Trident/TUI WTF?
#1
I nominate Trident/TUI for membership in the distinguished Rolleyes DL Truth Hall of Shame for schools. In addition to their recent accreditation snafu, here's a few other supporting tidbits:

czecksikhs Wrote:Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:49 PM

I submitted 5 files that were just .jpeg files renamed to "Czecksikhs essay 1-5.doc" for my capstone class. I was just hoping for an extension by making the professor think the files were corrupted, but got all A's. The professor even commented on my "insightful discussion of the topic."
http://www.flyingsquadron.com/forums/ind..._p__314999

Scholar Wrote:Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:12 PM

I was interested to learn of the tuition increase at Trident University and joined this board specifically to let you know that the situation there is, in my opinion, possibly much worse than you might imagine. If what I write below is common knowledge or has been announced by the university then my apologies in advance but my understanding is that it is not known by students nor has it been announced publicly by the new management despite the fact that it has possibly serious implications for the nature of the educational model at Trident University International as well as the future of at least some of its programs and its future as an educational institution.

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.
http://www.flyingsquadron.com/forums/ind..._p__314987

A friend enrolled in Trident's RES600 Introductory Data Analysis (the first course of their PhD program) sends these examples from their course assignments:

The first line of this assignment states: "Based on the above information, write a paper (4-6 pages), addressing the following issues"

The last line of the assignment states: "The paper is usually between 5- 12 pages long."

So which is it, 4-6 pages or 5-12? These are only the first and last lines of the very first assignment of the very first class. Was it just too much trouble for whoever authored this mess to bother to proofread it? Is this the "standard" to which students are being held in this program? The clear message is that this class just wasn't important enough for the instructor to bother to articulate coherent thoughts.

Quote:2. The data include a variety of variables with different properties. What the variables? Can you identify the variables that has interval properties? How about ordinal? Nominal/categorical?

2. Calculate basic descriptive statistics for the six demographic variables (Gender, Grade, Age, Race, District, and School), show the frequency table for the nominal and ordinal variables.

“What the variables?” WTF? This is English?

“Can you identify the variables that has interval properties?” Somebody was sleeping in English class when they covered how the number of the subject must agree with the number of the verb.

Paragraph 3 was incorrectly numbered as duplicate Paragraph 2. Students must have been thrilled to be learning stats from someone who couldn't get past "3" in numbering the problems before screwing it up.

From another assignment in the same class:
Quote:3. Organize your report from SPSS, explain how simulation works and how the result looks like and compare it with the probabilities described in the article. Please show the summary statistics of your simulation and the pie chart.

The expression "how the result looks like" is indecipherable. Perhaps the statement was intended to invite a comparison, e.g., "what the result looks like." Or perhaps it was intended to elicit some qualitative judgment as to "how the result looks." Or perhaps not; it's anyone's guess.

Quote:4. Explain why the simulated result doesn't have to be exact as the theoretical calculation.

Could they possibly have meant "doesn't have to be as exact as the theoretical calculation"? Not that incoherent thoughts are magically rendered coherent by expressing them in a grammatically correct fashion. I'm guessing the question may be seeking some explanation as to why a simulated result doesn't always mirror the theoretical result.

Quote:When we want to test multiple groups, we would need to use ANOVA test. Let us using ANOVA (and follow up pair-wise t tests if necessary). Interpret the results. You are welcome to draw the confidence intervals and compare them.

I have no idea what "Let us using ANOVA" means, as that is not a grammatical statement. Let us what? Hold the pickles, hold the let us? Let us guessing what mean sentence again?

It's nominally a PhD level course--it would be nice if the assignments were written using at least a first grade level of grammar.

Clearly Trident is a joke. The place is on probation for administrative problems, but clearly that is just the tip of the iceberg. Time for someone to pull the plug on this dump.
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#2
Quote:“What the variables?” WTF? This is English?

“Can you identify the variables that has interval properties?” Somebody was sleeping in English class when they covered how the number of the subject must agree with the number of the verb.

[Image: camel1.jpg]

Uh?
A.A Mole University
B.A London Institute of Applied Research
B.Sc Millard Fillmore
M.A International Institute for Advanced Studies
Ph.D London Institute of Applied Research
Ph.D Millard Fillmore
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#3
(07-16-2012, 04:21 AM)ham Wrote: [Image: camel1.jpg]

Uh?

I'm thinking a bit further east...

[Image: abc1.gif]
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#4
Quote:
czecksikhs Wrote:Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:49 PM

I submitted 5 files that were just .jpeg files renamed to "Czecksikhs essay 1-5.doc" for my capstone class. I was just hoping for an extension by making the professor think the files were corrupted, but got all A's. The professor even commented on my "insightful discussion of the topic."
http://www.flyingsquadron.com/forums/ind..._p__314999

That is just too funny. SmileWinkBig GrinCool

Now that WASC has denied Ashford accreditation and even the lax NCACS is on their case, it looks like it's open season on online for-profits by the accreditors. Trident looks like easy meat when WASC comes back this fall.

I realize the dopes at WASC probably don't see anything wrong with illiterate "What the variables?" assignments, but even they have to do a double-take when they hear about the "insightful" .jpeg files.
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#5
Quote:
czecksikhs Wrote:Posted 15 June 2012 - 09:49 PM

I submitted 5 files that were just .jpeg files renamed to "Czecksikhs essay 1-5.doc" for my capstone class. I was just hoping for an extension by making the professor think the files were corrupted, but got all A's. The professor even commented on my "insightful discussion of the topic."
http://www.flyingsquadron.com/forums/ind..._p__314999

Jeez, Trident is a frickin' joke! How did WASC miss their chance to punch them out the first time around? The place just totally sucks.

That "insightful" jpeg story alone is enough for a Hall of Shame winner in my book. Add the "what the variables" stuff and you got a slam dunk. That crap makes AMU/APUS almost look literate.

Even if you just got off the banana boat from Bechuanastan, how long does it take to run your stuff through a grammar checker? Obviously nobody at Trident cares, as long as the tuition checks keep rolling in. Somebody needs to put an end to that.

If WASC is in the mood to knock out a for-profit, this is a good place to start.
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#6
(07-15-2012, 07:10 PM)Yancy Derringer Wrote: I nominate Trident/TUI for membership in the distinguished Rolleyes DL Truth Hall of Shame for schools.

We may have to open up a whole new level of Hades just for these guys. How about a Mega Uber Ultra Hall of Shame?
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