Northcentral University PhD Business

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by vical, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. vical

    vical New Member

    Anyone have recent experience with Northcentral U's PhD in Business program? I am seriously considering doing it.

    Appreciate any feedback.
  2. GENO

    GENO New Member

    I was accepted into NCU's Business PhD program and was enrolled for 1 course which required answering selected questions from the end of chapters in the text. This is supposed to be a doctoral level course - it appeared to be delivered at the undergraduate level. Needless to say I did not continue with NCU and am still looking for the perfect DL, RA program which will fit my economic situation. I am amazed at how accreditation is granted - clearly the bar has not been risen.
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I'm not a student at NCU but I have reviewed their PhD in Business with a major in MIS since once I was interested in the program. As you commented, the level is at the undegraduate level and no course work was required at the graduate level.

    I'm surprised at your comments that only few assignments were required from the back of the book as most of the answers for most of the books can be found over the internet or directly from the publisher.

    It is possible that the dissertation can be a different matter but I don't see how a student can be prepared for dissertation with a poor course work.

    It seems to me that the school is student hungry and they are not concerned about quality for now but they might raise standards later once they have a good number of students.

    The accreditation process looks more at standards and faculty credentials rather than course content so I'm not very surprised abou this.

    It seems that Touro has a better program but it is a general degree rathen than a specialized degree. The fact that Touro is associated with Touro college also helps to give it more credibility.
  4. ScottC

    ScottC New Member

    I received my MBA from Touro and decided to try NCU for my PhDBA. I am finishing up my second class at NCU and have decided to go back to Touro for my PhD. NCU has very minimal interaction with teachers and other students. In the NCU classes, I was given a list of assignments that needed to be completed in 16 weeks. Instructors at NCU have a week to review an assignment or reply to your email. In the first class, this caused problems for me since the instructor normally took around a full week to reply. This slow turn-around time can cause a problem when you are trying to clarify assignment instructions or receive comments or a previous assignment. In my second class, the instructor normally replies in a day or two. I found that Touro typically answered all of their emails in less than 24 hours.

    At NCU, you will feel that you are totally on your own. If you want to be left alone with a book and assignments to complete, I would suggest NCU. If you are looking for a little more support and interaction with instructors and other students, I would suggest Touro.
  5. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    I just began the NCU PhD program and I am currently reading the syllabus through rose colored glasses. ;)

    I am about 80% through the first of 12 assignments. The first readings were about doctoral dissertations and they were very informative.

    It is frankly too early for me to give an objective opinion, but I like what I see so far.
  6. vical

    vical New Member

    I find the flexibility at NCU attractive. My first choice was UNISA but I get the feeling the School of Business Leadership is not too keen on foreign students. Delays and communications with the staff are a nightmare.

    Touro is more per credit but I understand all materials are included. The books at NCU are extra. How much were you all spending on books\materials per class at NCU?

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2003
  7. manjuap

    manjuap New Member

    This is exactly what i have been telling about NCU all these days.
    If NCU can get RA ...all degree mills have potential to gain NCA accreditation (i know NCU was never a degree mill).
    NCU run 9th grader MBA and 10th grader PHD programs.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2003
  8. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    As a PhD learner at NCU, I just signed up for Information Research Strategies because this class is a prerequisite. I paid $48.00 for two books.
    I have heard it stated a couple of times by a couple of different people that the academic rigor of NCU is less than wonderful. As a result, I will be curious to see how the first two or three classes pan out.

    Conversely, I found all of my classes for an MA at the state university to be exceptionally easy, with the exception of statistics. Otherwise, it was an academic cake walk for me. The difficulty for me was finding the time to sit for many hours in the classroom -- not the academic rigor.

    But I could be comparing apples to oranges for a couple of different variable reasons:
    • For example, I am a criminal justice practitioner, so criminal justice in college is easier for me because I've been immersed in that field for many years. However, when I pursued an undergraduate degree in business management, I found it to be difficult because I'm not immersed in that field every day and I was exposed to a lot of new concepts ie. financial statements of corporations, etc.
    • Secondly, my coursework for the MA at the state university was 100% residential. The coursework for the PhD at NCU will be 100% external. A comparison of these two different methods of learning will be new for me. My only external comparisons are with the UoP (which was simply busybody work -- time consuming, but not hard) and Columbia Union College (that was a bear -- it was extremely rigorous).
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2003
  9. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    The point you are making here may have something to do with the nature of NCA accreditiation versus professional accreditation from groups such as AACSB or ACBSP.

    NCA doesn't accredit programs, they accredit institutions. Hence, their focus is more on the process of governing an educational institution and less on the content of what they teach.

    Professional accreditiation looks both at process and content. For example, AACSB and ACBSP both have curriculum standards within business programs.

    Result? While I consider regional accreditiation to be an absolute minimum, I strongly value professional accreditation.

    Regards - Andy

  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member


    In your opinion, would the PhD from NCU be enough to land a tenure track job in a reputable University? Would academics look NCU at the same level as Nova?

    I know that there are many academics that graduated from Nova but I wonder how NCU graduates will score for academic jobs.
  11. Han

    Han New Member

    It would depend on what you call reputable. Usually AACSB schools require the same form their professors. If you go RA, you could get hired on at an RA school.

    There are always exceptions to the rules, but is what I have experienced.
  12. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    As I said in the Chronicle article, hiring of DL grads is a "hit and miss" affair. Some schools won't touch you, others will.

    Folks need to understand that most faculty hiring is done by committees that look at multiple factors. A doctorate from an RA school is one critieria - typically, a mandatory one. But committees are typically going to ask "What else does the candidate offer?"

    If the only credential you have to offer is a degree - the degree better be from a good school. NCU has got to be pretty much bottom of the pile. IMHO Nova is somewhat better. But neither of these schools (or Capella or Union or Argosy...) is likely to get you a job if you don't have something else to offer:

    1. Teaching experience - especially as an adjunct at the school you hope to work for full-time.

    2. Relevant industry experience

    3. Apporpriate certifications (such as CPA, CMA, CCP, etc.)

    4. Publications in relevantant journals and conferences.

    In the end schools hire candidates that have the best "package" to offer.

    This having been said - it remains to be seen how NCU grads will fair in the academic market. I don't expect they'll do any better than any other group of DL grads - and will probably do worse for the forseeable future. However, the real test of how any given DL grad does won't be the person's alma mater - but how good a package they offer employers.

    Regards - Andy

  13. vical

    vical New Member

    Perhaps they are going through growing pains. I like the setup of the program and the price. Have no intentions of giving up my own business to teach fulltime so lack of AACSB/ACBSP/IACBE is of no concern.

    Good luck!
  14. JLV

    JLV Active Member

    IMHO, some of the comments I have read here are unfairly pejorative towards Northcentral University. This institution barely just began its existence, and from abroad it seems in a very successful manner.

    I have looked at the PhD in Business Administration (engineering management), and as an engineer I have to admit that the curriculum is very well designed, which is an excellent starting point. Doctoral work is based to a great extent on individual effort. One doesn’t really need a teacher to look after oneself at all times. If at this level one needs a babysitter, well, maybe perhaps it is better to consider another master’s. PhD programs from different departments of the same university differ in quality, and even from the same departments as it depends many times on the quality of supervisors as well. I think one has to make the difference by writing a great dissertation, by being very active trying to write papers with findings, etc….. just like Andy pointed out, and the university is not that important as long as it is regionally accredited. For the rest I full agree with Andy; it depends on the individual (which occurs not only in the academic world but in every aspect of life) and I disagree with those that attack NCU per se. Let’s give those people the chance to build a reputation.

    Vical, I am myself considering joining their PhD program. An MBA from the University of London would cost me €15,000, and a PhD from NCU, about €17,000. I already have a master’s in engineering. I am in the process of trying to figure out which of those two would bring me further since I have no ambition either to teach, and I live in Europe where those American business accreditations are pretty much useless. BTW, have you considered the DBA at Heriot Watt University? It seems to be very strong, and it doesn’t require residences as far as I know. Touro appears to have lots of happy “customers”.

    Good luck.
  15. vical

    vical New Member

    I agree with you. NCU should be given a chance since it is new. I grew up in South Florida and can remember the attacks against Nova (Southeastern) University in the late '70s on. Didn't stop me from attending in the mid 80s. I compared the curriculum and instructors to the local AACSB accredited school I was accepted to. For me Nova won hands down. Never regretted the decision.

    I did look at the DBA at Heriot Watt University. If it wasn't so much money I would seriously consider it. The cost isn't the issue as much as "bang for the buck" as we say here in South Fla.

    I have been reassured that I was accepted into Unisa's Doctor of Business Leadership (DBL) program today. For less than the cost of the NCU or Heriot Watt degree I can get an education and travel to RSA. I find this very attractive educational and experience wise. I believe my research project can help both my South Florida market and South Africa. I decided to try the Unisa route first. If that doesn't work out then NCU here I come!

    Finally, I discussed the DBL degree with a tenured faculty member at an American AACSB accredited school. He told me his DBL degree has never been questioned. He also echoed what Andy said in a previous post about having something else to offer.
  16. vical

    vical New Member
  17. chris

    chris New Member

    Hey Vical,

    How many trips to SA are required for the DBL? I never could get an answer from UNISA and the guy from IACA was pretty vague on it.
  18. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Interesting, Do you have a link to this faculty member holding a DBL from UNISA? There are quite few PhD's from UNISA teaching full time at some RA Universities, but I have never seen a DBL.
  19. chris

    chris New Member

    Thanks Vical,

    I had such a hard time getting hold of UNISA that I went out and mass mailed some other SA schools. When I received very prompt responses from two, I started preparing my apps to them. I am almost ready to send them out. If you and I keep others posted we should be able to answer a lot of questions concerning SA PHD/DBL's for prospective PHD's on this board. With the cost of PHD's, SA schools have a lot to offer at a very reasonable cost. Stellenbosch was even cheaper than UNISA. They gave me an approximate cost of 6700 SA Rand for 2004 which is a little less than a $1000 US. Free State was comparable to UNISA. About $1200 US. Free State said no trip was necessary for their Public Management PHD. Stellenbosch said a face to face was normally required once a year but that was subject to negotiation with my promoter. Either way, I am going at least once. My wife is planning her trip to the beach and the winery's if we go to Stellenbosch. My 8 yo son is thrilled with the thought of the wildlife. I am just excited, period. Bloemfentein appears to be an exciting place to visit as well. A PHD and a 2 week trip to South Africa for less tha $10,000 (and a lot of work on the dissertation!!). Can't beat that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2003
  20. JLV

    JLV Active Member


    Congratulations for your admissions to that doctoral program. I agree with you, an education is much more than simply acquire certain amount of knowledge ore skills. There is nothing I treasure more than those years I spent in the US as an undergraduate student where I made friends from all over the world. South Africa must be a beautiful country to visit, and a good place as any other to continue on with one's education. Good luck with everything, and keep us posted!

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