University of the Cumberlands Online PhD in Information Technology

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

  1. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    No. There are at least a few of us.
  2. tpg

    tpg New Member

    Did you start your dissertation? How is it going on? Is that all 4 DSRT courses 4 months each?
  3. kicksix

    kicksix New Member

    Wow, there is a lot of negativity in this thread about University of the Cumberlands and the online PhD IT program. While I can agree there are a lot of non-English native speaking students in the classes and this is a F-1 Visa friendly school, I can say I've enjoyed my experience so far. I am currently in my 9th and 10th class (I take 4 classes a semester/2 classes per 8 weeks) and have found the coursework to be more than acceptable. I also feel the quality of the online environment, where a few have previously mentioned earlier in the thread about professors not "teaching" the material, is no different than my online experience with Florida Tech (MSIT) and Auburn University(MBA). It takes time management and discipline to read and understand the course material and assignments.

    The only reason I'm writing now is to tell prospective students that Cumberlands is not all "smoke and mirrors" and you won't be throwing money into a burn pit with nothing in return except inhaling poisonous gas and suffering gruesome 3rd degree burns that cause employers to slam the door in your face with disgust in their eyes.

    The biggest problem that I used to have with this school the blatant cheating I noticed in the beginning. I mean I would see 3 different students plagiarize a response on a discussion board post and their responses were all the same. I honestly don't care what other students are doing anymore. Their discussion board posts have zero impact on my education. I am studying to be an independent researcher, not a discussion board debater. I also feel confident that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, who gives regional accreditation to Cumberlands and other schools like Duke and Georgia Tech, wouldn't turn a blind eye on a "diploma mill" that graduates PhD students with plagiarized dissertations.

    If you are looking to become a tenured professor at a Division I college, then Cumberlands probably is not your best bet (competitive industry with supply and demand). On the other hand, if you are interested in professional development and conducting research in a trending field like Cybersecurity or Digital Forensics then Cumberlands might be a good fit.

    In conclusion, I wouldn't take the advice of students who attended Cumberlands for 2-4 classes (one semester) and then dropped out, many of whom have been jumping from school to school. Just my two cents...
  4. kicksix

    kicksix New Member

    They vary, i.e., Inferential Stats (734) is 8 weeks and Dissertation Seminar(736) is 16 weeks. Some have prereqs while others do not.
  5. Darkwaters

    Darkwaters Member

    Kicksix -

    I appreciate your comments and think you made some solid points. I'm currently going through the application process the PhD in IT at Cumberlands and have been somewhat worried by the statements I've seen made on this forum. But, in the end, it's about my education more than anything else. I'm awaiting a response from their admissions office (I've been told it usually only takes a few weeks) and I'm looking at enrolling sometime early next year.

    Any recommendations?

    Something I've read is that it's best to start with your specialization classes first and take the core classes towards the end (since those are what the cumulative exam cover).

    How does the advising portion operate with the University? Both with class selection as well as regarding your developing your research?
  6. Frank Smith

    Frank Smith New Member

    I would qualify my earlier post in that it was a somewhat emotional response to a very poorly executed first course. My second course is more challenging, and I have found more students who have similar professional interests, so we have productive discussions (which, honestly, continues to be a massive boost for me). I still have some reservations, but it's not enough to make me drop out (yet).

    I have started to completely disregard most of the international students' discussion board postings because of these patterns (that I have also noticed). I am also depending on the accreditation folks to do their due diligence. I just wish the professors would do something, anything, to get these students to not plagiarize and write to the prompt.

    So this is what I was hoping somebody would say. I'm not on an academic track, and I'm not in a major metropolitan area or run in professional circles that require my education to be from a specific school. The outcome I need is to gain further knowledge and the ability to perform meaningful research in information technology (and healthcare). In my mind, while I'm not going to wow anybody with my school choice, I hope to wow them with my actual work, which should be (I know, I know) independent of these biases. I have no interest in becoming a professor - my work will almost certainly always be in the private sector. I have young kids, a wife with a more demanding career than me, and the only other institution that could fit my situation (as far as I am aware) turned me down flat. It's probably U of C or nothing.

    This is fair.
  7. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Hi Kicksix -

    First, I'm glad you're enjoying the program and it works for you.

    We can agree to disagree on the time management and discipline for understanding of course material. I don't have your experiences with Florida or Auburn, but I can share that given my experiences with UMass, (MBA) WGU (BSIT, MSCSIA) and Northeastern, I know grad students who could do better in regards to course prep. Every program requires a time commitment and discipline to actually execute on assignments and do them well. Needing to "understand" and perhaps more rightly find and pull together course material is another thing entirely. The variable here is that it's a doctoral program. Some degree of search is expected. It's all about what works for the individual.

    .. and the only reason I'm writing now is because of the last lines of your post. It's perfectly ok to have a positive review of UC based on your experiences. It's not ok to deny others' their opinions because they took half as many courses as you have. While on the subject, I don't believe anyone actually told anyone they'd be throwing money away or causing social blight by attending; but I get that you're supporting your narrative.

    1. Agreed on cheating. That was the first thing that annoyed me.
    2. I think we should care what other students are doing and the organizations we align ourselves with because.
    3. The heavy F-1 bias has already gotten the attention of the federal government and eventually it will affect their financial aid and accreditation status and..
    4. What happens to our alma mater ultimately affects our credibility.

    For now, they're fine. UC is not a mill and I don't think anyone here called them a mill. Another poster here mentioned that the attrition between coursework and dissertation is over 90%; so while there may not be plagiarized dissertations I can personally attest to noting plagiary elsewhere.

    I think you're generally right here. What initially attracted me to UC was the fact that it was associated with the University of Kentucky system (lots of crossover profs and research pollination) and the Blockchain and Cyber programs. However, I think I'd only stay if I was in the government sector and had to check a box for the next GS rating. You don't need a doctorate to do independent research. There are tons of people over at SANS that do widely respected research without doctorates. You need it for appointment, networking, credibility, and (sometimes) ego and personal fulfillment reasons. So if you're going to go to a school for a doctorate and it's not going to work for appointment reasons - the other reasons need to be supported. Whether they are is a personal decision.

    Personally, I would. There's always the "jumping from school to school crowd" but the more long-lived folks here are generally good souls with good intentions. If UC works for you I'm very happy for you. I just have higher standards I want to hold myself to and UC doesn't make the cut. Because of this I can't recommend them.

    Be well
  8. kicksix

    kicksix New Member

    I think it took about a week for my enrollment process. I had to submit a written and video response as to why I was interested in the program. I've read that others participated in a live video interview though. I'm not sure if that process changed by the time I applied or I applied when there was a heavy load of applicants.

    As far as the adviser, I honestly only used them the first semester. I did make the mistake of selecting an executive PhD course and had to get the adviser to drop it and register me for something else (I could have done this on my own though). I mapped out what courses I want to take so I just register on my own each semester. I would give you this advice though: set a calendar reminder for when course enrollment opens. Some of the classes (specifically the core courses) were completely full by the time I registered for Fall 2019 (I procrastinated), so I ventured into my content specialty so I could continue taking a full course load. The content specialty courses (I chose Digital Forensics) have been more rewarding in terms of discussion board posts. The majority of the students I've encountered are primary English speakers and a lot of them are working on their first MS degree; some of us created a study group in the Data Science & Big Data Analytics course on using the R programming language that's required for two of the assignments.

    I'll probably reach out to the adviser again before I'm ready to start the Professional Research phase of the program.
  9. kicksix

    kicksix New Member

    I agree with your concern here. I have noticed, in the last few courses, some professors are stating something to the effect of "Some of you are not even remotely close to answering the question and some have already been caught plagiarizing. You will receive a zero for the assignment if caught, this behavior is being reported to administration, and may result in your removal from the class and/or program" in the weekly messages. It would be nice to know how UofC is responding to these reported incidents though.
  10. kicksix

    kicksix New Member

    Fair enough and I'm sorry to hear you didn't have a good experience with UofC and it's not the right program for you. I said what I said because there are always two sides of a coin. If someone is factoring reviews by others in their decision to enroll at UofC they should hear from current students as well. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
    Darkwaters likes this.
  11. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Thank you Kicksix. Be well and best fortune to you through the rest of the program.

    For relevance my withdrawal date was October 9th. So as far as recency goes, it's as recent as it gets without being current.
  12. Tolu19

    Tolu19 New Member

  13. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I think it's customary for most institutions of higher education to increase their tuition on an annual basis.
  14. KennyPowers

    KennyPowers New Member

    The doctorate has been in Information Systems (not IT) for as long as I can remember. They recently transitioned the program from a DSc to a PhD.
  15. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    DSU recently changed the D.Sc to Ph.D and retooled their cyber security doctorates into cyber ops and cyber defense options. As Kenny has noted already, they've always been an IS degree. As to tuition, costs are increasing everywhere. We can be glad they're not the University of Chicago which is planning to go over 100k per year this coming year.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  17. Tolu19

    Tolu19 New Member

    465.80 x 88 is 40990.4USD. In my own opinion, that is getting into For-Profit territory. If I am remembering properly, it was less than 350USD per credit previously.
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    As an aside, it's a myth that for-profits are always expensive, although the ones that do the most marketing tend to be.
  19. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Not going to comment on opinion, but I do want to point out that undergraduate tuition is still around 350 per credit online if you live in state. It's the out-of-state tuition that's been raised.

    Graduate tuition is around 460 with out of state around 525. Slightly more than UofC were I to pull the topic back to center.

    Makes sense considering market trends and the fact that DSU is really focused on delivering top-flight education to their region.
  20. Mansah Musa

    Mansah Musa New Member

    It depends on the time you have, organizational skills, and partly the brainpower. I put in 8-10 hours daily for my studies, and I have cleared 30 credits so far, taking two classes per semester (8 weeks) without a break. I started in March 2019 or 8 months ago. I'm planning on taking three classes Jan 2020 then I will sit back and plan how to gobble the 16-week courses! My Certs, BS, and MS, are all recent and in the IT/Cybersecurity field, so IT material and courses are more like repetitive of what I already know. There is only one class {ITS 836} that gave me a headache because I'm not versed in the R programming language. If you are brainy and have time, you can take three classes per semester easily and get all A's as I have done with just two. My regret is I should have started taking three courses a semester on day one, and I would be in the dissertation phase now. I would say time, motivation/focus, and money is the hindrance, but if you have those in order, this high-quality Ph.D. is attainable in a short time. One thing I have learned along the way is NEVER to focus on mediocre students, faculty, or negative opinions of unfocused folks on the internet. Do it for you in an honest way, and you will finish before you know it.
    wingshot and cronus like this.

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