Sunday, October 11, 2009

SNL's "University of Westfield" ad: The reputation of online degrees takes another hit

(Updated with comments and links at the bottom of this post) I saw this on Saturday Night Live yesterday: An ad for the "University of Westfield" and its online degree programs (note you may have to sit through a real advertisement before the fake SNL ad starts):

The basic message of the fake ad is summed up in this line from the script:
"The University of Westfield taught me that having gone to Internet college is not something that would make people want to hire me."
Clearly, it's spoofing the University of Phoenix, which has its own image problems, as well as online education in general. Unfortunately for the people who are pinning their educational and career hopes on online degrees, jokes like these help perpetuate various stereotypes of Web-based education, regardless of the quality of the programs or the dedication of the students who register for them.

Update: A new blog post that illustrates some of the problems with distance education, as seen by instructors: Online education: A teacher speaks

2nd update: University of Phoenix astroturfing, or sarcasm directed at its own student customers? See this comment and my follow-up comment (#8), and judge for yourself.

3rd Update: Since writing this post, I have taken an online math class for credit, and have this to say about the online education experience:

ATTENTION COMMENT SPAMMERS: Don't bother leaving comments, they'll never make it past the moderation queue.

(Update: Since writing this post, I have launched a company which is dedicated to helping people understand complicated technologies and concepts. Besides creating online posts which address questions such as What is LinkedIn and What Is Google Drive, I have also published a series of guides under the In 30 Minutes brand.)


  1. Yes, I saw this parody last Saturday and had the same reaction - a concern about how this inaccurate perception continues to build in spite of the progress the University of Phoenix makes in getting beyond it. I'm a leadership development and strategic planning consultant with a Doctor of Management from UoPhx. After completion of my doctorate, I started teaching online and in the classroom at Phoenix. I'm also adjunct faculty (online and on-ground) for another university in the region that is highly regarded (their MBA program made the Top 20 while UoPhx didn't). Yet, I had a Phoenix undergrad in one of those MBA classes who out-performed all of her non-Phoenix counterparts. Now that can mean one of two things - either she was more prepared or that University's MBA program lacks rigor.
    The majority of my Phoenix MBA students already have successful careers, and even with the hard work and high expectations of the program, this farce of having to lie about your degree may still be discouraging. I know because I had to get over it, too. For a year after earning my doctorate, I didn't think of myself as "Doctor O" because I had bought into the limiting perception. I woke up when I learned to better appreciate the three years of hard work and no life it took to get there. I've since applied it to a successful career change and consulting practice. (I was formerly in IT management.)
    All this to say that it has to be the University of Phoenix students and graduates themselves that transform this stereotype into a more respectful perception of their work and degrees. They'll have to earn it.

    1. I agree. I live in ew York. I went to U.B. for u.dergrad and graduate school. I was accepted i. their B.A./M.S.W. program, but lat7er withdrew for medical reasons, completing my B.A. with honors. U.B.'s M.S.W. program is equally rigorous to their law school program. Upon completion of my degree, the local and national economy was shifting. I decided to scrupulously review U.o.P. M.Ed Adult Education and raining Program for its versatility. I enrolled and even doubled up on courses. Let me tell you and the internet world that their rigor was parallell to U.B.'s M.S.W. program. The work was rigorous, papers were extensive and thorough, group projects were even tougher than any I had completed at u.B., among many other obstacles. Furthermore, N.Y.S. has a rigorous education system. Its review board and standards are strict. I cannot tell you how many out of state brick and mortar school students have to start over here. I am sure that some things from u.O.P won't transfer here as well. I can say with absolute certainty that my U.O.P. Masters degree was reviewd and approved by N.Y.S. Board of Education/Higher Education with no concern. I now have a professional certification as a result. In closing, you should fight for what you work for. Education and its red tape seems to be purely political. It is you who makes it work, not just the school. If you see a problem with your program of choice address it.

    2. I guess the program never taught you how spell

  2. It is funny, how, most people that try to "dumb" down schools like UOP really just show how closed minded and ignorant they are. Most negative posts are written by people who need to learn how to write, spell, and talk. Most of their arguements are: it's too easy, or they were scamming me. If this were the case, UOP would not have the largest number of students, and it would not cause other schools like Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc to pursue offering online classes.

    You really get out of it what you put into it. SNL could only make fun of the "ease of attainment", and SNL will also make fun of just about anything or anyone if it will get people to watch.

    I have been to multiple schools over the years, attaining an Art degree, Film degree, Engineering degree, all from "brick and mortar" schools. I am now at UOP, for IT/software, after extensive research.

    The job I have and move forward in, was obtained by my abilities, and motivation not by the schools I went to. I actually believe all schools are a waste. Information and knowledge are contained in books, not buildings. Most of what I know was obtained by my own interest, not because some teacher told me I should know it.

    I make twice as much money as people that went to popular/"brick and mortar" schools, thanks UOP.

    1. Thank you Anonymous. Knowledge is not a proprietary right to be granted on persons by a college. It is the learner's responsibility to obtain, retain, and utilize that knowledge from whichever source available. Obtaining a University of Phoenix (UoP) degree, I do notice there is a spectrum of students; low performers, middle performers, and top performers. You choose which you will be.

    2. I recently completed the MBA program through UoP and I will be the first to tell anyone, it is no easy task! You have to be disciplined to stay on track and finish the program in a reasonable amount of time. I agree that the first couple of classes seemed "easier" than about the third class. It got serious fast! Anyone who takes the Accounting, Operations Management and Marketing classes will be fooled if they think you can pass without reading and applying the material presented. What I believe to be the toughest thing about UoP and other online forums are the 30-40% of people they attract. For example, in each class you are expected to complete an individual project and a portion of a group project weekly... The issue is this 30-40% of folks who come in thinking that everything requires little work, makes it difficult for those of us who take the education serious!

      Instructors... I had some great instructors and some, not so great. However, I never had any instructor who just gave me a grade (good or bad) without feedback. I always knew what was expected and learned from their feedback. AND... I never had an instructor who didn't reply in an expeditious manner. In my opinion, I think that the instructors are a step above most higher learning environments. In fact, some actually teach online programs at other well known schools. For example, one of my instructors also taught an online program at both University of Maryland and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

      Advisor... I cant compliment my advisor enough. I will refer to him as Matt... he kept me on track for each of my classes and routinely checked on me to ensure that I was engaged and not becoming exhausted. I have attended other schools (one being a Big10 school and I can say with confidence, the Advisors are very engaged at UoP)

      Lasting words... An education starts with a desire to learn. If you think attending UoP will be easy and will require very little work, then you are going to be very disappointed and will certainly be on forums like this bad mouthing the school and programs. Also, I recommend taking a break after 3 consecutive classes. I complete the program in 20 months and that required a non-stop schedule... its rough, very rough and I DONT recommend doing this!

      Online Degrees... Its my opinion that most who criticize an online degree... typically doesn't have one! Online education is very popular, catering to more mature audiences... sadly a persons age doesn't mean they're mature and disciplined to handle an online forum!

      Good luck... If you choose an online forum... UoP or another, be ready to devote time through each week and weekends to accomplish your goal. The negative comments are ridiculous and (in my opinion) come from those people expecting thing to be fast and easy.

      Employment... I have been with the same company for a number of years and have participated in many recruiting events. I will tell ALL young people... obtaining employment out of college with no experience is difficult (even from brick and motar schools!). I recommend you, at minimum, complete an undergrad with GPA higher than 3.75 or continue and complete a Master's program. You must set yourself apart from other graduates! FYI... my particular company doesn't even interview graduates with less than 3.7 GPA... Remember, you will be selling yourself to employers. The degree may get you the interview, but it is up to you to sell what you learned while obtaining the degree!

      Onward and Upward! (stole this from a previous instructor... good luck)

  3. Thanks for your comments. The ad presents some ridiculous stereotypes about online education and the students who enroll in online degree programs.

    But spoofs often contain a few grains of truth. In this case, let's not forget some of the following facts, which I think give context to the ad and how it was received:

    A) the University of Phoenix has had some legitimate quality concerns in the past.

    B) Web-based education based on asynchronous communication tools (message boards, pre-recorded video, email) has not been established as an effective substitute for traditional classrooms in terms of academic discourse and student/teacher interaction (I've written about this extensively in the past, read this blog entry if you want to understand my position).

    C) At least some hiring managers do have major doubts about the effectiveness of online degrees. Four years ago, The Wall Street Journal had an article comparing MBAs, Executive MBAs, and online MBAs, and the recruiters they talked with "reserved their most savage comments" for the online degrees. I don't have a link to the original article, but you can see the excerpt here.

    One could argue that these attitudes are dated, but I think they still live on in the minds of many people who don't follow the debates or new tools used for e-learning at UOP and elsewhere. In the case of the Harvard University Extension School, I have spent a lot of time examining online education and concluded that the asynchronous technologies it uses for distance education equate to a watered-down academic experience and should not be the basis of significant class credit for its undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    I welcome your comments below.

    Ian Lamont (author of the I Lamont blog)

  4. It's ironic that some of the Saturday Night Live cast in this video don't have college educations:

    Kenan Thompson - E.C. Glass High School
    Fred Armisen - No education listed
    Jenny Slate - Columbia University
    Nasim Pedrad - UCLA

  5. Maybe that's the impetus for the skit -- one of them was looking into going back to school.

  6. I proudly display my University of Phoenix diploma in my cubicle. I could have chosen one of the Ivy League schools like Tulsa Community College, but having done the extensive research I chose a quality university with one of the best and most recognizable logo’s worldwide. I’m now in my fourth job in 6 months and I’d be willing to bet grads from other schools can’t lay claim to that argument. My education at UoP has made it clear to me that the jibes taken at UoP are made by people who are jealous: Jealous that they had to spend 4 years or more struggling in a school with professor’s who graduated with PhD’s from mainstream universities, when I was able to attain my degree in 16 months being taught by professors who went to this very school and experienced the same trials and tribulations I endured. Oh, this by no means means I didn’t have to pour my blood, sweat, and tears into my education. Sometimes in my study groups we would have to spend several waking hours arguing why my background as an 4-yr assistant manager of McDonald’s when I was 16 legitimizes my points in the thesys we had write. And believe me, a 5 page 500 word thesys is no walk in the park. The painstaking work we did to come up with a real-life working business plan has paid off. I am a single-parent who now successfully owns and runs my very own beauty salon while still caring for my 4 children. All of us proud alummnies should band together and stop the nonsense. Thanks UoP! I am a Phoenix!

    1. A 5 page thesis!?! I go to a private university and a 5 page paper is like a typical homework assignment for me. Heck, I was even writing 5 page papers back in high school. From my experience, at the collegiate level, a more substantial paper, such as a thesis (which is spelled T-H-E-S-I-S by the way), would be around 20-40 pages, with scholarly and credible research, graphs, analysis and all that other good stuff.

    2. 5 page thesis? Pathetic.

    3. I believe that this post is intended as artful sarcasm, don't you? Quite humorous, I might add.

    4. I recently graduated from UoP with my BS in Psychology and I never once had to write a five page thesis in my entire four years at this school. The most I ever had to write was a 5,000 word paper for a final. In all honesty I believe that UoP trains students more on computer skills than anything else.

    5. Dear Anonymous:

      You have the right to proudly wave your University of Phoenix banner, but you may first want to spell-check your post, specifically the word "thesys" (sic) before doing so. Ill-written posts such as this (just to begin, there are many spelling and grammar errors) are stopped in their tracks when attempting to be viewed as credible testimonies to on-line education. In addition, I certainly would not boast about holding four jobs in six months. Is this an indication of the same longevity that is portrayed by the instructors at the University of Phoenix?

      I would be happy to revise your post with the necessary corrections. Would welcome your response, but please use wisdom!

    6. To the upper anonymous, 5000 words for a properly formatted and referenced academic paper is somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 pages; so, your post makes no sense.

    7. Obvious troll is obvious.

    8. I think the person who created the orginal post was making fun of UOP.

    9. I love how many people on the internet are so quick to argue things like they know everything about everything, but they are too dumb to recognize sarcasm, even when it is incredibly obvious. It wasn't even subtle people. And then you have responses like, I had to write more than that all the time in college. Yes, but clearly no one taught you English up to high school level, because we do a whole section on satire in 10th grade people.

    10. I had an idiot boss at a tech company who loved to abuse his field engineers for not being "productive enough" while he spent all day at work getting his on line degree from University of Phoenix while on the company clock. He gleefully laid us all off in 2008 and got the chopping block himself in 2009. Now he is an FAA bench tech with a worthless degree and a lot of student debt and over 50. I hear UOP just laid off 900 of its faculty and staff and it wouldn't surprise me if the whole thing closed in the next few years. What goes around comes around.

  7. I hope this doesn't affect me, a graduate of the real Westfield: Westfield State College in Westfield, MA. They now have the former president of the University of Hawai'i as president, but I hope that isn't held against me.

  8. Readers:

    I was curious about the second to last anonymous poster's use of UOP's marketing slogan, and checked to see the IP address in my website logs to see where he/she had come from. It indicates that the visitor who posted it came from (, which is the corporate parent for the University of Phoenix.

    Ian (author of this blog)

    1. Uhhh...that poster was clearly being sarcastic...

    2. The point is that an employee of the company that owns UofP is sarcastically insulting UoP students.

  9. Some interesting things I saw in that post, too

    "I'm now in my fourth job in 6 months..." I don't see how that's a plus; not being able to hold down a job for more than an average of 9 weeks per job would be a horrible statistic.

    "...with professors who graduated with PhD's from mainstream universities...", "...taught by professors who went to this very school and experienced the same trials and tribulations I endured." So none of the teachers have PhD's and all got their degrees online? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Masters degrees or higher (which is usually the requirement for teaching) are usually available online.

    "...5 page 500 word thesys..." First of all, its Thesis, second of all thats only 100 words per page. What font size is that, 30 pt?

    "...alummnies..." Once again a shining example of the quality of University of Phoenix's Literary Department.

    I'm currently enrolled in an Institution that has online and offline courses, and I notice a big difference in the aptitude levels of people who did Calculus I online and who did it in class. I took mine 6 years ago, took a break from school, and I'm at the top of the class. Most of the other students just give up on the homework after awhile. I don't like this trend, I want my degree to be worth something when I'm done with it, not just a piece of paper that I can BS my way through a job interview with. If online degrees are killing proficiency levels of students, then who is to say that businesses will still hire people from my University, even though I took the in-class courses?

    1. Don't listen to the person who said that. Every single instructor at UoP has at least a Master's Degree and have gone to accredited colleges. Here in Ohio however, my BSP is useless. I graduated from UoP online with my Associate's in Human Services Management and my Bachelor's in Psychology. However, the laws in Ohio have changed recently, making it nearly impossible to work in the field of Human Services (Social Work) with a psychology degree. The only real issues I have with UoP are the high costs, and the lack of providing internships.

  10. Uhhh... gang, I think Anonymous was being ironic.

  11. "Ironic" commenter: Yes, it seems so. What's surprising is the comment apparently came from someone working for UOP, and shows a lot of contempt toward UOP students and alumni.

  12. Just about every University has tried to copy University of Phoenix's online format in order to attract more students. The University has the same accreditation as all of the Ivy league and state schools. (Regional accreditation is the highest). Look it up at

  13. Apparently I've come late to this party, but I wanted to put in a word or two.

    I have worked for University of Phoenix. I have also worked on a Masters degree through UOP. As an employee, I was proud of one thing: this university has and will continue to change the lives of some students. An important note is that the university is flexible enough to work with the scheduling drama that may be involved in being an over-worked, under-paid employee/often single parent who needs an education of some sort to move forward into a better paying job or career advancement of some stripe.

    However, there are many downfalls. One is that there are almost no admitance requuirements. Second is that "recruiters" are paid based on how many students they get into class each month. Because of this, the quality of some students is not the same as at "brick and mortar" universities who require SAT/ACT or GRE scores. I do feel that some of the recruiting practices are deceptive, but this has more to do with the recruiting practices of individuals. I can honestly say that there are people working at UOP who will sacrifice their jobs in the long run to do the right thing by their students.

    I take pride in having served the underserved. But I'm not always proud to say that "I am a Phoenix".

    And one more thing - all faculty at UOP have Masters degrees and current working experience in the field that they teach.

  14. Anonymous former Phoenix employee: Thanks for your candid comment.

    One question that I and many other observers (and potential students) have for UOP administrators, and I hope you can shed some light on, is what is the placement rate for new UOP grads? Are the graduates finding better-paying jobs with their degrees? Do the jobs pay well enough relative to the cost of the education that it can justify the ROI in terms of tuition costs and time spent?



  15. I work with two individuals that both have experience with UOP. One earned her MBA at the school and is a very professional and capable individual. The other just graduated from UOP with her undergraduate degree in psychology and has now started work on her Masters at UOP. She cannot read at greater than an 8th grade level, and cannot write at higher than a 6th grade proficiency. Unfortunately, she is so completely unqualified to even hold a college diploma that I am now convinced the UOP is nothing more than a diploma mill, willing to sell a diploma to anyone that can scrape together the money. The first woman I mentioned is now beside herself with disgust and regret at having gone far into debt to get her MBA at UOP.

    I am not someone who is against online degrees. I recently earned two Masters degrees online through the University of Texas A & M. I am aware that many of the best universites in the country, or world for that matter, offer online degree programs. However, the lack meaningful entrance requirements at UOP paints a very clear picture. The schools goal is not education and knowledgeable graduates possessing valuable degrees, but rather, making as much money as possible, even at the expense of devaluing all university degrees but those from the most prestigous institutions. The organization that granted accreditation to UOP ought to be ashamed of itself.

    1. Let a University of Phoenix graduate school you on something.....Check your own spelling, grammar, & punctuation before you knock on my level of learning & my school...Clearly you learned nothing from your 2 Masters Degrees from Texas A&M...

      I'll point them out for you stated in your post:

      1. "I am aware that many of the best universites in the country, or world for that matter, offer online degree programs." Universites - what the hell is that A&M? After Math of learning at Texas A&M...

      2. "The schools goal is not education and knowledgeable graduates possessing valuable degrees, but rather, making as much money as possible, even at the expense of devaluing all university degrees but those from the most prestigous institutions." Check your spelling A&M Master of incorrect spelling!!!

      3. "However, the lack meaningful entrance requirements at UOP paints a very clear picture." A&M, try putting the word "of" in there somewhere...

      4. "requirements at UOP paints a very clear picture." Your subject verb agreement is off...The verb of a sentence must agree with the subject in number and in person.
      - requirements & paints - I expected better education from Texas A&M !!!!

      You've just been schooled by a UOP graduate & for that, you're welcome!!!

  16. I am currently attending the UoP, on site accounting program. And I must say that the work is quite difficult. It is not easy to learn in five days what others learn in sixteen weeks. To obtain a degree at any school takes initiative and perserverance. I do believe that some individuals who attend UoP are not prepared for entrance into the career world, while others, who attend the college are more capable. The unfortunate thing about attenfing the UoP, which I was originally unaware of is the stigma that comes along with the degree. Most feel that the degree was just simply a high dollar piece of paper. That is saddening and quite scary for me. How can I find gainful employment when people look at my degree and frown on where I got it from? Although I am quite aware that a graduate from Harvard is looked on differently than a graduate from TU, OU, UCLA, or any other less prestigious colleges. I believe that businesses should not simply hire or refuse to hire based on the school attended, but look at the individual themselves. A graduate from UoP may be just as capable if not more so than a graduate from any other college. All UoP graduates are not idiots, nor do they all graduate with low reading, writing, and math skills. I had over a twelfth grade reading and writing level before I entered the university. I can spell and have an extensive vocabulary. I have great oral communication skills and pride myself on being able to conduct myself in a professional way. These were skills obtained prior to my enrollment at the UoP. Skills which the UoP have helped me to get better at performing. I have seen some of the instances where I wondered how those who attend the school even made it through high school, if they did. Their basic skills are limited and the classes are very much a struggle for them, which in part makes it a struggle for those who are members of their team. Let us not forget UoP prides itself on developing the team environment, an environment that I was not necessarily open to upon enrollment. Yet, this environment has taught me to deal better with others and learn the team concept and how to deal with conflict amongst team members. Something that I am aware that many businesses and governmental jobs claim to have yet fail miserably at.

    I am extremely nervous about my future prospects within the accounting field upon graduation from UoP. Nevertheless, I am certain that any company that gives me the opportunity to work for them and learn from them will have acquired a great asset to their team. Being a UoP graduate should not be a hindrance to me, but a benefit to me, as I originally thought that it would. In the end, success is solely the responsibility of the individual. Either you are willing to work hard and learn the business, or you choose to settle for mediocrity. I despise mediocrity!

  17. I'm an adjunct professor at a research university, a large Christian university, and a large regionally accredited, for-profit online university. All three have very different students.

    To be admitted to the online university, a student must graduate from high school AND pass "an ability to benefit" entrance exam which indicates that he or she has an IQ of at least 80. Many high school graduates cannot meet this requirement, and some who do probably shouldn't.

    I teach a "first year experience" course which is often the first course a student takes in the online program. The student must learn to show up regularly, follow directions, and interact with other students. The whole 12 week program is oriented around a 5 paragraph "research paper" which must be formatted correctly in Word. Only about 40% of the students manage to pass the course.

    Compared to the other schools where I teach, the online courses are ridiculously easy. However, for people who would be challenged by a community college (perhaps because of extreme timidity, lack of transportation, or child care concerns), the online experience is often the best thing that has ever happened to them. Many of them work at fast foods, Walmart, or prisons and want to become managers.

    One of the joys of teaching is receiving notes from students saying how much the class has meant to them. I rarely receive such notes from students at the research university. I occasionally receive such notes at the Christian University. I often receive these notes from students at the online university.

    To employers, the diploma from each school clearly means something. But I have a feeling, that to the students, many of those who receive the degree from the online school value it far more than the students from the other schools.

  18. Adjunct professor and the various anonymous supporters of online education and the University of Phoenix who have left comments here:

    If you feel so strongly about this issue, why are you using anonymous handles? Most of you bring up valid points. You clearly feel proud of your accomplishments. Yet not one person has used a real name or a linked handle that can be traced back to a real name.

    Ian (author of this blog)

  19. I have a MS in human resources management from Golden Gate, and I tried to get hired as a business management instructor at UOP. They would not hire me because I tested out of several masters classes that they require. I don't know how to quantify the effectiveness of the UOP quality effort, other than to say that there definitely is one.

  20. Anonymous, why would you include UCLA in your list of so called 'less prestigeous' universities? Don't you know that UCLA is one of the toughest universities for undergrads to get into? The average Freshman GPA is about 4.O and they turn away thousands of top A students every year trying to get it. UCLA should not be included with your list of lesser schools. Yes, its ranked slightly lesser than Harvard, but the other schools you included when you mentioned UCLA don't even come close--giving a negative impression by association.

  21. I am a student of UoP. No doubt about it, some of the comments are spot on in regards to the poor writing skills of some students. It makes us cringe and some professors hammer the grades of those who write poorly. It has been a curve though, and now that I am in my 3rd year, I find that there are only a couple that need moderate improvement.

    UoP has meant that I could continue my education. I despised the brick-and-mortar buildings and slogged through a few courses at a time before quiting.

    I find it ironic though, that so many would be willing to put down UoP, when 99% of the instructors with post graduation degrees never went to UoP. I have had top-notch instructors, including a CIO, a few VPs, and many managers. What does that say about them?

    Finally, the reality is this: Those who decide to coast through life will be identified quickly. They may speak the lingo, but they won't be able to resolve issues. They will be identified and they will be cut.

    Just a thought for those who are considering UoP: Hard Work will reward you. Individuals who earned their degree by receiving sports scholarships and skating by with average grades will be held accountable.

    What does it say when all UoP graduates at my company survived the layoffs due to 2008 banking crisis? You can say what you want, it says a lot when a student is working full time, taking care of children, and staying up past midnight to acheive a degree.

    1. +1....I agree with you!!!!

  22. I am a student at Axia College of University of Phoenix and I will be obtaining my Associates in Accounting this winter, and then I will begin the Bachelors of Science in Accounting program in January 2011. I have noticed some of you “anonymous” individuals have claimed to be proud of your UOP roots, yet failed to list your name. I, however, have no problem stating my name and providing a link to my Facebook profile page so that you all can see that I am a real person and I am willing to defend the education that I am paying a very high price for. Not only am I paying out my a** for the tuition, but I am sacrificing hours of time each day that I could easily be spending with my daughters or my husband, not to mention I am paying a high price to all who wish to belittle me and my choice to obtain my degree from UOP. Most people do not understand what goes in to preparing for an online class. The material is taught basically to ourselves by ourselves with a professor’s name, number, and email address handy in case we don’t understand something. I am expected to learn in nine weeks what most people learn in what, twelve or sixteen weeks? I am constantly exhausted and my brain fried, just like if I were attending a “normal’ college.
    I am very disheartened to hear the negative comments about UOP and the fact that there are actually employers out there who will base their hiring decisions solely on the name of the institution listed on a degree. There are numerous accredited colleges and universities that offer online learning experiences, none of which can be held to a lesser superiority simply because of that fact.
    I have struggled through some of my classes at Axia College, and I have also breezed through some of them, which I am sure many college students can say about their experiences at a “normal” school. The hardest part about actually getting “something” out of online classes is the fact that you have to make yourself get something out; no one else will be there to do that for you. You have to be 100% self motivated, dedicated, and capable of figuring out problems on your own because you cannot rely on the faculty or other students to be there for you at all hours of the night; which is when the majority of my work is accomplished.
    I have run into quite a few class mates who should not be in college level classes, and that is very frustrating, but I have also met a lot of very intelligent people through UOP as well. All of the professors that I have had thus far hold multiple degrees including Masters’ and PhD’s. It maddens me that UOP is always talked about as a “for-profit” college, as if all colleges aren’t “for-profit” entities. Colleges are in the business of making money no matter where they are located or who runs them. That’s not to say that UOP doesn’t make a lot more money than some other colleges, but that’s because they are good at what they do; they recruit people, some serious others not so serious. That is the one thing that I am not proud of about UOP, their recruiting tactics. I have to admit that I was sucked in to this experience by one of their “academic advisors” initially too, but I am happy that it happened. I would not be in college at all right now (due to my full-time job, weird schedule, two kids, and my husband) if it were not for the phone call I received from that “advisor” desperate to make a buck.
    If UOP would stop using the recruitment tactics they use, and instead just advertise like regular colleges do, and require students to take an entrance exam or actually provide proof of high school test scores, then these types of arguments could cease to take place.

  23. I guess like Jesus said in a course in miracles "if you want to be like me and knowing that we are alike, I will show you, if not I'll wait until you change your mind" we must some day realized that at our core we are alike.
    Anyway, even though this education has become quite expensive I did in fact become a better person.
    Actually there is significant difference I rarely notice people talk about and that is the typical university of phoenix student's exceptional ability in public communication. The average university of phoenix student gives presentations on their subject matter consistently throughout their four year degree program. Their public speaking is practice far more than what I have noticed from other institutions.
    University of Phoenix reminds me of Bill Gates and Microsoft with respect to how the computer became user-friendly to the common person. We all knew that only nerds use computers in the 1980s, but somehow our YouTube, Google, expert Macromedia flash and other types of gurus expanded innovations just like the 1980 nerds did that old dancing skeleton program on the old Tandy computer.
    University of Phoenix is guilty of supplying the dwindling middle-class people with an opportunity and for that they pay the price of fortune, but spending it is up to them.
    Anyway hopefully that wasn't too boring, if you want more I've got more where that came from.
    At some point in your life you must remember that what you do with this life is what your spirit will take with you and for the car and house you can leave it behind, I just made that up. I think Emily Dickinson was saying the same thing as the following poem she had written.
    Just like Emily Dickinson said, "because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me the carriage held but just ourselves and immortality."
    Yes it is true that I'm a University of Phoenix student that its corporate mechanism brought more out of me at a cost that is not liked, the most importantly it brought more of me to the realization of who I am. discovering individuality is sometimes more important than labels. I wish the best for all students regardless of what college they go to and that we should not fight amongst ourselves, because our world is in economic turmoil.
    Anyway I'm going to bed, if I have any advise for any of you it is to say "yes" to be able to acknowledge your existence and that what you are experiencing at that moment is real. What else would you say, "no". Enjoy what is real, learn from it if it is wrong and be thankful that you had the opportunity to see.

  24. Well it's getting late now and after reading all of your posts it also saddens me even after I graduate in just a few months that will be discriminated against as a University of Phoenix graduate. However, I feel better when I come to the realization that University of Phoenix students represent a much larger population of graduates.
    I'd also like to mention how great it is that the University of Phoenix is seemingly destructive, yet it somehow pulls those poor souls who would not otherwise have ever been courageous enough to be able to have the opportunity or push to go to college.
    Sometimes in life I tell myself yes and except that there must be a true reason for the way things are. in the case of University of Phoenix dominating the education market might simply have to do with the concept of giving, quite simply doing something good for the dwindling middle-class people.
    Above I remember reading a posting of the university of phoenix student that had spelling errors and following that a response from an anti-University of Phoenix poster. The entire University of Phoenix poster fill my heart with sorrow with each word I read I could feel hate.

    Sometimes in life a company is not just a company but more like a group of people who will become your family. What I'm saying is that sometimes companies only want to see if your trainable after all that's what a trainee is right. Becoming part of the company for the long haul is like becoming a family member and that is something that does not invite hatred.
    I realize what you may be thinking for those looking at University of Phoenix in the bad way and that it's so expensive that actually causes the destruction of the middle class. This could be true, but I hope not and realize what others have mentioned about working hard and taking the initiative to do something with your life.
    There are other aspects of other colleges and their practices of massive alcoholic parties, sex, drugs and alcoholic abuse that I don't participate in. as bad as what I previously mentioned sounds I would enjoy awesome parties, but all I have in front of my days are hard work. Quite honestly most of the University of Phoenix students I have met represent a dwindling middle class that don't seem to give up.

  25. As a faculty member (I have been a several other universities (traditional) and am at another traditional, I have seen the quality of students diminish over the past 5 years. I'm not sure that bragging about the fact that faculty graduated from the same university at which they teach is something to be proud of - we call this in-breeding, and it lacks diversity in the background and experience faculty bring to the classroom. While I teach courses from associates through PhD, all of the levels of degrees have a good amount of work, but most of the grade is based on a weekly paper with industry specialists rather than trained teachers grading the work and issuing grades. This has led to grade inflation because as a former staff member, I was the Campus Chair for Business at one campus, I had to constantly speak with faculty about substantive feedback rather than worrying about being liked by students.

    Another problem UOP has now, is they are focusing on student feedback for assigning courses to faculty. For example, if students don't receive their cherished "A" then they will not recommend the faculty member to other students and mark them down on the type of feedback provided - two major metrics used to determine how well faculty perform. I've never seen this much emphasis placed on this type of classroom performance and this is one cause of the attrition rates at UOP.

    For the one who questioned how many graduates receive job offers - there are no official numbers and if there is anything provided, it is always twisted to provide a positive message.

    UOP has lost its focus. It has lost its competitive edge as more traditional schools use the online model but doing so with trained and skilled faculty. This is not to say that there are not good faculty members at UOP but I've seen more who are most interested in extra spending money than really teaching course objectives.

    UOP can do itself a favor by moving to a more traditional model which will help its chance of receiving an accreditation from the AACSB along with the current ACBSP accreditation.

    As a former staff member, I saw many problems that didn't need to exist, but the major problem again is that UOP has lost its focus and is more interested in cash flow and stock performance.

  26. To the one who posted: "Anonymous said...

    I proudly display my University of Phoenix diploma in my cubicle. I could have chosen one of the Ivy League schools like Tulsa Community College, . . ."

    The last time I check Tulsa Community College was not an Ivy League School. Maybe you should use some of the University of Phoenix education and check the status of a school before making comments about it.

    I'm glad you're proud.

    1. That was clearly a sarcastic poster

  27. University of Phoenix is part of a for-profit corporation (Apollo Group).

    We'll see what happens now that Steve Eisman (of 'The Big Short' fame) is railing against them.

  28. I'm a wife and mother of three sons. I've never gone to college, even though I was a good student in high schoool, because something always got in the way. After high school, my parents couldn't afford it, so I went to work. Then when I was ready a few years later, my father became ill and died while I helped take care of him, so I kept working and deferred college again. Now I'm 35, married for 15 years and have two teenage sons and an infant. I've always worked and though some of those jobs have been generally well-paying and I've gained tons of knowledge and experience; they've been jobs, not careers.
    My family and I still struggle to maintain a simple lifestyle, pay bills and so forth and so on. I thought about giving University of Phoenix a try. Now I'm scared to. My schedule is hectic, with part-time work and a husband and three kids, there is NO WAY I could attend a traditional university. I thought UOP would be a great choice in managing my schedule and allowing me to get an education and degree to further my career plans. That now seems a terrible idea, since I read so many people don't regard UOP degrees as worthy. What about all the millions in the world like me who never got the chance to go to college and now can in their adult life but have to attend alternative college programs because of work and family? Does that mean if we graduate from an online and/ or alternative college program that we are not as educated and capable of a 20 something year old college grad. from the University system?
    If all these comments about UOP are true and we all don't stand a chance in the job market with UOP degree, despite those who really put in the work and effort, it seems us working poor may never stand a chance.

    1. That is a great question Ebony, I think the stigma of the UoP Degree is Sad. Yes, you deserve to be able to further your education without some high and mighty education snob looking down his nose at your degree. My niece just graduated from UNC Chappel Hill, double major. A very respected school and very hard to get into. She is working a hostess job and working a second job as a caretaker for a disabled woman while hoping that someone will recognise her skills with her fancy UNC degree. ( her current jobs require no college education whatsoever) With colleges being over crowded and working people trying to further their education, I think employers should look at the person with the degree more that the title on the degree. While I was going to school you could attend a private expensive school in my area and get college credit for work experience. This well respected private school was selling credits as work experience so I don't have much respect for academia snobs. I did my college degree at a traditional school the old fashioned way going to class every day but times are different and online schools need to be available to work around busy families.

  29. I just completed an MBA at University of Phoenix. I skipped the online option, hoping for the invaluable experience of face-to-face interaction with other students.

    I was extremely disappointed in the quality of the teachers and fellow students. I don't consider myself an elitist but do believe standards exist for a reason in all fields. However, the only standard apparently in place at U of P is to make money. Although I am all for companies making money, and good companies making a lot of money, the making of money when not providing a product or service of comparable value is wrong -- essentially thievery. U of P is engaged in massive fraud and seriously harming the students who legitimately seek a way to better themselves while bogged down in low-paying full-time jobs and family commitments.

    Any school can be leveraged by a hard-working student to gain an education. However, to pay $20,000 for a piece of paper, when 90% of the work is done by the individual rather than being assisted and guided by professional instructors and qualified fellow students, is a travesty. As the former U of P instructor noted, it doesn't have to be this way. U of P could easily enforce higher standards and work to ensure instructors demonstrate dome degree of pedagogical skill before entering classrooms. Sadly, neither approach is being followed as the U of P laughs all the way to the bank.

    In all, I have come to understand and respect the yearning for self-improvement that so many overworked and underpaid Americans are striving to overcome. But I am appalled at the University of Phoenix's mistreatment of such people and the sham of what they're perpetrating. Shame on the highest echelon of U of P management. They'd better hope there's no afterlife, or they'll have a lot to atone for with regard to taking so much money and giving so little in return.

    1. I agree completely. I expected to at least be challenged. I wasn't. I expected integrity. But, when my classmates were caught cheating, the instructors told us (other students) not to worry about it and let the student slide.

      My wife threw me a graduation party and I was embarrassed to attend. Unfortunately, I learned first-hand what a waste of money the UoP MBA was, but not until I was financially committed enough to make finishing the least damning option.

      The online education format has a great business case, but UoP needs to seriously increase standards to have any shot of improving its reputation.

      Other ideas I offered on my exit survey included having professors provide recorded Webcasts of lectures, adding an international business trip in the final semester, and requiring an entrance exam.

      UoP could even make more money by requiring the entrance exam. Students who score low could be required to take several hours of introductory classes (like their current MBA program) in order to qualify for entrance to the real, much more difficult MBA program.

    2. I did my undergrad at Phoenix, started my MBA then switched to a state school that was cheaper and better accredited. One class was waived even though I was half-way through the program. They do not have the AACSB accreditation that business schools should have. The networking is a million times better and is critical in a business career. You don't have to do any reading or hardly any work to pass a UoP course. My sister is finishing her bachelors at UoP now and said the last class was the first time she even had to look at the text book... I had the same experience.

  30. Anonymous,

    Have you reap any rewards because of your degree or do you find that you are looked down upon because of U of P? I am currently working toward two master's degrees and I would hate to make a mistake that I neither have the time or money to fix. Any thoughts?

    1. It is definitely looked down upon and with good reason. My boss and I both completed our MBAs at the same time. His was from the University of Georgia and mine was UoP online. I didn't learn 1/10th the business skills and knowledge he learned.

    2. Don't listen to these people. They have obviously flunked their classes or have problems other than where they got their degree. There are important people that have a degree from UoP, some of them even work in the white house. I have professors at my school that came from UoP. They are accredited, and have been since the 70's. They are actually a traditional brick and mortar school, they just also offer online courses. They were one of the first to do so. Type in a college name and then UoP then faculty. I have found that UoP alumni are all over the place. They are expensive, but what college isn't? Yes they make a profit like every other business, but you do have to keep up a certain GPA like anywhere else. Good luck to you.

  31. I got my MBA at the UofP and I thought it was well earned-you take out what you put in. However, 2 years later I am still left without a job, I suppose the financial/economic recession is to blame for the UofP's lack of reputation. I thought it was a good program- apparently I was one of the fools.

  32. Those who kept criticizing the University of Phoenix graduates are the ones who stuck with higher debt from prestigious schools, without obtaining the positions they were expecting prior to their graduations.
    They want to criticise the UOP graduates so that jobs that most UOP graduates are getting could be givenn to them. It is all about jealousy.

    Honestly, people who only trust the name of schools they go to are fools themselves. A person may earn his/her degree in Yale, Harvard, or Stanford university, and yet can still act dumb. Obtaining a higher degree/GPA from a prestige University does not necessarily means your IQ is better than those who gets the lower grades. This has a lot to do with education background. Some people start going to school in their adult age and yet do much better than those who start it in their early age. For example, some people came a long way from Africa war zone countries, without prior well educational background, and yet do well than those who were born, raised, and start schooling here.

    In reality, if not all then many would deeply appreciate the opportunity that the University of Phoenix have offered to the majority of American population, who may not obtained the higher education they gets from the UOP.

    Frankly speaking, the majority of UOP graduates are hard working individuals who raise family, while pursuing their education at the same time. This alone is not an easy task that these single lonely individuals would level as dumbness.

    Being a well educated is a personal businese and that only worth the practice of oneself.

    I am advising all UOP graduates to not let those criticizers put you down. You're on top of the line and your knowledge at UOP is worth than nothing. I am very proud of the education I get from the UOP and hope you do too.

  33. Can any graduates from UoPX actually say that they have gotten a job based on their degree? Or was it a sole, process of elimination for your current employer? AND, have you UoPX grads made enough money to pay these debts that you have accrued with the University?

    1. I am a stock broker for Scottrade. My first business went under in late fall of '07. By summer of '08 I decided to return to school full time but with my wife and I sharing one car and both of us having to work, online was pretty much my only option. I did some research and UoP had a great BSB with a concentration in Entrepreneurship program. After enrolling in the program, I opened up a brokerage account at Scottrade. During a discussion with one of the brokers one day, the broker asked me if I was in school and some other follow up questions. Long story short, consequently I qualified for a paid internship at Scottrade. After graduating, a broker position opened up and now I'm a full time Series 7, 63 broker for Scottrade.

      The curriculum used by the UoP is regulated by the US Dep of Education. Even though the faculty is inconsistent and many of the students are borderline mentally retarded, I would say you get out of it what you put in. The name may not be worth a lot but if you're able to get your foot in the door, presuming you applied yourself in school, you will succeed.

  34. I too, am currently working on my business degree at UOP with an online curriculum. I've been attending online classes since December of 2007 and will graduate in December of this year. In any online course of study disclipline is critical to personal and academic success. I attended two years at East Tennessee State University, one year at Midlands Technical School in Columbia, SC, and 9 credit hours at Trident Technical school here in Charleston, SC. I also had extensive training in the army for my occupational skill which was 91b(medic). My point of giving my academic resume is that I did well in all of my classes because it was and is important to me. Do I think that a degree from UOP is the equivalent to an Ivy League school or other reputable non-profit universities or colleges?...NO, but I think that the resource materials are outstanding and it is so convenient for people like myselves that have very busy schedules. I would recommend University of Phoenix to anyone who exercises self discipline.

  35. Why is it that all these negative comments are from anonymous sources?.....I'm Deanna K.Vance and I attend University of Phoenix. I'm not ashamed. It is a good school with great resources.

  36. I attend U of P and I am obtaining my associate's of arts in psychology. The only compaint I have thus far is that one out eight instructors I've had will not respond to any question that I have asked her. This is infuriating knowing how much it will cost me in the end. I would also like to add that (not trying to be mean) but there are many that are in the course that I am in now and I don't see how they are still passing, they do not post the required amount of words, and many times I find it hard to respond because they do not answer the instructors questions as they are supposed to. I hope that this time is not wasted that I am putting in, it would surely sadden me because I am very dedicated and disciplined.

  37. If you want to know the real deal about UoP, I'll tell you. I am a student at UoP, but not for a piece of paper touting a degree, but simply for the decent student loan check as well as the hope for mental stimulation. The instructors are sub-par. The requirements of the online classes follow: respond to an online discussion 4 out of the 7 days in the week (you must write two responses each of the four days), do the week's assignment (this is usually a word document with basic questions about what you supposedly learned during the week), and answer 3 out of 5 posted discussion questions. Note that answering the 3 out of 5 discussion questions does count towards your 2 responses on 4 days of the week criteria. This is it. That's the requirement. A monkey can do that. I've watched people respond with very little true understanding of the English language. They seem to primarily be middle to lower middle class people that are trying to feel like they are bettering themselves. Most of the posts in the online discussion seem like a support group full of positive reinforcement to one another on 'how great you are doing'. If you just want a 'degree' then it is probably for you. If you want a true educational experience, then avoid it at all costs.

    I will give you an example of how 'great' this program really is. I took a final for one of my classes and attempted to turn it in through the online assignment submitting 'portal'. For some reason it did not go through and I received an email from my instructor stating that I would receive a zero for my final and since it was past the maximum due date would not receive credit. I called the IT department and they directed me to a place where I could view the grade of my final as well as the time that I took it. However, since I failed to submit a Word document with the score cut and pasted, I received a 0 (zero) for the final resulting in a C+ (since the class had a total point accumulation of 100 points... yes.. every assignment in the class through the 9 weeks totaled 100 points COMBINED). I contacted my student adviser where I was informed that little would be done about it even having the proof and he was right. Little was done about it.

    Now I could care less about my grade. I'm not in it for a degree, I was just hoping to learn something new in a structured environment. I have worked for myself for two years and have no need for a piece of paper to impress anyone. However, for those that truly seek an educational experience, look elsewhere. If you just want a piece of paper to feel like you've accomplished something, then UoP is for you. If you want to contact me for more detailed information on my experience, then feel free. I have no desire to hide who I am.

  38. I really want to add more to this discussion. There is so much to say. The quality of 'resource materials' is nothing spectacular. The interactivity of the instructors is so minimal, that I'm relatively certain that most of them have a normal day to day job, come online in the evenings to mark who has responded and to 'grade' assignments and then go to bed. Being an instructor is not their true job, it is more of a hobby. If you do try to interact with the instructor and ask questions, chances of you having a response are limited, unless you email it directly to the instructor. I've only been going to UoP for 6 months now and out of the 6 classes that I've had, I've had 2 instructors that were truly interactive with her class. There are many that will ask a general question in a post and expect you to response, but they never give their own feed back or respond to your feed back. They simply ask a question and then move along. It is ridiculous. Ilamont, if you want an indepth interview, I will be as detailed as possible and if you contact me through my email, I'll give you a detailed view of what it is truly like at UoP.

  39. Dijitalx, thanks for your two comments about UOP. If you are willing to be interviewed using your real name, please contact me at ian.lamont - at - sloan dot mit dot edu


    Ian (author of this blog)

  40. Dijitalx, I would like to call you out on a few of your fallacious arguments against U of P. First of all, I don't believe that you're a student of U of P. I would assert that you're actually a student of Axia College since you indicate your courses are 9 weeks long. Courses at U of P are actually 5 weeks long--ALL OF THEM.

    Secondly, your syllabus (as every single one of them state--and I've taken 14 classes thus far with U of P) clearly states that you are to submit a print screen of your final exam avoid the exact situation you experienced with the final score not being transmitted to your instructor, so your argument that this is somehow the fault of the university doesn't hold water. Whether you attend Harvard, University of Florida, or U of P, if you can't follow instructions, then you're likely going to earn a sub-par grade.

    Thirdly, you stated that you are a student "simply for the decent student loan check as well as the hope for mental stimulation." Um, it costs a lot of money to attend the school, and doing it "for the loan check" seems a little stupid, if you ask me. You are, after all, going to have to pay that money back. If that's the case, then why didn't you choose a school at which you would receive a better experience and higher prestige when you earn the degree? You haven't exactly blatantly stated this, but one can infer that you view yourself as above your peers at the university and that you are somehow better than the rest of the students.

    Fourthly, the assignments are weekly deals, but not every class is just a "word document with basic questions about what you supposedly learned during the week." I am nearing the end of my course progression for my Bachelor's in Accounting at U of P, and I can assure you that I've taken several courses that require multiple writing assignments per week. My Marketing MKT/421 course required a 7,000 word paper and 20 slide Power Point presentation as our final team assignment, and our individual writing assignments were required to be a minimum of 5,000 words per week, and I assure you the breadth of the assignments encompassed more than just answering "basic questions."

    I've attended University of South Florida from 1998-2001 and I dropped out because at the time I was a teenager/early 20 year old kid who didn't know any better. At this point in my life, my goal was to be at least enrolled back in school by the time I turned 30. I achieved that goal. I will graduate when I am 31. I will then pursue my Master's in Accounting so I can take the CPA exam. I haven't decided whether or not I will do that with U of P or attend a local state university, but I just wanted to respond to your post regarding the quality of education at U of P. I think you've demonstrated that the issue is not the quality of the education received, but rather, it's the quality of the students in attendance. You closed your assessment of the school with "I have no desire to hide who I am," but your name is displayed as dijitalx. Interesting. Well, I'm not afraid. I am Mike Gambino from Houston, Texas, and I am a Phoenix.

    1. Mike Gambino you have a very influential claim in this argument. I now feel more comfortable as I finish up my Business Degree (BSM).

  41. If you are a current or former student at the University of Phoenix - Axia College, whom enrolled on or after 2/01/10 - please check out You may be a victim.

  42. @ Dijitalx: you are a complete moron. I got my AA through Axia and by BSB through UOP. You made the worst arguments and Mr Gambino completely countered it. Seriously? You were in it for the check (that you have to payback), and the "mental stimulation"? Please do us all a favor and read Newsweek or USA today if you want mental stimulation... Seriously, almost everyone who is complaining screwed themselves over because they are morons. You simply get what you put into it.

  43. The reason I believe that Dijitalx is telling the truth is that I could repeat his story of a mysteriously vanishing examination word for word as my own. I am a new student with UOP and I just finished my first 2 core classes. Both of which were 9 weeks long. I signed up with UOP and I am considered a UOP student but my classes read as such "COM/155 - UNIVERSITY COMPOSITION AND COMMUNICATION I (AXIA)" I am not sure where the difference lies as I believed that AXIA and UOP were one and the same, so perhaps someone can shed light on that for me.
    I personally think I can still get a good education out of UOP if I chase it down but the road has been disheartening at times as I have come to realize that I have to fight for it tooth and nail. The calibre of my fellow students make it difficult to keep up an intellectual conversation at times but I am sure that will improve as I move out of the associates program and on to the bachelors. I am also concerned that the problem of a missing final exam is not an isolated incident as I had thought and I will now be taking screenshots of every exam even if the instructor states that it is not required as my instructor did in the following posting.
    "Hello all, please make sure that your final is completed by 11:59p, Arizona time on #/#/10 . do not have to post a screen shot of the final as it will automatically submit to your individual forum upon completion. If you experience any issues with the final, please contact tech support and post your issue and ticket number in your individual forum."

    Grade Summary (Week 1-Week 9)
    Grade: C+
    Total Percentage: 78.44%
    Your Total Score: 78.44
    Total Possible Score: 100
    Week 9
    Possible Score Your Score
    Final Exam 18.0 0.0
    Tania, you did not complete the final.
    Participation and Discussion Question 3.0 3.0
    Tania, nice work participating this week!
    Week 9 Subtotal : 21 3

    A note to Dijitalx: Do not take that grade lying down! This is a point I will fight for all the way to the point where I will leave the UOP on principal if it is not resolved. If your counselor will not help you take it higher up the chain. I called several people when this happened to me and there is currently an investigation in place. I will also not settle for any lower grade than what I rightly worked for in this. I have done the work and there is digital proof that the work was done on time, therefore I will not be settling and I suggest that you do not either. Even if as you say the degree means nothing to you which I find odd to say the least then at least for the principal of the matter.

  44. I am a student at UoP in the Business Accounting Bachelors program. The biggest issue I have with UoP is that you can literally get a degree without doing any learning. The classes are 5 weeks long and typically start the week with a 700-1000 word paper due at the end of the first week that is a very basic synopsis of some topic crucial to the first weeks readings. This paper is typically worth 3-6 points of the 100 total points earned for the class. There is also a final at the end of the class worth between 12 and 15 pts of those 100. If you choose not to do either of these (the final can't be faked as easily as the papaer or the other assignments)you could still EASILY pass the class without learning anything. I recently discovered that apparently every answer to the homework assignments is readily available online, as many schools use the same text and have posted the teachers edition answers online. Students only need post 2 simple participation posts 4 out 7 days and answer (most do this by plagiarizing from the web) 2-4 discussion questions per week. The team and individual assignments can be answered using the teachers edition answers from the web. You can get a bachelors in accounting and learn nothing about don't even need to know how to use a spreadsheet!!!

    1. I am currently an MSN/MHA student of the university of Phoenix. I don't understand how you were able to complete a program in Accounting without learning anything. I am so sorry for you because you have a difficult road ahead of you. During my MHA portion of my dual program, I took a class in accounting which entailed quite a significant amount of spread sheet information. I worked really hard to be successful in that class, since my background is nursing. People like you give UOP a bad name. well, I think you are a little slow, for paying all that money, and publicly claiming you learned nothing. I am looking forward to graduating next may, and I have learned a lot from being a student here. you can only get what you put in.
      I feel sorry for people like you.

  45. The point of view that some of the people that made on here are deplorable.

    Dijitalx: First, double-check if you can access your own submitted work before you walk away. This is called personal responsibility. Second, do not expect to be a literary master or expert physicist your first year and certainly do not expect that of others. You seem to have somewhat of an elitist complex. Since you are so intellegent, if you wanted some sort of mental stimuli, wouldn't your local library be a less expensive option to meet intellegent people and discover new knowledge and ideas? Finally, people who belong to a subordinate class have just as much potential to educate themselves as you do. Much of your argument contain fallacies and is bias.

    LeeMarie: The way education works is by building on the ideas of others and crediting them while developing your own ideas and abilities. It is not important where you earned you degree but how you earned it. If you have not learned anything and copied all your sources, you are the lazy plagiarizing fraud, not your institution.

    Ian and everyone else: The argument here should not be if UoP is worth it or not worth but do students who earn these degrees make their degrees worth having? I've been working toward an AA with a concentration in IT for a year with Axia so I believe I have some base in this conversation. It should not be where you earned your degree but how you earned it. For students who actually apply substance to their degrees such as myself, it makes it worth earning and the knowledge acquired is always worth more than a silly piece of paper and what people actually should look for. A degree is only a statement of a commitment to a program for a period of time. Only when you talk to someone and they demonstrate their skills and abilities can you answer the question if that person made their degree worthwhile.

    1. Well said and I agree with you 100% "A degree is only a statement of a commitment to a program for a period of time. Only when you talk to someone and they demonstrate their skills and abilities can you answer the question if that person made their degree worthwhile"

  46. UoP degree = McDonalization of education.

  47. I as a student at Phoenix for one year. The facilitators (they refuse to be called professors) showed a remarkable lack of interest in any of us. Most of their responses to us consisted of another answer such as, "take that a step further". What a waste of money and time. I am proud to not be a Phoenix!!

  48. I am a graduate of UoP, with a degree in Business and Accounting. I did feel that the teaching staff was qualified and the materials used for the courses were on par with the books my friends who attended St Joseph's program on Long Island used (sometimes it was even the same texts.) However, I went into the program while I was already working at a public CPA firm. My employers already knew I was capable and did not care where my degree was from. Apparently New York State didn't either, as they granted my application to sit for the CPA exam in New York. In addition, this was my second degree. I already had a Bachelor's degree in English Lit from SUNY, and from that vantage point I will say that the writing skills of my fellow students left a lot to be desired, and that UoP used a tactic of requiring a lot of group work so that the more capable students could help lift up the less capable. I found this mostly in the earlier classes though, and that many of the students I had been frustrated with because of the lack of effort and skill shown in the group projects had dropped out (or maybe failed out.) So my conclusion is that yes, they probably do let anyone in, but at the end of the day, you are going to have to do the work and put in significant effort to actually earn the degree. I know that I put in plenty of late nights in conjunction with working 60 hour weeks during tax season, and maintaining a household/life that included my husband, three kids and two dogs! It helped me. It's a shame that there is a stigma attached to it, but luckily I've found that employers have been impressed with who I am and what I am capable of, and have been able to look past where my degree came from, if they even had that prejudice from the outset. I will give you my real name.

  49. It doesn't matter which school you attend. It's basically how you perceive things. It's how an individual learns and retains the knowledge. I am a UoPhx Student graduating this Summer 2011 and I love it there. The work is just the same as all the other schools. It's just really expensive. What it lacks is the reality of other people's minds that it counts as a Degree just like any other University/College too. Everyone should pick a school where it best fits their learning style. Whether it's online or hands on. And for those who can't teach themselves the material from reading their textbooks, they should not attend online school. And everyone else should respect the accreditation of the University.

  50. I attend an UoP campus and feel its the same as attending on-line. You basically teach yourself by reading the online books; the instructor are just there to baby sit. The instructor read the pre-arranged syllabus for the student to follow and grade somewhat accordingly. I'm strongly considering transferring. I do not recommend going to UoP.

  51. I find it interesting that Americans find more and more ways to belittle one another's social statuses.

    For instance, just a few years ago, going to a community college was seen as "low-rent" and stigmatized. Now since the economy is completely messed up, and everyone has poor credit and loans to pay back----these schools are now in vogue and being touted as the way to go before entering a 4-year learning institution.

    It used to be that being able to purchase a home was the American Dream. Now, we have people low-balling others and belittling them for buying "smaller" homes by referring to them as "starter homes."

    Likewise, with the rise of so many technological advances, people can now work or communicate or learn from home. Employers are paying for the online education of their employees' and other schools are copying the formula of the largest online school there is.

    It seems like the more level the playing field, the more the "swells" cry, complain, and belittle.

    I applaud people having the ability, drive, and nerve to elevate themselves through technological advances.

    I'm sure that you "swells" will find a way to impede the growth of the common man and woman through ridicule or some other way to block their desire for educational and personal growth---but I say to hell with you and "suck it up."

  52. @Anonymous

    Self-taught men and horrendous!

  53. Aren't SNL performers famous for dying from overdosing on drugs?

    Hmmmm. Listen to rich druggies or get my poor self an education. Which voice should I listen to?

  54. I graduated with a 4-year degree in Management in 2008 and am now a couple months away from obtaining a Master's in Information Systems from UOP. That being said, how well students are able to walk away with something worthwhile depends on their learning abilities. I'm more the self-taught type myself, which is probably why I was able to obtain jobs using experience instead of my educational background (before I got my bachelors of course). That being said, the only reason I got my recent job was because I was able to pass their "required to have a bachelors or higher" check box. In fact, at least in the government/federal side, as long as you are a experienced professional, they do not care whether you have a degree from UOP or from a more traditional college/university. That being said, at least from my perspective, the only time a college name mattered was for younger less experienced applicants. Unless they have intern experience, I can understand when a company has to rely at least on the reputation of the college that the applicant came from. However, for the majority of the working adults going to UOP, only a desire to learn matters, not college titles.

  55. I am also a current student at UoP, and I have mixed feelings about what I am hearing.

    I've attended a few other schools (two universities and a community college), and had always been under the impression (in part because of my university-going peers) that UoP was a degree-mill.

    I investigated them once in 2006, and was put off by their aggressive recruitment attempts (they wouldn't quit calling me, and I finally blew up on them when I was on vacation in Mexico and they rang me).

    In 2009 my circumstances had changed, and I could no longer attend "real" college, work, and care for my toddlers full time. I looked into UoP and a few other online schools, and decided to give them a try.

    To its benefit, a lot of what you've read in other posts is true: UoP pretty much created online schooling, and other universities have built their web-classes around the UoP model. UoP's instructors are hired through a tough filter, and one of the criteria is that they are employed within the field they will be teaching. This gives an awesome 'real-world' angle to classes that I rarely had in any other school. Along these lines, the classes are all set up to use homework and projects that are applicable simulations of real-world situations.
    The things I don't like about UoP are the cost (it is slightly more expensive than a traditional school, but if you take online classes at a traditional school, they run a lot higher too), the lack of physical books (it has chosen to "innovate" and all textbooks are online. They're password-protected, so unless I have an internet connection on my device/at my location, I can't read my textbook), and last (but my primary complaint), a lot of the students are idiots. One comment above mentioned the "8th grade reading level", and I'll agree 100%. In every class there is at least on person whose comments, grammar and spelling are so terrible I wonder how they got into school (and later realize if they got into school, perhaps it means nothing that I did). In my current class I have a woman who is (allegedly) nearly finished with her BA in something related to "Green" Businesses and who spells "alternative" as "alturnative" and is always posting in our team forum about how she is drunk.
    The classes themselves are on par (or even superior) to classes I've taken at traditional schools. I breezed through most of my university and college classes elsewhere, but because of the compressed nature of the UoP classes (it's something like a 4-month class in 5 weeks?), I struggle to complete all the required assignments. It makes me wonder how they can claim their schooling is geared toward single parents who work full time and need "flexibility". The only thing flexible about these programs is that 3 of the 5 weeks you can choose what time of day to do your homework. You're still overwhelmed with assignments, classes usually run back to back without a break, there are still onsite classes at specific times, and they keep your money when you fail.
    While I understand traditional schools in the competitive marketplace (they are ALL 'for-profit) need to bad-mouth their competitors - especially those which innovate. It all boils down to individual students. There were students at my other schools who weren't that bright, and that includes students who had good GPAs but didn't truly understand the material. Traditional educational formats cater to those with rote skill while kicking those who might grasp the concepts but struggle with other things aside. In my professional life, it's seemed that a lot of the best performers had been those who didn't make it through school, while the worst IT guys and other 'professionals' frequently got stumped when a problem fell outside the textbook parameters.
    I don't know that ANY school is that much better or worse, and good employers realize that.

  56. It seems to me that many of the people on this blog are angry with their results from UOP because of their OWN actions; not the university itself. I am a student of UOP and yes sometimes you do have instructors that are not very interactive, but the material and the assignments are based on current textbooks, and there are many resources available to every student. It just depends on what the individual student is willing to take from their assignments and whether they utilize the many available resources. Just like any college, you get out what you put in. It takes me about 20 hours a week to do my school work. If you are putting in less time than necessary to get a good grade and a full understanding of the material than you aren't going to succeed in any college you go to. Some people think that UOP hands out A's like candy...I have a 3.86 GPA, but I attended Northwestern Ct Community College before going to UOP and had straight A's there. So did they had out A's too? Honestly I think it depends on who you are, what you are willing to put into your education, and taking responsibility for your own actions (i.e handing your final in on time)in order to receive the full benefits of an online degree.If you do not hand in your assignments on time you can not blame the system. It is really for the self-disciplined person. It can seem overwhelming and ridiculous to someone who is not self-disciplined. Although, school in general can be overwhelming, you just need to be willing to push through those times and not give up. Because if YOU give up, the school hasn't failed have failed yourself.

    1. Agree with you!
      //3.88 GPA

  57. So I have read all these posts. For those who are stating negative information: your comments would hold so much more validity if you seemed like worthwhile students. I enrolled in Axia College in 2006. I obtained my AAHA in 2008. I then went on to obtain by BSHA in 2010. I am currently in pursuit of my MBA/HCM from UoP. Four months after I obtained my BSHA I secured a promotion with my current employer. If my degree was worthless, would I have been considered? I suppose all you negators will say yes. However looking at the stats posted states that many with bd experiences are not the best students. One post indicates that a student received a final grade of 78% at Axia. I came out of that program with a 3.8 total. You ought not comment if you lack the proper student ethics and skills to give this a true go. The complainers are the ones who were influenced by past rumors of this only being a degree mill. The reason why you fell short is because you neglected one small actually have to work.

  58. Justin ( 2:58 PM

    I've been reading all of the negative comments about UoP and I am shocked by some of the reviews. First, due to unfortunate circumstances as a teenager, I had to forego college to begin working to support my family. My grit and determination led me to establishing myself professionally and ultimately landing a significant position that I was under-educated for. I am a national sales manager for a large manufacturing company. I decided that I would have to earn a degree if I wanted to further grow in my career quest.

    I travel extensively all over the US and UoP seemed to be a perfect fit for me as I could complete coursework from anywhere in the country during my free time. I earned my AA in Business and my BS in Business Administration over the course of 4 long years (including summers). Given that I have been a business professional for over 12 years, I assumed my knowledge and experience would make passing four years of schooling a breeze. I couldn't have been more wrong!

    The ciriculum at UoP was extremely challenging, especially during my final year. Most of the 400 level classes that I took were challenging and were facilitated by well-educated, savvy individuals with impressive resumes.

    The workload was extensive for many of the courses. Keep in mind that students often have to complete 10 weeks of courswork in only 5 weeks. For example, in my final class, my last week involved answering (2) 350 word graded discussion responses, 8 response posts over 4 days, a 6,500 word team paper accompanied by a 25 slide powerpoint, a 50 question final exam, and a 2,000 word individual paper. Let me tell you...Completing this amount of work while staying in the good graces at work....and maintaining some kind of sanity with my wife and children is extremely difficult. I learned a great deal in my time with UoP and certainly feel a sense of accomplishment over the degree of difficulty, the amoung of discipline, and the determination that it took to complete.

    I can't say enough about my educational experience overall. I graduated with a 3.89 GPA and I do believe my experience played an important role in my success. Although I encountered many students that didn't seem to belong in college classes, most of them were not around by the time I graduated. My final class had approx 14 students and quite a few were adults in careers with the same MO as myself. I watched quite a few students drop out or flunk out due to difficulty or poor grades.

    I am proud to call myself a UoP grad and I would recommend it to anyone with a similar situation as me. It was convenient, challenging, and a rewarding experience.

    Also, keep in mind that many of the negative comments are coming from individuals that couldn't make the cut. Based on the reviews I read, I would say there could be a few of those here.

  59. A search for keywords "University of Westfield" brings up paid google ads for the University of Phoenix. Either UoP is targeting really really stupid potential clients, or they have a good sense of humor. Hard to tell, Hard to tell..........and a little bit scarey.

  60. I attend UoP and like most who attend this controversial university I work full time, have family obligations and very limited time to attend a traditional college. I would love to attend a University in a traditional setting and have the opportunity to engage with my professor or other students but my schedule is not permissive of that. I have worked in the electronic manufacturing world for many years as a buyer. I have met several individuals whom currently work in large reputable companies in the Silicon Valley as accountants, buyers, planners and program managers that have graduated from University of Phoenix. I do not claim that UoP is the reason but all have told me of late nights studying and have all had a mix of easy and hard classes when we speak about our common UoP experience.
    I have taken both ground and online classes and prefer the ground classes but there is no learning center near me. I have 15+ years of work experience in three different fields. I am not worried about finding a good job because I have done so several times as I have advanced in my career. I truly feel that I am EARNING this degree from UoP and it is definitely not being handed to me. While examples above reference UoP graduates with poor reading and language skills that make all of those who have graduated from look bad. I ask that you please do not judge us all by that particular instance. I can honestly say that UoP has added value to my life and the education I am receiving is great because the effort I put in to learn is great. They are aggressive with the methods of recruitment and perhaps reputation wise that may be damaging. Also, I think that strange post regarding the “Tulsa Community College” was a joke/hoax or at least I hope so. I list my name below but am concerned with privacy issues so I did not include a URL.
    Kind Regards,
    Tish S.

  61. I graduated with an MBA from UOP in 09 with a 3.8 GPA. Needless to say, I don't remember or think I learned anything. Quite frankly, I am even embarrassed of my degree...I don't tell people I have an MBA from UOP. The only good thing about my MBA is that it helped me get into law school as well as kept me busy when I was preggers.

  62. Melissa Leeper11/05/2011 9:28 PM

    Hello everyone!

    The debate about the quality of University of Phoenix's courses is never going to end. Some individuals are "proud to be a phoenix," others despise the school, and there are those in the middle. Personally, I don't mind the school but I feel that each individual will only get out of it what they put in.
    To Anonymous can you not remember anything? I strongly feel that if an effort is made to learn, not just seek a degree, the information will stick with you.
    Unfortunately, reading through some of these posts has been disheartening. Many people supporting UofP are using poor grammar and do not make much sense, which does not seem to be helping the school's image.
    I am currently finishing up an AA through UofP and will be moving on to the BS program in the healthcare field. I will admit that there are students in my classes who probably should no longer be attending school. Many simply copy and paste work off the internet and thus pass each class with flying colors.
    That being said, I find it hard to believe that traditional students do not sometimes do the same thing while other traditional students put in the hard work and effort required to truly master the material and obtain a degree.
    I myself have taken both traditional and online courses. I had obtained 24 credits through a traditional school before it became impossible to continue. My family simply moves too much. Though I prefer a traditional school, UofP has been a lifesaver for me. Most of my instructors have been knowledgeable, willing to answer questions and expand on material. I have had a couple who completely frustrated me, but I faced that in a traditional school as well.
    I suppose my biggest fear is that my hard work will not be recognized and my degree may mean less because of the school it was obtained through. I can only hope that the knowledge I have worked so hard for will be enough to validate my choice of school.

  63. I graduated from the University of Phoenix and I can see truth in most comments here both good and bad. UOP does offer those of us who have time constraints the opportunity to get an education while working without having to spend extreme amounts of time in school and to many this seems to be the major draw.

    Faculty - The professors range from good to terrible. The terrible will miss-grade assignments, fail to respond and clarify when needed, and take way too long to respond with grades, in a five week class a student needs feedback sooner than two weeks out to ensure that they do master the information. The good professors are able to relate a high level of experience in the real world to the materials and make the class applicable in a life setting and initiate communication and provide adequate communication. Overall the student should expect to actively engage the professors themselves if they wish to gain the full experience and knowledge they can from them. I learned personally to send the professors a note the first day of class that kindly initiated this and in a soft way let them know that I expected interaction.

    Learning Teams - This was one of my largest issues. This is not a reflection of my inability to work with others, in actuality I generally was the group leader as this allowed me to ensure that the collective product was representative and in line with the grades I expected to make. The problem with the groups is that about 50% of the students are not providing college level writing in either the aspect of content or style so if the group wants to earn well then it is up to those who have the ability to re-write or "proof" the final product. Now I learned a lot because I led a lot of these groups, but I often wandered how it was that such poor work was being provided to the team and these people were actually passing the classes. Overall I didn't like feeling that I with the other team members who cared and were committed were handing the others who didn't 30% or so of their grade in the class. Intelligent participation and conversation is generally lacking in the student body.

    Online Forum and Environment - It is true that occasionally something won't post or show up. However, when you consider the vast amount of students and information being submitted and exchanged in this environment the seamless workings of the virtual environment is one thing the UOP has a strength in. There is definitely 24 hour tech support and they always provide a support number that allows you to show that you performed due diligence in attempting to rectify the situation. I never had a problem having my support numbers accepted by the professors. I did encounter many "technical issues" when dealing with the learning teams however so I can see how this would become a tired complaint and something that instructors would stick strictly to the policy on (get a support number) because no one likes excuses.

  64. Time Commitment and Grading - This school does take a lot of time, the writing assignments are generally 2,500 - 6,000 word written assignments weekly independently with another for the group and then additional responses needed for discussion questions and for participation. The classes are 100 point classes which does make every assignment really count. A larger point scale would in my opinion improve this as would a longer class format. Five weeks does feel rushed and it is impossibly easy to get behind with that format, that is why a time commitment is essential and a student should expect this. I wanted to spend fewer years in school so the time commitment was acceptable. It is a trade off and no one should expect what will take 6-8 years part time at a local college to take 3-5 years online with the same time commitment that would be spent taking less credit hours per term.

    Resources - Personally I found the PDF text books to be great with the exception of not being able to save them into a file or on a hard drive - with the amount I paid I feel I should get to keep my books. Being able to use the search feature in a text book was a definite plus over a traditional book. The online library however I found to be pretty close to useless with the exception of the subscriptions to various periodicals and resources. I can see how a student that cannot discern an acceptable source over an unacceptable source would use it, however I always found google to be faster.

    Degree Value - This is where the problem lies. I finished both my Associates and Bachelor degrees as well as a HR cert. at an Axia college and I am 57k in debt with student loans and still with the same company that I was while in school. It is hard to gauge rather the portability issue is linked to my degree or the horrible economy, I believe it is more the economy and my selective choosing of potential employers and positions. I truly believe that consistently being promoted, working in a demanding position with ample responsibility and work load while completing a degree at the same rate as a full time student will compensate for any short comings that UOP as an institution presents. That being said, I would not under any conditions short of disability recommend a student that does not have career demands and active employment pursue a degree through the UOP. A student that pursues an online degree simply out of comfort or ease without a justifiable reason will gain the same degree as me from the same school and I worked 50 hours a week too so it should be pretty apparent why I would feel that represents that student as a bit "lazy". It also indicates my impression of my degree as a supplement to my abilities and experience rather than a certification of all qualifications.

    I can attest that it is not "easy" to work full time and finish this plan with a full work load and other demands. I do feel that I earned my degree and that it was definitely not simply purchased. There is a lot of vital information learned that is directly applicable and necessary in my field and the experience did educate me. I did find myself at times feeling that if the others in my class graduated and represented this school/degree that my degree wouldn't be worth as much as it should. I hope hard work pays, I know I learned but I also know my personal commitment and desire to learn played a large role in that.

  65. I just recently graduated from UoP with a Bachelors in Business. Needless to say I am a bit disheartned by all the posts I've read regarding the legitmacy and credibility of a UoP degree. I too questioned the opportunities that may be withdrawn from me because of where I obtained my degree from. However, the one thing that I can agree with most is that the student will get out of the degree what they put into it, but when it comes to getting an employment opportunity based on the name name of the institution from which the degree was obtained, whether it is from a "Ivy League school like Harvard, Yale, or Oxford or from UoP, Indiana Wesleyan, or some other online institution the most important aspect of the interview is you have to sell you to the employer, as far as your school and previous employers they are your real references. Yes, from what I've read UoP has a bad image and reputation, and as a former student who attended 2yrs of ground classes as well as 2yrs of Online classes, some of the "gripes" about UoP are warranted, however I also have to give them credit for allowing those with limited schedules to still be able to attend class from home. when I enrolled with UoP I was working 2 jobs at 18hrs a day, so the online schedule allowed me to do my work at anytime of the day, without compromising the quality of my work due to rushing and still get some sleep at night. I was able to to use my one day off to complete, review and submit my work for the last class day of the week. Now whether I will get a position or be denied a postion because of my connection to UoP will remain to be seen, however degree or no degree if I can get in the door to get an interview with a potential employer I will show them why I am the candidate for them. Thats all any of us can do, because I worked side by side with individuals who went to what may considered as more reputable institutions, however they were working the same job I was working and I had no degree. The point I want to make is you will only get as little out of your degree as you choose to accept from it. But don't settle for the reputation associated with the degree because to accumalate $50,000+ in student loans without making a genuine effort to pursue $60,000 or $70,000+ job opportunities is settling for less than what you deserve and when you do that, you get less than what you settled for. But as a graduuate of UoP I feel a sense of accomplishment because I thought that once I got into the college math classes I thought I would "flunk out" but I took the work listened to my faciltator and challenged myself to learn and understand the material. So those of you who are considering going to UoP, go on your own and best judgement, just check with potential employers to see if they acknowledge a UoP degree as a credible degree and go from there. Just make sure that your next move is your best move.I of course have some gripes about the UoP machine but I also kudos for it as well.But like anything in life itself there good points and bad points, just don't let the negative points define you as a person or your existance.

  66. I graduated the UoP MBA program in 2010 and I'm glad I went through it. It really taught me a lot about myself and how hard I had to push myself to do the work (which in some classes was easy, and others hard, like every other school on the planet).

    I am proud of my MBA from Phoenix for several reasons. First reason is, I wanted to prove to myself that I could earn an advanced degree from an accredited school all on my own. Through out my whole life, because of my learning disability, I have been told that I would never make anything of my self. My teachers said I was too stupid, that I couldn't understand simple work, and that my reading comprehension disability would grant me the role of janitor if I'm lucky, not that being a janitor is a bad thing (fyi I work on Wall Street in a major institution in their risk department, not exactly easy work). Second reason is, regardless of school, you get out of the program what you put into it. I had a test or a paper due every single weekend for 2 years. I had class four nights a week which wasn't easy for me seeing as how I get home around 8:30 at night, and had an infant at the time that my wife and I couldn't stand to be away from. Third reason is, the dedication that it takes to come home late at night, and then work on the computer for several hours was challenging and I wanted to see if I could do it. Last reason, because my wife was pregnant and gave birth during the time I was in school coupled with the late hours I worked, going to a brick and mortar institution wasn't an option.

    What I don't understand is if people in the business world, and other colleges, shun the "online" form of education, why does almost every major and minor college out there have some form of online or distance learning? Boston University has it, Harvard has it, Duke has it, and so many others have it. Now, I understand the quality of education is much better in those schools than UoP, but is everyone equal on this planet intelligence wise?? No. There are people who can thrive in those schools and there are people who can't. While I agree that UoP could at least make it seem like they care about their students a little more and make the quality of education a bit better, it's still up to the students to make their experience there a good one as far as education goes. I studied my butt off. My graduate thesis was around 35 pages with charts, graphs, citations and everything else. I used every tool at my disposal to ensure my success and I didn't rely on the teachers or other students to do the work.

    Finally, I got my current job with the combination of hard work, dedication, and my UoP MBA. For some of the positions at my firm, like mine, you can only apply if you have an MBA. Hard work and dedication isn't enough. And yes, I beat out others who had MBA's from other schools. I was part of the final four people chosen for one job. From what I was told, the others had their MBA from Rutgers, St. John's, and one was from Columbia University (in all fairness, the kid from Columbia was only 25 or 26 and had no experience whatsoever for the job). Yes, the quality could be better, the requirements to get in could be harder, and the faculty should be there long term, but like I said, you get out of a program what you put in to it. Just my two cents though.

  67. Hello. I stumbled upon this thread while I was researching University of Phoenix (as I am always doing, particularly to see the latest negativity being spread about them). I am currently a student of Axia College of the University of Phoenix, which is their online campus. I actually just finished my Associate's Degree today and turned in my last final, which was a 15 page financial analysis. I cannot tell you how many negative things I have read about University of Phoenix because there are just too many to count. I had to, however, make my case known publicly and not anonymously, for the mere fact that I am proud to be a student of the University of Phoenix and I am proud of myself for completing my Associate's Degree. Later this month, I will be beginning my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Througout my 2-year experience thus far with UoP, I have no complaints in terms of the curriculum, the instructors, or my counselors (enrollment, academic, and financial). My enrollment counselor called me on day 1, and continued to call me at least once a month up until my degree completion to make sure I was doing good and to see if there was anything I needed help with. My experience has been amazing, but it has been difficult too. I have faced many challenges along the way, particularly my algebra courses. I do not understand how someone could say that the curriculum is not challenging, or that it doesn't teach you enough. I can say, with pure honesty, that I have learned more in my classes with University of Phoenix than I ever did in High School. I am proud to be a University of Phoenix student and graduate. People seem so quick to judge online courses because they think it is an easy way out. I have family members who enrolled and dropped out within months because they couldn't handle the coursework. The University of Phoenix is big on plagiarism: students are expelled if they commit plagiarism. You can't just look up the answers to a question online, it is required that assignments are your original work. If more people took University of Phoenix seriously and didn't view it as an "easy way" to go to school, they might actually learn something instead of giving up and then using a lame excuse as to why they didn't finish. I love University of Phoenix, and I will forever support them.

    Thank you,
    Tabitha Bond

  68. have nothing to do with the place. defensive posts by hopeful grads are not of value. the place isn't aacsb accredited. this place is only beneficial for a narrow class of prospective students: ones seeking to advance within their company, to get a mandatory degree holding them back. IF their firm recognizes such a degree. the people running this thing should be horsewhipped. sorry, grads. i am.

  69. How do people know what grades their classmates are getting?

    There is a private, individual forum that the instructor may be using to address all the issues identified here. I know that I have received excellent feedback on all the work I've submitted.

    I have noticed that not all my instructors are as strict as I think they should be, in terms of punctuation and grammar. However, they have all provided instructive, relevant, and thought provoking feedback based on the content of my work. It is true, as someone posted earlier, that some times I wouldn't get this feedback up to 12-14 days after I submitted the work & that should be unacceptable in a 5-9 week course.

    When I review the feedback from my graded work, I can post a question in my individual forum & I will get a response within 24 hours. Try that at a "traditional" school where the instructor may not even know your name.

    Some of the tests in my math, history, & English classes have been timed. Once you start, you can't stop. I usually finish these tests with time to spare, but not so much that I could look up the answers to every question, especially not without pretty good knowledge of the text.

    I have failed a class. I simply did not have the time to study, research, and develop the quality of work I normally try to turn in, so I know for a fact they aren't handing out passing grades.

    The texts are excellent. They are the same texts used in other schools. I have not had any trouble downloading them & saving them to my hard drive. I can't sell them back, but that's ok. My employer reimburses every dime I spend.

    The written assignments require that you read the text & perform individual research.

    The feedback shows they require critical thinking. I've had points deducted for poor arguments, poor structure, missing thesis. I've been questioned about my assumptions, my premise, the conclusions I've made & the support I've provided.

    I just finished the AAFB with a 2.86 GPA. I'm working on my Bachelor's now. So far, I can assure you nothing has been given to me.

    AACSB would be nice. However, I know of several universities, that offer an MBA, that no one has ever heard of. No one knows the graduation rate of these schools, the academic demands placed on the students, or the ethical fortitude of the instructors. Though they are brick & mortar they could be diploma mills just the same.

    As far as the value of my degree, what other people will think of my degree, I am sure it will reflect what they think about me... same as before I had a degree at all. Most people think I've already earned a degree and are surprised when I tell them I haven't. This "belief" is based on the reputation I've built through hard work.


  70. I am a student at UoP. I have a whole history with the school and have learned a lot when it comes to communicating and working within a team aspect. I am a single father, work full time, and UoP. I am getting my Bach in April and have argued valid points with instructors as well. I agree that not all instructors are great, or even should be allowed, but I believe that I have learned from some very confident peers as well as the staff that I work with.

    My sister-in-law works at the University of Minnesota, and she has witnessed the curriculum. She said that it is about the same style and information they offer there as well. I have moved twice during my time, and I still get my work done, and I mean moved states. It has been challenging at times to get things completed, but I appreciate the opportunity to obtain a degree while having to live "life".

    This has also encouraged my 5 year-old that school is for everyone. Say what you will, but my experience has been positive for the most part. It has not been perfect, but tell me one person or place that is? It is the responsibility of the student to follow instructions, I will not lower myself to call names, but for those who have failed a final because they did not post to the assignments, and stated that it was past the time. Did you really wait over 3 days to get this corrected with an IT team that works 24hr's a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It just proves that you may have been a little lazy to act. Be glad that you still passed the class. I encourage you to be a little more proactive. My enrollment adviser (my original) wants me to be in a commercial, I really don;t want to be, but I would offer my help to any student who asked, if I can't, I would help put them in touch with someone at the University who could.

  71. I have a bachelors in Information Technology specializing in software engineering. I currently make six figures a year, work a normal 40-50 hours a week (on call all the time of course, but that's the nature of what I do), and got it all through the University of Phoenix. The school is accredited, enough said. Whether the employers are looking for traditional school degrees or not, that's all personal preference. In general, employers don't care where you got it, as long as the school is accredited and the degree is real. I myself applied for many positions, and only received a few calls. That's the nature of the economy right now.

    For those single parents, working full-time with only one car, or whatever your situation may be, don't let these people talk you out of an education. You got it online, so what? I did, and I'm very successful. If you aren't sure where to start, look them up and request more info. I'm actually looking to going back myself to see what they have to offer in electrical engineering. Good luck.

  72. Online... what does that mean?

    It means your books are in PDF format, you don't have to drive to campus away from your family to learn. I study when my kids are asleep.

    It means your exams are done by you, through an online exam system.

    It means you take one class at a time in total immersion instead of trying to juggle disjointed study and assignments from different classes.

    It also means there is a mandatory attendance policy that is strictly enforced.

    Participation and interaction is mandatory as well.

    Papers are due nearly once a week, proving your knowledge of the subject matter.

    For those who think its just a diploma mill, think again.

    Its work, only less expensive than many other colleges because you can forgo the keg parties and childish Greek system crap. It is also more convenient. My kids don't have to cook for themselves for me to get an education.

    Also, I went to a school that sounds like "urdu", a very well-known school. I never saw a professor my entire first year. I was only taught by 1st year graduate students (working for a free scholarship) who had no experience in ANY field. At UOPX, My BS degree, I was taught by only master's degree holders and now in my MBA program, I am taught by only doctorate holders. No exceptions, I have never seen a "Teacher's Assistant" at UOPX.

    1. Your first six statements are true, but your argument falls apart after that. I received my BA from a decent university that most people would recognize. I didn't have a great GPA so my choices for an MBA program were limited. My employer provides up to $10,000 a year in tuition reimbursement so I thought I'd try the U of P. Here's my take on the school:

      - The tests are a joke - it's open book and most of the answers can be found with a quick Google search

      - Most of the students in my MBA program are lower to middle lower class, blue collar types with poor writing skills. Many of them are working hourly jobs thinking that they'll be the next CEO somewhere when they get this degree - that's not gonna happen. You're not going to go from flipping burgers to a six figure income with this degree.

      - I earned my BA in English, and while I'm far from an expert, I am offended at the papers my teammates turn in for our learning team assignments. They are full of typos, grammatical errors, run-on sentences, nonsense sentences, and gibberish. These are the papers they have allegedly run through spell check, grammar check, and WritePoint.

      - The average response to DQ questions is not even up to par with what I'd expect in an undergrad program. The fact that these responses are acceptable in a graduate program is a joke!

      I will finish my MBA in the next six months, and I'm sticking with U of P because I wouldn't be accepted into a better school, and I appreciate the flexibility. I wish that the school would crack down on it's admittance policies but I don't see that happening - it's a for-profit school.

    2. If you think that UoP is the only school with retards floating threw college, your completely wrong. Its nation wide!!!! UoP just happens to be one the largest colleges so it's getting the most criticism. I feel like UoP is on par with other University's.

  73. I am a graduate of UoP with both a BS in Business and an MS in Computer Information Systems. I did my BS on the ground (OTG) and I did the MS in the dual curriculum (1/2 online and 1/2 OTG.) Most of my instructors held a PhD from respected private and public universities like Columbia, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Texas, but all had a Masters degree. Each of them also worked in the field of study they taught.

    I was concerned about the quality of the degree and some of the negative press concerning the quality of my education, so I visited with several of my professors on this very point. All of my professors told me exactly the same thing. The curriculum taught at Phoenix is no different than what is taught in a standard public/private university. While all of the details of a 16 week course are not always covered, the fundamental building blocks are covered, which is what a standard university expects you to remember.

    I chose UoP because I was a working adult and having a 15 hours per semester workload was not conducive to having any type of a real life while working a full time job and raising a family. I had too many classes and work to do, where at UoP I could concentrate on a single subject for 5 or 6 weeks. I had a wonderful group to work with, and we all graduated at the top of our class.

    As with any school or goal you set in life, you only get out what you put into it. I met those individuals that were trying to skate through the school, and I always made it a point to make the instructor aware of the problem. I never had any issues where the instructor was unwilling to address the problem.

    I have since gone on to continue a successful career in IT working for more than 1 fortune 50 company. I found great value in my education. I learned the fundamentals of information systems and coupled with my work experience I was able to hold intelligent conversations with individuals with 25 years experience in a career while I was only just beginning mine. I was also able to outwork a large percentage of the people I worked with and was rewarded by opportunity for my hard work. I have since started a business, sold it, and written a book and countless whitepapers covering new technologies and their use for business and individual use.

    I went to school with individuals that are now working for the likes of Verizon, Microsoft, CSC, Dell, AT&T, and regional technology companies. They chose to put their hard work and education to work, but maybe I was just a lucky person that was surrounded by a bunch of overachievers. Whatever the case, you would be hard presses to float through UoP without doing the work in my opinion.

    During my exit interview when completing both of my degrees, I made a point to let UoP know they needed to screen individuals better, and also to stop doing so much online advertisement. It's never a good thing when your university is advertising in the same places you find pornography. I've noticed that they do a lot less of that type of shady advertisement and have moved onto legitimate marketing practices. I consider that part of the learning curve for any business, whether for profit or not.

    I have no regrets for the hard work and effort that went into my education. I watched a large number of people drop out of the masters program because they couldn't handle the workload. Those of us that persevered have all been rewarded with great careers.

  74. I almost never comment on these things, but I felt like someone should hear what I have to say. It is utterly appalling to me that so many people are willing to put down the school that gave me a shot at a future. I am quite educated (though my math skills are lacking) and I currently hold a 3.25 GPA, after just 12 credits. I am challenged everyday in my courses, and I do spend every single day working on my degree. I average about 3 hours a night, 6 days a week, and it is not the hardest thing I've ever done but it is no cake walk. I see so many people leaving crap "filler" comments just to earn their 8 posts, but mine are not among them. If you want something bad enough, you will try hard. UoP gave me a chance when no other colleges would. This is my third attempt due to my own poor life choices that I will forever pay for. I applied and was accepted, and I can say I am damn proud to be a Phoenix.


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