Nexford University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Kizmet, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Just a reflection that the old-timers around here may appreciate . . .

    When was the last time we had a mill that was run by someone who lives in the Fort Lauderdale area named Sheila?

    (Sheila Fournier lives in Fort Lauderdale, and Nexford claims to be headquartered in Washington, DC.)

    Brings back fond memories . . .
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Having recently been accused of snarkiness I would like to add that I have no information about Nexford or anybody associated with Nexford that indicates that anything wrong or bad is being done or has been done or will be done in the future. It's hard to be an unaccredited school, especially in this neighborhood. We are a suspicious, untrusting bunch when it comes to this sort of thing. Still, I hope they turn out to be a good and legitimate enterprise. It doesn't particularly bother me (as it does some others) that they are for-profit. I believe that it is possible to be for-profit and run a decent school. But if you try to do so then you can expect to be put under the microscope, maybe sometimes in ways that are not entirely fair. But then, it's a hard knock life. Right Steve?
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    And I believe they do for the most part, but once people have decided something is bad it will always be bad to them regardless of whether it's reality or not. The problem for Nexford is that their marketing style posts have no strength here because regular members know how the system works better than they do.

    Someone suggested laying out a public plan for USDOE recognized accreditation, but to be flatly honest none of that will matter until they're accredited in the United States since it will count for nothing and even students who aren't knowledgeable about the system will understand that immediately upon reading that they're not accredited by a U.S. recognized accreditor. So posting that will only deter students which in turns will prevent the school from ever growing.
  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It could count. The problem is that the way to do it right without sacrificing your first few cohorts of students just isn't profitable.

    Seriously, if Nexford came in here and said "Hey, we're new. We are doing a super low cost Associates degree. We don't have accreditation yet, but here's our faculty list with credentials and we have articulation agreements lined up with the following RA and NA schools..." would we really be as critical?

    No formal articulation? Fine. How about, "Here's our associates and it's the cheapest you'll get for the money and it's all ACE recommended so you can use the credits at the big three?"

    I doubt we would be nearly as cynical. Aside from Dr. Levicoff (I lost track, we're still doing titles in this thread, right?) objecting to the use of the word "university" I feel like that would be a cause we would rally behind.

    But that isn't what they're doing. Because that won't make them a lot of money. I don't object to them being "for-profit." I object to them being owned by a private equity company. I don't object to my local mom and pop store being a for-profit entity either. That doesn't mean I love Wal-Mart.

    The last thing the market needs is another MBA. At just shy of $2k pre-accreditation, we can all but guarantee that post-accreditation it would likely not be much cheaper than all of the other cheap MBA options.

    It's because this doesn't come off like a plan from a team of industry innovators. It comes off like something that a finance guy worked up on a spreadsheet. Market demand for MBAs is high. Grab even a fraction of that and it pays off. Doing what's best for the student here would cut into that payoff. So what if they release a few dozen unaccredited pieces of paper into an already saturated market? No skin off their back. Just close up shop and move on to the next thing.

    $2k for an accredited MBA would really be something. $2k for something that, today, would offer less value than a degree from Louisiana Baptist? I'm sorry, no. I can't look on the bright side of this one.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    It's hard to argue with any of that, especially the piece about not needing another online MBA program. I'd be substantially more interested in a program that offered something off the beaten track because you could at least argue that they're filling a niche. I also might be more receptive if it was going to be more vocationally oriented (at least at first) along the lines of Penn Foster. Then, assuming the courses were actually half decent, an AA grad could use the diploma to get a job, even if it's not (yet) accredited. As it is, I don't know who is going to pay the money for an unaccredited thing.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The last time? "Try to remember that time in September" (from The Fantasticks) ... Sept. 31st., to be precise. Apologies to Tom Jones, Steve Levicoff, Enrique - and Sheila, of course.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  7. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    I once looked at it that way, then University of The People and Smartly came into being. I think we sometimes forget that the world outside of DI sees many things differently when it comes to this, though it could be argued that they see them differently because they don't know any better, and that's probably a fair statement. At the same time, if they did see things the way we do (understanding accreditation and all), then University of The People could've never survived long enough to become accredited, and Smartly would've died in its first funding round because there would have been no students enrolling to keep them viable.
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    You've made a good point but I need to say, and I think you'll agree, that the people who started UPeople are 1) a very different sort of people and 2) have very different motives.
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'm not an economist. But back around 2005ish, I said "We can't all quit our jobs and flip houses."

    My new predictive statement is this: "We can't all just start for-profit MBA programs."
  10. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmm . . . Both UoPeople and Nexford were started by (1) single individuals, (2) who call themselves entrepreneurs.

    I'm not one to speculate on motivation, but in terms of the basics, I see no difference.

    Obviously, I'm no more a fan of UoPeople than I am of Nexford. But then, I hold to a standard of excellence, while all of the "fast, cheap, and easy" slobs out there hold to a standard of mediocrity. Get over it. :D
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    That’s the depth of your analysis? And you’re willing to come to conclusions based on that? Just wow
  12. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    No, that's not the depth of what you call my analysis. But I have a life apart from this forum, illustrated by the fact that at this writing, I have posted 1,154 messages in 16 years and you have posted 18,451 messages in 12 years. Accordingly, I have no analysis. I simply do not like UoPeople nor Nexford. I don't like people who start schools and call them universities (as pointed out by Neuhaus earlier) when they do not meet university criteria, I don't like exclusively online so-called universities, I don't buy into schools started by an individual, and I don't even like entrepreneurs. They're whores.

    Like I said, get over it. :D
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There is this obnoxious trend, as of late, whereby people label themselves entrepreneurs and have the express purpose of generating profit. They intend to do so, however, in a way that brings about positive change.

    Look, if you start a cool software company then that's awesome. We need reliable software. Almost every PC at my workplace runs Microsoft Windows and Office. We use an Oracle database. I have a Samsung phone in my pocket with a gmail email account. I buy for-profit stuff all the time.

    The thing is that Microsoft manages to not kid itself. They're in it to make money. They're a business.

    It annoys me when an entrepreneur makes it sound like their product is somehow holier. If making money is a religious experience for you, that's fine. But let's not pretend that the first charge of your business is making money. That's exactly what businesses are doing lately. Profit is a dirty word so we pretend like it doesn't matter. I'm seeing companies actually put in their mission statements that their first purpose is not to "generate profits" but to "bring about positive change."

    No, dude. It isn't. Positive change doesn't help you make payroll. And it's OK that the people working for you are only there for a paycheck. That doesn't mean they aren't dedicated. It just means that they aren't backed by VCs to play around and act like they're in a perpetual TED Talk as they move about the world.

    I recently had a manager come into my office and tell me he was tired of the candidates and employees he had. He wanted someone who, if we stopped paying them, would still show up to work every day because s/he was in it for the passion of the work. I did something I rarely do in these situations. I laughed. Hard. Then I took him to the office next door and had him repeat it to my colleague and we both laughed hard and long. I was keen to keep the tour of mockery up but he got annoyed with me and walked off. Honestly, I at least considered going to the VP of HR to see if I could fire the guy but tell him he could still come in for free just to see if he was willing to walk the walk.

    We've worked ourselves into a tizzy whereby "for-profit" is evil and everything should be non-profit. Oh, and non-profit employees shouldn't be paid, either, apparently and certainly not at market rate. They should all be volunteers.

    I guess we're gearing up to just get universal basic income and go full on post-scarcity. Or we're gearing up for our next big face plant. Either way.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I think it's been well-established that you hold a minority opinion on this board. That, combined with your generally bad behavior means you are barely tolerated. If you posted more you'd probably find a way to get banned. It's a kind of Russian Roulette thing with you I think. Sooner or later there will be a bullet in the chamber.
    Sheila Fournier PhD likes this.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Nothing really to do with mills or Ft. Lauderdale but THAT Sheila - Sheila D., is only my second favorite - WAY after Sheila E. Aaah, the Glamorous Life ...

    And her Dad, too! Another great musician!
    Sheila Fournier PhD likes this.
  16. Sheila Fournier PhD

    Sheila Fournier PhD New Member

    Thank you for your follow up, Dr. Levicoff. I am not familiar with DegreeInfo but I am extremely familiar with the accreditation and licensing process in the United States. As you probably know, based on your extensive research on accreditation and "Degree Mills", as an institution of higher education, we must provide all credentials to licensors and accreditors (including transcripts) as part of the application process. I am sorry that our faculty do not have your preferred set of credentials, but as a former faculty member from a very traditional university (with plenty of credentials) who decided to shift towards online education, I am proud of the transition we have made in the last 20 years and I give credit to those who disrupted the space and provided learning opportunities to many around the globe. I don't expect you to change your position or recommend Nexford. Our mission is different. We are about changing the world by making quality higher education accessible to all (not just the elite). We are about changing lives and improving societies one learner at a time. We are not an open university; we are a university who seeks to close a gap that has been open for way too long (500+ years) and we will achieve this. Farewell for now and best of success to you!


    ps. We do have many of our team members (including faculty) listed in our website with a bio and LinkedIn profile summarizing their credentials.
  17. Sheila Fournier PhD

    Sheila Fournier PhD New Member

    Yes, that's right, Johann! Love Sheila E...of Puerto Rican descent like me. And her duo with Prince were out of this world! Prince's song "Oh Sheila" was my icon while in college. Great memory..thanks for sharing!
  18. Sheila Fournier PhD

    Sheila Fournier PhD New Member

    Thank you for sharing your analysis of Nexford. There are many items listed that we are currently working on (including articulation agreements) but do keep in mind that we launched in February 2019 and for those who have been involved in this process, it takes time (mapping of curriculum, finding alignment, determining the transferability of courses, and deciding to proceed). Imagine for a university as young as Nexford? A University brand that is still unknown? It is about patience and trust, else, all universities entering this space will never make it pass this forum. Give us a chance to demonstrate results. With regards to yet another MBA, ours is different. I know it seems unbelievable but it is. A different journey, a different approach, a different delivery and most importantly, a different learning experience; it is like being able to bring your education to work in real time (similar to the farm to table approach *smiles*). But then again, there is only one way to discover the difference. I invite you to explore the Nexford challenge—be bold, be different!

    ps. Our CEO is an outstanding leader and I have the honor of working with him every day. Yes, he is not from the education sector but he has invested years learning and understanding the sector (not only in the US but globally). In addition, he is surrounded by a team of expert academicians (like me!) who collaborate with him day in and day out to accomplish our mission.
  19. Sheila Fournier PhD

    Sheila Fournier PhD New Member

    Absolutely correct, Lerner, and we do have a strategic plan and one aspect of that plan is a very detailed accreditation strategy. We are evaluating several--national, regional, institutional, and programmatic accrediting bodies but if you want my honest opinion, we want to pursue those that will enable us to innovate, else we are just one of the 7,000+ universities in the United States that continue to offer the same academic model (and experience). Our value proposition is very different (scary different) and we recognize that it will be challenging to convince our very traditional higher education sector but we are willing to take that risk. Like you, I know of several who are still waiting to become fully accredited (and licensed) and I also know of others who are fully accredited (regionally and institutionally) and haven't been able to deliver on their so promised outcomes. I know it is a leap of faith and it takes a lot to trust a new and young university like ours but as a professional who has been in this sector and has built bridges, not burned them, I am here not to damage my reputation and much less my credibility. I have met too many learners and graduates (family members as well) with degrees from reputable universities that have multiple accreditations and they are in debt and unable to secure the job they worked so hard to achieve; the majority had to make lots of sacrifices. Our mission is to do what we have to do to expand access to anyone who wants (and deserves) a great education. The moment we become eligible to some of these memberships and applications, we will definitely make them public in our website so please stay tuned! We anticipate these communications to begin early next year. Thanks again for your feedback.

  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    <<<Dr. Levicoff... calling Dr. Levicoff>>>

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