Thread regarding University of Phoenix layoffs

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Don't enroll students with insufficient background education, and hand them degrees which have no market values...

I taught for 6 years at ground campuses in MD, DC, and VA between 2010 and 2016. I started in Columbia in MD ground campus in 2010 teaching quantitative techniques, research methods, and project management classes. I was well trained by local UOPX faculty management to become a good facilitator. A well experienced faculty was assigned to mentor me for first year. Local Campus leaders and staff were very supportive and helpful and addressed my all logistical needs. I had students varying from 4 to 25. I taught mostly quantitative techniques and research methods.

I was lucky that most of my students were hard working, willing to learn, but with challenges of time for studies due to full time job, family to support, and insufficiency in their background knowledge in subject matter. In just 5 to 6 weeks class duration, it is impossible to teach complex mathematical techniques such as standard deviation, multivariate analysis, capital programming, financial management techniques, etc. However, I was dedicated to facilitate the students learning and provide some overview of these techniques to the extent possible. Many students, say 80% or so got some appreciation of the quantitative techniques in business decision making. Remaining 20% students were confused and did not get much from the class. I felt bad myself as a faculty who was unsuccessful to provide them the needed knowledge, but I just could not help despite my effort. Almost all (except 1 to 3 students) did well, and passed my required classes.

After 2014, ground campus at Columbia MD was closed due to insufficient number of students to run the campus economically. Then UOPX asked me to teach same subjects at Arlington VA, and DC. I taught classes at Arlington ground campus mostly. However, classes were not coming frequently, and UOPX encouraged us to facilitate online classes. I started teaching one or two online classes in 2015. I taught up to 10 online and ground classes in 2016.

I enjoyed teaching ground classes since I could communicate face to face with students. Only 20% of my students in ground classes did not learn to meet the class objectives. But majority of them did learn the subject matter. I was happy with myself about my performance.

However, online students were challenging. Most students were confused about the quantitative techniques. They did not have time or interest in the subject matter. They started working only on weekends. They did not put their effort to learn via communicating with me. They did not read the required materials, my postings, and learning team activities. In my opinion, about 50% students did not understand the subject matter to the level that they could apply to their work. Other 50% students seem to understand to the extent they may try in their jobs and learn from it. I was not satisfied with the outcome of my online teaching.

However, I found these students sincerely trying hard to get the education. But they had significant difficulties with time constraints, family to take care, and lack of foundation in math. While most of these students got passing grades or better because I had to follow the rubrics for grading - which is very easy and not challenging.

In one online class, I had issues with my internet at home, and another week I was sick. As a result, I did not post required number of emails to students (at least 5 per week) as required of the faculty participation in the Faculty Handbook. The staff who was monitoring my communication and participation in the eCampus classroom, complained that I did not meet the faculty participation requirements for 2 weeks in 5 week class. So she told me that I will not be given online classes. I disputed her claim of lack of faculty participation requirement, but I was deactivated from teaching at UOPX Online Classes. I was really disappointed of their decision.

I was really dedicated to teach classes both ground and online classes. Since teaching there for 6 years, I was thinking as if I was part of their system, and I was thinking myself to dedicated myself my teaching life to UOPX. They did not have any sympathy to me as a dedicated 6 years of teaching veteran. Some of my other colleagues said to me that they were also given some reasons to deactivate or no classes given to them. And, I was getting doctoral teaching rate, and I was now 6 years of teaching. I was becoming more expensive to the UOPX. They wanted to bring in a new, non-PhD faculty to teach and pay significantly lesser than to me. Any way, they deactivated me from January 2017.

In conclusion, I liked teaching at ground campuses due to face to face interaction with the students. I liked my students who were seriously coming to the classroom to learn and get the degree to better themselves and make better life for their family. I greatly admire their courage. I learned a lot from my students - their courage, their struggle, and their dream. I meet some of my students in the Mall areas, and greet me saying "Hi Professor!", and "Thank you, I learned a lot from you!!"

I was frustrated teaching online students. Students do not devote necessary time and dedication to learn. Seriously, some of the classes like quantitative techniques cannot be taught online mode only. They needed to be supported by face to face classes either at ground campuses or via video conference or skype. Otherwise, they will be just getting degrees without really learning the quantitative techniques. They will not be successful as a business owner or business professional after they enter into their field.

I am very grateful to my local campus leaders, my faculty colleagues, staff, and my students for the opportunity to devote my 6 years of life in teaching in a for-profit university - the UOPX. Sincerely, I have a suggestion to the UOPX upper management team to be aware that only profit maximization model does not work in higher education. You need to keep the faculty and the students happy by dedicating them for their well being. UOPX should consider retaining a dedicated academic in the faculty team (not deactivate them for not having enough email posting for a couple of weeks in one class only). For students, UOPX must give them excellent education so that they can get their return to their investments (time and money) by getting good jobs and getting better profits from their business.

Bottom line is don't enroll students with insufficient background education, and hand them degrees which have no market values. Students will waste their time and will be in student debts forever! It serves nobody!! At the end, I wish all the best to UOPX. I will be happy to join in teaching faculty again if the UOPX becomes more friendly towards the students and faculty.

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Post ID: @OP+15sCLDdt

3 replies (most recent on top)

Your children are very lucky indeed. I both was a grad and worked for UoP (for over 10 yr - back in the day that it was more a real uni and not so much a “cramfest” of students. However, in the last 2 yr of my employment, I was admonished for not enrolling mothers on welfare, for example, that had zero credits. I countered to management that I gave them the tools to go to community college, test out of subjects and perhaps take their BS (it is fitting, isn’t it?) degree with us later. I was escorted to the higher managers office (like 2 or 3 above mine) to tell me that if they were breathing, had a pulse — IT DID NOT MATTER. I needed to stop with the “stupid integrity” (swear by this) and get my “Azz” to work. Mmkay. That was the climate. Be you breathing or have a pulse - you are getting enrolled.

Oh and as far as using my degree? I have done really well, but not because of the degree. I have had HR managers LAUGH at my degree - literally. They have told me it is the most worthless piece of c-ap. However they loved my background and my integrity.

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Post ID: @14hpp+15sCLDdt

I work in enrollment and we are told to enroll anyone and everyone, even if they can’t read or write. Management doesn’t care, they need enrollment numbers.

Sadly, this is why our graduation rate is VERY LOW!

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Post ID: @4rpv+15sCLDdt

I read your post and you are very angry. I want to tell you that my older kids 29 and 28 are doing very well out in the job market. They both got their degrees from UOP. Making great money. So the degree has value. But it has always been more than the degree. That's just one part of it. I don't remember one teacher from my undergraduate degree that I got from ASU. I remember being in a calculus class that I was failing miserably with no help from my instructor and hired a tutor for 250.00. and met him in the library. My question to you is...you cant answer an email..you have a phone..call them..be the change agent.

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Post ID: @3tgj+15sCLDdt

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