Nexford University

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

  1. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    You rang? :D
    Okay, at this point I'll go to the max and declare that Nexford is a mill.

    On the admissions page of the Nexford web site is a photo captioned "Rebecca Adedayo Ebokpo, MBA 2019, Nigeria." The same photo and caption appear on their tuition page. Normally, the year listed next to a degree is one's graduation year. So, how did Ms. Ebokpo manage to graduate in 2019 when Nexford was "launched" in February 2019? There's something fishy here.

    I've already covered the notion of schools that call themselves universities when they do not qualify to use that term under its traditional meaning, especially one that only purports to grant three degrees in one field (and lists only five full-time faculty in its catalogue). My favorite illustration is a take-off on the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland line, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show." Since Sheila admits here that their CEO and founder "is not from the education sector," I think we have a great example of "Hey, kids, let's start a university." By the way, Sheila's qualifications are, indeed, impressive - just like those of Armando Arias (sorry, kiddies, you'll have to look him up). But once again, we have someone who is likely a talented teacher but doesn't have their act together when it comes to educational administration.

    There is only one question I am not able to answer that, I think, has some relevance (yes, Sheila, this is a question for you): As of right now, in July 2019, exactly how many students are enrolled in Nexford University? And, of any who are enrolled, how many are in the U.S.?

    Bottom line: I think the situation at Nexford is similar to the situation with William Loveland College, which several DI folk supported, some even lauding WLC, until David Lady flew the coop and the school was revealed as a sham. I called it a sham a long time ago, just as I am calling Nexford a sham now.

    By the way, if you'd like to have some fun, punch their address of record (according to the DC Licensing Commission) up on Google Maps: 1140 Third Street NE, Washington, DC. It turns out to be the Uline Arena. (University, my ass.)

    In the meantime, Sheila is continuing to get away with using this forum as an advertising vehicle, although I doubt it will result in any significant enrollment bump at Nexford. And, as some have noted, it will at least raise questions for those who search Nexford and find this thread.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    Steve, I am going to play devil's advocate for a minute. I agree with you that the year is usually used to represent the year of graduation. However, based on the information you referenced, the student's quote is in the present tense versus past tense, which suggests that she is a current student. The rest of your argument was solid, blunt, and humorous as usual. I don't always agree with your "harsh" approach but you always say it as it is.
  3. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    There are actually two separate quotes attributed to the same student - the quote you referenced is the one on the admissions page. Yes, it's possible that she's a current student, but putting the year in the reference is highly suspect. I guess my take is that much of their approach is simply sleazy, right down to the frequent reference they make to their "success advisors."
  4. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The student in question appears to list herself as an MBA student. She lists her dates of attendance as 2019 - 2020.

    It is a bit odd how they listed that. If you graduate in 2019, then you would typically be identified by that school as Joe Smith '19. The year you graduated. Not the year you enrolled. It is, perhaps, not shocking that an unaccredited program like this would appeal to people primarily outside of the U.S. It's cheap. They likely accept state approval as being sufficient since that's how many other countries work. The result is that a school can basically sell "state approved" the same way ASIC sells "accreditation." You rely on a different cultural understanding of the term you're using.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  6. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Pure doublespeak. Simply more of the same bullshit I've come to expect from Nexford. Sleazy as always.

    Speaking of which, I see that we haven't heard from Sheila Fournier for a while. Perhaps she finally realized that Nexford had more to lose than to gain by posting on DI.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Nexford obviously knows one thing: a cheap American degree will go like hotcakes overseas. The trick is - to make that ultra-cheap American degree MEAN something - i.e. mean that it will help land a job - in the holder's home country or where he/she intends to live. That's the area where things are, to say the least, nebulous. U. of the People - in the same field - had THAT part down from day 1.

    I'll be sorry that Dr. Fournier-Bonilla probably won't be visiting us any more. Why would she, after what she's been put through here? Whether I liked the idea of Nexford or not is immaterial. She is a good communicator, with degrees from top schools. And any puertorriqueña who digs her own countrymen's-and women's music is A1 with me. Such people are musical magic - they have the sun in them. Score another one for Levicoff, I guess.

    One thing I'm curious about. How do they plan to get OK in India, as an American school, for distance degrees for Indian students? Sometimes it seems to me that India would prefer to abolish distance degrees -especially international ones.
  8. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    Johann likes this.
  9. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    It's all a tough situation for an unaccredited school because in order to reach accreditation they have to operate successfully for a period of time. To operate successfully for a period of time they need funds. To get those funds in some form, they need enrollments. To get enrollments they have to market. While they market they receive pushback from a section of the public that dislikes unaccredited schools. Tough situation.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Me too. Their blurb says they support Narendra Modi in this. OK, but nowhere do I see that Narendra Modi or his Government supports Nexford. Perhaps Nexford is unaware of the obstacles for a distance university in India.

    South Asians with very little money by our standards have lost their savings on American unaccredited degrees for years. Remember Preston U .and their "American degrees" (unaccredited) from Wyoming or later, Alabama? Some home-grown American-sounding unaccredited schools also popped up locally - e.g. Florida Green University in Karachi.

    As for the "tough situation" for unaccredited schools - when the going gets tough, the tough should seek accreditation. It didn't seem so tough for new schools like U. of the People. They knew what they were doing and were through the accreditation process before very many students walked in the doors. It helped that they knew they had to be well-financed - and were - from day 1. Some call it a 'tough situation' - I call it 'standards.' And business expertise and capital, to be sure.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2019
  11. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    You prove my point about the tough situation new unaccredited schools find themselves in: You have to be around long enough to be ready and able to go through the process and have the funding available, that's not an overnight/quick matter. Nexford hasn't even been around long enough to finish a cup of coffee yet. Can't compare that to University of The People because they were around for about 5 years before they gained accreditation (started operations in 2009, accredited in 2014). These things take time.

    If the program is any good and it's being run well, I'm sure they'll take care of that when everything is situated. If not, they may continue on their current way, and good luck to them if they do.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I don't share your starry-eyed confidence, LA. If their "current way" depends on enrolling impecunious - and sometimes desperate - South Asians, for degrees from a school legally empowered to offer degrees of no standing in the US (i.e. unaccredited) - degrees that most employers won't knowingly accept at home or abroad --- well, I'm not gonna even wish them good luck sarcastically with that.

    And as to obtaining degree-granting authority in India - that's a BIG crapshoot with the present climate there - especially on distance degrees.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  13. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    It's not "starry-eyed confidence", I have no confidence in them, nor do I have a lack of confidence in them, it's pretty much indifference to whether they're capable or not, but what it is is just looking at the situation the same as other situations and giving them the benefit of the doubt that they may do what other schools in their position have. Every unaccredited degree-granting school starts off with degree programs that have no standing in the U.S. in terms of institutional accreditation and many of those schools' enrollments come from locales outside the United States. Prior to becoming accredited, University of the People and Nations University both had strong enrollment bases in Africa and parts of Asia where there have been plenty of desperate individuals looking to better their lives through those schools, and I highly doubt in either situation that distance learning was/is fully accepted in every place Nations and UOP have provided/is providing education, especially when it comes to some of their students who actually were/are from India and parts of Africa that have had public stances against distance learning.

    As for accreditation, there is no reason to expect Nexford to gain accreditation any sooner than anyone else has.

    Nexford could wind up being the worst and most dishonest school ever to grace the earth, time will tell, but some of what they're being judged on here are things that we've seen before from schools that went on to become accredited and are respected, so it's a little premature to award them the death penalty without allowing them time to prove themselves for more than the one lone year that they've been operating.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    That seems fair to me.
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed, that's a fair remark. It's not really my ambition to award them the death penalty - and I'm in no position to carry out the sentence, even if I did. And lastly, on the subject, if they don't succeed, they'll end up awarding the death penalty to themselves.

    My objections are not simply that they don't have recognized accreditation. Zero accreditation is fine, as long as you don't expect the degree to help you land a job. There's an unaccredited Uni. in New York that I really like. It awards among other degrees, a Master's in Early Germanic languages. I'm really attracted by that one, although I find it a little hypocritical that they require an accredited degree for entry. But I'm 76 and NOT looking for a business degree or anything that would get me a job. OML! Just the thought of work ... again!

    Nexford wants to teach business degrees and their ambition, it seems, is to do so in a market where many people have very little money to spare. They should make sure those degrees will help people land a job. I am not aware that they have made any serious efforts to make sure that will happen, yet. If there were some substitute for recognized accreditation (US) or its equivalent in other countries - I'd suggest it. But there isn't. Employers are looking for recognized accreditation. If the Nexford folks were teaching degrees in the Philosophy of Harry Potter, I'd be fine with things as they are.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    You wrote this three pages back, Learning Addict. And I fully agree with it, by the way. I believe it applies very strongly to this case - a school offering yet more business degrees.

    As for Nations U. that's a different thing entirely.

    (1) Degrees entirely religious in nature.
    (2) Zero tuition for overseas students. That was their big feature since inception.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  17. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I threw Nations in because of their past unaccredited operations (I do realize this isn't viewed as a bad thing in the United States when it comes to religious programs) and because their unaccredited status/operation in less fortunate areas of the globe was something University of the People was doing sans the religious education (although I'm not aware of what India's religious exemptions for schools are like or if they have them at all, so if that's something you have info on please let me know). But you're right, that's different from what Nexford is doing, as I don't think they'll be offering any free tuition programs.

    I understand the apprehension. They got hooked up with ASIC which has no accreditation standing in the United States, yet Nexford calls its institution 'accredited' and some might say it made that connection to fool people. One thing is for sure, if they turn out to pull shenanigans, this board certainly won't let them off the hook, nor should it.
  18. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I think it’s a good time for a reminder that Nexford is a sleazy scam. Read back through this entire thread – you’ll see that its so-called chief academic officer has posted in it multiple times and, before that, she posted in this thread under the school’s name. Nexford has attempted multiple times to use DegreeInfo as a vehicle for free advertising, and I find it interesting that they no longer show up here because they can’t get away with hyping themselves without justified comment from critics.

    And some of you want to give them benefit of doubt? That is how people get ripped off.

    Call me a cynic, but I am also unimpressed with any school that calls itself a university but is not traditionally structured as an umbrella university with multiple schools or colleges under it and degrees in multiple fields. Therefore, the notion that Nexford purports to grant limited degrees in one field (business) is in itself sleazy, and the same can be even said about similar schools that are NA by DEAC, including Nations University and University of the People. I am hardly a constipated traditionalist since all three of my own degrees were earned nontraditionally, but I also reiterate the notion that the phrase online university is an oxymoron (which, by nature, also covers Nexford, Nations, and UoPeople).

    Am I saying that my objections would not be as strong if they had, for example, called themselves Nexford College? Yep, in large part because I would not have scoped them as comprehensively as I did when they called temselves a university.

    Everything I have read from Nexford is bullshit, hype, or both. So, am I risking a lawsuit by calling them a sham? Hell, I hope so. If they do their research they will find that I have never been afraid of a lawsuit, and as I’m sure they know, a suit would open every one of their records to me under the discovery rules. At that point, I can guarantee that they will go out of business, at least as a so-called university here in the U.S. Moreover, I’m retired now and have a great law library two blocks from me. Therefore, if anyone decides to sue me, it’ll be one case out of a hundred for their attorneys, but only one case out of one for me. Golly gee. The thought makes me smile a shit-eating grin.

    Incidental thought: A couple of pages ago I asked Sheila F. directly how many students Nexford had. I notice that she evaded the question. Any time a senior administrator evades something that obviously, as Bill Murray said, “There’s something wrong here. Something very, very wrong here.”
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The thought of YOU getting sued makes me smile one of those grins too, Steve. Not because I don't like you - just because it would be the courtroom spectacle of the century. Better than a ringside seat at the O.J. trial. I wouldn't miss it and I'm keeping Sept. 31st open, just in case. (Old-timers' inside joke).

    But please, Steve. You're academically accomplished, so let's say it properly - it's a coprophagic grin. :)
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not very much, really. Hopefully we might hear from our expert on Indian education, msganti. For what it's worth, here's what I've gathered. There are religious schools and universities of many faiths in India. Hindu and other Indian faiths, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam ... I didn't search but a Jewish school or two are probable, as well. One thing in common. To award academic degrees that are meaningful they must have 'deemed university' status from the offical sanctioning body, UGC (University Grants commission.) From a school without that status, I believe the degree has basically no standing except whatever the religious authorities accord it.. There are plenty that do have that UGC status, and plenty more that don't. I saw one Christian school that was flying the flag of the famous ACI - "Accrediting Commission International" of Beebe Arkansas. We've a few threads on that um - accreditor.

    There is an accreditor of Christian schools that claimed Indian government recognition for religious degrees - but research of other DI members indicated it had no recognition that would enable a member school to grant government-approved degrees, as far as I know. Old thread on it and a one-time member school here. As far as I know, if a religious school wants to award degrees that will be recognized outside of the place of worship, it's either UGC approval or the Golden Quadrilateral Highway(s).

    Nations is not an Indian school. I'm guessing that a Nations degree would be evaluated there in much the same way as any other American NA degree. For religious work it would be fine if your denom approves, I'm sure. What approved schools it would/wouldn't get you into for further study in India - I have no idea.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
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