Beware of the Ph.D. on-line programs.
Please help me find the appropriate outlets to discuss on-line doctoral programs. I believe that we need to bring the deception to the forefront this year. I would like to explore several alternatives. Unless something is done soon, I believe that regional accreditation is going to lose value in the market place. The schools with weak programs and that use deception are going to destroy the market value that many major corporations have built. In order to stay in this market many of the large for profit private schools may need to seek AACSB accreditation or risk the lost of a declining image of regional accreditation.
Beware of the correspondence Ph.D. on-line programs with no residence requirements.
Northcentral University is a good example of a school that will bring down the standards of regional accreditation. Northcentral University on-line purports to be 100% online but is primarily a correspondence school. NCU uses deceptive advertising. It purports to have an online Ph.D. program. The school is a distance education correspondence program. It is not conducted over the Internet. The Internet capability of the university is grossly ineffective and is one of the weak links in its program. There is no interaction with students and very little, if any, assessment or interaction with professors. It is what one of my colleagues called, a glorified correspondence school. Yet, NCU continues to promote itself as an on-line delivery system simply because there may be some limited emails and download files or information. NCU may try to compare itself to large private programs, but these schools are mostly owned by publicly held corporations that are subject to Sarbanes Oxley and thus a higher standard of accountability. They also have the resources to provide multi-media on-line educational programs as well as the library and faculty resources to provide a viable program. NCU does not have any of these. NCU has demonstrated very little accountability or service initiative. Although NCU is accredited, it promotes its services in a deceptive manner. It should be classified with unethical marketing scams. It is not an on-line program. It is a correspondence school.
NCU is not a student friendly environment, nor is it transparent and accountable in its disclosure. NCU advertising is deceptive and I believe that this is wrong and should be changed and or reported to the public at large. Their student service is not effective and their focus is primarily on money. Students will receive much better service from large traditional or private universities. They continue to use false advertising and this warrants public disclosure and, at least, preventing others from falling for NCU's deceptions. Although they may rank well in terms of cost, please remember, you get what you pay for. And you will not get much from this correspondence school.
Students should search for an AACSB school or a regionally credited school that has a long successful history and/ or is backed by a credible organization that has the resources to provide a top rated program.
There is no doubt that on-line education and alternative delivery educational programs are an increasing trend. But there is a great difference in the educational quality of the various programs. There is a vast difference in the quality of regional accredited programs. Sadly, Northcentral on-line may be the one that clearly pulls down the image of regional accreditation. Prospective students, employers and the educational community must be informed of this about this matter in order to make wise choices. 2007 should be the year to bring this out to the public at large and I hope that you play a role in helping with this process.
UOP has a doctorial program that is not AACSB accredited. Many teaching jobs in business schools required professors who are AACSB qualified. UOP has the potential to devote the resources to create a viable program. There has not been much discussion of the doctoral programs at UOP or whether they would ever seek AACSB accreditation. Students who desire a career in academia should beware of online programs that do not have substantial residential requirements.
Currently there are no on-line AACSB schools. Schools that offer alternative delivery PhD programs that may have credibility at the doctoral level could include the University of Maryland University College and Nova Southeastern.
The University of Maryland University College is one of 11 degree granting institutions of the University of Maryland system. Thus, it is a public university. Information on their doctorate in management can be found at:
Complete transparency on the University of Maryland University college accreditation and self study can be found at:
Nova southeastern is a private university and offers doctorate programs that are closer to traditional programs than the on-line programs. That is, they required residency via attendance of classes for their doctorate in business degree programs. They do offer on-line programs for other levels but not at the business doctorate level. This may be a selling point for their program for those wanting to enter academia in the teaching profession.
Information on Nova's accreditation activities can be found at:
Nova is accredited by International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education and Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Information on their doctorate programs can be found at:
Nova's web site is very transparent and they include syllabus for each class.
Nova also published their strategic plan.
Nova has made great achievements over the year and their doctorate program seem to be well structure and is expected to receive greater acceptance in academia. Nova is a non profit private university.
These are just two alternatives to on-line programs. There may be other viable programs that will gain credibility in academia. If you are not interested in teaching, then the accreditation and credibility of the school's program is of lesser importance.
Perhaps before you select a program, you should talk with potential university employers and ask them if they would hire you based on the PhD program you are considering. Both the reputation of the school and its specific program as well and faculty and student research will be considered in the employment decision. Please beware of the Ph.D. on-line programs. Do your homework wisely!