Inside Scoop: University of Phoenix reacts to critical NYT article

As an occasional instructor for the University of Phoenix Online and as the somewhat inadvertent host of two very busy blog entries about the experiences of being a student with UOP (see University of Phoenix Reinvents the Week. Again. on this blog and the related article on my IT Toolbox blog — the hundreds of comments are what’s different, obviously) I’m always interested in how the for-profit educational company is doing.
A few days ago the old gray lady herself, the New York Times (NYSE:NYT), published an article very critical of the University’s program entitled Troubles Grow for a University Built on Profits [sub required], in which it has lots of quotable passages, including:
…many students say they have had infuriating experiences at the university before dropping out, contributing to the poor [only 16%] graduation rate.
Through a circuitous path, I have received from a Phoenix employee a copy of an internal memo from Terri Bishop, Senior VP of Public Affairs & CCO, Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL) and reproduce it here. It’s a telling and insightful glimpse into how the company works…

First part is the actual cover note from Mr. Bishop:

“On Sunday, an article appeared in the New York Times which was strongly biased against the University and contained many inaccuracies. A story like this will no doubt raise questions from our students and may be reprinted in various locations where we have campuses. I have therefore attached our response to the story in two ways: (1) A “fact and fiction” response with direct quotes from the article and our direct responses; (2) an opinion piece regarding the clash of cultures between University of Phoenix and traditional higher education which provides some context for the larger issues.
“We will vigorously defend these attacks on behalf of our students, staff and alumni.”

In addition, employees received two attachments, fact & fiction in nyt article.doc and Clash of Cultures 2-11-07.doc. The former appears to be a copy of a letter written to the New York Times in response to the article, and I reproduce it here, including the blue and black text as it appears in the original Word document:

University of Phoenix response to New York Times Article by Sam Dillon
Fact versus Fiction
The following response is to an article that appeared in the New York Times, on Sunday, February 12, 2007, titled, “Troubles Grow for a University Built on Profits” This article contained multiple factual errors and serious misrepresentations and are symptomatic of a prevailing bias against institutions of higher education that are not publicly operated non-profits. We invite you to share this response with those who have questions about the article.
Sam Dillon’s Fiction: “The University of Phoenix became the nation’s largest private university by delivering high profits to investors and a solid, albeit low-overhead, education.”
“Its fortunes are closely watched because it is the giant of for-profit postsecondary education; it received $1.8 billion in federal student aid in 2004-5… “Wall Street has put them under inordinate pressure to keep up the profits, and my take on it is that they succumbed to that,”
FACT: The University of Phoenix was well on its way to becoming the nation’s largest private university well before its parent company, the Apollo Group went public. Universities don’t become large because of “low overhead” or “high profits” but rather because of demand for quality academic programs. University of Phoenix is one of the very few institutions of higher learning – public or private – completely devoted to providing access to higher education for working students. It is commonly recognized, even among traditional academics, for its innovative teaching/learning model.
University of Phoenix is the largest institution of higher learning in the U.S. so it is not surprising that its students are the recipients of federal student financial aid, but to speculate that profits trump academic quality is myth, born out of elitist concepts of higher education.
Sam Dillon’s Fiction: “… its reputation is fraying as prominent educators, students and some of its own former administrators say the relentless pressure for higher profits, at a university that gets more federal student financial aid than any other, has eroded academic quality.”
“…Although Phoenix is regionally accredited, it lacks approval from the most prestigious accrediting agency for business schools, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.” (AACSB)
FACT: The author’s claim that the pressure for profits has eroded academic quality is out of touch with reality. University of Phoenix is easily the most examined university in American higher education. Since its regional accreditation was awarded in 1978, the University has participated in over 30 accreditation visits, 35 evaluations by state education agencies and 10 program reviews by the U.S. Department of Education. And, despite frequent bias against the for-profit education sector among many reviewers from the traditional academic sector, the University has repeatedly met or exceeded the requirements of this astonishing number and variety of reviews. It is currently in good standing academically with all of its accrediting bodies as well as among the state boards of higher education in the states where it has campus locations.
Regional accreditation, not programmatic accreditation (AACSB) remains the gold standard of accreditation. Historically speaking, the regional accrediting agencies started as leagues of traditional colleges and universities in specific regions of the country and it is recognized among colleges and universities as the critical institutional peer review benchmark in higher education. But accreditation is not the only benchmark of quality. University of Phoenix has long been noted as having one of the most comprehensive and leading-edge academic institutional assessment systems in the U.S. which enables extensive analysis into the most detailed reaches of its operation for both internal decision-making and external scrutiny. The University has won many awards for its academic programs and assessment systems. The following is a partial list of those awards and recognitions:

  • American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC): Best Practices Partner in Measuring Institutional Performance Outcomes
  • Arizona Pioneer Award for Quality (Phoenix Campus) This award is modeled after the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. University of Phoenix was the first four-year educational institution to receive this award.
  • American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) Best Practices in Technology Mediated Learning: Enhancing the Management Education Experience.
  • Project Good Work University of Phoenix was nominated by education scholars as an exemplary institution for excellence in undergraduate education, and was thereby honored to participate in a national study of excellence in undergraduate education. This national research study is a large-scale effort to examine how professionals in various domains pursue good work under contemporary conditions, including individuals and institutions that are engaged in carrying out or supporting cutting-edge work at a time of rapid innovation across all sectors of society. Conducted by researchers at Harvard, Stanford and Claremont Graduate University, the study includes four-year liberal arts colleges, community colleges, historically black colleges, proprietary institutions, and research universities.
  • American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) project “Best Practices: Toward an Enlarged Understanding of Scholarship.” (One of eight institutions selected nation wide) The results of this study, funded by the Carnegie Foundation, were presented at the AAHE 2003 winter meeting and chronicled in a special issues publication.
  • Global Achievement Award for Innovation by Economist Intelligence Unit in recognition of leadership, creativity, success and contribution to our students’ lives, despite turbulent economic times (2002).

Sam Dillon’s Fiction: “The university says that its graduation rate, using the federal standard, is 16 percent, which is among the nation’s lowest, according to Department of Education data. But the university has dozens of campuses, and at many, the rate is even lower.”
FACT: This author sought to deceive the public by reporting 16% (and lower) as the completion rate for University of Phoenix, despite the fact that he was informed via email by the University President that the 16% completion rate applied to only 7% of our total student population. The federal IPEDS database (as we so informed the author) requires that universities report only those students who had no prior college experience which, as disclosed in our consumer information notice, represented less than 7% of the University’s total student population.
University of Phoenix serves a large population of students who bring a significant level of prior college work as well as professional experience to their college courses and their graduation data is not reportable in the federal IPEDS database. The completion/graduation rate for all University of Phoenix students has been historically maintained between 50 – 60%, the very same averages found in traditional 4-year public colleges. The University expects that students entering its new Associates degree programs will have lower graduation rates than this, as is the case at all colleges and universities serving the same student population with the same student demographics – but these programs are only beginning to have graduates at University of Phoenix, as they were introduced only recently.
Sam Dillon’s Fiction: “In recent interviews, current and former students in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington who studied at University of Phoenix campuses in those states or online complained of instructional shortcuts, unqualified professors and recruiting abuses.”
“Phoenix claims that 95 percent of their students are satisfied, but the reports we get indicate otherwise,’ said James R. Hood.”
FACT: When you are serving the largest student population of any university in the nation, it is possible to find a percentage of students who are not delighted with the school. But the author’s assertion does not apply to the majority of students and alumni, as demonstrated by research conducted by both University of Phoenix and by other prominent sources. In a book published by the American Council on Education titled “Lessons from the Edge, For-Profit and Nontraditional Higher Education in America,” (2005) author Gary Berg makes a strong case for the importance of for-profit higher education and his many months of research point out the difference between specialized institutions and the public 4-year colleges. To quote:
“For-profit universities lead the way in many of the critical areas where higher education needs the most work. They have led in targeting the needs of business, focusing on working adults… and in creating economical, standardized content. [They] have led in assessment methods, creating and maintaining responsive student services and innovations such as the development of customized digital textbooks at the University of Phoenix. (Now, rEsource, a web based leaning resource available to all students and faculty) They have been leaders in distance learning. In fact, collectively they are altering the domain of higher education as a whole. Rather than simply complying with accreditation guidelines…the University of Phoenix and others have engaged in a debate about the essence of the standards. For instance, rather than be held to a notion of quality based on resources and the number of full-time faculty, they have insisted on quality as derived from stating what they intend the students to learn, and then proving that they have done what they said they’d do. ..As a result, accrediting agencies are refocusing their guidelines on self-determined institutional objectives based on a “culture of evidence” rather than the older measurements of resources and the number of full-time faculty. This is indeed a major shift in higher education.” (page 6).
Sam Dillon’s Fiction: “The university brings a low-overhead approach not only to its campuses, most of which are office buildings near freeways, but also to its academic model.”
“students spend 20 to 24 hours with an instructor during each course, compared with about 40 hours at a traditional university. The university also requires students to teach one another by working on projects for four or five hours per week in what it calls learning teams.”
What this author characterizes as a low-overhead approach is fundamentally flawed and based upon his own experience obtaining a traditional college degree from an Ivy league institution. University of Phoenix campuses are in office buildings and near freeways because our students work full time while going to school. They come to class after putting 8-10 hour days into their jobs and they want and need convenient locations, safe conditions, and nearby parking.
The argument that clock hours (the Carnegie Unit System) is a measurement of quality is outmoded and inaccurate. Instead of relying on such subjective judgments of academic effectiveness, we measure whether students are meeting the outcomes established for their courses and program. We use the data to inform our academic goals and to continuously improve the curriculum and instruction. Class size is kept very small (10-20 students per class), unlike most universities that rely on large classes and place even hundreds in lecture halls.
Since the University’s founding nearly a quarter of a century ago, Learning Teams have been an essential element of the Teaching/Learning Model because it improves the academic experience of students. Research has confirmed that collaborative learning groups serve several essential functions that are especially beneficial to working adult learners. Among the documented benefits learning teams provide, they:

  • Create collaborative learning environments in which students can share the practical knowledge that comes from their life and work experience.
  • Allow students to broaden and deepen the understanding of concepts explored in the classroom.
  • Serve as laboratories through which students develop into more effective leaders and members of workplace teams.
  • Improve the quality of group projects and assignments.
  • Serve as vehicles for reflection, by which adult students make sense of and apply new knowledge.
  • Provide a sense of community and support that is invaluable in helping working students cope with the challenge of balancing school with other life demands.

Sam Dillon’s Fiction: “Government auditors in 2000 ruled that this schedule fell short of the minimum time required for federal aid programs, and the university paid a $6 million settlement. But in 2002, the Department of Education relaxed its requirements, and the university’s stripped-down schedule is an attractive feature for many adults eager to obtain a university degree while working.”
The author is clearly confused. The University of Phoenix settlement with the Department of Education (which was $9 million rather than $6 million) was not about scheduling but rather involved a dispute over incentive compensation. As is often the case in business matters, the University made an economic decision to settle in order to put an end to its costly and distracting dispute with the Department. In the settlement, the University was not required to change a single policy. There were no issues raised by the department which questioned the academic quality or rigor of its programs.
Sam Dillon’s Fiction: “…In 2003, two enrollment counselors in California filed a whistle-blower lawsuit in federal court accusing the university of paying them based on how many students they enrolled, a violation of a federal rule…. But the department’s searing portrait of academic abuse aroused skepticism among many educators.”
This case is about two disgruntled former employees of University of Phoenix attempting to extract a large financial settlement and is pending before the Supreme Court. The essence of this case follows:

  • In March, 2004 a qui tam lawsuit was filed by two University of Phoenix employees (Mary Hendow and Julie Albertson). Their lawsuit alleged that UOP was in violation of incentive compensation laws.
  • A qui tam lawsuit allows private individuals to bring suit on behalf of the federal government and reap the rewards of any monetary damages imposed. The government then has the opportunity to join in the lawsuit or decline to be a party.
  • In this case, the government (through the US Justice Department) declined to intervene in May 2003. The lawsuit was dismissed by the court with leave to amend and was subsequently dismissed with prejudice.
  • Plaintiffs however, are entitled to pursue litigation on their own which they did. We moved for the court to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint, based on two decisions by the court of appeals for the 5th Circuit and they did so.
  • Plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the 9th circuit reversed in the decision.
  • The 9th circuit did not determine whether UOP is liable or whether the plaintiffs (now called relators) will be entitled to damages. What they decided is that the relators can proceed to discovery and attempt to gather evidence.

It’s an interesting letter because it demonstrates how easily facts and data can be skewed (by both parties, actually). As a teacher, I have to admit that I have had disturbing feedback from students that I’m the only facilitator they’ve ever had who actually graded things and actually offered up feedback in a timely fashion, but when I think back on my undergraduate experiences at the University of California, San Diego, I remember terrible classes taught by foreign-born grad students with a poor command of English, professors who wouldn’t talk to you outside of their one hour/week office hours, lectures that were incomprehensible, and classes that would kill you if you didn’t have a friend who had previously taken the course. There were good teachers, but it’s not like traditional colleges are at all perfect.
The second document, Clash of Cultures, is actually a well-written essay that deserves greater visibility, ending with what I believe is an accurate assessment of the current state of academia:

“However, as with all innovation, skeptics abound to feed the culture clash between the old and the new. Those invested in the status quo objected when land grant colleges were introduced and also when community colleges came on the scene, railing against their supposed lack of quality, For-profit colleges are the latest target. We know that students will choose to earn their education both online and on campus, probably at multiple institutions, and from the colleges that can provide the most support and flexibility. There is no turning back – this is what education looks like in the 21st century.”

Having presented all of this I have to say that I am a bit curious whether the University of Phoenix employee sent me a copy of this memo and these documents because I’m an influencer in this discussion, not because it’s an interesting scoop. Did (s)he get approval from management to “leak” the document, with the hopes that I’d do exactly what I’m doing now, leak it to the blogosphere and perhaps even feed the information back to the New York Times directly? I can’t say, but it’s something to keep in mind when you read through this rather lengthy article.
Finally, though, the question to me really revolves around bigger issues regarding the future of academics, the evolution of our work force, whether for-profit companies can run legitimate educational institutes, and, yes, the influence and importance of the blogosphere and online world, where a vocal minority can easily skew perception of a large institution.
What are your thoughts? Have you taken a course, or taught a course, at the University of Phoenix, and if so, what were your experiences? Do you think that traditional educational institutions are failing to meet the needs of every professional seeking education?

95 comments on “Inside Scoop: University of Phoenix reacts to critical NYT article

  1. As a graduate of the UOP MBA program, I am concerned with the value of my degree, due to some this negative publicity. When I began the program, I knew that the value of the UOP degree was not equal to that of an Ivy League degree. While there were flaws with the program at the UOP, I would say that my overall experience was positive. There were also flaws with my undergraduate program from a more �traditional� institution. Moreover, I gained practical knowledge during the MBA program that has helped me provide the leadership required to turn a small company around financially and operationally.
    I do not understand the need of some to besmirch the reputation of the UOP and the Alumni. There were some differences in the quality of both instructors and students. I would argue that this would be true at any institution.
    The unfortunate reality is that this type of journalism may prove to be harmful to the future of those individuals who have diligently studied at the UOP and graduated. The New York Times is widely read and these misconceptions may become part of the landscape in the future.

  2. I am a former employee. I quit working at UOP a few months ago. I worked as an Enrollment Counselor. Most of the Enrollment Advisors I worked with got into the job because they love helping people and believe in higher education.
    They had no idea it is a cut-throat sales job. I truly believe the idea of UOP is a good idea and it started out strong. However, I agree that it has gone downhill. It has changed drastically for the worst even in the last 5 months I was there.
    I was employed there for over 3 years. I think that they set their sights on growing at a rapid pace and dominating the educational market, especially with other for-profits and traditional universities offering online options. It was a quantity over quality matter. The pressure from the very top, who yes, are dealing more with shareholders and Wall Street, trickles down to upper management and then to each campus and each staff member.
    The pressure to get enrollments is incredibly high. Most EC’s are incredibly stressed out, feel very undervalued and are told to enroll students no matter what. Do I think that there are people that got a decent education? Yes I do. I even was an MBA student for 1/2 the courses. I do feel like I learned a lot and writing the papers were grueling at times. However, I would also agree that in several of those classes I got little feedback and got an A no matter the quality of my work. I even didn’t turn in an assignment once and on my feedback for that week I was told I did an excellent job on that assignment and got an A. A paper I never turned in! I corrected the instructor and turned in my paper late. I wish I would have never said anything, but I have ethics and morals.
    I feel like I had to detox from that place. I think there are some great people working there and some wonderful instructors. But the instructors and staff are treating so horribly, that is why there is high turnover and poor customer service. They don’t even higher enough staff support to cover the amount of students which leads to holes all over the place. I think if they would have slowed down a bit, focused on retention of students and the quality of their curricula they would have increased their reputation, stayed steady.
    Instead they were greedy to grow and increase profits and now they will have to do major Public Relations CPR. I never understood how they could get away with not being found out that they completely pay based on enrollments. They do. They have a matrix that has a number of people you must enroll within a certain number of months. They also judge on customer service and how well you work in the team etc. As an employee if your number isn’t where they want it, they score you low on those others because “how high your enrollments are reflected in the other areas you are scored on.” For example, if you were to get 45 people “sits” in for your 6 month review and you only got 25, that would be considered poor teamwork because you are putting pressure on your teammates (other Enrollment Adivsors) to make up for the loss of your numbers. So in the end, the matrix is crap… it is just a decoy so they can pay based on enrollments and squeek by the Federal Government’s laws on Title IV funding.

  3. Hi, Dave! I have never taken a course or taught at UOP; however as a 33 year vet of Entrepreneurship I can tell you that my Masters program in Public Relations & Advertising at the University of Illinois was valuable for one reason – on-hands experience with real companies like Pillsbury, Goodyear, etc.
    Today’s education needs to be more hands-on! One of my partners in business currently teaches Entrepreneurial Studies at Western Carolina University because of his background of having been involved in over 20 startups! Who would you rather have teaching you – someone who has been teaching for years or someone on the front lines?
    I think with my past seven years of Internet Marketing experience we should consider starting an online University that teaches Internet Marketing, blogging, copy writing, advertising, public relations, etc. I also have over 25 years experience in video production and 10 in TV production. This university could be totally Internet based. I just noted that all incoming University of Georgia students will be getting Ipods! Don’t most of the universities today have the entire campus Wified? Do you think students are going to be sitting in boring lecture classes much longer? I don’t think so!
    By the way you are REALLY good! I saw you this past week at the videos online of the Affiliate Summit! This is what students like myself want to hear!

  4. Hey Dave!
    Thanks for blogging about the article. I have posted my experiences with UofP before and I have to say that while the NY Times article may be biased, my experience with UofP has not been that different than the author of the article reported. While at the UofP:
    I have never felt like more than a number.
    I have never felt like a valued student or customer.
    I have never been treated like a valued student or customer.
    I have never had an experience that made me feel as though the university walked its own talk of catering to working adults. I have been spoken to and treated as a child. Example – everytime I call to speak to an academic counselor or financial aid counselor, said counselor has a note to speak to me, just had a meeting about my exact issue, or was just thinking about me. This ESP is amazing.
    My learning experience has been positive for the most part, and I have been lucky to have great facilitators more often than not. I have worked hard and again, the facilitators I have had have, for the most part, been tough.
    The sticking point for me is always with the administrative side of things. I cannot get a return phone call until I am to the point of writing strongly worded letters, emails, or on the phone asking for a superior. It is ridiculous.
    Before I am accused of being high maintenance, I have stayed on top of my academic and financial responsibilities and do not expect a hand holding in order to get through this process. What I expect is an answer to financial questions such as when do you need me to complete my next loan application so that you can get paid? What paperwork do you need so that I can enroll for an additional degree (and give you more money)?
    These are simple questions, which benefit the bottom line of UofP, and questions that should not require my chasing someone down during my working hours (which is the only time to reach anyone at UofP, how’s that for catering to the working adult?) so that I can graduate.
    I apologize for the rant, but the thing that frosts my cookies most about the UofP’s rebuttal is that not once does the rebuttal address the issue of student dissatisfaction! What I have learned from the UofP is that I am a stakeholder in their business, perhaps the second most important since I generate revenue for their shareholders, UofP’s most important stakeholders. If I am dissatisfied, will not return for another degree, and will not refer other revenue generators, how does the UofP expect to grow profits for shareholders?
    I am disgusted by the whole thing. I feel like a fool who should have seen this coming – I’ve been living it for two years and have another eight months before I’m free of this albatross.
    If you ask me, Bill Pepicello should be ashamed. I will not pursue my graduate degree with UofP. I would rather light my money on fire or dive into the shallow end of an empty swimming pool.
    Sorry for the rant. Clearly, I am fed up.

  5. Sorry Dave,
    To answer the second part of your question, traditional universities do fail to meet the needs of professionals seeking education because it is not their focus nor the demographic they wish to draw. The focus of traditional universities, in my view, is the younger student who needs and wants the social and cultural benefit of a traditional four year institution – it is no doubt a huge benefit for the young adult who has not entered the professional world and needs the exposure such a model provides. Working professionals, i.e. working adults, do not have the same needs and do not benefit from the traditional construct.
    I’ll be quiet now.

    The text following is from a message I have sent to various legislators, Federal Trade Commission Office of Consumer Affairs, and the US Department of Education, among others. FTC-CA posted it. DOE is investigating further. I also recommend anyone with problems contact Common Cause. Apollo Group has a PAC. Common Cause monitors campaign contributions. What follows is identical, typos included. (If the moderator chooses to “edit” I ask some indication included of where and how much. The DOA considers this a formal document now):
    My name is Peter John Stone. I am a news editor of a small publication called �The High Country Trader� in central Colorado. I am writing this because of my recent experience with University of Phoenix Online, where I signed up for a Master�s Degree program under the umbrella of a student loan for which I partly qualified because of my status as a veteran (US Army, Field Medic 1985-1988, ROK & Ft. Lewis, Army Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster/Expert Field Medical Badge/Good Conduct Medal/
    E-4 at end of service).
    I had hoped to offer my readers a nice story about the usefulness of this program. Instead I found a nightmare of disregard that took advantage of my status as a working adult and veteran, and literally mocked me as a consumer. As this complaint involves matters of my being a veteran, a consumer, and a dedicated student, I am sending this to numerous entities I think may have an interest.
    This company does not deliver what it advertises, sets up policies that make it more difficult for working adults to resolve disputes, and seems only concerned with exploiting students to access the tax dollars for which they qualify as veterans. In my book the latter borders on treason. Particularly, it takes no responsibility for its own technical difficulties, and does not allow students to resolve issues on this in a reasonable time frame for them to choose whether or not to continue studies before this resolution.
    I greatly resent that their misrepresentation of what they offer, their unwillingness to admit error, and their policies and procedures excluding dealing with issues when they arise, may leave me owing for one class and affect my qualification for this same loan in the future. I got taken in by their false claim that they care about helping working adults.
    The details follow:
    I began taking a class, as part of a course of study, in early January, 2007. I immediately had problems, as I had started access right on the day the class started, and had little time to prepare. Though I had been told that the week ran Tuesday through Monday, yet I soon found that most students seemed to treat it as a Monday � Friday week, which left me actually starting late relative to other students.
    When I downloaded the syllabus it somehow did not save completely. While it did not have everything I expected, it had nothing indicating its incompleteness (page 1 of XX for example). While I did realize other students knew things I did not, and I occasionally posted �What am I missing?� questions, I did not know that I missed anything until I missed an assignment.
    In addition, a couple of times I could not log on when I needed to. This was not a problem on my end. I could not even contact tech support, as I only had the info online and could not access it. It was a problem on the University of Phoenix�s end. I am a working adult with limited times to work on the assignments. I had been assured that the process was designed to help working adults, not hinder them. This was like going to school and finding the door closed, yet the school would not accept any responsibility for this. I did call tech support after the fact to get a ticket.
    This happened twice in the second week, seriously interrupting my schedule, and limiting what I could post and write. Ixpressed an interest in dropping the class and staff talked me out of it. I redoubled my efforts, trying to make up for what I had lost, realizing that with all my effort I might still get the �B� I needed to keep up my student loan. I posted a lot. The fifth week I again could not get access on two occasions when I needed to. On one of these occasions, as a working adult, I did not have time to call tech support at all. On the other occasion I called, was told there was a forty minute wait, and figured that if there is a forty minute wait, they know there is a problem. As a working adult, I did not have time to wait forty-minutes. My need to
    When again my complaints met disregard, I just stopped trying to go to class, as all it was at this point was an unnecessary stress, since I could not and would not get an acceptable grade anyway.
    Throughout all this the effort seemed to be to put off doing anything to support my request. Eventually a man named Chris Fisher (sp?) said he would try to help me. He complimented me on how much I�d posted. I said, yes, I�m an exceptional student, and I greatly objected to being denied the opportunity for my grades to reflect it. Then he said he did not believe I�d had any technical problems because I posted so much.
    First, getting on all the time to post responses to discussion questions is different from getting on when I need to for research in the library to finish my report. Second, I greatly resent being called a liar when one occasion there was a forty-minute wait, so there was clearly a system problem on their end (unless they routinely state there is a forty-minute wait to keep calls down.)
    The only apparent dispute resolution available was after the grades came through, a process taking two weeks or so. It means that people disputing a result might have to begin their next class before knowing the outcome of the resolution to ensure continued financial aid.
    This all made sense when I opened the SallieMae documents and saw that the funds transferred to the school were for much of the course of study, not just this class. This means that as long as someone is enrolled with the school processing the loan, Apollo Group, Inc. gets to invest the float on about $10,000.00. It therefore behooves them to stall dispute resolutions as long as possible, even if it means the student has to �take a hot crumpet� as some Brits might say.
    Nobody would refer me to anyone to resolve this until after the class was over. After the problems the second week I stated that I would be appealing any grade I got, and requested them to contact me. They did this after the class was over. By then I had done this, but I had to go through Apollo Group and play my press card to do it, which means however this resolves, I will be writing a story about it. It also means that students without that sort of leverage don�t stand a chance.
    My situation is currently awaiting resolution, but I find this completely unacceptable use of government funds, especially associated with veteran status.
    If I am having this kind of trouble, what kind of problems must undergraduate students have? They don�t know shoeshine from wood stain when they�re freshmen.
    FOLLOW-UP: It has been three weeks since I was last told to expect to hear something in two weeks. They have held onto my funds as long as legally possible without resolving a simple complaint: I went to school, the doors were closed, and they penalized me for it.
    Peter John Stone
    Dillon, CO

    • I flunked a Clas during to turning my final paper in late. For the first eight weeks of class, the time difference between Mississippi time and Arizona time was always two hours apart, with Mississippi time being ahead of Arizona time. The day my paper (final paper) was due was the day time changed. I am 34 years old and has never once knew that all states did not observe Daylight Savings time. The UoP does not tell prospect students this before they sign up to learn from them, but when I addressed this matter my academic advisor said, “We know about the time, but we just don’t think about it.” I think this is fraud. I am 18 credits from completing my major. I am in my fourth week of new classes. In the beginning of my second week, I was contacted by my academic advisor to discuss my flunked class. I had a 65% in the class before my final paper was due. I knew that after grading the paper, I would at least past the class with a C mark. I told him I was going to appeal this matter. He told me to ,”Hold off, I am going to do something about it on my end.” “I am going to take this up with my manager, and we should know something rather soon”, said Steven. It is now going into the third week, no contact from my advisor. They are holding my funds.i emailed my financial advisor last week asking why my loans/refund hadn’t been disbursed. I have yet to be contacted back. They are messing with people’s money, being that WE have to repay those loans. They are messing with OUR time, because with 18 credits left to be able to graduate this is annoying. I was dropped from a class in the 7th week because they said I did not meet attendance for that class 3 times. Well, they were wrong and I proved it to them. I had to retake that class over again for nine weeks, courtesy of UoP. I was very heated. That pushed my graduation date back even further. Instead of getting a “we are sorry Ms. McSwain”, they just said I would have to retake it. One class for 9 weeks. My next step is to contact outside sources – the BBB, my lenders to make sure that what they are doing is within regulations, and if so the Department of Education.

      Very Unhappy,
      LaToya McSwain

  7. Hello, I am currently an undergrad student at UOP due to graduate in a year. I have to say, after reading numerous of articles about UOP, I am beginning to worry. I had hope to continue my studies at UOP in their MBA program, but I may opt to finding another school. I guess there is always Webster U. Aloha

  8. As a student of UOP for 2.5 years, I have never felt that the UOP was going to bring me great wealth or change my life forever; a degree from UOP was merely a stepping stone to the next level. I worked 10 years and obtained IT certifications prior to enrolling at UOP. Prior to enrolling, I made a plan. UOP was going to help me obtain a BS quickly, and I would enroll in a state school that was less expensive and more respected in my area (also a Division 1 school). I have friends who have a BS or BA from a “traditional” school, and struggled to find good paying jobs out of college. Just because you have a degree, doesn’t mean you will find a great job. In today’s day age, having a degree is not enough. In addition to a degree, job experience and certifications will likely set you apart from your competition.
    The best advice I can give is research the institution you choose and have a plan during and after graduation. Don’t just accept the first answer from a counselor, verify what they say and challenge them. After all, that is their job.
    The most valuable lesson I learned from my BSIT degree at UOP was not how to write a SQL query, but to be proactive about issues in business, education, and in life.

  9. Cast University of Phoenix as the “traditional” university, and the traditional universities would never get accredited.
    by Justin Halter, University of Phoenix faculty member and administrator.
    February 15, 2007
    Scene: accrediting board room, where a traditional-school representative is making his presentation:
    “Ok, we are a new school and we want to be accredited. Here is what we are going to do:
    First of all, we will TURN AWAY at least 60% of the people who apply.
    We will offer NO HELP getting the students registered. If they can’t acquire the forms, get the signatures, and wait in long lines on their own, too bad for them.
    We will make each class FOUR MONTHS LONG. Actual assignments will only be due every month or so. But it sure looks impressive, doesn’t it!
    We will offer no help keeping them in class. If they can’t keep their lives together with no interruptions for months at a time, screw ’em! If they drop, we will NOT CALL THEM BACK to see what was wrong or to help them in any way get back into school.
    We will offer TWO OR THREE START DATES. In the whole year.
    We will offer classes only during NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS during the work week.
    We will hire teachers only among people who have NEVER ACTUALLY WORKED IN THE FIELD.
    We will NOT MEASURE the teachers on teaching effectiveness.
    We will NEVER MONITOR or visit the classrooms
    And, we will let teachers teach whatever they want, with NO OVERSIGHT by the University.
    After a few years, we will give teachers a permanent job-security guarantee for life, as long as they write a book or two, or at least a couple articles.
    We will put students in MASSIVE LECTURE HALLS in groups of hundreds.
    Most of the “teachers” in those lecture halls will actually be fellow students. We’ll call them “teaching assistants”, mwha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    Ahem, sorry, back to the our accrediting presentation…
    We will keep the actual teachers as highly shielded from the undergraduates as possible, so they have more time to write their books and order their assistant-book-writers around, whom we will call graduate students.
    We will make it so that getting a graduate degree is mainly a political exercise in servility, and if a graduate student fails to please his faculty OverLord, his work will be rejected. Actually, we may change that OverLord title to something more user-friendly, maybe Committee Chair or something innocuous….
    We will get 80% of our operating funds from GOVERNMENT HAND-OUTS. We definitely don’t want to be subject to consumer choice, as you can probably tell by now, hehe…
    We will give free educations to certain entertainers, but only as long as they allow us to keep all the proceeds from their performances, such as football or basketball games. If those entertainers dare accept a cent out of the millions of dollars they are making for us, we will throw them out!!! Ha ha! This is brilliant, isn’t it!
    Speaking of money, we will constantly hit up our graduates for donations. We will collect their donations into massive investment pools that grow into multiple BILLIONS of DOLLARS! This will help remove us from consumer pressures, and we can raise all of our salaries to astronomical levels. I am telling you, man, this will be a cash cow for all of us! Yet, we will be considered �non-profit� so no one can accuse us of being evil capitalists! Pure genius!
    And get this, we can use some of our billions of endowment dollars to help some students pay for their outrageously high tuition, and people will actually thank us!
    Hahahahah, I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but we have done some focus groups, and we are confident this will actually work. So anyway, how does that sound? Can we get accredited?”
    “Ahem, well, that is an interesting proposal. It certainly would set up a highly profitable scam, by which citizens are given a substandard education and bilked out of a lot of money. However, thanks to what schools like the University of Phoenix have traditionally done, we know what a good education looks like:
    Small class sizes taught by highly educated and trained faculty who are also practitioners in their fields.
    Focused classes, with intense efforts over short time periods, involving teamwork and lots of student interaction and participation.
    Class starts offered weekly, during accessible times, at accessible locations, including online.
    Lots of student support, with multiple counselors assigned to each student, to help with registration, financing, scheduling, and any other difficulties that arise.
    Standardized and quality-checked curriculum, with active monitoring of learning outcomes by the University.
    Programs and degrees that are highly responsive to consumer needs and the needs of a rapidly changing economy, not dependent on or demanding political hand-outs.
    What you traditional-school-proponents offer is a mockery of education, and to support it would set higher education back by centuries. Your accreditation application is denied.”

  10. As I read the comments about the University of Phoenix, I was surprised to read that many other people have the same complaints that I do about this school. I have completed a year through the school and for the most part I have been happy with the instructors and the education I received. The problems I have encountered are from the administration end of things. I was first lied to by the recruiting counselor. I was told that the classes I needed to attend would all be held at the campus near my home. This was a big issue to me because both my husband and I work as well as take care of our five boys. After attending my second class, I found out that I would have to be traveling over 30 miles to do my core classes. When I addressed the administration about the misleading information given to me by my admission counselor, an apology was provided but that was all. This same counselor made the same empty promises to many other classmates too.
    The financial counselors also seem to have trouble telling the truth too. My husband is now in collections through the school because no one could help us when some personal problems arose. We were always told to talk to someone else who would then tell us to talk to someone else until we had done a full circle and ended back to the original person. Very few employees seem to know what they are doing and even fewer take ownership of their job responsibilities. This leaves the student alone. The ironic thing is that the students are the only reason that this University stays afloat. Without my thousands of dollars and the money from other students, this �for-profit� business will cease to exist; yet the student is the least valued person at the University of Phoenix.
    If it was possible to move all my credits to another university, I would. The cost of my education is higher than other universities and the support I receive from administration is almost nonexistent. The problem is I found out all of this information too late and my only hope is to get through this as soon as possible so that I can repay all the student loans. Will I finish my Masters at this school? I only need to be burned once to know to stay away from the fire.
    The school sends a computer survey after each course asking the student to comment on any problems. Each time I was honest and told of my satisfaction with the instructors. I also told of my complete dissatisfaction with the administration. I was never contacted even though I marked that I would like to be. The survey is just a pretense that the university uses to mislead the student into thinking that they are valued. Just give the same student a few problems that require administration to be involved in their education and this same student will soon see how unvalued they are.

  11. I forgot to mention most of my professors have Master’s degrees from traditional universities, and some even have PhD’s. Also, there is a professor that has an MBA from Harvard.
    I’m sure there are some horrible professor’s, and I’ve had my share at UOP, but I have also had very intelligent and good professors.
    I do agree the school does a satisfactory job at taking in people who are not mentally prepared for the workload. However, UOP cannot be completely blamed this, if an adult is not truly ready to take on the demands of college, perhaps he/she should not be in college.

  12. Dave,
    I just had to weigh in here, too. I always wondered if my experience at UOP was unique – I guess not!
    As for the classes – my instructors were always TOP NOTCH and I took away valuable lessons – and from nearly EVERY class, I use data that I learned on a regular basis (and I attended 5 years ago)
    HOWEVER – when it came to the administration – it just SUCKED! They were very helpful when I was signing loan papers to get started — but at the end of the first year — they were just Nasty, unresponsive, unhelpful and downright RUDE. I’ll spare all minute details – but after weeks of trying to resolve the issue, and being verbally “beaten” by a financial advisor there – I dropped out. (So I am a member of the majority – for the first time in my life :p)
    Thanks for posting the information and giving me a little real estate to vent.
    Be Well!

  13. I have to agree with Brew, I am in the MBA program and have noticed class mates who are not ready to put in the hard work and effort required and are quick to blame the instructors and the school. UOP is REAL WORLD the more effort you put in, the more you get out. The tools are there, they just have to be used.

  14. I would have to agree with almost everyone here. The classes are pretty demanding. I know that because I am in the Masters in special education. I am currently in student teaching now. In my opinion, administration is always terrible. It seems to be nothing but politics. But, that is everywhere. There are some classmates that do not seem to participate. However, they are more or less weeded out by the workload. Towards the end, most of the people in my classes have been in my classes before. That is a major advantage.
    There are other advantages:
    1. You do not have to take classes that are not going to be used in your career like you do at traditional schools.
    2. You can work at your own time. If you are finished with assignments, you can post them early.
    3. Communication is constant among classmates
    1. Classes are crammed.
    2. You have papers to write during student teaching, which should not be the focus of that field experience.
    3. It is expensive.
    4. You do not get to see your classmates.
    My point is that there are pros and cons to online and traditional education. My suggestion is that if you assess better by writing, you will benefit from the program. However, if you are not a good writer, the UOP program may not be a good idea. It also depends on what you are trying to study. If you are going for fields such as computers or medicine, the program may not be for you. If you are going for business or education, it may be. It seems like most of the problems lie with administration and not the education.

  15. I have been with Axia of University of Phoenix for a little over a year now. I will have my associates degree in September. I plan to continue until I have my masters.
    My experience there has been very positive. I had one issue that was resolved quickly. Ever since, I have been treated very well. My councelor calls me every block to check up, that never happened at the traditional college I went to.
    I feel challenged by my education and feel that anyone else should be too.
    Maybe these skeptics should try completing a math class online..

  16. I have read the NYTimes article, and have studied the UoP PR memo that I found here. I think that Terri Bishop should have provided a brief overview of the lawsuits and violations. One has only to find and study them in order to see that they do not pertain to the quality of the schools’ programs. Most people will not take the time to do this.
    The Apollo Group/UoP has no monopoly on the traditional corporate practices of circumventing laws and regulations, buck-passing, and CYA. This does not justify such acts: but, again, the courses are not affected.
    The customer service complaints do not surprise me. In a corporate environment such as the one that must exist in this company at this time, solutions are not always the order of the day. It is an employee relations problem. Unfortunately, the mood of the workplace can lead to poor job performance.
    Inattention and unresponsiveness are found in all types of teachers. The causes can be anything: negligence, circumstances, personalities, and simple oversights. I have had no problems of this type to date. As far as awarding undeserved passing grades and As goes, Dave Taylor has taught for the University of Phoenix. Perhaps he could let us know: Does the school require or encourage such actions?
    I am a relatively new Axia student. The course materials and resources are more than sufficient. My classmates and instructors are not substandard. My advisors return my calls and e-mails. I have no complaints about my experience with the school as yet, except that I am reluctant to tell people where I take classes. When I do let someone know, I have a standard reply to the reaction: “I am learning, so I will stick with it.”
    Rather than answering your second question, I will refer you to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education’s A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U. S. Higher Education. The AAUP responses to the report are also interesting.

  17. I go to UOP, well the online classes anyway. When I talked to a college near my home about tranfering my classes to this college, they were a bit leary of doing this. Some colleges only accept certain trnasfers classes in place of others. I’m just working on my AA since my husband is post-liver tranplant and I can not go to a traditional class at the moment but eventually I will. I am terrified of what I have been reading and feel a bit lost at this point. I’m going to finish my AA but there is a chance that nobody will allow me to work for them after they see where mydiploma came from.

  18. I had the same awful feeling that was expressed by Carolyn, above, during my first set of classes. The only thing that got me through was the advice of a friend who has experience in education. She told me that if I was not learning anything, I should get out; but if I was learning something, I should stick with it. For nine weeks, her words were my lifeline as I sat at the computer and tried to block out all the criticisms of what I was working so hard to accomplish.
    I received a message from a first-block classmate soon after starting the second set of classes. He wrote the he was “not going to be taking any more…classes.” That was the final straw. Two days later, I submitted the following as my research essay topic to the instructor: The value of a degree from the University of Phoenix. Eight weeks and over ninety-five articles later, I am no longer hanging by a thread. Frankly, I am annoyed.
    There is a tendency to use information about the corporate end of the school to malign the educational end. I am not an on-campus student, but the most common complaints I see about that program are the expectation of independent study and the lack of participation from members of the study groups. I am no expert, but it would seem that learning to overcome those obstacles would be useful training for the workplace. The same principle could be applied to the complaints about the lack of handholding in the online classes.
    The corporate end of the school is not much different from most other large American companies. This is unfortunate. Mr. Sperling had a good idea for adult education in the 1970s. Perhaps, if he is up to it, he could come up with something similar for the corporate model.
    Credit transfer is a recognized problem in the higher education system. The rules and requirements vary by school. There are no national standards. Credits from UoP are not the only ones being refused.
    I could go on, but I have to finish the final stage of writing my paper. Since I am already in this program, I am throwing myself into the process of learning everything that I can. I will deal with the effects of the publicity later. I suggest that my fellow students do the same. Do not let these problem-oriented people get to you. Focus on solutions.

  19. I am a student at the University of Phoenix and have been for the last three years. I must say that I have been very happy with the level of education and professionalism of the school instructors and students. I am a working adult, husband, and father and full time student. The concept of school Universities online will become the future lets not fool ourselves about this reality. The idea that working adults can get an online degree without going to a traditional school scares those social snobs around the country and world. Online programs offer better hands on and team oriented programs than those of traditional on campus students in my opinion. Traditional schools are incredible and good for some and online are the way to go for others. The argument that traditional schools offer online classes too is not giving enough information. Although they do you are unable in most cases to get your degree just through online like at UOP.
    Ex-employees and disgruntle ex-students love to rant and rave because they hope someone will listen to their sad little story because they did not feel as special as they thought others should treat them. Wow, grow up and welcome to reality, and life is tough and quit complaining and suck it up. I just can not believe that grown people would act like children. University of phoenix has class sizes that focus more on the student to teacher ratio more than any other college I have attended, and yes I have been to traditional schools with large groups. Just because one sits in class for five to six hour a week in a large group does not make them a better student. In fact it seems more of an issue of not knowing your options in the world of education and real life time management. Yeah that�s right in the real world time matters and the management of that time is money. Try to use that type of mentality in the next big board meeting. One could start the meeting like this: Instead of getting a detailed brief four times a week that consists of small team interaction, and only take an hour four times in seven days lets take everyone in the department and sit them down and give them a three hour lecture four times a week out of the seven days. Sounds like a good idea, NOT. Who is running the company during all of this time of training that is packed full of employees with probably more than half not paying attention due to the size and distraction of others.
    Grow up cry babies not everyone is going to hold your hand and make you feel complete and whole in your future especially in the real world of business. Learn to deal with issues like many do in traditional courses and online courses. I believe the real issue is the cry babies and not so much traditional Vs online schools. Yes if this hurts your feelings I am talking to you. Truth hurts.
    The online environment has helped me develope as a leader and as a person. Education is just that education. Any attempt to do so should be hold merit and respect.
    Ryan Marberry

  20. LOOK – -if our lives were so perfect we would be in school fulltime, with mommies and daddies paying our fees and packing our lunch every day as we head off to class. However we are WORKING ADULTS and our lives are very different – we have demanding jobs, children, and perhaps are even responsible for sending our aging parents off their senior day camp every morning. We attend UOP along with many other working adults who desire an opportunity to expand their academic credentials and learn as a group along side similarly challenged adults. I have studied both in the US and Europe at multiple levels and am currently enrolled in the UOP Doctoral Program. I have acquired more knowledge in the past 9 months than I believed possible for this program. This knowledge has a direct application to my professional life � therefore I deem this program to be both useful and successful. I suppose we can say it is a matter of �…we get out of it what we put into it…� I see myself as a lifetime learner and assume full responsibility for my academic achievements and failures. The most positive aspect of the UOP learning environment is the concept of the learning cohort – just like in my professional environment – -no man is an island – and we either choose to succeed together or fail as individuals. WE are learning about leadership – either as leaders in front of the pack or behind, shouting encouragement to those among us who are having a hard time balancing the load of a particular class. This �balancing act� is not dissimilar to the real life experiences of our work place, as we support our colleagues through the trials and tribulations of sick spouses, wayward teenagers, aging parents and even failed marriages. In turn we receive the same support with the common understanding that we are all on the journey towards the greater good of our class room, work place, organization and the greater community.
    On a side note I have found the faculty to be OUTSTANDING – Doctors themselves, they bring to the class real life experiences, including their own professional failures which they are willing to share with us as a means to learn from their mistakes. Academic chauvinism will always be with us � what matters to me is the value of my education to me � do I walk away from the educational experience feeling confident and competent that I can positively influence my work environment, support and encourage further learning for my colleagues within my professional community, and ultimately leave the world a better place. Then the answer is YES � and UOP is valued added. BTW – -everyone hates the administration � it was something we learned in high school � blaming others for our own inability to understand the rules. No one said any of us were perfect�.just perfectly normal!

  21. I am a current Academic Counselor at the University of Phoenix and have worked there over a year. Everyone needs to know that the University of Phoenix does not care about breaking laws or acting immorally, they only care about not getting caught.

  22. I am an employee of UOP and believe in the program and the concept. However, like many, the administration is largely absent and homegrown non-professionals. The homegrown-nature of how things works behind the scenes is difficult to convey and even more difficult to work with.
    Agreeing with Jane Doe, the majority of conversation are about being under the radar.
    Agreeing with comments about adjusting performance reviews down for not getting the enrollments. It happens to everyone, this is a practice that is unethical and unfair.
    A degree is what you make of it, working in HR for several years before this, it is the minority that look at the school and make a judgment like tossing the resume. With as many schools as there are in the US, it is unlikely someone would make a blanket statement against one school without cause. If they do, you don’t want to work there anyway; most likely they aren’t good to their people and will burn them out first. The person is the value, the person does the work, the person creates their own success.
    Do I stop believing in the program and the concept? No, I try each day to make it better for the students and hope that so-called leadership will make the needed changes to bring right the ship. It used to be right, not too long ago.

  23. For any of you that think that it is okay to reject someone based solely on where they achieved their education, I have to say that it is NOT okay. I agree that it is the person and not the school. If you believe you earned the respect demand it. The same problems that exist at UoP also exist at any other school.

  24. The Reasons I Chose UOP MBA
    – classes are taught by the professionals who work in the field, not by academic scholars who write and talk but seldom interact in a real business environment
    – I can learn while I am traveling around the world
    – I can brain storm with teammates in real time online
    If you want to be an employee, then go after the school which has the name.
    If you want to be your own boss, I really don’t think matters which school you go, as long as you gain the knowledge you set out to learn.
    Oh, by the way, our current Secretary of Transportation is a UOP alumni. I think we should ask her who she chose UOP.
    Oh well, for those of you who are worried about the value of degree, you really should not attend UOP, because UOP will give you the best real life experience in classroom, but not the name to impress anyone. However, I do believe that for those who seek the common identity of the mass, like a politian, actor or anyone who wants to be recognized one day, I truly believe that attending UOP will help your popularity, because millions will be graduating from UOP and that is the power of ID marketing!
    I met an Indian man on an airplane who also studied in UOP. We chatted and we are now partners. Oh well, the fact that UOP is the most profitable school on the Wall Street should make you want to study MBA with them. Obviously, they have the best business model for their success. Does that make any sense to you? It does to me.
    The choice is yours:
    – worry about what others think
    – follow your own heart
    One day, UOP will be honored because of many celebrities alumni. Let’s see…

  25. Sorry for many typos, it is late.
    I know that some critical guys will quickly jump on my typos…
    Okay, I graduated from UOP with a MBA, now I am the owner of my company. You can be a MBA from Yale or whatever, but you are applying job with me? Do you ever ask yourself why?
    Let me answer it for you: Mind set
    You have the mindset of an employee who makes sure that you get into a good school so that you will have the best odds to get a good job. Because you think it is low risk and it is safe.
    I have a mindset of a leader. I want to lead and I want to take responsibilities. I am not afraid of risk and I will go after my goals.
    I will welcome you with open arms. However, for my fellow UOP buddies, please don’t be caught up the name game. You are WHO YOU ARE. The school doesn’t make you, YOU will make the school pride one day!
    Good luck to all!
    Sorry for my typos, my secretary is off duty. Haaaaaaa

  26. As a current student of UOP, I have to say that I am pleased the university. I think that most of the negative feedbacks are posted from people that have experienced unfortunate events, but then again, who doesnt experience them at traditional universities as well. I can remember going to junior college and having horrible professors, ridiculous financial expectations, and lack of social groups in some classes. Here at UOP, I have to work hard for a decent grade, and sometimes i have to work even harder to finish a class, knowing that I can log on from the convenience of my home. Overall, I think that it is unfair to judge this college unless you have been to traditional school, and online school, and I can say I have done a bit of both because I am a transfer student. I think that it is a shame to put down any educational institution that is meeting all the criteria of all the traditional schools, and at the same time gives the oppurtunity for some people to finish their degree, who otherwise wouldnt be able to, because of a full time job.

  27. I am a current UoP student. At first I was worried because there are so many webpages devoted bashing the university. However, my experience has been wonderful. All of my counselors are excellent, and talk to me like a person. Whether I need help with something related to school or just need to vent, I can stay on the phone with them for hours, and I have. As far as the education goes, the class difficulty level and quality of instruction vary from class to class. I can tell you that I have not had any class that I could just get an ‘easy A’ in, and that I have had to work to get good grades. Some professors grade harder than others, but every professor has taken the time to thoroughly answer all of my questions and help me to understand the class material. 2/3 of my teachers have held a masters degree related to the material they were teaching while the other 1/3 have held doctorates related to the material they were teaching. I only have a year left in my program at this point, and you would think that somewhere along the way I would have encountered at least one of the more popular problems you hear about… my finaid refunds have always been on time, I have always had to meet attendance, curriculum and classroom requirements, my counselors are never rude, my classes are not filled with mentally-challenged people, my instructors always grade my work, my participation and my effort. I am transferring to UC for my masters when I’m done here, and as it stands now 90% of my credits are transferable. So, from my viewpoint this university has done an excellent job in improving my life.

  28. UOP online is a joke! You can’t even compare this so called school to any regular University or College. If you can write a paper then you can pass with flying colors. These “teachers” are ridiculous. They don’t teach the material but instead they facilitate the class. This is a drive up and pay for your degree “university”.

  29. I have heard that UOP online was easier than the oncampus or flexnet programs. Nevertheless, one has to take the time to write a paper. I have witnessed students receieve poor and failing marks on papers, so your generalization of “passing with flying colors” is untrue.

  30. I have attended a Vocational School, a Community College, and now the University of Phoenix. I am not unsatisified with my education. They have had to pass the rigors of accreditation and have been around for 26+ years. With close to 300,000 enrolled students and an administration that I am sure is quite large it is inevitable that someone is going to be dissatisfied. I feel; however, that these few are quite immature to attempt to attack those who have been satisfied and have gained a valuable education and credential. If it didn’t work for them, fine, they are more than welcome to go somewhere else. If they feel they were mislead they should have performed more research prior to making a decision. This is a $30,000+ endeavor, you not go straight to a realtor to buy a house (hopefully) you would perform the proper research to be “equipped” to negotiate with the realtor. For those that would not hire an individual soley on their status as a UoP graduate, your colors truly shine. There are many Universities and local Colleges that are offering enhanced, online, and weekend only class schedules. Look up if you dare to debate that. The school name is not what matters it is the effort of the student and the quality of education that does. UoP offers that quality and of course the you part is up to you. If you’ve had a bad experience, I am sorry to hear that. If you don’t think this institution is for you go elsewhere, but do not try to ruin it for those who can benefit and have benefitted.
    Thank You,
    Michael Davidson
    BS Information Technology August ’07
    AA Political Science
    Vocational Degree in Computer Repair/Internetworking
    I am proud of my education and myself. I can perform and compete in the workforce. That ladies and gentlemen is what counts. Not name brand.
    A+ Certification

  31. I have just completed the BSIT program at UOP. The volume of people who find time to write negative comments about their experience is amazing. Perhaps there would be as many positive comments posted, but the people who are benefiting from the UOP experience do not have the time, because they are busy learning.
    My working career began after completing 40 units toward an AS degree, and 400 hours in a specialized occupational program in aerospace mechanical technology. After 20 years, I realized an undergraduate degree was necessary to meet my retirement goals. My experience with UOP was very positive. The online programs offer working professionals a modern curriculum in an environment and format that works very well for busy, motivated individuals. In most cases, I was able to apply what I was learning in class directly to activities in my workplace. Because of this synergy, my learning experience at UOP was much more productive than my traditional learning experiences in the past.
    Unsuspecting individuals may choose UOP for the wrong reasons, and be disappointed. If you are in a position to understand the administrative pitfalls in advance, take the appropriate amount of time, and expend the effort, UOP degree programs can be an excellent resource for obtaining a quality education.

  32. I have been searching UOP’s intranet and www, there is no contact information where to direct complaints or appeals to the Dean or to Student Appeals Committee. This is ridiculous. The administrative portions of UOP are very poor standards, how can the college improve if they don’t know about the issues. Does anyone have a contact name, phone number and e-mail for the Student Appeals Committee?

  33. I just started a BSIT degree at UOP. I have a friend who has already completed the same degree at UOP, and his experience was very good, that is
    he studied hard and learnt a lot, and feels the effort was well worth it. His company also recognized the degree. Personally with just a few
    weeks completed, I find that there is much for me to learn. I am studying with some great people, most of whom are employed in engineering positions.
    Concerning support, I would say that I had too much. They wanted to explain everything, but I wanted to work through it myself.

  34. Dave, I am a current student with UOP. I have read most of the blogs regarding UOP and must say that I have not seen anything substantive to support the New York Times article. Administration problems are magnified because of the distance factor; however, this has nothing to do with quality education. Quality education is a self discipline. The quality of the reading and tasks are very comparable. If students and faculty cut corners, it is no different from any other educational institution. I have had a great experience with UOP and the best part is that it accomodates me as a full time employee, parent, and student.

  35. UOP sucks said: “UOP online is a joke! You can’t even compare this so called school to any regular University or College. If you can write a paper then you can pass with flying colors. These “teachers” are ridiculous. They don’t teach the material but instead they facilitate the class. This is a drive up and pay for your degree “university”. ”
    Did you even bother to think that writing papers is more difficult than taking tests? By the way, I just completed their Masters in special education two weeks ago and already have been called for 5 interviews. I also have received countless calls from around the country from people who I have not even applied to. BY THE WAY, I HAVE NOT EVEN RECEIVED MY DIPLOMA YET!!!Yes, it may be “easier” to write a paper as you say. However, I have written more papers for UOP then I ever had at any traditional university.

  36. As an Enrollment Counselor with University of Phoenix in the Online sector, I have a few interesting insights. Do we have acceptance criteria? Not exactly. I spend a couple of HOURS speaking with a particular individual, reviewing their speech to see if they are linguistically at an acceptable level. I review WHY they need to go to an exclusively online campus. Today alone I recommended excellent traditional colleges to 4 different candidates because they did not have the mindset or dedication to fulfill this program. I assist them in filling out their application to the school; not to push them into anything, but to analyze their computer navigation skills, to see if they will pass…you get the idea…
    For those of you who say it’s a critical high pressure sales floor, you are half right. But the other half of the coin is, I dont get a raise or a promotion without an extremely high retention rate. Retention is valued equally as much as enrollments.
    To move on to the crybabies, who have to send multiple emails and a couple phone calls to get in touch with somebody, HAVE YOU EVER GONE TO A TRADITIONAL COLLEGE?????? They dont even publish the phone numbers, let alone a specific contact. When my fiance tried to go to advisement to select courses a year ago, they gave her an appointment three weeks away!
    For the comment that this is a “pay today, paper tomorrow” type of program, we are recognized as the #1 school in the nation for Online Learning, followed by #3 ranked in the world! Stanford University enrolls their faculty and staff into our programs for their degrees. So does Intel…So does Honeywell…are you recognizing a pattern here? OH YEAH! Major corporations are PAYING for the education of their employees at our institution. They recognize that we have the curriculum and skillsets that they want their employees to develop…if that doesnt say something, I dont know what will?
    Oh, and for those discussing the “legality of commision among sales, NOPE!” I am payed on a salary, and I will receive an increase based on my job performance and quality of service, NOT HOW MANY STUDENTS I CAN SUCKER!!!!!

  37. I was just accepted to a graduate program at Central Michigan University. My UOP degree was never questioned.

  38. I am currently a UOP student and I am miserable.
    My first complaint would be that certain aspects of my online education were misrepresented to me. I was led to believe that I could do this with the hours I was currently working and still have time to do the frivolous things like eat and sleep. Not true. I spend nearly every free minute off work at the computer working on my classes. I even eat at my computer. I am not a stupid woman, nor am I unqualified for college; I am a busy, working adult with a lot of obligations and this doesn’t seem to fit any better into my life than a traditional college did. Except that I don’t expend any gasoline to get to class.
    I am in classes with people who are clearly not academically or educationally ready to be in college. Read through some of the posts on this page that are by past or present students and look at the errors in spelling, grammar, usage, and construction; I had expected to be in classes with people who were at least capable of writing coherent, cohesive sentences and paragraphs, but what you see here is the kind of writing that is accepted by the “instructors” at UOP. In the discussion sections of the site, we are supposed to be learning by posting back and forth with one another, but that’s very difficult to do when you are trying to decipher what seems to be an essay written by a fifth grader. I’m not a snob, but I don’t have time trying to figure out what others are trying to say so that I can comment on it since my grade depends on just that. No entrance exams and no standards for student abilities (that I’ve been able to discern) are not what one would expect from a reputable university, and I’m very disappointed about it. I am not learning much of anything from these discussions, but every time I read another substandard post from someone I am reminded that all this school cares about is the money, not the education.
    I have had two sets of 9-week courses and am soon to start my third; that is a total of six classes and four of them have had “writing” in their titles. I feel like I am taking nothing but English classes. There is no teaching going on, just handing out assignments and then grading them. I’ve yet to have an instructor teach me anything.
    Students are treated like high school freshmen for the most part. A written paper consists of “checkpoints” and a bunch of repetitious “avoiding plagiarism” crap (I’ve had three different segments on this, in three different classes) and then an outline, a draft and peer review, and a final version. It’s my own personal opinion that an intelligent adult capable of college level work shouldn’t need these checkpoints to keep on task. Outlines and rough drafts are simply excuses for the instructors to have something to grade since they don’t need to teach you anything and since all you are expected to do is turn this junk in for grades.
    Of the four instructors I’ve had, only one has offered any meaningful feedback. One I have currently seems to give canned responses that have nothing to do with the specific work I’ve turned in.
    The administrative end of this school is a joke. That’s all there is to say. Once they get the enrollment and the student loans and grants, you could keel over dead at the computer and no one would give a rat’s ass.
    There is no accommodation here for emergencies, either. I was in a position where for several weeks I was working 10 or more hours of mandatory overtime, and my regular schedule was completely destroyed. I was exhausted and had almost no time to do anything but work and sleep. I was even working on my days off, yet I couldn’t even get a couple of days’ extension on my assignments. I was told that “others are busy too, but they don’t get special treatment.” I don’t consider asking for help so I can get 7 hours’ sleep instead of 5 to be “special”, but the college does I guess.
    The funny thing is, the “sales” technique should have been a warning to me. I called in with interest in a 6-class certificate program and was high-pressured and cajoled into a degree program instead. The certificate course would be over in another couple of months, but now I have a few years of this garbage to complete the program. And frankly, I don’t think my degree will be worth the paper it’s printed on when I get it. I’m just sticking it out because I can’t afford to start paying my student loans yet. If the time ever comes that I can, I’ll quit.
    And to the guy above who called people “cry babies,” let me just point out that I am an adult with a full-time job, a family and a home to care for, and an above-average IQ. I’m not looking for a hand holder, but I am looking for individualization of my program, respect for my previous education, and some leeway and consideration for personal issues that may intervene in my schooling; I could get these things at a traditional college (and, in fact, have) but not at UOP. Just one more bit of proof that profit is more important than people to this school.

  39. Right on Nancy. You have pretty accurately summed up my UoP experience. The final straw for me was my last instructor – right before I quit and ate the $500 fee I had to pay to drop. This facilitator was the most arrogant, self-impressed person I’d come across in awhile. It was a college writing course, and all he could think of to ‘teach’ us about was all of the wonderful writing he had done and who had published it. I actually challenged him online for beating up on another student, and he played the ‘you can’t do that’ card on me. That was it for me. Left that farce of a university the same day.
    What REALLY annoys me though is knowing that my tax dollars are contributing towards UoP profits to fund many people from the military to attend UoP, since UoP is clearly taking advantage of the government in accepting these students. I have ultimate respect for their serving our country, but the fact still remains that quite a few of them (as evidenced by many from the classes I was in) have no right to be attending college. How they even got out of high school is seriously questionable. I doubt there was concern on the part of the counselors and UoP about the student’s ability to succeed, and quite frankly it wouldn’t surprise me if they were pulling A’s!

  40. Hi I am a current student and education wise things are great. I have nice people supporting me and I am happy. I spend all my time home with my son who is sick from rickets and lead poisoning. I was questioning the credibilty of the school because of sites like these and it scared me to know that I may be just a pawn in a pyramid scheme. But I never thoroughly read the page before today. Talking about leaping before you learn to fly. And actually some of the pros outway the cons. But my question is honestly how many of you regret going and did you ever recieve your financial aid refund, because when I inquired about my financial aid status with my local higher education commission, I had none and I completed my fafsa. So I AM FIFTY FIFTY and I need all of you guys opinions and they all will be taken seriously. Help me to decide to leave before it’s too later OR stay for the ride.

  41. I have been a student at UOP since November of 2006. I am in the bachelors degree program of Accounting. I have never seen the issues that some of you have so it is hard for me to say “I agree, UOP sucks”. However it is hard for me lately to say “I want to stay at UOP”. Why? I do see the teachers only being facilitators. But then, I have to say to myself “This is an online class, how much more can the instructor do?” Yes, I do believe that the university encourages enrollment counselors to get as many students in as possible. However, many of us have found ourselves at other colleges (myself having been previously graduated from Columbus State Community College in Ohio) where at that time we also were in the presence of complete idiots who did not know how to write a paragraph or who did not know a certain formula for accounting (myself being one of those idiots in community college because it was my first time around and nobody in my family was in accounting). Those of you who stated that education is what you make of it and what you learn out of it are correct. I only learned what I have through my previous education (which I have to say was not as good as UOP and their administration was terrible) and my current position in accounting.
    For those of you who have been upset with your experience, let me tell you about my experience(s) at community college. My first algebra class was a nightmare. The teacher did not care at all and he did not teach the class anything that made us want to learn. A lot of the class members failed, including me. That was the only class I failed at CSCC. I took the class again – and voila!- I received an A. This was because of the teacher and how it was taught- not the administration. HOWEVER, in order to receive my degree it became a nightmare. I was unable to attend the ceremony of graduation because of nerve issues, and I had to wait 2 months to get my degree (the actual piece of paper). I had to go into the office, and I had to make tons of calls to find out who to get it from. For all of you so eager to blame UOP, I would never put my money into that community college again. Like I said it is what you put into your education….

  42. I read the NYT’s article and was not aware of all the negativity surrounding UOP. I have been a student for over a year in the Bachelors program for Education. I have attended brick and mortar colleges and I can say that I find UOP more challenging then sitting and listening to a lecture, doing homework, and taking tests. I have had great teachers and some that have needed help.
    My thoughts on that is whatever school you attend you are going to get teachers that you work well with and teachers you don’t.
    After my first class at UOP I said to myself this is a lot of work and my first impressions of what people had said about UOP had vanished. I find most teachers give feedback on the papers every now and then a teacher does not but at the end of the class survey I express my honest thoughts on the teacher. As long as I am learning I am moving forward.
    Learning teams are productive but can be frustrating, I do learn from them as well because in the business world working in teams is what you do. UOP is built on the concept of working adults and so you find a way to make it work. I find it best to step up and lead to make sure the job is done after all my grade is important to me.
    I don’t know about the rumor that everyone has good grades. I don’t make it my business to ask my classmates what their grades are. I know that I work hard and spend beyond the hours required and I go beyond the required postings in the classroom so I expect good grades.
    I will not let an article like that sway my personal choice in a school since I am learning and developing the skills required for the education that I choose. UOP is doing the job that I asked of it. As an online student a lot of work is required of the student.
    What I would like to see is virtual lectures available at UOP which I know is a reality since I homeschool and my children have virtual classrooms with their teachers. I would also like for the learning teams to meet that way as well. UOP is good but they do have some areas they can develop. Overall I am happy and I don’t let the negativity get in my way.

  43. I received my bachelor�s degree (BS/BM) from UOP and find that much of what I have read regarding the negative aspect of the college is, unfortunately, true. The grading leaves much to be desired and many students can get by with very little effort. I, however, was there to learn. As a returning professional, I had spent much of my early 20�s in traditional college classes and mostly out of lethargy, dropped out prior to finishing my degree. Although I�ve been a professional for 17+ years and earn a six figure income, UOP gave me an opportunity to return to correct my mistake. I learned a great deal in my business classes because they were relevant to my work experience and because I was mature enough to take responsibly for my own learning. I can tell you that as a student, the knowledge that you walk away with is solely up to you; regardless of the university you attend or the venue of the class. I have no objection about the quality of the education from UOP and have put it to real-world use. What angers me now is that the leaders of UOP are allowing the worth of their diplomas to be damaged because of their unwillingness or inability to address their persistent administrative problems. The issues I read about in this blog are the same issues I�ve seen for years and yet UOP prefers to defend their school with memos rather then change their approach. In business, �perception is reality�. If the perception is that UOP is substandard then that will be the reality that potential applicant face in the business world. The article in NYT doesn�t have to be true to do damage; it just has to be read. Like it our not; I�m vested with UOP since I have their name on my resume. Their reputation is part of my own. My advise; don�t go to UOP until they decide to aggressively address their image problems and make the necessary policy changes that are so unmistakably needed. You can absolutely get a good education at UOP, the learning material is universal, but if their reputation continues to take these types of hits; the degree will be worthless in the market place. Something I wish wasn’t true.

  44. Dave,Peter Stone makes a valid point. I enrolled last year with the University of Phoenix in hopes of comleting my BSHS degree in Human Services/Mgt.I enrolled believing that this was my best option in obtaining a degree, although I had my doubts about the effectivness of the Universities ability to meet my needs. The problem I encountered was when I was presented with the Math 208-209 courses. I not only had to pay for the book, which I could only obtain from the UOPH book store, I was totally unprepared for the coursework. When I asked my academic counselor if I could skip these classes until I completed my other work, I was told that I could not. Now I have read that some people who may have had better experiences with the university considersers themselves not cry babies, the time will come when you will reconsider those words. I regret enrolling with UOPH. If a student fails math, he or she must retake those classes, pay out-of-pocket, repay student aid for the failed class, before classes can resume.

  45. If you figure they graduate about 70K+ a year. The world will be full of UoP grads by 2020. Sooner or later UofP will be dominant. Why wouldn’t you want to be in the MBA program here at UoP. I mean, they are the number one private school on Wall Street. Hello wake up and smell the coffee. That has to count for something “smart n bright”.

  46. I worked as a facilitator with UOP-Online for a few courses. As so many others have pointed out, the student body has uneven skills. Just like there were truly excellent people who did great work, there were had several who couldn’t even write a couple of coherent paragraphs.
    The level of plagiarism is also significant. I didn’t get any indication Academic Advisors were interested in addressing this problem, or take action to discipline clear cases of repeated plagiarism.
    Unfortunately, UOP is slow at realizing that even if you get what you put in, the reputation of the institution also afects the way its graduates are perceived. The more the quality of the programs is put into question, the more employers will wonder about the preparation of the graduates. A good example is Intel’s decision last year to stop tuition reimbursement for UOP (and some other schools’) courses, allegedly in part because the degrees don’t really help employees get promotions or advance within the company.
    “…Intel is raising the standards in its tuition reimbursement program in a bid to create what Fisher calls a world-class program. Intel noticed higher-than-normal attrition among employees who had taken classes on the company’s dime and set out to find out why.
    A big finding: Some workers left or were planning to leave because their new degree didn’t help them advance at Intel, Fisher said.
    Competition is stiff for promotions and new jobs at Intel, with a top-notch education often a deciding point for those who score interviews, Fisher said. Plus, the company only recruits recent college graduates from first-rate, traditional universities. The new standards are designed to level the playing field, he said.
    “We would be wasting their time and wasting our money if we didn’t make sure that the education that they are getting can be used at Intel,” he said…”
    I’ve friends and collegues who are great professionals and attended UOP-Online. However, the quality of their degrees is into questioning not because of them but because of the clouds that surround UOP’s education system. I know they worked hard for their degrees and are competent, but I also know that a significant percentage of other UOP students don’t even have the minimal skills required to succeed in the programs they’ve selected, and those students will also graduate with the same degrees as my friends.

  47. I took my undergrad degree from UoPhoenix. I’m just completing my Masters of Business Administration from Santa Clara University.
    Some institutions work for some students, others do not. UoPhoenix worked for me.
    Like any other student at any other school, I was frequently very frustrated with my school. I had administrative problems, billing challenges, good teachers and bad teachers.
    UoPhoenix is neither better nor worse than traditional, on ground schools. It’s different. For the thirty six year old guy that I was, it gave me something a traditional college could not. It gave me access to an accredited degree.
    UoPhoenix isn’t for everyone, but I’m happy to have had the opportunity to study with them. If they hadn’t said “You can do it!” I might not have believed that I could. Hat’s off to UoPhoenix, warts and all.

  48. I graduated from UoP in July 2007 with a B.S. in Business Management. I chose UoP because we lived in Italy at the time (active duty military spouse) & I really wanted to finish my degree…I’d dropped out of traditional college because I hated going to class. I hate the snobby professors, the stupid requirements, & I hated going to class. A friend referred me to UoP; she had enrolled in the M.B.A. program. So I did a bit of research & signed up.
    The truth of my experience with UoP is that I had good professors, bad professors, and even a professor that I filed a formal complaint about. I had a bad Academic Advising team, then raised enough stink to get a team that was actually helpful. I did notice that the team structure was trouble at first; not as many students were as serious about it as I was. This problem dropped off the more advanced the classes became. By the end, I was loving my teammates (I had the same group of committed individuals for my last 5 classes & we hung together), the classes were super-interesting & challenging, & my Academic Advising team was calling me once a week to make sure I was on track for graduation. I actually flew out to graduation in July, just to celebrate my achievement; it was fantastic.
    In fact, when I decided to start an M.B.A. program, I got in touch with my academic advisor & she helped me enroll to ensure my Academic Advising team would remain the same; I’m now linked up with the same team I finished my B.S. with.
    I can easily see how UoP can be critized; there are some things I’m not too crazy about. I can tell you from experience that my “traditional college” didn’t give a damn about me. No one cared when I struggled & no one cared when I dropped out. But I’m 100 times the student I was before because I care more than I did originally. I learn a lot because this is an individualistic learning model. Yes, it requires discipline & interest, but sitting in a traditional classroom does not create that, you have to create it for yourself. Simply put, you have to want it bad enough to do it, just like anything else in life. I’m incredibly proud of what I, the college dropout & do-nothing, was able to accomplish & will continue to accomplish.
    And FYI – the grading isn’t always easy. I failed two courses during my time in the undergraduate program. Both math classes, because those are hard to learn online. And yes, I had to pay out of pocket to retake them…just like I did when I failed a class in “traditional college.” There’s NO SUCH THING as free money; you’re going to pay for it somehow. So that’s not even worth complaining about. It’s standard to have to pay for a failed class out of pocket. at least in both of my collegiate experiences.
    With my UoP degree, I got a much better job than I could have without it; I doubled my salary 2 months after I graduated. My friend with the UoP M.B.A.? She upgraded too, to the tune of a $10K increase in salary. In both cases, the interviewer highlighted our education. So I guess it matters that you have it, not necessarily where it comes from.
    I like UoP because I make it work for me. It fits my lifestyle & what I want to get out of my education. And yes, I put a lot of work into it because I want to learn as much as I can since I am paying for it. I admit it’s not for everyone. But I hate going to class. Checking into class in my pajamas is a great thing. ;^)

  49. Dave,
    I am a former graduate of UOP’s business management and administration program. I was fortunate to complete my hard earned degree in June 1995 given my current work schedule. Prior to UOP, I had the opportunity to also attend the traditional schools and have found my experiences at UOP a little more enriching because the facilitors were more knowledgable and experienced with real up to date and current event information in the real business world in which we live. However, I do agree with most of the complaints in regards to their administrative practices. Unfortunately, if UOP don’t get a handle on their administrative practices it will continue to be the demise of their earned successes of being the number one leader in ON-LIne education.
    In reality, since UOP has found a nitch in the educational world and has done quite well, it has also forced a lot of our traditional schools to look into changing their some of their academic approaches to teaching in the real world . We know the saying, “adapt or distinct” and anytime we are forced to change there is going to be tension and fall outs. After all this is what revolutionary wars are all about.
    In comparison to traditional schools I found that UOP business program was just as academically competitive as most schools. Interestly enough, while i was completing my undergrad business project with UOP, I had a friend who was concurrently completing their MBA thesis in the same discipline as mines, but at a different school. We began talking about all the grueling requirements that were expected of us and come to find out our school project and thesis assignment had the same criteria requirements and expections. The only difference was I was an undergrad he was a grad, I was a student at UOP and he was a student at USF which was a much more traditional school with an excellent reputable background. My point here is UOP’s level of educational excellence and expectations is just as great as any other traditional school.
    Just to prove my point once again, I am currently attending Chapman University(Walnut Creek, CA) for continued education. Chapman University is another traditional school with a good reputation of academic excellence. I have found my learning experience at Chapman University to be just as demanding and no different than when I was at UOP, moreover I had no problems with transfering my credits from UOP to Chapman University. Despite the bad reputation that UOP has amassed, my educational and learning journey has been well worthwhile. It is my sincere hope that UOP will begin to work on their administrative issues and practices so that their academic credability do not continue to suffer and marr the diplomas of those who have worked in earning a degree from their institution.

  50. As a recent graduate from UOP’s MBA program I have no regrets. As far as I am concerned a degree from UOP is as good as one from any other accredited college. I go by the school’s credentials in terms of accreditation including program accreditation, and currently Univ. of Phoenix is in an elite group now that it has CHEA recognized business program accreditation. Aside from any personal objections that one may have against UOP, they cannot ignore the fact that Univ. of Phoenix has risen to a higher level of importance, despite attempts by unscrupulous individuals to cause it harm.

  51. It’s interesting you mention how when you got your degree in 1995 the education you received was good and the courses demanding.
    For what I have read and seen, critics today indicate that quality has been sacrificed in the last few years to grow the university.
    Maybe that’s then correct. It was fairly decent before and for some reason the quality is now lower.
    If Intel decided to stop reimbursement for courses taken at UOP (and other similar schools) there has to be a reason. A company of that size doesn’t make such decision without careful analysis.

  52. I think getting a degree through phoenix is ever harder. It much harder for most people to keep them selves on track and do what need to be done with out help. In a regular school everything is planned out for you and discussions happen regularly to help you understand the topic. Kudos to the self learners.

  53. You bring up a good point. If to get a good education, UOP’s students have to learn on their own, then what’s the point in attending UOP?
    There are many online programs that so call traditional universities are offering nowadays. Several of those programs actually place the videostreams of the campus lectures on the internet, so the online students can watch the lectures at their leisure. Pretty neat! Same education (instructors, materials, homeworks, etc) as if you were on campus, but asynchronous.

  54. I was a University of Phoenix instructor for two years and taught 15 courses. I quit last month due to the terrible administration and unqualified students and faculty. Approximately half the students have no business being enrolled. Many students are incapable of writing an ineligible paragraph. Students expect to get an “A” and when they don’t many complain to the administration. The administration then drops not too subtle suggestions that the instructor needs to grade “less harsh”. About half of the instructors are unqualified to teach on the college level. Many don’t even bother to read student’s weekly papers, and just give the usual “A”. The administration is a complete joke. Most avoid instructors, problems, or issues like the plague. I had to continue to re-introduce myself to the top two administrators because they had no memory of who I was. After about a year I just gave up and nodded when passing one of them. My advice: Don’t waste your money. Go to a real college/university.

  55. I have to weigh in on this very controversial and interesting topic. I am a student at UoP (Axia), I have been enrolled for a little more than a year and I am loving it!! In fact, I encourage others to join also! Where else are you going to get an accredited degree while you work odd hours? I am hearing many people say it is all about money with “for-profit” schools and particularly with the UoP, this my friend is an extreme overstatement, because that is the goal of all schools whether public or private, for-profit or non-profit. I don’t hear anyone complaining when their “Ivy League” schools enjoy corporate sponsorships and millions of dollars in revenue due to merchandise sales. I have enjoyed my current studies and I hope I continue to. My sister attends a “good” local community college and she has more problems than I do with the adminstrative side of things. But, this is always a problem, no matter what. Everyone needs to get real and understand that all major universities and other schools are going online. Just because they had to “sit” though boring lectures does not mean that we as working adults who are taking advantage of our resources need to do the same!

  56. My UOP experience was extremely positive and only have good things to say about the administration. Going to a fairly new campus in Oklahoma it seemed that they were really on top of things. Administration seemed to have had a pretty long lag time in relation to the time it took to get an acutal answer to your questions, but at my traditional four year university not only was the lag time long and sometimes non-exsitent, but one could never actually get an appointment to meet the person who was supposed to give you the answer to the question that you asked. At UOP it seemed that I just had to be persistent in my queries and I don’t remember ever having to ask more than twice via e-mail or phone call before I recieved an answer. As far as the education goes I feel that my professors, for the most part, were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their jobs. I was in the MBA program so all of my professors had thier PhD’s and were either teaching at other local universities, including three division one four year programs, or they were major players in the private sector and brought extremely valuable and pertinent experience and advice for those in thier classes. This program may seem disappointing to those who attend this university, hope to show up for awhile, and get handed a diploma. There is an incredible amount of work involved and the time restraints are demanding, I turned in a paper via a cruise ship on my honeymoon!!!, but what I have found is that in the real world the ability to manage stressful situations, get to the root cause of a problem, communicate the solution to the problem to your peers, and actually implementing your plan and following it through will allow you to ultimately succeed and get noticed by your supervisors. The above mentioned qualities that it takes to effectively problem solve is what was promised by UOP when I enrolled and it is exactly what I took away from it 18 months later.

  57. I attend UoP currently and must admit that I was also mis-informed about the “grants” and student loans. I was told that I was approved for a pell grant and that the student loan would only be used for small amounts that was not paid for by the grant, well needless to say I am now in debt to Sallie May, because they applied everything to the student loan and nothing to my pell grant, instead they sent me a check for the pell grant amount. I don’t want to attend this school anymore, but feel trapped because I can’t afford to repay the student loan right now. I think UoP lies and mis-informs students to make a profit. The enrollment counslers talk like car salesmen!
    I didn’t even want to take the course they enrolled me in, I initally called for info regarding a certificate course for medical billing/coding and ended up enrolled in a 2 yr plan, because of the bullshit they had stated about loans/grants. I haven’t learned anything new, infact my 8th grader even states how elementary these courses have been.

  58. I have multiple BS degrees from traditional universities and an MBA from the University of Phoenix (UP). Currently I own or partly own two separate businesses both of which are quite valuable. My experience with UP is positive. The work was tough and the instructors were helpful especially since most were business professionals such as me working at major corporations.
    Some team members were problematic but that is the case with most any team effort. As with life, the greatest lessons are born from adversity not smooth sailing. One of my companies has an intern program with a traditional university and I can say that most of its graduate students are more lost than my peers at UP. I did feel some students shouldn�t have been in some of the classes but I�ve also asked how in the world some of the interns made it into grad school.
    Ultimately I believe there four reasons for a college degree and I list them here: 1) experiences than can be applied in real world situations (UP has an advantage here with many traditional educators lacking any true business knowledge while UP educators are usually full-time professionals, 2) increased marketability as having a degree allows one to pursue more opportunities and generally increased compensation (this is a wash as the piece of paper is generally used for elimination purposes during recruitment and the value of an Ivy league degree is largely related to contacts), 3) improved job security since a degree allows you to keep a position while a non-degree holder might become expendable quicker or at the very least be used (this is a wash as well), and 4) initial employment (UP has an advantage in that self motivated individuals are more desirable than those that spent the last four to six years in Fraternities and/or Sororities; social club experience is nice but at the end of the day I�m looking for highly motivated self starters).
    Anyway, if you subscribe to any of my reasons than simply choose which option best suits your objectives. You are kidding yourself if you think an Ivy league degree will help you get ahead on its own.

  59. I am currently a student at UOP (online). I will have my Associate’s in August. I have found the negative reviews of the school to be disappointing. During this past year I have learned a great deal from my instructors and classmates. I did have one instructor whom I questioned her ability to lead the class. However most of my instructors have been great. Yes, I did not attach a 100 point assignment and was notified after the time to turn something in late expired. I did check to make sure the assignment was posted and it appeared it was; however, I was in a hurry and accidentaly deleted it. I did talk to the instructor and she still gave me a zero. Was I upset with her or the school? No. After all it was my fault. I was more disappointed in myself. However, I think in some instances these experiences cause people to feel disgruntled and get upset when they don’t get their way.
    While I do have A’s, I have had a few assignments where I have not gotten an A. In otherwords, I feel that my assignments are accurately graded. In addition, everyone is human and I would expect an instructor to make a mistake in a classroom environment of 20 people.
    I feel that UOP has been doing a great job. Of course, there is always room for improvement, and the enrollment advisors are pushy but it is part of the business world. On-line learning is the wave of the future. Traditional colleges are becoming expensive. On-line courses are designed to help motivated and disciplined adults who are striving to better themselves. The classes are not for everyone.

  60. I have enrolled at UOP and so far the classes are excellent. I think that with any education, you get back what you put in. The instructors challenge the students constantly and are equal on grades.

  61. “To all of those thinking about a degree from UoP”
    1)Look and see if the credits you recieve can be transfered to another school. This is important in the event you move to another location.
    2)Many accredited Master’s programs will not admit a student with a degree from UoP without first requiring MANY undergraduate foundation courses before offical admittance.
    3)Simply weigh the preponderance of the evidence. As the old saying goes, “10,000 Frenchmen can’t be all wrong”. I’m not saying UoP is good or bad. I’m saying weigh it out. Simply count the negative adds to the positive adds on the internet.
    4)Ask yourself, if you had to hire someone and all things are equal except for the school that their degrees were earned would you hire:
    a)A person with a degree from Stanford?
    b)A person with a degree from The Penn State?
    c)West Virginia University?
    d)University of Virginia?
    e)University of Phoenix?
    Kind of a no brainer huh.
    Also, for business students, many accredited (AACSB) schools now have on-line courses.
    Before signing on the dotted line with UoP check with accredited schools to see if you can get the same on-line service at a reduced price and be armed with classes that are transferable to other accredited instiutions.
    Do your homework. The flexibility that UoP offeres by way of it’s on-line services may be in the long run quite restrictive when it comes to competing with graduates from established universities and transferring UoP credits to another school in hopes of finishing your degree or being accepted in a graduate program.
    Do your homework before you sign with any institution!

  62. I was actually passing by this site as I was writing an Environmental Analysis for my economics class, and I couldn�t help myself but respond. I think that all this negative bashing is absolutely hilarious; especially from some of these current and past students of various programs at UoP. I guess first off though I should say who I am. I am a working adult that is also a single father of a ten year old girl. I am currently an Academic Counselor that works with Axia students (for those of you that don�t know this is the associates� level part of the college). I am also a current student in the MBA program there.
    Now like most people I was worried about the name brand issue of having to tell people that I graduated with a graduate degree from UoP. I even had extensive discussions regarding the accreditation with the Enrollment Counselor that I spoke to before I decided to get a job there and pursue my degree there (by the way she knew more about these bodies than any person at any traditional college I have been to). Through all these discussions she never pushed me to enroll instead she let me do my research and called every once in awhile to see where my mind was. This viewpoint is mainly because I am somewhat old school; I always have been accustomed to just doing the same ole thing that everyone else does, with the same expectations in regards to education. I graduated from my state university with 5 bachelor�s degrees. I even started my education at the local community college.
    So obviously this brings me to the satisfaction part of the education that I am receiving. I honestly can say that I have no qualms so far in respect to the rigor of the curriculum. Through all the courses that I have taken at the state university (which by the way is considered one of the best business, law, and engineering schools in the country), I never once felt I was being challenged. In the last year at this school, my teachers were lucky if I even showed up to class, and for most of the ones that I did show up to, they were lucky if I stayed awake in their big auditoriums with 200 other students. For those of you that are going to jump to the conclusion that, oh this is just some dude that eeked by, you are mistaken. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.92 GPA.
    So, for example let�s take Economics for an example. In a prominent business college I took three different economics classes, and in each of these as long as I could do what I considered remedial mathematics and memorize graphical patterns; then be able to fill in the appropriate bubble, I could ace these courses. Now with the current course I am in at UoP, I need to be able to not just know how to read the graphs, I need to know how to explain them. This is due to the fact that I have to write an in depth academic research paper in respect to how these variables interact and affect other variables. And get this, not only do I have to explain it I then have to relate them to real world policies, problems, and companies. I have these due every week! As for the learning team environment, what can I say? If you can�t put together the real world applications of this, you don�t need to be in college in the first place and you probably work at a Burger King. Oh and did I tell you that my �Facilitator�, is not only a person that holds a doctorates� in Economics, but she also contracts out to our government when they need help developing international economic policies. She is also a published author of academic research. So tell me which is better? This �Facilitator� or some traditional professor that is only required to have been a published author (or worse yet some punk grad student that is filling in because the professor you are paying for is too busy for you)?
    In respect to one of the �bloggers� above, I can honestly say that she has no clue about education. She states that she does not understand why she is in class with people that have poor writing skills and why she is supposed to do �checkpoints� in order to get her degree. She also complains that she has had to take three writing classes right out the gate. Well I can tell you based on what she says she is an associate�s level student. Not only is she an associates level student, but she either does not have previous college experience; or she doesn�t have enough transfer credits. You see in these programs regardless of who you are, if you don�t have enough transfer credits you are required to take certain courses (just like a traditional university), because you need to get prepared for what is coming later on. Why would a school not give you the tools you need to succeed and set you up to fail? Not only is that bad business but that is bad education. I remember a long time ago, I did all the same things. First drafts, second drafts, finals, lessons in APA format etc. Education is about making all peoples lives better. Think back to the middle-ages when education was just for the rich. If you were not born elite, then you stayed a serf/peasant (PEE-ON). This is the MODERN ERA, everyone deserves a chance to better their lives and expand their minds. She also complains that she is a working mother that has to support a household. Well good for you. I am glad you have a full life. But let�s see you add an hour or so commute and then another hour and a half for the class at a traditional college to that time schedule. Not to mention the time required for homework, papers, team meetings etc. Ha, let�s see how much sleep she will get then (she clearly had enough time to spend on composing her long winded, whine session). Oh and did I address the fact that she is probably an ADULT and the other students she would be �in-class� with will be at least a decade younger than her, that she won�t be able to relate to, or have an actual conversation with (besides the fact the others will more than likely be asking behind her back why she is even there-I know I have done this). Have I had bad instructors? Sure. Have I had bad learning team experiences? Sure. But what the hell, I had just as many of these experiences in my traditional education.
    Now for my opinion on the administrative end of business. I am an Academic Counselor. My entire job is to be there and assists students through their entire degree program. Also we are split up between not only regions, but academic programs. We specialize in certain degrees and are still required to at least know the basis of all others that are offered, so that we can help whoever calls in. I am required to be logged in so that I can take such calls, if I am not I get in trouble. Counselors are also given different work hours so that we are there during hours that meet our students time zones. Now as someone stated above we have 300,000+ students enrolled in our college. For those of you that don�t know that is a considerable larger amount than most traditional colleges. When these students are then broken down into teams they are allocated amongst counselors. I currently have over 400 students that I am responsible for. All of whom have their own lives, aspirations, needs, and expectations. I am further required to be on the phone contacting my students, making sure they have no questions, concerns, or issues for at least half my day; if not I get in trouble. Not just this, even if nothing is going on I am supposed to call just to check on them, even to just chat for three minutes. I am also the one that goes through all of their programs all the time to make sure that the classes they have taken, the classes that they are going into, and the classes that are in the future, actually apply to their programs, so that they are not wasting money or time. If I mess this up I can be fired! There other things that I also do but whatever, I am not a UoP job recruiter.
    So, I am a busy dude, when I am at work. Now you could obviously say, well why don�t they just hire more people? Well they do. They are expanding extremely quickly (to meet the further increasing students). But for many reasons they can not keep up. For one, it is difficult to get qualified people. My job REQUIRES a bachelor�s degree; so that we can relate to our students. It is also my belief that there is a quite a bit of burn out. We deal with students that believe we are there to make all their problems go away. We have students call in with all kinds of problems that they believe are catastrophic. Furthermore they think that they can just get out of the sticky mess THEY created (they are given all policies and procedures when they start), and not have to pay for it. C�mon really? Most are on financial aid, these are not our rules they are the governments. The government is not going to pay for courses that you fail, or drop half way through. I would like to see someone go to their traditional school, drop out half way through the course (if you are even allowed to, I went and dropped a course once, which I had to grovel at my professors feet to sign off on), and then not get a bill.
    Also students call in and think I am there in an instructor capacity. Sure I will help them with APA format, how to write their papers, their accounting homework, and where all the resources available to them are. But I can tell you I get in trouble for those times I helped you write that topic sentence, or went through your paper and made sure that it adhered to APA format. This is your instructors� job, utilize them! If they are not helping I can hold them accountable. They are not tenured like traditional professors. They can lose their jobs if they aren�t on top of it. As for the people that feel I neglect them or never get in touch with them, I have 400 other people just like you. I give out my contact info to every single one of my students. They can get me by phone, voicemail, e-mail, and even fax that will come right to my e-mail. Send me something I will get back to you and quickly. When I was in traditional college, I saw and spoke to my Academic Counselor TWICE! They never called me to see how I was doing, to make sure I had a schedule planned out, to make sure that the classes I did pick actually applied to my degree program, or to even see if my graduation was coming up. I did not have someone there that would make sure my financial aid was processed, or to walk me through the application process. Hell they didn�t even care if my professor sucked, if I had a problem I had to walk around a huge campus to find the appropriate place to file a complaint that would never be heard. All they did was gave me a sheet of paper and said you need to fulfill these areas and that these 100�s of classes in this telephone size book could fulfill them. Have fun ; )
    Now I don�t mind you calling. I don�t mind having to plan out YOUR degree for you. I don�t mind listening to you and making schedule changes at the drop of a hat because your cat has a hairball. I don�t mind helping you with your accounting or algebra homework, even though I could get in trouble for it (this helps my retention, which I am graded on. I mean I am paid to be here to make sure you graduate with YOUR degree, not mine). Seriously I enjoy speaking with some of my students. All of whom I refuse to put on hold, to answer another students call, because I believe you deserve my focused attention. What I do mind is when something goes wrong, due to your own actions, and then you try and throw me under the bus and act like it is MY fault. This is YOUR degree, at a REAL UNIVERSITY! It will require what society calls WORK. So next time you want to rake the administration over the coals, give me and some of my friends a break and take some responsibility for your education, and your own life. We are on your side, and it is your life and education after all not our administrations.
    On an end note to my ranting. Numbers talk, flap jaws walk. Obviously stock prices are up. We are the largest for-profit University. People increasingly enroll and graduate from UoP. The for-profit sector of the education industry is continuing to steal market share from the non-profits. And the demand for the Online environment is continuing to grow due to the increasing need for flexibility in the coming future (even traditional universities are offering them, albeit antiquated environments due to being behind the curve). So in the future it is UoP�s alumni and alumni from schools like them that will actually laugh at all the traditional schooled alumni; and then actually ask, Excuse me you graduated from where? HA SUCKER!

  63. Being a current UoP student, enrolled in a graduate program, I find the article’s tone spot on. In fact, more anecdotal accounts from UoP students would have helped illustrate how terrible the university is.
    That said, the educational programs are convenient if you live in another country. But that is if no problems arise. I’ve had several problems and the customer service is miserable.
    My recommendation: If you really want a degree because you are interested and earnest about learning, go online through a real university (this excludes state colleges).
    Or…If you truly want a fast-food type of education so you can move up quickly on the pay scale -and you don’t mind missing 3/4’s of the concepts along the way- sign up with UoP.
    Don’t expect to learn much from the teachers. They outsource the learning to your “fabulous” learning teams. And remember, everyone gets an A…unless they are mentally challenged…and you get a high percentage of those in your class.

  64. OK! I will give you my UOP experience one Bachelor’s Degree, 3 Masters Degrees, and one soon to be Doctorate degree. UOP is way way way way ahead of education and they were the first to develop online courses, the first using team learning, the first using life long learning, the first to develop team working adult education, the first to develop real world facilitators, the first to teach real world knowledge that you can use, the first to help instead of hinder your educational experience, the first to allow one to apply what you learn in school to your job immediately etc… The list goes on and on and on. I know their is a person out there that loves to bash UOP and I guess a few others must have a lot of time on his or her hand to do so. I spent my time learning and growing. The future will show that UOP has always been and always will be on the bleeding edge of education. They are the envy of the modern way we are now learning due to Information Technology and the Internet. The others traditional schools will follow or they will perish. We all need to wake up and realize that global competition will eat us all up if we don’t start to change our ways of learning, applying, and growing by educating ourselves to a new way of thinking. The traditional way of learning is over and that means you (UOP Sucks Website Moron). UOP gives you the tools to present ideas and collaborate with others to make teams work in a small business or large organizations. For those stuck in the traditional world that means (UOP Sucks Website Moron) and for non-profit education I’m sorry to say but they will soon have to be for profit if they want to get 300,000 students and continue to survive. My point is that life changes, business changes, market changes, and even education changes. Thus education will forever be changed and delivered thanks to UOP. As for (UOP Sucks Website Moron)your UOP bashing will not deter not destroy what others have took so long and hard to build it only will make them and UOP stronger. Just sit back and watch all the schools that continue to look, teach, and offer online degrees programs that are real world just like UOP. The reason for this is that change and shift in education that has taken place because they now have to compete with UOP right (UOP Sucks Website Moron).

  65. wow this is all very interesting I have to say I received my Assoc. degree at a ground campus community college in 2003 and graduated with high honors. I am now in the BSHA program at UOP and have been for 13 months. I think the negativity are people who are scared of change and the future. This University would not be where they are in terms of volume, accreditation if they were not doing something right. The courses I have had are much more difficult than my ground campus were. In short I graduated from ground campus with a GPA of 3.9, and currently have a 3.0 with UOP. Its not easy! For ANY employer that would not hire someone qualified because they have a UOP degree, you are a sad individual and I don’t want to work for you anyway so thanks for not hiring me!! Those of you considering an education with UOP, go with your heart. They are a valid school and are leading the way in todays education. dont let someone elses bad experience decide for you

  66. I have been a so called student at the UOP for 1 1/2 now and I am kind of ticked off on the fact that my grants and loans are not adding up!!!!! Let alone that when I signed up that I was told by my so called enrollment counselor LIED like he never LIED before by telling me that they meaning the UOP was a fully credited school and that my credits ware tranferable…. WRONG!!!!! answer I went to USM and talked to them and theymore less told me I was SCREWED!!! on my credits they were not transferable because they were not reconised. Meaning they did not know if the student actually did the work or not.. Does this mean that the so called degree is not looked at as a REAL DEGREE!!!! I guess that It is OK to pay back a thousands of dollars and get a CHUMP DEGREE (WORTH LESS) or would this be a time to get a MILL DEGREE !!!!!HA, HA, HA !!! It would definately be a hell of alot cheaper!!!! I am a paint supervisor (11 yrs.) 26 years over all in marine and power plant fac. I am trying to move forward to be a Project Engineer, so be carefull when you chose to be a student at the UOP … The only reason I ended up here is that the Katrina storm left me no choice at the time. I had to move… SO WHAT NOW? By the way they will call you… When they need you to fill out your forms for your loans.

  67. I’m following up to my post from July 2007. I am a UOP grad (BSIT). I have completed 4 classes at Central Michigan University and have a 4.0. UOP prepared me for “Division 1” type education. Also, I gave a damn about my education.
    Fail to plan…plan to fail.

  68. I made the decision to return to school after 14 years in my career—a career that in most cases requires a four year degree. I was one of the �lucky� ones who caught several breaks early on with hard work and perseverance (some call it street smarts). I come from a very well-educated family: my great-grandfather was a patent chemist with Texaco, all of my grandparents graduated from highly respected universities (Purdue, Mercer, Agnes Scott and Indiana University); both of my parents are Florida State alums; I have five brothers, four of whom have at least a bachelors degree from traditional universities�one has a doctorate, another a law degree and one an engineering degree and is currently pursuing his masters from the University of Florida. My point is my genetics are wired for higher education. For multiple reasons I dropped out of college after three semesters. The biggest reason is I was bored. I found a job that has led to a very fruitful career. None of my brothers will argue that they are �smarter� than me, rather just more educated.
    Now to my point: I realized after fifteen plus years in my profession I had a strong desire to finish my degree. I had accumulated over sixty credit hours of college but did not have the time to dedicate to a traditional four-year institution I debated whether I should leave my career and go back to school full-time or find a different path that would allow me to finish my degree without losing the accumulated years in my job. After extensive research I found the University of Phoenix. I will admit that the enrollment counselor urged me to start as quickly as possible, but you know what? I needed that push. For too many years I had procrastinated that decision�that extra nudge challenged me.
    I have just completed my first full year and will be completing my final set of classes this next week. I must say the workload has been manageable but far from easy. When I am completely engaged in the course the work is easy but when I find myself getting bored I have to step it up. The class work is what you make it. Do you want to learn? If the answer is yes, then fully expect to learn from the courses. The UOP model works for me and thousands of others who need the convenience of taking classes on our own time not some regimented university. The horror stories I have read come principally from people seeking excuses for their lack of initiative. I have overcome that and will have no shame in the end for it.

  69. UPDATE
    I need to add that following my post I continued sending missives to concerned parties. I began to make it a point to send them to officials receiving campaign contributions.
    Though I didn’t recognize the connection right away, as I had sent so many messages, it was within days after contacting Arizona Sen John McCain that UofP gave me a call, and we worked matters out.
    I need to add that i was so frustrated that I screwed up some of my dates in my initial post, but the essential facts were correct.
    I want to specifically note that the ADA compliance team seemed exceptionally responsive and competent.
    At present I have two more classes to finish my degree. While most of my experience was positive, these concerns remain:
    1) While my program of study had no specific technical prerequisites, I found some of the more technical instructors (Introduction to Programming for example) unprepared to work with students lacking background in the field. I was specifically told that it was not an introductory class, as it was part of a graduate program.
    2) When I questioned my instructor regarding allowance for the problems I was having during my first class, she stated that i could appeal the grade afterward. My academic advisor told me the same thing. I did, and the appeal board responded with a letter stating that they did not reverse instructor grades — so the school never took responsibility for the technical problems it had on its end, and left me with a 2.0 for a basic course in communications.
    3) I am currently in hiatus because I had to move, and had to take longer between classes than fed financial aid considers appropriate for completing a course of study, so I have voluntarily chosen to wait and pay for my last two classes myself. Meanwhile, apparently UofP doesn’t consider me a student anymore, as they also show me droped from the course of study and my academic advisor has not responded to my e-mails.
    This reinforces that if UofP isn;t getting the federal money from you, they don’t much care about your education.
    4) Half the classes in my course of study seemed mostly how-to’s of Microsoft programs.
    5) The group work rarely holds to being an actual dialogue among students, which makes it difficult for one new to the field to keep up.
    On the plus side, I found most of my instructors excellent at instruction, eminently qualified, exceptionally experienced in their specialties, tolerant of problems, and truly concerned about student well-being. The manuals were extremely useful in all but one class. My academic advisers were also helpful, but I think they had limited influence.
    Peter John Stone

    Negative — I should have taken it as a hint, first thing, when advisers refer to grades as “A”, “B”, “C”, instead of GPAs.
    Positive — The things I learned in my course of study gave me some new ideas for advancing additional projects. Based on what I did well in, and what gave me a more difficult go, I have been able to focus my own direction better. There is no question that I would never have had these idea without taking classes, and UofP was my only real option in my circumstances. Whether it will be worth alkl the money I have to repay remains to be seen.

  71. To all…
    You make of it what you want. It doesn’t matter if you are going to go to a campus, online, Ivy league school, etc… Is what you get out of it. I really can’t say much for the general classes that are taken with Axia because I transferred from DeVry. To be the reason was because DeVry’s tuition were going up and I could not offerd it.
    When I study and review the material for my classes I try to get as much information out of everyone and everything. If I ask a question and don’t get a reply withing the hours my instructor’s are supposed to be there, I call them or email someone in my class. I also use the Labs and I actually read my books! You will be amazed how many people don’t, and you can tell when we have threaded discussions. I really don’t focus on that I just try to start a real conversation. I dont focus on grammar or what not (I understand they should have good writing skills) I just see if their comments are adding anything to my education.
    People this is adult learning! What did you expect. Many of these people have been out of school for years. At least give them credit that they are pursing something more than just a H.S diploma. I think as they complete their degree they will be stronger writer’s. At the end they are the one’s that will have to put their skills and their education to the test.
    Ok so that’s my take on that part… now here comes the “negative”. Not so much an experienced that I have had, but more of the reputation of the school. I transferred and I am fininshing up these last two classes. I will have my AAB with a 3.78 GPA soon. I think I had instructor’s that were fair. I would ask them to please be honest and grade me based on my mistakes, and they did. In H.S. I did excellent, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and in the top 5% of my class.
    So what happens now? Well I wanted to attend Boston University Online. They have almost the same format as far as online, but the huge difference is that I have to take my SAT’s (joined the military right after H.S, so didnt then) and my AAB from Axia does not transfer.
    This is why I am upset! I know I will do more than ok with the SAT’s, but for them not to even accept my AA? To me is a waste of money.
    I know I can look for another school but they had the program I wanted to study, and now I am somewhat discouraged to look elswhere. I know the name of the college shouldn’t matter, but it does. Is reality and I don’t want to attend UoP, I never did so this has nothing to do with all these post. Does anyone know if there is a website where it shows what colleges are affiliated with Axia college? I guess I really don’t know exactly what the wording is, but you get the point.
    Good luck to everyone! Just research before you make a decision.
    Thanks! (no time to rev’w so if there is errors don’t blame it on UoP. LOL )

  72. UOP treats its faculty like slaves. They are paid the same amont for every class they teach and often to save money, the university loads too many students in each class. Faculty has no say in matters of the syllabi. Management and stff reap big bucks while the faculty are treated like laborers at a sweat shop.

  73. There are already so many comments. I am flustered! I currently attend the UOP Axia College. I am almost done with my first, academic year. My experience has been amazing. So amazing that I have talked my busy sister into signing up for the same school. From my enrollment counselor, to my academic counselor, to my financial advisor I have been treated like they care. Every call is returned, every email replied to, every concern met with honest answers. Tonight, I was searching for something totally unrelated and wish I hadn’t. For I first found a site called ripoff or something like that. There were 17 pages with hundreds of former students and staff complaining about UOP and Axia College. I read the most horrible things and became very scared. So, I sent emails to my academic and enrollment counselors.
    I can almost guarentee you that I will recieve a response from both, with plausible explanations to all of my questions and concerns. I didn’t plan on the UOP giving me a degree that would make me rich, just one that will get me a decent job that pays more than 8 bucks an hour. I have had no issues with the financial end either. All my loans are taken care of, financial aid taken care of, I get reminder calls and emails to re-apply when it is time. I get random phone calls from different counselors that call just to see how I am doing.
    My personal experience with Axia College at the University of Phoenix has been more than positive. The staff has been absolutely amazing to say the least. The instructors are all different in teaching styles, and that took some getting used to. It isn’t hard. You just ask what is expected up front. Every instructor has been kind and caring.
    I’ve got news about grades as well. Right now I have a 3.89 g.p.a, but I didn’t think I would when I took that Critical Thinking class. I failed two tests with an F on both! I was assured I was not the only one. Week 5 in that class was the hardest for all students, not just me. I ended that class with a B+. You cannot just sit down and do the bare minimum expecting an A. That is hogwash.
    Angie has been there 100% since the beginning. I couldn’t have asked for a more caring, sincere counselor.

  74. I had no choice and started working when I was 15 years old. Once I graduated high school with a 4.3 (weighted) GPA and great SAT scores I started to further my education in what one consider’s ‘traditional college’ at a state university. I quickly was bored and so I joined a sorority and a couple of semesters later I quit to move to the city and find a higher paying job (no one pays college students enough and sororities aren’t very understanding of the middle-,working class students). I knew I wanted to be a college graduate but once I found that job in the city I quickly climbed the ladder and eventually moved to a different, higher-paying job, got married, and now I’ve just had a baby.
    That college piece was missing for me so I wanted to enroll in college–I work full time so I couldn’t enroll in any traditional college around here (which is ridiculous, trust me, I live in Athens, GA–colleges are EVERYWHERE). I did some serious research of online colleges and decided on UOP, enrolling about a year ago. I just finished my AAB and after a much needed break (I took NO break to have a baby) I will move on to completing my Bachelor’s.
    All of this to say that I have experienced BOTH, traditional college (full-throttle with socials and intramural sports included) and non-traditional college and the latter seems to be working well for me. My GPA is a 3.93 thanks to a ‘B’ in Algebra (hey, it had been quite awhile, 8th grade perhaps?) and I worked VERY hard for every grade–much harder than I had to work to keep my GPA above a 3.0 in traditional college, majoring in biology (I went to a lot of parties and still succeeded with little to no studying and sleep there).
    The only negativity I have is the change in cost I was unaware of until the change was approaching(there is naturally an increase from the Associates classes to the Bachelor’s classes, only its a VERY substantial increase). Other than the $$ I feel my education has been hard and I have been most deserving of every ‘A’.
    Overall I have been very pleased with my accredited college that
    lacks a football team (though I would like some help paying off loans
    when I am done–any takers??). In fact, I am more pleased with being
    able to attend class anytime and receive high quality education (more
    quality than when at a Georgia university I can promise you). I too hope and
    think that one day my degrees will be highly recognized in a very positive way
    for helping working moms like me achieve education and experience. All
    of my classes have been very valuable and I
    really do feel like I’ve learned so much real-world experience that will apply to my field of
    choice…that is what education SHOULD be about.
    I also know many people I would never trust to be capable of handling my
    job and work load that received traditional education from traditional
    universities(i.e. old sorority sisters)…
    Education is what you make it, right? My diploma(s) will be framed and
    they will be displayed with pride for all of my hard work and time, just
    as they would be if they came from any other university.

  75. I am an online student of UOP and it is so horrible. I am 20 years old, married with two kids so we went down to talk to a counselor at this little office they have where I live. So he tells us that all our assignments are due on Sunday by 11:59pm, but we have an assignment due every day except saturdays. We were also told we would get an actual book in the mail, but yet we only get an online book so doing a lot of research on where to find the name of the book since they don’t give it to you. We ordered them offline (our own money)! Since starting we thought we would have more free time to be with our kids and eachother, instead we are up reading two chapters a night since almost every assignment requires two chapters in order to get the work done correctly. We’re in school for accounting and it’s been one year and we’ve only had an introduction class to accounting. A whole year has gone by and we havn’t learned a thing about accounting, just started our math class today. WOW is there a lot of work that goes into doing one little asignment, we have to log on to a mathlab website (they never even explained how to do it) just said “hey heres a website firgure it out!” We can’t drop out because our loans (combined) our at 20 thousand and they gave us unsubsides loans that have gained $400 in interest already! So if we drop out now with no degree and over $20 thousand in loans plus we have two kids to take care of, where will that put us in life?! For anyone and everyone who is thinking about doing UOP DONT it would be the biggest mistake of your life! They life, steal, don’t teach you anything, it’s basically they give you online reading material and tell you to figure it out all on your own! It’s self teaching, why do we have to pay money to someone else when we’re the ones doing the teaching?! I dont know, but since I’m the teacher I think I should be getting paid what we paid them! Plus I want my fucken money back (the $60) they charge for the online book! I paid $1.99 on for the same book and it’s hardcover with a CD. I’m going to find a good lawyer and hopefully my husband and I can get the loans dropped and sue UOP for lying and for charging us money for nothing, theres no teachers theres nothing but a bunch of people making money for not doing SHIT! Two classes that UOP gives you are on how to use their site and their library, this shit is a fucken rip off and I hope they soon pay for what they’ve done to all these people, including my husband and me!

  76. On Sept 2006 the UOP lied to me and said they were a VA approved school for the GI Bill. I enrolled in classes, took out a student loan and 3 months later I find out through the VA there not an approved school. And never was approved by the VA until 3 months after I drop my classes and start receiving bills from in the amount of $6,000.
    Now here it is Jan of 2009 and UOP has still hasn’t corrected this error! My credit is ruined and so are my chances of ever getting financial services again.

  77. I have been a student at Axia for nearly two years. I have 2 blocks remaining. I have just finished enrolling in the bachelor program with UoP which begins in September of 09.
    My experience is a bit of a mixed bag. Over all I would say that the education I’ve received has been very good. Since I don’t have traditional college to compare it with, it’s difficult to make any assessment, therefore a comparison. However; I have found the associate program to be quite easy, as I would assume is the norm. I believe I am slightly above average in intelliegce and so I have taken classes which I found to be lacking challenge while others proved more difficult.
    I have seen some of my fellow classmates (over the last two years) struggle and it showed in their posts. These students may not have been ready as many of them had not mastered English and therefore could not keep up. Others dropped out or fell below the GPA guideline, but they were few in number.
    As I move forward with the bachelor program, I anticipate working harder as the curriculum will become more difficult.
    The instructors, give or take one or two, have all been experienced and brilliant and I’ve learned a great deal. I’ve only had one or two who disappointed me, but not so much so that I would complain.
    Frankly, as I read the NYT article, I found myself getting quite defensive. It upsets me that the NYT, of all papers would not have checked their facts and sources more thoroughly and as other comments about this article have stated, I am concerned with the bad press.
    This degree is costly and time consuming. The check in requirements and substantive posts can be a pain, but it’s taught me discipline. The syllabus can be tough because often times, it lacks detail, but I have learned from experience that this is intentional. The university wants students to learn to “read between the lines” and to learn to read and think critically (both skills in the working world are invaluable)
    In closing, my experience has been very good. I do believe you get what you pay for and I’ve squeezed out every nickle. Distance learning is the wave of the future. I have two close relatives who enrolled because of my feedback. I think UoP’s awards are enough to convince the naysayers and I am appalled that such a respectable paper would publish such trash…

  78. For everyone that bashes UoP, you’ve probably never been to a traditional school. There was one lady who said that she thought this school was for the working individuals’ schedule, but she doesn’t realize that at a traditional school, she would be in class 2 or 3 nights a week for over 3 hours (if the class was broken up in 6-week increments.) Having a BBA from a traditional school, attending UoP classes isn’t much different. I received my BBA in 2005 and even took online classes. I had students in class that weren’t that bright, but paid for the class none the less. I had students that rode on the coat tails of other students to finish. Perfect example, in business statistics class, several of us would meet up after class to study, because we just couldn’t get it on our own. UoP does this for us! We just don’t get the opportunity to choose who we work with, but I don’t have that choice at work either! The lady I work with is twice my age, makes more than I do, but doesn’t use emails! How do you not use emails! She still mails letters to clients and hand writes faxes!
    All I’m trying to say is that whether you are in a traditional school or UoP, there are going to be some challenges. If getting an education was supposed to be easy, EVERYONE would have a degree! And please let’s not forget why we went to UoP in the first place….it’s easy to get in, fast to start, and the schedule works better than quitting a job at 30 to be a full time broke college student.
    Stop bashing UoP if you haven’t attended a brick and mortar school first! Stop bashing UoP if you didn’t fulfil your course work, got a bad grade in a class and had to pay for it out of pocket. Stop bashing UoP if you’re frustrated with your team, unless you’re the boss, you can’t make up your team at work either! And please, stop bashing UoP if you haven’t been or aren’t in the program…you just don’t know what you’re talking about and are in no way qualified to give your opinion on the matter.
    Oh yeah, one more thing, if youre just bashing UoP because you’re annoyed that you lost out on a job to a UoP graduate, please understand that YOU were the reason you didn’t get the job.

  79. I just graduated from the BSM program at UoP. Prior to attending UoP I went to a state college and a community college. All told I had about 200 units before I started UoP. What can I say, I love learning. There are things about UoP that are not perfect, but overall my experience has been great. I could complain a lot more about my SJSU experience than my experience at UoP.
    I think UoP makes sense if you are a self motivated learner. It is less stressful logistically than a public college. And you don’t have to cross your fingers to get into a required class that will not be offered until next fall.

  80. I have recently transferred from UOP to Northeastern College of Professional Studies (online). I could not bare to take another class.
    UOP will admit anyone without benefit of testing to determine if students are ‘qualified’ for college level classes. The learning teams were a joke and I was sick of dealing with ‘lazy bums’.
    I feel the quality of education at Northeasern IS MUCH BETTER compared to UOP. The online atmosphere ‘model’ is design much better than UOP…

  81. I would also like to not this about UOP. The website student of fortune, where students can ask questions about their schoolwork and pay from .25 cents to upwards of a $100 for an answer. UOP students seem to congregate at this website, buying and selling what they call CHECKPOINTS, OR ANSWERS FROM HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS FROM BOOK APPENDIXS. I do use this site to make money but I do honest work. In my opinion from what I see on this site is past UOP students are supplying current students with redunadant homework, reports and test answers. I personally think this is disgraceful to education

  82. I have been attending the UoP for over a year:
    from day one they have treated me with respect, as a valued member of the university, and have answered all of my questions.
    Before the UoP I attended a “highly regarded” college and quit because I was sick of the teachers that spoke for two hours on what they did over the weekend, or at least I think that’s what they were talking about, some I could not understand. And I had received notice that I was not attending a class one that I had never heard of and would never signed up for anyway.
    No matter where you attend classes there will be problems but I am HAPPY at the UoP and will continue there until I graduate (in about a year). I think the biggest complainers are the ones who want a degree handed to them!

  83. I am currently an undergraduate student at UofP, and will be finishing up with my degree in May. I plan to go back for an MBA. I have already done all of the enrollment paperwork and been accepted to the MBA program, so I am excited about that.
    I am actually surprised by all of the complaints about UofP, because my experience has been markedly different from what I am reading here. Yes, there was the occasional instructor who was hard to reach when I had a question, but my questions were always answered by classmates. I have had the pleasure of having some really wonderful instructors, and I do know that they actually took the time to read your work before grading it. Some of the papers that I have written have been grueling and a headache, but I believe in giving everything and doing the best that I can.
    I do not know how all of this negative publicity will affect my degree. I have already been offered a couple of jobs in my field, and would be able to start upon graduation. I chose my field in hopes of someday opening my own business, and in hopes of being able to do freelance work. Those hopes have not changed. I have been extremely happy with my experience at UofP and have even suggested it to friends.
    For me, this University works. As a working mother of two teenagers (one who is chronically ill and spends a lot of time at the doctor’s office or in the hospital), this allows me to get my degree around everything else that is going on in my life. I can check in and turn in assignments from my son’s hospital room when necessary, and I do not have to miss any of the things going on with my children or husband because I can do my work on my time frame so long as it’s submitted by the due date. I do not think that I would be able to do that at a traditional university, because to be honest, I do not have three or four hours a day to go sit in a classroom. Self-teaching is hard…but rewarding. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

  84. I find the NYT statements repalling and disgusting. I have attended a traditional school through Nashville State Community College in my associates degree in Visual Communications and I am working on my BSIT degree in Media and Visual Communications. I have 8 classes left to do. My courses from the University of Phoenix were very hard and rigiourous and requires the student to do research, write papers, complete tests like LabSimulators. Without examples of real world scenarios, I’d have no clue what the market place is requiring. The University of Phoenix’s online teachers are very approachable and are required to give assistance within the 24 hour turn around time. I only have a few odd ball teachers that weren’t very nice. But I got something out of each class. My current GPA is 3.85 while my GPA in my associates from a traditional college was 3.93. Do the math.

  85. 8/3/2010 …
    This University of Phoenix has lost its “personal touch and genuine interest” in its current and perspective student base. The university’s primary interests is more reflective of getting “bodies” enrolled so that the school receives federal funding. The financial aid department often provides inaccurate or conflicting information to students – leaving them with costs that are almost impossible to cover. The learning team environments are often non-productive and “by no means” facilitate or afford the six points the university mentioned above. The learning team environments are not conducive to replicating required efforts or productivity in an “actual” business forum. The overall conduct and lack of effort by most students within these environments (if occurring in a business setting) would lead to their immediate termination from any serious employer.

  86. University of Phoenix had its enrollment advisor on 08/05/2010 around 4:45pm clear their desk and get rid of anything that represents numbers, quotas and training that was providing misleading information to the students. University of Phoeinex coached its enrollment advisor to dig deep into each students pass to play on his or her emotions in order to get the student to enroll rather the student was fit mentally or not ! University of Phoenix is not fit for Title four funding and has missed used it as well as allowed students to assume they would get paid to attend school. University of Phoenix is all about the money it does not care if the student is in the right program to not. If you look up culinary school you will find UOP , this is just of one of many misleading programs that they do not have but the website leads them to a enrollment advisor that is trained to changed the students mind in order to enroll them and keep them for at least 8 to 12 weeks in registration status .

  87. I have always found the comments against UoP interesting. Words like “scam” and “fraud” prevail heavily. What I find interesting is that no one ever seems to give a real alternative except that nirvana was found back in a traditional college setting. Place where you can sit down with a human being and tell them, face-to-face, why you could not turn in an assignment before the 11:59 MST deadline. A student can misread documents and not fill them out correctly; yet still meet with a human being to get that fixed. The harsh reality of this situation is that online degrees are not for everyone. I am currently studying for my doctorate in educational leadership and educational technology. I can appreciate 16% of the school graduating. To me, it means that UoP is not giving out degrees. Since there doesn’t seem to be anything about the U.S. government (especially SACS in my area of the country) stripping UoP of accreditation, I do not have to worry about this poorly-run “degree mill” being a problem for me anytime soon. I believe the real issue is that individuals who honestly thought they would be able to get an instant degree while watching TV during the day were sadly mistaken and rudely awakened. Since my attendance, I have not been misinformed about financial aid, had no issues in any classes for the past year, and have verified with several employers that my degree is a valid one (provided UoP is still accredited when I graduate in 2013). With all that is said about the school, I am either the most fortunate of people, or just naturally one of the 16%.

  88. I’m a new student at UOP (week 5 coming up). I have to admit the rumors about UOP’s standings in the educational world were disheartening. I wondered, “What have I gotten myself into?” There are, however, always two sides of the story. And the one who speaks the loudest and the most isn’t always right.
    It is easy to get disgruntled. No one wants to be taken advantage of. I was afraid that the quality of my education – what I would learn compared to those at traditional colleges – was going to be an issue…until I logged on. The Center for Writing Excellence alone sang out “Knowledge! Get your knowledge here!”
    For all of my classmates who are struggling with whether or not UOP is just taking your money, ask yourself, “Did I know this stuff before I started?” It’s a lot of reading and a lot of writing, but it generates a lot of thinking. And if you work in the real world, in a corporation, you see many of the things that you read walking around in front of you. I see my team meetings in a different light now. Ethics have never been so important to me. I understand why my company has posted its values all over the building.
    I began this journey to get something, not to have someone hand it to me. I go to the links that are available. I spend the time reading. There are text books online to be read and valuable knowledge to be gained. No one is going to hand you a job just because you have a degree – even if you did get it from Harvard – unless you have the knowledge to back it up (know some people and have a solid personality that fits with the organization).
    For now, UOP, with its issues, is the best fit for me. I work so I get to use what I’ve learned every day in a real world situation. What could be better than that? For the students who already know everything they are being taught at UOP – there is always one who feels he/she can teach the class – then maybe you are not in as challenging environment that you need to be in. But if you are learning, continue. No one can take the knowledge from you once you have it. Now go out and get your knowledge.

  89. I had to repeat courses at UOP that I had previously taken despite receiving an A or B in the course and despite the comparison of the courses taken at another institution and despite the accreditation of the institutions. UOP then denied my appeals for waiver of these courses. I paid twice for more than one of the same courses. The credits I transferred in from my associates degree were whittled down to 1/3 of the credits and adding the other partial credits they allowed, I ended up starting with 66 for a program where I need 120. Now I need 54 more UOP credits or 18 courses, can only take one at a time, and the tuition has gone up. My first class was $1500+fees the next classes were $1700+ fees. I feel caught. Why? Sending out unofficial transcripts for evaluation’s downside is there are “mandatory” courses you have to take. My American educational dream has turned into a nightmare.
    Abate your excitement of enrolling in UOP or any other learning institution. Ask all the questions, even those you feel are unimportant. Wait before making a decision. And most of all, don’t let them rush you.
    Lean towards “Caveat emptor” and take it very seriously.

  90. Dave,
    I think some people are in need of a hug. Life is not easy and people have to learn it is survival of the fittest. A School is there to provide you with an education and each person may need to shop around to find the school that fits their specific learning style. I have been to a few and it has cost me some credits here and there.
    The University of Phoenix has a different style (If a person doesn’t like it than they need to move on to another school). If an employer decides not to hire me because my degree has the red bird on it then it will be his or her lose. Understanding the different learning methodologies leads me to appreciate what the learning teams bring to each of the students. The learning teams prepare people to deal with others in all aspects of life to include work, and teach students how to be leaders if they want to rise to the challenge and motivate their peers to complete the tasks they are given.
    All schools have their share of dirty laundry and haters are going to hate when you are the best. Be proud of your accomplishments and a piece of paper doesn’t make the person it is what they accomplish after they obtain that degree.

  91. I am a current student in the MBA program and I can only state that I have had nothing but a great experience at UoP. The teachers I interacted with are top notch and most of them either teach for another 4 year college here locally or one of the other private colleges that have online classes. This experience has helped me develop as an employee and has opened the door to opportunities for me within my company. Everyone has a something bad to say about something. I could say the same thing about where I received my BA but I won’t because ultimately it is up to me to make my experience in school a great one not others. We must take accountability for ourselves and I think those who complain don’t want to take accountability. For some people it is easier to point a finger and have a tantrum!

  92. OK, I have to weigh in on this… I am in my last week of my PhD in Education at the UOP Online, yes, online. I am looking at a wall of diplomas here in my home. I am also 2 classes short of a third Master’s degree from a prestigious university in California. I have had harder classes in traditional programs but I have also attended UC and much of that was laughable compared to what I have had in private institutions of higher learning. UOP is middle of the road. I have had many great facilitators from the “real world” – not just ivory tower teachers. I have had a few who were maniac hard and failed to communicate and clarify responsibilities. Administration has had a listening ear to these difficulties but has been unable to help. In short, there are always some bumps along the way you either have to go over or around; that’s life! I am not a rich guy. I was an immigrant to the US and English is my second language. I was the first in our family to attend and the only one to actually graduate from college. I’m sure that I couldn’t have had easier access to a PhD program than through the online format. I don’t think I could have achieved this lifelong goal any other way. Yes the road has been “hell” but I’m a few weeks away from surviving it all. The work was very difficult and papers were often 5,000 words per week with absolute perfection required. Instructors had no mercy for the most part. I have two California teaching credentials, am also enrolled in a California school administrator’s program, and have been teaching for over 20 years in public and private institutions. I am very thankful for the University of Phoenix, and in spite of the crude and rude jokes out there, the numbers say it all… thousands of people in the doctoral programs. I am very proud to be a survivor… a PHOENIX. Rise above the ashes and soar! I’m looking forward to completing my dissertation and graduation. Thanks for this blog and best wishes to all of you in your continued studies at whatever institution you find yourself!

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