Review Averages: 6.0 out of 10 (251 reviews)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
Northcentral University Reviews:
41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
NCU- A Quality Institution
November 9, 2012
Northcentral University is a quality academic institution. This university is highly competitive in obtaining a doctoral degree as it should be. The graduate curriculum is absolutely more rigorous than the graduate programs at some of the more traditional bricks and mortar schools. I am speaking from experience. When I sat for my licensure examination, I passed first time around while others from traditional universities had failed it. The pass rate of the examination was 48% for first time takers and 23% for retakes. Suffice to say, I am very happy with my education here at NCU. If anyone is contemplating initiating a doctoral program here at NCU, BE PREPARED TO STUDY, RESEARCH, WRITE, AND PUBLISH like you've never had before!!
38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
No Issues with NCU Program
December 19, 2012
I've just successfully finished 6 years working on my Ph.D. at NCU. I'm a professional already working in the field and just needed the letters after my name. The PROS: no residency (perfect for a full time career & family), locked-in tuition rates, flexible teachers, set expectations in course requirements. If you can synthesize materials and write well, you'll do fine. My mentor was great, my teachers were responsive and thoughtful. I never had an issue tailoring assignments to my specific research or job-related interests. I had no issues with changing program requirements, management, or tuition and fees. I just kept on working and the changes really were transparent. Costs were on par with other universities - I paid for the convenience of online in a field I wanted and I'm okay with that. The CONS: courses are what you think of from a traditional mail-in distance ed. course back in the 1920s - send in an pre-determined assignment and get feedback, the only difference is that it's online. There's talk of changing this. I hope they do because there is so much out there for online ed now. Minimal teacher/student and student/student interaction. You have to make the effort to seek out those interactions. Don't be fooled by not needing a GRE to get admitted, this is not a program to figure out that your writing and critical thinking skills aren't up to the graduate level. It will be a painful and expensive experience for you and you probably won't find this out until you get to the dissertation (see other comments on this board). That being said, I've spoken with many many colleagues and they have all said the same thing of their traditional graduate school experiences: It's not the coursework that weeds people out, it's the dissertation (from Harvard to NCU - same/same). Basically, the expectation is that you'll bring the skills needed to the program, the program will not give you the skills needed, just the information. I planned on 5 years, it took me 6.5 years - 9 months of that was data collection for my dissertation and not NCU's fault. If you don't mind working alone, are highly driven and organized, and are fine with reading and writing a lot - you'll do well in the program. Good luck!
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Current Employees' Perspective
June 26, 2013
As a purely online university, NCU is not the worst in private education. That said, their main objective is to drive up enrollment, revenues, and profits to elevate valuation the company in order to sell to the highest bidder within the next 2 to 3 years. The university is owned by a couple of private equity firms (Rockbridge and Falcon) wanting to cash in on their rapid growth over the past 4 years. Several of the executives have equity positions which will reward them accordingly. These execs come from institutions such as Education Management Corporation and Quicken Loans. This profit centric model does not necessarily cause poor academic quality. Remember, persistence equals longer cash flow per customer and a higher student population, very important financial metrics for investors. However, the senior leadership lacks the appropriate focus on academic quality and is far more focused on spending more and more money on acquiring leads to contact and convert to new students while increasing their profit margins through higher tuition to ultimately increase the university's valuation for sale. Accreditation is critical as it gives a sense of validation of academic quality. As front line employees, many of us are frustrated with the rhetoric at NCU highlighting academic quality when we know they will let in doctoral level students from countries like Vietnam at very low English proficiency levels and then fail them after collecting some revenue.
34 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic -- IF you are serious
June 27, 2012
If you are interested in online education, ignore all of these "it's a scam" posts. I am nearly complete with my doctorate program and have found it to be an incredibly rewarding and worthwhile experience. The faculty is helpful, the quality of the education is top notch. Of course, YOU MUST BE SERIOUS ABOUT TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN EDUCATION. If you are just going to sit back and hope that a teacher holds your hand and walks you across the education street, go find someplace else. This is an online program for adults who want to work hard and learn.
32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Abusive to students
January 10, 2013
I was at NCU and passed the comps first time (the part that gets most people) I was in DIS II...but they had changed my chairs three times. None of which had ANY knowledge of my field. The latest simply refused to give any real answers. Simply told me to 'check the university documents' or 'review successful dissertations'. So I complained and requested a new chair. As soon as I received notice that my request had been declined, my chair and advisor filed a complaint claiming I had violated the student code of conduct. I had not used any insults, denigrating comments, slurs, etc. I had been exceedingly polite. But had pointed out the grounds for my complaint. Now I have filed a counter complaint for student intimidation. The internet is replete with dissatisfied former NCU students. Now NCU would have you believe that all of these are just people who could not cut it. But that is simply not true. I personally know retired military officers, published authors, inventors with patents...all with masters degrees from prestigous universities who left NCU in disgust. People who frankly have more accomplishments than most NCU faculty. But what can we do? Well do complain to the Better Business Bureau and to the accrediting bodies. No your single complaint won't have any effect, but dozens or hundreds will. Write letters to the department of education. You and I may have moved on, but we owe it to the next student to pressure NCU into improving...or to deter students from attending.
31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
January 30, 2013
It's a mixed bag. For the most part good, but when it comes to the dissertation they don't seem to know what they are doing. My impression is the faculty all have other day jobs, so when it comes to your research, you are not their first thought or objective. But I would take into consideration that many of the very negative reviews are written by students who cannot study independently [which you will need to do and you must be self-driven]. And many reviews written by disgruntled students who obviously cannot write, therefore did not meet the NCU rubrics for papers and scholarly writing.
31 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Run Away as Fast as You Can!
August 12, 2012
I am a doctoral student at NCU and I wish I had transferred when I became concerned about NCU's bad business practices and ethics. I have been stuck in the CP stage for months for very questionable reasons. Each time there is a rejection another course must be paid for. The new full-time dissertation chair model is a joke and has only been done to support the upcoming accreditation. Doctoral students are stuck because no other colleges will take them when they are this far along and NCU knows this. So you either keep paying the money or you will never receive your degree. NCU also dismisses students and keeps their money with no degree. Write to your attorneys, legislators, and the accrediting organizations if you are currently enrolled. If you are not enrolled - Run!
31 of 41 people found the following review helpful
April 26, 2012
I am a current student and I was intimidated at first regarding the whole idea of an online program. It took a few weeks for me to catch on to this type of learning platform. Once I adjusted I really came to enjoy it. It is up to me to complete my coursework. I feel more accomplished when I turn a paper in and recieve an A. Everytime I have asked for help I have had a quick response. I have had one issue with a professor and my academic advisor handled it swiftly. If you are the type of learner that needs someone to "hold your hand" through coursework, online education is probably not for you. Not that that is a bad thing. Everyone learns differently. For me, I am able to maintain a fulltime job and other life duties while attending Northcentral. I would reccomend this school to anyone.
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Be Very Cautious
December 21, 2012
The school is probably fine unless you are attempting to complete a doctorate, which is difficult at a brick and mortar school. Sadly the school's motivation appears to be money. Tuition is increased every year and staff turnover is constant. You don't really see the issues until you have a problem and you soon discover that their favorite word is "no". There is no teaching, but paper correcting. Nearly all flexibility is lost. Many students are afraid to discuss serious problems for fear of repercussions. Even when you get to the doctoral process, you have absolutely no say on who your chair will be and if perchance there are issues, you are stuck and unhappy. Be wise and take notice of the reviews that are not positive. Most who have already graduated are under the old system where there was more flexibility and more choice. JUST BEWARE! They can become quite unethical
29 of 45 people found the following review helpful
April 29, 2013
The HLC placed NCU on probation early in 2013 and the senior management is attempting to hide it from students, employees, and the general public. These folks are slimy at best.
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