Northcentral University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (150)
I am earning my PhD in psychology. The overall purpose of pursing my degree with NCU is that my goal is to enhance my profession as a marriage coach and academic lecturer. I also plan to contribute to research in this area. overall, NCU has been a learning experience. I feel that the writing and research opportunities were extremely rigorous. Most, but not all, of my mentors were helpful with some areas of the curriculum, and less so in others. For example, there were times were feedback was not helpful or seemed a cookie-cutter response. Some mentors do not thoroughly explain instructions or offer their expectations clearly However, there were some mentors that were very detailed in their feedback and understood the course material well. I think it really depends on the class. I will say that the support services are excellent. Anytime I signed up for assistance, such as with Statistics, I received exceptional support. I went through two academic advisors, and the one I have now is wonderful. She check in and always answer my questions within 24 hours. The biggest flaw about NCU is that there isn't enough practical experience for psych majors. I think they should offer internships or clinicals. I had also mentioned adding a life coaching certification component as a specialization to the psychology curriculum because I think psych majors need more hands on opportunities in order to secure a career in the field. However, in my case, I do believe my degree from NCU will enhance my career, especially after I attain my coaching certification form another institution. I also think it will serve me well as a professor. So, as you read the reviews, and make a decision as to where you want to invest your money and earn your degree, keep in mind what you want to do with your degree and how it will be received in the industry of your career. For me, NCU is ideal, even though improvements are needed.
My experience with NCU has been outstanding. I left the program for personal reasons just before engaging in my internship. The staff has been extraordinary in helping me return and find a clinical site. I found the course work far more rigorous than classes I have taken at prominent public universities. All of my instructors held doctorates and were currently working in the field of marriage and family therapy or psychology, depending on the course I was enrolled in. Their specific feedback to my assignments and insight into my weaknesses and strengths were excellent. They shared personal clinical experiences when I needed a greater understanding of a particular modality or technique. Also, the online library is extensive, and a number of self-directed programs are in place to help the student navigate the databases. When all else fails, the librarians are eager to help.
The NCU curriculum is remarkably poor. Although the school does a very good job organizing and presenting its content online, the academic rigor and grading standards are extremely disappointing. Most professors use copy-and-paste techniques for evaluating work, literally copying pre-generated responses to assignments from a template for your feedback. I've also noted that none has reputable degrees. In my exchanges with professors throughout the first three courses in the DBA, I found them to be poorly educated and far from subject matter experts. For many of them, I felt they were at the secondary school level of understanding. Much can be gleaned from monitoring the student forums; most of the posts (by Ph.D. candidates) are rife with misspellings and poor grammar. I've noted the same in emails from professors. I cannot recommend this school, and I will be extremely critical of anyone with NCU on their resume.
I had a great experience for the first two classes, but the administration is very disorganized. There is a lack of interest in your success. There is also a problem with mentors that are very busy with other daytime jobs and rush through the assignments. The tuition went up in January, yet they are not investing in quality educators. I had a mentor tell me that it was hard to keep up correcting the weekly assignments because she had too many students. The assignments were graded late and I could not benefit from the feedback prior to submitting the next assignment. Unfortunately, the adviser is not very knowledgeable and cannot be of much help. I had a sad experience with the financial office mishandling my money. At one point, I was charged higher than the actual tuition and I had to leave a few messages before the problem was actually corrected. On another occasion, they removed me from a class after two weeks of hard work because they made a mistake with my student aid. The adviser left me a voicemail telling me that she was deleting the class without even talking to me about it. A word of advice, read the reviews for all the universities and compare prior to committing.
I recently graduated from NCU accelerated MBA program. I loved the ability to complete the program in 13 months. The effort required for the accelerated program is significant and not for every student. I completed two eight week overlapping or concurrent courses at at time. The courses were on track and assignments meaningful to my career. I did have one instructor who I felt was incompetent, but the rest were fabulous and very helpful. I did find the student advisor department less than helpful. Once my situation was brought to the Assistant Dean of Students, the issues were dealt with professionally and in a timely manner that allowed me to complete the program. I would recommend the program.
I am currently enrolled in NCU and will be completing my degree in February 2017. The past 18 months with NCU have represented the best learning experience of my life. The professors, the assignments, the chosen textbooks and resources all deserve a 5 star from me. I have been treated with the utmost respect and have had a team working with and for me to make my dream of being a therapist come true. As part of the MFT program I have to work at a local clinic and see clients for therapy. NCU has had constant contact with my local internship site and I have been impressed with the level of support and mentoring that I am being offered. I don't understand why there are such negative reviews, I am assuming that either the other programs at NCU are not well structured or that the people writing the bad reviews are the 1% who fail for personal short comings. NCU is a great university and I will be forever grateful for the role it has played in my professional life.
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 disdain 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 disdain. If you still want to attend NCU, you have been warned.
My learning experience with NCU was 100% positive. The weekly assignments were meaningful, expectations were made clear, and the support during the dissertation phase was phenomenal. You have to devote time to your studies and need to be self-motivated, but it's absolutely worth it.
This is the worst school. All they care about is your money. It has been 6 years for me on and off. They will do whatever it takes to pro long everything. They don't care if you take forever to earn your degree. They don't care about anything. The professors aren't even knowledgeable about your study! Most have degrees in subjects other than what you are studying. It's absolutely horrible.
Overall, the program was positive. The start was very difficult and if it was not for the encouragement of a faculty member, I would not have continued. I'm glad at did though. With every obstacle encountered there was a solution, but one of the main sources of success was in choosing the correct people to be on the committee. Fortunately, the chair selected for me was on task and helpful. The two other committee members were former instructors so I knew them well. Had to fire one committee member because of a lack of cooperation. You have to make decisions like that to make things work. There was another major obstacle as well, but since the school already approved my research questions I could proceed as planned. I'm grateful for the experience, but it was very difficult - as it should be. How does it compare with other programs? I don't know. Would it be easier if I attended a brick and mortar school? Probably not. You get lots of personal attention and direction accessing resources online, but I think it depends on who your chair is and how available he or she is. Everything has to work together for you to be successful. Your effort, the support offered by the school has to be there, the chair and committee members you select have to be supportive and responsive enough in order for you to succeed, otherwise you are wasting time. If you can't get a good team, you probably should quit.