all-inclusive tuition/fee structure began in January 2011, yet NCU kept charging me the technology fee.  I had to contact the university to have it removed as all-inclusive meant "ALL-INCLUSIVE".  Nice try, NCU accounting.  NCU did away with leaves of absence AND the university requires you to maintain continuous enrollment or you're withdrawn = how they make their money.  If you don't stay continuously enrolled then after 30 days without attendance in a course you are withdrawn.  Then you have to apply to get back in and you are subject to the NEW catalog.  There is absolutely no follow through if you issue a learner complaint against a "mentor" (what they call instructors/professors/etc).  Over four courses, instructors gave vague and, at best, terse feedback--practically useless; they grade papers and don't teach a thing.  Absolutely no mentoring involved at all.  It was almost an exercise in how to get an adjunct paycheck doing the least amount possible.  Further, the business curriculum is TERRIBLE.  Example:  all syllabi have been standardized and are cookie cutter outlines--to the point that the course "mentor" doesn't have to give any instruction for assignment completion at all.  Read this chapter and write a paper with this theme.  Read this chapter and do these stat problems.  You cannot view syllabi until you're actually registered into the course.  There's a fee just to register into each course = for-profit university at work.  Also, the last course I attended required a book that was copyrighted in 2004 (6th ed.) = research that is seven years old and outdated.  NCU's website also used to tout that it was a candidate for IACBE accreditation and then, suddenly some time in 2010, that information was yanked from the NCU website.  Go to IACBE's website, click Membership at the top of the page, click Member Status Information, under Member Status Search click on All Members in the drop down for Search By Status, click Submit Search.  Do CTRL+F and type in Northcentral.  It won't come up.  Wonder why?  Pulled out???  Couldn't move forward in the process?  Hmmm...  I believe around the same time Dr. Lynn Payne, Dean of School of Business and Technology Management as of Aug. 10, 2009, left NCU and went to Jones International University.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this university to anybody--undergrad or grad.  Stick with Univ. of Phoenix, Walden University, or Capella.  Stay away.

Aug. 30, 2011, 7:08 p.m.
+1 vote/

This is a for-profit university. The economic incentives grossly retard HOW the education is pushed to you, the low, sub-par quality of student-peers and professors, and any agreement you make will be stacked against you. Sure, you may get through a for-profit program with little fuss, but if you find yourself unhappy, you WILL BE stuck. 

So after high pressure sales tactics, I finally get my "Enrollment Agreement" that they really, really wanted me to electonrically sign, BUT they tried to get me to give them an open-ended e-signature that will give them open-ended consent on all furture agreements, changes, etc., unless you are seriouly paying attention. I call to complain, and stated my opinion as such. 

Here's my e-mailed response to thier proposed Enrollment Agreement:

"You know you're in trouble when over a quarter of an "Enrollment Agreement" details arbitration. This is a sizable red flag. 
So let me get this straight, I agree to allow this University to charge any and all fees throughout the duration of a 5-7 year program, all off which are subject to change; you want me to forgo my rights to sue this for-profit program in court in the event I am wronged; and, my favorite part, you get to change any term or condition at anytime you want? 
Yeah right. I am quite amazed that people actually enter into such a decidedly one-sided agreement that utterly protects this University and affords no protections whatsoever for the student. None! What a waste of time. It violates every precept of contract law, fairness, and consideration. I'll be sure to articulate my observations on the social media / blog boards. 
Please withdrawal my application from Northcentral University. I have exhaustively researched the for-profit model as well as this University, and I find them both to be comical at best, devastating to higher education at worst. 

Take the time to read. Your not engaging a student-friendly education institution. You are entering in an agreement that was written for shareholders and the protection of the bottomline.  
July 14, 2011, 8:02 p.m.
-1 vote/
I just graduated from Northcentral University this last month with a Master's Degree and if I decide to do a PhD I will also do it with NCU. From start to finish is was a great experience. It was challenging, but I wouldn't expect anything less. Education is a process and in order to be successful you must know what you want and be ready to complete the necessary tasks to achieve it. With that being said I believe anyone wanting a challenging and accredited degree would be satisfied with NCU.
July 4, 2011, 12:58 p.m.
-1 vote/
  It is possible to complete the degree at NCU, but it requires a lot of patience and hard work. If you get a "resubmit", you should work to correct the issues pointed out. Overall, I would recommend the school and found it to have a well designed program which leads to a published Dissertation and a regionally accredited PhD.
July 3, 2011, 10:04 a.m.
0 votes/
I had been with NCU since the end of 2004, and have seen it change from a nice little online university (flexible and reasonable in cost) to an inflexible, expensive profit squeezing enterprise. NCU says that program changes and policies are due to accreditation requirements, but there is no stability in policies and programs here, so how can that look to the accrediting body? Also the academic advisers are largely comprised of nice young people without any customer support skills. I would never recommend this school at the Doctoral level to anyone. The minimal contact educational model (you are on your own) works up to the dissertation stage. There, help is needed, but it is not built into the process. I am looking at South African Universities to complete my PhD. There, although you are on your own also, you are not exposed to ridiculous schedules and angst about program changes. The doctoral level people that recommend this school by and large were under the old regime.     
June 30, 2011, 11:21 a.m.
+2 votes/
After 4 years of putting money into the bottomless pit of ongoing changes, I'm moving to another school. Of the top 6 "leaders" at NCU, 3 are newly minted NCU graduates- 50%. This suggests to me that creditable leaders won't be hired or don't apply to avoid association. There have been 3 deans in the school of business in my 4 year tenture, 2 or 3 deans in the school of education, 3 Provosts in 4 years, reports (from other blogs) of internal employee harassment within the NCU ranks. I'm reporting my educational experience of chaos to Dept of Education, HLC accreditors, and IRS. Sadly, I didn't go to the blogs before joining or I would not have invested in an organization that is in flux, high employee turnover, apparently lack of leadership. Now all the concept papers from a number of PHD students that was previously approved are no longer acceptable - this means more money. I didn't realize NCU was partially owned by Quicken Loans - that would have been revealing to me had I known. On a positive note, I believe the faculty are doing the best they can with no real leadership in place, they even apologize for all the changes that occur that make no sense to them. 

disappointed in the 
June 16, 2011, 5:23 a.m.
0 votes/
I'm taking my 3rd class at NCU. I have had very good mentors so far. Every assignment has been returned in a few days and I have always had my questions answered. I expect that just like at other schools I will get a mentor that stinks eventually. For now, I like the school. I like it because it has suggested due dates. I was so burnt out on mandatory discussion questions and dates at National, Brandman and UOP. I do not like that the classes are a semester and I wish that they would make the Doctoral classes 8 weeks like they have the Master's classes. I do get overwhelmed sometimes at the amount of work the dissertation is, but who doesn't? NCU seems to be trying to break each component of the dissertation down in baby steps which is helpful to me. 
June 4, 2011, 4:52 p.m.
0 votes/
Totally going along with the majority here.  NCU has been a total waste.  The grading practices are not right and not consistant with in the education program.  I have tried to get help from the Dean about a class regrade with no luck.  I am hoping that others will see this comment about NCU online before registering. You will pay alot of money and really just get a headache in return.  Look elsewhere for an online degree this college is a joke.   
June 2, 2011, 3:34 a.m.
0 votes/
Beware, cancel you credit card after you graduate from this university.  Their finance department charge my credit card $100 for admin processing fees 3 months after I graduated.  The online payment system will not allow you to delete your credit card number, so I had to request a brand new card from my bank just to avoid future charges from this school.
April 24, 2011, 1:48 a.m.
+1 vote/
All this online vs b&m arguing is ridiculous. They are 2 different animals. For those of us who didn't go to a b&m before entering the workforce we have 2 choices: quit our jobs and move back in with mom while we take out loans and enroll in a b&m full time (sure), or, finish our degrees at an online while we continue to work. I suppose the b&m snobs think people should not be allowed to pursue their educational goals if they didn't get a degree immedietely after high school. Strange viewpoint. Some of us did not have that option. And one wonders why supposed Ivy league or tier 2 grads would be prowling around on online college review sites anyway.
April 16, 2011, 6:17 a.m.
0 votes/
 I was successful in completing the degree. I was a tier 2 PhD student 10 years ago, and was unable to complete that program due to a disability and several other problems, not the least of which was the day time schedule of courses and 2 hour commute. After four years of recovering from my disability, I found NCU and worked on the program for about five years. There were tough times, but I managed to complete the PhD. My requirements for a program were that it be a) regionally accredited, b) that it lead to publication, and c) that it be online or part time. NCU fit the bill and I was successful after *a lot* of hard work. I don't believe all the negative reviews on the blogs. I do believe that stricter entrance policies might help, but that all candidates should be given consideration. Overall, I would recommend NCU. I would like to now apply for a post-doc. Thanks and Best Regards.
March 17, 2011, 1:02 a.m.
0 votes/
If you are thinking on on going to this school RUN RUN RUN away.  I thought that I would ignore all the bad reviews, and enroll at NCU.  My enrollement advisor was nice and told me how they take a Mentor approach and made it sounds very personable.  This is far from the case for my first and last class at NCU my first Mentor (i.e. teacher) didnt respond for almost a month of the course keep in mind the courses are 3 months long, I was getting B's once she responded then she stopped responding. I called the school to ask if this was normal and got yelled at and treated badly.  Finally after much work and having to fill out tons of paperwork i was assigned a new Mentor this new Monstor I mean Mentor barely gave me C and his feedback was base not how I could improve my papers but to list how stupid me and many of the students in his class were and that the University should have made all of take remedial classes.  From there he gave me B grades and I followed what little constructive critique he gave to the letter and then on the final project he gave me a D-  even when I did exactly what he told me to do.  For those of you reading this it might sound like it was just me; however, I took my papers to the writing centers at the other major Universities in town and was told that I should have received a better grade.  When I brought this to the schools attention they just said to take the advice from the Mentor and move on to the next class.  This is just one of many problems that I have had from academic advisors to financial aid and the list goes on.  I am confused on how this place is has accreditation.  I doubt they will have that or a student body for long.  There are alot of post on here that argue about people not being able to handle the rigour of the courses that is not the case I graduated Cum Laude with my MBA and I am going to another school for my DBA and I am excelling and the classes are very hard to get through.  The big difference is having a good school and good professors.  Not overworked graders they call Mentors.
March 1, 2011, 2:41 a.m.
0 votes/
I returned to college at age 44 and after 20+ years to finish my bachelors degree. I just completed my third course for NCU.  I find NCU more challenging than a "brick & mortar" school in that you must complete eight assignments (generally research papers) for each course (as opposed to sitting in lectures, taking an occasional test and writing one paper for a course as I did at UW-Milwaukee).  You must have completed the assigned reading/research and the papers demonstrate that one understands the material, and can apply it.  

The APA format was difficult for me at first, but I use the book rather than Reference Database or other APA software, as I found the book simply works better. NCU also has a great writing center link for students to use. 

The mentors have been great; very experienced in their professions and I am impressed at their caliber.  The mentors I had made themselves accessible to me through email & cell phones, and always helped me to understand the material when I asked for help.  In addition, two of my mentors returned my graded assignments with notes and corrections, so I could see their feedback and in the case of APA formatting, could see how it should be done.  Going back to NCU, and knowing how to conduct online research and use research databases (as opposed to the old index cards I was used to in the 80s!) has also helped me with my Certified Public Manager Program courses at the University of Wisconsin.  

I have never had any problems with contacting my adviser, nor have I experienced any issues/problems with Financial Aid.  Based on in-state tuition rates and rates at private universities such as Concordia or Marquette, I feel NCU's tuition rate is fair and in-line with in-state tuition rates in Wisconsin.

Overall, I am very satisfied with NCU thus far.  As of May I will have completed 5 courses, and their accelerated semesters (6 credits is full-time; 3 months to complete) allows me to finish my degree far more quickly as well.  NCU is demanding, rewarding, and I would highly recommend it to others provided they have the self-discipline to complete the courses.  
Feb. 23, 2011, 5:12 p.m.
+1 vote/
It is sad, but I have to admit that only a handful of comments on this board is relevant to the main topic: how good or how bad NCU is. This board should be Q&A from prospective students to existing ones or the the alumni of NCU.
Just a Guy is creating a mess out of the boards linked to all on-line schools. His posts are repeating the same rhetorics about how B&M schools are more respected in the academia than their on-line counterparts. God knows, we don't need this kind of useless input.

What I need to know is:
1. How good are the instructors in NCU - what kind of degrees and from what schools do they have; how fast do they respond to students' questions; how knowledgeable are they about the subject they teach?
2. Is NCU interested in prolonging the education process as opposed to giving a quality education?
For example, Walden charges per quarter, as opposed to per credit. While at the first glance it seems great - you can fit more classes for the same money, it looks like WaldenU takes an advantage of it in the Dissertation stage by prolonging the process.
3. It is a fact that it is you who makes his diploma shine, not the vice versa, if you graduate from any school but top 10 (50). It would be interesting to know, however, how many of NCU alumni were able to succeed after graduating - in academia, in corporate world, in public sector. Especially it would be educational to find out how many of the PhD in Psychology were able to get licensed in their states.

Thanks in advance for insightful answers. 
Please, likes of JAG - do not bother responding.
Nov. 11, 2011, 1:32 p.m.
-1 vote/
I just started at NCU in October. I have had no problems yet and am impressed with the writing center, weekly webinars, and commitment the school has to get each student to complete their degree. My second class was due to start this past Monday but unfortunately I had to have surgery yesterday morning. I emailed the school as soon as I found out and my academic adviser, Stacey, took care of everything: dropped me from the class, and enrolled me to start in a new class to start next Monday.

All the complaints I have read on here are baseless. All schools raise tuition annually and there are going to be problems in the admin offices. You are going to have crap teachers who don't keep office hours or respond to calls/emails at any university. Education is not solely up to how you interact with the school or teacher, education is determined by how much you devote to study and outside reading.
Feb. 9, 2011, 12:11 a.m.
0 votes/
NorthCentral University is a scam.  I took a Phd class in November 2010 and completed it in January. I have been waiting for my student loan reimbursement until today I haven't received a penny.  I called the financial aid many times asking about my change and the story that I was given is that the money was deposited in my account.  I have been waiting and nothing shows up in my account.  Now, I'm taking my second class and still waiting for my first semester reimbursement.  This school is a scam they just want to take your money in any way.  I'm reporting the matter to appropriate people.  When you see NCU ran for your life and don't look back.  Run, run, run, run!!!!!!!!!!
Jan. 25, 2011, 9:39 p.m.
0 votes/
You're kidding: You mean remuneration, right?  I don't believe there are any validity studies showing a positive correlation between entrance exams (e.g., GRE) or GPA and learning outcomes.  It's an unvalidated argument that sounds like it should be right, but it isn't.  With the global model of learning changing rapidly (many top-tier, even Ivy league universities offering classes, partial, or full degrees online), this represents the next step in education of a global and online society.
Nov. 6, 2010, 11 p.m.
-1 vote/
This school should be shut down immediately! Seriously, the mentors are nothing more than folks that collect a paycheck for providing feedback on APA format. The course syllabi are outdated and confusing. Don't waste your time and or money!
Nov. 6, 2010, 10:50 p.m.
-1 vote/
This school should be shut down immediately!  Seriously, the mentors are nothing more than folks that collect a paycheck for providing feedback on APA formatting.  They course syllabi are outdated and confusing.  Don't waste your time and or money!
Oct. 2, 2010, 10:36 p.m.
0 votes/

I think you'll agree most schools assess registration fees, I can't speak to high pressure tactics or withdrawal fees. Am I to assume you're speaking from first hand experience?
Oct. 1, 2010, 9:06 p.m.
-1 vote/
taking a couple of courses to "see how it goes" comes with 1) registration fees 2) high pressure sales tactics 3) withdrawal fees. fees to stop a program? no thanks.
Sept. 29, 2010, 5:18 p.m.
0 votes/

Some might say NCU is in continuous growing pains as a relatively new for-profit school. With dramatic changes in legislation aimed at the for-profit institutions, these pains are going to be with NCU for the near future.

Regarding not attending NCU, certainly, each student needs to perform their own due diligence; however, we all recognize NCU must be doing something right as it is still in business with just under 5000 (2007/08) students enrolled. 

As I've said in previous posts, take a course or two at the institution of your choce and see how it goes.
Sept. 21, 2010, 6:19 p.m.
0 votes/
NCU has been going through growing pains since 2007.  How long do the students have to suffer before NCU gets their act together?  The solution is easy.  Don't go to NCU.  Spend your Title IV loan dollars at a school where you actually have a chance of graduating from.
Aug. 30, 2010, 9:29 p.m.
0 votes/
An amazing flood of "happy" students within the last week.  NCU's shills must be setting the stage for a media blitz.  Lipstick on a pig comes to mind.  PT Barnum would be proud of NCU's marketing tactics.
Sept. 19, 2010, 3:56 p.m.
0 votes/
Have heard good and bad about NCU.  I hear the school is going through a number of growing pains and a potential overhaul.
Aug. 23, 2010, 8:50 p.m.
0 votes/
Just a Guy:
Hello! I see that you have been so misinterpreted. Wow! And to think these are educated people with various degrees, expertise,etc. I see your point of view and its just that. I think that just because you have a point of view does not mean you are trying to shove it down anyone's throats. I like the way you back up what you are simply discussing.
Aug. 14, 2010, 12:19 a.m.
0 votes/
Clearly Funny:

Yup, the for-profits have brought this upon their respective organizations. Legislation, if passed, will certainly have a significant deleterious effect on the larger institutions who always seem to find themselves negatively in the press. Perhaps the more credible of these organizations will survive. These aggressive recruiting tactics and open enrollment practices are why many land here to complain, they should have never been admitted in the first place.
Aug. 13, 2010, 5:41 p.m.
0 votes/
HA HA, just add the ww w to the link.
July 26, 2010, 8:18 p.m.
0 votes/
Two Cents:

Ah, you've asked a "double-barreled" question (you'll learn more about this concept in your research courses at NCU I'm sure). (a) Who should earn more and (b) be the boss? 

Neither question is relevant to post-secondary education completion or the gainful employment debate. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard if I recall... We've both met very academically gifted people who have no business being in a leadership position.    

Being a good leader who earns a respectable salary is not necessarily a result of post-secondary education.
July 22, 2010, 9:08 p.m.
0 votes/
How about student A graduates from IVY league school with a degree in "breathing air" while student B graduates from state colleges with degrees in math. Who should earn more and be the boss ? I think there are many companies who would still pick the IVY candidate even though that candidate may not be the most qualified.
July 16, 2010, 3:29 p.m.
0 votes/
Two Cents:

I am opposed to any governmental intrusion into post-secondary education. Post-secondary should be completely individualized. The proposed gainful employment legislation suffers a significant weakness, that is, individual ambition. 

Two students enter an educational program at any institution, one student earns As, the other student earns Cs. The A student joins campus clubs that enhance future career goals, the C student does not. The A student completes job related internships during the summer, the C student does not. The A student through the summer internships is offered a reputable position at graduation, the C student does not. 

Both students graduate on time; however, each will have significantly different careers paths with wide ranging salary differentials. You see my point…

One final example: Student A graduates from one the well known Ivy League schools with a degree in “breathing air.” Student B graduates from a non-regionally accredited bottom ranked diploma mill also with a degree in “breathing air;” who do you think will earn more? 

Gainful employment is a slippery slope…
July 16, 2010, 3:35 a.m.
0 votes/
  I just watched the College, Inc special. I wanted to comment that the issue of "gainful employment" should also be a requirement of the not-for-profits as well as the for-profits. For example, certain majors at non-for-profit schools are not very lucrative. With rising tuition costs, I don't think a school can boast that "it doesn't matter what your degree is in, as long as it says x school on it". I chose NCU because it fit my criteria of a) Regional Accreditation, b) online/part-time, c) cost effective, d) provided a PhD program in my major.
June 8, 2010, 1:28 a.m.
0 votes/

Thank you for your words of reassurance!  I actually attended a few professional development conferences as an undergrad and some of them "boasted" that their particular conferences were more difficult to be accepted into than the average not-for-profit graduate school.  We'll see; I've submitted my applications and materials.  Hopefully I'll get in!

I know I want to teach.  I actually did an undergraduate internship working as a TA for one of my professors and I really loved it!  I've seen a few hybrid Ed.D. programs that I haven't yet ruled out at some state universities.  I agree with you 100%.  Before I understood the difference between for-profit and not-for-profit, I called one of the popular for-profit schools.  I was really surprised because as someone who attended state universities, I wasn't used to being "sold" on a degree.  I know the for-profit schools work for a lot of people, but I'm just afraid to spend so much money on one of those programs when I can spend less at a state school and not have to worry about whether or not a future employer will take me seriously.  Do you teach as an adjunct or are you working toward tenure?
June 7, 2010, 4:23 p.m.
0 votes/

Thanks for the kind words. It won't surprise you to learn the virtual learning environment is still developing. Since you'd like to teach and conduct research, a terminal degree (a doctorate) is certainly part of your future. 

The answer to your question is, it depends. If you're an average person, not a Bill Gates or Micheal Dell and others who have dropped out of Ivy league education because they are brilliant, then you'll want to attend and graduate from (both are corollary)the best university you can attend.

If you can't quit your day job and desire to teach a little "night school" as an adjunct at State U or any other of the for-profits, and conduct a little personal research, then attend a regionally accredited institution that fits your lifestyle. 

I earned my EdD from a not-for-profit hybrid program less than five years ago. The degree has already paid for itself. Which leads me to my final comment, ensure the degree pays for itself in a reasonable amount of time. 

Lastly, consider this, less than 50% of all individuals who begin a terminal degree complete it. This level of education is not for everyone, many of the folks who arrive here to complain underestimated their academic ability in my opinion predicated upon previous weak academic experiences. The for-profit admissions representative is not going to worry about this history when they "sign you up."
June 4, 2010, 1:47 a.m.
0 votes/

I've read several of your posts and I am very interested in them as they seem credible and in my opinion, unbiased.  Can you please give me your opinion regarding RR's assessment of online, adjunct teaching being deemed the 'McJob' of the 21st century?  Are we really seeing outsourcing?

I just graduated from a B&M state school in Arizona with my bachelors degree.  I have applied to a couple of graduate schools at B&M state schools because I want to eventually teach (and do a little research).  I'm concerned now about my career path.  Do I need to change direction?

Thank you for your input.
May 15, 2010, 3:25 p.m.
0 votes/
Another Question:

Use caution utilizing universities external to the United States. Rest assured, if you have a challenge with a university outside the U.S., you'll have little hope of rectifying it. My suggestion, try a course at the for-profit of your choice and see how it goes. It might be a good fit for you, just keep in mind some of the obstacles others have encountered and be on the lookout for these obstacles.
May 13, 2010, 9:21 p.m.
0 votes/
Another Question:

Stumbled on this interesting international DL school today.  Swiss Management Center (SMC) University.  Business program is ACBSP accredited (like NCU) for their professional doctorates in 4 specializations.  PhD in Economics, accreditation is ECBE.  No residency requirements noted, but the "final grand exam" and dissertation defense is in Switzerland or Austria.  Course work is performed on your schedule, no deadlines.  Definitely only for the self-starter student.

The professional doctorate cost is about a third of NCU, starting at $13,500 + 1 travel trip.

PhD tuition is "free", but has a program start fee of $313 and $1,880 annual library fee.  Not exactly free, but if you can finish in under 3 yrs, then $6k + 1 trip for a PhD isn't bad.
May 13, 2010, 6:19 p.m.
0 votes/
Another Question:  I could come up with a snarky answer like "Anywhere but NCU", but that would add no value to your question and this discussion.

Since the tuition and fees cost have skyrocketed at NCU, it is no longer the bargain it used to be.  That opens the door to many of the higher priced for-profit schools.  TUIU at $575/crhr x 44 credits + dissertation costs as an example for a lower cost PhD.

Most folks state that they want a PhD so that they can teach.  At this moment in time, online doctorates will have a tough time getting into a teaching gig in a brick & mortar school.  Forget about tenure anymore, even for those with b&m credentials.  For those teaching online, the pay is poor for the effort required.  I've even heard about academic outsourcing.  Google FHSU and StraighterLine for more info.  The growing reality is that adjunct teaching is rapidly becoming the McJob of the 21st century.  Ask yourself how a doctorate is going to serve you once the adjunct teaching gig gameplan is no longer in play.  Perhaps a low cost professional DETC doctorate from CSU or CalU becomes an option. 

I work for a global corporation that values international degrees at the same level as US degrees.  There are a number of bargains out there that might be worth a look at.  UNISA is the easy standout as a dissertation-only style program (depends on degree specialization).  Alternately, there are some promising Malaysian PhD programs that have been established in the last few years.  Russian or Ukrainian universities may also be a good value due to the stronger US currency, if you're from the states.  I don't/won't champion any particular school, but hopefully there is some content in this post that sparks some productive research avenues.
May 12, 2010, 5:18 p.m.
0 votes/
Hello RR,
 Is there an alternative to NCU that you might recommend?
May 6, 2010, 7:57 p.m.
0 votes/

Thanks for the great feedback. This is indeed the type of information folks  are looking for when they arrive at a site like this. As far as HLC or BBB policing NCU, they don't need to as long as folks will vote with their wallet as you did and leave the institution when they are unsatisfied with their education(s) at NCU and other like universities.
May 6, 2010, 7:32 p.m.
0 votes/
PhD in Business Admin., specialization in Applied Computer Science.  MBA prerequisites met via transfer credit. Completed the course portion of the program, 8 classes for 32 crhr out of program total of 56 crhr.
Aug. 16, 2011, 10:57 a.m.
0 votes/
If you see this comment, could you please elaborate on what transferred in?
I am working on an MBA at NCU and want to enroll in the PhD.  Will my MBA credits transfer into the PhD?  I see that Fort Hays has an agreement where their MBA courses transfer into NCU so why wouldn't my NCU MBA courses transfer into NCU's PhD?
I emailed my advisor but would like to hear about your experience as well. 
May 6, 2010, 11:28 a.m.
0 votes/

Thanks for your comment, very insightful and objective. Can you share with us which NCU degree program you engaged, what level: undergraduate, graduate or doctorate? How many classes did you complete before deciding to leave the University?
May 5, 2010, 8:19 p.m.
+1 vote/

"Another question" suggests registering a complaint with the HLC.  I can speak from experience that the HLC takes no action on complaints.  They even say that on their website, forms and documents.  The accrediting agencies are not a friend of the student.  Back when I was at NCU, many of the staff and board were consultants for the HLC.  As an outside observer, I don’t see an impartial assessment of the school by the HLC.  The BBB and the HLC have a lot of similarities in who they truly work for and report to.

I think “Another question” also hit the bullseye with their assessment of “they rubber stamp assignments… up until a point”.  Sheepishly, I admit that there were more than a few NCU class assignments that should have been sent back to me for correction, or just outright failed.  But I think rubber-stamping is prevalent throughout both for-profit AND non-profit schools.  This leads many students to a false sense of entitlement.  However, in the six universities I’ve attended (graduated from three), NCU’s rigor has been the most weakest in terms of quality and quantity of assignments.

One last note.  The favorite and often repeated statement of folks attending and defending the NCU programs is that a real student shouldn’t require handholding to achieve graduation.  I agree.  While students aren’t entitled to a degree, they are entitled to qualified instructors.  Isn’t that what a portion of the student’s $600 per credit tuition is paying for?  Research professors should be capable of teaching research courses.  The two NCU research class instructors I had were not qualified to teach research and thankfully didn’t rubber stamp the grade.  As a result, I earned a degree from another school.
May 5, 2010, 8:18 p.m.
0 votes/
NCU targets government and military sources for students because of the generous tuition assistance programs associated with those entities.  Many of the staff/instructors I interacted with at NCU had military backgrounds, probably to enhance NCU's ability to get into the military/government tuition markets.  From my military experience, a long term program of study, even 100% DL, would have been very difficult.  And not having to pay the tuition out of pocket would make it easy to walk away from the program.  I think the open entrance requirements and “free” tuition leads to a very low commitment level by the student.  The low graduation rates (1% stated earlier seems a bit low, but if close, yikes!) reflect an equally low level of commitment by NCU, bordering on contempt for the student.  As “caveat emptor” mentions, word will get out and NCU will suffer in both reputation and by lower attendance.

NCU is milking the government and military knowing that the students are quick to sign up and just as easily quick to walk away.  By extension, this causes NCU to invest nearly all their time and money in the course portion of their programs, leaving little for the research and dissertation phases.  Results?  There is little support for the student in the post-course phase of their degree in terms of qualified research professors.  NCU instructor churn during the research and dissertation phases has been mentioned in a wide variety of forum discussions and blog posts, especially within the last year.  Is NCU support so bad that even the instructors don’t want to be there?  Too bad for students who have to restart their research or dissertation because of a change in their chair or committee.

"Another question" suggests registering a complaint with the HLC.  I can speak from experience that the HLC takes no action on complaints.  They even say that on their website, forms and documents.  The accrediting agencies are not a friend of the student.  Back when I was at NCU, many of the staff and board were consultants for the HLC.  As an outside observer, I don’t see an impartial assessment of the school by the HLC.  The BBB and the HLC have a lot of similarities in who they truly work for and report to.
May 5, 2010, 1:22 p.m.
+1 vote/

I watched a PBS Frontline documentary last night titled "College Inc." Very interesting and a must see for anyone considering a for-profit education. The foci of the documentary was unethical recruting and admissions processes, cost, exorbitant student loans, accreditation, and overall quality of education. One commentator referred to for-profit education arena as the "fast foodization" of education. 

Argosy, Ashford, Everest and UoP were also mentioned by name serveral times in the piece (NCU is not mentioned). Litigation against UoP and Everest were also discussed. 

This site will not allow the posting of URLs; however, it's easy to locate this documentary using your favorite search engine, search for: Frontline College Inc. If you believe the challenges NCU faces are unique, they're not. It appeasrs many for-profits suffer from these same issues. I should repeat, NCU was not mentioned in this documentary.
May 4, 2010, 11:51 p.m.
0 votes/
Another Question:

I believe "victimization" is probably a harsh term. Scam, I don't know. Deceptive practices, NCU doesn't guarantee degree success in any of the literature I've perused. If you scan some of my previous posts, I allude to adults who know their academic history is weak, know they won't perform well on the GMAT, GRE, MAT, etc. 

These adults seek an open enrollment university just for this reason; however, they don't objectively assess their own academic prowess (ability). They presume their previous "night school U" experience is sufficient enough to succeed in a virtual graduate or doctorate program. It is this adult student hubris or ignorance that feeds this phenomenon of failure. If there were rigorous admittance standards many of these students would not be admitted and would not be here complaining. 

You are correct concerning doctorate degree completion, even at the best brick and mortar schools, the completion rate is about 50% (see my post of April 1, 2009 at 1:50 p.m.). Although I believe NCU could do a better job screening potential candidates (they essentially have little admittance requirements), the student is primarily responsible for their academic success and degree completion potential. To your point, it would not surprise me to learn the doctorate degree completion rate at NCU was 1%.

Eventually, word will get out, and this could hurt NCU in the long run. If you hear from enough of your colleagues that NCU is a "tuition trap," then you won't attend, and others won't either.
April 30, 2010, 6:51 p.m.
0 votes/
  Your points are well taken. Is there any blame that the school should carry in addition to the lax entrance criteria ? For example, does the school have unqualified faculty ? A bad program, etc. Or is it just a *scam* to take in tuition money when the school never really had a desire to graduate the sheer quantity of students they enroll. For example, is it that they rubber stamp assignments with the grade of "A", and all is seemingly well up until a point, where they are no longer granting an "A", and repeatedly reject papers submitted. Then the student/victim of the scam just quits the school and goes trying to complain on a blog. My recommendation is that those students take action against the school for deceptive business practice. If the number of failures and disappointments are so large, then there should be something that can be done on behave of those who where victimized. My understanding is that this school has less than a one percent graduation rate.
April 29, 2010, 1:46 p.m.
0 votes/
Another Question:

This is the million dollar question, and I beleive I have an answer for you. NCU is a for-proift open enrollment educational institution. As I have mentioned in previous posts, any potential student who has regionally accreditied transcripts in one hand and a check in the other is "admitted." 

Students who are confused as to thier academic ability enter the virtual world of education. They complete some courses, those courses may actually appear easy, they produce an outstanding GPA, then they run int a tough Professor, or begin a thesis or dissertation and run into significant roadblocks concerning their academic abilty. 

They get stalled at this point, no one at the main campus wants to listen or help very much (much like Greg Kent's experience at NSU. Post March 2, 2010 at 2:12 a.m.). The ex-student lands here and finds a place to voice their complaint(s). Absent entrance hurdles (GMAT, GRE, MAT, etc), everyone shows up at the front door believing they are entitied (I used this "loaded" term intentionally) to post-secondary education, they soon learn that they are simply not prepared for this level of education, fail for numerous reasons and land here.

Many of the complaints posted here are a derivative of this situation. Open enrollment, no admissions rigor, students spends a bunch of money and doesn't graduate. You'd be angry too. When in fact, if the student was denied admission due to lack of academic ability or history, this situation would not occur. But then, NCU would miss significant revenues from these denied admissions students.
April 28, 2010, 8:30 p.m.
+1 vote/
One has to wonder, if so many people are upset with the school, as to what can be done to remedy that. For example, should those people complain to the Higher Learning Commission? Should they file a complaint? There must be a reason why so many people are upset with the school.
March 2, 2010, 2:12 a.m.
0 votes/
Hi All,
Yes, it's my real name. Why should I be afraid to use my real name? Why are you? I am currently taking my fourth course (DBA Business) and have a 95% average. Twenty years ago I had the same average after completing ALL of the course work at Southeastern University (a.k.a. Nova University) D.B.A program. So, why am I here? Firstly, I love to learn and secondly, my dissertation committee (Nova) was a bunch of ***holes (they censored my original word). Hopefully, this time will be different. If it's not then I will have gained much and lost very little. Morale of story: "Nothing ventured nothing gained."
Feb. 20, 2010, 7:18 p.m.
0 votes/
Hi, I'm beginning a doctorate degree at NCU and I don't care what anyone thinks or says about the school.  I chose the school based upon my own research of more than 6 months and based upon my situation and my needs, which is what everyone who is looking for a degree should do.  Just because joe shmo had a bad experience at a college, doesn't mean I will.  I am a teacher at a college.  I have wonderful students and I have not so wonderful students.  It's my experience in teaching that has shown me that each individual will have the experience that they desire to have - a wonderful one, or a miserable one...  It's up to YOU !!!  Not the school.  NCU, BTW, is not only regionally accredited but they are also listed on the department of educations website as being accredited so...  is the government part of the scam as well?  Well, then all schools are in trouble, right?  IT's UP TO YOU what experience you will have at a college.  I'm due to start NCU in April and guess what, my experience "will be" positive because I said so...  it's up to me to make it happen.  And at the doctorate level, you should not need much guidance.  If you've made it that far, you have the ability to do it all by yourself.  Aagain, being a teacher myself..., I'm nice to students who are nice to me...  So why don't you be nice to your instructor and maybe they'll be nice to you, instead of complaining all the time.
Feb. 7, 2010, 12:31 a.m.
0 votes/
>>  It appears you had a good experience at NCU?

Yes, I did.

Take care, bye.
Feb. 6, 2010, 11:01 p.m.
0 votes/

We can't, that why I said "I am assuming at least 50% of these posts are negative (I could be wrong)"
Feb. 6, 2010, 10:51 p.m.
0 votes/
Amateur Scholar:
It was never my intention to debate the merits of online education with you or suggest that online education lacks credibility. It appears you had a good experience at NCU? This is what you should be sharing in my opinion, your personal experiences at NCU, you might assist someone in making this significant decision. I do have one point of contention with your previous comment, there are many AACSB online MBA programs, check out As a neophyte researcher myself, I enjoy this forum and the time I spend here. Perhaps my comments might help someone. Thanks for your time and opinions, I certainly appreciate them.
Feb. 6, 2010, 2:02 a.m.
0 votes/
In addition, open enrollment aside, the for-profits are certainly focused on a particular segment of the market that the non-profits just refuse to consider seriously. From the B&M schools that I studied at, and the grades I got, especially for my MBA, my getting in a non-profit doctoral program was not the problem. But as a corporate executive, giving up my job just to pursue my scholarly ambitions was not something I was willing to do. Simply said, I couldn't "afford" to advance my studies with a non-profit. 

The AACSB refuses to recognize online format as a valid delivery method. Then they rant about how their schools are increasingly slipping away from industry/real-world relevance. This is also true in the case of the top MIS journals. On the one hand, they take pride in the high standards they set by admitting only the finest academic papers. Then, somebody points out that in the real-world of MIS, things are progressing fast with little regard for many of these well-written, but highly theoretical studies that have little immediate business impact. 

Open enrollment, flexible delivery format, convenient continual learning are all the key touchpoints that for-profits have executed very well and that's why they attract a sizeable following. I AGREE with you that the number of people cut out for doctoral studies are few. Perhaps with your Ed.D, you can write a paper to discuss how admission standards should be set to raise the bar higher - what is the cut-off point and what recommendations you can give to the accreditation agencies, and so forth. You can even give your reasons why you suggest this.

Anyway, I think if you would do that, and get that paper published, you would actually be making better use of your Ed.D. A study like this would also expose you more to the world of for-profit and non-profit and allow you to gain a deeper understanding of both.

Till then, I wish you well, and am signing off this forum.

Thanks and good night.
Feb. 5, 2010, 4:41 p.m.
0 votes/
Amateur Scholar & TooMuch:

(continued from above) Admittedly, I am not familiar with all of these institutions; however, many of them are well known, and many appear to for-profit with open enrollment admissions. I am assuming at least 50% of these posts are negative (I could be wrong). It would have taken a tremendous amount of time to sort all of the comments into cases, perhaps three cases: (a) positive, (b) neutral, and (c) negative (although it might make for an interesting dissertation). 

Here's my hypothesis, if it were not for the open enrollment admission policy most of these listed universities employ, there would be far fewer complaints on this site resulting in fewer reviews. Yes, admitting everyone is certainly egalitarian; however, many of these folks are not going to make it, someone should have told them this, and they're going to spend a bunch of money and not graduate. This is where admission hurdles actually helps the prospective student. It lets them know some of their chances for success. These same students then discontinue their studies for a plethora of reasons and land here to complain
Feb. 5, 2010, 4:39 p.m.
0 votes/
Amateur Scholar & TooMuch:

I'm not sure why we're quibbling over perception and the power of opinion. We ask other people's opinions all the time. The credibility of this post really isn't the issue. I believe the issue is the number of posts and how many of these posts are negative.

So, I cut and pasted the entire college list (N=454) into a spreadsheet. I then did a little sorting, the top twenty universities with the most numerous reviews are: (with the number of reviews listed beside them, don't mind the double entering, this was a result of cutting and pasting the list into the spreadsheet)

Ashford University (207 reviews)		207
Kaplan University (158 reviews)		158
American Military University (129 reviews)		129
Grantham University (111 reviews)		111
Columbia Southern University (108 reviews)		108
Western Governors University (106 reviews)		106
Northcentral University (104 reviews)		104
Walden University (93 reviews)		93
University of Phoenix (90 reviews)		90
Capella University (72 reviews)		72
Warren National University (71 reviews)		71
Seton Hall University (65 reviews)		65
Argosy University (63 reviews)		63
Norwich University (58 reviews)		58
Ashworth College (51 reviews)		51
Touro University International (38 reviews)		38
Henley-Putnam University (34 reviews)		34
Grand Canyon University (33 reviews)		33
New York Institute of Technology-Ellis College (33 reviews)		33
Thomas Edison State College (28 reviews)		28

Some simple stats:

Mean: 82.60
Mode: 33
Median: 71.70
STDEV: 46.30
Range: 28 - 207

I'm not going to focus on any one school, and I'll let you compare for yourself. Many of the well-known for-profits are far above the mean, median and standard deviation for the number of comments. Look at the range, consider this is the top ten out of N=454 universities and number 20 has only twenty-eight reviews. It's painfully obvious there is a trend here (continued below)
Feb. 5, 2010, 12:35 a.m.
0 votes/
Good points, TooMuch! I appreciate your frank honesty.


Dear Dr. Emptor,


1. I don't know why the NCU forum is being compared to a Harvard forum, perhaps this is a good thing.

2. The financial cost and the emotional investment of a meal at a restaurant cannot be compared to the financial cost, the social and emotional investment for an advanced degree. Hence (umm ... for me anyway ..), I wouldn't exactly use the same way to assess both of these.

3. IMHO, these forums really lack so much in terms of rigor that the use of these forums themselves warrant a "caveat emptor", don't you agree? Since you mentioned you are Ed.D, I'm sure you can recall your research methods classes so I won't say more. 

BUT .. the true gem today is this.

YES ... you are right in that the main argument finally crystallizes down to the ONE issue. OPEN admission or not? Should education be limited upfront to a few, and we risk losing undiscovered scholars OR should education be open to all, and afterward we sift and pass the truly worthy?

I really DON'T KNOW. I don't have a clever answer to this question. The majority of my educational background has been the "closed" systems, only NCU has been my first "open" experience. 

So .. "open" or "closed"? But you know, and this is my personal first-hand opinion, I tend now to lean on the "open" idea. I mean ... I have met so many interesting characters throughout my study; and you know - the ones who graduated - really are doing fine. I feel enriched knowing these folks. I know NCU grads who are CEOs, corporate managers, military veterans and some are educators working in traditional B&M schools. From the doctoral graduates I know, all of them are people of caliber. Good decent folk that just found NCU a good fit to their needs. But of course, I quickly admit that this sample itself is biased because as we already discussed earlier, NCU graduates do make the cut.

So, what to do with those that don't or can't. Thus .. "open" versus "closed". But Emptor, do you really want to be the one to say that education should be limited to the "few"?   

Anyway, I'm just drained after finishing a ton of article reviews for the upcoming Academy of Mgmt meeting at Montreal. Read some good stuff though. 

Good night and stay well all.
Feb. 4, 2010, 11:28 p.m.
0 votes/
"Perception is reality" unfortunately that's true and that applies to everything these days, especially politics but that's for another forum.
Feb. 4, 2010, 11 p.m.
0 votes/

What do they say, "perception is reality, but it's not always the truth."
Feb. 4, 2010, 9:25 p.m.
0 votes/
I'm just a casual observer that's all. I only read Amateur Scholars post and Caveat. Caveat, you compared this post to that of a consumer report guide but on this site people are merely providing their own perspectives on NCU and other schools. They don't offer the same type of analysis that you would find say when buying a car. I don't see no objective measurements by an independent and reputable organization, just opinions by observers like myself. Opinions, that's pretty much it.
Feb. 4, 2010, 8:17 p.m.
0 votes/
Amateur Scholar:

I can appreciate your position; however, I believe this post is corollary to a consumer review publication. You know, one of those places you go looking for answers to consumer questions. If you were to tell me you were going to frequent a local restaurant you’ve never frequented, and I shared with you I had frequented the restaurant and had a horrible (horrible) experience, even if we were casual acquaintance, not close friends, you probably would choose another restaurant. You don’t want to knowingly enter into a negative experience when someone has previously warned you. With this said, I welcome all respectable opinions on this site.

I bifurcate the various comments on this site into four categories: (a) Advising: These are the good intentioned folks just trying to help by sharing their personal life experiences concerning post-secondary education; (b) Negative: There are the folks who’ve attended NCU (or perhaps another for-profit academic institution) at various academic levels and had a bad experience; (c) Opining: These are the folks who stumble onto this site during moments of complete boredom and can’t help but to have their say; and finally (d) Questioning: These are the folks who arrive at this site with sincere questions about the institution, searching for some guidance. 

As you skimmed the various comments on this board, you would probably agree with me that over 50% are negative; no science here, just casual observation. Why so many negative comments here, but none on the Harvard board? I believe I have the answer. The for-profits in particular have an open enrollment admissions policy. Minimum admission hurdles. So folks that have no business pursuing a graduate or doctorate degree walk in off the street with transcripts in one hand and a check in the other, and off they go. 

No surprise, later they’ve run into an assortment of challenges. Some challenges might include: (a) Poor previous academic rigor; (b) Lack of understanding how lonely pursuing a “virtual” education is; (c) Lack of discipline in pursuing “virtual” education; and (d) Little to no objective academic counseling. I’m sure few academic advisors would keep their jobs for very long if a “qualified” customer (notice I didn’t say applicant) was rejected due to the opinion of the academic advisor who did not believe the customer could complete the program.  

If ten people begin a doctorate program at NCU and only one completes the program, and you speak to the nine who didn’t complete the program, you’re going to be left with a negative perception regardless of how objective you might be. This is NCUs Achilles’ heal. The greater the incompletion (ABD) rate among NCU doctoral students, the more negative the message concerning NCU on the street, the fewer applicants NCU will receive. Got any good restaurant suggestions?
Feb. 4, 2010, 2:36 a.m.
0 votes/
Part 2 of 2 continued from previous part 1 of 2 ...
(Sorry for long post)

4. Without apologizing, I do not consider the views of non-HR or mgmt folks on the matter of for-profit acceptance at private sector to be authoritative. Although I respect everybody's right to an opinion, I cannot respect an opinion of those who are not actual decision makers, but are in fact, regurgitating comments from friends, newspapers, hearsay and those inclined toward academic snobbery. 

5. Finally, without apologizing, I do not consider the views of folks not working at AACSB, ACBSP, regional accrediting agencies or familiar with the accreditation process to be authoritative on the matter of for-profit accreditation. Calling regionally-accredited institutions demeaning names and insulting their graduates is disrespectful and inappropriate. Anybody may have a poor personal experience with ONE individual, but to over-generalize and make sweeping statements just tells us so much about the writer.

I have neither the ability nor the intent to change the minds or opinions of all the esteemed posters here. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. What I do expect though, is to be able to read assertions based on fact and first-hand experience, and that the writers will also provide the basis of their authority to comment. However, it seems that many anonymous people here with unknown backgrounds and unstated experience are making a whole lot of comments and providing very little supporting evidence.

If all the folks here are truly involved in higher education (as students, teachers, and so forth) then I think we all can do better than this.

Thank you.
Feb. 4, 2010, 2:35 a.m.
0 votes/
Part 1 of 2
(Sorry for long post)

Caveat, I will reply to you because you at least, have obtained an Ed.D and so IMHO, earned the right to comment with authority. This said, my colleagues and I remain at a disadvantage because we do not know where you earned your Ed.D from (if its buried somewhere in the long posts upstream, kindly forgive as time does not permit me to forage.) In the interests of fairplay, you might want to share this info, so as to level the playing field.

NCU does NOT hand out its degrees so it was both challenging and rewarding for me. IF NCU DID hand out its degrees, I would have been the first to leave because I fully expected to be recognized for my doctorate when I earned it. My dissertation committee was balanced with old-school, non-profit established B&M folks so they pushed hard on writing and methodology (my dissertation was quantitative-based). As a PhD graduate, I have no qualms about using the "Dr" or placing PhD on my business card. I also list NCU in my profile and bio when I give public talks. 

So, do I think NCU is perfect? Of course not! There's always room to improve, but I have seen the efforts taken by NCU to keep on growing stronger, have really met and chatted with the academic leadership at Prescott and I'm filled with much hope and anticipation for NCU in the future. The people I met seemed so driven and focused so in them we trust. 

And now, may I exercise free speech here? 

1. Some people who grumble here seem to have forgotten, or never seem to have wrestled with old-school bureaucracy. Even B&M's can provide very interesting life lessons. Now, the distance learning format IS challenging and not for everybody; certainly NOT for the academically disinclined. That NCU is a for-profit also means they operate differently in some ways versus non-profits. Well, to me, that's the way it is. Privatization has its pros and cons.

2. Without apologizing, I do not consider the views of non-doctoral holders on the matter of doctoral studies to be authoritative. Although I respect everybody's right to an opinion, I cannot respect an opinion that I feel is just not sufficiently grounded. First, earn a doctorate, then come back and you may talk about doctoral studies with more authority.

3. Without apologizing, I do not consider the views of non-NCU graduates on the matter of NCU's academic rigor to be authoritative. Although I respect everybody's right to an opinion, I cannot respect an opinion of those who didn't make it, because I think that these people may also have difficulties elsewhere too. 

continues part 2 of 2 ...
Feb. 3, 2010, 5:42 p.m.
0 votes/
Amateur Scholar:

Welcome to our group of "esteemed posters." It appears you had a good experience at NCU? How about sharing a bit more about this experience for those who might be considering NCU for their next degree program.
Jan. 30, 2010, 6:15 a.m.
0 votes/
Caveat, first I never implied that you were against NCU and I don't think anyone on these forums has ever accused you of that, so we cool right? I agree that the different business accrediting bodies serve different purposes. I also agree that NCU grads and students don't need to defend themselves. I think it would be kind of difficult comparing a seasoned military officer attending NCU to a 19 year old college student attending a formidal b&m school.
Jan. 29, 2010, 2:01 a.m.
0 votes/
Just came across this thread. Wow. So many opinions, from all angles too. I see the usual suspects are all here. The haves, the have-nots, the wannabes, those that don't want others to be, the veterans, the jilted, the rookies and the general others.

And .. just out of curiosity:

1. Who are the real PhD holders in this forum?
2. Who are the ABDs?
3. Some of you cite the opinions of HR professionals, so I guess you should be HR of ... Fortune 100? 500? 1000? - do shed some light.
4. Then, there are those who speak on behalf of academia, hence I presume you to be deans, provosts, heads of depts maybe? From which RA schools?
5. Maybe some good folks here work for AACSB or ACBSP? Would sure love to know who you are...
6. Maybe some people didn't make it? Started, but wasn't your cup of tea?
7. I'll also love to hear from those who first went to a for-profit, didn't like what they saw, then went on to a non-profit and FINISHED the PhD program there - that would be nice to know... FIRST-hand experiences, though please. 
8. And for the rest, did you get your strong opinions from newspapers, websites, hearsay, a "friend" maybe?

Sure am curious to find out some backgrounds of all the esteemed posters here... 

Who am I? Just an Amateur Scholar,I guess.

Did my PhD NCU with research focused on IT mgmt
Day job: IT mgmt spanning 2 decades
To date, presented papers in only 2 academic conferences (insignificant compared to all of you, I know)
Only 1 full research paper and 2 opeds published in journal(embarrasing!) Now working on second full paper - already in contact with some B&M people

After reading this message board, guess should be thinking of callin it quits and just solely do day-job coz the for-profit ed is so worthless that its grads can make no contribution to body of knowledege whatsoever... 

And here I was, thinkin I actually learnt and grew a lot over the past 6 years spent with many a weekend and nights poring over journals, articles, textbooks and stats...
What do I know, eh?

Sincerely yours.
Jan. 26, 2010, 11:47 p.m.
0 votes/
Just my two Cents:

I have no significant beef with NCU. Although AACSB is directed at business programs and the ACBSP is directed at  broader educational offerings, I took issue with the "there is no difference statement" when there clearly is a difference between the quality of these two accrediting bodies and the post-secondary institutions they accredit.  

Lauding NCU for attaining the ACBSP accreditation is really nothing to get excited about when you consider the company of the schools on this list. It's a tertiary accrediting body at best. No one needs to defend NCU, and those that attempt this fate do so at their own risk. NCU will thrive or die predicated upon the post-graduation success of its graduates and its reputation in the marketplace.
Jan. 25, 2010, 6:45 p.m.
0 votes/
Caveat, so basically there's no objective way to measure membership in one of these prestigious organizations with the outcome of potential employment capability. That's basically what I got out of that particular posting. It seemed that particular individual had some grim perspective on NCU, which is cool. He or she is right, you can't compare NCU with tier 1 or tier 2 schools.
Jan. 24, 2010, 1:05 a.m.
0 votes/
Just my two cents:

Take a look at this posting:

IMEM January 2, 2009 at 3:03 p.m.
Jan. 20, 2010, 11:34 p.m.
0 votes/
Are there any professions or jobs that require ACBSP or AACSB accreditation for that matter? Do any industries or organizations have this as a requirement for membership or employment? Will graduating from a school that have these professional accreditations secure employment or mobility in your profession? Those would be my questions.
Jan. 20, 2010, 8:46 p.m.
0 votes/
Dr. G:

I have to take exception to your posting. It is disingenuous at best. AACSB is not the creator of business education, but it is the gold standard in accredited business education. Please peruse the two lists yourself (easily located on the Internet), AACSB is chalked full of highly credible well recognized tier I business schools. 

Now go to the ACBSP list, you'll quickly notice this list is 3rd, 4th and 5th tier schools with substantially less academic rigor and reputation. For those of you searching for a listing of AACSB schools, go to
Jan. 20, 2010, 3:33 p.m.
0 votes/
AACSB is not the Creator of business education. There are other accrediting bodies that offer professional accreditions that have proven to have a greater deal of success. This is why several universities toward the end of 2009 opted out of AACSB. It is not needed for any state licensure and does not guarantee anyone a job. The AACSB community is currently in a scramble to address its old guarde methods and make changes before it loses more of it's accredited membership.

Northcentral has ACBSP accreditation which shows that NCU is a solid teaching institution. Most of its students are already mid-career and an AACSB will serve little to no purpose at this point.
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:45 p.m.
0 votes/

There are many highly credible virtual MBA programs out there. Look for AACSB accredited business programs.
Nov. 1, 2009, 2:04 p.m.
0 votes/
NCU is one of the schools I would like to obtain my MBA in Finance, but it seems the school will not let me look at a syllabus from some of the classes.  Anybody going or recently obtained an MBA please email me a copy?   

They did show me a link to a marketing course from the MBA, but I would like to look at other courses like OM5015 Personal Management, FIN5013 Investment Managements and others.  I like the idea that in addition to being 12 weeks, I also have the option to finish less than 12 weeks depending on my work schedule.
Oct. 23, 2009, 3:41 p.m.
0 votes/
I agree with caveat emptor.  Since when does a concept paper require a professional editor?  I think that a professional editor should be used at the very end but before publishing the dissertation.  And that the research process should start in the beginning.  Including the school taking the stance that it must match students up with qualified faculty to supervise the thesis from the start.
Oct. 23, 2009, 3:05 p.m.
0 votes/

This is not about grounded verses virtual learning environments. You have echoed my sentiments (see my comment of May 27, 2009). I believe NCU has a decent program; however, it is this "open enrollment" philosopy where many students get caught. If they have attended a low academic rigor program in the past with a nonthesis or a capstone project, they might have little understanding of the complexities of the dissertation process. 

NCU should be more supportive of preparing students for the dissertation process by simply allowing them to begin this process eariler in the program. The Concept Paper at other universities does not generate high scrutiny, it is just the concept, research questions, and a brief lit review usually ten to 15 pages in length. Although all academic papers should comply with APA style, the Concept Paper should not require an editor. 

Why not allow students to begin the Concept Paper long before they complete thier course work and sit for the comprehensive exam? This would eleviate some of the frustration. If you fail to complete the course work or fail the comprehensive exam, then the progress made on the Concept would be moot.    

Even at the best B&M schools, it's seldom the course work at the doctorate level that stalls students, it's the dissertation. A second issue NCU students complain about is having to locate their own dissertation chair and committee members. Everyone can imagine how difficult this must be in a virtual world where students do not have close relationships with Professors. The university needs to take a more proactive position and locate these members for the student. 

If NCU continues to focus on revenue vice their product, their students and programs, it will die on the vine. If it desires to continue to admit "everyone" and enjoy a high attrition rate, it will suffer a reputatoin where few despite academic prowess and ability will attend and complete a terminal degree.
Oct. 22, 2009, 3:43 p.m.
+1 vote/
Hi Nero,
  In reference to your comment:

"Unfortunately, NCU allows almost anyone who has a prior degree and a checkbook to enter the program; weeding out the ‘chaff’ later as a result of the ridiculously tight submission requirements for the ‘Concept Paper’ or the dissertation. That process translates into a lot of very unhappy former students that tend to show up on sites like this and berate the program."

Isn't that deceptive business practice on the part of the school and shouldn't those students be allowed to file a class action against the school for essentially exploiting them and their dreams to get a phd by "rubber stamping" papers up until the concept paper/dissertation proposal phase, where they then "weed" out undesirables using false grading measurements such as grading based on formatting and apa standards rather than content and merit.  Anybody want to take up that case, please post on this blog.  Recruiting thousands of students and failing the majority of them *after* taking millions of dollars from them does not seem like a legitimate business practice or viable education.
Oct. 21, 2009, 3:55 p.m.
0 votes/

I must agree with an earlier assessment; not everyone who wants to be a PhD has the ability to get one. Whether it is a question of aptitude or fortitude, I do not know. Unfortunately, NCU allows almost anyone who has a prior degree and a checkbook to enter the program; weeding out the ‘chaff’ later as a result of the ridiculously tight submission requirements for the ‘Concept Paper’ or the dissertation. That process translates into a lot of very unhappy former students that tend to show up on sites like this and berate the program. I’d rather NCU have some sort of qualification measure that makes that determination long before people have spent $20K+ of their hard-earned money to entertain a dream that was likely never to happen. As a result, I would say that the average PhD student at NCU may be a bit below those of a B&M, though the students who complete the program are on-par. This results in a profit windfall for the school without the requirement for justifying why there are NCU Ph.Ds walking the streets who cannot spell ‘Ph.D’. In the 13 years that NCU has existed, they’re successfully graduated…perhaps 200-250 Ph.Ds. There is a rather large disparity between the number they allow into the program and the number who actually graduate.
Oct. 21, 2009, 3:54 p.m.
0 votes/
The previous discussions, from what I can ascertain, have all been regarding the inferiority of an online environment, yet no mention is being made of the enhancements it may afford. I work as a practicing information technologist and to take years away from my field to study in an IT vacuum (typically provided in an academic environment) would be a death sentence for my career. My qualitative dissertation is regarding a specific type of network attack in a corporate environment. I have intimate knowledge of both the environment and the attack because it is my profession and involves a skill set I’ve honed over a quarter-century. You simply can’t teach what I know in a practicum. It is an indefensible and elitist position to say that research should be conducted only by Tier X researchers who have little knowledge regarding the practical use of the theories they create. I roll my eyes at dissertations that present theoretical solutions that are fundamentally flawed and impractical in a fast-paced corporate setting. Spewing volumes of ‘information’ that serve no purpose other than as a source of citation for another grad student does nothing to serve the needs of society.

My GF of 5 years is a PhD from a Tier-1 Research School. In the course of her studies, she was utilized to grade papers, perform research for her Chair (so he could reap the benefits of peer accolades that came by way of ‘his’ research), and for cheap manual labor.  I have heard similar accounts from others who ran the B&M gauntlet, which can be described as tantamount to an academic hazing ritual. Yes, this evidence is anecdotal, but it does evidence that the delivery format is not the problem. The vast majority of the people I’ve met at NCU are working professionals, not lab-rats. If their research is founded on practicality and solves problems that emanate from naturalistic settings, then the resultant solutions serve as beneficial guidelines for solving real-world problems, not just a citation for another ABD’s paper.
Oct. 20, 2009, 9:52 p.m.
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Has any else experienced difficulty in the research 4 class regarding the topic paper and its grading?  I am wondering if others have had their paper rejected multiple times and if something can be done about it.  Thanks.
Aug. 20, 2009, 11:54 p.m.
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Yes, NCU was just awarded the opportunity to award federal loans. From my perspective Barbara didn't complain about academic rigor rather her complaints seem to lie within the administration's inability or confusion to adminster resources in a timely and proper manner.
Aug. 19, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
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Hi Barb:

I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience at NCU. It's hard to believe any educational institution would not have the appropriate faculty to advance student's academic programs. Do you think your experience is an excemption, or the rule? 

Although I have my own personal opinions regarding the various for-profit institutions, I didn't believe that infrastructure issues were one of them. My understanding is NCU was just awarded the opportunity to offer federal loan programs. 

My complaints regarding the various for-profits is their open enrollment environment, low academic rigor, and for-profit status. I beleive your problem would be an issue that anyone considering NCU would scrutinize.
Aug. 19, 2009, 4:27 p.m.
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I will have to agree with the many, many (literally hundreds) of  complaints filed against Northcentral University (NCU). I was a Ph.D. student in  the Business Administration program at the "University".  I had completed all of the course work (to the tune of several thousands of dollars), and was at the point of forming a dissertation committee.  The "University" required  one of their faculty members to head this committee.  NCU COULD NOT PROVIDE A DISSERTATION COMMITTEE CHAIR FOR MY AREA OF STUDY--FINANCE.  They forced me to accept a person who had no clue about finance or my dissertation topic!  All she could tell me was where a "comma" was missing on my comprehensive exam responses. It is not like "finance" is an specialized area where it is difficult to find faculty.  If you can't provide the RESOURCES, don't offer the program!!   

Hence, with all the problems this University had, I left the program right in the middle of my Comp exams and am stuck paying over $10,000 to them. Yes, to them--I was also a victim of their privatized student loan program at 10% APR.  NCU does NOT meet the requirements of issuing traditional Federal Stafford loans or unsubsidized Federal student loans. I should have known, right at that point, to stay away!!

NCU has a negative reputation, and I truly believe that negative reputation  will hurt a professional's resume to have their name on it.   I teach in a traditional higher education college and I do not mention ANY of the coursework completed with NCU, on my resume, for fear that it will negatively impact my career.  Obviously I am not the only one that has experienced problems with them--read the other 100+ complaints. NCU's motivation to educate you is driven soley by profit and a diploma mill type mentality.  Are you willing to risk thousands of dollars to find out what we all found out?
Aug. 10, 2009, 7:23 p.m.
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I mean no disrepect, but what do they say, if you have to ask the question, then you probably already know the answer.
Aug. 10, 2009, 6:26 p.m.
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I had to respond to "Just A Guy's" comments and wanted to get some insight into other's opinions as well. I have two undergraduate degrees from a state school and am now working on my masters degree in education from University of Phoenix. I would love to have gone to a brick and mortar school but I work full time, take care of a home and run a business. Going back to school was a huge step for me and a big decision as to where to attend. I would love to have attended UCF or ASU but their schedule did not meet mine working full time.

As for my experience at UOP, the support I have received from my Academic Advisors and Professors (some of whom have multiple masters degrees) from UOP has been far better than any advisor I had from a state college. I am enjoying what I am learning from UOP and am studying Instructional Design and e-learning to learn how to develop online courses. This field is now exploding and I think more state schools are seeing this trend continue as the adult population grows and gets older and is returning to school.

I am seeing schools like ASU and USC now offer online courses and they are way more expensive (in the 35,000.00 range) than UOP (in the 20,000 range). Both state schools seem to have high opinions of themselves for being so new to the online education experience. 

I have found that society's role in life is to hold you back, no matter who you are in life. So the academic snobbery towards online schools is no surprise. However, the online education field is exploding. There are schools now that offer online classes for students Kindergarden through 12th. grade in high school. 

My hope is that UOP will expand their ground campuses to compete with the traditional brick and mortar schools even further. They have the building facilities and definitely the students and the credentials. Now they just need to offer classes during the day? Is this what they need to do to compete in the marketplace? 

Would this step give them more credibility or would the academic snobbery continue? Would love to hear your thoughts. 

Thanks all.
July 10, 2009, 12:04 a.m.
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USC sucks. I attended USC, and I believe they charge alot of money for the degree. The education is good, but the professors are terrible!
July 3, 2009, 7:50 a.m.
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I think that Bobo Shan is probably Donald Hecht, the former owner of NCU.  He spent a lot of his time responding to people's complaints about NCU under pseudonyms.  Donald Hecht had an office at SCUPS, and even his girlfriend had her own desk and phone there.  I met Donald Hecht at SCUPS's office.  SCUPS and NCU shared syllabi, IT infrastructure, and other resources, including employees. Donald Hecht instructed his employees to lie about their relationship.  I know because I worked for NCU and was made to visit SCUPS in California to help them assimilate NCU's online course system.
July 1, 2009, 8:32 p.m.
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Caveat, then they have no one to blame but themselves. There are many resources available for the general public to make educated decisions. I agree that there are some who are pursuing doctorates for uncessary reasons. They need to be educated and aware of their personal and professional goals before pursuing such a large task.
July 1, 2009, 12:49 p.m.
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Be cool:

I mean no disrepect, but when did accountants, military officers, or law enforcement personnel require a doctorate degree for thier profession? (Perhaps this is not what you are referring to.) Academics, not-for-profits, consultants and analysts were the usual suspects pursuing a doctorate degree (which is my focus of discussion). 

Perhaps this is part of the problem, folks pursuing third rate advanced education. I read somewhere on this cite an individual was trying to secure employment with civil service and believed they needed a doctorate degree? I can't imagine what position in civil service except at the highest (SES) level would require a doctorate degree (I'm sure they're are a few).

I agree with your premise, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, virtual education is certainly filling a niche for those of us who can't quite our day jobs and attend school full-time. Unfortunately, I continually see more folks pursuing virtual doctorate degrees because they can, not because they need to or even have a sound reason for doing so. They then fail and arrive here to complain about a program they should have never been admitted into.
May 28, 2009, 8:06 p.m.
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Caveat, good post. I think your issue has more to do with awareness and education on the part of the potential online learner, and open admissions policies set forth by for profit schools. Personally, those are not my concerns. My concerns are the same concerns most working professionals have been plagued with for years. Finding appropriate educational institutions that work with professional students in continuing there educational endeavors. We are accountants, execs, commissioned officers and professional law enforcement just trying to move up the ladder in life. My arguments are not against you.
May 27, 2009, 4:51 p.m.
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The second issue of lack of academic rigor and open enrollment attracts folks who will never complete the program (they don’t know this due to hubris or ignorance, and don’t think the academic advisor is going to mention this when they see weak academic history). In some instances, the previous learners academic institutions engendered an environment of low academic rigor, so they no nothing else. If new to a virtual environment with limited immediate support and feedback, they simply disappear. 

The third issue is the for-profits who certainly play a role in our mixed economy are focused on share-holders and creating share-holder value (as they should be).  A corollary to this should be creating value for students who can complete said program, go on to do great things in the marketplace, and sing the praises of their alma mater attracting yet more students, creating yet more shareholder value, and the beat goes on. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with “some’ of these institutions.  Admitting folks that will never complete the program is probably more the learner’s responsibility than the institution; however, it would be nice if there were some admissions hurdles to demonstrate to the learner that they’ll never make it. They fail and arrive here to complain when all along, someone knew or should have known they wouldn’t make it. The traditional B&M (not for-profit) institution at least has some admissions hurdles that gives pause to the learner regarding degree completion certainty. Some of the for-profits don’t seem very concerned with degree completion, but student headcount.
May 27, 2009, 4:50 p.m.
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Teaching in academia and Be Cool:

Again, it's never been about virtual verses grounded programs, that’s really a tired argument at this point in time. Many programs will be available online in the future, many are today (see my comment of January 29, 2009 at 6 p.m.). The issues are threefold: (a) open-enrollment, (b) academic rigor, and (c) for-profit institutions. I have blogged at length on this very site concerning these issues.

Teaching in academia is absolutely correct, if you hope to teach at an AACSB school, then you must attend a school with the same accreditation. There is of course an exception, if you're a truly gifted researcher, writer or visionary and have made a name for yourself as an expert, then a main-stream school might overlook your (perceived) low pedigree education and hire you. If you’re in a position to quite your day job and attend a brick and mortar (B&M) academic institution for up to seven years to complete a terminal degree, then you should! Unfortunately, most of us can’t do this. 

There are many regionally accredited 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th tier schools in both the virtual and grounded environments that would be happy to have an NCU doctoral graduate teaching their courses, and I’m sure there are many. We all know the well-known for-profit schools to include Argosy, Capella, NCU, UMUC, UoP, and Walden. I’m certain there are many more including relatively new comer University of the Rockies. 

The three issues mentioned above continue to plague these on-line learners. The first issue of open enrollment policy; many schools in this niche admit almost everyone with minimum credentials. They might or might not complete the course work; they might even find the course work “easy.” Then the dreaded thesis or dissertation arrives and these folks fail. Why, because only about 50% of all doctorate learners complete their degree with dissertation (see my comment of April 1, 2009 at 1:50 p.m.). The research component of the graduate or doctorate degree, particularly the doctorate degree is a very lonely process. (continued below)
May 26, 2009, 6:12 p.m.
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Teaching in Academia, good post and greatly appreciated. The student should be responsible enough to research there limitations with an online degree. I think its safe to assume that most online students understand they will NOT obtain a teaching position at a traditional B&M school with an online degree. For many an online masters or ph.d is mainly for industry purposes and promotion. All known doctorate programs in my area are full time based only. Most non-tradtional students lack the time to obtain these types of degrees due to professional careers.
May 26, 2009, 9:59 a.m.
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This site is very informative. It appears that if you plan to teach in a traditional tenure position in academia, NCU is the worst option for a doctorate. However, if teaching is not your goal, it does not matter.

As far as programs below the doctorate level, online education seems to be well accepted. 

NCU may be the cheapest program based on tuition, but it may cost much more in opportunity cost in terms of total academic career opportunities and potential income in academia. This point does not seem to be discussed in this site. This is warning sign!

Although online doctorate programs may have a high student satisfaction rating, this is not the criterion traditional academia will use for selecting faculty members. It will be mostly a case-by-case basis based on the total candidate package with research as the most important criteria. An outstanding publication record will make up for any poor perception of the doctorate program you attend. 

Currently, for anyone wanting to teach in an AACSB school, obtaining a doctorate from an AACSB school would generally be the best option. This is a critical point. If you cannot attend an AACSB school, then you need to meet with some of the schools and faculty you would want to teach with and get some advice. Many may tell you they will not hire you from a 100% online school for a tenure track position.  They want to see some residency and significant interaction with faculty members. 

So if these schools do not accept you for teaching position, which may leave you with online, adjunct and non-tenure positions. These are OK but note that there is a substantial salary difference.  Don't fall in the trap of just thinking about the cost of tuition. 

Most traditional academics will try to convince you to complete a traditional program and earn the higher salary. But if that is not possible, then as this site points out, there are many alternative schools. A lot of NCU folks are posting on this site regarding their satisfaction level and how much cheaper the courses are over any other alternative school. That appears to be the NCU competitive model.... but it may cost you much more in terms of long-term career opportunities and salary level. Choose wisely!

If are already in the program and can transfer to another school, you may be able to increase your total career opportunity and salary level by a very high multiple. But if you are in a later stage, it is probably best to just stay with it and work on your research efforts. Online education in business schools at the doctorate level may gain more acceptances when we see high degree of quality publications. This may take a decade or more but if you will be teaching for 10 or 20 more years, then it could pay off.  But for some, it may actually be a lost of wealth. Choose wisely and think long-term.
May 11, 2009, 7:15 p.m.
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A lot of the students at NCU are either active duty, reserve or retired military/government. They have access to military TA or GI Bill which basically covers the cost of tuition and some of the books. Most, if not all, will only pay for the on-going dissertation fees and that's it. Pretty good deal.
May 7, 2009, 8:49 p.m.
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Some People:

I believe NCUs tuition rates are pretty reasonable, perhaps some of the most reasonable in this niche. NCUs tuition and fees runs about $32,000 for a doctorate degree; however, these fees do not include text books, continuing dissertation fees, or your time. I agree, most education return-on-investment (ROI) is a lifetime. The degree continues to pay long after the tuition has been recouped. 

My message has been, many folks don't realize how difficult it is to complete a terminal degree, virtually or in a brick and mortar environment. Many begin, few finish, and all they have to show for it is absent but dissertation (ABD) behind their name and eventually they remove this moniker when they realize it's not complimentary, it's only indicative of failure. 

I'm a big fan of education and don't want to be an obstacle to anyone attempting to improve themselves or their lives. Keep in mind, this doctoral degree stuff is tough, regardless of which education institution you attend. Be cognizant of your own skills and persistence, as mentioned previously, at the best schools, only about 50% of terminal degree student will complete the program with dissertation.
April 8, 2009, 10:51 p.m.
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To Anonymous,

Sound familiar?:
Posted: 4/7/2009
Mentor for FIN 6010
Hi, My name is XXXX pursuing a Ph.D. in financial management. I just had the worst experience with a mentor that did not want to work with me after I made some remarks about one of my papers. Any way, I had to drop the course. I went to that course with all "A" in 8 prior classes. If any one knows a supportive mentor that teaches that course, please let me know.  

In that post you did not indicated that you contacted your adviser or the dean. But seems your story match at least in most what you posted on date March 18, 2009. You are not a very diligent individual, if you are going to whine, do it the right way.
April 4, 2009, 8:35 p.m.
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Mr. Emptor,

We can agree that it makes no sense to spend $100K for an academic degree and that your passing success is 50% and that your rate of return will not pay for itself. But at the same time it makes sense that an education is an investment and should pay in the long run. It would be the student's responsibility to invest wisely, is the same principal as with your money in Wall Street, choose your investments. In my particular situation, I did not spent more than the cost of an MBA for the doctorate at NCU(which now is starting to skyrocket and reaching the $30K figure), I am in the research phase now and one thing I know is, it will be finish. I eliminated most of the obstacles that people face when they are attending a doctorate program and financing being the biggest one.
April 1, 2009, 1:50 p.m.
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I was recently reviewing the dropout data for doctoral programs. According to Smallwood (2004) indicated the doctoral dropout rate is approximately 50% although no large scale study has been effectuated to date (¶. 6).  The author goes on to say that attrition rates are higher in Ph.D programs as opposed to law, business or other fixed timeline degrees as a Ph.D can take up to seven years to complete. 

It’s not my intention to illuminate the reason(s) for this high dropout rate, but to use it as a backdrop for discussion here. For you gamblers, if you had a fifty-fifty chance of success, many of you would accept; however, when attempting to complete an academic endeavor costing over $100,000, these odds are unacceptable. 

So, do folks applying for and attending a terminal degree program know that even among the brightest of students, only about 50% will complete the program? Although not mentioned in this article, these data probably originate from traditional brick and mortar programs with tight admissions hurdles. This might address the many complaints among the for-profit Ph.D/Ed.D students who fail at probably at higher than 50% rate. For those of you considering a terminal degree, are these good odds. I don’t think so. 


Smallwood, S. (2004). Doctor dropout: High attrition from Ph.D. programs is sucking away time, talent, and money and breaking some hearts, too. The Chronicle of Higher Education [Electronic version]. Retrieved April 1, 2009, from 

(this site would not allow me to list the URL for this article. Goggle Doctoral Dropout Rates, look for the The Chronicle: 1/16/2004: Doctor Dropout link)
March 30, 2009, 8:22 p.m.
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Had a very similar experience. The "school" is interested in your tuition money and nothing else.
March 18, 2009, 11:30 p.m.
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Mr./Ms. Anonymous, 

I don't buy what you are saying and something is missing from your story, when I personally had an issue I had contacted the Dean directly, and she provided solutions to the issues. Sounds to me that your are disgruntle because you were not able to keep a perfect GPA, hey things happen, I had issues too with mentors and they were taking care to the point if I wanted to change mentors. One thing NCU is not, that is unresponsive to issues with their students. Get your story strait!
March 18, 2009, 8:54 p.m.
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HI, I have been going to NCU for about a year and a half now and am in the PhD in Business Admin. I had taken 8 courses and had a 4.0 average. I got to my 9th course (which was the last course before entering the Doctoral sequence) and the instructor was failing me. Come to find out, that instructor had several negative reviews at other Universities as well. The instructor was making ridiculous comments that did not make sense and was not following the syllabus in terms of the assignments. I contacted my academic advisor...who did absolutely nothing except "apologize" that I had just flushed $1,575 down the drain. I contacted the Dean of the school, and she basically told me to "deal with it" and place the blame on me. The level of service was awful...they couldn't care less about me. I am considering withdrawing simply because I don't know if it's possible to graduate considering that the school provides hardly any support for their students.
Feb. 20, 2009, 9:28 p.m.
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I just completed my PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from NCU, Jan 2009. My dissertation was the most difficult experience I've ever gone through. Ten time harder than anything in my B&M Masters program. If I had known how tough it was going in, I would have never signed up. Please, don't let this scare you away. Just take it one step at a time. Now that it's over, I'm glad I did it, and now it's Miller Time.
Jan. 31, 2009, 3:27 p.m.
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The PhD dropout rate problem in academia has been going on for years. Research suggests it’s between 40% to 50% amongst colleges and universities. That’s about the same average amongst for-profit colleges and universities. It should also be noted that one researcher discovered; research suggests that there is little to no academic difference between the people who complete their degrees and those who drop out -- at least as measured by their Graduate Record Examination scores and undergraduate grades. So, ultimately, the high attrition is a waste of time and talent. Furthermore, not all non-profit colleges and universities require entrance examinations for their PhD programs, such as the University of Arizona (Tucson) and UNLV, which are pretty reputable schools.  Others do not put as much weight on them as some may assume. Furthermore, many other variables come into play when completing a terminal degree program (time, money and outside influences). Are you aware of the intense involvement a dissertation requires? Did you complete a CAPSTONE (individually or group project) or thesis? How involved were you in the completion of these programs? Your final projects should’ve been very intense (not as intense as a dissertation) and demonstrate your analytical skills and abilities to defend your conclusions in a logical manner. Now, if your partners are doing all the work and completing the project, and you’re riding on their talents, don’t fool yourself into thinking a terminal degree is going to have a similar outcome.  The dissertation's an individual project and measures your ability to research a subject, its findings and submit evidence in support of your research, and in most cases defend your findings or conclusions to an oral defense board. That said; whether entrance exams are taken or not, research suggests the dropout rate’s the same. Thanks!

Google dropout rate!
Jan. 30, 2009, 2:02 p.m.
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Some People:

Isn't great when you have someone else pay for your education; however, many don't have this benefit, and even if they did, why not attend the best shcool you can get into? The blog you cite is interesting, but still doesn't address the expense, reputation and number of complaints regarding the for-profits on this very site.  I think the more education we can provide visitors of this site, the better.
Jan. 29, 2009, 11:33 p.m.
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Mr. Emptor: You keep shilling the website. What is your connection with them?

Q: For those of you who just have to have a doctorate degree, I would ask at what cost and for what gain? Is attending the only educational institution you can gain access to and spend between $50,000 and $100,000 (total cost) the best option for you, it might not be!

A: Less than $20K/no student loans/paid in full at my employer expense/is a must have to keep yourself marketable/Regional Accredited. Makes sense/still working.

Something to think
Jan. 29, 2009, 6 p.m.
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I'm not sure that no choice is a choice. I continue to read dicotomous comments regarding the merits of virtual verses brick and mortor education. This is not the issue... virtual learning is now, and will certainly will be the future. I see an educational future world offering all courses on-line at all levels that don't require some type of tactility phase (such a medical or dental school). 

As many of you have pointed out, there are a plethora highly credible graduate programs available on-line. Check out this website for a comprehensive list of this programs.

Admittedly, part-time doctorate programs are a bit more problematic to locate. Some folks arrive at this site, read overwhelming negative comments about a for-profit insitituion, choose to attend this institution, fail, then bad mouth the institution. 

In fact, on-line education at this level is very difficult. It is a lonesome road, particularly at dissertation. Some complete the course work, others don't. Some complete the course work, but fail at dissertation completion and spend a bunch to get to this point with little to no return.

If an individual knew of eminent failure, they wouldn't attend. If their best friend said, "hey, you don't have what it takes to complete this degree," would they listen? However, the for-profit admissions representative is not going to ask these questions. 

By all means, pursue advanced education, I'm a big fan, but if you're going to spend $60,000 to attend a for-profit, you could spend this same amount of money and attend Northeastern University's on-line MBA program with no GMAT requirement why wouldn't you?

For those of you who just have to have a doctorate degree, I would ask at what cost and for what gain? Is attending the only educational institution you can gain access to and spend between $50,000 and $100,000 (total cost) the best option for you, it might not be!
Jan. 29, 2009, 5:58 a.m.
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C, you are right on the money on this one. I obtained from my masters degree from a b&m school. I was probably one of the oldest ones in my class who held a full time job in law enforcement, married with children and paying a mortgage. Most of the class had neither work experience or any credentials to match. Who can go to school full time?
Jan. 28, 2009, 6:18 p.m.
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To Information,

That is so not true.  Most PhD students also work, even traditionally they teach classes or do fellowships at the institution.  Going to school full-time and working is very possible and is done everyday.  As a matter of fact, most PhD programs will not even admit students without work experience.  However, if you are a corporate executive with lots of responsibility and travel frequently, you are not able to quit your job to earn your PhD.  These are the types of individuals that top-notch schools want to entice, not students with no work experience and no real future.
Jan. 28, 2009, 4:30 p.m.
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Anyone teaching????    I am just curious to know if anyone on this board is teaching at a college or high school with their degree from NCU? Please post your degree type and your position.  Thanks in advance for your response
Jan. 28, 2009, 2:14 a.m.
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Mr. Information,

Your opinion does not make sense. Wake up, we are in the 21 century and live in a global economy.
Jan. 28, 2009, 1:40 a.m.
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I guess that puts Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) (New York) out also! They offer a part time Ph.D. program. They're ranked 9th (Tier 1) in the country for their master degrees and 21st for their graduate-level studies in fine arts. The Princeton review rated them amongst the best 368 colleges and universities. Thanks!
Jan. 27, 2009, 10:05 p.m.
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I said it once on other boards but I want to mention it here too.  A Phd is not for everyone.  If you don't take the time in the program and do it full time, you shouldn't get a Phd.  The Phd is a degree for those who go full time and spend all waking moments to read and write about a single subject, learn how to design experiments, and understand better than anyone how it works.  You cannot do this if you are doing it part time or online.  So if you can't leave your job to do this full time, you can't get a respectable degree.
Jan. 27, 2009, 9:51 p.m.
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To Louisa,

I just wanted to let you know that I.T. Guys is correct.  The U.S. Dept. of Ed. code does not have anything to do with accredidation, only offering federal student aid to pay to attend college.  What many of you might be interested in knowing is I spoke with the financial aid dept. at NCU and they plan to submit a request to start receiving federal aid with the U.S. Dept. of Ed. within the next couple of months.  The process takes about 6 months, so by next next fall NCU students should be able to receive federal aid through the U.S. Dept. of Ed.  

Please keep in mind that many of your top-notch, old-time schools also try to avoid federal aid when it comes to student selection.  This is because private funding is much easier and less of a hastle for the school.  Think about it, if you have two equally gifted students, one needs federal aid (which required additional man-hours from the university to file documentation and keep additional records) and the other is self-funded through private means or through her employer, which students looks more desireable to you?  The point is use of federal aid can be time-consuming and a royal pain in the butt.  However, NCU is recognizing that it can be difficult for students to self-fund their educations, especially in the midsts of our poor economy.  

Personally, I think this is a step in the right direction for NCU so bravo to them:)  This will no doubtedly increase enrollment.
Jan. 27, 2009, 6:52 p.m.
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In response to "Just a Guy,"

I am going to attempt to shed some light on your question as to why students go to school online and, in your opinion, take a chance on the quality of the education.  I have taken both on-ground/traditional classes, online classes as well as a combination format and personally, I feel as though I learned a lot more in my online courses than I ever did attending classes.  I think that on-ground traditional classes were so easy I never had to crack a book.  All that was necessary to earn an A was to attend the lecture and take a few notes.  I am a straight A student by the way and graduated with a M.S. degree from a top 10 traditional university.  

In contrast, however, with the online course format, I was forced to open my books, read and critically think about the problems/cases in front of me versus listening to my professors' point of view.  As a result, not only was I making the grade, but also gaining an excellent learning my way.  Moreover, I have a Type-A personality so I like to log-in to class at least three to four times a day (sometimes very late in the evening) to get ahead on my assignments, discussions and readings as well as obtain feedback from professors any time of the day or night.  This works out best for me because I do not need to wait for the rest of the class.  I can learn at my own pace and I do not need to take a leave from my current employment to get the PhD degree I aspire to achieve.  

Therefore, not only do I believe the quality of the education is better, but the online distinction is not really a concern to most employers.  As long as you earn a degree from a regionally accredited institution, have excellent references, work experience, good common sense and make good grades you will get the job whether you graduated from Cornell or eCornell.  

I certainly respect your opinion and hope this helps you to better understand the critical thinking behind the decision to earn an advanced degree online.  By the way, I loved reading the correspondence (slight debate) between you and BoBo.  I felt you both had valid and well thoughtout points.
Jan. 27, 2009, 6:18 p.m.
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I am in the PhD in Business (Homeland Security) degree program and sincerely enjoy it!  I have 5 master's degrees from well known B & M schools and even enrolled in a hybrid doctoral program at a B & M school prior to NCU.  I left because the curriculum was not a good fit for my second career and the majority of the faculty never worked outside of academia .  My wife holds an Ed.D along with an MSN from B & M schools and she agreed that for learners who are fully engaged in a career, many traditional schools just do not "get it."  In our present economy, working adults are not able to quit for 2-4 years while pursuing a terminal degree.   I am sold on NCU and if you are a self-motivated learner who is able to progress in a program with superb mentors (all of whom hold doctorates) than Northcentral is for you!
Jan. 24, 2009, 4:23 p.m.
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Caveat, you mentioned that ill informed students are pursuing educational degrees from for profit schools that cost ten times more than non profit schools. The fact of the matter remains is that most non profit schools (if not all) cater to full time students. For me personally, I can't take off years to pursue full time studies. However, if the opportunity presented itself I would. Furthermore, many who work in law enforcement or the military don't have worker friendly schedules or can't afford to take that much time off. Therefore the question remains is there a non-profit credible school that offers low cost respectable doctorate for the working professional? If one exists, please let me know. If not, we gotta use what we have.
Jan. 22, 2009, 12:29 p.m.
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More Opinions & Isn't up to:

You don't see anyone from Harvard on this site beating up thier educational institution! You do see a plethora of folks beating up the for-profit institution(s)! Sure it's up to the student, but many students suffer from delusions of grandeur. 

A few arrive at a site like this searching for information and feedback. I would say most folks are not well informed, check the list of complaints on this site concerning the for-profits, many more complaints than compliments. If it's been said a million times, why are folks still pursuing degrees that cost $100,000 when they could pursue a $30,000 or $50,000 degree with higher credibility? They must be uninformed! 

This site is exactly for this purpose, a forum for discussion, and as long as the discussion is respectful with the exchange on ideas being being the foci, then I think we're doing a good thing here.
Jan. 22, 2009, 4:34 a.m.
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I'm confused here as well Caveat, your intentions are real and you do bring up some good points. But its up to the student to decide which school to attend and whether its a non profit or for profit. In my perspective it seems to me that this has turned into public service announcement. Again, you bring up valid facts but most adults are aware of the challenges of online learning and are already well informed. You maybe just duplicating your efforts and repeating stuff that's been said a million times. But oh well.
Jan. 21, 2009, 10:17 p.m.
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How do you know and/or evaluate someone for academic potential ?  Is it their GPA, is it their performance on standardized tests, is it letters of recommendation, is it work performance ?  I don't think there is a way to tell for sure.  Even not-for-profits with high entrance standards have large failures in the Dissertation track.  I believe 50% of all entering students in doctoral programs leave without completing their degree, usually at the dissertation level.  The high failure rate is not necessarily due to entrance requirements.  There are other factors.  For example, life circumstances, financial situation, health, interaction with faculty, lack of support, lack of funding, etc, etc.  I believe it is misleading to offer blanket statements about schools.
Jan. 21, 2009, 8:57 p.m.
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Some people:

I'm not blogging to upset anyone. I agree with you concerning Nova Southeastern U. (NSU), they're an interesting hybrid. However, NSU does have some entrance hurtles if I'm not mistaken including the GMAT for the business program, and the MAT or GRE for other programs. Most of the well-known for-profits have nearly no admittance requirements other than an undergraduate degree. 

Concerning FAU, they are one of the least expensive schools listed. Their on-line MBA program for in-state tuition is $11,538.8 (Florida); $37,888 (Others). I think you'd agree, even the out-of-state tuition at FAU in considerably less than the $50,000 to $100,000 the for-profits charge.

I also agree, get educated concerning what you're getting yourself into. Speaking of great programs, you can earn an on-line MBA from Northeastern University which is a top MBA program, absent the GMAT (if all admissions requirements are met), but it will cost you $60,000. Is $60,000 worth it from a top tier school? 

I think you know where I'm coming from here, I'm not deterring anyone from pursuing advanced education, just know what you're getting into and know what your abilities are.
Jan. 21, 2009, 8:29 p.m.
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Mr, Emptor:

Your logic makes no sense and is not substantiated with anything. For profit as much as non-for profit have a same goal, which is to make money, what differentiate them is for whom they make the money. Nova Southeastern University, for example, is non for profit and is extremely expensive and has a selective enrollment; yet there are many people that are not able to finish a doctorate degree with them either. BTW only one 1% of the population can only finish a doctorate regardless where they go to college.

So, don't let the illusion that because a school is not for profit and has a selective enrollment process, that are not there to squeeze money out of students who gets in and for that matter money from taxpayers, you need to be grounded in the real world. All you need to do is a comparison   cost and you will see that non-for profit can behave just as bad than for profit. So, to get you started look at the Florida Atlantic University(no for profit and government funded) Online Accounting (AACSB)program, they can waive the GMAT and they charge as much as for profit and they are as twice as expensive as their ground program.
Jan. 21, 2009, 7:36 p.m.
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Let me be clear, I'm not oppossed to on-line virtual learning. It is the present and certainly the future method of delivering all kinds of training and education opportunites.

I'm certain in the very near future, the Ivy League will be using virtual learning at the undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels to reach a global student body. 

The philosophy I continue to forward, is the cost involved with the for-profit universities. These same universities who will allow almost anyone to enter and spend up to $100,000 and not graduate, yes, not graduate.

The reason some folks dont' graduate is due to poor historical academic performance. These folks would not be admitted into a not-for-profit university due to the gate keeping devices such as entrance exams that they could not sucessfully navigate.  

No one wants to be labled stupid (I'm being intentionally blunt here), nor do folks enjoy rejection. So they apply to an "open enrollment" university and then wonder why they can't complete it. (Please see my various posts above.)

On-line: Yes

For-profit: No

Open Enrollment: No (you're setting yourself up for failure if you can't do the course work, the thesis, or the dissertation and you might not know this with no entrance rigor).

For those of you desiring to pursue a graduate degree, this website is a great. Yes, you can find a highly credible master's degree program on-line, a doctorate can be a bit more diffucult to find.

Best of luck to all...
Jan. 20, 2009, 5:44 p.m.
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And that is free, it does not matters where you go to school, it is the student and not the university that matter. It does not matter if the school is for profit or not; public or private;open enrollment or selective enrollment, they have minimum standards to follow, that were approved by an evaluating body recognized by the US Department of Education. Live and let live, just remember that changes is inevitable and is coming, like or not. Anyway, this is a buyers' market, go where you can afford. Have fun wasting you logic for the inevitable, you will be assimilated.
Jan. 20, 2009, 10:24 a.m.
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Caveat Emptor,

It is nice to see someone on this site who is telling prospective online students the truth. Keep up the good work. There are far too many people with agendas on this and other sites touting "how great the for profit schools are" Of course, you and I both know that they are either recruiters for the online schools or students who made a bad decision and are now trying to justify said bad decision.


Jan. 19, 2009, 2:38 p.m.
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Time are Changing:

I enjoyed reading your comment. I don't think any of the recent posts are bashing on-line learning. On the contrary, I think many posts here recognize virtual learning is indeed the future. 

The challenge I see with the for-profit universities is they eat there young. With an open enrollment philosophy, these universities admit nearly everyone armed with the minimum credentials. Many of these folks move through the required courses (some do not) and then fail to complete the dissertation. 

They spend a bunch on tuition, fees, text books, and possibly site visits, then they fail to complete the dissertation, some fail to complete the course work due to poor previous academic rigor. 

It's no surprise you hear folks on this site bad mounthing thier respective for-profit university for setting them up for failure instead of simply saying they're not academicaly qualified for admittance. 

The reason these for-profits don't reject many who need rejecting is they make a bunch on tuition, fees, books and other expenses before these folks drop out absent but dissertation (ABD). Therefore, caveat emptor!
Jan. 18, 2009, 10:04 p.m.
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I have worked in the law enforcement arena for approx. 10 years and on the side have worked for a B&M university (Univ. of Alaska) as well as a few B&M universities online (Grand Canyon Univ., Northwestern State Univ, etc).  I have been working in academia as an instructor for almost 8 years (class and web).  During this time frame I have experienced many conversations regarding the topic that this discussion forum holds.  I remember sitting down with a B&M PhD who stated to me that online education takes jobs from them and we spoke about the quality of education.  Now, five years later, that same professor is wishing she had not taken the stance she did, as one of their premier community colleges went online and is now doing exactly what she stated, taking prospective students from their program into ours.  The fact is, is that people need to be open to change.  With that stated however, I agree with some of the posts regarding when and where.  I completed my AA and BA in the class.  MA same school but online.  PhD in progress online.

1) If you have industry experience, are already getting to where you want to get, and just need the degree to seal it---online is ok so long as it is RA.  All the talk about needing to be in the classroom is fruitless.  No matter whether you think that or not, you cannot stop technology in academia.  Someone a few years back stated it is funny that someone did not have names for graduates, etc.  Take a look at the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks Criminal Justice Department (you might find two educators with a PhD or ABD from Northcentral University).  I have taken three cautious years prior to starting my PhD online.  I have decided on NCU.  Someone else posted how NCU is overly expensive as well???  My program will cost about $23,000.  Let's not forget about all the discounts provided to government, law enforcement, military, etc.

2) If you are young and wish to directly enter into academia with little or no experience.  Grab the greatest B&M program with the loudest name you can!  Does this mean you could not make it with an online degree, no, you could. But even in today’s times, it would be a challenge. But the changes in B&M PhD's are coming slowly but surely.  You know they have to change their mind when high schools are adopting Blackboard courses as well.

In the end, all that matters is that you lived your life to its fullest potential.  If someone does not wish to hire me when I get done with my program so be it.  For me, it will be a second retirement anyway and lifelong goal to earn my terminal degree (which you cannot do in Alaska unless you study science or engineering).  Your education is what you make it.  

Thanks for your time in reading this post,
Jan. 22, 2009, 6:21 p.m.
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Mr. Emptor:

Not all for profit cost $100K, for example NCU will cost you about $31K for a doctorate and provides discounts to students if you pay up front, discounts to government employees and military just to name a few. Nova is about in the $100k range for a doctorate and some other non-for profit as well. So, the argument of costs is relatively. Now, the weed out process continues, by adding reputation, types of accreditation, tier, prices, etc... Granted most online universities are not Harvard or any other prestigious universities as you support or mention, the reality of the fact is that this universities(most non-for profit) are not there to serve the students but themselves.  

We live in a global economy, and individuals now days don't have the time  and money to stop working to complete a prestigious degree, because it does not makes sense, is not cost effective and you lose current and future income etc... Bottom line go where you can afford, make your research before you enroll, be objective, and consider all things equally and balance the formula before you say that because a university has a tax status different from the other is(at least insinuating) better. Something that will happen is that the minority will become the majority.
Jan. 11, 2009, 2:37 p.m.
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I would like to ask some current students who take the courses online how do you get the books and materiel's (e.g. are they sent to you via postage overnight?)  Also, if there is a delay in receiving the books (e.g. 7-10 days) then when does your start date begin since there is a delay in receiving the materiel's.  How does the college handle this or how does it work?

All comments are welcomed!

Jan. 11, 2009, 1:52 a.m.
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Check out Seton Hall Worldwide.  They have exactly what your looking for.  The reason you didn't find it on a google search is because they don't shamelessly advertise all over the internet with fake marketing review sites and banner ads.
Jan. 8, 2009, 1:14 p.m.
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Take a look at the following site:

geteducated dot com
Jan. 7, 2009, 11 p.m.
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It is a beautiful thing.
Jan. 7, 2009, 2:21 p.m.
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Well, this certainly has been an interesting blog!  I received my BA and MA from a respected B&M school and had a good experience. I've recently started an extensive search for a PhD program in psychology/counseling and to be honest with you there too few universities out there that don't offer what I'm looking for on online degrees.  The only schools that came up on my search were Capella, NCU and Walden.  I'm a working mom with three children of which 2 are in grade school so I really don't have the time to attend sit down classes.  I'm looking for a school that will give me flexibility. I really don't see anything wrong with getting a degree online for busy working professionals as long as it comes from an accredited school. Does anyone know of other schools that offer a PhD in psychology/counseling fully online that I can check out?  Also, can anyone give me feedback as to which of the three schools: NCU, Capella or Walden is the better choice overall?  Thanks!  Any positive or negative feedback would be helpful.
Jan. 3, 2009, 10:54 p.m.
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IMEM, NCU awards about 40-75 PhDs a year.  Further, the PhD is almost entirely the student's contribution to a subject, no more or less valid done online than on ground.  If you are intelligent enough to be able to read a thesis, then you may judge by evaluating the candidate fairly, rather than with discrimination and prejudice.
Jan. 2, 2009, 8:48 p.m.
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Caveat, with all due respect if you truly desire to change industry standards and increase awareness within the academic community I'm just wondering if this is the right place to initiate it. This is merely a forum where people post comments, some of them downright outrageous and fake with no truth behind it while others are right on the money. I'm not saying don't post, by all means please do this is a free country. But have you thought of other ways to push this forward or have you gotten others involved? Just talking out loud here.
Jan. 2, 2009, 8:37 p.m.
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Google was started in a garage, by students who were getting Phds at Stanford University.  NCU was found by a person who holds on a Bachelors.  Google is a company that makes money from tons of Phds, NCU is a company that makes money by giving out tons of Phds.  In technology, age is not as important as education.  In education, you need history to prove yourself.  NCU has neither.

No, it is not fair to say you are throwing out talent by throwing out a for-profit resume from a school like this (except at the BS level, not MS or Phd).  I would rather miss a good opportunity by throwing one away than spend time and money interviewing one.
Jan. 2, 2009, 8:17 p.m.
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The point was the comparison of schools is in many ways a waste of time.  IVY and top-flights may be great schools, but, its the graduates that have to perform, and hence people should be evaluated on work experience, ability to perform a job, etc.  I never said online is better than IVY or top-flight.  I am saying that there is potential that goes undiscovered if you look at life via a narrow minded elitist point of view.  Consider, Edison had a 1000 + patents and had no formal education at all.  Which is why college should only be a small part of it.  Also, google has been around for about 10 years and was started in a garage...
Last I checked it was the best search engine on the net.
Don't judge, if you evaluate a PhD based on their Dissertation, you see a better picture of what they can do.
If you just say, oh, its not IVY league and throw the resume in the trash can, you could lose out on talent.
Is that fair enough to say ?
Jan. 2, 2009, 3:03 p.m.
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Just so you know, ACBSP and AACSB are very important.  The accreditation tells someone who is hiring that the program has rigorous standards and the candidate for employment has been through a program with those standards.  Since typical accreditation only says the program is valid through CHEA, the professional accreditation says it is quality (at least in the case of AACSB, i don't think ACBSP is).

Also, the issue of IVY versus nonIVY isn't an arguement.  Nobody is going to say NCU or any other online school is better than an IVY.  Nobody is going to say over 99% of schools in the world are better than an IVY.  But you have to take into consideration the mission of the school and the purpose.  Usually Ivy's are for pre-med, pre-law, etc etc with graduates going to those professions.  Most colleges are for people who want to get a job and live in corporate America.  But take a non-ivy like MIT.  MIT is still top quality, but not an IVY.  But their mission is to raise entreupeners and foster ideas that will have a vision that lasts for years.  Most schools just take you in and get you trained for your career.

You can't compare schools unless they have similiar missions or at least on the same tier.  NCU will never compete with tier 1 or 2 schools, so stop comparing them.  NCU has only been around for about 10 years and started in a garage.  They have a lot to prove.
Jan. 2, 2009, 4:26 a.m.
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Regarding this issue of IVY League versus non - IVY League, ACBSP vs AACSB, etc, I think that is all crap.  Why not judge and hire people based on work experience and what they can deliver to the bottom line ?  There are plenty of top-flight graduates who have run corporations right into the ground, or are we already forgetting the wall street crisis we are in ?  Just who do you think is responsible for all this financial ruin we are in ?  Who is running these corporations for their benefit and not for the greater good ?  You mention that the top is crowded with these top-flight school graduates, and I think that is the problem and is nothing more than class discrimination.  America is a democracy not an aristocracy.  If you run your business properly, you will not give any benefit to these so-called top-flight schools and their worthless hires.  Evaluate on experience and potential, not where the degree was earned.
Jan. 1, 2009, 11:16 p.m.
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The argument that the admissions process needs to be more stringent is a valid one; however, no entrance exam or qualifying exam is a true precursor to doing research.  It might be better if schools ask for a sample of writing, a prior patent application, or a prior publication.  I agree that if too many people are accepted the failure rate will be high, and the number of unhappy people will continue to increase.  However, there is also a degree of personal responsibility that a PhD student must have if they are too finish regardless of the school they attempt their degree at.  I believe in general, that some 50% of all accepted students fail to gain a PhD and that only 1% of the population can actually complete a PhD.
Jan. 1, 2009, 6:38 p.m.
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Hold On:

Hold on, hold on! The main focus of this site is to educate and share perceptions of the university in question. If you skim the negative comments above, you'll find individuals do desire this line of rhetoric. 

Adults or not, many folks (see above) get into these for-profit schools, spend a bunch on tuition, fees and site visits and don't complete the program in question. I anticipate my two cents will help individuals skimming this site make informed decisions.
Jan. 1, 2009, 5:56 a.m.
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NCU might be fine if all you need is a check in the box degree.  For people who actually have to compete in the commercial world it is a little different story.  Don't sell yourself short and get the best degree you can recieve.  NCU is not it.
Dec. 31, 2008, 11:40 p.m.
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Again, awesome points and I understand it a little better now. It seems that we're all adults here. As long as a potential student understands the risks and rewards, he or she has no one to blame but themselves. Personally, I wouldn't get all mad about this issue. There's a lot of information about online education (pros and cons) out there you don't need to take it upon yourself to educate the industry. Just my 2 cents.
Dec. 31, 2008, 11:13 p.m.
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I have two degrees (AA and BA)from a well respected B and M school, and I have my MBA from a 100% online school.  For me, my experience with the MBA program was better.  But that was just my opinion.  Some folks might feel their experience at a B and M school is better.  To each its own.  This is a true story.  I played hooky while at my B and M school because I hated sitting in class for several hours a week, and I still earned a B grade and rarely studied.  My instructors were angry and wanted to reduce my grade because that was not suppose to happen.  I wasn't suppose to play hooky every week, not study and still receive a B.  I won't mention the school because I still respect them and I am proud of my education from them.  I have found this to be the case with many of my friends at B and M schools.  I was once in Navy recruiting, and I saw the truth up close.  There were kids walking through our doors with degrees from respected B and M schools who could not pass our military entrance exam.  I was shocked.  Peter Drucker, the father of modern day management, stated in the 70s (or 60s) that distance learning was the wave of the future because college campuses will be filled with directionless teenagers.  I figure this.  Someone with an MBA from a respected B and M school might be given a chance on his or her second or third interview.  I might have to keep knocking on doors until I get my chance.  But once I am in the door, it's up to me to over achieve.  Since I am almost 40 now, I've seen quite a bit in my life.  I've seen people promised so much in life because of where they came from or where they went to school.  20 years later, some of these people are still waiting for that promise to be fulfilled.  One thing in life leads to another, to another, to another, etc.  No one thing guarantees you success (99% of the time).  Although my MBA is from a 100% online campus, it got me promoted in the military to a rank (Lieutenant Commander) that allowed me to management dozens of people at a time and manage million-dollar budgets at a time.  I don't believe that this experience will be lost on potential employers because of where I got my MBA.  If you go onto the Western Association regional accrediting body's website or CHEA's website (both recognized by the U.S. department of education) my MBA program is listed.  That's all that mattered to me.
Dec. 31, 2008, 9:36 p.m.
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Hold on: 

My message is not one of anti-online learning. My post above dated October 28, 2008 at 2:19 p.m. initiated this line of inquiry. As you skim the comments on this page above this date, you'll find many negative comments about NCU. You and I both realize there are many NCU grads that are pleased with their NCU experience and display their NCU diploma with some degree of pride. 

Corollary to these negative comments are the for-profit schools, particularly at the doctorate level, and student failure. When folks venture onto sites such as this, they're looking for direction. We both know these for-profit programs at the graduate and doctorate levels are very expensive, $50,000 to a $100,000. 

Here's the beef, mediocre students work their way through the course work for a terminal (doctorate) degree. When then faced with the lonely path of dissertation, they fail. Then they bad mouth the university in question. Why are they angry? With an "open" enrollment philosophy, these for-profits take anyone with a bit of previous university learning, no qualifying exam, pay the admission fee and off we go. After the required courses are taken at great expense, they can't complete the dissertation and they have very little to show for their efforts. Yes, they're angry, but they shouldn't have been in the program in the first place, increased admissions rigor including a qualifying exam would have saved these folks a lot of money and anguish, because they wouldn't have been accepted. This is not a debate between brick and mortar and virtual programs, it's a debate between for-profit and not-for-profit programs. 

Folks considering spending $50k to $100k for a for-profit education need to seriously consider there own academic ability, understand the total cost involved, understand their goals at degree completion (which can be up to seven years for completion) and understand the return-on-investment for the degree. We haven't even begun to discuss academic reputation for these very expensive for-profit degree programs regardless of regional accreditation. 

Incidentally, I earned an Ed.D from a hybrid program. I worked my tail off and the degree is certainly paying high dividends for me. I'm even considering a second terminal degree. I'm not opposed to on-line learning...
Dec. 30, 2008, 11:19 p.m.
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Caveat, I respect your comments and insight. But no one here is trying to compare an online doctorate to a doctorate earned at a b&m institution. I think anyone here would attend a b&m institution if the program was available for working professionals, but most times its not. Most individuals have a clear understanding of the expectations of their degree program as well as ROI factors. You folks can do your thing and we'll do ours, no harm done.
Dec. 30, 2008, 10:15 p.m.
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It figures since you work in the worst education system in the nation.
Dec. 30, 2008, 9:06 p.m.
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Well, the Mississippi State Department of Education recognized my online Masters degree and I'm being paid for it!!! Stop complaining and whining. To each it's on
Dec. 29, 2008, 2:21 p.m.
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I don't believe anyone is debating the efficacy of on-line learning. The debate is two-fold: academically unprepared individuals who pursue a terminal degree at a for-profit university, fail, and then complain about it in this forum; and, the cost and reputation of these for-profit schools. 

You're correct, bright individuals seldom need education beyond an undergraduate level; the truly gifted don't even need this level of education. Advanced education simply offers additional opportunities for those degree holding folks. 

I always said I would never dissuade anyone from pursuing advanced education. With this message I would add two things: have a clear understanding of the goal of the degree; and, calculate a return-on-investment for the degree.
Dec. 27, 2008, 1:35 p.m.
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That's right, we never know because no one will name them.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:21 a.m.
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By the way, a friend of mine got his Ph.D. from NCU and is now teaching at a major university in Texas.  You never know.  Don't judge.
Dec. 26, 2008, 10:14 a.m.
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The arguement of "whether this school is better than that school will never end".  It seems like this arguement is the last of the "holy grails".  While we are sitting here wasting our time, someone, somewhere, is making a million bucks with a high school diploma.  The truth of the matter is this (to me).  Distance learning has been here for a long time, and it "ain't" going "no-where" soon.  10 years ago the  regional accreditation bodies would not fathom granting accreditation to online campuses the way they are doing now.  10 years from now many of these same schools will have AACSB, NCATE, etc., accreditation.  It's called evolution and coming to reality.  The "big boys" resisted distance education for decades.  Now, they are following suit.  I keep hearing the sarcasm in these chat rooms when the subject of going to an NCU, Capella, etc, is brought up.  Going to a big-named school is important (when you are young and have no track record and you are trying  to get a job at a major firm).  If you are already at a firm and your star is on the rise, an MBA from NCU, Capella, etc., is probably what you need to get you over the top.  I've seen people who were superstars at work who got MBAs from the NCUs, the Walden Us, the Capella's, etc, end up in the corporate suite because that degree was the "last formality" needed to get in.  No firm is going to deny anyone (regardless of where they went to school) who has a track record of adding to the bottom line.
Dec. 25, 2008, 9:14 a.m.
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I posses an online PhD from NCU.  It is fine for what I want which was to get a raise which comes automatic in my organization.  I would not call my degree a true PhD.  It is a professions based degree which applies to my job.  If you want to do some serious research you are going to have to go to a research school which is not offered online.
Dec. 23, 2008, 10:56 p.m.
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I'm not sure I would reccomend ANY Phd online.  You should look for distance programs if possible for anything, or part time.  It is much harder, but that is why it is much more respected.  The thought by Phds, who typically hire other Phds for programs, is that there is no easy way to a real Phd and a Phd is not for everyone.  Despite what For-Profits will tell you, its not for everyone and you have to really work hard to prove yourself even after the degree.
Dec. 23, 2008, 4:25 p.m.
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Hey Prospective Student:

Please view my post of October 28, 2008 at 2:19 p.m on this page that contributed to this line of inquiry. There are two camps in education (let's ignore accredidation for the time being), the for-profits to include: Argosy, Capella, NCU, Univeristy of Maryland University College, UoP, and Walden and the not-for-profits. 

Of the not-for-profits: Nova Southeastern, Fielding Graduate University, and Colorado State offer credible online terminal degree programs. 

The return-on-investment with a for-profit school is nearly impossible to achieve due to the cost, between $50,000 and $100,000. Although I wouldn't deter anyone attempting to better themselves by pursuing advanced education, the for-profits are a tough road to travel. How long will it take to recoup the tuition, fees, text books, and site visits?
Dec. 20, 2008, 8:17 p.m.
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It's been very interesting reading all the comments above.  My interest started when I wanted to see if a Northcentral University PhD was a valid degree or just some worthless scrap of paper that takes years of hardwork to get.  My research continues.  One of my professors at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University suggested NCU.  I am a retired US Navy Senior Chief, (22 years).  I have a Masters of Aeronautical Science degree in Space Operations Management.  I have a challenging, exciting job launching rockets.  I make more money at the moment than I ever thought possible.  My degrees have accelerated my career, BUT, if I didn't have some smarts, work ethic and experience I wouldn't/couldn't be in this job.  Why would I want to get a PhD in Business?  Why would NCU make sense to me?  First off, I have no grand illusions of becoming Boeing's CEO.  I have no interest in teaching at Harvard.  I believe a degree from Harvard might be a magic carpet to ride to the top of corporate America, but, I've also been told in my working circles that PhDs are some of the most worthless hires we've least the inexperienced ones.  I have no elitist mindset or ego that an Ivy league school degree would satisfy.  Me, personally, I want to gain skills to contribute to my company and our troubled space industry.  I want to make us better.  I'm hoping I will gain some skills and ideas that will make us better.  I'd like to solve some problems we have through research.  I want to make us more competitive with our competitors,(by the way, the US is not doing so good if you haven't noticed lately).  I would also like to be able to teach at local community colleges, ERAU extended campuses, (we have a lot of very eager young ones around here anxious to accelerate their careers), and perhaps have another career to pursue when I retire from my present job.  If NCU can do this for me, than sign me up.
Dec. 11, 2008, 10:55 p.m.
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The administrator is watching over the blog since I saw most of the comments were gone.
Nov. 26, 2008, 3:12 a.m.
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It appears you have an anonymous stalker.  This guy is backtracking in numerous pages posting the same wiki quote.  It looks like you have upset the mental balance of one of these online trolls. I hope you didn't give away your identity or you might just get a flaming bag of poop on your doorstep.  This person is just jealous of your life.  They need to get their own.
Nov. 25, 2008, 9:29 p.m.
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You should stop parsing my words applying it to people and apply it to employability.  I am not saying any of these people are inferior human beings... I am saying their CVs are inferior for employment compared to the rest.  This is not just my opinion... it is the reality and I want people to recognize that.  I am happy to give my industry experience so people have a view as to what they can expect.  I want to help them make the best choices to increase their employability.  Many of the people on this blog are fellow military/vets and I care most about their futures.
Nov. 25, 2008, 9:11 p.m.
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@Live&Let Live...

"Joe: No response to my economic analysis? You have commented interest of doing a doctorate, but according to your comments you won't pursue it because the places you look at are not AACSB or meets your glorious criteria, the true of the matter is that you never will exercise this endeavor"

I told you what I would do.  If my position is cut there would be little reason for me to pursue a doctorate when I don't need one to take the PE.  My state allows my years of design experience to cut that out.  As a PE I could do anything I want from consulting to being an engineering fellow.  My years of management and design experience in a top division makes me more qualified than most. I decided against the AACSB doctorate after reviewing the utility and mobility cost.  I already have the credentials to be an executive officer in an engineering corp, the only thing holding me back is my age.  This is the stick up my back I have had to realize over the past year.  I am too old.  I have to accept that reality.  If I did really want to get there at my age, I would need a PhD in engineering or a JD.  That cost is far too great at my age to be worth it. 

"The folks from Princeton and Harvard will look down at your Citadel degree(your are not above all), a chain reaction.'

Those folks don't have engineering degrees.  They are in the financial services and banking sectors which are no threat to me.  All those unemployed Wall Street executives are not turning to my industry for jobs as an engineering background is a prerequisite.  

If I was looking outside the defense industry for a job and came up against these Ivy League people I would know my place on the pecking order. I know outside of engineering, a Citadel degree is only a little more valuable than any regular state school.  My Citadel MBA would carry little to no weight against Ivy sheepskin.  These people are so few and in such select financials there is plenty of room for the AACSB folks to take what is left.  That leaves only bottom rung for all the rest of the people.  This is why your CV needs the best credentials you can get.
Nov. 25, 2008, 7:45 p.m.
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Joe: No response to my economic analysis? You have commented interest of doing a doctorate, but according to your comments you won't pursue it because the places you look at are not AACSB or meets your glorious criteria, the true of the matter is that you never will exercise this endeavor, 1) because you are too close minded, 2) you won't be able to do it(only 1% of the population can do it regardless the school they go to), 3) AACSB will required you to leave your job, and you know you need this high paying job, so you won't leave this job of yours, and 4) You are resistant to change(we are not in the 20th century anymore, move on). The folks from Princeton and Harvard will look down at your Citadel degree(your are not above all), a chain reaction. Simple, go where you like and can afford and let others live.

To let the buyer beware(caveat emptor): CHEA is not an accrediting body and no one suggested that, acceptance by the CHEA means an approval, same as the U.S. Department of Education. Some people here indirectly are suggesting they are genius and superior, buy ranking themselves against others and that is wrong, in any event there is no substitution to common sense(Superior or genius individuals destroyed the U.S. Economy). Have that one in mind, it was free.
Nov. 25, 2008, 7:17 p.m.
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"Where would you go if you lose this glorious job of yours?"

Despite this economic downturn the defence industry is going strong.  We are vital for the RMA of many countries so the likelyhood is almost nill as we are still hiring strong.  If it were to happen, I could take the PE test like I always wanted to and get back to my real love of engineering.  Administration can become quite droll.  With over twenty years in the industry I have many options for employment.  I could take an early retirement and not even bother to go back to work.  It would be a cut but my wife is a school principle which is more than enough to pick up the slack.  My health plan is backed by court order so it can't be cut.  Even if it did I still have the VA... heaven forbid if I ever have to resort to that.     

The people I would really feel sorry for are the people trying to break into middle management as they are the ones laid off first.  Many of these are the people that went online and got themselves an unaccredited or ACBSP accredited MBA.  Unfortunately for many of these ex-military folks, they decided to get their undergraduate from a for-profit online school as well.  These people never made it on the design teams and are stuck as senior techs.  They will find employment really hard as employers will think they are overqualified even for their tech positions.  I have seen many leave the job for another company, hoping for advancement, and then come back when they realised that this is the best they are going to get.       

"Never, never, never lose that job of yours, because in the future, perhaps you may work for someone that is inferior as you called them."

Hmmm... I never called the people inferior.  I have lots of good people on my floor but they are not management material.  This doesn't make them inferior, it means they do not have the appropriate skills or experience to make administrative decisions.  I don't doubt that there is untapped talent deep inside their abilities but because of the poor educational and job choices they have made, they will never be given the opportunity to exhibit them.  It is just the reality of the marketplace.  People have taken the proper steps to prepare themselves by working for the right companies, meeting the right people, going to the right schools... this is how you advance in corporate America.  You call this elitism but it is simply the way the business world works.
Nov. 25, 2008, 6:40 p.m.
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Joe, correct me if I'm wrong but I think NCU (I'm not a student at NCU by the way) is a candidate for IACBE accreditation as well. Also, I thought that ACBSP is higher than IACBE but I could be wrong. Also, you provide a good analysis.
Nov. 25, 2008, 5:59 p.m.
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It isn't a matter of opinion... ACBSP has fast track options for any AACSB, IACBE, or ECBE business school.  They practically admit they are inferior by doing so.  If you had bothered to review the accreditation process you will find ACBSP relies far too much on self evaluation and their site visit and criteria for faculty are not nearly as rigorous.  You won't find any AACSB schools going for it.  ACBSP claims they can enhance their teaching prestige by doing so but no one has.  They won't do it because they don't want to hurt their standing in the business world by associating with such a low quality standard.  

All ACBSP says is that the program is not a diploma mill like all DETC or RA accreditation.  This is why viewing the quality of professional accreditation is so very important.  There is a reason not a single  Baccalaureate/Graduate program with AACSB has opted for dual accreditation with ACBSP despite the fast track given to it.  
For professional business accreditation the order goes...

AACSB = A list
IACBE = B List
ACBSP = C List
Nov. 25, 2008, 5:41 p.m.
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Okay, good points everyone on both sides. Yes I'm an advocate of online learning. Basically, if you want a pursue a AACSB degree from a recognized big name school so be it. Those who support NCU, Walden, Capella, etc. like myself were just doing our own thing here and not hurting anyone. Personally, I'm not trying to compare my credentials to a person from MIT or Harvard. Again, big misconception that online learners somehow feel there degrees are the equivalent to that of an ivy league education. These are learners who are simply trying to better themselves. My perspective, "you do your thing" and "I'll do mine" simple.
Nov. 25, 2008, 2:39 p.m.
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Comments concerning accreditation:

I'm slightly uncomfortably with the terms "superior" and "genius" in some of the previous comments. I'll challenge those comments regarding accreditation with a simple test. 

Search through the AACSB schools, you'll notice these are well known top tier state and Ivy League business schools. Search through the ACBSP schools, you'll notice these are 3rd, 4th and 5th tier schools (look for yourself). Why do employers look for the AACSB accreditation; simple, these folks are many times (note: many times) academically stronger than those who complete “other” non-accredited programs. 

These two accrediting bodies are not created equal. I have great difficulty understanding why anyone would cite CHEA or ASIC as a credible accreditation bodies! I believe what’s at issue here is intelligence, academic rigor, and self perception and esteem (see my post on this page dated October 28, 2008 at 2:19 p.m.). 

No adult wants to be told “you’re too dumb to get into our school,” when they know they don’t have the academic ability to qualify or survive in a high rigor academic environment. These schools require the appropriate entrance exam such as the GMAT, MAT or GRE, appropriate GPA from a regionally accredited undergraduate or graduate school. Why, because they require high academic rigor, those lacking this rigor will fail, so schools pre-screen folks who can succeed at their institutions. 

Attend any school you choose! Understand they are not all created equal, you’re opportunities will not be equal at post graduation, if you attend a for-profit school, be prepared for staggering student debt, and calculate a return-on-investment prior to beginning this journey. Those taking a doctorate “lightly” even at one of several for-profit or on-line schools will learn these degrees are not “a walk in the park,” many folks drop out or fail from these lesser academic rigor institutions.
Nov. 25, 2008, 5:41 a.m.
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So, now you go with the name recognition line. I don't think that AACSB is superior than ACBSP but they are different in the mission and approach, but if that line or rationale makes you superior(which is what you are implying with this statement) by all means, be superior. You are only talking about one little place(your place of employment) in the world, your are missing the big picture. It seems that your company is a bit selective, just like the Harvard and Princeton individuals. The workplace is founded, in the elements of who you know and not what you know that counts. Considering that the fundamentals of our economy are not sound, where would you go if you lose this glorious job of yours? Not like I care, but is likely that high paying jobs (like yours) will be flushed out(and it will happen) and or if you don't take a substantial pay cut to keeps this job, the market(new economy) will bring cheaper labor(new executives). Never, never, never lose that job of yours, because  in the future, perhaps you may work for someone that is inferior as you called them.
Nov. 25, 2008, 5:01 a.m.
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If you think you need AACSB for work it depends on what level of management you want to work and what experience you have.  I have an AACSB MBA and hold a job that would require you to have an extra 5-10 years experience or a PhD in engineering otherwise.  There isn't a single non-AACSB MBA in my division and certainly not among the executive officers.  Anyone who doesn't have an MBA that hold high level management positions are either nearing retirement or have PhDs.  Those that decided to get an MS instead of an MBA do get promoted to heading projects but nothing on the administrative end and nowhere near the pay scale.  If you look at Fortune 500 lists you will find most of the executive officers have AACSB MBAs, JDs, or some other doctorate.  Division officers have the same minus the JDs.  When you get far enough down the line to middle management you can find these non-AACSBs in larger numbers.  

The people I interview with the non-AACSB MBAs are often switching companies trying to get a management position.  These people do not have good management skills because they are often straight off the floor supervisors.  They overshoot the positions they are really qualified for by aiming for 2-3 positions higher when they should be shooting for 1.  The people that do aim for the right position are up against people with more management experience as people who got the AACSB MBA in their youth often have more management experience to begin with.  

It isn't really a battle between AACSB and ACBSP... it is university name recognition.  If you get an MBA from John Hopkins you can probably sneak through the lines but the schools under ACBSP are no-name schools.  If you get an employer doing a google search about it the first thing they will find is University of Phoenix and toss your application in the trash.  ACBSP is clearly inferior to AACSB as they have a fast track accreditation for any AACSB accredited school.  It is not the other way around for AACSB.  To say they are considered equal is just a fantasy.  Employers don't care if it is recognized by CHEA... they care about standards and these open enrollment universities which carry ACBSP have none.
Nov. 24, 2008, 11:07 p.m.
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If you need an AACSB degree, pursue it where is given. This is a free market and your entitle to go to school where you can afford and want. If you want to think that you need AACSB for work, think again most employer do not care, this is a realms that is created by individuals, that want to show that are superior than others. AACSB only means that the school is good for research not that students that comes out are genius or better than other individuals, is other that the school focus in excellence in researching. And if you want to get a doctorate for whatever reasons at an AACSB university bear in mind that is a full time endeavor and you won't be able to do it part time. Northcentral University is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs – ACBSP, the premier accrediting association for business schools and programs with a focus on teaching excellence. ACBSP is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation(CHEA),also is Regional Accredited by The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. HLC is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and will cost you about $30K. Simple point go where you like as long is accredited and you can afford. Live and let Live.
Nov. 24, 2008, 5:56 p.m.
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Good comments thus far. In my perspective, many individuals pursuing online doctorates are working professionals with established careers in law enforcement, business, and technology. Sure, there are some individuals who have the notion that by completing a degree at an online institution will land them a job in academia. But the truth is (I can only speak for myself) most online learners are aware of this misconception. They only seek to obtain advanced degrees to enhance current employment opportunities, start up a small business, consulting or the latest trend is teaching online. For me personally, it has served me well. My advanced online learning degree has landed me promotions as well as teaching jobs at a small community college. I used my GI Bill, TA as well as employer reimbursement from my civilian job. My point is online education is what you make of it. I completed my undergraduate degree from a tier one school and it didn't necessarily land me a better job.
Nov. 24, 2008, 2:02 p.m.
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Hey Joe:

You've hit the nail on the head. I would suggust no one needs (key word here: needs) a doctorate degree to move up in the civilian world. On the contrary, I did not pursue my doctorate to enhance my "full-time" gig. I knew full well a doctorate would do little for me in my day job. 

I pursued the degree to consult, teach and fall back on if hards times hit, and the degree has allowed me to do this. I do not list my doctorate on my resume because it appears to be overkill. I did for sometime and scared many potential employers away. I have since constructed a CV and list it there, but maintain my resume for non-academic positions.

Your educational foundation is excellent, Citadel is a great school. Coupled with an MBA from a AACSB school, I can't believe you need a doctorate for career progression.  This is exactly the mistake many make, that "another" degree will propel them up the ladder, and this usually isn't the case. If you're already in consulting, government, or in education, then it might be the case. 

Folks spend $50,000 to $100,000 on these for-profit doctorate degrees to learn they are not academically prepared;or, when they complete them, find the degree does little for them. I don't fault anyone for pursuing a doctorate degree; however, it's a lot of work, ties up to seven years of your life, is usually very expensive, and might not produce any ROI. Not to mention attending a questionable academic institution. 

Finally, in my opinion, without a clear goal, pursuing a degree at this level at almost any institution is a mistake.
Nov. 24, 2008, 9:16 a.m.
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I entered college many years ago as a Citadel Cadet in electrical engineering, had my bills paid for by a 5 year stint in the armed forces and got a job in the defence industry.  I moved up the ladder and was offered a riembursed MBA opportunity.  I went back to The Citadel and used my GI Bill for an AACSB accredited degree.  With this I have been able to move up from section manager to department manager.  It was a good free education that served my needs but times have changed.  

I first came to this site looking for an online DBA so I could think about moving to the executive officer but then realised they don't even have anything more than my degrees.  What good is a DBA in the business world?  I haven't found anything usefull for it in engineering management.  It won't do you much good in academia as they are looking for PhDs which won't serve me one iota. A PhD in business is just about as useless. Getting it from one of these online colleges isn't going to take you anywhere.  Northcentral might be a decent university but the fact they offer non-AACSB DBAs and PhDs makes that suspect in my book.
Nov. 22, 2008, 9:41 p.m.
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The world is changing and online education is and will be the way of the future.  I like riding horses; however automobiles get me there quicker and safer.  I like to jog; however running get me there quicker and with stronger results.  I drink water for energy; however when playing sports-----I drink sport drinks for a little bit more---energy.  Bottom line brick and mortar are great; however distance learning (online) is what the military use a lot, business educate their employees with, and adult learners that must continue their adult responsibilities ------will attend.  So if you go to B&M ----great; however if your focus on the future and enhancing pass the 1920---1990----go Army and go to school online.
Nov. 17, 2008, 7:09 p.m.
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If you want an accredited MBA checkout Colorado State University.
Nov. 3, 2008, 3:06 p.m.
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Hi AZ Musings:

It appears you got it covered, with tuition paid for through employer or GI Bill, the issues remain threefold: (a) goals at degree completion, (b) time, and (c) academic reputation. It appears you might want to consult, that's great; however, if you've not sure, it's still a three, five or up to a seven year journey (time) to complete a doctorate degree, and if you don't like to write, then a doctorate degree is going to create great misery in your life due to writing is a large component of a terminal degree. 

A graduate degree might cost as much from a for-profit school as a doctorate (which isn't an issue for you as tuition is covered); however, the course work will be a little less than that of a doctorate degree, and the thesis if required at all is typically a bit shorter as well (although not always depending upon the reseach topic).

I believe ignoring academic reputation is a mistake, and I'm not insinuating you're doing this. If cost is not an issue, take a look at Nova Southeastern University or Fielding Graduate Institute. Both of these schools enjoy a solid reputation, offer on-line access, and yes, are relatively expensive. 

Finally, not that's it's any of my business. I didn't read a clear reason for your pursuit of another graduate degree. Professional advancement, cognitive interest, bragging rights, or burn up the GI Bill. Heck, I guess you don't have to have a reason, just the drive to compete the degree. Best of luck to you...
Nov. 2, 2008, 1:55 p.m.
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Here is the last bit of my comments.

5) Reputation of the degree and university is somewhat important. While working at NSA and working on my Masters at Johns Hopkins (JHU), they (JHU) became a “Center of Academic Excellence”. My understanding at the time was that this was for their Engineering program, not the IT program I was in (I cannot verify this on the NSA site, and JHU now takes you to their IS site). While considering my options (local to NSA) for an MS I ran across Phoenix (I did not like the cohort concept, expense (more than JHU) and poor reputation among students I knew) and Strayer (which recruiters would hand you a test during the interview process to prove you knew what you were saying).  All three of these programs are accredited colleges. JHU enjoys worldwide recognition (MD program I believe, but still…). Phoenix is gaining recognition but seems to have issues with the perception of their value (students and companies). Strayer (more technically inclined programs) had a great reputation amongst students, but not local companies. Now that I am here in AZ, companies recognize the name “Johns Hopkins” and believe I know something. If I had a “Phoenix” degree (either on-line or at the B&M that they offer) you must overcome the perception that they are bad (this seems to be the current one anyway). If I had the “Strayer” degree nearly no one here would know that they had a bad local (D.C.) reputation, so they are acceptable. All three of these are accredited schools, but have differing levels of reputation.  So the question here is really the value that you put on the degree (type and discipline), where you will work (location and field), and what you will be using the degree for. SO… I want another degree from an accredited institution, but not a “paper mill” one that just wasted my time because it is perceived as useless amongst the business community.
Nov. 2, 2008, 1:54 p.m.
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Hi All, I agree with the recent postings... You must understand why & what a Doctorate (PhD or DBA in my case) will do for you, cost, time involved and reputation of the program. In my particular case:
1) I have a Masters already and have 26 months left on the GI Bill, & work for a company that will pay full education benefits (a real rarity amongst companies I know). A side note here, some MS (especially MBA) programs are just as expensive as some of these PhD programs we are looking at, so dependent upon which program you are looking at, cost is negligible) SO… I have cost covered.
2) I prefer classroom training (mostly the dynamics this involves and interaction with other students). I can acquire a BS in Computer Science (but since I don't like math or programming.... that is out). An MBA is out since as stated previously, they are not MBA accredited programs, no other Masters programs of interest here (and I have no desire to drive the 160 mile roundtrip to AZ South). SO… that leaves on-line training.
3) If I go on-line the options are numerous (in relation to the Brick & Mortar (B&M) options I have here). But, since I do not like writing, I am stuck. When you go the on-line route for education you must write.  If I must write I may as well make the jump to a doctorate (yes I realize the level and quality is (should be) higher). SO… l am looking at the PhD.
4) Is another degree of value to me? A BS seems to be going backwards (especially since most IT related jobs seem to stress certifications and not degrees). Another MS could be of value, but must be chosen correctly. A PhD (or DBA) would most likely hurt my job potential here in South Eastern AZ. So, I am torn between the MS or PhD. Both require work to acquire and lots of writing (on-line any way). I lean towards the PhD strictly for two reasons: a) If I ever want to become a consultant it may help (no research positions here like there are in the D.C. metro area) to entice companies to gain my services, and b) If I ever wanted to teach a PhD would be of value (yes I can do this with my MS, but a PhD opens more on-line options). SO… leaning towards a PhD. is not affiliated with Northcentral University in any way.