Review Averages: 5.9 out of 10
Accreditation: The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Northcentral University Reviews:
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Quality Doctoral Program
PhD in Psychology - March 10, 2016
Northcentral University is a quality school that prepares students for academic research and clinical practice. I graduated with a doctoral degree in Psychology and teach full time at a nationally ranked University. Students who are complaining about NCU are the one's who most likely failed out of the school!
13 of 29 people found the following review helpful
10 Reasons Why You Should Never Consider Attending Northcentral University (NCU)
Northcentral University - February 24, 2016
For those of you thinking of obtaining a graduate degree, online programs seem to be a convenience solution for working adults. However, not all online schools are alike. Most are private institutions that are about making money rather than providing a quality education. Northcentral University (NCU) is one such case. NCU is a for profit business owned by a private equity firm. The focus of NCU is revenue generation derived from continuous enrollment and high retention numbers. For high enrollment, NCU will admit anyone with the required degree for the graduate program even if they cannot write a grammatically correct sentence. For student retention, NCU faculty engages in grade inflation. NCU used to have a policy where if a student did not pass a course the instructor would not get paid, which means a lot of undeserving students passed courses. But a focus on revenue generation, easy enrollment, and retention are not main reasons to shun NCU and select a more reputable university. The following are 10 reasons why pursuing a graduate degree at NCU is a waste of your time and money. 1. Unfortunately, “As” and “Bs” given at NCU will not take you far. Rampant grade inflation ends when you enter the comprehensive exam (comps) phase. In most cases you will not be able to successfully complete comps, as you have not been properly prepared by your prior course work. 2. One reason you will not be prepared to pass comps and complete your dissertation is because most instructors (a/k/a mentors) are not academically qualified to teach the courses they have been assigned. Although NCU markets that all faculty hold doctorates, faculty are assigned courses where they have limited professional experience and little or no academic qualifications. I personally know of 12 instructors who teach courses where they have zero academic or practical training in the subject. I know several more who have never published a peer-reviewed article. Most of the faculty from NCU graduated from inferior schools. For instance, you probably will notice that Harvard and Yale graduates aren’t teaching and designing courses at NCU. Few faculty members graduated from state colleges either. Most faculty members come from other online universities and degree mills. I knew of one “doctor” who obtained his degree from an unaccredited school located in Costa Rica. I knew of another “doctor” who actually bought his degree and obtained transcripts from an online service. Because instructors at NCU are not familiar with the material they grade, faculty serve as mere graders. 3. Another reason you will not be prepared to pass comps or complete your dissertation is because students are not prepared for the rigor of completing their dissertation during the coursework phase. Statistics indicate only 2% to 3% of all business doctoral candidates will receive their doctorate. If you do not graduate you’ve blown thousands of dollars for absolutely nothing. 4. If being unprepared by unqualified faculty was not bad enough, these same instructors hold students in contempt and distain and do not care about student success in spite of what you’re told. Many NCU students who enter a doctoral program cannot write or read English even at a grammar school level. Management has told me they are fully aware of the problem but do not care -- after all NCU is about profit. If faculty cared about student success they would not placate students by giving undeserved “As” and “Bs” rather adhere to minimal academic standards of writing and critical analysis skills. 5. The reason most students want to obtain a degree is to get a better job. The challenge is no value exists to a NCU degree in private industry. Your degree will not impress employers and could negatively affect your ability to secure a job especially if you do not have professional experience in your field. Because NCU is an electronic correspondence school, employers do not consider the degree on par with state schools. NCU has earned a bad reputation among many employers. I am familiar with 8 instances where employers refused to accept candidates who hold NCU degrees. 6. Many NCU courses are using course materials that are outdated, irrelevant to the subject, and or do not provide the student with a base of knowledge to successfully complete the weekly assignment. 7. Most courses are poorly designed, likely because the course designers are not subject matter experts either academically or through work experience. Most course content in the business programs are not even appropriate for the specific degree program. 8. Each course is set up so students can earn a maximum of 100 points. I taught a doctoral level accounting course where the total points a student could earn was five points less than the NCU requirement. No instructor noticed or bothered to report the discrepancy until I came along. The mistake had continued for five years – in an accounting class where the instructors are supposed to be detail oriented and able to add. Either the instructors did not notice or simply didn’t care -- another commentary on the attitude instructors have toward student learning. 9. Do not be fooled by the Teaching Through Feedback method at NCU. Faculty is supposed to provide you feedback on your work and instill in you what you need to do to improve on your next assignment. Although the Teaching Through Feedback method is part of instructor training, few instructors adhere to the teaching method and do not give useful and actionable feedback. Considering faculty is paid $25 per week per student, you can’t really blame them. 10. Through the grapevine I was aware of at least one case where NCU did not abide by state labor laws. I know the preceding because I was a faculty member in the School of Business and Technology Management at NCU. I have also worked at other online universities and the differences between NCU and those schools were phenomenal and striking. You will be treated as a revenue source not as a student. You will have instructors who often will know less about the subject matter than you. You will be held in contempt and distain. If you still want to attend NCU, you have been warned.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great Learning Experience
DBA Organizational Leadership - February 23, 2016
My learning experience at NCU was very positive. As with all online programs, you have to be very self-motivated and driven. You need to be willing to devote time to your studies every week, and you need to be willing to work hard for your degree. If you do that, you will be fine. The NCU professors and supporting staff were accessible and helpful. The weekly assignments were meaningful, the expectations were stated clearly, and the grading was fair. Working with my dissertation chair on my research project was a wonderful experience which prepared me well for my "life after dissertation".
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
NCU is a solid program
PhD in Business Administration - January 27, 2016
I fully agree with the remarks by “Danamariebrace.” NCU was a pioneer in on-line PhD program and as a result had some significant learning curves; however, they have a proactive team that continues to improve the process. They have moved-on non-performing chairs and have well organized alignment with subject matter and methods experts. The now late Dean of PSU IST, in comparing the two programs, stated to me that the range of dissertation chair quality and experience is no different from that of in-resentence programs. Ultimately the PhD candidate is responsible for their own research. If things are not progressing administratively well, then waiting will not make that issue improve. As with our careers, as professionals, it is our own responsibility to take ownership for our learning experience. Academia is not a vocational monkey see monkey do environment. Even though a professor could tell you how to do something, instead they direct you to expand or look into xyz in guiding you to improve as a professional researcher. It is up to you to comb through everything and flip all assumptions to facts. As for coursework, the same applies. If a person does not apply the information to their life experiences within their individual courses and papers then they are wasting their time. It is not just a degree or paper or title, it is you and a professional having the opportunity to expand your topic awareness within the course and beyond the boundaries of the course. If simply doing what is required to get a grade is the objective then the opportunity is lost. Complaints on motivation speak for themselves. It is not the job of a professor to motivate a student. We are either self-motivated in everything we do or we are not. As with everything, NCU is an opportunity. As an Air Force retiree, it provided me an opportunity that otherwise would not have been possible. Enough crying. Take ownership and responsibility for oneself. If aspects of your educational process could be improved…be part of the solution. Best of luck.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
You get back, what you put in!
PhD Education - January 27, 2016
I have completed my MA in Education and am currently working on my PhD in Education here at Northcentral University. The programs are geared for independent learners. If you have the ability to research, read, and write high quality authentic work you should be successful. Navigating the website requires a learner that has a comprehensive base in technology. Programs are systematically designed to challenge learners to explore and learn about their field in an inquiry approach to learning. Mentors are available and facilitate a learning experience that is based on open communication. As prior military and an educator for 10 years, I find Northcentral an important and viable educational tool.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
So Far So Good!
Ed.D. - December 28, 2015
I'm working on my EdD and just completed my second class at NCU. Thus far I am very happy with the program. Actually, I am VERY satisfied with the 2 instructors I've had. They have been very helpful and bombard me with information even when I haven't asked for it. Their critiques are VERY thorough but they do it in such a way that it isn't demoralizing. It's certainly tough putting in the necessary hours after a pond day's work, but it is the ONLY way to be successful. Lastly, and most importantly, I am learning a lot of very useful information much of which I have already incorporated into my profession. I have no regrets selecting NCU. P.S. I will keep everyone updated as I move closer to my dissertation.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Dissertation process is challenging
PhD in Business Administration - December 11, 2015
I completed the PhD in BA and one thing that might help people is that the course work and comprehensive exams should not be the focus of your career at a Doctoral program. You should try to finish that as quickly as possible and just worry about getting a passing grade. The real work is in the Dissertation. Don't think that traditional school is all that much better either. You should prepare yourself for the Dissertation by reading around a dozen research quality books on your topic and have at least 50-100 peer reviewed papers read before you start. You need to write a 200-300 page thesis of original work and ideally have 1-3 papers distilled from your thesis. That's my advice, pick your topic carefully so you know a lot about it and can write extensively on it. Most of the problems noted seem related to the PhD process in general. Although I think the online format may make things harder. After graduating, I found NCU PhD marketable and helpful in my job search.
10 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Thrown under the bus
DBA Criminal Justice - October 7, 2015
I hear what folks say when they state, "not everyone is cut out for a doctorate." That is in many respects true. The issue I have/had with NCU is the apathy I found with the professors and especially my dissertation chair and committee. The committee members kept changing because of turnover and I had to nearly start from new when that happened. In a bricks n' mortar university you have a chair who is accessible and who gets to know you and invest in you. Not so with NCU. It is far too easy to write people off when you don't see their faces or listen to the ideas and concepts of the dissertation. I've a friend that went through a doctoral program at U of Texas and I saw him interact daily with his chair. I found attending NCU to be a monumental mistake that I will pay for until my mid-sixties. Not a great way to treat people. And, NCU, we are people.
7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
NCU LMFT Master's program
Northcentral University - September 22, 2015
When I first inquired about NCU and expressed my concerns about being able to find supervision during my practicum, I was told not to worry and that they would help me every step to ensure placement. They also told me that MFT's are constantly entering the field, so it shouldn't be a problem finding a supervisor for my clinicals. I also expressed to the academic supervisor that I am not able to quit my job; my job has to come first and again, was told this would not be a problem, students work full time while completing their degree. What they didn't tell me is that the students who are working full time are also asking for extensions to complete their hours and paying extra to ensure they have the extra time. I enjoyed my classes; however, when it came to practicum, I had no support and was told, "why weren't you looking before now?" I explained that I made it very clear when I started the program that my job was very demanding. I was never made aware at any point that I only had so long before I was being "dismissed" from the program. I did reach out for help, but was told I could sort through the 600 MFT's in Oklahoma and call and see if someone would be willing to become a supervisor. The closest I could find is 2 1/2 hours away from me. I feel they lied to me about the availability of MFT's in my area. I also feel they did not have adequate data to support their claims about MFT's coming into the field every day in my area. I am at 36 hours and no chance at a degree at this point. I feel they mislead students (of course it's money driven) into thinking there are many opportunities, when in fact, they have no data about a student's location.
8 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Distinguishably Coordinated Communication
MBA - September 10, 2015
Many instances of poor writing are evident that was produced by the faculty, including the dissertation chair. The writing does not meet upper-division and graduate-University writing requirements--the composition consists of short choppy sentences that are of the same sentence style, and that frequently contain modification and predication problems. Much about subordination and coordination should be important to the administrators and faculty of NCU. Their awkward wording conveys problems--readers are bound to misinterpret passages such as, "With the increasing turnover rates, the specific problem was to investigate..." Please notice that the introductory phrase incoherently modifies its subject in this case. As an introductory phrase, it illogically relates to its subject. Comprehensive and logical wording should be, for example, "the...turnover rates caused the specific problem..." Furthermore, the specific problem cannot investigate--only an individual or group of individuals can investigate. The problem in this case was the effect of increasing turnover rates on the emotional intelligence of the leader; and, the related loss of profitability. As this passage is worded in the Best Practices for the Concept Paper example, no distinct cause-and-effect relationship is conveyed between the subject and predicate, and the absence of a fully logical connection between the subject and predicate leads to confusion. Even more trying are the oxymoronic passages such as, "If you turn in a revised milestone document, you do not need to turn in a status update", and, "Please update me each week by the due date with your progress for the week"--"it is very important to NCU policy that you turn in a weekly progress report." The first clause in this case obviously is contradicted by the 2nd and 3rd clauses. Awkward wording such as this is common in the NCU Syllabi and Welcome Letters. Furthermore, my objectively worded questions about such awkward wording were ignored by the Chair, mentors, and advisors. These mentors and Chairs have not diligently pursued the subject that they are intending to instruct; nor have they prepared their syllabi. They have not read what I've submitted, and the feedback from my Chair is poorly written. Is such incoherent writing common in America today? She is not knowledgeable in language education. Wherever I have edited and revised reports and assignments for students, and as I have worked avidly in class, my faculty members have expressed gratitude for my contributions. Avid reading and writing skills clearly are not appreciated by the highly paid Department Chairs at NCU who do not understand that many students today graduate with their first degree only to discover that their senior parental figures sold their home and moved to another community. Private-interest groups are dominating financial outlets so unjustly that the literary standards of the U.S. are declining. Scholarly writing should be void of faulty expletives--poorly focused sentences that use "it" and "there" with no reference to what "it" and "there" mean. Sentences with "there" are existential sentences that should mean "there exists." However, such expletive patterns, including "it [+ a conjugation of the infinitive 'to be']" are commonly overused and misused. Conscientious University instructors do not boast steadily about their achievements as they ignore the need to answer critical questions and to improve their wording. Learning institutions must include a faculty of instructors who are concerned about proficient communicative interaction between instructor and student; and, they must convey a sense of responsibility and accountability for their actions. If NCU representatives sincerely were concerned about achieving educational goals, they would offer valid feedback with each assignment that they return to their students. Appallingly, they have been intensely offended that I posed concern about their contradictory and awkward wording. Yes, I passed the Comps and DIS1, and my GPA is 3.97; yet, the NCU system abounds in incoherent wording, communication gaps, and superiority complexes that are not evident in the most highly accredited learning institutions; consequently, I must report my observations and experiences about inevitable misunderstandings that are inherent in the Chair-Committee-student scenario. The mentors and chair do not converse or relate interactively with students about textbook assignments and milestone projects. The consequences will be severe now that I have complained to my advisor and the BBB about my NCU Chair. I complained because she is not knowledgeable in the areas of English and language instruction, which are the topics of my research in the instruction of English as a second language. In fact, I have learned that NCU maintains no English Department or English-credentialed instructor whatsoever. The salesmen who enrolled me did not reveal this issue to me. Since then, I have offered to edit/revise their literature. However, neither my Advisor nor Chair have responded conscientiously about the issues that I have shared here--these being but a couple of many more communication problems that are inherent in the operations of NCU. Of course, subversion is occurring throughout our nation today. Our academic standards are being compromised as we must interact with strangers who after all may advocate for war rather than for peaceful resolve. One may read and report about what one has read at NCU, but that may render naught as the NCU mentors and Chair are not supporting an active learning agenda. Neither are they accounting for the original promises that their sales people promised their perspective students. They should be willing to work with me; however, they are predisposed in their own agenda and private interests to respond appropriately with any hint even that they have read my work or the assigned textbooks. One would hope for improved attitudes and performance levels. Overwhelming is the quest of the faculty and staff for thousands of dollars and more, with no regard for the quality of their product. Without a doubt, active-duty military members and governmental employees are an asset for NCU's reputation, credibility, and financial portfolio. Remember, though, that these students are working from a business orientation that does not parallel the high literary standards of upper-division and graduate academia. Profit-mindedness is causing a deterioration of our national academic standards and excellent verbal skills that include critical and analytical reading and writing proficiencies. English majors who represent Cambridge and Oxford Universities and other Universities throughout the world would not approve of the practices to which I have referred here.
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