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#1
Old 08-25-2011, 05:37 PM
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Anything good to say about University of Phoenix?

I am an RN and go to a lot of online nursing sites, so my computer senses this and I have been getting banner ads from Univ. of Phoenix. The one that has me steamed says "What if you found out that the nurse giving you care wasn't a BSN?" I have known LVN's, diploma RNs, Associate Degree nurses, BSN's, MSN's and a few PhD's in health/nursing areas. I want to know if people really need background info on their bedside nurse before they can feel safe?

These ads piss me off. Is Univ. of Phoenix well-regarded or just a diploma mill? I see their ads on TV all the time and all that tells me is that they have a lot of money to spend on advertising.

Just curious.
#2
Old 08-25-2011, 05:59 PM
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Diploma mill. It's heartbreaking as a librarian to see all these people working so hard on worthless degrees from various fake-ass schools. Especially because half of them have no business being in college at all and half of them deserve so much better.
#3
Old 08-25-2011, 06:12 PM
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I don't personally trust a diploma from any place that doesn't have a real-life brick and mortar presence. But the management and HR reps where I work now absolutely love UoPhoenix, they push it all the time and a bunch of people I work with are taking classes there.

And if they're an accredited higher learning institution, then they aren't a diploma mill. A friend of mine was taking classes for an associate's in social work, and the math they were testing seemed fairly rigorous when she asked for my help on it. But, it's too easy to cheat and get someone else to take your tests for you.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 08-25-2011 at 06:13 PM.
#4
Old 08-25-2011, 07:05 PM
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They are a for-profit corporation, owned by the Apollo Group (they weaseled their way into getting accredited despite this fact). I've railed on for-profit "universities" before - in fact it was a fairly recent thread where someone was soliciting advice on potentially going to one. I won't rehash it all but suffice to say there is a fundamental conflict of interest here: their loyalty, first and foremost, will always be in reporting profits to shareholders, not to the ideals that educational institutions are supposed to represent.

If you ask me, all of the for-profits should have their accreditations stripped from them. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's been tried but dirty politics got in the way.
#5
Old 08-25-2011, 07:56 PM
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The thing that seems so weird to me is these online schools and private schools that advertise on TV, like Westwood College, are all so expensive for what they give. I can go to a community college for a lot and I mean a lot less and get most of the same courses. I guess not eveyone has convenient access to a community college, but it amazes me why you'd pay so much for a degree when you can at least complete a huge number of credits at a local community college
#6
Old 08-25-2011, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckwall View Post
... Univ. of Phoenix ... banner ads ... steamed ..."What if you found out that the nurse giving you care wasn't a BSN?"... LVN's, diploma RNs, Associate Degree nurses, BSN's, MSN's and a few PhD's in health/nursing areas ... well-regarded or just a diploma mill?
A diploma mill/student loan scam factory here in Chicago got busted a few years ago. They were offering a CNA program that cost private university prices, took a year (8 weeks classroom/8 weeks clinical is typical at community colleges), and had NO clinical component.

Legit CNAs provide a lot of bedside care, and for quality care, the smart money seems to favor (now nearly extinct) diploma RNs.

Last edited by FeAudrey; 08-25-2011 at 10:03 PM.
#7
Old 08-25-2011, 10:23 PM
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They're not a diploma mill. University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Diploma mills do not get that accreditation.

I know 2 people who have UP degrees. Both of them are knowledgeable in their fields. And that is not something you get from a diploma mill, either.
#8
Old 08-25-2011, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
They are a for-profit corporation, owned by the Apollo Group (they weaseled their way into getting accredited despite this fact). I've railed on for-profit "universities" before - in fact it was a fairly recent thread where someone was soliciting advice on potentially going to one. I won't rehash it all but suffice to say there is a fundamental conflict of interest here: their loyalty, first and foremost, will always be in reporting profits to shareholders, not to the ideals that educational institutions are supposed to represent.

If you ask me, all of the for-profits should have their accreditations stripped from them. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's been tried but dirty politics got in the way.
Are they or aren't they accredited? It's a true/false question, not a maybe. If the education they're providing isn't credible, then it wouldn't be accredited. I'm going to say there's a hefty [citation needed] for saying they weaseled their way into it. Aren't accrediting bodies neutral third parties?

Attacking them for being for-profit is one thing, and that's a valid criticism (although when one's employer is paying for the credits, one doesn't tend to care how much they cost). But just because they're for-profit doesn't necessarily mean they provide a shitty education.
#9
Old 08-25-2011, 10:31 PM
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Clothahump, I hear what you are saying. I also know that it doesn't take a BSN to give excellent patient care, which is what their ad seems to be implying. When I hear about cheating online or having someone else take a test for you, it disturbs me. I went to a community college and then a state college (back in the day when things cost a nickel) and received an excellent education. If it costs $35,000 to earn an LVN or RN degree, something is wrong. I am not trying to single out U of P, however the ad I saw is inflammatory, to say the least.
#10
Old 08-25-2011, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
Are they or aren't they accredited? It's a true/false question, not a maybe. If the education they're providing isn't credible, then it wouldn't be accredited. I'm going to say there's a hefty [citation needed] for saying they weaseled their way into it. Aren't accrediting bodies neutral third parties?

Attacking them for being for-profit is one thing, and that's a valid criticism (although when one's employer is paying for the credits, one doesn't tend to care how much they cost). But just because they're for-profit doesn't necessarily mean they provide a shitty education.
There's not just one Big Accrediting Association, you know.
#11
Old 08-25-2011, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
Are they or aren't they accredited? It's a true/false question, not a maybe. If the education they're providing isn't credible, then it wouldn't be accredited. I'm going to say there's a hefty [citation needed] for saying they weaseled their way into it. Aren't accrediting bodies neutral third parties?
They are regionally accredited, but your unswerving faith in those "neutral third parties" may be misplaced. The way most for-profits do it is by buying up a struggling, already-accredited school and turning it into a corporation:

Quote:
In a development that has captured the interest of the Education Department, a growing number of for-profits have taken a shortcut to regional accreditation: buying an already accredited non-profit college. At least 11 non-profits have been converted to for-profits that way in recent years, Kinser says.
Cite. Of course, every time these accreditations are called into question, lawmakers pretend to make a fuss about it (which is also discussed in the quoted article), but ultimately they get their palms greased and the for-profit fat cats continue on their merry way, scamming the country out of billions in federal financial aid that those accreditations make their students eligible for (students at for-profits make up about 10% of college students overall, but account for a whopping 47% of all defaults on student loans).
#12
Old 08-25-2011, 11:41 PM
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Also wanted to add (editing window expired):

Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
But just because they're for-profit doesn't necessarily mean they provide a shitty education.
It kinda does. If you're willing to enroll anyone and everyone who's capable of filling out a FAFSA, you're spending gobs of money on your TV marketing budget, and maximizing profits is your institution's mission statement - how could you possibly apply the same standards of academic rigor that we've come to expect from institutions that earned their reputations the hard way?
#13
Old 08-26-2011, 12:44 AM
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I know why some people go to these "diploma mills" because they accept you the second you walk in the door, fill out FAFSA, charge a crapload of money, keep you there as long as possible, and you're stuck with student loans. People I've known went to these diploma mills..Everest, Bryman, Univerity of Phoenix, and no name diploma mills that no one knows about, because there are waitlists at community colleges up to 3 or 4 years for some specialities, and this is faster, BUT a lot more money.
#14
Old 08-26-2011, 01:54 AM
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My MD husband decided to add an MBA to his resume and did it through U of Phoenix. It cost a freaking fortune and was seriously hard work. All exams had to be monitored by an appropriate education professional in our area so cheating is not that easy. I suppose if you had a good friend who qualified..... anything is possible. He is proud of this degree but the exhorbitant fee still steams me to this day.
#15
Old 08-26-2011, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Little Cloud View Post
He is proud of this degree but the exhorbitant fee still steams me to this day.
That's the thing...him being an MD, I can't imagine he couldn't have applied to and easily gotten accepted to one of any number of MBA programs from regular schools. And seeing as a lot of MBA students are working professionals, it's easy to find programs that offer evening classes, online classes, etc...it's not like UoP was his only choice.

Did he say why he chose them over a traditional school that, even if it cost the same, would have at least looked better on a resume?

Last edited by bouv; 08-26-2011 at 10:15 AM.
#16
Old 08-26-2011, 10:44 AM
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http://pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...llegeinc/view/

My brother told me a couple of years ago.. he was advised by a guy in HR that diplomas from the diploma mill universities were being looked upon askance.. That's to put it lightly.

Recently Gwinnett Public school fired several teachers who got advanced degrees from the fake schools for fraud. I'v encouraged my job to stop having these charlatans over to snooker these young guys who don't know any better..
That Frontline piece is a shame..
#17
Old 08-26-2011, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
...But the management and HR reps where I work now absolutely love UoPhoenix...
Which I guess just goes to show you that it depends on who you ask. Senior management at my employer has made it quite clear that an online degree would be worthless to them. Having not actually done it, I can't say how rigorous the online program is, but just the fact that there are some employers out there who will roll their eyes at your resume when they see UofPhoenix puts one at a disadvantage.
#18
Old 08-26-2011, 12:15 PM
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My husband and daughter are both in very technical fields, and occasionally swap stories about spectacularly incompetent people in their workplaces. After the laughter, the listener will ask "DeVry or U of Phoenix?" and usually it's one or the other.

So I guess there is something good to say about U of Phoenix...if you're hiring someone with a degree from UoP, make sure that this person is actually competent.
#19
Old 08-26-2011, 12:47 PM
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We and others throw out applications listing degrees from UoP and their ilk.
#20
Old 08-26-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelellogram View Post
I don't personally trust a diploma from any place that doesn't have a real-life brick and mortar presence. But the management and HR reps where I work now absolutely love UoPhoenix, they push it all the time and a bunch of people I work with are taking classes there.
Don't you work in a call center? No offense to people who work in call centers but I wouldn't trust the higher-ups at a call center to be a good meter of educational institutions.

Why would they push their workers to get a degree from a school that would ultimately give them the ability to leave the call center? Unless they have a pretty good idea that the degree won't help you leave the call center at all.

And seriously, I am not calling call-center workers un-educated. I have several friends who work in or have worked in call centers, some with MBAs. But they have used those jobs as "placeholders" until they can get a job in their field of education.
#21
Old 08-26-2011, 02:28 PM
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To clarify one point, U. Phoenix is not online-only.
#22
Old 08-26-2011, 04:08 PM
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My wife got her Masters in Educational Counseling through UofP several years ago. THey are not a diploma mill, and they are not an online only school. They have brick and mortar presence in many cities.

Yes, they are for-profit, but the coursework she had to do was very rigorous, and she had to learn the material well in order to get a good grade.

To put UofP in the same category as the "send me $500 and I'll give you a degree" schools is not valid.
#23
Old 08-26-2011, 04:51 PM
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I used to work for one of their competitors, Career Education Corporation. Like Phoenix CEC schools are accredited and provided reasonably good courses. The problem is that we would let anyone in, and we charged them a bucket full of money. Often we would enroll students who had no chance of passing. Phoenix is no different.

On line course work is more profitable, which is why companies like CEC and Appolo push it. For that reason most uni’s these days offer some online stuff. Unfortunately at CEC the failure rate of our distance edu students was savage (they still had to pay for the privilage of failing).

Last edited by bannerrefugee; 08-26-2011 at 04:52 PM.
#24
Old 08-26-2011, 08:52 PM
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I'm actually "attending" UoP right now. I'm just over halfway to getting my MAED. Because I'm getting a degree in the field in which I'm currently working, the course work doesn't seem that difficult. There have been a few classes that had a heavy workload so while it hasn't been difficult material, I will say there were a few times when I was overwhelmed between work, parenting, and schoolwork. Admittedly, there are people in my classes who honestly don't belong there. They can't put together a coherent sentence and just from reading posts, they don't seem very bright (yes, I'm being judge-y). Then again, some of the folks I did my undergrad with weren't too bright either. Luckily I've been teamed up with some great folks and we've stuck together through the entire program.

Where I work, getting a Masters is really just a "box-checker" for moving up--they don't care where it's from or what it's in, as long as I have one. In fact, they recommend UoP as a fast and easy way to get an advanced degree. There are several people on my base doing the UoP thing. I would love to get my Masters from a more reputable school but I'm a single parent who works 50-ish hours per week and I honestly don't have the time (or money for childcare) to go to a brick and mortar school. For me, this is the only way I can get my Masters. Hopefully after my daughter gets older, I'll be able to go back and get another degree from a more reputable school.
#25
Old 08-28-2011, 10:06 AM
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I've never attended UoP but my Brother-in-Law has. He's in training and staff development and has his masters from UoP and seems happy with it. I've certainly known a great many people who have done so and again, seem happy with it. As a hiring force I haven't downchecked people for having a degree from UoP.
#26
Old 08-28-2011, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
To clarify one point, U. Phoenix is not online-only.
Correct. There is a brick-and-mortar building just south of Portland off of I-5.
#27
Old 08-28-2011, 04:52 PM
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When I hire adjuncts for our department, I bin degrees from UoP and any other for-profit and/or online-only school. I know personally and professionally a number of people with undergrad and grad degrees from those schools, and have been universally unimpressed with the competence of those people in their fields.

That personal experience, combined with the experience of knowing that UoP (at least) is EXTREMELY reluctant to allow students to fail classes and that the for-profit accreditation situation is sketchy at best, does not make me feel bad that I might possibly miss a potential gem out of a handful of applications discarded for those reasons.
#28
Old 08-28-2011, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bannerrefugee View Post
I used to work for one of their competitors, Career Education Corporation. Like Phoenix CEC schools are accredited and provided reasonably good courses. The problem is that we would let anyone in, and we charged them a bucket full of money. Often we would enroll students who had no chance of passing. Phoenix is no different.

On line course work is more profitable, which is why companies like CEC and Appolo push it. For that reason most uniís these days offer some online stuff. Unfortunately at CEC the failure rate of our distance edu students was savage (they still had to pay for the privilage of failing).
This right here. For-profits have a bottom line, to increase value to shareholders. This is done by recruiting more customers. So while it's possible to be bright and have good courses much of the experience IMO is marred by the fact that your peers aren't necessarily going to enhance your educational experience. And it's criminally expensive, and the default rates for UoP students is abysmal. I have real problems with how they do business.

That being said, I have a student who's a dean and moving up in the UoP world, who's a real pro and I know does a great job teaching. I don't doubt one can get a good education from a UoP but I suspect the uniformity of graduates is uneven. I can assure you any taxpayer supported institution with their default rates and graduation rates would be shuttered.
#29
Old 08-29-2011, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Hippy Hollow View Post
I can assure you any taxpayer supported institution with their default rates and graduation rates would be shuttered.
Heh, who do you think ends up paying when the students default on their federal student loans? That's why I have such a problem with them - we are ultimately subsidizing their corporate greed with our tax dollars. If we stripped these for-profit schools of their accreditations they would no longer be eligible for federal student loans, and I'd be fine with it.
#30
Old 08-29-2011, 01:37 PM
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I hear they are being considered for one of the teams in the SEC and Big XII conference realignments purely because of their significant alumni base.
#31
Old 08-29-2011, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bannerrefugee View Post
I used to work for one of their competitors, Career Education Corporation. Like Phoenix CEC schools are accredited and provided reasonably good courses. The problem is that we would let anyone in, and we charged them a bucket full of money. Often we would enroll students who had no chance of passing. Phoenix is no different.
This. The problem with UofP, DeVry, Strayer and their ilk is that they have reputations beneath those of even the lowliest state schools, but have a price tag on par with private liberal arts colleges.

Last edited by joebuck20; 08-29-2011 at 02:33 PM.
#32
Old 08-30-2011, 11:18 AM
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Where you have you degree from is largely a matter for lazy hiring managers in fields that have lots of applicants; it makes it easy to reduce the pile. Once you can cross that initial threshold and get that first, meaningful, important job in your field, it's your personal success and ability to network that will be important; not your alma mater.

Social occasions and congresses may continue to embarrass you, though. I'm more proud of my military service than my degree-of-convenience. On the other hand, I've got one kick-ass career.
#33
Old 08-30-2011, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by beckwall View Post
Clothahump, I hear what you are saying. I also know that it doesn't take a BSN to give excellent patient care, which is what their ad seems to be implying. When I hear about cheating online or having someone else take a test for you, it disturbs me. I went to a community college and then a state college (back in the day when things cost a nickel) and received an excellent education. If it costs $35,000 to earn an LVN or RN degree, something is wrong. I am not trying to single out U of P, however the ad I saw is inflammatory, to say the least.
Sad to say, in this day and time, the same can be said of brick-and-mortar campuses as well.
#34
Old 08-30-2011, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Correct. There is a brick-and-mortar building just south of Portland off of I-5.
And they have at least four physical sites in the Houston metroplex that I know of.
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