University of Phoenix Online???

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Nightengale, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Nightengale

    Nightengale New Member

    Hi Everyone!

    I know this subject has probably been beaten to death, but I just don't have time to search through a lot of prior posts.

    I'm FINALLY ready to go back to finish my Bachelor's degree in Marketing. I work full time (and a lot of overtime) and I have some physical problems which inhibit my mobility. So for me, an online degree is my best bet.

    I'm very interested in the University of Phoenix. I graduated in 2000 with Associate's degree from a small Bible college. I went to my local community college this past Friday for academic advising and they won't accept anything since they're not regionally accredited. My local state university won't accept it, nor will Northwood University. So I have to start ALL OVER AGAIN. Grrrr!

    I called UOP tonight and explained my situation. They advised me I'd have to go to their sister school Axia College to earn my Associate's degree first. Naturally, all of THOSE credits are fully transferable to UOP. Luckily, they're regionally accredited so if I wanted to, their credits will transfer out to other schools. (I called Florida Atlantic University just to make sure.)

    What do you think of UOP? I'm very interested in thoughts and comments on them. How do they compare to Thomas Edison State University (my second choice)?

    I had a lengthy conversation with an UOP enrollment counselor tonight. She was very pleasant and helpful and she told me that UOP is running a special right now: if I enroll for the July term (as opposed to August), they'll waive the application fee, buy my first set of books and lock in my tuition rate for the next 2 years. It's a pretty good deal, but I feel a bit rushed. We're at the end of June!

    I'm choosing between UOP, TESC, and my local community college. The community college is considerably cheaper. But my work schedule is crazy. I also work for our local electric company and this is hurricane season. If we have another season like last year... Heaven help me!

    Also, can anyone clarify TESC's fee schedule? They present one figure for full tuition (which, I guess, is supposed to cover everything) and then they have a per-credit fee at the bottom. Is that a per-credit fee for computer classes (ABOUT computers, not, ON a computer)? I wish they broke it down into a per-credit hour fee schedule so I could compare more easily.

    Also, how does the business community view degrees from UOP and TESC?

    Thanks so much for your time. I'm so tired right now (long day) and I just don't have time to search through all of the posts.

    Have an awesome day!

  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I worked for IBM for ~7 years and the only 2 people I know with UoP degrees were useless. I never hired anyone with a UoP undergraduate degree. I cannot show a cause and effect relationship but I have found their graduates lacking basic skills.

    I have hired other people with undergraduate degrees from Regents (now Excelsior) or State school distance learning programs. I am sure I am biased as I have a Regents degree, but I attempt to evaluate and vet each applicant without regard to my personal biases.

    I would choose a state school with a distance program, and almost all of them have one, over a for profit DL school if I were to obtain another undergraduate degree.
  3. jcooper

    jcooper New Member

    hi there,

    I was in a similar position about a month ago, and investigated UoP along with a few other schools.

    UoP seems to have a lot of dissatisfied customers (check epinions for example), has gotten into trouble with the federal government over their recruiting practices, and seems to be quite expensive.

    I decided to enroll at Excelsior. From what I've gathered from this board Excelsior, Thomas Edison, and Charter Oaks are three schools most often recommended.

    But to be honest, I'm not sure what criteria folks use to decide between those three. I've seen positive comments on this board about all of them.

    my best,

    -- James
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    UoP is the largest university in the country. I would expect their profile as it regards to complaints to be evident. But that doesn't mean they get more complaints proportionately. No one complains about the fat in Burger King food, you know?

    UoP and TESC are two completely different learning models; it is hard to compare them.

    I suspect the degrees themselves will have similar utility. However, there will likely be greater variance in the UoP degree because of UoP's very public image. Some will dismiss it out of ignorance, while others will embrace it because they're impressed with your effort. A degree from TESC will appear to be like any other one from a state college, which might be a good thing.

    I would not agree that the "Big Three" (Excelsior, TESC, and COSC) are "the most recommended." Many schools are discussed here. But those three often fit inquirers' needs when faced with degree completion scenarios. And because all three operate under similar--but certainly not identical--paradigms, they usually get tossed in together.

    Another note about UoP: I've met thousands of students on three campuses, along with hundreds of graduates. Not two. Graduates from UoP are as talente--and skilled--as any. Now, UoP admits people who clearly are not ready for collegiate study. But their (students who don't transfer in at leaest 24 s.h.) first 5 courses are pretty rigorous; many drop while others rapidly improve. But graduates? You don't finish a UoP program without having your act together. I would suggest a larger sample size before drawing an inference on the population of UoP graduates. :rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2005
  5. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    A friend of mine bought a notebook computer from a local retailer. He thought the notebook was factory fresh as did the salesperson. When he got it home he found it had been used by a University of Miami business school graduate. This person wrote his resume on this computer along with other school related papers. Sent them to the recycle bin but didn’t clear the bin. Before my friend returned it he showed the computer to me.

    The resume and research papers were some of the most poorly written material I have ever seen. Yet he had just graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Or at least claimed to.

    If in fact he was a real graduate I can make the claim that the University of Miami’s AACSB accredited business program earned its nickname of “Suntan U” based on my in-depth statistical sample of one!

    He could have gone to Florida International University, referred by people in other parts as FI WHO.

    Or maybe he went to the community college I went to, Broward Community College, known as “Beer Can College” due to its supposed lack of rigor.

    Just my opinion
  6. blaketots

    blaketots New Member

    I have no personal experience with UOP, but I have heard that much of their coursework is done in the form of group projects with classmates. They are very big on team assignments, so if you don't like that type of thing, I would rule them out.

    I personally would recommend that you choose a community college in your state and enroll in their online classes and then transfer those courses to one of the large online universities later. It will be much, much cheaper (in-state tuition rates) and still offer the flexibility that you need in your busy life. Remember, it doesn't have to be the LOCAL community college. Most states have at least one community college in their ranks that offer a tremendous amount of courses online and many offer the ability to complete an entire program online.

    Good luck.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes! It has been my experience that applicants simply do not weigh this sufficiently when deciding to go to UoP. They're then stunned when they find themselves spending 5 or so hours per week collaborating with their learning teams, and that 25-35% of each course's grade is based on learning team assignments. Instead, what they see is the 4 hours of class per week, with 5 or 6 weeks per course. I'm convinced that UoP "enrollment counselors" (salespeople) underplay this but, like military recruits, UoP applicants do a lot of "selective hearing." They filter out the negative stuff, even though they sign a statement saying they understand about learning teams!

    Personally, I would not choose this format for my own studies. The benefits (team synergies, built-in support systems) are certainly present, but they come a huge price in terms of freedom, flexibility, and being measured for your own work.
  8. carlosb

    carlosb New Member

    I enjoyed my on campus experiences at BCC but if I were starting off now I would follow your advice. For example here in Florida we have another BCC, Brevard Community College that offers the following:

    At $64.25 per credit hour (Fla resident) is much cheaper than UoP.

  9. MikeB

    MikeB New Member

    MikeB’s Experiences at UoP.

    Congratulations Nightengale on your decision to obtain your B.S. degree.

    Yes, the University of Phoenix does get beat up quite a bit :). But as Gregg L. DesElms has in his signature - "It is not the degree that makes a great man; it is the man that makes the degree great." - Nicolo Machiavelli.

    I graduated from UoP in March of this year with a B.S.B. in Marketing and can give you some insight into how the university works.

    I can tell you that the one thing that attracted me to UoP is the flexibility of the program. At the time I started the program I was traveling extensively. I was on the road three weeks out of every month and I participated in class from all over the world. Without this ability to participate anytime and from anywhere I would not have finished my degree.

    Sorry to hear this about your Associate’s. But you still have the knowledge. You may want to obtain your R.A. Associate’s degree through testing (CLEP, DSST, etc…) or correspondence studies and then move on to a B.S. Others are more familiar with this than I but here are a couple of good threads on the subject.

    You will find that there are many more inspirational stories on DI.

    I would look to other options for your A.S. degree as the price of UoP is somewhere in the $460 per credit hour, if not higher. I know that you can do it cheaper via testing and/or correspondence studies.

    Be ready for a lot of work if you decide on attending UoP. Undergraduate classes run 5 weeks and you cover one subject over that 5-week period of time. A typical week includes mandatory participation in the weekly discussion threads, reading a multiple number of chapters in the text, research for a personal paper, writing a personal paper, team participation, research for team project, writing a team paper, and any other thing that the facilitator what’s you to do. At first it is overwhelming but as time goes on your learn to deal with it all and it becomes easier. The one thing I loathed about UoP was the team’s, I could tell some real horror stories about them. The facilitators at UoP are like anywhere else; they have their good ones and their bad ones. But overall they are pretty good. Notice that UoP uses facilitators, they are just that they facilitate your learning, you are responsible for how and what you learn. I think that is what most people do not like at UoP. The second thing that people do not like about UoP is the support of the Financial Advisors (FA) and Academic Advisors (AA). If you attend UoP you MUST be in control of your finances and your academic progress. DO NOT sit-back and let UoP guide you through the process. The FA’s and AA’s are overwhelmed and UoP is constantly reassigning them so be prepared to talk to a different person every time you have a question. Read the catalog and KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and the university procedures. You must know the who, what, where, and why of the UoP system or it will run you over and cost you MONEY. The third thing that people hate about UoP is the cost. I had an A.S. when I entered UoP and it cost over $25,000 for my B.S. and the price is only going up. If any person is expecting a traditional university experience from UoP they will be sadly disappointed. But if you want the flexibility of obtaining your degree anywhere at any time and cost is not a concern then UoP could be a good choice.

    Be careful here as UoP enrollment counselors are paid on a commission, so they can be a little aggressive (insert sarcasm here). UoP is always running some sort of special and your first class is not an academic class it will be a class where you learn about the UoP systems, APA formatting, and how teams work. This class is mandatory and there is value in learning about APA and the inter-workings of teams but it is not what they make out to be. It is not like you knockout your first English or math class.

    Crazy schedules are a good reason for testing and correspondence studies.

    Sorry I cannot help you here.

    My company is one of the 50th largest company’s in the U.S. and they support employees who attend UoP. As other have noted UoP is the largest private university in the U.S. and with that size comes criticisms. Some deserved and some not deserved but as noted above it is not the degree that makes a person it is how the person applies the knowledge of the degree. Keep in mind that Harvard graduates look down on Yale graduates and Yale graduates look down on Harvard graduates. Do what is right for you and not what is right for others.

    You’re welcome and best of luck in your pursuits.
  10. aic712

    aic712 Member

    I second what Rich said, as an Academic Counselor for UOP, I do nothing but put out fires all day. Now they are going to start measuring us by #'s, making the workload impossible to handle, so I also agree with what Mike B says. I have 500 students to handle myself, there is no way that I can talk to everyone I need to in an 8 hour day, so needless to say, as soon as I finish up the degree here, i'm out like a light.

    Several of the students come in expecting to do nothing, and last about 2 classes, which affects MY #'s, not enrollments. I thought about transferring to enrollment because I know that I could sell this school better than any of the people that work there now, but I refuse to underplay anything. I would actually tell students what they are getting into, academically and financially. I have nearly completed the BS program here, I have to say that I put in alot of time and effort, and was blessed with a wonderful team, which can make or break the entire experience due to the learning model. I would never discourage someone from furthering their education, be it w/ UOP, TESC, Excelsior or whoever, and would not make ignorant comments about any legitimate college graduate being unqualified based on a personal opinion; if I learned one thing here, it's that you need to examine things before passing judgement; I believe the fallacy is "hasty generalization"

    Either way, as i've said a hundred times now, UOP is what it is, many people enjoyed their experience and many didin't, doing the research is up to the individual.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The risk in listening to a student is that you get a student's perspective. This is fine when it relates to his/her experiences, but much less valuable when discussing administration.

    There is a significant turnover in financial and academic advisors, but it isn't because UoP reassigns them. It is because those jobs don't pay squat. People in them leave typically after finding better work, or after graduation. (They attend UoP tuition-free.)

    Enrollment counselors do not work on commission. This is a fallacy. They, like everyone else in the workplace, are evaluated and promoted based upon performance. Now, one might have a beef with UoP placing enrollment numbers on them as a measure; I certainly do. I feel this places undue pressure on them to enroll students regardless of their ability to do the work (or pay for it). That's no different than many sales situations, but I'm disappointed that UoP creates a sales environment at all. Regardless, enrollment counselors are not paid commissions.

    The advice about being in control of your own academics and finances is spot-on, and applies to anyone, not just UoP students.

    Having taught all three "gateway" courses--GEN 101 (for students transferring fewer than 24 s.h.), GEN 300 (for students transferring in more than 24 s.h.) and COM 525 (graduate students), I can state with authority that these classes are very academic indeed. Students write, do presentations, etc., just like in other classes. But they also learn what it takes to be a UoP student as well. They're not easy, and GEN 300 in particular is loaded with assignments.

    UoP isn't "always" running specials. But they do do it from time-to-time, generally in the summer (leading to the Fall) and in December (leading to the Spring). These specials normally involve waiving the admission fee (big deal, considering the overall cost of the degree program), but can include other, small incentives.

    Much of what has been posted from a student's perspective is extremely valuable advice. But be cautious when such advice strays beyond that.

    NB: I was formerly a College Campus Chair for UoP, and have taught faculty certification, taught mentoring certification, taught online (Flexnet), conducted Faculty Assessment, hired/dismissed faculty, and have taught more than 30 times, spread over more than a dozen different courses. I still teach for UoP on occasion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2005
  12. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    I have known and worked with several graduates from the University of Phoenix. They were all capable and had knowledge and skills equivalent to those who graduated from other regionally accredited universities.

    Throughout my career in higher education, I have had countless conversations with faculty and others who have negative things to say about Phoenix. Since they typically have no experience with or knowledge of Phoenix's programs, they tend to react to Phoenix's industrial model of education, which differs greatly from the traditional academic model.

    As a business, Phoenix markets itself heavily (even to the point of annoyance and spamming)--traditional universities do not. Phoenix uses teams of professional instructional designers and subject matter experts to develop its courses. Traditional university courses are developed by individual faculty, usually alone.

    This is what I will usually tell my colleagues: "Although we might malign Phoenix because it insults our traditional concepts of the way universities do business, the fact is that: 1) Phoenix's business model is wildly successful, they are growing while the rest of us are struggling to do more with less; 2) Phoenix grads are being accepted into masters and doctoral program across the country and are getting jobs (the two things that matter most to students). Perhaps instead of making fun of Phoenix, we should see what we can learn from it."
  13. edowave

    edowave Active Member

    Yeah, they like to put the pressure on to sign up right away. I would take more time to look around. It sounds like you are very busy work-wise. Did you look into the LSU independent study courses? They are cheap, give you 9 months to finish a course. You can do your pre-reqs there and then transfer them to another school like TESC. Just an idea. Check out..

    It also sound like you are in Florida. UF has an online BS in business administration. In-state tuition should be cheaper than UoP see:

    good luck

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