University of Phoenix's accreditation

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

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  1. David Yamada

    David Yamada New Member

    Well, I've defended legitimate non-RA programs for limited purposes, so I may as well be consistent and defend an RA schools like UOP.

    I'm not crazy about UOP, but that's my own subjective viewpoint. It works for many people, and it's managed to get over the RA hump. The criticisms lodged against it are very fair ones, in my opinion. But many RA programs are "less than wonderful" in the eyes of some. And some might attack Harvard Business School for being too theoretical. Furthermore, certainly UOP offers more interaction and feedback than, say, Heriot-Watt, which earns high praise from many on the board. So maybe this is a matter of preferences rather than a final word on "quality."
     
  2. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Uh, no. It is always difficult to discuss "quality" because everyone has a different frame of reference... or preference. However a schools reputation is easier to deduce. I would not be surprised if soon some student or instructor from UoP contructs a thesis on this board on why their school is actually of higher "quality" than Harvard (my God, certainly UoP is more innovative and isn't innovation an important aspect of quality?). However I think we can all agree that Harvard still has a reputation for being a better school... at least this week.


     
  3. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Jim - Some feedback:

    1. As for MBA's with experience - that's a great way to get an adjunct teaching job. But for full time positions, at least at schools that bother to obtain professional accreditation, you need a doctoral qualification. RA and professional accreditors are demanding a higher percentage of doctorally qualifed folks.

    At the school where I teach - and others I'm familiar with - no one gets appointed as an Assistant Prof or above without a terminal degree (which in business is a PhD or a DBA). What I see in demand at business schools today are folks with earn doctorates AND experience. That's my background and it works quite well. As for other fields - you won't get the time of day applying for a full-time position in most of the liberal arts fields without a doctorate. Even then there are a glut of applicants.

    Yes - I'll put dinner on this. As for your unkind comments about full-time academics - why don't you cut this out? It adds nothing to the discussion and reflects poorly on you.

    The best folks I had in graduate school all had doctorates AND experience. The point is that academic and professional experience isn't an "either or" proposition.

    2. As for hiring faculty without tenure - the best PhD's coming out won't go work at schools without tenure. How do I know this? I've been actively recruiting faculty for 3 years at professional conferences. Tell a high quality candidate that you have a
    position that isn't tenure track - and he/she will turn you down quickly. Tenure isn't perfect - and schools that use it need a safety valve (post-tenure review) to make sure that deadwood doesn't accumulate. However, tenure is the norm in academic institutions.

    3. As for full-time faculty - they are essential. Who designs the curriculum? Who conducts research? Who advises students? The most recent NCA team on our campus made a big point of it. Another NCA team at another area school ripped them big time for having only full-time department heads. Adjuncts have their place - but schools have to find a balance. In some states (such as Ohio and Illinois), I'm told that state regulators set the limit at 50% of the total credit hours taught.

    4. As for outcome assessment - I'm sure UoP has it now. We thought so too - until our accreditors visited recently and demanded more work in this area. Expect to see more on this in the coming years.

    5. As for professional accreditation in business (as in AACSB, ACBSP, IACBE), it appears you are making excuses for UoP's inability to be accredited. I believe that UoP's shortcoming in this regard speak volumes about the school.

    Thanks - Andy



    ------------------
    Andy Borchers, DBA
    NSU (1996)
     
  4. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    This is patently false. UoP does have finals in some classes, not all, but some. In the business arena, you can consider the finance area for one. Individual facilitators have used them in marketing and global business areas.


    jim


     
  5. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Have you contacted UoP directly to get a sample module, or asked about their published Standards for Written Work, the Student Guide or the like?

    While I could put all this up here, I do not see why you cannot do a little leg work of your own.


    jim



     
  6. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Andy, I realize you are one of those fulltime faculty that has grown very accustomed to your academic robes and rocking chair. The problem is that the paradigm is changing and there is little you can or have done about it other than grouse.

    You keep trying to stem the tide with your traditionalist view and if that had had its way, there would be zero distance learning at all, let alone UoP's program. The expression on the streets is: lead, get out of the way or get run over. If that situation makes you uncomfortable, good, because change is full of uncertainties and uncomfort. Traditional universities are making changes despite faculty as yourself resisting the change. Your rant is a big status quo yawn, Andy, that is all. I think there will be significant changes in the mix of doctorates/professionally-qualified MBA's in the future, with less of the former required and more of the latter permitted. You think not. My "evidence" is that AACSB is accrediting schools it would not have touched 10 years ago. They are chasing the almighty dollar, as is everyone else, your rhetoric aside.

    Status quo, status quo! Do you not have anything else to say? BOOOOORING! You just cannot handle the paradigm change, Andy, and that is your personal problem. Hold on tight to that status quo, Andy, your standards will be swept aside and you along with them will be left in the dust as the future goes thunderingly past without noticing you.

    As far as my "unkind" remarks about full-time faculty, do you have a problem with the truth? Am I hitting too close to home, Andy? That situation is a fact. Whatsa matter, Andy, want to put a double standard into play? One that says you can wax poetic about the shortcomings you see in the faculty at UoP, but don't want to afford me the same courtesy vis-a-vis your tenured incompetant colleagues? What a crock! And you talk about my comments reflecting poorly on me. Ever bothered to hold your posts up to your own mirror, Andy? Doubtful.

    As far as the liberal arts field, I have not been discussing them at all. Why are you? Oh yes: status quo, status quo. Yawn. I have been addressing fields where practitioners are professionally qualified.

    What you still don't get (I actually expect that you REFUSE to get) is that the best of the Ph.D.s and MBAs go into industry. Not the classroom. Then they do some teaching on the side until they retire from industry. Tenure is of minor consequence to the best of these folks. They are not getting into the game to teach. It is an afterthought, Andy. They want to make the big bucks and you don't do that on an Assistant's pay at any univeristy -- even the high and mighty one you teach at. Most successful business people's expense account is more than you make from your teaching salary, true?

    At UoP, professional practitioners, who are also faculty, design the courses. Hell, Andy, if you've paid one bit of attention to CHE, you have seen the writings on how industry is pissed off at academia for turning out graduates who cannot do the work. Why? Course work designed by ivory-towered academacians. The couse work I have engaged in starts from the question, "what will industry be requiring when these folks graduate?" Got that little nuance, Andy, "will." We design course work designed, not for the now, but the future. I'll bet that question in not in your inventory, let alone, "what does business want?" No, I'll lay odds your course development is centered on a textbook first and foremost.

    As for your point 5, you are so far off base as to be foolish. You can web into the AACSB site and check it out for yourself. Like I posted, it cost Chapman Univeristy the ability to teach business at their satellite campuses. As far as the library requirement of the future, I think it will open up to electronic resources off the web and not solely rely on physical libraries as they do now. I have made no excuses, Andy, only stated facts, disagreeable as they are to you personally.

    How is your comfort zone, Andy? Getting a bit hot under the mortar board? Got any of your text books in e-book format yet, Andy? Or are you just going to continue to be behind the curve?


    jim



     
  7. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Jim wrote:
    Have you contacted UoP directly to get a sample module, or asked about their published Standards for Written Work, the Student Guide or the like?
    While I could put all this up here, I do not see why you cannot do a little leg work of your own.


    Actually, I did,
    twice, to be specific, in the last 3 months,
    but I did not get any anwer at all up till now... (neither e-mail nor regular post).

    Besides, what I wanted more was to get into contact to students and receive their opinions towards the classes, and no offical ADVERTSING stuff.

    Thank you for thinking others persons to be stupid, anyway.

    T
     
  8. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    Jim,

    There is some give and take here. I have met, hired, and worked with good and bad doctors in industry. Many are exceptional and a few were to hung up on being "doctor." In academia I also see some excellent professors who are leading the way in industry through their research and are also quality teachers.

    Essentially, I believe change is good and DL education has its place. DL does provide a quality education and traditionalists (I don't believe Andy is one) see it as adverse to brick & mortar especially when a large percentage of 4 year schools offer some form of online education. Nonetheless, I also do not accept your premise that full-time faculty are providing a disservice to education.

    John

    -- A Ph.D. working in industry.
     
  9. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Sorry about that, triggersoft, I missed the post where you said that you had contacted UOP twice before. My oversight. Had my attention been drawn to that earlier, I would have contacted the counselors in your area myself and gotten onto them.

    Stupid? No. Lazy? Perhaps, lacking the information you just posted.


    jim


     
  10. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

    Doesn´t mind, Jim, no big deal.

    Conteacted the Netherlands Campus today, since they ae the nearest one to me [​IMG]

    (a German newspaper article from "Die Welt", which is a real good one, just had a big article about UoP, who are by the way planning to open up a Campus in Germany next also - the bad thing is that UoP degress seem - according to that article - not be able to be recognised by the German authority (in means of nostrification/leading the degree)).

    Anyway,

    greets,

    Trigger
     
  11. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    My good doctor, what you and Andy are missing is that I do not think "all" full-time faculty are lazy and incompetant. Never said that.

    That Andy would overlook this does not surprise me. That you have, does. He is too close to the issue to see it clearly.

    I was commenting on that portion of most universities' faculties as being far worse in terms of the student than someone who has professional experience and is teaching off an MBA. No more, no less.

    So, let's see if I can put this thread to bed.

    UOP is a technology-driven university and has changed in very dramatic ways over the past two years.

    Andy, and the other former UoP "disgruntled with" teacher worked with UoP, in general, prior to these changes in what might be considered UOP's "dark ages."

    Their information about UoP policies and proceedures, classrooom hours, testing, outcomes, and a host of other issues they have waxed poetic about, is from the dark ages and has no bearing on what the university is today. Their teaching experiences, their memory of what was, is irrelevant in discussing today's UoP without qualifying their statements for historical accuracy: "when I was there. . ., the situation may have changed. . .," all that good stuff they should have learned and remembered in discussing the limitations of their doctoral research. All glaringly absent from their castigations of UoP.

    However, the facts of the matter have not prevented either from putting on public display their ignorance of the current situation. If they want to publicly dsplay their ignorance, I will oblige them by shining a light upon their irrelevance and ignorance.

    The problem for me is the others who come here seeking accurate and relevant information and because of these gentlemen's titles, their past experience, will get a distorted view of UoP because of this bias and ignornace being in play.

    Ask yourself this, good doctor: lacking the information I have put in play, what would anyone seeking information (and even the casual observers such as yourself) about UoP come away with based upon these two? Were you aware of how many hours are actually documented for the students? No, you were not, nor were they and they taught there in the dark ages. You, I strongly suspect, would have accepted that bogus information because of the credentials which accompanied the message. And so it would be for others.

    Information based upon the dark ages. Total bull puckey, and you, nor the information seeker, would have been any wiser had not I put my voice into this from the faculty perspective.

    Are you any clearer on the matter at hand?


    jim


     
  12. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Hmmmm, I forgot to mention that UoP would be operating off shore in my rants about what changes are going on. Of course, to return to distance education, when I taught for UoP Online, my first class had students from Belize, Canada and Europe in it. Thank heaven for the asynchronous format.

    Back about a year ago,UoP was checking for faculty to go overseas and help set up these branches. I was not interested so dropped the foreign campuses from my radar.

    If I can be of help to you, please contact me.


    jim


     
  13. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    My good man Jim \:), I do not believe I refered to "all" faculty either. It is just that you are very adamant on your position that it comes across that UoP is the best thing since sliced bread. As both a current consumer and instructor in online programs there are obviously other models to consider than UoP. In addition, many traditional schools are also technology driven. For instance, Nova Southeastern was cited as having the most wired law school. Law study there is residential, not DL, and I would not put this traditional program into the dark ages category. Overall, change is happening in higher education and it is not just with the UoP. Hence, the rhetoric you pose needs to be tempered to fit a bigger picture and not just the UoP.


    John
     
  14. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Jim - Unfortunately, you don't know me or much about me. What you've said is false on a number of counts. I don't appreciate your characterizations of me personally. Can you please focus on the topic - not me personally?

    As for being in an academic rocking chair - that's false. I spent 21 years in industry while simultaneously teaching at several different traditional and on-line programs. Since going into full-time teaching in 1997, I've continued to remain closely connected with industry as a consultant.

    I don't doubt that on-line education will change higher education. I support the use of DL to augment traditional on-ground delivery and in totally on-line formats for some specialized areas for mid-career folks. I serve as a system admin on a BlackBoard system. I teach totally on-line courses for Baker and traditional on-ground courses for my full-time employer. In the later I use BlackBoard extensively to augment classes.

    Am I traditional - yes, when it comes to academic quality and rigor. I have some real concerns about academic quality with DL and the new wave of for-profit firms that push them. Frankly, I don't believe that such institutions are driven to provide academic quality - I believe they focus on profit and pushing graduates out. I fear that their focus on "easy" degrees and "open admission" may degrade higher education.

    Also, I fully believe that traditional on-ground education isn't going to die anytime soon. This last week I spent time with my 17 year old son checking out 4 traditional, residential on-ground colleges. They are doing quite well and have growing enrollment. On-line isn't a replacement for my son. He needs to move away from home and fully engage himself in academic work for four years. Yes, each of the schools has some on-line supplement to their on-ground coursework. But each requires residential living - and this is a big part of his education.

    As for mid-career folks - DL may make sense. But I don't understand why folks in large urban areas (Chicago, New York, etc.) that have so many on-ground options insist on on-line education. If one lives in Chicago and could attend the University of Chicago in a weekend program - why do a lower quality on-line program? Why not attend class and be face to face with faculty and peers? Sure - some folks that travel, are in the military or live in remote areas may need non-residential programs. But I suspect the real motivation for many on-line programs is an "easy" degree.

    As for MBA/PhD percentages - my evidence is this. Look at the % of PhD's at schools over the last 10 years. The numbers are going up. Look at AACSB, IACBE and ACBSP requirements - typically 70%. Their will certainly be a place for MBA's as adjuncts. But full-time? I think you are quite wrong.

    As for UoP - I left them in 1998. I periodically check their website and talk on occasion with their graduates and faculty. While they certainly cleaned up their act somewhat after the Department of Education investigation, they are IMHO the bottom of the academic pile. This is just my opinion. It is shared, however, by a number of people.

    As for status quo and yawning - what can I say. I have a tenure track position at a well regarded university. I'm actively working on using DL to augment and improve higher education - not to sell it out. I've published research on the topic. As for standards - I believe in them. In the long run I believe that "good money chases out bad". As traditional institutions become more flexible in delivery, I suspect that they will challenge weaker institutions.

    As for your comments on full-time faculty - they too are boring. Such wide sweeping statements mean almost nothing.

    Finally, as for my salary - it is none of your business. If you want to know what IS faculty make in general go to www.isworld.org and look up the salary survey. Average starting salaries (9 months) for assistant profs are $93k, and associates average $99k. With summers and consulting - it isn't hard to earn a lot more.

    Regards - Andy



    ------------------
    Andy Borchers, DBA
    NSU (1996)
     
  15. Lewchuk

    Lewchuk member

    Am I traditional - yes, when it comes to academic quality and rigor. I have some real concerns about academic quality with DL and the new wave of for-profit firms that push them. Frankly, I don't believe that such institutions are driven to provide academic quality - I believe they focus on profit and pushing graduates out. I fear that their focus on "easy" degrees and "open admission" may degrade higher education.

    Amen, however I think the degradation has already begun.

    As for mid-career folks - DL may make sense. But I don't understand why folks in large urban areas (Chicago, New York, etc.) that have so many on-ground options insist on on-line education. If one lives in Chicago and could attend the University of Chicago in a weekend program - why do a lower quality on-line program? Why not attend class and be face to face with faculty and peers? Sure - some folks that travel, are in the military or live in remote areas may need non-residential programs. But I suspect the real motivation for many on-line programs is an "easy" degree.

    Again, Amen. Of course there are those who require or desire a greater degree of flexibility than local part-time programs provide but the general question of why an individual would pursue an inferior, in perception and/or fact, program.

    As for UoP - I left them in 1998. I periodically check their website and talk on occasion with their graduates and faculty. While they certainly cleaned up their act somewhat after the Department of Education investigation, they are IMHO the bottom of the academic pile. This is just my opinion. It is shared, however, by a number of people.

    And Amen.

    As for status quo and yawning - what can I say. I have a tenure track position at a well regarded university. I'm actively working on using DL to augment and improve higher education - not to sell it out. I've published research on the topic. As for standards - I believe in them. In the long run I believe that "good money chases out bad".

    Not exactly true. As long as poor institutions are "accepted" due to a measure of fungibility in RA degrees, these schools are likely to flourish.
     
  16. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Jim,

    I have to agree with Andy that I believe (whether you intended to or not) your post can be read as attacking Andy instead of dealing with the topic at hand.

    Please focus your discussion and arguments on the topics and not toward the person presenting them.

    Thanks very much

    Chip
    Forum administrator
     
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Andy, I agree with much of what you said, but sometimes even living in a large urban area limits your choices. I'm interested in a Criminal Justice doctorate, but in Boston, the supposed college capital of the world, there is not one school that offers what I'm looking for. The closest school I've been able to locate is SUNY-Albany, and they don't do DL. As much as I'd love to do a traditional Ph.D., it's impossible for this mid-career adult. Why do I suddenly feel old at age 35?? [​IMG]

    Bruce
     
  18. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    To clarify: is UoP the best thing since sliced bread? Nope. Not from my perspective. I'd like to see eight-week sessions instead of the five or six-week sessions.

    Is it as bad as the detractors here have made out? Nope. A lot of changes have been made.

    Are furhter changes needed? You bet, including a longer session, in my opinion, (who was it that did the "IMHO" goodie -- there is no such thing as an humble opinion. 'Tis an oxymoron.), like internet access, proximas and smart boards in every classroom. And it is nice to have the funds available which UoP does to get this.

    Is UoP on the right track? Yes. They go to business when they are designing classes and get input. That has been an issue between the traditional universitites and business. Business has roundly criticized even the biggies for turning out grads with MBAs who don't have the tools to work; great on solving cases, great on theory, but nothing in the applied areas.

    anyway, as I tred to put it in my wrap above, I do not care for suppposedly learned faculty attacking any specific university based upon dark age information as what was done here in terms of classroom hours, outcomes accessment and the like. I do not suffer fools very well, even extremely well educated ones.

    My bachelor's was in radio-tv production and if I were commenting on the use of video cameras, I would make damned sure I qualified my information as being old and acknowledged that changes may have been made which might render my opinions obsolete instead of making ignorant pronouncements about this or that technology or lens, like I was still current with the situation.

    That is what I have been ranting about: use of old information without qualification in an attempt to put down competitors. It is not so much about defending UoP as it is to have the parties present valid information instead of using one's standing and credentials to ignorantly push bogus information on unsuspecting readers.

    I would have posed what I was saying to the larger community, but take a look at this message thread subject line. It is apparent to me that the topic is about UoP and not the general university population, therefore, I kept to the topic: UoP. I'll be happy to make an extension to a more generalized case when the subject and thread indicates that is the case. It is called staying on topic.

    In any event, I have said that I do have issues with UoP, and I do. My positions within the Univeristy are well known and are not all that popular. I refused to teach one class because part of that class violated my ethical boundaries and I forwent any income I could have made (and that includes a bonus for each section taught of this class). I put my money where my mouth is. Finally, after more than a year, UoP has seen the wisdom of what a small group of us were saying and pulled the objectionable materials from the class requirements.

    Like I said, if I hadn't stepped forward to set the information in current context, then bogus information would have been fed to everyone here without their having a clue. Like Josef Goebbels said, tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. No, I am not accusing these two of deliberately lying. But a good measure of what they did say was untrue today, regardless of its validity at the time. and uncecked, that would have eventually become the truth here.


     
  19. JimLane

    JimLane New Member

    Let me do a little editing here, Andy, to make a point and to raise some questions. BTW, I have more than 30 years in industry, taught fulltime for three years, decided to go back to consulting and teaching when possible. Do you really want to get into a credential battle too? Want to compare salaries?


    jim


     
  20. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    Jim,

    The best post I've read on your position. Your points are well taken.

    John
     

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