University of Phoenix's accreditation

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

  1. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    The article attacked numerous things, including the UoP, market-based standards and ,yes, distance learning.

    So what do you do? Stick with quality schools, traditional programs, traditional degrees, traditional universities, parallel instruction,etc. and you will very likely make out OK.
    Distance learning opportunities are at the point that many people will find opportunities that fit the above criteria... if they are willing to put in the work.

  2. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Ah yes, the truth prevails!

  3. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    It's always been a known thing that teachers become teachers for the "pleasure" of teaching rather than for the money in it because there is not much money to be made from teaching. Hence, the terrible shortage of teachers that we face in the U.S. But just like everyone out there making a living, teachers are in it somehow also to make some money at it. So, I agree with you that professors are "profit machines" themselves.

    There is no wrong in any school desiring to make money at education as long as in exchange, it offers you a good product. I've been to RA schools/classes which are supposedly "not for profit" which does not offer you a good product in exchange - in this case, quality education.

    I do think it's quite a silly statement to say "not for profit" because anyone knows that any school is somewhat a business enterprise of its own. It has to be of profit or it'd have to shut its doors. This is just a simple business concept.

    My observation of UofP is that yes, it's trying to stretch the boundaries of education and create some new rules. Frankly, this is a healthy mindset - it's time that the education world changes and catches up with 21st century living. Many schools do pooh-pooh at UofP's more different approach of doing things, i.e. long distance ed, flexnet and etc. This is because many people do not really understand the importance of offering education to everyone no matter where they are. There are so many people in academia who seem like they're stuck in some sort of time warp! This is really scary considering that these are supposed to be educators who are to teach people "new" ideas and etc. The problem with UofP is that while its ideas are good, they're not carried out as well as they should and hence, the problems that have come about. It's great to offer LD education through the Web but they should make sure that they hire good teachers.

  4. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    The University of London, UNISA, several Australian universities, Athabasca, etc., have all understood the importance of offering education to everyone no matter where they are and these are all very respected schools. The difference is that these schools offer the opportunity to those with the desire and ability to acquire an education whereas others simply attempt to offer a degree as easily as possible.

    This is because many people do not really understand the importance of offering education to everyone no matter where they are.
  5. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    This is a true statement that there's not many schools offering good education. Back to what was said about RA schools. Many govt run colleges (RA) here offer very poor education. You frequently hear of how people party and goof their way through school and earn a degree. Perhaps in its true context, American colleges are more of a ritual of life, a part of growing up where people leave home, join fraternities, sororities and parties, drink their first drink than a place where they're at for really learning.

  6. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    So what? Seems to be making a mountain out of a molehill, isn't it? Non-pertinent information used to set up prejudice. If you understood spin doctoring, you would have picked up on this from the get-go. You didn't and swallowed the rest hook, line and sinker. Of course, that's an easy plate to eat when it falls in line with your predispositions.

    Since this action was taken, UOP totally revised the group meeting requirements as I spelled out here in response to an ignorant posting based on old information elsewhere in this forum. The use of study groups in determining class hours was a relatively new concept and a lot of traditionalists do not buy off on it.

    The trailblazer in any endeavor always has to put up with competitors grousing because they cannot handle the changing paradigm and from workers who want the status quo.

    So, what's the problem? Simple, this author is overly concerned with UOP's financial success as a private university. Otherwise, there is little said of consequence, is there?

    He gets part of the story right, UOP only requires a masters, but here in San Diego in the business area, you would have little chance without a doctorate unless your real world experience was outstanding (something the hack neglects to mention, I wonder why?)

    No we don;t have tenure. But do any of you realize that there is a movement underway within the faculty of UOP to become unionized? I betting not.

    No one is a replacable cog. Cogs are identical, we are not. Each of us has the musical score for the class provided bu UOP and developed by fellow faculty. How we choose to conduct it is up to us as long as the objectives are met.

    I've seen far to many ivory-tower academacians teaching without the foggiest notion of what really in going on in the real world. In fact, I have seen more than one here ignorantly using out of date information to criticize UOP, which speaks directly to their individual credibility as a critic.

    Note again that the author is more concerned with profitibility than anything else. Sounds to me like he didn't buy any UOP stock for his portfolio.

    Side bet: I'm betting his alma mater put him/her up to writing this EDITORIAL. Any takers?

  7. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    If I understand AACSB correctly, they require every campus to have a research-level library on the campus, specifying a certain number of volumes. UOP chooses to stress the growing information in online resources which puts it at odds with the traditional library requirement.

    Here's an interesting bit of information: Chapman University operated a SAn Diego satellite campus and had to terminate their business offerings there when they sought AACSB accreditation. Had it not been for that, according to the center's directors at the time, they would have continued offering their business program.

    Oh, did I mention that I taught for Chapman Univeristy back then? Sorry if I forgot. And, in my opinion, having taught in both schools when they were only RA, the students passing through my UOP six-week courses are required to do just as much work as I required of the Chapaman students over an longer period.

    So much for you innuendo on accreditation, Andy. Bogus.


  8. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Would you care to provide some statistical evidence to back your use of "median (a statistical term)?" Or are you expressing your mere opinion again?


  9. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    As someone who has taken classes from UofP and had at one time (haven't totally abandoned the idea) of pursuing a degree through them, I am not at all concerned that they are a for profit school or that they're trading on the public market. What I am most concerned about is that they need to look out for the quality control of their classes. One of the reasons why I haven't totally decided to pursue a degree through them is because they don't seem to be respected by most of academia. I've talked to many professors, administrators about UofP and most seem to not think highly of the school. No doubt some feel this way because of their personal prejudice against anything unconventional. But there are some who do not respect the school because of its reputation. This then becomes a big issue for anyone holding a degree from them because the last thing you want is someone telling you your piece of paper is really worth "nothing". That's heart-breaking. I am not quite sure how UofP can change this perception except to ensure that its classes are of high quality and although its staff maybe from field professionals (as opposed to tenured professors), they are quality personnel.
  10. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    You hit the nail on the head. There is a perceptual problem today because of a lot of things that weren't up to snuff earlier in the program. I am puzzled though by concern over academia's acceptance of UOP. The school is accredited for the first step. I've not seen anything here, nor heard of any university saying, "XYZ University will not accept any UOP graduates," so their reputation seems to be okay at that level. Further, within this forum I'm not aware of any HR departments which will not accept UOP degrees, the AED story relayed here being the sole exception I've "heard" of.

    Essentially, what you have, reputationwise, are individual faculty at other universitites who are grousing, including a couple of former UOP faculty here. Right?

    Did I miss something? Because if I have not, the question is, "what is the problem?" And the apparent answer is, "none."

    On the other hand, there definitely are some quality control issues in the enrollment and advisor areas. Here the problem is that these are generally new people coming into the UOP staff. Many of them do not cut it and are replaced. Others get promoted. Others graduate and leave. Even though I teach, I am concerned about this because students in my classes complain and some are soured on their experience by this initial set of contacts. I have interceeded on their behalfs.

    Like most employees anywhere, those with "bad" experiences from the administrative onset, do not ever get beyond that and it reflects on everything else they experience during their stay. I have seen this in companies on both sides of the border where I consult. I have seen in terms of my education, or rather, reflected in the education of others I have known when I was a a student.

    Yes, UOP does have problems, including some which have affected me directly. But as I said in a post above, I can compare what I am doing here more than favorably with what I did at Chapman University and that is a school which our "UOP dissenting faculty" here do not have a problem with.


  11. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    In terms of acceptance of UofP degrees, technically, schools have no reason to reject you if you have a degree from there. But, if you're applying to schools like Stanford, they can turn their noses up at you. I've actually asked them a question via email about this. I asked their MBA dept if they would accept my degree from UofP (I had to say this even though I don't actually have one, just to ask the question) and the woman in charge said that they do not like accepting candidates from online schools. I realize she has a narrow perception of what UofP offers for they do have ground schools but it's this type of perception that would "kill" it for you if you're trying to gain admission to schools.

    I've found that schools are oftentimes far behind in being compliant with rules or regulations. For example, as I've said in my earlier posting, the Dept of Justice has already stated that there is not difference in quality of nationally vs regionally accredited schools and that RA schools should accept NA school credits or their degrees. However, because RA schools have traditionally not accepted anyone except those from RA schools, they continue with this trend instead of changing. The DOJ cannot "force" these schools to change because they have the freedom to implement their own rules of acceptance of a student.

    I've asked many people as to why they do not want to go to UofP and often times, the reply is, "I don't want a degree from them for it wouldn't look good on me". This perception, wrong or right, has much to do with UofP's reputation at large. I think that it has to do with UofP's commercialization of its services. You see ads all over the TV, the Web and on radio. Somehow, people's perception is that good schools don't advertise. The ads on the radio or TV for example, makes it sound like it's very easy to zip through UofP and come out with a degree. Hence, people don't want to go there because of this.

    Then there's also the fact that UofP is a profit making enterprise. People for whatever reason can't seem to accept this too well. They seem to think that schools need to be "not for profit". A school that is listed on the Nasdaq must not be good, is their perception. Yet of course if it were a regular company that is listed on the Nasdaq and doing well, people would be talking non stop about it. So go figure.

    I think that UofP does need to address its reputation issues. Wrong or right. Narrow minded perceptions or not. They are perceptions that not one or two but a lot of people have and it goes against those who have spent their dollars and time at the school. It's very heartbreaking for a student to be treated as if his/her degree is worthless even if it's not.

  12. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Jim - UoP does have a perception problem that isn't easily fixed. Reputations are earned over years and years. Bad reputations take even more time.

    One thing that UoP could do is obtain professional accreditation for their business programs. ACBSP or IACBE might be possible while AACSB would be nearly impossible. However, in order to be accredited UoP will be forced to take action like - employing more full-time faculty, increasing the % of faculty that are doctorally qualified, implement outcome assessments, etc. These would hit UoP's bottom line.

    Perhaps some readers of this NG will say that professional accreditation in business isn't important. But if you believe that the folks at AACSB, ACBSP and IACBE know anything about business education - then accreditation is valuable. I've seen the impact these organizations have on the school where I teach. You can bet that our programs wouldn't be as good as they are if we didn't have "visitors" from these accreditors checking us out.

    Thanks - Andy

    Andy Borchers, DBA
    NSU (1996)
  13. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The number one negative thing I've heard about UoP (except for their pricey tuition) is that their degrees aren't well accepted in academia. However, that seems to be more anecdotal than based on hard evidence.

    In any case, I really don't think that would make a difference to the UoP target audience, which seems to be working professionals looking to add to their resume. In that case, a UoP degree would be fine. We've seem how many HR departments have accepted shady degrees and even outright frauds like Columbia State, no reason why they would reject a legitimate RA degree.

  14. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    I thought a bad rep was relatively easy to get, not harder. Bad reps take much longer to cure and UoP does have some work to do in administrative areas.

    BTW, I'm willing to bet you that in the next 5-10 years a professor with an extensive professional background with the MBA will be far more accepted in general academia than it is today. Even right there where you teach, Andy.

    Wanna put a dinner up on that? It will take the static, at rest, near brain dead institutions about that much longer to wake up and smell the coffee. Once the smell penetrates their cobwebbed brains, they'll be rushing to business for MBA's with extensive experience and us DBAs and Ph.Ds., will lose some of our status. Can you handle that, Andy? Might make some of us get up out of our rocking chairs and unwrap our academic robes, if we don't die from collective heart attacks first and face the fact that a lot of full time tenured faculty are in a rut and need to be retrained.

    BTW, the worst ever professors I had in all three of my degrees where those with doctorates. Those with professional credentials were far, far better on the whole. I only ran into one of the latter who could not teach effectively, nor run a business it seems as he suceeded in bankrupting three that I know of.

    Keep holding onto that "old school" paradigm of full-time faculty. All the above mentioned professors were fully tenured, full-time. If you want to guarantee "production," get rid of tenure, get rid of full time, and you'll lose a bunch of deadwood most universitites are laden with. Get some young blood and offer no tenure. They will have to produce to stay on board. That's the beauty of UoP, no fulltime, tenured deadwood to deal with.

    As far as AACSB and the ilk, they have a vested interest in keeping everyone baffled and bullpuckeyed with the benefits of accreditation. Follow the money. Ask any of your fellow business school oldtimers and they will tell you that AACSB is accrediting schools they would not have entertained an application from several years ago.

    BTW, unless I am really off base, UoP does have an outcomes accessment. Something else which the terminally ignorant former grousing faculty from UoP haven't gotten through the fog which serves for their brain.

    Come to think of it, every critism by former UoP faculty in this forum has been based on old information. Makes me wonder if any of them have actually taught for UoP since Jesus was in knickers.


  15. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    I am inclined to agree with you that I think the trend is moving towards professionals teaching rather than tenured academics teaching. In general, I think UofP has some really good ideas. It seems to me to be an institution that has ideas that are advanced for the time. As said, I think that if UofP could ensure that there is quality control going on, in time, UofP would no doubt be a leader that would be respected.

  16. JimLane

    JimLane New Member


    You've nailed down the difference between UoP's student and those at most traditional universities. Ours seem to be more interested in hearing faculty, at least in the business arena, who have street smarts and can give them real world information that is current, really current.

    Before most anyone here heard about the hidden internet, we were showing student's how to access it and utilize it. In most other business schools I am familiar with, they are stuck in textbooks which are two years plus behind the times. And academic faculty without extensive real world experience are just plain ignorant of what is going on. A lot of them remind me of George Bush, Sr., who was baffled by a simple bar code scanner in a grocery store while he was President.


  17. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Very interesting discussion up to now, but still remains the question: is there not one single person who can provide me with some text excerpts from the UoP-MBA curriculum? (I´d just want to know what standard the coursework has, how the exams are taking place, etc.)

    Or maybe anybody knows where to get into contact with actual or former UoP-students...


    Beste Greetings,

  18. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    UofP does not have any exams as part of its course of study. They have study groups. You could get a good listing of the content of their classes from their web site.

  19. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Hi Speedoflight.

    Sorry, maybe the wrong word - I meant "exams" also in the way of papers, assignments, ect.

    The syllabusses from the web-site just provide me with headlines and outlines, but not with "real content" which can tell me more about the standard / niveau of the classes, but thanks anyway.

  20. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    UofP is also one of the first universities that has openly accepted bachelor's degrees that are nationally accredited as opposed to many conventional old-time colleges where they still discriminate against anything but RA degrees. I remember asking the UofP counselor about this and he said it was because UofP wanted to be in compliant with the Dept of Justice's findings that nationally accredited schools are not at all below par that of RA schools. It was very interesting to see this and he felt that in time, most of the conventional schools would be forced to change their policies. I think so too.

    I do think that UofP is a great source for many working professionals who want to return to school or may have plans to pursue their bachelor's degrees.

    So again as said, the thing that UofP needs to be careful about is its reputation. I think if it manages this part well, it's obvious that UofP will be one of the leaders in the academic world.


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