Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by speedoflight, Feb 9, 2001.
What next, a contest to see who can pee the farthest??
Ok Jim - Uncle! I haven't been closely associated with UoP since late in 1998 - two and half "long" years ago. I had some bad experiences way back then, and the school may have cleared up some of the problems I saw.
So UoP may well have a place in the academic world. But I have to wonder where? Indeed, I remain somewhat suspicious of UoP. Why?
What you've told us in your posts is most interesting. Since you are currently employed by UoP, this surely isn't "out of date" information.
1. UoP had a class that until just recently crossed your ethical boundaries to the point you wouldn't teach it. Fortunately, UoP corrected this after you and peers objected.
2. You've admitted that UoP has administrative problems - these have been confirmed in numerous posts in this NG and a.e.d. from students who have had problems with financial aid, admissions and other areas. Sure - lots of schools have these problems, but the posts on UoP have been pretty strongly worded. Perhaps this is a function of UoP's size.
3. You lament UoP's use of six week terms. You're not alone. There are some large firms in my hometown (Detroit) that refuse to give tuition reimbursement for "accelerated" courses that are less than 8 weeks long.
In addition, since I've left UoP I've noticed the following pieces of public information:
1. UoP and its parent Apollo Group have gone through a number of government investigations and have paid fines. In 2000 UoP paid a $6 million fine to the US DOE after an unfavorable audit. More recently (in the past couple of months) IPD, a sister subsidiary of Apollo Group, was flagged "In its audit report, the Office of Inspector General asserts that the contract institution violated the statutory prohibition on the use of incentive payments for recruiting by paying IPD a percentage of tuition revenue." (Reuters). Apparently, IPD has reserved $1.5 million for fines on this round.
2. UoP is not accredited by any of the three business accreditors (AACSB, IACBE and ACBSP), despite the fact that business programs are the mainstay of the school. While not the only measures of quality - some 500 U.S. business school programs (including all of the top rated business schools on any list you care to mention) are accredited by one or more of these groups.
3. A number of posters on this NG and a.e.d. have commented on how UoP is priced relative to the value it provides.
Finally, as for your comment on seeking input from industry - this is standard practice everywhere I've ever taught. It is a good thing that UoP does this - but so do most business schools that I've ever seen.
So - I've said about all I have to say. I genuinely wish you well in work at UoP. However, I personally remain skeptical of UoP. I encourage folks considering undergraduate and graduate education to look elsewhere. Further, I am unwilling to teach for UoP on ethical grounds.
Regards - Andy
Andy Borchers, DBA
Just to bring to your attention, out of the 3 accreditors you've listed, only AACSB and ACBSP are recognized by CHEA and the DOE.
Keep in mind that *professional* accreditation is entirely different from, for lack of a better term, *academic* accreditation.
UoP is, of course, a regionally accredited school, with North Central Association (which, counterintuitively, handles AZ) having oversight responsibilities.
UoP business programs are accredited by professional groups that oversee business programs, in much the same way that the American Psychological Association accredits doctoral-level (and, I think, masters-level) psychology programs.
A number of employers (and, I think, some states) will not (respectively) employ or license a psychologist who has graduated from a non-APA accredited psych program, even when the program is regionally accredited.
Likewise, some employers want to see appropriate professional accreditation for MBA programs.
Just trying to clear up a possibly confusing issue in the incredibly confusing accreditation arena, about which I am often confused.
I meant to say that out of the 3 professional accreditation agencies mentioned, IACBE is the one that isn't recognized by CHEA and the DOE. Any accreditation that isn't recognized by CHEA and the DOE is basically private accreditation.
As a former UOP instructor, I can say I got tired of the cookie-cutter approach to subjects and the rampant grade inflation. I would love to see the average GPA for undergrads and graduate students. I can't tell you (because I can't recall the huge number) of students who told me that I was the only thing that prevented them from getting a 4.0 average. I heard that over and over again. And you often just can't adequately cover a subject in five (undergrad) or six (grad) weeks time. As an instructor, you just have to cut too many corners.
It is simply a sales organization. Their so-called "advisors" are salespeople who will do and say anything to get people to sign up for classes. I know because I often had to deal with students who were told what I as an instructor would or wouldn't do academically. These salesmen would often give students permission, for instance, to turn papers in late!
There is also a culture of obedience around there that is quite chilling. Even a hint of questioning a policy will be met with a cut-back in teaching contract offers or even worse, a flat-out blackball. They call it "having a bad attitude." If you think there is anything like academic freedom for faculty at UOP, you will be open for a rude surprise.
Why do students put up with it? As long as they get their "A's" and their employer is paying for it, no problem! Employers may look at the grades, then they pay the money. Employers have to take a much closer look at what they are paying for.
So, I told them to stuff it. As a kid, I enjoyed McDonald's. As an adult professional, I don't much go there anymore. Same is true for the McDonald's Happy Meal of education, UOP. I have some Apollo stock that is going up in value that I will soon sell. So the best thing I can say about my experiences with them is it paid for a new Toyota Corolla and I now know what I won't put up with.
Right, I was a business professor at Harvard and yada, yada, yada. Anonymous professor in non-existant classes. At least Andy has the courage to use a real name. That puts him a big leg up on you in credibility.
I too have heard about the 4.0 rant and had it done to me. I also had it done at Chapman and elsewhere where I have taught.
BTW, cookie cutter? Yes, it is true that you do not get to design your class from the ground up as you can in traditional classes. Why? Because to reach the learning objectives (you do remember those, do you not?) in the time alloted, a consistent approach has to be used and that is what the course curriculum in all about.
As I mentioned in one of the threads, the course curriculum is akin to a musical score. How the teacher chooses to implement it is akin to the way a conductor decides to interpret the score. What has to be met are the teaching goals.
This seems to be more about your need for autonomy rather than the actual content.
My experience teaching for Webster University was the same. I was an adjunct assistant professor in their MBA program, teaching Inferential Statistics. Anyway, "A"'s were very much expected, and "B"'s only if the student was really horrible.
I tried to fail a student who plagerized a term paper (one that would have failed on its own merits, BTW). Apparently, he was doing the degree program with some ADA-style accomodations for his dyslexia (i.e. take home exams only). Anyway, when I submitted the grade (after he failed an oral defense of the paper arranged due to his plagerizing), he contacted the ADA representative on the home campus. The school didn't want to fight the guy (even though his cheating had nothing to do with his disability). I'd had enough, so I gave him a "C" and resigned.
The UofP hardly has the market on cookie-cutter "4.0" programs. Higher education is a supply-and-demand market like any other.
Everywhere I go
I get slandered, libeled
I hear words I never heard in the Bible
And I'm one step ahead of the shoe shine
Two steps away from the county line
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied
Paul Simon, 1969
"Trying to Keep the Customer Satisfied"
Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Simon and Garfunkel
Look, I am anonomous because of all the nuts out there. Secondly, I am an experienced college instructor whose first job was NOT teaching at UOP. I could say there is a bit of inflation everywhere but NOT as much as I've seen at UOP. It is flat out in your face there. It is because of the sales nature of the place. Students expect their grade in five or six weeks. Their grade better be an "A." Because of the blatant sales nature of the place, faculty were merely seen and treated as salesmen, "Where is my grade? I ordered an "A" and you gave me a "B" and it took you longer than five minutes. I can get an "A" at McDonald's in under a minute!" From the top, the pressure is intense to "please the customer." Give 'em what they want. How does Apollo do it? Keep salaries as low as you can, in part.
Hey, believe what you want to believe. I'm telling you I was there. I've seen it from the inside.
Keep in mind over the last month or so everybody is suspect on this board.
Academics. They argue over the pettiest of things because the stakes are so low.
You will find that most of the active posters on this board fully disclose their identities. If you chose not to do so, fine. But don't rely upon your own background and experiences as validation for your viewpoints. They don't exist in anonymity. You can't say "I've done such and such" and not say who you are. Well, you can do it, but don't expect anyone to buy it. In fact, expect people to challenge it.
It takes (at least) two to argue.
Fine. I'm Tony BroadShoulders of Philadelphia. Happy? Or, I'm Peggy Twoshoes of Dallas. How about Mustapha el-Mirage of Qatar? Take your pick.
Based on the activities here the last month or so EVERYBODY is under suspicion. EVERYTHING is suspect.
Take it for what it is worth. Or is this just a private club of "correct thinkers" like the nut cases on AED claim?
I just calls 'em as I see 'em.
~Anonomous, and Proud of It
The term "New Member" under your login identity takes new meaning.
Many of us know each other face-to-face. Others have identities that are readily identifiable. Others remain anonymous. You chose to remain anonymous. Fine. But your "experiences" become useless as points of reference. If you're covering up your identity, you might be covering up your experiences as well.
Levicoff really drives a truck. Bear really lives in El Cerrito. Nixon really did graduate from National. And I'm really the King of Siam. See how simple it is?
Be as anonymous as you want. Just don't expect your "experiences" to be taken seriously. They could be as fictional as your tag.
Rich Douglas (no, really )
First of all, it's spelled ANONYMOUS. And to reinforce what Rich said, you can remain ANONYMOUS if you choose to. Just don't expect to be taken seriously.
Not all at in defense of UoP, frankly, from what I've seen in news magazines like 20/20, Dateline and etc. that even schools like Harvard are now guilty of grade inflation and "A"s all around for any student regardless of his or her academic quality/excellence.
Grade inflation is a serious problem everywhere. It is most troubling in institutions that have low admision standards. I'm less troubled by Harvard's problems since they are pretty selective on who they take.
Thanks - Andy
Andy Borchers, DBA
The operational words are "out there." Not "in here." Well, maybe not. We get a bit spirited, get on each other's cases, get censured for playing badly (most rtecently me, so that blows off anyone's pc angle) and so on.
Did you bother to do a good review of all the topics, or just dive in and shoot off your mouth? Your post says the latter.
My first teaching job was not UoP, either. So what?
Anon's (yours?) post above says he quit UoP because of all these problems he was having with the university, but only after paying off a new Toyota. See anything in that?
Was he such a dunderhead it took that long for him to realize his feelings (slow learner?).
Or are his ethical values so low, he would violate them for a year or so just to make enough money to buy a new car?
That's one of the reasons I have a problem with his ilk. No ethics until he has what he wanted, then plenty of time to develop them afterwards.
Were you really in tune with UoP you would not have a problem with the student's expectation of having their grade in 5-6 weeks (actually is is seven days after class ends, which makes me suspicious of your being a UoP Facilitator).
Them's the rules, clown: turn in your grades within ONE WEEK of the class ending date. The student has every right to expect you to do that. You are required to do it. And now you have a problem with that? You have a problem with them expecting their grades within five or six weeks? Right. So does admin.
Nowdays, they get their grades even quicker. If you remember correctly, you had one week to submit a grade list to admin from class ending date, they then posted it. At the same time you filled out grade cards and UoP sent them out. So, the student did not see their grades for approximately 10 days following class. Now, we do it online and the student can see them as fast as we post them. Seven days max, after the class ends. That's the norm.
Grade inflation is a problem, period. And just because one is at Harvard does not mean one is all brains. There are many reasons as to why people get admitted to "ivy league" schools and sometimes being smart isn't necessary one of them. Take George W Bush as the perfect example.
From what I saw on Harvard on the news show, it seems like their idea on the easy "A"s is more of an angle so that students don't get discouraged by their scores. I guess there is some sort of movement toward this change. But there are still some schools out there that do not believe in easy grades.
The way I heard this play was that Harvard was rationalizing their high grades by copping that their students came from the top couple of percent of students and at any other university theu would get A's so why not at Harvard.
You are right about some dunderheads getting in and getting through. I've had to deal with some professionally and their rationale for why their word should be accepted was, "I went to Ha-ha-havard."
While teaching in Guadalajara, I witnessed tehir recruiting up close and personal. They bypassed several very, very bright students for others. The difference, in this case, was that the bright ones bypassed were on our campus due to scholarships and did not come from money families. Those "lesser" students came from heavy duty money.
It's about getting endowments down the line. Take a hint of advice from Harvard business school itself that says, "follow the money." (Advice given in their law school also).
There is so much mush in the last post I don't know where to start. First off, sometimes you have to experience something to know it isn't quite right. Secondly, I never had a problem turning in grades quickly. I don't know where that came from. I always turned in grades well within a week. As for questioning my integrity, I have no idea who or what you are, so who cares. What the hell do you want me to do? Give back the money? Is that what you would do? For me, my time was well worth it if by taking the 10% stock deduction it ended up paying for a car.
My advice to anybody is experience them up front and personal. See if you like it; if it meets your needs. Can you live within their absolutely no deviance from the party line mentality? If your answer is yes, hey great.
I know all of you academics love these little pissing contests, so that is why I decided to respond.
Go ahead and defend UOP all you want, but the single sole criteria on admission and graduation as far as I could ever tell was da money. Gets em in, gets em out, NEXT! Oh, get your employer to pay the bill.
~Anonomous (no "Y" because I like it that way)
Oh, thank you. You nit-wits are as closed-minded as those other nut case defenders of degree mills. There is something about academics, much like the Clintonites... make me want to shower after dealing with 'em.
So, this is a closed club of chums. GREAT! Why is this an open forum? Is this something for you to beat your chests and sing how smart and great you are?
My suggestion is that you move this to a closed forum by invitation only so only those you know face-to-face can participate. Of course, that will limit an audience that can ohhh and ahhh over any pontifications.
Of course, merely mentioning this makes me a prime target for your "stealth" operations here.
Where are the equally obnoxious "others" who shut down AED? Me thinks these guys make yea look good.
~Anonomous (because I like it that waY)
Separate names with a comma.