Will U of Arkansas buy U of Phoenix?!

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AsianStew, Feb 16, 2023.

  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Oh, I don't know how I missed this a couple of weeks ago... This might actually work out for U of Phoenix in the long run. U of Arkansas invested in their own eVersity, then purchased Grantham, now looking at U of Phoenix as another acquisition. Hmm, eVersity was 'merged' into Grantham I think, just recently too...

    Link: Report: U of Arkansas system may buy University of Phoenix (insidehighered.com)
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    If they have all this freaking money around to buy stuff - why don't they use some to lower tuition instead?
    But noooo - they'll probably saddle themselves with huge debt, financing acquisitions, then have to RAISE tuition to make payments.

    I don't foresee ANY good news for students here. But wouldn't it be nice, if I was completely wrong??? :rolleyes:
    Probably some good dough in it for bankers, though.
    sideman, Dustin and Rachel83az like this.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This one I simply do not understand. What value could Arkansas find in UoP? Their online programs are unremarkable. The main capability in UoP is their sales force, which will not help. Penetration into local markets? UoP has spent a decade withdrawing.

    I'm not saying it isn't there; the people involved know far more than I do about such things. But I don't see it.
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  4. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I think this is a better purchase than Grantham. UoP already has regional accreditation, and they have several competency-based master's programs. Even though they've lost a lot of students, they still have one of the largest student bodies beating out state flagship universities. Getting rid of the name could get rid of a lot of their problems. I've come across a lot of people who don't know that Purdue Global was Kaplan University just five years ago.

    Good thing UoP finally acknowledged that their "accept everyone" approach was a disaster.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm more worried about people not realizing "Purdue Global" isn't Purdue.
    "You can make Purdue Global out of Kaplan, but you can't take the Kaplan out of Purdue Global."

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I think it is suitable for the University of Phoenix if UofA System transforms the University of Phoenix into the University of Arkansas Global Campus. It is at least steering the students' school's bad reputation on their credentials.

    Here are some of the better sounding: University of Arizona Global Campus instead of Ashford University, Purdue University Global Campus instead of Kaplan University, University of Massachusetts Global Campus instead of Brandman University, so University of Arkansas Global Campus instead of University of Phoenix.
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  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

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  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    This is all true. But I wouldn't undervalue that ABET accreditation factor.
  9. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Why do they sound better? Because they include the names of well known universities?

    They all sound crappy with that "Global Campus" part, IMO.
    Rachel83az, SteveFoerster and Johann like this.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    They do, indeed. Could that be PARTLY because:

    (a) It's not Global?
    (b) It's not anything like a real Campus, either?
    Rachel83az and SteveFoerster like this.
  11. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Someone on the other forum noted that University of Arkansas is phasing out its self-paced courses in June.


    I guess that one program might be valuable even though you'll probably need additional work experience for a PE license since it's a technology program. For the 2021-2022 school year, they had 537 enrolled students and 87 graduates of the electronics engineering technology program. I was going to say that the CCNE accreditation is probably valuable, especially considering that 63% of Grantham's students are women, but their nursing programs are being taught out. I guess they no longer have IACBE accreditation because I don't see it on their website. That's it for programmatic accreditation.

    In comparison, University of Phoenix has ACBSP, CAHME, CCNE (renewal due 2025 with statement of serious concern), CACREP, CAEP, and CSWE accreditation.
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    It does sound betters and especially the bad reputation of University of Phoenix. https://toughnickel.com/scams-fraud/University-of-Phoenix-Fraud--Huge-Scam

  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    No, it doesn'ts. :D

    As previously agreed, they do. :D
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  14. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Remember that Grantham was purchased for $1. The plan is to acquire University of Phoenix through a separate nonprofit entity similar to what happened with Kaplan. University of Phoenix could transition to a nonprofit on its own, so it seems like the plan here is to have the school rebrand with the University of Arkansas name.

    “However, I do want to confirm that the UA System itself would not be acquiring the University of Phoenix, and no public or university funds would be involved in this potential transaction. The contemplated structure would also not include any remaining private ownership of the nonprofit entity or the University of Phoenix.”
  15. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    How's about the University of Phoenix becomes Harvard University Global Campus or Yale University Global Campus? :D
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not unless Harvard or Yale expresses an interest. How likely is that? :)
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As I understand it, the biggest hurdle involved with a not-for-profit buying a for-profit is how to pay off the owners in a way acceptable to the regional accreditor(s).
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The programs don't need to be remarkable. They just need to be more than what Arkansas currently has approved. UPhoenix has RA, of course. But they also have the approval for a large number of programs that, without verifying against Arkansas's website, they likely don't currently offer.

    Their nursing programs, with existing accreditations and relevant state approvals (where required for online programs), alone can turn Arkansas into a serious player in the online education world.

    Consider just how many people have a Phoenix degree versus how few people have an Arkansas degree. That isn't because they don't like the Razorbacks. The marketing and sales force is significant, for sure. But it also has quite a bit to do with their offerings. Nursing programs. PhD and other doctoral programs. That's a lot for Arkansas to suddenly add to their portfolio. Arkansas has been in the online ed game for years and yet, we seldom talk about them. If this were to go through then they would go from "Oh yeah, Arkansas does do online programs" to a pretty significant player in this space. People who never would have even thought to consider Arkansas will suddenly be looking at them as a viable alternative to some of the more established names out there.

    What's interesting, too, I think is that this is starting a trend that I wonder how far it will go. We saw a rise of for-profit schools and now we're seeing significant players in that field being acquired again by non-profit schools. There was a time when Phoenix tore through the market seizing market share because no other school had a particularly daring marketing strategy. I found out about TESU (then TESC) far later than would have been most useful to me. The Capellas, Colorado Techs and AIUs of the world are no longer just competing with one another. Now their competition is getting a name recognition advantage. When I signed up for CTU I did it, in part, because as tempting as Phoenix and AIU looked from their fancy pants websites the names were problematic. Phoenix was already making the wrong kind of waves even back then. And AIU just sounds like a fake school. Colorado Tech? Hey, it flies under the radar a little smoother. But if, instead of competing against Kaplan and Phoenix they are instead competing against the same marketing powerhouse but under the banners of Purdue and UArkansas? Yikes, that's going to put some pressure on the likes of CTU or Capella or Walden.

    I do wonder how far this will go. I think the real winners are the students. Just a few years ago, graduates of Everest got nothing for their effort but to see the degree they worked for get absolutely trashed in the media. Art Institutes followed a similar path. The students with the bad experience made the news and then the students who had favorable outcomes had to deal with the fallout. Meanwhile, the graduates of Ashford, which I never would have recommended to anyone while it was still Ashford, becomes Arizona seemingly overnight. All of the Phoenix woes can be washed away as they become Arkansas Global (or whatever) alumni. This, as long as we don't see any situations like the grey space many Touro grads found themselves in years ago.

    Perhaps we're seeing the downfall of the large, for-profit school as they get gobbled up by more strategically focused non-profit and state run systems. Imagine a Capella degree suddenly being rebranded as a University of Illinois degree. Maybe I'll get lucky and Virginia Tech will buy UMT? :emoji_smile:
  19. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Not everyone is out for a PE license. My company employs somewhere around 500 engineers in our New York offices. Of them, maybe 15% are licensed PEs. It's a requirement to reach certain management levels. For everyone else, you can make a fine living working as an individual contributor without a license.

    And engineering technology is an interesting field as well. Years ago, there was a very clear line between Engineers and Techs. It was often driven by education. Have a degree in engineering? You get to be an engineer. Have no degree? Maybe you started as a machinist and learned some things along the way? Welcome to being a tech. That became an associates (in engineering technology) required sort of field. That shifted to a bachelors preferred and now a bachelors required role. And you have people with degrees in engineering tech taking on engineer titles and people with degrees in engineering taking jobs as engineering techs. Pay gaps are closing in. The lines between the two can get downright hazy in some areas. Some companies still have very clear lines (often punctuated by pay). But the trend isn't following the degrees as cleanly as it is in other areas. I suspect it's because your work experience and actual skill play such a significant role in all of it.

    You CAN find work as an engineer even if your degree is in engineering technology (and vice versa) provided the degree is ABET accredited. From what I have seen and read the same is true for Masters level work. You can likely go on and get an MS or M.Eng. even with an undergrad in engineering tech. You can definitely get an MS in Engineering Management with an undergrad in engineering tech. It's a pretty valuable program. And Arkansas buying it saved them many years and many dollars versus trying to build out their own online program with the same accreditations. It's like buying a house for the land. If the land is valuable enough the house is almost a non-factor.

    As for nursing, I agree that CCNE could be valuable. I have no idea what happened with them or how that fit into the overall structure. Maybe they already had comparable programs. It just wouldn't shock me if the whole game plan was to get ABET. From my counterparts who work in higher ed I have heard that ABET is up there with AACSB in terms of accreditators who make well established schools quake in their boots when they come knocking. They have incredibly strict requirements relative to some other programmatic accreditors.
    Suss likes this.
  20. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Engineering management programs aren't hard to get into without an engineering or engineering technology degree. From the online ABET engineering programs I've glanced at, they required an ABET-accredited, undergraduate, engineering degree. There was a possibility of being admitted with a physical science or engineering technology degree, but engineering technology was thrown into the "maybe" category.

    Johns Hopkins' civil engineering program will accept any related technical degree, so ABET doesn't matter. Their electrical engineering degree, however, requires an ABET-accredited engineering degree accredited under EAC. So, engineering technology doesn't count. Engineering technology is thown into the "maybe" category along physics and other technical degrees.

    This is all in reference to Master of Engineering programs. Master of Science in Engineering programs are less strict.

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