Trident university TUI increasing tuition rates
Posted 15 June 2012 - 05:34 PM
Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:12 PM
As you are probably aware Trident University International was served with a "show cause" letter by its accrediting agency, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, (WASC), in the Summer of 2011as a result of inadequate procedures it ints handling of the transcripts of incoming students who had taken courses elsewhere, and because it failed to inform WASC of this despite knowing about it for some time beforehand. The issuing of a "show cause" letter is the most severe reprimand an accreditor can issue short of directly revoking accreditation, as it demands that the institution should show cause why the accreditation should not be revoked. Trident University International had until March 2012 to do so.
As a result staff and faculty there worked extremely hard to weather the crisis, keep students informed and help avoid them defecting to other schools. In March 2012 TUI succeeded in having the show cause injunction removed and instead it was placed on probationary status for the following twelve months. Not exactly a stellar situation but better than losing accreditation.
Almost immediately after successfully passing the show cause deadline the university's management rewarded a slew of its hard working and devoted staff with pink slips. But these followed a series of firings, dismissals and letting goes which had been taking place in 2011.
The prior President had been let go at the time the crisis became known and the Vice-President of Academic Affairs, who was also implicated, took early retirement. The head of the Marketing department, probably seeing the writing on the wall, left shortly thereafter, as did the VP of Human Resources. The Dean of the College of Business, the university's only African American full-time faculty member had already been fired before the crisis broke, and his job was handled for many months by the VP of Student Services. Once the crisis broke the remaining staff worked extremely hard to get TUI through it, but as I indicated their reward for many once they succeeded was to be fired. This applied to the VP of Student Services, (who had been holding down two jobs for many months), the remaining VP of Marketing and a number of other staff.
Then at the end of May full-time faculty were also fired. Professors who had been with the university virtually since its inception in the mid-1990s, and who were an integral part of the doctoral, MBA and undergraduate business degree programs were summarily dismissed apparently as part of a cost-cutting measure in which it seems the educational model of TUI is being radically changed. This model had placed an emphasis on a core group of full-time faculty to develop and deliver the educational content of courses. At the end of May it was made clear that the number and pay of full-time faculty would be reduced and much greater reliance would be placed on part-time faculty than before. It is perhaps worth noting that in the business of online education many part-time faculty work for multiple employers, and because they work part-time their loyalty to any one institution and concern for the students is limited. Often they regard their work as being about "processing" as many students and their papers as possible. You can draw your own conclusions as to what implications that might have for the quality of the education and how the degrees being granted are regarded.
At the moment students may not feel an immediate effect, as courses designed by dismissed faculty are still being used, and indeed dismissed faculty are still shown on Trident's website as still employed by the university. However, these actions along with the tuition increase and the kinds of reactions posted above suggest:
1. An institution in financial crisis which is desperately trying to cut costs and increase revenues, regardless of the medium term impact doing so will have on either educational quality or enrollments.
2. The questionable future of the university's doctoral program.
3. Serious gaps in key personnel. For instance the university has been advertising for a replacement for their VP of Academic Affairs for months with the position still unfilled. There's also no VP of HR. No VP of Marketing. No librarian. No Director of Institutional Research, and as far as I know the Director of the undergraduate Business degree program was also fired.
4. Having seen how devoted and long-standing employees have been treated the morale of the remaining staff and faculty will be in the toilet and you can imagine that many will surely be looking for other options, and that will have a further effect in eroding educational quality.
5. As indicated by the posts above tuition fee increases will put off potential students and one can reasonably expect enrollments to fall adding further to the institution's financial problems.
6. As Trident University International has been owned by venture capital investors (Summit Partners) since 2007, you can also reasonably expect that they are now considering whether to hold on to their investment or whether to sell it off instead, and that may well be the reason for the underlying change in the educational model towards using more part-time faculty - to make the place a better fit for some other potential buyer.
Clearly all this is not likely to be good news for many students, who not unreasonably will be concerned about the uncertainty this situation creates. Yet in the face of all this turmoil the silence from the university is deafening and further undermines confidence in its future. Perhaps new President Sansing, who worked previously for Argosy, will make another YouTube video explaining what is going on, like she did during the "show cause" crisis, but I'd have thought that if she intended to do that she'd have done so by now.
I apologize for how long this post is but I wanted folks to know what's going on at TUI as best I know about it. If anyone here is enrolled there and hears anything further or can provide more information or clarification then posting it here will probably be very helpful to other students.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:32 PM
Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:41 PM
Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:49 PM
Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:52 PM
Ha - awesome. It looks like I just found my masters program... Hopefully they can stay accredited for another year or so.
Edited by billy pilgrim, 15 June 2012 - 10:57 PM.
Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:55 PM
I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. I'm not sure what is worse, the fact that the instructor isn't even pretending to do his/her job or that you had to cheat to pass a TUI class. The Air Force really should put a blank space for institution next to the yes/no AAD box on the promotion forms.
Edited by GearMonkey, 15 June 2012 - 10:56 PM.
Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:19 AM
I think the conclusions were drawn long before all this.
Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:36 PM
This makes me want to quit ERAU and switch to TUIIUIUIUI. Not that ERAU has been a real brain buster...
Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:45 PM
Why? Because a BS degree from TUI is any more useful in judging who should be promoted as the guy who gets a legit one. fist yourself
Edited by di1630, 16 June 2012 - 11:46 PM.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 03:56 AM
Was this for an Undergraduate or a Masters degree program? Could you say whether this was recently or was it some time ago?
Posted 17 June 2012 - 05:12 AM
Posted 17 June 2012 - 06:49 AM
Yeah, no sh:t. As if you're going to rescue the reputation of this fine institution.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 09:20 AM
Was this for an Undergraduate or a Masters degree program? Could you say whether this was recently or was it some time ago?
I don't know anything about that, I just want some food and water for my friends.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:52 AM
As the sole deciding factor no, as part of a more rounded and representative dataset hell yes!
Under the current system we all look the same. Everyone has an AAD (or an “AAD”), SOS, and 6.9 deployments under their belt. I think the promotion board would benefit from knowing whether we earned our degrees as full or part-time students as well as if they were awarded by a reputable institution or a diploma mill. If this was enacted along with a deployment metric of some sort it could help even the score for folks who are on the road all the time. For example, a distance learning degree from a reputable institution for an AFSOC guy with a 1:1 dwell suddenly looks a bit more impressive than an in-residence AFIT degree for an Acquisitions bubba who has served a single 179 as a Wing Exec. This could also help highlight the fact that 69%, or more, of our AADs are a total joke which offer no benefit and were a complete waste our time and the Air Force’s money. Everyone knows this already and admitting it might be the first step towards walking back this retarded requirement.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 01:06 PM
We have discussed many times on this board that there are rules that govern the current promotion system. You have a choice. If you want to "maximize" your promotion and school opportunities, you must play that game and get a masters degree. It is a choice. Don't forget that. You don't HAVE to get a masters degree.
You are asking the Air Force to make an already highly subjective processes even more subjective. I think we can all agree that a master's degree in anything is not going to make you or I better at our primary mission, which is to fly/operate whatever MDS we are responsible for. Asking the Air Force to now "weigh" the quality of degrees is ludicrous. Now guys have to work under manned, waste time on an even more difficult master's degree, and deploy at the same rate as before and their degree is still doing nothing to make them better operators.
Furthermore, you want to start "qualifying" deployments? How are you going to do that? Number or sorties? Number of SPINs rewritten? Number of convoys scheduled? Number of bombs dropped? Who is gone more often? It's impossible to quantify, and in the end is will be as equally "unfair" as your perceive the current system.
I got my degree from TUI. I put a decent amount of work into it as well. Many weekends working on cases, SLPs, etc, and I actually learned something. But I didn't learn anything that it going to make me a better fighter pilot. I didn't cheat. I didn't send in someone else's paper and claim it as my own. Which by the way is criminal. That's the true definition of fraud, and anyone who did that should be ashamed of themselves. But it's an online master's degree, because like the rest of you I have a family, work, and other things that I want/need to do with my time than get a masters in geo-political studies at Harvard.
Bottom line, an AAD under the current system is a ticket to increased opportunities down the road. It does NOTHING to improve combat capability, make better officers, or really help the Air Force. It needs to go away.
But those are the rules, and this is the game. Until they realize they should cancel AAD requirements entirely, take all that money and put it towards something useful, I advise every young dude on this board to do the following:
1) Do you want to stay in the Air Force, be a school select as an O-4, have the opportunity to be promoted below the zone, go to school in your 1st look, or go somewhere other than Maxwell?
Yes? Then get a masters degree that fits your life and your schedule. The Air Force will view it the same as everyone else.
2) Do you want the stay in the Air Force, but don't mind getting promoted "on time", go to Maxwell, willing to flying anything (maybe not your primary MDS), and not have to bother with a master's degree?
Yes? Then don't get one.
We make this concept far more difficult than it needs to be. Finally, just because you get a master's degree, it does not guarantee that you will be a school select, or that you will be 2 BPZ, or whatever. Do what's best for you and your family and be done with it. Also, don't turn in other people's work. Sharing check ride gouge, briefing guides, helping a guy on the 50 question IRC test, etc is the right thing to do. Turning in someone else's work and taking credit for it is flat out wrong.
Edited by BeerMan, 17 June 2012 - 01:11 PM.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:13 PM
An MBA from Harvard didn't help me when I was in the USAF any more than your TUI degree is helping you. That means, for the purposes of filling an AAD square they are exactly equal.
And that is exactly as it should be.
...at least until they finally scrap this stupid fucking AAD requirement and start making people compete basis how good they are at their jobs and how valuable they are to the USAF basis their true leadership skills and intellectual abilities.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:13 PM
The issue of when and on what program the failures in the assessment system occurred relate to the extent that the administrators at Trident University International have addressed what is a serious and fundamental problem which potentially undermines the quality of the education they provide and the validity of the degrees they have granted. Note that shortly after this thread appeared two people posted to state that the assessment / grading process was defective and that suggests that this could easily be a widespread problem - at least occurring frequently enough to pose a serious threat to the university's reputation and if it became public, to undermine the validity of the degrees it has granted.
To argue that promotions boards don't care about issues such as this is clearly wrong as it was a naval promotions board which unearthed the fact that a graduate from TUI had not completed all the courses he should have completed in order to be granted his degree and which then led to the scandal which hit TUI in 2011.
If students on TUI's flagship MBA program are getting passing grades for nonsense or repeat papers that don't deserve them there is clearly something seriously wrong with the assessment system at TUI. The administrators have know about this for some time, but if those instances occurred a while back they could claim that all is now well. If they occurred recently (in the past eighteen months say) clearly they can't and they and the accreditors who inspected Trident University International recently should be held to account for such failures.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:21 PM
Hahaha. Come on....this is way off man.
If the consequences of scoffing it were that you get to stay in, go to IDE in res, promote IPZ, and still fly, I'm sure plenty of guys would happily skip it. That's just not the case and there's plenty of empirical data to prove it, ref: RIF/Selective continuation, promotion stats, IDE stats, non-flying ALFA tour/remote stats, etc. Under the current system (flawed though it might be), it's a huge discriminator and closes tons of doors if you decide to throw chaff its way.
Guys have all sorts of decision points in their career. They weigh their options, prioritize, and make their choices. Not everyone wants to be Chief of Staff. The problem is that the consequences of this particular decision point have made it less of a choice and more of a mandate. Guys are pissed about that, and even more so because, as you pointed out, it's a particularly silly and time-consuming mandate.
....Speaking of priorities, I should have my fucking cranium examined for being on here on father's day. I'm going to hang out with my kid. Happy father's day.
Posted 17 June 2012 - 02:32 PM
First tailhook, now this. Thanks, Navy.
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