National University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Han, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Han

    Han New Member

    I have been in this forum for a while and have never heard the mention of National University. As an undegrad I took one class there that I needed to transfer and had a horrible experience (really terrible in every sense), but have heard little here.... any thoughts?

    I am not looking to attend, just wanted to get the latest on the street.
  2. Christopher Green

    Christopher Green New Member


    What class did you take? I would assume it was a campus in Sacramento or something.

    I do know they don't pay very well. I went in to the Bakersfield campus a while back and found out that they only pay something like 1150 per class (for 10 meetings, 5 hrs each, I think). That's not a lot.

  3. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    I earned my teaching credential from them and I am quite satisfied with the product. It is expensive, but in terms of time, it was well worth it.

    National now offers teaching credentials almost completely online. Still have to do student teaching site-based (which is as it should be).

    Tom Nixon
  4. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I knew a teacher who got a masters degree from National University. That was back in the days when I only had an Associates degree and was ashmed that I didn't have a bachelors degree. :eek:

    Anyways, he was ashmed to be a graduate of National, but I have no idea why. I was impressed that he got a masters from them, but he always downplayed it and spoke ill of them. He did this in private with me. I still have no idea why he felt that way.

    I guess that we really need to be careful which school we choose because it will follow us around!!! :eek:
  5. Han

    Han New Member

    Re: Kristie

    I took a Marketing Class, it was completely online. The first few weeks none of us could get a repsonse to sign on, then when we could, the links were dead, and the assignments were vague. We began reporting him to National Unviersity, I guess it was his first semester. He was very difficult, saying it was not his job for "technical difficulties", since we couldn't read the assignment's page, we couldn't turn in the assignments, at the end of the semester he said due to all the confusion we all received A's. Most loved this, but it made me never take a class from there again.

    I knew my experience was unique, but wondered about others.

    I knw there teaching crudential is a great option, but don't know details.
  6. You've likely heard very little about NU on this site because, quite frankly, they're incredibly average. With perhaps one exception, their online program offerings aren't particular unique, nor are their fees particularly attractive.

    I'm currently in course number 5 of 12 in the MFS program. Nothing but good experiences from the administrative support folks; mostly good experiences with the instructors. I took issue with one instructor who was largely absentee in the first half of the two-month term; the matter was quickly and satisfactorily resolved.

    Like any other institution-- distance or otherwise-- you seem to get the positive experiences you're willing to work for and the negative aspects you're willing to take without complaint. I chose NU because they had-- at the time-- the only U.S. graduate-level forensics program available in a completely DL format. Had I been looking at an MBA program, or an M.Ed, or any of their other offerings, there would've been lots of competing programs.
  7. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    My experiences with National are all indirect.

    My employer doesn't hire National graduates and is one of the few schools that Human Resources has balked at giving tuition reimbursement.

    My brother graduated from the Sacramento branch and was disgusted with the admistration. e.g., cancelling classes, changing requirements, poor communication, poor planning. He got a decent job and is now happily working in his field of study.
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I'm a graduate of National, having taken my MBA there in 1985. My experiences are not very representative because of that, but I was very pleased. Back then, almost all classes were residential; the online programs didn't come along until the late 1990's. When I attended National, I lived in San Diego and had the advantage of taking classes at several of their learning centers and campuses. This provided a great deal of flexibility in scheduling.

    I've never had any difficulty having my National MBA accepted, either for employment or for academic purposes. My teaching posts at San Diego State University, Webster University, Virginia International University, and my jobs at AT&T, Corrections Corporation of America, and my career in the U.S. Air Force were all based upon having my MBA. National was terrific experience, and it resulted in a very usable degree.

    Very average? Probably. But that's okay for a lot of people in a lot of situations.
  9. Charles

    Charles New Member

    I completed three undergraduate business classes at NU around the same time Rich Douglas was working on his MBA. They were the first classes I completed while on active duty. The classes I took were on an accelerated schedule, if I remember correctly the classes only ran for a month but included classes on Saturday too.

    I have fond memories of my National University days. The classes were held at MCRD San Diego. Brand new Marine recruits disembarked buses and were "welcomed" to the Corps right next to the building where National University held its classes. Having only recently completed Navy boot camp and "A" school myself, I became all the more pleased with my decision to enlist in the Navy. :D :D :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2003
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Charles' memory is correct; NU's schedule was one class per month. During that month, you took two class sessions per week, along with one Saturday, resulting in 40 contact hours (graduate) or 48 (undergraduate) per class. Fast paced, but you could complete a master's degree in 12-15 months, if you were ambitious.

    As for Charles' choice of enlistment, I was a 21-year-old staff sergeant in the Air Force at the time on reserve duty. I, too, enjoyed that decision whenever I visited MCRD; it helped ensure I worked with Air Force recruiters when I became an officer.
  11. National University:

    The good:
    My wife earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology
    at National University, she started the program in 1995 and had to take a 2 year brake when our second son was born. She went back to NU and completed her Masters graduating in 2000. It was expansive, but the format of completing the class in one month worked well for her.

    The not so good:

    Before enrolling in Masters she had 40 units of CA teaching credential from Cal State Long Beach and wanted to complete her teaching credential at NU because it can be done faster than in CSULB. NU didn't accept her CSULB transfer credits at all. She needed to earn Teaching credential faster and at NU its possible.
    Good for us based on eval of her other degree LAUSD provided her with emergency credential and she got the teaching position anyway.
    If your classes don't match exact name of the same classes at NU they will not accept them for transfer and they want you to take as many classes as possible-its a business after all.
  12. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    I have a few freinds who have taught for and received degrees from National University. As with this forum, the reviews have been mixed.

    National University went through a very trying period in the early 90s, having expanded too quickly without quality control in its magament and programs in the late 80s. As I recall the story, when Jerry Lee (a descendent of Robert E.) took over as president, National was about to declare bankruptcy and WASC was ready to pull its accreditation.

    Lee instigated some severe cost cutting measures, required faculty to have terminal degrees and closed down some of the unprofitable learning centers. The attrition saved them quite a bit of money and helped to turn the institution around.

    National now appears to be quite stable and, of course, is RA. However, its shaky past a decade ago is still fresh in the minds of many, which probably accounts for much of its current reputation.

    Tony Piña
    CSU San Bernardino
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As an activist in nontraditional higher education, a native of San Diego, and a graduate of National (MBA, 1985), I agree with Tony totally. What Tony didn't say is that not only was National's very existence threatened, but it resulted in the ouster of its founder, David Chigos, who was a visionary in this field.

    Dr. Chigos, an executive at General Dynamics Corporation during the early 1970's, approached San Diego State University about conducting MBA courses at night for his busy executives. A representative of the school answered, "If they (the GD employees) are serious about getting graduate degrees, they'll leave their jobs and come on campus."

    Chigos started holding classes at GD on his own. He formed National University and got it State Approved. Initially, he kept the school's records in the trunk of his Cadillac. National grew rapidly, and was soon accredited by WASC, much to the consternation of the San Diego Higher Education Association. (They didn't like National's advertising a "no nonsense education," which implied the other local schools offered the opposite.)

    One of National's trademarks--and the one that got it in the most trouble--was the practice of purchasing property for its learning centers. National purchased quite a bit of expensive real estate in Mission Valley. (Right under the noses of SDSU--likely on purpose, some have supposed.) National embarked on a rapid expansion campaign, which led it to starting centers throughout California, as well as Las Vegas and San Jose', Costa Rica. As Tony noted, it was this expansion that led to severe financial troubles, the ouster of its leadership, the elimination of its embryonic doctoral programs in business and education (sort of; it's another story), closure of several locations, etc. But National emerged a better-run school, in better financial shape, and with its accreditation intact. Oh, and it remains the 2nd largest (in terms of enrollments) private university in California. USC, National, and Stanford, IIRC.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2003
  14. Glenn

    Glenn New Member

    National is excellent in its niche market, the working profession that is knowledgeable in their field but need a flexible learning environment with the combination of accelerated courses to finish a degree.

    I completed my MBA while in the military at the MCRD campus. I could not miss the opportunity to take the graduate level courses for about $125 each since the military campuses offered reduced tuition and with tuition assistance paying 75% of the reduced tuition it was a no-brainer for me.

    I would recommend National to working professionals who already has knowledge in the field and needs a degree to continue in their career field.
  15. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    And they are the #1 provider of teacher credentials in California. When I did mine, there weren't any online classes, but now most of the program can be done that way (as stated above). This makes it somewhat unique within Education.

    One interesting note: when I was interviewing for teaching positions, no one ever asked from which school I did my credential. They didn't care. It was all about evaluations for student teaching and such. I had heard before enrolling that locally there was a bias against NU grads, but this has clearly not been the case for those who took classes with me.

    Tom Nixon

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