Northcentral University vs. Nova Southeastern University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Messagewriter, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member

    Well, I've written in two other threads about my comparison of Nova's D.B.A. (Finance) vs. NCU's Ph.D. Business Administration (Finance). I applied to both and will negotiate the best packages, then decide. I expect to be accepted by both.

    I ran out the "all in" budgets, including tuition, inflation, travel, fees, lodging, car rentals - everything. As a Tampa, Florida resident and assuming that in each program, I'd need to take three additional prerequisite courses, NCU totals $33,000 or $553 per hour and Nova is $59,000 or $853 per hour. NCU requires only one "trip", which is graduation, while Nova would requre about 40 days per year in class. That's $26,000 more for Nova's degree.

    I'd have to fly down to Ft. Lauderdale 5 times, for 4-6 days at a time, plus be in class one weekend per month. If I did management, I could stay in Tampa but I'm doing Finance. Because finance is not as popular, I have to fly down for my finance courses that are one week each, for 3 courses. Nova is a hybrid, with lots of residency, and certainly not a DL program per se.

    I want to retire into full-time teaching in 10 years when I'll be 53. My goal is to place in a master's level regional 4-year university business school. However, if my degree purpose is restricted to access into a graduate classroom as an adjunct ONLY, then perhaps the NCU degree will suffice. It's a hole in a punch card. Any aspiration to bridge into an academic full-time appointment with the NCU credential, however, would be more difficult than if I had the Nova degree, which is well placed in academia, in a relative sense. I discount any negative perception of the D.B.A. vs. a Ph.D. from an academic's viewpoint because I'd be bringing 35 years of professional experience to the classroom.

    Adjunct or full time professor: I can take either path with Nova's degree. To have this enhanced degree utility, I'm looking at $26,000 minimum plus the value assigned to the disutility of travel. I'd be working on academics either way, so doing any more resident program would simply add to the time and aggravation of displacement and travel, plus constrain my personal schedule around fixed points.

    If NCU becomes more known and well regarded over the next 10 years, then the $26k more for Nova may be negated. I've asked, and NCU won't release any financial information so it's hard to know if they will even be around long enough for me to graduate. Their lack of financial transparency is very disturbing. Conversly, Nova has 40 year history and a $300 million+ operating budget with any number of graduates in well regarded B & M professorships all over the US.

    Tough call: Nova would be a pain in the butt as to residency, be a D.B.A., and be more expensive.

    Is the added security regarding academic placement worth it?
  2. colmustard

    colmustard New Member

    building program

    see my post on NCU.
  3. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    You must attend graduation or you wish to?
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Yes, Nova has residencies but this is what makes the program credible. It will take more than 10 years to make academia change its mind towards 100% online PhD degrees that are still considered third class.

    If you want to become an adjunct, your M.Sc would suffice as you have tons of experience so the NCU PhD is more like dressing rather than a requirement. If you want to become a full time faculty, a DBA from NSU seems the way to go as academia is not ready to accept 100% DL PhDs in my opinion.

    I think you should always go for the best given your present condition. In few words, if all you can afford is NCU then go for NCU otherwise go for the one that can minimize your risk for your future.
  5. New Member

    30K to 60K! Man! Why does PhD have to be so darn expensive... I'm gonna go for the UNI-South-Africa DBL as soon as I get the chance!
  6. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Messagewriter - I'm sure you can guess my preference. Ultimately, this is a tough choice for you. A couple of thoughts:

    1. I have to believe that the NCU (and NSU) folks are well aware of the price differential. As time goes by you may find that the price difference gets smaller.

    2. Residencies may be a "pain" from a cost perspective - but I found them to be very refreshing. I'm not sure how you learn best - but for me, face to face classes made a lot of sense. Further, as you go through the program, you'll learn ways to cut costs.

    3. NSU has several "hidden" advantages, some of which you've pointed out. The school is a serious B&M institution that is likely to be around for a while. NCU's history and stability are somewhat less credible. One other "hidden advantage" is that if you desire to take courses at NSU after you graduate, they offer the credits at half price. Perhaps taking more courses isn't on your mind, but I've completed a second concentration and am planning a third - all at half price.

    Best wishes in your decision.

    Regards - Andy
  7. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member


    I figured I'd do graduation, but don't know if it's required.
  8. Messagewriter

    Messagewriter New Member

    Thanks Andy-Got a question for ya

    Your comments are most welcome.

    Christine Gregory is going to arrange for me to talk to a few recent graduates. I'm thinking rationally about my options and figured that if I did management as a specialization rather than finance, I could take management in Tampa and save three week long trips to Ft. Lauderdale. Just a thought, because vacation time to study seems hiteous.

    If I did that, it may actually make some sense because I've got 36 graduate hours of real estate finance so I can teach that right now. Management may provide another skill set that might be useful to a small regional school's combined department of finance, economics, real estate, etc.....

    I have a BA in Econ, BS in Management; minor finance, and an MS in Real Estate; major, finance. Does the above inclusion of management within the Nova DBA make strategic sense in the way I've described?


  9. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Re: Thanks Andy-Got a question for ya

    Quite possibly. One thing I'm very aware of is that smaller business schools value flexibility in their faculty. As a case in point, my roots are in IT, but my MBA and Nova DBA (first specialty in management, second in IT management) have allowed me to teach a wide range of courses. Given the down turn in IT, I'm glad to have other things to teach.

    Realize that your dissertation topic could be in finance. Hence, the masters work and dissertation could be viewed as a basis for teaching finance. Also, you could take the finance courses afterwards (if you wanted to) at the 50% off price.

    As for taking courses in Ft. Lauderdale - I usually took my family and had a lot of fun, beyond the study. Most of my classes required papers and the like the first day of class - and perhaps gave a final the last day. However, it wasn't like I had to study 24 hours a day while I was in Ft. Lauderdale.

    Regards - Andy

  10. ComCollege

    ComCollege New Member

    La Salle Extension University

    What was the accreditation status of La Salle Extension University before it closed?
  11. davidincolorado

    davidincolorado New Member

    NCU DBA??

    RFValve states: If you want to become an adjunct, your M.Sc would suffice as you have tons of experience so the NCU PhD is more like dressing rather than a requirement. If you want to become a full time faculty, a DBA from NSU seems the way to go as academia is not ready to accept 100% DL PhDs in my opinion.

    I have been looking at the PhD program in Business at NCU thinking that a PhD would get me farther than a DBA in academia, however, this thinking runs counter to recommendation of getting a DBA from a pure DL school....could you elaborate? Your statement makes me wonder if I would be better off looking into a DM (Doctor of Management) at a BM school like Colorado Tech....
  12. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Re: NCU DBA??

    This has been discussed before so you can do a search on this forum and see the different opinions on the matter. In few words, most agree that PhDs from internet schools can have limited utility given the bias against them in academia. However, they can have utility for promotion in community colleges and adjunct positions where the PhD is regarded more as a dressing rather than a requirement. DL PhDs or DBA from respected B&M schools tend have more utility as there is evidence of people holding DBAs and PhDs from schools like Nova, Manchester, Henley College, Argosy that teach full time at respected schools contrary to holders of PhDs from internet schools than normally teach as adjuncts or community college professors. Just do a google search with the school that you want to attend and see if there is people working full time in academia.
  13. davidincolorado

    davidincolorado New Member

    Just do a google search with the school that you want to attend and see if there is people working full time in academia.

    Great suggestion...I'll do this as I continue to do research which way to go. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
  14. dst10spr97

    dst10spr97 New Member

    Heated Discussion

    This thread reminded me of a heated discussion I had with a friend the other day. I told her that I had decided to apply to Nova Southeastern. She has tried to talk me out of it before and I told her that I have done my research. She was like, no they are a diploma mill, they aren't respected, and you wont be respected in Academia. Mind you that she has a Master's and Phd in Mass Communications (from the University of Wisconsin I think), and she has edited a couple of books and authored a couple of books, not directly related to her field. One of the books is a fiction novel. Anyway she has taught off an on for the past few years, but has yet to secure a full time teaching position. She kind of made me mad because she swears she knows everything. I wanted to yell at her and tell her even if I get my DBA from Nova, I will still have a better chance at breaking into academia with my DBA in Accounting, MBA in Finance and B.S. in Accounting, than you will. I think sometimes she gets jealous because my field has an abundance of available career opportunities and she is unemployed. Anyway just had to vent..carry on..
  15. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Re: Heated Discussion

    You have a strong point, time and field is perhaps more important than the school. I enrolled in a DBA in Information Systems because 3 years ago there were many positions open in IS and in my local university they were hiring people with degrees from Egypt or India as full timers as there were no local graduates in the area. Nowadays is accounting, getting the degree at the right time and field is perhaps the best way to get your goal. Just take a look at or the chronicle for jobs in accounting and you will see that you have plenty of opportunities.
  16. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Messagewriter - As you are well aware, I'm big on NSU - in large part due to the fact that I went there. I can think of three reasons to go with NSU:

    1. Financial - I'm not totally sure of the cost difference you've quoted. The tuition I understand. Realize, that this differential may not remain the same for the 3-5 years it takes you to finish. But 40 days per year per year residency? Let's see. Five of the courses (20 credit hours) in the common core can be taken in Tampa. You have to take your professional studies workshop at a conference site (typically 3 days), and 4 reserach courses (typically 7 days total as two are on-line), 3 finance courses (5 days each) and strategy (5 days) have to be taken in Ft. Lauderdale.

    I think you're looking at 30 days - total, not 40 days per year. Given the fact that you live in Tampa - I'm sure you can be creative. You could drive in early from Tampa for a Monday class and return on Friday, for example, to save some hotel bills.

    Also, have you explored the possiblity of deducting your expenses off your taxes? I'm not a tax advisor, but you may want to speak to one about this - regardless where you go.

    2. Peer and faculty support - I don't know your personal learning style, but I benefited significantly from going to class and getting face time with peers and faculty. I suspect that some of the most important things I learned came at lunch or during a break. Also, as part of a $300 million university there really are some valuable support services. I've compared libraries and NSU has a very strong library - with much fuller support than other on-line schools I've compared it to. Finally, realize that NSU does employ a significant number of full-time faculty. Although some may doubt the value, I found that the continuity factor and ability to reach a full-time person (versus a term at a time part-timer) is worth something.

    3. Recognition - Although Nova is far from being Harvard, it has been around a while. The school is a large non-profit university, not a privately held for-profit business. Although many will argue this doesn't matter - I think that NCU's lack of transparency speaks volumes.

    Finally - wherever you choose to go to school, a degree is just part of your "package". I found full-time employment after I earned a NSU degree - but then I had 7 years of adjunct experience (and 20 years of industry experience) at the school that hired me.

    Best wishes - whatever path you choose.

    Regards - Andy
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2005
  17. IRunKY

    IRunKY New Member

    As a current NCU student, I would like to chime in. I have been in the PhD program at NCU for about 5 months now. So far it is going great and I love it. I am getting a quality education that I feel will be well respected. I considered NSU quite a bit. It was my second choice, but I couldn't justify the extra expense.
  18. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    That KY is for Kentucky?
  19. IRunKY

    IRunKY New Member

    Yes, I am from Kentucky and as you might guess from my ID, I am a runner.
  20. se94583

    se94583 New Member

    Did you look into any residental programs at USF? The tuition, by comparison, would be dirt-cheap.

    Go Bucs!

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