Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Mike Albrecht, Sep 14, 2004.
Critical federal report on for-profit University of Phoenix leads to $9.8 million fine
What they did is distasteful. But it's not clear to me what Federal regulations were violated.
Playing with Federal Funds is the wrongdoing. In a certain way, is defrauding the Federal Government, and the Fed do not takes this in easy way. UMMMM I can remember a non-accredited school that is been talk a lot in this forum that has the same practices.
It's so shameful!!!
If UoP can fork over 9.8 million dollars in fines, then the school must be extremely profitable.
Are they saying that the "advisors" cannot be paid based on the enrollments that they make for the school? What about AIUonline.edu then? Or DeVry or The many Art Institutes and many other schools as well. Their "advisors" are sales people in many cases. Is that illegal?
Re: Re: Phoenix gets hand slapped
I read it a while ago but IIRC, the issue was that students were accepted into programs that they were not prepared for and would unlikely be successful in. If those students then received federal funds to help pay tuition then the feds have the right to go after the school for being irresponsible.
This development does not surprise me at all. I think it is symptomatic of a larger problem, including what appears to be the promiscuous giving of credits (and lots of A’s) to doctoral level students (there is even more which I would not say at this time).
Specifically, about four months ago I was on a train and met a woman who told me that she had not yet completed her master’s degree but was accepted to a doctoral program at the University of Phoneix (and given 18 transfer credits). She told me that she was a bit confused about this and wanted to know if UOP is accredited.
I also understand that the regional accrediting body is not at all happy with this development, and a special visit has been hastily scheduled. Some pundits believe that this is justification for putting UOP on probation. UOP is a disgrace to the academic community. The New York Times notes:
“The consumer appetite for less rigorous education is nowhere more evident than in the University of Phoenix, a profit-making school that shuns traditional scholarship and offers a curriculum so superficial that critics compare it to a drive-through restaurant.”
During the time we were doing marketing for the Edinburgh Business School MBA, we had three people whose main job was talking to potential students on the phone -- only those who called us. They were salaried; the idea of commissions seemed inappropriate.
Our most skillful phone person told us one day that he had been offered a job by the U of Phoenix -- they apparently call competitors, looking for good phone people. They offered him a base salary (lower than ours) plus a commission scheme that had the potential for tripling his salary, and he took it. Since the commission was based on signing people up, not degrees completed, one can hypothesize that there was incentive to sign people up willy-nilly.
An interesting thread, exposing some interesting developments in DL and USA education. It will be interesting to me to see how quickly the regional organization reacts to this.
I'm not disagreeing with your overall message but the specific example doesn't cause me great concern. There are top quality schools that don't require Master's degree to get into their doctorate program. For example, UC Berkeley doesn't even typically accept people wanting Master's degrees. (at least not when I attended) They typically gave out Master's degrees when people dropped out of their doctorate programs.
Everything the poster said could be true. But none of it can be established as-is. I look forward to reading the sources for these claims.
UoP's enrollment counselors are not paid commissions. But they are evaluated based upon performance, and that performance is tied to productivity. And evaluations become the basis for merit raises and promotions, as they do in many jobs. Is this a de facto commission? If so, we are all on commission in one form or another.
The question is whether or not this puts undue pressure regarding the admissions process--causing unqualified people to be admitted. I don't know that, but the enrollment counselor isn't the final say-so regarding admission. They recruit to a standard provided by the university, which determines the acceptability of each candidate.
Another question is whether or not enrollments should be a criterion for performance evaluation. Perhaps activity levels--which lead to enrollments--should be. A certain number of applicants contacted, for example. But....
The USDoE is not requiring UoP to change its compensation method for its enrollment counselors. This is a very telling thing. UoP is required to re-emphasize its enrollment process to applicants, making them more aware of just how enrollment counselors are evaluated and compensated. But UoP is not required to change what they do. That it cost UoP $9.8 million and they're not changing anything seems odd to me. But that's the way it is.
This is not surprising, and the "easy A" syndrome is not just at the doctoral level. Last year my second cousin enrolled in UoP to complete a B.A., he had already completed an A.A. at a classroom-based community college. He then worked for two years in his field before enrolling with UoP. He wasn't thrilled with the high cost but wanted to continue working full-time while earning his B.A.
Turns out he wasn't thrilled with their program either. They make every new student take (and pay for) an "Introduction to College" class, regardless of whether or not they have already earned a degree elsewhere. He wasn't surprised that class was an "easy A" for him. But the next classes were the same, he says the curriculum for this A.A. to B.A. program was nowhere near as challenging as the one at the community college he attended.
He especially criticized their online discussion boards, there was mandatory participation. He had no problem with that but said it literally doesn't matter WHAT a student posts. To measure participation their computer simply records that the minimum number of posts has been achieved, without regard to post content. He is no longer enrolled in UoP as he feels they aren't really educating anyone but just selling high grades for high prices.
He's not the only one who feels that way. Check out this link with stories from others regarding the same issue. One student claims she got an A on a paper she never even turned in. Upper left corner also has posts regarding other problems with UoP, financial and other wise.
I am sorry if this has already been asked and answered, but...
Do you work for UoP?
Sounds like "millish" behavior to me. As I have said before, eventhough this institution is RA, it is more a business than a "university".
Frozen cats anyone?
Hi. I teach occasionally for UOP. I have no knowledge of unqualified or underqualified students being admitted into programs. My students have been well prepared for the course material. The basic materials I receive to teach are excellent and I have a wide grade variance in most classes, especially in courses that come early the degree programs. That is, students rarely earn As in my classes. I am evaluated at the end of each course by students and by peer reviewers at least once per year, and this data is used to determine whether a faculty member will be asked to teach again. In sum, I don't know anything about these charges of fines and nonrigorous education, but then I'm only a sample of one.
I was admitted to UoP without any evidence of academic preparedness other than what was told to them.
In my UoP experience, the "admissions counselor" appeared to be more interested in my employer's reimbursement policy than anything else. And, when I withdrew after a couple of weeks, I was charged $1,300.00 for the the 3 credit mandatory BS "welcome to UoP, sucker" course. After refusing to pay, they promptly forward derogatory informtion to Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.
IMHO, UoP is like a 90 year old man trying to date an 18 year old female...legal but repulsive. (for the woman, that is.. )
If it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, and has a bill and feathers, guess what....it's probably is a duck.
I don't teach that course, but I think you are referring to GEN100, where students are taught how to use the online learning system, team collaboration, academic ethics, college-level writing, APA and how to use the online library, etc. It seems to be somewhat similar to some of the "Intro to Graduate Study" courses I've seen. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't complete the course and the program. As for the other issues, is it possible that you were granted conditional admittance to the first course pending receipt of your official transcripts and that you agreed to pay the tuition for the course? Anyway, best wishes to you in your academic endeavors.
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