Northcentral University Reviews
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I am currently taking courses toward my Ph.D. This was a great option for me because it offered an immediate start date, no cohorts/group work, and freedom to do the intense reading assignments and writing projects as my weekly scheduled allowed. I have learned so much already and what I have learned directly relates to my role as a curriculum writer for a large urban school district. The teachers are helpful, caring, and available. Their feedback arrives via writing comments, emails, or video tapes. It's been tremendously useful in taking my academic writing to the next level.
Some courses were okay, but for the most part it's a lot of busy work. They say it is work at your own pace...except you have to hand in weekly assignments by Sunday at midnight, then wait until the next Friday to get feedback, then turn in your next assignment on Sunday. So basically, instructors have 4 days to grade and I have to do all of my work on the weekend. It's against policy to hand anything in before getting the previous assignment back! And the dissertation is the same. They tell you that you can work ahead, but then you still have to wait and hand each section in on the weekend it's due, for 48 weeks! Feels like grade school to me not adult education!
Avoid this school at all costs. Faculty will either pass you through or fail you. There is no support from advising or administration. You are a number to them and will do everything in their power to make it impossible to leave the school without having to pay them additional money. They are clearly a diploma mill. I am trying to remove myself from the university right now and it is taking multiple emails and phone calls and I am still essentially being told I will owe them money for the next 45 days. Just don't. No degree is worth this.
I started with NCU when it was privately owned by the founder (I actually met him once over several days promoting the program) and completed my degree after it was purchased by the private equity fund. When I started there were few options as I was working overseas and changed countries a few times. Completing the dissertation was a challenge, but I am satisfied with the product and topic, as it is legit and has received some citations. My issue is gaining full utility with the acceptance of the online degree in UAE. While my employer has accepted the NCU PhD, I have yet to obtain official equivalency from the MOE. Apparently NCU has struggled with Mentor quality, from other peoples reports, but I had one of their better advisors as my Chair, and was generally satisfied with the coursework teachers. I was a Veteran from years ago, and was happy when the NCU rep sought me out and I was able to gain reduced rate on some of the classes. The DMD, including an award from that program, Golden Key, and publicity granted by NCU were nice touches.
I started my program in 2008 to earn my doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology to compliment my MBA. I read all of the catalog requirements and began. In 2010 my father unexpectedly passed away 3 weeks before class was over and 2 assignments still due. I contacted my advisor and the professor immediately since I would be travelling to take care of funeral and estate situations and would need an extension. No reaponse. I ended up getting one of the assignments turned in the last day of class (I had still not been contacted back). Then with the rolling enrollment NCU started my next class. I contacted again requestiong one of the breaks that was allowed under my catalog. That I got a reply to tgat the catalog had changed and that wasnt an option any longer. I got the final assignment of the original class in 2 weeks late. Neither of the last two assignments were graded but my grade assigned (F). I then contacted the current class in which I was behind in then explaining what was going on, no response. Again this term starting behind the 8 ball plus trying to get caught up at work I again was running about 2 weeks behind. No late assignments were accepted or graded, so another F went on my record and the school again rolled over my enrollment. Frustrated at how this was going I dropped the class and program. NCU again had dinged my account for tuition (which I couldnt get refund on, since it was after day 5 of the course AND instead of assigned a WD (withdraw) they posted a grade of F. Little to no response with advisors, administration or so called professors. They have a great system going to keep the dollars flowing in with little regard for student well being or learning. Very disappointed. With 18 passing hours (A/B) I could have used those to hit my next pay raise but with the 3 Fs I cant have the transcript even sent to my employer. Sadly, NCU knows exactly what they are doing.
Best degree plan ever! I've learned more than most at this school! I did not want a cohort doctorate style of learning. I wanted independent study at my own pace and this school offers that. One on one mentoring style. No discussion groups. I had fun and learned a lot more than any state school experience. Love this place!
I am poised to defend my doctoral dissertation. Thinking over the past four and a half years, there is no doubt that my experience has been positive. The work is as rigorous as at brick-and-mortar school, maybe even more rigorous. Although it has taken a little longer for me to complete my program, I am satisfied with my experience at Northcentral University. I found the faculty supportive and usually available to answer questions or provide any ecessary clarification.
I started Northcentral University the tuition was 30,000. I expected to finish and graduate in 2014. I finished all courses in 2013 with a 3.5 GPA. Instead I was strung along in the dissertation phase with little to know support for three years, running up my student loans to 140,000. I was not allowed to take a break or a leave. It was the most horrible, mentally draining experience I have ever had. I was dismissed from the program even after hiring an assistant that had previously been recommended by the chair for other students, and dismissed from the program. The appeal was denied automatically by both the chair and their administrator with two hours. Northcental Univiversity is a for profit school that will make decisions that will maximize their profit to the detriment of their students and the quality of their program.
I could have pursued my Ph.D. anywhere. I attended elite schools for my undergraduate and graduate degrees, and my GPAs were always high. Cost and future employment prospects are not major concerns for me. Convenience and ease to complete courses on my schedule were paramount. The reputation of the institution was not as important because of my current profession and employment stability. If I were younger, looking to launch a career change, or switching to a new employer, reputation would be a bigger concern. NCU is appropriate for the self-motivated, self-directed, self-learner. It is not for the student dependent on regular, face-to-face instruction, academic advising, or tutoring. NCU is for students who know what they want to study; know how to manage time, workload, and personal life; and have strong study skills, writing proficiency, and critical thinking. A Ph.D. is not for everyone, and if a student needs a traditional, brick & mortar institution, NCU is not a good fit. NCU was a good fit for me, and I am very pleased with my experience. I worked with very competent, knowledgeable academic and financial advisors. All but one instructor were first-class. Some instructors were very personable, and I would consider them my mentors, equals, and friends. NCU is accredited, and that is very important to anyone looking to transfer credits and receive federal financial assistance. NCU is fully online and is one of a growing list of online undergraduate and graduate programs. Some have more name recognition, but NCU has a similar approach to online instruction. NCU has a valuable library and research resources. Tutoring services work well if the student plans ahead, schedules sessions in advance, and is prepared to use tutors as intended - not to have tutors do the work for the student. After reading some NCU dissertations, a prospective doctoral student will discover there is rigor and the research contributes to the Academy.
The doctoral program at Northcentral University is designed for serious students. It is asynchronous, follows a written curriculum, and is evaluated using course rubrics. You will have a one-on-one relationship with your mentor (who will guide and support you) but you, the learner, has the more active role in your learning success.