Northcentral University Reviews
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I started this program on Sept 1, 2007 and finally graduated with a DBA last month. I had obstacle after obstacle and challenge after challenge. I started as a PhD and shifted to DBA. I started with a qualitative study and shifted to quantitative. I had 4 dissertation chairs. My problem and purpose statements got reconstructed too many times to mention. I had tremendous difficulty in finding a validated survey instrument for my data collection phase. I had tremendous difficulty in finding a firm willing to participate in my study. The program requires that you finish in 8 years - I had to file for a one year extension. At least a half dozen times I thought that I would not finish...that NCU would be sending me a "certificate" instead. I took nearly a year off at one point. I served 6 years active duty in the Marine Corps and I can honestly say that this was more painful on a number of levels. To all prospective students, good luck!! lol
I just finished my PhD with a 4.0. It took me 3 years and 2 months (with a period of no activity of about 4 months due to external issues) to complete the degree, including coursework. I am not brilliant, but I was dedicated and motivated to complete the program and do the best I could do. I also teach in a local state college and love doing that as well. I found the education that I received was excellent. While not every professor can be the best I ever had, I found the vast majority to be excellent. I did have to stand up for my rights on a couple of occasions. When I did so firmly and respectfully I found that I was treated in the same manner. This is an excellent school and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to complete an education online and who, like me, will benefit from individualized instruction. I wish they offered more degrees! I am exploring a second with them now.
I began my journey at NCU on June 13, 2011. I will complete my journey in October 2016 (5 years). Although I have encountered 3 different dissertation chairs in my 2.5 years in the dissertation phase, I really have enjoyed my time at NCU. Currently, I serve on the Student Advisory Council and that has been a benefit in the process. However, I must admit...my patience during both the CP and IRB milestone has truly made me a better woman and scholar. In closing, there is no perfect institution, but a PhD is no joke for the weak and unorganized individual. You MUST be an independent intrinsic motivator and be willing to give up your life (for at least 5 years) for a more ultimate life after the journey.
If I could redo this process over, I would chose a different university. The reason why I say this is because I will be done with all my classes in Sept 2016 and the class I am taking now, I am not learning anything. The instructor of the class doesn't even have access to the required software. The coursework that has to be done for this course, isn't even listed in the software and the course that pops up, is a course that information that I will be learning in chapter 7. I asked what should I he said that I should just any of the course and just turn those in. My question is how am I suppose to learn if I can't do the require homework and if turn in any assignment how does that help me in the long run. Also the financial aid office has poor communication skills. I talked to three different people and all of them gave me different responses. Now all the instructors I had weren't all terrible, I had a few really great ones, that really challenged my critical skills and made me go beyond, which I really appreciated, but most of them like I have right now is terrible!
I enjoyed my graduate experience. It was entirely online, which best suited my needs. Professors were available to speak with and courses were interesting. Assignments did take time and effort, but in the end you can be proud of your accomplishments.
Like Jeff below, I found the coursework rigorous and rewarding. Other than the regular tuition increases over my 6 1/2 years, I have no significant complaints. I had one 'poor' instructor early on, and he is no longer with NCU. Every instructor since then has been outstanding--engaging and accessible. The greatest distinction between NCU and some other online schools is the independent nature of the doctoral process. In some other schools, you are in a cohort--the coursework and even the dissertation is more of a 'community project' instead of truly being your own. I can honestly say that my dissertation--every single page of it--is my work. (Being able to listen in on dissertation defenses was also amazing. It was quite clear who had done their research and who had not.) Finally, I want to reiterate Jeff's comment --PhD work is not for everyone. This is a very independent process; you must be able to explore and synthesize massive amounts of information, and your writing skills must be excellent! My dissertation chair was an APA guru! If you can work independently, you will do quite well at NCU.
If you're looking for a perfect school they don't exist. If you are not a self-learner, if you have difficulty synthesizing information, and if you can't do serious research do not attend NCU. After almost 6 years I've finished my doctorate and it wasn't easy. NCU is not going to hand you a doctorate degree. My academic advisor was great and though my first chair was really horrible, NCU has gone through and weeded out the subpar mentors and chairs. My chair was fantastic, always there for me. If you are not ready to put in long hours, deal with the ups and downs of completing a doctorate I would advise attending another school. If you decide to attend NCU you will be in a rigorous program, one that will challenge you every step of the way. I feel I am well prepared after attending NCU and wish only the best for the mentors, staff and students.
Do not waste your time. This is the worst school on the planet and needs to be shut down for stealing students money. I tried withdrawing and they had all these folks contact me. The only way to leave was to fail out the course. GO TO A BETTER SCHOOL.
This was the hardest thing I ever did; took seven years. It is also one of the most rewarding things I ever did. A PhD is no joke, and they certainly don't give it away. In other words, the program was very academically rigorous. There were many times I would lye down at night and wonder if I would ever finish it. This is not for everyone. Your writing skills need to be top notch. Also, a doctoral dissertation is nothing like a master's thesis. They are very different animals.
This school is awful. Mentors/Professors do not know the content; when you ask questions, they simply restate what is in the curriculum verbatim. I had only ONE professor be able to explain and make content understandable. This school tricked me into not accepting my next course and then I was dropped due to lack of attendance (you have to "attend" a class within a certain time frame. By not being enrolled, I couldn't "attend" so I was dropped.) When I was readmitted (within a day), I was told the degree program was changed completely and only 3 prior courses would apply. This meant I would go from over 30 credits to 9 credits and thus START OVER. I asked for tuition waivers because it was not fair they were basically STEALING my money. They refused. SAVE YOUR MONEY!