Narratives are powerful. Here, a well-written piece from a person who is in the organizational management leadership program (an oxymoron and what crap is this?). He/she got an MBA from U of Phoenix. He/she was also an On-line Academic Counselor, stationed at the first level of Hades in the For-profit hell — Phoenix’s U of P tabernacle — for two years before quitting.
Check his/her story out. It’s a brief but pungent and pugnacious expose from a Phoenix alumnus and former employee. The numbers are overwhelming: $2 billion plus per year online, most of it coming from the US taxpayer, or, us, our government. It’s a $30 billion a year for-profit exploitive business relying on more than 95 percent of its gravy train coming from Title IV bucks and Veterans GI Bill bucks, and Sallie Mae and predatory loan shark usury yokels.
You’ve already read about the systematic exploitation of students — all of us in the 70 percent vulnerable to Chicago thug mayors closing schools serving Latinos and African Americans — 54, and 130 arrested today protesting Obama’s guy, Rahm. So, we all are Chicago Teachers, Chicago Parents, Chicago Youth! Read this before University of Phoenix insider tells his/her story. Which is a story of corruption of the highest order!
“We believe that our city is under siege right now,” said teacher and CTU organizer Brandon Johnson. “Students are recognizing this process as racist.”
He points out that almost all the closings target black and Latino schools. Fifty are on the West and South Sides of Chicago. All are in poor neighborhoods. The closings will affect around 30,000 students and 1,000 teachers.
“The only thing that’s like it is Hurricane Katrina,” said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey of the potential devastation, “except this is being done on purpose.”
But the planned closings have provoked unprecedented outcry and resistance from Chicago communities. “I don’t think we have seen this type of demonstration and dissent to these school closings before,” Johnson said. “Parents are leading the way. It’s spreading like wildfire.”
The Chicago Teachers Union is trying to make the closings a citywide fight rather than a school-by-school battle. The bonds with parents forged before and during the teachers’ strike in September 2012 have carried over into protests around the city, at hearings set up by the school district.
Johnson and other organizers have been working with rank-and-file teacher leaders and with parents, holding school meetings and neighborhood meetings and working with existing community groups to educate parents about the crisis for neighborhood schools.
Today, protesters—including leaders from the teachers, hotel and restaurant workers, and service workers unions—will gather at individual schools and neighborhoods, then link up in downtown Chicago, where they will march on City Hall and the Board of Education. Community organizations are providing their members with transportation to the rally.
Officials may have hoped their “school utilization” meetings, power-point presentations, and breakout sessions would win parents over to support their schools’ being closed, but in many hearings (which were required by law), they could not execute any of their plans. The community members attending the more than 40 hearings voiced overwhelming opposition, despite the district’s attempts to “smooth over” potential closings.
We should expect more of these stories as Apollo Group-U of P sheds employees (and students). The original story is at the Lay Off — scroll down:
This kind of information needs to go to the Higher Learning Commission and to the media.
Hedge Funds, Predatory Capitalists, Uneducating USA University of Phoenix-style
WHO AM I?
Please let me introduce myself. I am currently a Doctoral of Organizational Management in Leadership student with the University of Phoenix. I am also a 2008 graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Public Administration. I am also a former Online Academic Counselor located at the main campus in Phoenix, AZ. On April 10, 2009, I resigned from my position after serving over 2 years.
In March, I filed an age discrimination charge with the EEOC and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. After filing the charge, my work environment immediately turned hostile and efforts were being made to terminate my employment. As a result, I decided to submit my resignation and leave under my own terms. The following is my account of the operations at Apollo Group, Inc.
HOW APOLLO GROUP, INC. OPERATES FROM AN INTERNAL VIEW
My intent with this report is to offer current or prospective students some insight to the University of Phoenix and its parent group, Apollo Group, Inc. The bottom line with Apollo Group and its educational institutions (Axia, University of Phoenix, and Western International University) IS the bottom line. The company’s mission is to PROFIT at the expense of those who cannot attend elsewhere. Ask yourself, why is it so easy to get into the University of Phoenix, Axia, or Western International University? The answer: Apollo Group makes it easy to get you started quickly and then proceed to keep you in by using sales strategies, scare tactics, unearned grades (good grade psychology such as I am getting A’s. I’ve never gotten A’s before so this is really working for me.), and hooks/gimmicks.
As a student, I was not aware of these strategies until I became an employee and required to use them with my students. I was also witness to students receiving grades by faculty that were unearned just to keep the student in class for revenue building. When I first became a student, I was so excited about starting and getting an A in my courses that I was ignorant in listening to or reading the opinions about the university. The failure rate of students in the first block of classes is extremely low.
The reasons for this is so the student gets excited and deeper into the program where leaving does not enter the students mind or they simply feel they have too much invested to leave. The organization trains and coaches its counselors and faculty to operate in a manner that leaves the student with the impression that education and the student come first at the university. This is a complete fallacy.
The organization emphasizes enrollment and retention. These two practices alone generate the billions of dollars in revenue for the organization which more than 70% of that revenue comes from Title IV funding. The following is some math for you to consider in forming your own opinion about the intentions of Apollo Group: I had over 400 students. My retention percentage was 65%. As an average, the cost of tuition is $2,000 per class. Therefore, 65% of 400 are 260 students’ times $2,000 equals $520,000 generated in a 6 week block.
I use 6 weeks as the length since graduate classes are 6 weeks long. Under graduate courses are 5 weeks in duration. Using the 6 week length of time for classes’ results in 8.66 blocks in a year. Using 8.66 times $520,000 equals $4,506,666 annual dollars from 1 academic counselor.
In my division (Southeast Online) had 8 academic counseling teams. Each of those teams had a minimum of 8 academic counselors which equates to 64 academic counselors. This number varies from time to time due to growth of new teams or new hires and terminations. However, by using my numbers as a base the overall retention revenue generated for the division on an annual basis would be approximately $288,426,666. This is only 1 division. There are 8 divisions (Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Mountain, Southwest, West, Military, International).
Again, using the dollar figures as a base for my former division, the total revenue generation for the online divisions exceeds $2,307,413,333. YES: Over 2 Billion dollars and this does not include ground campus revenue. These dollars are the ONLY concern by management and the organization.
This may be insightful for a lot of you, but about a month prior to quitting I attended our division awards ceremony. During the ceremony, the Vice-President’s speech focused on the growth of our division (meaning monetary growth for the company) and made no reference to the impact on education. During that ceremony, awards were distributed to enrollment, finance, and academic counselors. The awards were disproportionate to each of those positions. Prior to the ceremonies, I decided that I was going to take note of how the ceremony broke down. After the awards were distributed, I estimated that approximately 100 awards were distributed.
The breakdown of the award distribution was as follows:
- 70% Enrollment Counselors/Managers,
- 20% Academic Counselors/Managers
- and the remaining 10% to Finance Counselors/Managers.
The results of this breakdown clearly suggest that the emphasis of Apollo Group institutions is on enrollment (or the proper term: sales). You may also find it interesting that the awards were entitled Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Since I attended sales conventions as a former sales representative, I felt as though I was in a time warp and attending such an event.
THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND THE POLITICS
Due to the enormous revenue generated by this organization, the company has become so powerful that it can manipulate political structures and figures. One such structure is the Department of Education. If the Department of Education decided to perform due diligence and complete a rigorous audit of the companies accounting practices and uses of TITLE IV funding, the Department of Education would have no other choice than to strip the organization of TITLE IV funding.
Matter of fact, the Department of Education could have used the latest legal issue concerning religious discrimination (preference to Mormon’s) as a basis to eliminate TITLE IV funding. Furthermore, the organization continually walks a thin line in regard to TITLE IV funding compliance as well as other compliance issues. Due to these ongoing compliance issues, the Department of Education could revoke its funding but continues to allow the organization to use these funds. So why does the Department of Education stand idly by and let the organization do as it pleases?
There are three reasons for the Department of Education’s “Hands Off” policy as it relates to Apollo Group. Those reasons are as follows:
- The power struggle between government entities and corporate America. The financial wealth of the organization has become so massive and powerful that it influences the political institution that governs its behavior.
- Again, the power of money extends to its shareholders and the influence of those shareholders. Politically influential people have self-interest in the financial well-being of Apollo Group. Thus, those individuals will use that power to prevent any harm to the organization.
- Due to the company being the largest private educational institution, the company has the largest number of students that could be negatively impacted by the Department of Education decision to stop TITLE IV funding. Chaos would ensue due to the fall-out from making students attend a different institution immediately or in the future.
In addition, how does the Department of Education manage the funds previously and currently distributed to students? As a result of these concerns, the Department of Education has taken the approach to monitor rather than administer.
THE QUESTION OF ACCREDITATION BEWARE:
Apollo Group educational institutions are not accredited at the same levels of other prestigious institutions for certain disciplines such as business degrees. Check out the MBA program. I am sure you will be disappointed to find out that the MBA program and other business programs are not accredited by the same body that accredits more prestigious institutions. All I can say is BUYER BEWARE.
HOW TO GET OUT AFTER YOU GET IN!
# 1: Ignore your financial, academic, and enrollment counselors. These individuals are trained and coached in sales strategies to discourage students from dropping out or transferring. Also, do not fall for the Financial Aid/Student Loan/Return to Lender scare tactic. These are strategies used to put fear into students in order to keep them in class or leaving the institution. I was forced to use this strategy with my students on a regular basis. Another tactic is the two week break tactic. Counselor are trained and coached to keep students from not taking a break longer than 2 weeks. If a student takes a break longer than 2 weeks, the student is considered a t-drop student which affects the performance matrix of the counselors. The performance matrix is a measure or device in which counselors are evaluated for raises. This matrix can be manipulated in several ways; however, the intent of the matrix is to force sales based performance pay strategy in the education systems. This process walks a thin line on being compliant with the Department of Education requirements for paying counselors. The Department of Education has turned its head away from enforcing and discouraging this practice.
#2: Make sure your account is paid in full at the time you take your last class. DO NOT spend your financial aid money if you know that you will be leaving the school. If you have funds on account or received an excess check, DO NOT spend these funds either. THIS IS THE HOOK. If you do not have the ability to pay this back at the time that you quit, you will not be able to obtain financial aid at another institution or have your transcripts sent to another institution for entrance or evaluation. If you owe money to any institution at Apollo Group, be prepared for a tumultuous journey of leaving the institution. You will continue to be harassed by all your counselors and at some point the collections department.
#3: Demand an Official Withdrawal Form and make sure to get confirmation that it has been submitted to University Services by any of your counselors. DO NOT violate any student code of conduct policy. Violating this code could prevent you from being accepted as a potential transfer student at another institution.
#4: DO NOT let them intimidate you.
DO NOT refer people to the institution. Prevent them from attending out of their best interest. Trust me when I say look for other institutions. Today, many traditional schools including junior colleges offer online classes that are convenient for all learners. In the past, Apollo Group had a monopoly on the industry resulting in its rapid growth over the last 20 years.
In addition, beware of other similar online institutions such as Grand Canyon University, Kaplan University, The Art Institute, and South University with the later 2 belonging to EDMC.
A brief history lesson: EDMC current president is Todd Nelson who is the former president of Apollo Group. I recommend Googling “Todd Nelson,” University of Phoenix, and learn the history of his administration prior to attending or working for any institution under the umbrella of EDMC. If you want a quality education from a respectable institution, search out those institutions that were brick and mortar schools that eventually established online classes. A few examples of these types of schools to consider would be University of Texas, University of Tennessee, University of Nebraska-Omaha. You may need to meet a more stringent entrance requirement and be required to take a graduate entrance exam, but in the long-run you will definitely receive a better ROI (return on investment) on your education and institution. Good luck!
As I leave this report for your own consideration, you will ultimately make your own decision on whether or not to leave or attend one of the previously mentioned educational institutions. After spending over 3 years in a discriminatory work place and accumulating an additional $50,000 dollars in educational debt for a second rate degree, I would love to have the opportunity to take out my anger on those Apollo Group executives. As a former US Army Ranger, I am most certain that the task would not be all that challenging. However, I DO NOT think that that would hurt the most. All of us know that the best place to hurt these individuals is in their wallet or pocketbook and that is done by NOT ATTENDING