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Northcentral University

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Northcentral University Reviews:

My experience at NCU

Ed.D. - September 6, 2016
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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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful

NCU ripped me off

Ed.D. - June 24, 2016
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For those like "Anonymous" who say that the complainers of NCU are the ones who couldn't make it, how and why do you presume to know what others have gone through and what level of knowledge, ability, and expertise they have? It's that kind of arrogance that causes people to misjudge others when they may have a legitimate complaint. I, for one, was scammed out of a Doctorate Degree from NCU. After sailing along with ALL A GRADES, I got into the research phase and was suddenly dismissed from the program, without warning or clear explanation. I don't have the time or space here to tell of the events that followed, but here are a few of the highlights: My adviser changed at least 5 times over the years; my doctorate committee chair changed twice; before I was dismissed, I had followed everything my chair had told me; my chair was "surprised" and did not understand why I was dismissed; NCU violated their own protocol for dismissal (guidelines stated that the student should be able to finish their existing class and they didn't allow me to do that); NCU did not tell me at the time of dismissal the options available; NCU did not refund money I had already paid for graduation. I'm not disputing your experience at NCU - but you should not dispute mine as well. You may have had a great experience. I'm glad for you. Mine was going well, and then it all fell out from under me - and NCU ditched me without much correspondence at all. I even wrote the University President - and was basically told by him that it was tough luck. So, enjoy your experience at NCU if you choose to go there. But don't make ridiculous statements about others' experiences which you know nothing about.

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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful

So Far So Good!

Ed.D. - December 28, 2015
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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.

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful

The Worst School Ever

Ed.D. - August 3, 2015
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Northcentral University was the WORST educational experience of my life. The practices were unfair,unreasonable; they employed some of the most awful teachers ever, who should not even be allowed to teach; they don't care about the students; and they wasted my time and money. Do NOT go there!

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17 of 35 people found the following review helpful

Education with an e-learning specialization

Ed.D. - January 6, 2015
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My experience with NC thus far has been extremely positive. I study anywhere from 40 to 80 hours per week, working on my doctoral degree. If you are not willing to work for your degree, you will not like the high academic standards at NC. But if you are sincere about your education, I dare say you will love it like I do. I researched online schools for six years before deciding on NC. Did you know the school is highly rated and becoming known as the "Harvard online school?" And, mentors have always answered my questions within 24 hours. I highly recommend this school. True, a lot drop out, but if you are willing to put in the necessary work, you will be happy. Also, the price for this school is average in comparison to other doctoral degree programs. Good luck and study hard for the degree!

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30 of 41 people found the following review helpful

NCU IS worth the time & money for many... but NOT for all.

Ed.D. - May 25, 2014
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At the risk of sounding redundant of other learners, I offer my review of NCU. I am currently in my 8th class with NCU. My experience has been a positive one. I have engaged with my mentors at some level for every course: sometimes with a phone call, sometimes e-mail, and sometimes just through comments back and forth as I am completing assignments. I've done very well navigating through course requirements and maintain a 4.0 at this point. However, if I were not a teacher, or at minimum a linguistic and intrapersonal learner (multiple intelligence terms), I could see where is program would be painful. I am definitely challenged by the course content and put forth a great deal of effort in every assignment. Perhaps one could breeze right through the courses with much less effort, but this is MY education, and I intend to come out of this program proficient in my content area. I need for my education to align with my career path. That being the case, I accept that it is my responsibility, as an online learner, to take ownership of my learning, to make the most of every course, and to engage in articles, dissertations, etc. that are relevant to my field. Yes, I find some of the required reading to be outdated. Because of this, I generally find a book or two that is on the recommended list or that has been referenced in articles pertaining to the class to grab and use as I write my papers. You get out what you put into this university. If you are looking for a degree program that will be highly structured with an online forum where a professor will engage with you to help you make meaning of the material, this is probably not the university for you. I needed a program that would not require me to show up several days/ week, that allowed me to work at a steady pace, and honestly, preferred a program where I was NOT told what to think, but free to make my own assumptions. I find NCU fits this bill nicely. I am terrified, yet looking forward to my upcoming dissertation process. I expect it to be demanding and invigorating. It will undoubtedly be the hardest thing I've ever encountered academically, AS IT SHOULD BE! If the program were easy and the dissertation process a cake walk, a majority of people would hold a doctoral degree, which would diminish it's value as a whole. Regarding dealing with my academic advisor, she has been awesome! In dealing with financials, again- it's been fairly painless, even though a tad redundant. My mentors-- I've had awesome mentors and one or two that were just alright. As for the isolation, this is an independent study. It's all on you. If you can't learn like that, do not do ANY online course. If you are self-disciplined, highly motivated, and can self-teach, this university is as good, and I'm sure sometimes better, than others like it. Good luck in your pursuits!

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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful

Transferring While I Can!

Ed.D. - January 24, 2014
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I enrolled at NCU so excited to start my EdD degree. I am in my third class and I am working on a transfer to another university. The school is not horrible but it is definitely not "teaching" me anything other than handing in papers by the due date and using APA format correctly. There is absolutely no teaching at this school and no critical discussion about topics that you should be a doctor on eventually. How is that possible? I write papers every week without guidance (unless I ask for it) and really let the research teach me (which means I'm using other "doctors" material instead of understanding the true foundation of the course). I am a master at citing work and putting in just the right amount of wording to make it my own but have I really stepped away with any additional knowledge that will stick? No. Now, I started looking to the student boards and reading what other students thought and when i tell you that there are SO many students complaining about the dissertation phase being long and drawn out (as a way for the school to make more money), I cringe. Going all this way with straight A's to get the end and all of sudden it takes 8 DIS courses or more to get approved?? How can you claim that you prepared the students? I grew scared of the growing numbers of complaints and how people were stuck in the program and could not transfer for fear of losing credits and money...so I initiated a transfer before I got in too deep. I really value world of mouth when it comes to education and NCU has been noted for having an exceptionally poor DIS process. I don't have the money to play that game. And I second the idea that the student portal looks like it was built in Excel about twenty years ago. It's maddening to look at the jumble of words every few days. Where is all the money going??? On the bright side, my advisors were very professional and nice.

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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful

Forget the Ed.D

Ed.D. - July 10, 2013
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All classes taken were okay and worth the expense of a non-residence, accredited degree. I passed all classes and passed the comps. Then came the dissertation phase. This is really where they stick it to you. The chair works with you by providing suggestions for your concept paper. You get it approved by your chair and the OAR rejects it and has you write it over again. This happened four times to me. Each time you have to re-enroll in the dissertation class and continue to pay for more classes. After the concept paper, you get to do the same game with your dissertation proposal. They will continue to find reasons to reject your paper and keep you paying for more classes. I wonder what their actually doctoral completion rate is.

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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful

Dissertation via email

Ed.D. - March 30, 2013
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I think there are a few students in the doctoral programs who have not had problems, but that is not my situation. Those that have no problem moving through the dissertation process, usually have one of the better Chairs. Even the new revised templates are a joke with so many errors and when it is brought to the attention of administration, no one cares. It is too bad that the public cannot read what students post on the NCU student boards and the NCU yahoo site for students and alum. One to one mentoring at NCU is via email, unless the Chair or mentor chooses to engage. Even in their revised guidelines (2013), there is no requirement for Chairs to have a conversation with the student. Everything is emails with a one week turn around. No one should expect a Chair to teach them, but everything via email? The majority of doctoral students have graduated from NCU without ever speaking to their chair or committee members and, that speaks volumes.

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27 of 38 people found the following review helpful

Wonderful Experiance

Ed.D. - February 7, 2013
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I am completing my third year at NCU. The experience has been very rewarding. As I am now completing my EdD degree the program is designed for independent learning. Part of the process is developing the skills of analyzing and responding in-depth not just completing an assignment for a grade. After all if you are working on a doctorate degree you need to be ready to use these skills. I have experienced a mentor that was unfair in my view and my concept paper completion was challenging. On the positive side I learned to deal with difficult people and jumping the hoops is part of the process of becoming a doctor. This is not elementary school where you just need to turn your homework in on time. You can complete the program if you engage the process.

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful

ED.D in Leadership of Higher Education-Good So Far

Ed.D. - January 29, 2013
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I have taken 3 classes so far with this school. I am now on my 4th class. I really do not have anything to complain about. The program is what I expected it to be. You will need to make your education your own. Do not expect to hand held. There were points of frustration, but the financial aid and course work is on par. If you currently work in Higher Education, the course work aligns up and makes the program easier to work with.

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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful

NCU - An expensive email correspondence school

Ed.D. - December 18, 2012
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Syllabi and reference material outdated for many courses. All seems ok, and then you start the dissertation courses. If you are looking for an experience that is more like a correspondence course, then NCU is for you. You are on your own. Unless you are one of the lucky ones, typically Chair guidance is via email and comments on your paper. Easy money for dissertation chairs. Administration could care less, it is a for-profit, and there is very little interaction. Now of course it should be difficult and, of course, you should be self directed, that goes without saying. If you could read the boards where students can post comments, you would run! I do have a lot of respect for the graduates of NCUs doctorate programs, because it is really writing a dissertation without any guidance and/or an advisor. Know that I now, it is too late to transfer into another program.

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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful

So Far So Good

Ed.D. - December 9, 2012
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I have taken two classes with this University, and I am now taking my third. So far, it has not been so bad. The work load is what I expected for an online university. However, there are a couple of concerns though. The textbooks seem a little outdated. The information is good, but outdated by a couple of years. The second issue is that the syllabus can at times not be clear. I have been confused on more than one occasion. However, if you have a good mentor, then He will explain it to you. The school might not be for everyone, but it works for me. I am taking 1 class at a time, and I am able to keep up so far. Be prepared to write papers every week with an average length of 5-7 pages though.

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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful

Help is needed.

Ed.D. - October 29, 2012
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Go to the NCU website and just read the student blog and you will see the number of unhappy students. Money is being taken with little to no results and no one is helping. Students are writing to government officials and the accrediting organization but no results so far. The NCU administration is just interested in money and doesn't care what happens to students. Hope someone in authority will read this and take action to help students including a number of veterans being abused by NCU.

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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful

Fantastic -- IF you are serious

Ed.D. - June 27, 2012
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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.

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35 of 51 people found the following review helpful

No Straight A's

Ed.D. - May 31, 2012
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Everyone is not making straight A's. I have a B, A-, & B- in some of my classes. The policies have changed, fees went up, and the instructors/mentors are from all over the country. Some mentors are helpful and some are not. I wish I had their job. My advisor is great. NCU is an independent online program--meaning that you are teaching yourself while others are grading your papers or PowerPoint presentations. As far as the textbooks goes--they are out of date. However, when you write your dissertation, it is expected that we have current material. Assignments have changed to from suggested due dates to fixed due dates. Perhaps, it is a blessing in disguised or sign to transfer.

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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful

Not impressed with NCU policymakers

Ed.D. - February 20, 2012
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I was a PhD Psychology student in 2010 at NCU. During my second course they revamped their policies and tuition/dissertation fees which hurt a lot of working adult learners, me among them and I had to withdraw at the completion of my course. I think they had a mass exodus of adult learners due to the changes because I got a call a month or so later asking me to please come back. Uhm, I don't think so. As far as I'm concerned, they took their eye off the ball by changing policies that hurt adult learners--which is allegedly the whole focus of for-profit online schools--meeting the needs of adult learners. I will say that the two mentors (instructors) I had were awesome, very supportive and motivating, and my short academic experience was very rewarding solely because of them. I don't regret attending NCU because I learned so much from the two mentors I had . . . I just don't trust NCU's investors and policymakers and am, therefore, unable to recommend NCU to anyone.

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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful

Definitely for Independent Learners

Ed.D. - February 15, 2012
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Ok, so I'm an independent learner and I have done very well; however, I have been met with some challenges that were not my doing. Straight A's so grades are not an issue. I'm a great communicator and I "get" what they are trying to do. The biggest problem faced by Northcentral from a student's perspective is that their systems are broken. Personnel don't know who to contact for what; the doctoral process is a jumbled mess; committee members aren't motivated to really help students or give guidance...primarily because they get paid one fee for their services to a single student. Committee members are different, I realize...but in my experience they are falling short of providing the guidance needed and no one follows up behind them. The academic integrity is quickly going out the window. Furthermore, most of the Committee Chair folks are new and students are suffering as committees learn their way around NCU systems. Listen, when a committee keeps your paper for 5 weeks and it is returned with very few comments, something is definitely wrong. I believe it is a "process" issue.

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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful

Don't Attend NCU

Ed.D. - February 14, 2012
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Im currently enrolled as a doctorate student in this college. Truthfully I feel as if I am being ripped off. I’ve tried to give it a fair assessment over the course of my second year but this college continues to make head scratching moves. This college appears to b a rip-off. The education is par at best. The cost continues to increase. The interaction with professors is mediocre. Furthermore, I am suspicious of the amount of access everyone in every department seems to have to your day to day educational progress. If it works for you then please disregard my words. But for those who are just coming in even though I have received all “A’s” this college experience is particularly peculiar. My suggestion would be to do some extensive research before your enroll in this college It appears to be a rip off.

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17 of 26 people found the following review helpful

Frustrated and Angry in the Midst of NCU Chaos

Ed.D. - January 18, 2012
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NCU has been on a downward spiral for the past several years. Doing the basic coursework for the Ed.D. the school was satisfactory at best. The dissertation sequence, however, has been a nightmare. I already have three graduate degrees from excellent institutions, so it's not like school is new to me! Over the past year I have had four different committee chairs! Their expectations have evidently not been aligned with the requirements of the Office of Academic Research. Twice my committee has approved my proposal and it was twice rejected by the OAR. Although no one told me or any of my committee chairs (there had been three up to that point) the school no longer allows researchers to use phenomenology as a research method! The same OAR had approved the methodology when it approved my Concept Paper. Apparently, communication of such policy changes never made it to my various committee chairs. So, I am now on Chair #4 and have resubmitted the DP for a third time, this time with an approved research method. It seems to me that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Leadership is in a constant state of flux. I have lost count of the deans and other leaders who have come and gone. In the three years that I have been in the program I have had, I believe, 6 or 7 different academic advisers. The structure of the doctoral program itself is anything but user-friendly. The learner is not permitted to have any direct contact with his or her committee members! All communication must go through the committee chair. That might be fine if the committee chairs didn't keep changing! This school gives scholarship in the 21st century a very bad name. They now have a lot of my money, so I keep plugging away wondering when the next change in policy, or the next change in committee chairs, or the next new dean is going to come along. As a professional educational administrator myself, I do wonder how NCU survives!

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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful

Good Experience

Ed.D. - November 3, 2011
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I'm now in my 6th class at NCU. I wrote a good review when I was in my 3rd class. I'm happy to say my experience remains positive.I have had professional experience with financial aid, my mentors and my other students. I hope it lasts. The Doctorate degree is really a research and writing degree. Most of the work is independent and the student must be a self-starter.NCU has a good format for visual learners like me. I spend hours studying and researching everyday. If you are not discplined this is not the school for you. My only complaint that the classes were 12 weeks and now they have changed to 8 week options, so I like it even better. The 8 week classes do have due dates unlike the 12 week. I liked not having due dates, but I wanted to get done quicker.

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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful

The only hope for rural people

Ed.D. - August 8, 2011
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NCU is a great school that fulfilled my expectations. I feel the education I received was just as thorough as any other b and m school. It was particularly useful to me because I live in a rural area, far away from any university.

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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful

Gave it three of four attempts...

Ed.D. - July 12, 2011
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I have attended NCU off and on for the past 4 years. The materials required for the classes are on par with Brick and Mortar offerings. For the most part, the adjunct faculty (mentors) that I worked with at NCU were top notch. The value, support, and overall institutional quality is where I would continually get snagged. There is what NCU could be and then there is what it is. I applaud a for-profit model and Higher Ed Institutions could do so well if they would just get the focus right. Profitability through administration of a high quality program that leverages technology available in this century. CONS: No student email account, a student portal and course management system that looks like it was designed in the mid-90's, poor administrative support (particularly in financial aid/accounting), cookie cutter syllabi with no creativity based on subject content, zero teaching from the mentor (read the book, write the paper, repeat). PROS: Superb reference library and reference management tools. Regionally accredited at a fair tuition price.

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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful

So Far, So Good

Ed.D. - April 13, 2011
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I started to NCU a few months ago. I'm in the Ed.D program for Instructional Leadership. I was very lucky to get a good mentor for these first two classes. All of my assignments have been turned back to me within a few days.I have had no trouble with financial Aid since I started. I did have trouble with Financial Aid as I was registering, but that may have been partly to transferring schools. I really appreciate the freedom of turning in assignments on suggested dates versus deadline dates with points off if late. I came from a few online schools where we had weekly posts and team assignments. We also were deducted points if the assignment was not in by midnight on the due date. If you start to feel alone in class there is the "New Kids On the Block" to vent and chat. That is the big difference between here at NCU. There are no mandatory weekly posts and interactions among students in my classes.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Still a GREAT Value for the Education

Ed.D. - February 6, 2011
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Northcentral University has provided me with an excellent education. I received my Master's degree in the traditional setting of a "Big 10" school. With only my Dissertation manuscript to complete, I have found my education at NCU to be on par with, if not above, my previous educational experiences. Education is always about what the student puts into their learning. Although Northcentral University increased its tuition at the beginning of 2011, its rates are extremely competitive, and probably still cheaper, than almost any other online university. Furthermore, NCU doesn't require any kind of residency. When considering the total cost of an education, students must consider the added costs of travel and residency, not only tuition. With that, NCU remains a more affordable choice. Others have complained about how much tuition has risen in the past five years. However, NCU's tuition was extraordinarily low and has just now risen to be close to others.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Positive Experience

Ed.D. - January 3, 2011
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It appears that people who write negative reviews of NCU have had financial and/or academic difficulty with the school. Prospective students should be aware that no doctoral program is, or is suppose to be, easy. The dissertation phase is especially trying, and that is why there are so many ABDs in the academic world. NCU provided me with an excellent and challenging educational experience. Each class was useful, and the dissertation process made me think & grow. DO NOT expect to sign up for classes and simply write some "stuff", or assume what you think is acceptable in research will pass the reviewers. NCU is striving to improve itself academically, and that is a good thing. People do drop out. Expect to work, expect red tape, and make a commitment. You will be rewarded.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Solid Work Program

Ed.D. - August 23, 2010
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I have had good support from faculty in working towards by ED.D. they answer questions in a timely manner, they provide solid input to my writings and constructive criticisms that will benefit me in completing my work. I do have one problem, that is when ordering materials from there book store they on many occassions are out of stock, print or outdated and will not be available. Makes it hard to work on some of the projects. It would be beneficial if they would evaluate the books and update the programs book references.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Better than in-classroom

Ed.D. - May 10, 2010
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NCU will not provide credentials for teaching, and does not claim to. What they have, however, is a fantastic EdD program that is hard to match anywhere in the country. Additionally, the degree areas are far more precise (less generalized) than your average university. The quality of the classes is extremely high, and more important, consistent from one class to the next. Every mentor I have had has been extremely supportive and helpful, but NCU makes it clear that the work of learning belongs to the learner. If you want to coast, find a different school.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Run, Run, Run Away

Ed.D. - April 24, 2010
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You've got to be kidding. Be careful to understand what you want to do with your degree. NCU does not provide the needed credentials, support, or infrastructure to help you succeed.

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful

EdD in Organizational Leadership

Ed.D. - June 15, 2009
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So far, I am taking my third class and I can't complain. Mentors are great and my education advisor is the best. Lets see how it goes, but so far I recommend this University. It looks like they had problems in the past, but since they were bought my the new company everything is 100 times better. The best price per credit out there,, Capella 53G's, Jones University 48G's and Walden 50G's. NCU go to NCU.EDU and find out, way less.... and if you are in the military $250.00 per credit for a Doctorate degree, just tell me who else have that price? Only NCU

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful

Northcentral University

Ed.D. - February 5, 2009
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I have completed my Ed.D and got a lot out of the experience at NCU. I have an MBA and am a CPA. I was ABD at Lehigh University after my dissertation chair took ill and retired. The relationship between his replacement and me did not work out. On the other hand Dr. Aaron Givan was my chair at NCU and I found he represents exactly what is needed in a dissertation chair. He kept me going when I was frustrated with others at NCU and he gudied me the whole way. I highly recommend Dr. Givan and the NCU experience.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful

so far, so good

Ed.D. - November 17, 2008
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I have completed four classes towards an Ed.D. So far the mentors have been either good or great. The material is good, it is hard to keep fresh with Technology/Education texts. The overall value is very good. You must be self motivated. I also have many years in my field so I am interested in more "research" style learning than requiring hand holding while learning the basics of a subject. NCU works for me.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Positive Experience

Ed.D. - April 15, 2008
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I have been very pleased with my experience at NCU. I am a busy higher ed administrator in a rural area and the structure of the classes at NCU meet my needs. All of my mentors have been helpful and return e-mails quickly. I can honestly say that I have learned more from this educational experience than any of the others at traditional brick and mortar schools.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful


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