University of Phoenix's accreditation

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by speedoflight, Feb 9, 2001.

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  1. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    Hi:
    Does anyone know how recognized is University of Phoenix's degrees? I know they're regionally accredited as an education institution but what I mean is if you hold a degree from them, is it respected or "pooh-poohed" as one from a sub-standard school? Would post grad schools look favorably on their degree? Would an employer look favorably at their degrees?

    I know U of P markets a lot and they're probably one of the most successful distance/accelerated adult learning centers in the country. But that's all ra-ra marketing talk. The fact that they're accredited is great but what I'm addressing is how does the "real" world see and view them?

    Please help for I am trying to look into their programs to see if they're for me.

    Thanks again.
     
  2. mcqueary

    mcqueary New Member

    SOL,

    As I responded in AED, it really depends on what you're trying to achieve and from whom you are trying to gain approval of the degree. The answer varies on that basis.

    Larry
     
  3. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    I'm evaluating their MBA program. My goal is to learn business management skills and use these new skills to help me attain advancement in my work, i.e. a promotion or to allow me to get a position in the direction I want. I'm presently a manager and I want to head toward the director and eventually VP level. I've learned and done as much as I have through work experience but know I need to learn more skills. I also hope to advance my education to that of a doctorate level someday. I do not want to be in a program and be looked at as someone who holds a degree from a sub-standard school. I am looking at the University of Phoenix because of MBA program duration, structure and content. There are a lot schools offering MBA programs but have it structured in a way that makes it very difficult for the average working adult to be in due to time constraints.

    I've talked to enrollment counselors from the UofP and of course they're going to tell me that their graduates are having a good old jolly time finding new gigs and are highly successful. I don't personally know of anyone who has a UofP grad degree and so, I hope someone out there can help answer some of my questions.

    Thanks.
     
  4. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

    Hi,

    I went to UOP for my undergrad. I went their because I wanted to shorten the time to get my undergraduate degree.

    I know several MBA graduates. They are doing fairly well. Yes, a couple of them are VPs. In fact, my boss is a VP, and while he was in the UOP MBA program, he dropped it to take on an assignment about 7 years ago.

    I decided to take an accelerated MBA program at an AACSB accredited school. I had no problem getting into the program, and did quite well. A year after I graduated, I enrolled in a DBA program at University of Sarasota. I had no problem with acceptance.

    One of my DBA colleagues received his MBA at UOP. He had no troubles with admittance. He is doing quite well. He had a bit of a problem with the statistics courses, but then, who doesn't.

    There are some that really do not like the school's program and the way it is structured. One person on the aed newsgroup came right out and said he wouldnt hire an UOP grad. However, while I respect his opinion, I think he took a rather rigid stand. He taught one course there. My wife also taught one course there and decided not to teach there anymore. Fortunately, she decided to keep me.

    The UOP program is pretty expensive. If you are looking at their classroom based program, you may want to see if there is a state university local to you that offers an evening MBA course. You may find the costs more reasonable. If you are looking at the on-line program, you may want to consider a few other programs such as the CSU Dominguez Hills program. Again, a lower cost program.

    If you want, take a look at my web site. I describe the UOP program, its pluses and minuses. I also described the accelerated MBA program at San Jose State.

    Good luck to you

    Russ
     
  5. blahetka

    blahetka New Member

  6. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Hi friends.
    I´m really thinking of applying for a UoP MBA after finishing my German degree.
    Now I´d like to get into contact with UoP MBA students or alumnis in order to ask them a few questions about the subject niveau (and/or to receive some extracts from their classes).
    Are there any UoP´lers here who can help me and give me more information?
    Thanx a lot,
    and best greetings from Germany,
    Trigger
     
  7. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    This is a excerpt from an article on "degree factories" from a well-known and widely read publication in the United States. If after reading this you want to proceed to UoP, please go right ahead.


    "For example, the University of Phoenix-the name gives no indication of
    its 35-state reach-is a publicly traded company that is flourishing in
    this time that prizes convenience in all domains. Its willingness to
    discard academic standards in pursuit of a buck has gotten it into some
    legal trouble, however. Last year, the company paid $6 million to
    resolve charges of improprieties related to regular classroom-based
    courses, in which instructors taught only half of the hours and "study
    groups," composed solely of students, supposedly made up the difference.
    Investors showed no hesitancy, however, when the university spun out its
    online arm as a separate company in an IPO in September. The shares,
    offered initially at $14, trade today at around $30, and the online
    company's market capitalization is nearly $1.7 billion.
    The instructors hired by the University of Phoenix need only a master's
    degree; they do not enjoy tenure; they are replaceable cogs in a profit
    machine."

     
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, this is commentary (read "opinion") filled with hyperbole. So that we may check the few facts listed, may we have the citation for this article?

    Rich Douglas
     
  9. PSalmon

    PSalmon New Member

  10. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    I've made my views known in this NG regarding UoP. I am a graduate of two traditional schools (Kettering and Vanderbilt) and one DL oriented (NSU). I taught for UoP for several years, but have left them because of my concerns with the quality of their programs. In my mind they operate at the minimum level necessary to be accredited. Personally, I'd encourage you to find a more highly regarded MBA program - even if it means less convenience or more time.

    My opinion aside, here is one "fact" to put in the back of your mind. UoP is regionally accredited. However, it isn't accredited by any one of the three business accreditors (AACSB, ACBSP or IACBE). Why not? Your guess is as good as mine - but I highly doubt UoP would qualify for accreditation from any of the 3 agencies. UoP has gone for professional accreditation in fields like nursing - where the accreditation is absolutely required for a program to be viable. In business, their biggest area, they haven't.

    Thanks - Andy



    ------------------
    Andy Borchers, DBA
    NSU (1996)
     
  11. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Lewchuk wrote:
    This is a excerpt from an article on "degree factories" from a well-known and widely read publication in the United States. If after reading this you want to proceed to UoP, please go right ahead.


    Actually, I have to admit that I just want the MBA degree, nothing more. In fact, I already studied Business Administration in Germany, at Master´s level, but I´d like to have an additional U.S. degree for my German career opportunities (thought I know it´ll be at least half of the stuff I HAVE already learned and that I will have to learn again now). I don´t want a great program, I just want an easy one, and it has to be accredited (otherwise I´ll not be allowed to use the degree in Germany!) - so minimum standards are TOTALLY FINE for me, to speak honestly. In fact, no one in Germany will know any difference between a degree from a 2nd tier U.S. university or one like UoP, since we just know the "big ones" (Ivy League).

    So UoP would be perfectly fine for me (Cal. State Dominguez Hills also sounds pretty good, I´ll try that one also) - I don´t need an AACSB program, and I don´t want to learn more than I must (I already did enough of that stuff in my 7-year-German-Master´s). And the university can not be a TOTALLY Distance Learning one (as some of the schools even say on their homepages) - otherwise German State will not allow me to lead the degree (I´m at 95 % sure about that), so it has to be a brick-and-mortar university that also has a 100 % DL MBA program - so, does anyone have a better suggestion for me than UoP?

    Thanx to you all,

    best greetings,

    Trigger
     
  12. rsg

    rsg New Member

    Triggersoft Wrote:

    “Actually, I have to admit that I just want the MBA degree, nothing more. In fact, I already studied Business Administration in Germany, at Master´s level, but I´d like to have an additional U.S. degree for my German career opportunities.”

    City University, Seattle, is another option. Their web-site address is as follows:
    http://www.cityu.edu/

    The university is regionally accredited and its business programs are accredited by the IACBE. Furthermore, if you are interested in class-room based instruction, City U’s MBA program is available in both Berlin and Dresden.
     
  13. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Some have posted that UMUC degrees are not accepted in Germany and others that only "certain" US Universities are (i.e. no formal agreement like the one with Australia exists).
    If this information is correct I would no my homework before committing to a program.

     
  14. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    Hi:
    After my posting earlier this year, I'd decided to sign up for UofP's LD program. The initial advisor was very enthusiasted, got me started and etc. I signed up for the Intro to Info Technology class (part of the IT major) which was supposed to last 5 weeks. Well during these 5 weeks, there was an assignment that was due just about everyday. Which is a lot if you're working. That aside, my main complain isn't the amount of work but that the instructor was a first class dingbat who never read the assignments. I learned NOTHING from this guy. He did not know the subject he was teaching. One time, there was a student who asked in a class posting as to what was the difference between the WWW and the Internet. He couldn't answer her and danced around the subject. His answer (posting) back was, "What do you think is the difference?" I wrote about him in my final comments about the class. I learned from one other student in the class who'd taken a lot of classes from the school that most instructors aren't dingbats like him. The scary thing is, he taught many other classes besides the one I took.

    After that first class, I was passed to another advisor who never contacted me. I called her and she didn't even know that I was one of those on her list. She said she'd call back but she never did. Nor did she ever write back.

    I'd also asked about taking some classes from a community college to be transferred in from the initial enrollment officer I dealt with. Most of these classes were standard ones that the CAL State or UC system accepted as part of a transfer. Well, UofP pooh-poohed these classes and said, "well, ours are upper division, theirs isn't". This being so because the local community colleges tag these classes with a 100x series number. As you know, different schools have different numbers for their classes. I told the enrollment officer that these are classes that have articulation codes from the state of CA. That their content is identical to the ones offered by UofP but he never took a moment to listen to this. Again, not my opinion but the content of these classes is distributed by the CA Articulation Board. He kept saying, "But ours are 300x series classes vs these 100x series classses".

    Needless to say, I wasn't impressed by that teacher or the way the class was structured. I'm sure others have had better experience. Their staff could be better trained. But I suspect that big schools generally have this type of issues where the staff member registering you do not know what the heck the class is about apart from a standard description of it. I think UofP serves a lot of people's needs. They do have some rotten teachers but which school doesn't?

    People here have talked about accreditation and etc. etc., I think that one shouldn't choose a school over another just because they have AACSB or whatever accreditation. I think the basic accreditation it has is sufficient for that means it is recognized by the Dept of Ed. My saying this is because you should be concerned about whether the school fits your needs, if they have good teachers, if the program fits your schedule and lifestyle (whether that is a day or LD program), whether the school cares about you. These are all important factors that help you succeed in your studies.

    You guys should talk more to schools, to the CHEA and etc. to learn more about accreditation. Just because for example, a business school doesn't get the "famous" business accreditations, doesn't mean it's bad. These extra (apart from the basic institutional accreditation) accreditations are based on for example, school size, faculty size and etc. There are many smaller business schools that do not have these accreditations but are very good schools to be at for since they have a smaller enrollment, they can give you better attention.

    Again, school is very personal and everyone learns differently. It's really important to find a school that you feel comfortable with and that you know you're getting quality education from. That is if that's your goal. If your goal is just to finish some classes for basic fulfillment and you're looking for a school that won't expect you to hang yourself just to get a grade, that's OK too. No one should judge another for what they are doing.

    Thanks.
     
  15. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Accreditation doesn't mean that much actually. In "foreign" countries accreditation doesn't exist in the US sense. In the US it assures such a low level of quality that it doesn't mean much either.

    It seems to me that DLs come in two broad categories. 1 are students who really want a quality education, who want to perform at global standards of excellence, and who pursue schools and programs which allow them to do this subject to the limitations of their personal circumstances.

    The second are students who want a legal piece of paper as easily as possible. Perhaps they even "enjoy" the learning process, as long as it doesn't require too much exertion... like the fitness buff who "works out" once a week without ever breaking into a sweat. Of course enough of these "students" generate a market... and some schools are more than happy to meet the needs of this market, a legal degree earned with as little work as possible.

    What is unfortunate is that sometimes #1 students unknowingly get sucked into #2 schools or #2 students believe they went to #1.
     
  16. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Lewchuk Wrote:
    Some have posted that UMUC degrees are not accepted in Germany and others that only "certain" US Universities are (i.e. no formal agreement like the one with Australia exists).
    If this information is correct I would no my homework before committing to a program.



    That´s clear, Lewchuk,

    of course I will check my state authority immediately after being accepted from one of the MBA schools I applied at whether this school/program/degree will be accepted for use in Germany... (everybody should do so, as advice).

    Thanks anyway,

    Greets,

    Trigger
     
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Lewchuk, in your never ending quest to take pot shots at the US educational system, you really whiffed on this one. Exactly what is it about the US that you despise so much? I'm really curious.

    In the US, *recognized* accreditation provides a baseline of quality assurance. *Unrecognized* accreditation can range from sincere efforts to outright frauds. There is a huge difference between the two, so saying "In the US it assures such a low level of quality that it doesn't mean much either" is just plain ignorant.

    Bruce
     
  18. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    I don't despise anything about the US, however I do think the US education system has serious weaknesses. If there was a similar system elsewhere I would be equally as harsh but I am not aware of any other country that has developed such a system.

    As has been stated numerous times, the US has a huge standard deviation of quality amongst its RA schools. The poorest RA school is well below the median of US schools and of foreign schools. RA doesn't guarantee that you are getting approximately a "median" experience. The bottom line is that if you are looking for a "median" experience in the US you are best advised to look beyond RA, otherwise you may be picking up a copy of the US News and find your RA school being used as an example of a "degree factory" where standards are dropped to the lowest possible level in order to serve a market of students looking for easy credentials.



     
  19. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    Lewchuk, I agree with you. RA doesn't at all mean you're getting a good education. In fact, in the U.S., the whole idea of RA schools being "superior" comes from the one-time policies of the accreditation agencies to expect their member schools to only accept students or units from RA schools. In fact, there was actually an anti trust case brought forth to the U.S. Dept of Justice in regards to this by several national accreditation agencies against the Southern Association of Schools & Colleges. DOJ found that SACS was wrong in its requirements. Unfortunately, few people realize the importance of this case and its effects have never really rippled through the education world because of the domination of the RA schools. What it meant was that DOJ stated that the quality of education given by schools which are NA are just as good as those by RA schools. It again reinforced the idea that as long as a school is accreditated, it doesn't matter what kind, it is a legal entity that is recognized by the Dept of Education. The idea of superiority of one accreditation over another is archaic. This is not my opinion but one formulated through that landmark anti trust case.

    The idea of accreditation is one to raise standards within schools but it has unfortunately become some sort of "who's better than whom" situation. One of the problems with the American education system is that the Dept of Ed isn't as strong as it could be and the accreditation agencies becoming power houses over the years. In most countries, their Dept of Ed or Ministry of Ed is the only source of authority over education matters. In such countries, when a school exists, it is because it has been blessed by the Ministry of Ed. The quality of education in such schools differ from one to another due to the quality of teachers or students admitted.

    Yes, you can never know if the school is good or not just by RA standards. You can't know either the fact that it has other accreditation standards. This is why people enroll in a school and find themselves leaving it if they don't like it. As I've said before, going to school is a very personal matter. What works for me might not for you and vice versa. Most people enroll in a school and stick it out to the end even if they did not like it. Why? Because it is such a hassle to find another school to go to and undergo the whole admission process. There are also many who just need that piece of paper and see it as a means to an end. Again, as I've said, it doesn't matter why you've decided to go to school, no one should judge you for it.


     
  20. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that this USNews opinion piece is an attack on distance education itself, far more than it is an attack on the University of Phoenix. Actually the piece is rather incoherent, attacking a number of targets without distinguishing between them. And reading it closely, it seems like a dangerous bit of rhetoric for Mr. Lewchuk to be using since it can very easily turn around and bite him too.

    Is there a university president in the land who has not yet been infected by Internet fever? ...

    According to a Market Data Retrieval survey of more than 4,000 two- and four-year institutions, 48 percent offered online courses in 1998, but the number had jumped to 70 percent by last year.

    This is not the result of calm, scholarly reasoning; this is a full-blown frenzy.


    The villain here is the rapid growth of distance education itself. So what's wrong with distance education? Strangely, the answer comes from fiction:

    It should not be a surprise, however. The tempting vision of earn-a-college-degree- anytime-anywhere has beckoned us for a long time. In his 1922 novel, Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis lampoons the claims of "mail-box universities," whose offerings have an uncanny contemporary appearance, an eclectic mix of courses jumbled together without distinction: Short-story Writing, Improving the Memory, Banking, Spanish, Electrical Engineering, Window-Trimming, Chemistry.

    So what's the beef? The idea of learning anywhere anytime? The (false) claim that DL programs are an incoherent hodge-podge? No, unsurprisingly this is another example of the by-now-familiar whine of the humanities:

    George Babbitt appreciates that the correspondence courses had become "a mighty profitable game." He says admiringly, "Always figured somebody'd come along with the brains to not leave education to a lot of bookworms."

    The problem to put it crudely, is the fear that distance education will let in the riff-raff. Higher education will no longer be an elite calling for poets and classicists, but more vocational, job related and... well... common.

    Education will no longer be a celebration of the 'higher' things. It will all be reduced to marketing and accounting.

    In Lewis's time, the bookworms did not need to worry unduly about the blandishments of "Shortcut Educational Pub. Co." because the public still could easily discern the differences between campus-based and mail-order-based courses. Today, however, the distinctions that were clearly evident in the pre-Web era are blurred.

    Of course, the "fact" that campus-based courses are inherently superior to both "mail-order-based" and web-based courses is apparently a given.

    Now FINALLY we are introduced to the University of Phoenix.

    For example, the University of Phoenix–the name gives no indication of its 35-state reach–is a publicly traded company that is flourishing in this time that prizes convenience in all domains.

    If suffering is a part of education, when are professors going to voluntarily give up tenure?

    Its willingness to discard academic standards in pursuit of a buck has gotten it into some legal trouble, however. Last year, the company paid $6 million to resolve charges of improprieties related to regular classroom-based courses, in which instructors taught only half of the hours and "study groups," composed solely of students, supposedly made up the difference.

    At least UoP HAD classes, and didn't just send their students a book and tell them to take an exam when they finished reading it.

    Was there any evidence that this was a university-wide practice that had been ordered from the top? Or was it a local abuse that violated the university's own guidelines and which was corrected?

    The instructors hired by the University of Phoenix need only a master's degree;

    As a minimum qualification, the same as at many other colleges and universities.

    they do not enjoy tenure; they are replaceable cogs in a profit machine.

    This, I believe, is the core complaint. I think that we all would be amazed at how Phoenix's reputation among academics would rise if purely labor issues were addressed. Because as much as they pretend to be above it all, professors are little "profit machines" themselves. ...

    Three years ago, Washington Gov. Gary Locke voiced aloud what administrators throughout the country surely believe but are savvy enough not to mention: a vision in which the faculty members of the state university system are replaced by online courses.

    Wasn't the context of this a proposal that the state of Washington start a state on-line university and the faculty of the University of Washington threatened to strike or something? There is nothing here to do with the U of Phoenix. But there is the faculty labor issue. Although as I understand it, the Washington proposal had nothing to do with eliminating faculty aand automating courses.

    The embrace of Web economics and the triumph of quantity over quality will lead administrators, soon enough, to wonder why they should bother with human adjuncts to serve as online proctors. They will be tempted to make a college education wholly self-directed and be done with it.

    Kind of like the University of London External Programme model. Except perhaps with automated online tutoring.

    While I think that this is a viable route to take and that we probably will see more schools doing this, the accreditors will have to keep very tight control over the assessment process that leads to the award of degrees.

    And once again, it doesn't have anything to do with the University of Phoenix, does it?

    Who needed the Web, however, to save on college tuition? Wouldn't a stack of textbooks read on one's own offer a low-cost equivalent to learning mediated by a human instructor? Or how about audiotapes or videotapes of lectures by eminent professors? Or earlier, in Sinclair Lewis's time, correspondence schools?

    The difference is the assessment function. The process that assesses a student's learning and grants credits and ultimately a degree for it.
     

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