Northcentral University is an exclusively online university founded in 1996 whose mission is to educate professionals throughout the world. Perhaps the most salient feature of Northcentral’s educational model is the importance it places on one-on-one interactions and instruction between students and professors. The founders of Northcentral, inspired by the Oxford Learning Model, wanted to create a much more personalized educational experience than the giant lectures associated with large universities or the small courses touted by other distance learning institutions. Northcentral’s faculty is 100% doctoral, so each course is led by a trained expert in his or her particular field.
Northcentral University is comprised of four schools: Business and Technology Management, Education, Marriage and Family Studies, and Psychology. Northcentral University online degrees are geared toward students who are embarking on a professional career, looking to change profession, or hoping to gain a deeper understanding within their field of expertise. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, as well as post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificates; however, some degree levels may not be available within certain schools (a bachelor’s degree in marriage and family studies is unavailable, for example). Northcentral is also home to The Graduate School. Launched in 2011, this program is designed to assist doctoral students with their dissertations and ease their transition from student to independent scholar.
Northcentral University’s online classes are organized with a web-based Learning Management System (LMS) called the Student Portal. This enables students to contact faculty and administrators, pay tuition, access course materials, view graded assignments, and engage with professors and classmates. Northcentral is also distinguished from many other distance learning institutions thanks to the one-on-one teaching model, which allows students to customize the online course schedule. With other teaching models, in which there are multiple students in a class, classes are typically conducted live at scheduled times, and students must be online (otherwise, they are marked as absent). When a student is the only person in a class, he or she can work with the professor to make sure that the instruction schedule works for both of them.
As more students embrace digital academia, reputable establishments with a record of positive student outcomes stand to reap the greatest amount of success. Northcentral University creates an educational environment in which students and instructors are fully engaged and accountable, and the result is a rich learning experience for all involved.