Northcentral University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (147)
I would never recommend this school to anyone, not even my worse enemy. It appears that the policies are just written for show. With no integrity written all over it. The Professors are definately low rated. If you are a working citizen, for get it.
This school should be closed for business.
Definitely check out this guide to online school. If I had known about this before I entered NCU I would not be writing this review.
I started my studies at NCU in August 2008. I had two master degrees, one in electrical engineering from University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and the other in business from University of Redlands, CA. I am currently waiting for my PhD dissertation manuscript to be reviewed by Graduate School after passing my PhD committee members. Once done, I'll have to set up a date for my PhD Oral Defense and then .. done. NCU method of teaching (as all online schools are) is not for those seeking spoon feeding. If you can't handle it on your own, don't try online school. The mentors I had varied, some good and provided excellent feedback, others lazy and hardly bothered.. but then I am a certified electrical engineering teacher and have been around schools.. so this situation is no different than at any other school I've been in. The method of writing papers (which is how all the courses are taught) provides the self-motivated with an opportunity to grow and learn, something you never find in the tests-based universities. This method turns the student into a true researcher and not into a skilled tracker of "old exams sheets" of the course instructor as is the case at the brick and mortar universities. If you're good at answering questions and solving problems, you hit an "A" regardless of whether you really knew the subject. What I've learned through writing those papers (which I had to research the subject and dig through tons of scholarly papers) is tremendous.. never learned as much in the brick and mortar schools as I've learned at NCU. Things did not become tough and the bar was not raised really high until I started my PhD research work. There things changed dramatically. The requirement for a high quality research was pushed hard and the feedback was impressive from my committee members. I had to revise and revise again to provide a really quality work. I am very happy with what I've learned at NCU. Very thankful for my PhD committee members' thorough feedback and that of the "anonymous- no one knows who s/he is" Graduate School reviewer that went word by word over my Concept Paper, Dissertation Proposal, and finally Dissertation Manual to make sure my research work meets the high standards of NCU. Those who are making negative remarks about NCU should look deep into themselves. I am 56 years old, taught at University of Arizona, taught at community colleges.. have two master degrees.. manager for over 25 years of my life. I evaluate things for what they are as a whole ...not from one angle or one experience or one mentor's performance. I blame myself when I fail and I starve to do the best regardless of others.. my work reflects myself not my teachers or others. My research work will be published in a scholarly journal and NCU name will be on it proudly. Go ahead and apply to this school.. yes, it's for profit, so fees increase yearly! Not happy with that part for sure.
It would have been better to simply go on the web a buy a Ph.D. diploma. This school is a joke! After getting absolutely no useful feedback in my first few assignments / classes, I began to experiment with just how closely the mentors were reading. Papers I submitted with intentional and glaring scholarly writing errors came back with "A" grades.
The only critical feedback I got was on my adherence to APA style guidelines. According to the NCU mentors, I'm an absolute genius - I never received critical / corrective feedback irregarless of the outlandish statements I made - every assignment I've done got a 95% or higher grade!
If you want a useful course which will prepare you for educational leadership, this isn't it. I'm an administrator with 10+ years of leadership experience, and 20 years in education.
This school will not prepare you to effectively lead a school... it won't prepare you for anything except high loan payments, and how to deal with disappointment.
This school is a train wreck- disorganized, at best. The school originally offered flexible assignment submission schedules- basically, work at your own pace. Under pressure to hold on to its accreditation, the school switched to mandatory due dates and did not grandfather existing students under this policy. If you signed up for this school because of its flexibility, you're done.
Quality of instruction is nonexistent. There are no presentations to review, no guidance on understanding content, nada. You order your books and tackle the work alone with no instruction- each course is self-taught, with a mentor who grades assignments and, if you're lucky and get a decent one, will answer questions if you have them. And the books are just about useless, because you'll be spending the bulk of your time writing papers, and will have to research everything.
So, about these research papers. Papers, papers, papers! Papers for everyone! Finance major? Write a million papers! Accounting major? A million papers for you too! I could have had a flipping PhD by now with all the research and writing I've done at this ridiculous school. If I wanted to write a million papers, I'd have been an English major. As a working adult with a family, I don't have time to write a dissertation on every subject. Lastly, syllabi are generic, loaded with errors, and rarely updated... and if you ask for clarification, the mentors will cite the syllabus and tell you they didn't write it but have to enforce it, and so you're pretty much S.O.L.
If the quality of education isn't enough to scare you away, beware of the financial pitfalls associated with this school. Tuition is constantly increasing, with no changes to course content or the school's technology (by the way, the university's website is outdated and nearly useless). The financial aid department is slower than molasses to process your funds, to the point where you'll wonder if you're going to be dropped before your courses are paid. They're also constantly coming up with new excuses to hold students' stipends... hope you aren't looking to buy food or pay your rent with your stipend, because you'll be starving and homeless before you actually get the money. The University also set up a nice deal for itself with Sallie Mae (another horrible business) wherein students either have to sign up for an account with Sallie Mae in order to get electronic disbursements to that account, or wait five billion years to receive a paper check.
I wish I'd listened to the negative reviews that called this university a correspondence school, because that's exactly what it is.
If you choose to enroll here, I wish you luck because you're certainly going to need it!
Northcentral University snagged me up back in 2009 when a friend of mine told me I could get my doctorate without having a residency. This was a huge draw for me because I was raising 3 daughters and didn't want to miss a moment of their exciting lives. I'm also very picky about the impact my actions have on my daughters lives. Getting to graduation before they graduated high school would mean they'd see the true value of the accomplishments.
I transfered from University of Phoenix (where I had received my BSM) and re-started my Masters. At first I thought I would transfer my credits, but when I realized how much more knowledge I was retaining by having a much more focused learning experience, I knew I needed to complete all of the coursework for the Masters. It was only 10 classes and it ended up taking me less than two years to get it.
I was so proud walking across the stage having my then 15, 14, and 12 year old girls cheer for me. It was a great honor to be a role model to them. I will continue into my doctorate program at NCU and hope to have the same success and impact on those around me.
It doesn't really matter if the mentors all have PhD's if all they do is focus on APA style. I'm not trying to obtain a degree in APA and yet if I get any feedback at all it is almost consistently on nitpicky little APA style problems.
This isn't the biggest issue though, please take note! The issue is that the instructors have no input on the syllabus and are not held accountable for what is in the syllabus. Several of my instructors seem to think that they can ignore the syllabus and hold me responsible for requirements not listed therein.
The syllabi were rewritten when the school went from a 12 week to an 8 week format for the courses and I have found issues with sloppy syllabi yet my mentor will not take my concerns seriously whatsoever. I filed a grievance with the school and have not received any response that would indicate they are dealing with these issues. I cannot wait to be done, and I will never have dealings with this institution in the future.
I am currently enrolled at NCU. I am currently in my 7th course, one year in to the degree. Up to now my experience has been positive. Enrolling was easy. Very friendly personnel helped me to start, we set up a phone call and I was shown step by step how to deal with the web site, submitting assignments, etc. My first course, which was sort of a "welcome to doctoral studies" type of thing was very good and I had a very nice mentor.
It is for self motivated people. You have to do things on your own but your mentor is there to answer your questions and provide guidance if needed. Some students may have more interaction than others. Some mentors are more involved than others and provide more extensive comments than others. But this is normal in any kind of learning experience. My bachelors and masters degree from a traditional and highly regarded university was also an "on my own" experience. Traditional universities don't guarantee hands-on and willing to teach professors.
My experience with NCU has been very good up to now both administratively and academically.
I believe the organization is not operating with integrity or following their own policies. I have been enrolled in the Ph.D. Program since 2008 and it seems that once a student is almost near completion of the Doctoral program problems occur which either prevent them from graduating or cause them to drop out of the program for fear of retaliation by the University and the Mentors. I do not believe the University is acting within good faith because if a student files a grievance, a concern, or a complaint the school sides with the Mentor even though the student compiles documentation to merit their complaints. There seems to be accreditation issues at Northcentral and multiple students have complained to various agencies, however, Northcentral will not change their unethical behavior towards students. Northcentral should have their accreditation revoked due to the high number of complaints the University receives, the unethical behavior they display toward their students, and their failure to adhere to their own policies and procedures.
I believe the Higher Learning Commission should look closer into the practices and behavior of Northcentral in order to fully grasp why the University has a high student turnover rate and why so few students graduate from the Doctoral programs. I have attended and graduated from other Universities that were accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and I have never attended a University as unethical or with as many problems as Northcentral University. Nor have I seen a University which was accredited by the Higher Learning Commission have so many negative reviews from its students.
It seems that with all the students negatively complaining about Northcentral University a governing body needs to take a closer look into the schools actions and unethical treatment of their students.
Until NCU finishes hiring enough full-time chairs, think twice before starting one of their doctorate programs. Depending on the chair they assign you...you are on your own and no one seems to care. Do not make the mistake I did and fall for the 1:1 marketing. You are truly on your own. In retrospect, I should have paid more attention to the negative reviews ;( They are well deserved.
I am a doctoral student and was suppose to finish 2012. I have ethical issues with them as in 2010 they required students to start paying dissertation fees with general coursework. Then a couple months later, they designed a "full pay" comprehensive program.
A student can complete classes quickly, but when you get to the dissertation stage, you really do not know what is happening. You are ASSIGNED a full time chairperson who has the total authority to decide if your concept paper (not dissertation proposal) is ready to be submitted to the Grad School for approval. There is no continuity between what is written or what is expected once you get to the dissertation stage. Though they claim flexibility, there is little in class choices. You have no options regarding your dissertation chair or team and they generally will not let you change. They state that everything they do is in the best interest of the student, which is not true.
The school is motivated by money and not student interest. The faculty turnover is great and there are few ways for students to contact each other and no continuity. The mentors (instructors) generally only correct papers, so you teach yourself. Had I known, I would have chosen another school or none at all.