Northcentral University Reviews
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*Please note that I did not graduate in 2017. I am currently attending NCU* I began to pursue a DBA at Northcentral University in 2015. I wasn't sure what to expect from a purely "online school." All I knew was the reputation online schools have (as being inferior diploma mills) compared to your traditional brick and mortar schools. Being a full time employee, however, gave me no time to travel to and from classes every day of the week. So, an online program fit my schedule perfectly. At NCU, I can complete my assignments whenever, wherever. This has taken some of the pressure off when it comes to pursuing such a high degree. The professors, I see, are 100% Doctoral faculty, which means a great deal to me personally. I know many institutions which require a Master's Degree and a few years of teaching experience. However, NCU requires all Doctoral faculty. The professors have been very informative, knowledgeable, and supportive. My e-mails to them are generally answered in 24 hours. Their feedback on assignments has been lengthy. The assignments themselves have been very painfully challenging. If a professor doesn't feel you are working to your potential, he/she will ask you to do the assignment over and resubmit it. To me, this showed good instruction by a caring faculty. It has also taught me a great deal of discipline. I've read positive and negative reviews of NCU. So far, 9 classes down, my experience has been great. I've learned a great deal in regards to both, content and writing. I hope I never have a bad experience here. I hope to finish within the next few years. If I have that diploma in my hands, it will have all been worth it. Good luck to you all.
The professors are great, very knowledgeable and supportive of students. However, the administrative personnel/associates like the academic and financial advisors are poor communicators. They make major changes like large increases in tuition, and additional fees, without ensuring that each student is contacted and informed about the changes so that they can make decisions about their future at NCU or not. So a student only discovers these changes after it is too late to withdraw from a course or leave the program altogether. The practices show not just poor/ineffective communication, but also unethical behaviors where the university hides information from students to extract more money from them, and keep the information secret until the student has no recourse but to pay the extra money.
Academically, I found the school was OK. They did have challenging course work from which I benefited. My ability to write in APA style went up dramatically. Most of the professors were responsive. I did find they were light on feedback about content and graded mostly for APA style. However, I do have a strong GPA so my work might have just been good. What makes me give a bad review is the administrative aspect. I switched from one program to another, and they forced me to retake a course in APA style. I fought this, and it took 2 months of administrative leave to get it resolved because the chair was unresponsive. They kept changing the dissertation process on me, which was frustrating. To have ever shifting requirements is a big problem -- they should keep students in a current process, in that process. Not create all this constant shift in standards and therefore, instability. I lost my chair and no one told me -- I discovered it when I was disenrolled and then re-enrolled in the same course and noticed it was a different chair. My SME and my first chair dragged their feet in getting me feedback, so I had to apply for a course extension. The resulting course extension was almost the equivalent of a full 12 week course to avoid a penalty. The penalty? The new Dissertation guidelines punish the student if they can't achieve the objective of the four dissertation courses in 12 weeks with a 33% tuition penalty -- you get enrolled in a follow-up course that is the same price as a 12 week course that is only 8 weeks long. And to get out of it, you have to document all the mistakes your chair and committee made. That was really time consuming and frustrating. I find the committee makes you do endless revisions on minor matters. I love research, but at this point, I'm so sick of my dissertation I'd *** on a spark plug if that's what someone said I had to do to finish it. The whole time you feel like you're on the short end of the stick, and the people supposed to be helping you tend to do everything for their own convenience. Anyway, one of the Deans was in fact responsive to my complaints, and I did get some action at one point, but then THEY left the position. There seems to be a lot of turnover in positions -- this even happened with my dissertation adviser (a staff member who advises on process). I've had four of them now. And they vary in their knowledge and helpfulness. Also, student finance. The FAFSA website is not intuitive. I tried to get help from the student finance area and they sent me a form letter. Tuition has gone up from $1650 a course to over $2600 after an educator's discount in 7 years. Way above the rate of inflation. I wish I could recommend them administratively but I can't. Better off finding a school with better processes.
I don't like giving bad reviews but, in a lot cases its need. This my first online post master school I attached. Let start by saying their recruitment is very strong in the beginning with all the calling snd follow up. But sadly to say after your first class, your importants at a student drops down to almost zone. I must change advisor like every few months, I don't know who I even have now. Because you get this dry email saying your advisor has changed. That's ok what not ok that I can go the hold two months 8 weeks with hearing anything from anyone. No follow up on classes by email, and to get a live phone call forget it. It would nice to get these things since my last this semester is start off bad, by they change the hold portal and content for get the information for the class and put in the assignment they are use a kind of hyper outlooks, and thats cool. Would been nice to know that a month or few,weeks out. And not the day of class. The professors for my course give me a F because I didn't do a kind of research paper, but the the long into class I couldn't even find my professor name or contact information. To ask about the course. A F is pretty stong for not give any flexibility. Just because the professor didn't have their detail outline on the new portal. It was just bad, when try reach out to two people for help. I got a the short email saying neither one of them could help me and was pass it on to someone elso Mary P. The email had cold written all over it after I pour out my hear on it open up about my disability with school and the last 10 of my class time I been working in the field for my government work trying to do two things at once. If know this school would be so dry or cold. I so would gone to another online school like Penn State, or Papperdine University, Cambridge University, Oxford, all these school have online course and masters to doctoral programs even John Hopkins has one. So its so many options out here in 2017. If be a online school try standout in some way. Good customer service would be nice. But since are paying for these course and take out loans for your future. Its no reason to put your self a bad position financial for school that just don't care about you in the long run.
I completed my Ph.D. at NCU. I previously attended a brick and mortar university for an undergraduate and Master's degrees. I found NCU to be an excellent choice for persons who work full time, want an advanced degree; however, they need to be willing to make the sacrifice and commitment. Every degree requires the student to adhere to a process for completion. If you follow the process, you will graduate, then you can criticize. Some of the criticism of NCU comes from students who did not finish (although a few did). I greatly improved my writing skills and my ability to use the Internet to carry out research. The requirement to submit an assignment every weekend, regardless if the assignment is due on Christmas or another holiday, actually increased my character and discipline. I know now that I can meet deadlines for my clients because of the NCU training. As an online university, my computer literacy improved as a by-product. I highly recommend anyone from any part of the world seeking a fully accredited US degree to enroll in NCU. Also, the quality of the NCU dissertations can compare with any Ivy League university. My dissertation Chair was very strict and had very high standards, In fact, I found NCU's dissertation better than most of the schools during my research for my dissertation. NCU is a great institution. Its not an easy school because the work is hard and plentiful. But its worth it. The school requires payment like any other school. But to maintain an all Ph.D. staff requires funding, so I had no problem paying. Most schools in the USA put up prices every year, as do NCU. So the best strategy is to get in and quickly get out of the educational process to minimize the amount of funds expended.
I am a current student and my tuition has not "magically increased". My mentor has been helpful and practical in thinking. I have not had any difficulty in getting in contact with my mentor. Financial aid has been extremely transparent and I feel like I am able to make informed decisions. The curriculum is difficult and has forced me to learn. This is my 2nd masters degree, and I am learning a lot more than my prior brick and mortar school. The format forces you to be engaged in the process and be accountable for reading the material. There are times I need clarification on a theory which prompted me to email my professor/instructor, in which I received a timely response. I am sure I will hit bumps in the road, but I am engaged in my education and will motivate myself to push forward.
Great program and staff. Challenging at times, but very doable. The flexibility offered was really key to my wanting to attend. I was looking for a doctoral program that did not require residency since I work a lot and taking two or four weeks off a year can be difficult. This program gave me what I needed and it was relatively inexpensive compared to other schools.
Overall this was an excellent school. I have attended both brick and mortar as well as another online institution and I learned just as much if not more at NCU. Every school is going to have its issues, whether it's with the professor or various course work discrepancies. While going through the program, I was dealing with a lot of personal issues and the professors worked with me, not allowing me to give up. Any online program can present challenges but it is up to the individual to push through those hurdles and strive for the best. As for professor intereaction, all of the papers that I wrote were given back to me with ample feedback. Nothing was ever returned to me with no criticism.I would not hesitate to recommend this program to a friend.
Have not graduated yet. Earned but dissertation phase and am two years into the dissertation. The predissertation classes prepare you and several times a year require that dissertation related prep work be turned in. This includes extensive bibliographies, annotated biblio and essays/term papers related to the dissertation. When Pre-diss was completed, the rules changed and annotated biblio requirement was dropped. Several changes in how to engage in, write, report, assess you work for plagiarism, and hand in your work changed. The grading methods changed twice requiring everything be resubmitted and reworked from scratch. Then the rules for PHD committee changed, from your Chsir assessing you most of the way, to all three committee members assess your work. After one year, the second year of the dissertation, my work went back to the need to redo from chapter 1, due to another program admin change and submission of proof of work change. The improvements requested went in circles, and kept changing for to changes in committee members. So, that cost me one year of tuition and related costs; no sufficient services or help were provided. My chair changed three times; they had trouble finding someone with an adequate background to oversee the work. I requested a disability related (brain surgery for epilepsy) reduction in work speed and increases in attendance breaks; they were very hesitant to do this, and my suspicion was the lack of continuity would cost me another Dissertation Chair. This program suffice for younger students; this would be my fifth 4+ year degree program. Compared with most schools, the schools ability is very limited and they don't like to stop the conveyor belt approach they are using. I am surprised this problem hasn't been resolved. They disenrollment you if you ask for an extended break or any special needs to be met.
NCU really did supply me with the knowledge I needed in my career. That is what I appreciated the most. I don't think it was too different from other universities as far as expectations. If you have a problem or concerns, they will work with you to resolve them with reasonable expectations. It's important for students to know if the are really cut out for a doctoral program which can be very challenging. I don't know many students who didn't question that at some point.