Northcentral University : PhD Education Reviews

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Anonymous (In Progress) on August 28, 2014

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RUN Academic Advisor was the greatest; however he was limited to how helpful he could be. The University's policies were for the purpose of serving the school. Student were treated like puppets and mentors were not held accountable!!!!

Anonymous (In Progress) on March 23, 2013 (email verified)

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Any graduates out there??? I started my PhD in education at NCU in 2006, but only completed 12 hours. I had to withdraw due to personal reasons, but was thinking of reapplying. My professors were great overall. I did have to wait a day or two to get my questions or concerns answered, but I did get the challenge and support I needed. What I didn't like was the problem with getting transcripts and other official documents from the university after I left the school. Now, I don't have a problem, but during the first year after withdrawing I had to be very persistent about having official documents mailed to me or to another institution. During the first year after I withdrew it was difficult to get in touch with my professors when I needed references/recommendations. Now I do not have a problem because I have their personal emails. What I am most concerned about is the value of the PhD degree after graduation when seeking employment. Are online PhD's seen as having the same value as the others received at a campus? Is there anyone out there who has graduated with an online PhD who can shed light on this matter? Does anyone know of a professor with an online PhD who is teaching at a traditional university or do all online PhD alumni have to seek employment at only online universities? Thanks.

Anonymous (In Progress) on December 21, 2012

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Be Very Cautious 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

Tkelso75 (In Progress) on December 4, 2012

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NCU-Money Grabbers Northcentral is NOT military friendly! Beware! In 2012, just as I was finishing up a class, a closer family member passed away and our home experienced extreme water damage (causing us to relocate our home's contents), I asked for an extension. The school of education turned me down flat, no explanation!!! When I signed up to retake the course, they stated that financial aid would not cover the class and that I would not be able to take another class until I covered the $2260 for the cost of the course. Beware if you are effected by the economy.

Ksanders (In Progress) on October 17, 2012 (email verified)

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Please with the school - Kerry Sanders I have attended NCU since Feb 2012. So far, I have completed five courses. I am pleased overall with the school, and really have nothing negative to say. My only concern is with the long term value of completing my education at NCU, as it relates to employment opportunities and reputation. I am and IT Professional and Educator. I have taken traditional as well as online courses previously. I have also taught using both methods. I have attended small schools, CC's, as well as completed one of my Masters degrees from a major institution (Go Blue). NCU so far has provided the best online experience of any school that I have attended. I believe they have the right formula for non-traditional students. I am not sure why some have commented negatively about the school, but can say, my personal experience has been the complete opposite. The admin staff has been great, and the academic staff outstanding. I strongly recommend that you consider NCU, if you are looking at attending online. NCU does not waste your time, nor does the faculty (Mentors) give you busy work to complete. They are also responsive, and their comments and the work provide value. You should also plan to spend about 15-20 hours per week for each class. Again, so far, I am pretty pleased with NCU. --- Kerry Sanders, PhD Candidate

Tim (In Progress) on September 16, 2012 (email verified)

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The Real Skinny on NCU - Stay Tuned I am about to start Core classes 10 and 11 - So far the program has been ok - I had 2 bad classes - one was statistics - I got a B, but teacher gave me a 60 on my final - I also had a research class that I dropped and retook - because the teacher had no clue on my topic and kept rejecting it I will keep you posted

Anonymous (In Progress) on August 12, 2012

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Run Away as Fast as You Can! 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!

Anonymous (In Progress) on June 21, 2012 (email verified)

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NCU is not for those who request the motto "Student First I searched for several months to find a university that did not require residency. I also was attracted to offering Doctoral students the opportunity to present your dissertation over the phone. I recently began my Ed. Doctorate in Organizational Leadership Specialization. My initial mentor was great, met institutional requirements of grading assignments within 3-day turn-around. Was able to pick up the phone and communicate with the mentor anyday, anytime. My grievance with the institution did not begin until my 4th class. All assignments are to be turned in no later than 11:59 p.m. Sundays. The mentor is required to provide a grade, no later than 3-days from Sunday. My first initial assignment, my mentor was not familar with the syllabus and guided me wrong on how to address the first assignment. This meant a redue. Second grievance, the mentor would never grade my assignments until on Friday of each week. Each preceding assignment mirrowed the first, so it required me waiting on the mentor to give feedback from the prior assignment. Now this type schedule has caused a lapse in the calendar of completing all assignments before the semester ends. As the class progressed, I made all "A's" and (1) B., until we get to the final assignment. The issue began when I received an email from mentor who did not realize the semester had ended, until one week later. The mentor asked me to contact my advisor for an extension in order for me to submit the final last (2) assignments. Now bear in mind this is my mentor, who does not have a time management system, and has caused me to fall behind. My advisor tells me it is my fault that I did not squeal on the mentor, as well as advising me I will now fail the course due to the (2) assignments not being graded. So,I am not allowed an extension, of course I have paid $2K for the class. This made me think only once - If the student is not "first" and the decisions made is to make more money, I have to consider other options. This was truly unfair, when the fault was not mine but due to a lax mentor. My decision to attend NCU was a mistake and so, I have now made application to another university, before I give NCU another dime. For all who make the decision to attend NCU, think twice.

(In Progress) on May 19, 2012

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International Education--Ph.D. or Ed.D. The International Eduction doctoral sequence is a poor program ineffectively mentored, a program with courses redundant of each other and activities that are mirror images of others in the sequence. Make-do assignments and mentors with no background in the student's field of focus make this school a dreadful waste of time, energy, and funds. Instructor comments--often wrong, by the way--are demeaning and focus almost exclusively on APA style rather than on the content in which they have no background, of course. Only extremely self-confident and self-disciplined folks should enroll in this school. However, if you value your work and your purpose, please--attend one of the good brick-and-mortar universities.

Anonymous (In Progress) on February 25, 2011 (email verified)

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Look for another option I enjoyed the program and I had some pretty good mentors. My gripe is with their policies. I called accounting to question an email I received concerning a class I had recently enrolled and was told that I would have to pay out of pocket. I receive financial aid so I was confused. She basically told me that it was my problem and whether I finished the class or not I would owe the university. I received a call from another rep from the school informing me that if I stay in the class they will use my next disbursement to cover the cost. I currently have a 4.0 gpa they had no regard for me as a student I felt like a dollar sign. I would not recommend this school to anyone that is serious about their education.

Anonymous (Graduate) on January 5, 2011 (email verified)

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Great Experience NCU provides a great experience if you are a self-motivated student. However, if you need constant reassurance and someone to hold your hand at all times, this is not the school for you. Overall I am very happy with the program and the school in general.

Anonymous (In Progress) on January 3, 2011 (email verified)

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Not for those unwilling to work! I have been in the PhD program since October 2009, and I am in the first course of the dissertation sequence. Although I concur with some of the financial issues brought up in previous posts, NCU is attempting to bring its financial department in line with federal requirements, thereby giving access to more learners (and building its bottom line, of course.) This appears to be no different than what is happening at other institutions across the country. Thusfar, NCU is far superior to other institutions. I have taken on-campus and online courses, and I am an on-campus and online instructor for two other institutions. I hold a BS Ed. and MS Ed. (GPA 3.318 and 4.0 respectively) from two prominent Texas universities, and NCU coursework is far more rigorous than in either state institution. Although it has been difficult, I have managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA. Again, I stress, it is not easy! Mentors are excellent overall; only one has not met my expectations. Feedback is timely and generally useful. There are no "learning teams" at NCU, and this fact alone makes it unsuitable for individuals who are not competent to work on their own or with only their mentors. Northcentral is classified as a Doctoral Research University (DRU) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (carnegiefoundation.org). As such, learners who are successful at NCU are capable of individual thought and hold a substantial work ethic. What I see in most of the negative posts about NCU is the same lack of work ethic I see in many of my learners: many expect an "A" with little or no effort, and many expect to be spoonfed. This attitude seems to be the norm for K-12 learners, and in the last decade, it has spread to those pursuing higher education. The bottom line is--if you are not willing to work hard for your degree, do not enroll. If you are "one of many" or incapable of individual thought/work, do not enroll. You will work hard to achieve here, but I believe it is worth it!

Erobinson (In Progress) on December 27, 2010

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Excellent experience I am at the beginning stage of my program. I have taken a couple of classes thus far and found them to be challenging. I have found the mentors to be very engaging and supportive. I have enjoyed my academic experiences with NCU. I do hope they do not continue to increase tuition at such high jumps!!!

Anonymous (Graduate) on December 16, 2010

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Difficult but worth it Great learning experience. You must be self-directed and highly motivated as no one will do the work for you. The faculty are wonderful and I loved the mentoring model used by NCU. I too had challenges during the dissertation phase, but I do not know one single person from any PhD program who did not find the disseration phase challenging. Overall great learning experience.

Anonymous (In Progress) on November 8, 2010 (email verified)

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Run from NCU Having completed the required coursework, research classes, and comprehensive exam at NCU, I found the classes to be challenging, educational learning experiences. I believe NCU provided a quality education during this stage of my education. I now find myself in the middle of the dissertation process for a doctorate in education...by far the most frustrating and pathetic process I have ever experienced in my lifetime. I am on my 2nd chair and 3rd set of committee members. My chair only responds to every third email and is clueless about the dissertation process at NCU. Any time I contact my academic advisor for help she blows me off and tells me that I need to read the dissertation handbook. I am too far along in the program to transfer to another school. I will complete the degree at some point but it will probably take another two classes beyond the program at an additional cost of $4000. I am beginning to think the multiple delays in the dissertation process is by design...it is definitely lucrative for NCU to delay students. While I am frustrated beyond belief, I know it could be much worse because I read the horror stories of other students on the NCU dissertation discussion boards. I am a full-time professor and know for a fact that if I treated my students the way we are treated at NCU I would be unemployed. I have shared my experience, and the experiences of other NCU students, with my colleagues and they are shocked by the treatment. I will be providing 3rd party comments to HLC regarding my experience at NCU in the very near future.

Caihtatsu (In Progress) on October 10, 2010

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Being Honest is not Violating Code of Conduct I was considering the PhD program in Education at NCU and so enrolled in one course to see if NCU would be a good match for me. Not only was I the only student enrolled in the course, severely limiting the sharing of ideas, but the instructor was not qualified in the subject he was teaching/facilitating. He could not offer any interaction or response to the subject matter. When I tried to engage him in discussion he merely referred me to a list of web links on the subject. When I complained to the administration, they informed me that I was nearly violating the student code of conduct. If a student is paying to take a course and the instructor is unqualified and unwilling to engage in any professional dialogue, then the school is to blame, not the student. I am currently looking for an online school that will provide professional instructors, qualified in the subjects they teach.

Anonymous (Graduate) on August 19, 2010 (email verified)

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A Positive Experience While NCU has some issues to work out like any school, especially a relatively new online school, I love the fact they don't use the same marketing tactics as some others. A lot of people have never heard of NCU and to me, that is a good thing. Folks have definitely heard of the main ones that use ridiculous marketing tactics. One issue is that NCU will admit most anyone with the proper prerequisite degree, who can find the funding. This can be a good thing but also has a downside because not everyone is cut out to be able to earn a doctorate, but they don't realize it and NCU does not screen them for this before entrance. Many of these people are dedicated hard workers, but determination alone, and taking the time and spending the money does not "entitle" everyone to earn a doctorate degree. It is very hard and very challenging. It seems to me that those who don't make it drop out after repeating a few courses, or failing their COMPS exam, and then blame the school for being "only about money." This is not true. I made it through and several new students do their final oral defense every month (they are announced and Learners can listen to other learners' defense. I would choose the same school again if I had to do all over.

Jasonhuber (In Progress) on June 7, 2010 (email verified)

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Great School - very rigorous NCU is a great school for me so far. The academic work is very rigorous. I am comparing this to a traditional college degree I earned 10 years ago and an MBA I earned on-site 5 years ago. So I have only taken one other course EVER online to compare to NCU. Compared to my on-site work NCU is much more rigorous. The expectations are higher and the other learners are much more intelligent. Even in my MBA I was appalled at the level of the students. Not the case at NCU. I suspect this is the reason for many unfavorable reviews due to rejections for admission. I have personally visited the campus - it is beautiful. I was introduced to NCU from a Ph.D. who is a dean at the Private (Top 10) University where I work. He and another Ph.D spoke highly of the programs and he had a great experience at NCU. I have had the same experience. Hard work and very intelligent instructors. They are dedicated to the students and do grade very tough. I actually expected it to be easier! I thought after my MBA -- which was a breeze -- that this would be easy. I was wrong and I am glad for it. My concentration is in education technology and I cannot rate the course management system NCU uses a 10. It certainly could be improved upon. The books are current and relevant. The instructors are leaders in their fields. The Institution is great from admissions to financial aid to the deans. It is a bit expensive, so I rated value down and support could be perfect and it is not. I regularly have to call in twice to reach someone to speak to. Email is much more effective through their messaging system. Could NCU be the perfect university? Yes. Is it? No. It is just better than the rest I have found. As far as a residency requirement goes there is none -- however -- I have been told that during your dissertation (I have not reached this point yet) you should expect to be on-site several times to meet with your committee members. This helps facilitate their attention as well as provides valuable face-to-face interaction on this monumental task. Is there still a value to face-to-face? Yes! Just because NCU is "online" does not mean you cannot get that attention if needed.

Redsox1man (Graduate) on November 9, 2009 (email verified)

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Rigorous Program---Rewarding Experience I highly recommend NCU. As many others have listed on this site, it is not a program for students who are not highly self-motivated and capable of independent work. I am just finishing a PhD in the Education program. I have found the entire process to be extremely challenging, rigorous, and rewarding. I have had the kind of experience that I anticipated having in a doctoral level program. NCU pushed my talents and abilities to the max while offering the support that I needed. The NCU faculty and staff always listened to my legitimate concerns and offered their encouragement and support. I anticipated a difficult and frustrating experience, I would assume the same from ANY or ALL universities... after all, this was doctoral level work. The online factor does create some unique challenges for an already difficult process, but I feel that in my case there were many more positives than challenges. I found NCU to be respectable, professional, firm, fair, and consistent. I found that any problem that I encountered could be resolved and that the root of the frustration was generally a step that NCU was taking to improve and/or strengthen itself as an institution. NCU provided me with the kind of experience I wanted in a PhD program. The best things in life aren't easy.

Anonymous (In Progress) on May 24, 2008 (email verified)

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NCU is outstanding I have to say...it was affirming to see that onlinedegreereviews.com rated NCU in the top 5 (student choice) as best accredited on-line educational organizations. As a HS principal and in the field of education for more than 18 years, I truly did not expect an on-line university to meet my expectations as they have in the Ed.D. program. The materials, expectations/standards for assignments, pacing, and mentoring are equally outstanding. I've read a few vicious, paranoid remarks about NCU (and other) on-line programs, but I have to question the student-sources. The website is extremely organized, clear, and outlines expectations for each course.

Anonymous (In Progress) on April 15, 2008 (email verified)

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A look at NCU I've found NCU to be like other colleges. The same problems you encounter at other schools you experience at NCU except most of the contact is either online or through phone calls. Just as in other schools you encounter professors whom you think are not too good. However, you also encounter exceptional professors to. In many ways, the support staff is more helpful than in non-cyber colleges. People respond quickly and kindly to requests and don't give you an 'attitude' if you ask for help. NCU is fully accredited.

Anonymous (In Progress) on April 11, 2008 (email verified)

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Great for some, not for others NCU has a tremendous upside if you're very self-directed and need/prefer to work at your own pace. NCU's model is truly individualized learning, with no group projects, no live meetings, no synchronous sessions. Learners can work at their own pace. The pay-as-you-go format is also much easier on the wallet than places like Walden or Capella. To get the most out of NCU, however, you can't be a wallflower. You'll need to ask questions, be a little assertive if you don't get answers right away and generally speak up when/if problems occur. I'm halfway through the the program and have had very few problems. Those I have had were taken care of quickly and easily.

Kencolken (In Progress) on February 8, 2008 (email verified)

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Not any more A year ago I would have given a rating of 9! There have been lots of changes at NCU. The person who made the School of Education so great was riffed in December-I think about 20 full time faculty were fired. They closed down the writing program and stopped work on the doc research center. Lots of high quality, terminally degreed folks just terminated -why? Why mess with something that was so great. Now the internal blogs are full of complaints from business, psychology and education students who aren't getting the service they had just a couple of months ago. Sounds like the place is in trouble and some really bad decisions are being made. Let's hope it isn't all about money and making the person who owns it just richer. I cannot get any help when I call. My advisor told me her phone was being tapped and to write me on her personal account! Anyway, just be careful if you are thinking about enrolling. I am almost finished with my dissertation and am glad to be getting out while they are still accredited.

Anonymous (In Progress) on October 27, 2007 (email verified)

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NCU is a Quality Educational Experience Northcentral is a quality educational experience. The courses are engaging with supportive instructors (mentors). There is a community feeling at the school. I'm working on an EdD and learning far more than I ever imagined I would. It's a great journey!

Louisfletcher (In Progress) on April 5, 2007 (email verified)

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NCU is no joke! NCU is a great experience. I have an EdD (ABD) from a major brick and mortar university, so I can tell that NCU is providing a quality program. Mentors, facilitator, professors...what's in a name? The School of Education is a professional operation with a responsive Dean and great Mentors and Advisors. I am in the final phases of my PhD in Education and I can tell you that rigor exists at NCU. Some folks are looking for undergrad like programs that hold your hand and feed you with a big spoon. The reality is that at the doctoral level in most universities you are on an island and that is why up to 50% do not finish. My "Mentors" have provided timely and effective support without fail. Irregardless of the degree level, on-line education requires independent self-motivated individuals and everyone is not prepared for the challenge. The people who spew venom usually have a hidden agenda or are just unhappy in general. Everyone is not compatible with every teaching style, so if you do not like a program, leave it without trying to trash the program and understand that others will continue to thrive. Constructive criticism is useful and the NCU administration does listen and has made changes I and other students requested using the on-line discussion forums. Destructive criticism is the non-goal oriented unproductive ranting of folks who "believe" they can identify problems but do not have a clue about how to create solutions. As to cost; compared to similarly accredited brick and mortar programs NCU is a real value and most student have stated in the discussion forums that they would be willing to pay more as NCU adds more specific accreditations (e.g., business, psychology, etc.) to the augment the current regional accreditation which is the gold standard in US education. Those who want a cheap education with a lot of hand holding look elsewhere but those that want a valuable education taught in an independent adult-centered format NCU is the place for you.

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