University of the Cumberlands Online PhD in Information Technology

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Marcus Aurelius, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    You'll see.
    tpg and chrisjm18 like this.
  2. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    I have no personal knowledge of this program and I hate to get into semantics, but I think it's important here. "Can be completed in 8 months or less" doesn't mean "will be" or "should be" or "most students do complete". Just because it can be completed in 8 months doesn't mean that it is the norm. Can you do it? Probably. Will you do it? Probably not.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Used car salesman - "This car could win the Indianapolis 500." (if all the other drivers stopped and took turns helping you to push it across the finish line)
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "I think the King should finish his last race!"

    I tear up every time.
  5. graduate

    graduate Member

    I'm still with cumberlands, the only worrying thing for me is the progressively deteriorating reputation. Since last year this is my 3rd project as a consultant in third different state, yet i found a student in each of those companies (even in different time zones).
    The interesting common factor with all three of them were, they all had one masters already from USA and they all are doing 2nd masters to keep working on OPT/CPT while awaiting for H1 lottery every year.
    I wonder if the university can somehow fix that OPT issue (may be for second masters candidates?) it may fix the other issues including quality intake and repute. The only positive i see is that their prayers may shower His blessing, (but to whom I have no idea)
  6. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    For what it’s worth . . .

    When I did my Ph.D. at Union, the minimum enrollment time was two years. Even so, the average enrollment time was 42 months. (Union, after their OBR scandal, which occurred about ten years after I graduated, has since increased their minimum enrollment to three years.)

    When I did my entry colloquium, there were ten of us who matriculated at the same time – a perfect size for a colloquium. Eight of us were majoring in psychology (the only program at the time was a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, designed to comport to average licensure criteria), and two of us were in that other popular major, “other than psychology.” (It was a running joke.)

    I majored in religion and law, and the other guy majored in accounting – the history of accounting, of all things. (His dissertation was a modern translation of the works of Luca Pacioli, the 15th century “father of accounting.” He would ultimately get his dissertation published, become the mayor of a fairly large town in Ohio, and ultimately move to Switzerland. But I digress...)

    Anyway, two of us (out of the ten that attended that colloquium) actually did finish in the minimum two years. One learned took roughly seven years to graduate, but he tended to change his major on occasion. But the majority of our group (today we could use the term cohort) took the average of 42 months to graduate.

    So, can it be done? Absolutely. But, as I learned back at TESC, the most important thing to know is how to work the system, and that is an art form in itself. I was lucky because my M.A. alma mater, Vermont College (then part of Norwich University), used a program model similar to Union, and I wrote the draft of my doctoral learning plan when I wrote my master’s learning plan. Therefore, there was a natural flow from my M.A. studies to my Ph.D. studies.

    I actually thought very highly of my “co-conspirators” in my entering group at Union – they were all top notch. At the time, Union’s rule was that you had to wait five years before you could be nominated as an adjunct on someone’s doctoral committee and, sure enough, five years after I graduated I became an adjunct for a few Ph.D. learners. This was still a few years before Union’s OBR scandal, but I was disappointed to find that the caliber of Union learners had already begun to go down the proverbial crapper. And I began to perceive that the phenomenon was not unique to Union, and that higher education on the whole was starting on a slippery slope. (Keep in mind that when I graduated, online programs did not even exist at that point. Back in those days, we kept physical libraries in business, as well as the manufacturers of 3x5 cards.)

    As for a dissertation in eight months, can you do that as well? Hell, yes. I spread out the research phase of my dissertation over the two years I was enrolled, and did the actual writing of it over a 60-day period. And that included a 30-day break from it to write Christian Counseling and the Law, for which I held a contract with Moody Press. In other words, my actual writing time for the dissertation was a whopping 30 days. (And, for those who are curious, it was 318 pages long and qualitative in nature.) But it all depends on how tight your writing skills are in the first place and, sadly, most people are lacking in that area.

    And can you do a credible Ph.D. in two years? Absolutely – I would stack my work against any traditional doctoral graduate. How did I do it? Simple – because I was brilliant. And the rest of you are just average, mediocre, lazy dumb-asses.

    Of course, we all know that I am joking when I say that. Or am I? :D
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Not joking . . . delusional maybe, but not joking.

  8. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    I will second this assessment. I gave the school more courses as I wished to give them a bit more rope. These were my experiences that led to leaving.

    1. School reputation has taken a large hit in Kentucky (let alone other places). I'm fortunate enough to have contacts that teach at UK so I had a bit of inside knowledge there.
    2. Recent news article on UC basically calls them a mill for students attempting to extend their student visas or gain citizenship. It's not as blunt as I was about it in this point, but it's there.
    3. Of my three courses, I the demographic was three American students to 20 or more folks with Indian names. Alone this isn't an issue as who cares who you're in a class with BUT
    4. Of those 20 students, many were not answering prompts with appropriate answers and the level of writing shown strongly indicated that the language barrier should prevent doctoral study.

    Obviously, I have no visibility into their grades. All I can say is that the grading criteria for these courses was very liberal. No penalty for late work, point gradient systems, tests that could be done open book where tests were done.

    Now what I will say is that I found the professors to be accessible and generally good considering we're talking about comparing them to state schools and not ivy. Writing intensity was good and they put their foot forward to indoctrinate people to a doctoral process and being mindful of their eventual dissertation very early in the program. If I had no exposure at all to other students and the work was akin to directed study I'd still be there. Similarly if the reputation of the school hadn't been sullied by the media I'd probably have a different opinion.

    Problem is that the reputation of the school is a huge consideration for a terminal degree and the quality of student interaction is poor. I do wish them well as this may simply be growing pains.
  9. snark

    snark New Member

    I think that what you were told may be technically correct, but it was very misleading. The dissertation will take a minimum of 16 months.

    ITS 736 Dissertation Seminar- 4 months
    ITS 839 Advanced Research Methods- 4 months (ITS 736 is a prerequisite)
    ITS 930 Dissertation- 4 months (736, and 839 are prerequisites)
    ITS 931 Dissertation- 4 months (736, 830, 839, and 930 are prerequisites)

    I seem to recall Dr. Brown saying that the dissertation proposal, review of literature, annotated bibliography, and three of the dissertation chapters are written during 736 and 839.
  10. mjr

    mjr New Member

    Starting on Oct 21st with the "Core" classes while they work transfer credits. Am curious how much time people spend per work on the courses to be successful (ie. pass)? In addition, any thoughts on taking 2 Core courses during the 8 week term - Is this recommended or even doable? Thanks much!
  11. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I dropped out after two courses. I was told that I could transfer up to 18 credits; none of my credits from Nova Southeastern University were transferred in the record, but I was told they should be in my record. My CISSP certification was not given any credit, as stated. The teaching quality is poor, which reading 600 pages of a textbook. The final exam was based on memorization on the word by word in the textbook, but not the context or knowledge of the materials. I am old and I can't memorize over a million words in the textbook for the final exam. If I have to pay for further education, I would love to have live sessions.
    Mr Science likes this.
  12. Mr Science

    Mr Science New Member

    Why don't you return to Nova or SMU online? Can you compare between Nova and SMU?classes quality, tuition fees, financing offer, visiting campus even online?
  13. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I planned to go back to Nova Southeastern University, but after spoken with the academic advisor. I have to start all over again because the program has change both title and curriculum.
    Nova Southeastern Unviersity's Ph.D in Cybersecurity Management. SMU only offer Doctor of Engineering in Software Engineering.
  14. snark

    snark New Member

    A bit of perspective on the PhD programs at Cumberlands- there are only 60 seats spread across four class sections for the last regular dissertation class (i.e. prior to extension) for the Spring 2020 semester. Twenty seats are allocated to PhD candidates that are enrolled in an executive program from ANY of the doctoral programs. Forty seats are allocated to online doctoral candidates from programs across the entire University. There seems to be a massive amount of attrition in the IT, Business, and Ed programs.
    ITJD likes this.
  15. Frank Smith

    Frank Smith New Member

    I started the Ph.D. in IT this fall at UC. I was rejected at Dakota State, which was a bummer (I applied really early too). I have an MS in MIS and am working in the field in a substantial way, so I'm still confused about why I was rejected. UC was a backup for me. They accepted me practically instantly, without even the interview. I wanted to complete a Ph.D. so that I can have some structure in my own personal research (I opted for a capstone course for my MS which I really regret) but I was totally unaware of this reputation you all are discussing. I guess I only have myself to blame. Anyway, the fact is that I work full-time and have a family and can't physically move and lose my income to do this, so there aren't many options for programs that meet my needs.

    Here are my thoughts from my first class in my first semester:

    I'm the only student in my cohort that has English as a first language. This is not an exaggeration. Posts are often difficult to understand and do not match the prompt. It is actually shocking to read some of the postings. I'm confused as to how many of these students can be receiving passing grades.

    The syllabus is not updated for the section. Assignments are listed that are not assigned (Wiki entries? Midterm?). There is mention of lecture videos in the syllabus, some of which are posted but not always, although they appear too short (10 min typically) to be considered lectures. Previous week’s material (including discussion board postings) is unnecessarily removed from the Blackboard site in subsequent weeks, so it is impossible to refer back.

    We have parts of the course in Blackboard that spontaneously disappear before due dates, making the assignments impossible to submit. Most weeks, the content isn't posted until Tuesday night, which crunches my schedule even further. If the syllabus was updated, I could refer to it for this part, but alas, it is not.

    The professor’s communication on the board contains misspellings and grammatical errors.

    There is no feedback on assignments or discussion board postings from the professor beyond the random “very good post”. We are left to speculate as to why we’ve missed points. This is particularly distressing for me because I need to know that I'm making progress - I want to produce good work.

    There is little collaboration beyond the very superficial responses on the discussion board. There is no alternative discussion board for random questions and thoughts, which I would definitely make use of. In general, it feels like the Blackboard system is being underutilized.

    I'll stop there, but all of this administrative overhead and headaches have turned what should have been an enjoyable and challenging course into a bunch of worrying.
  16. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    The problem with the response to the discussion that you cannot write negative; therefore, all the answers are starting with "VERY GOOD POST." Just wait until your final exam, you are required to complete by Tuesday afternoon of the eighth week. And your final exam is not accessible until Monday at midnight. It is seven weeks and two days, not eight weeks course.
  17. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Writing as I've some experience here and have spoken to the a bunch of folks over multiple attempts to get in to DSU.

    1. The programs take on a reasonable stream of students from their own Masters and Undergrad programs.
    2. The cost is ideal so it's highly competitive.
    3. At least for the cyber programs, a strong background in undergraduate computer science is absolutely required. It says "optional" on the application but given points one and two above; they don't need to take on the folks who don't have the background.
    4. I don't know about the IT program but I'm assuming it's a similar situation to the Cyber programs.

    Understood. Your reasoning to this point matches my own it's why I was willing to give it a go despite the red flags.

    They may or may not be receiving passing grades. All I can say with certainty is if they were passing, I didn't want to be associated with it. I'm heartened to hear of the massive attrition that Snark mentioned above; but it doesn't make dealing with the general coursework any easier or even pleasant.

    This I've experienced.

    I didn't experience this, at all. I did experience scenarios where the professor wasn't the person who wrote the content that was in the lecture. It seems there's some content sharing as Prof X will have taught the course and pass lecture stuff off to Prof Y. Prof Y will likely not update things.

    I agree with you on this, but unfortunately doctoral programs are notorious for self-direction, even at ground schools with good names, so I won't point a finger of scrutiny at UofC for that point. If your grades are good, good job. However, I do have an issue with points being removed with no explanation.

    I'm happy to say that this varies from course to course. While I don't think they really utilize BB well, I know that some courses have specific areas to interact with the prof at certain times.

    I'm sorry you're going through it. I sympathize.
  18. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Some of this information is disappointing to hear but it's still good that it's out there and people can learn something about the realities of these programs.
  19. KennyPowers

    KennyPowers New Member

    I can confirm all of the things ITJD and others have reported, and left the PhD IT program after four courses.

    If viewed in a vacuum, considering only the material and my interactions with professors, most things were fine. I was tired of writing weekly discussions in technical courses, as opposed to some type of deliverable. Writing my thoughts, and reading the thoughts of what other students think after they've Googled something, is a waste of time. This time would be better spent actually researching a set of topics.

    More importantly, I'm concerned that I was usually the only student without an Indian last name. I did not want 3+ years of work to be challenged due to a visa scandal. I saved and tallied up the student rosters for the four courses. In aggregate the student roster is at least 88% Indian.
  20. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I thought I was the only one left the program after several courses.

Share This Page