Sharing my experience of Point Loma Nazarene University MBA


racheld
Please note this review is in reference to the 5th year/ Accelerated MBA Program which has taken a significant turn for the worse since reviews in 2010 and 2013. I have nothing to gain from a negative review of the program through which I achieved my MBA. However, my class suffered & I suffered far too much frustration in this program and looking back would not want others to undertake this experience, regardless of the quick path to an MBA title.

Summary: Look elsewhere for a graduate degree. Whether you want a quality experience (start running full speed in the other direction), or you simply want the three letters behind your name (there are much cheaper options), PLNU’s MBA is no shortage of frustrating experiences and inconveniences of which I’d highly recommend against.

--

A small snapshot of the utterly painful situations we found ourselves in over the last year . . .

Our “cohort’s” schedule changed dramatically and without notice through the year; all previously offered electives became two "mandatory electives," at least two key courses are no longer taught, and concentrations have been rid of entirely. While many had looked forward to specializing in their fields of interest others were relying on those courses to secure previously promised jobs that required their completion.

We were never notified of the changes, simply given new schedules at the last minute each semester. Upon notifying the Dean that we felt false advertising was evoked and that the website had not been updated to illustrate the lack of electives, concentrations, and other desired courses for incoming students… I was told the website would be changed within three weeks- without apology. Six weeks later it was updated however we were again surprised last semester when another course changed.

Having had attended PLNU's undergrad and been more than satisfied with the fantastic undergrad experience, I expected our professors to be up to the same standard, if not higher. Although three professors had ample business experience and well-written curriculums, we were disappointed repeatedly by other professors who were seemingly chosen last minute to fill the voids.

While our marketing class covered nothing beyond the 4 P’s, our teacher (the Assistant Dean) offered to send us her class papers from the following class in an effort to "catch us up" to the level we should have been taught at initially. Another class taught by an incomprehensible professor resulted in the offer of a $600 credit towards another marketing research class at a UC school after enough students complained– an obvious admittance of the failure of the class to meet standards. Unfortunately, not only was the time we had to enroll by limited, but we would also have had to front the cost and would only be reimbursed after successful completion of the course. We became further frustrated upon learning she was not being asked back the following year.

Classes focused around the knowledge of the professors, many whom have little business experience and tend to spend far more time talking up their own interests.

Law & Social Environment for example, didn't involve an ounce of law outside of a guest speaker from PLNU's own HR department, yet dove head first into sustainability and maintained its position revolving around our destruction of the universe for the entire semester. Failing to learn any law outside of common HR misconceptions was a huge downfall. That same class we were told by the professor 7 weeks in that he had just received his expected course outcomes from the director (that's right, for a class he had already been teaching for 7/10 weeks).

Most recently I attempted to ask what concepts a new teacher thought he believed we would draw from the class ... he asked me to rephrase, then instructed me to inform him of such at the end of the course. I took my concern to the Dean and was informed that PLNU's "policy" determines that there is no time in class for questions regarding concepts we could expect to learn or those regarding the experience of professors.

Cons: classes focusing almost solely on ethics, awful communication between faculty and students, wrongly evoked expectations, inexperienced professors, and numerous excuses for setbacks, cancelations, and undelivered promises all at a cost of $$$

Ask around; don’t make the mistake we did in believing the hype. They’re in it for the money and spending more of it on advertising over the radio, LinkedIn, and Facebook than they are spending on all of our teachers combined. The “more than the bottom line” philosophy they so strongly market is in direct contradiction to the way the MBA program is ran- in just about every possible way.

[Edited by racheld on Jul 20, 2015]

Please note this review is in reference to the 5th year/ Accelerated MBA Program which has taken a significant turn for the worse since reviews in 2010 and 2013. I have nothing to gain from a negative review of the program through which I achieved my MBA. However, my class suffered & I suffered far too much frustration in this program and looking back would not want others to undertake this experience, regardless of the quick path to an MBA title.

Summary: Look elsewhere for a graduate degree. Whether you want a quality experience (start running full speed in the other direction), or you simply want the three letters behind your name (there are much cheaper options), PLNU’s MBA is no shortage of frustrating experiences and inconveniences of which I’d highly recommend against.

--

A small snapshot of the utterly painful situations we found ourselves in over the last year . . .

Our “cohort’s” schedule changed dramatically and without notice through the year; all previously offered electives became two "mandatory electives," at least two key courses are no longer taught, and concentrations have been rid of entirely. While many had looked forward to specializing in their fields of interest others were relying on those courses to secure previously promised jobs that required their completion.

We were never notified of the changes, simply given new schedules at the last minute each semester. Upon notifying the Dean that we felt false advertising was evoked and that the website had not been updated to illustrate the lack of electives, concentrations, and other desired courses for incoming students… I was told the website would be changed within three weeks- without apology. Six weeks later it was updated however we were again surprised last semester when another course changed.

Having had attended PLNU's undergrad and been more than satisfied with the fantastic undergrad experience, I expected our professors to be up to the same standard, if not higher. Although three professors had ample business experience and well-written curriculums, we were disappointed repeatedly by other professors who were seemingly chosen last minute to fill the voids.

While our marketing class covered nothing beyond the 4 P’s, our teacher (the Assistant Dean) offered to send us her class papers from the following class in an effort to "catch us up" to the level we should have been taught at initially. Another class taught by an incomprehensible professor resulted in the offer of a $600 credit towards another marketing research class at a UC school after enough students complained– an obvious admittance of the failure of the class to meet standards. Unfortunately, not only was the time we had to enroll by limited, but we would also have had to front the cost and would only be reimbursed after successful completion of the course. We became further frustrated upon learning she was not being asked back the following year.

Classes focused around the knowledge of the professors, many whom have little business experience and tend to spend far more time talking up their own interests.

Law & Social Environment for example, didn't involve an ounce of law outside of a guest speaker from PLNU's own HR department, yet dove head first into sustainability and maintained its position revolving around our destruction of the universe for the entire semester. Failing to learn any law outside of common HR misconceptions was a huge downfall. That same class we were told by the professor 7 weeks in that he had just received his expected course outcomes from the director (that's right, for a class he had already been teaching for 7/10 weeks).

Most recently I attempted to ask what concepts a new teacher thought he believed we would draw from the class ... he asked me to rephrase, then instructed me to inform him of such at the end of the course. I took my concern to the Dean and was informed that PLNU's "policy" determines that there is no time in class for questions regarding concepts we could expect to learn or those regarding the experience of professors.

Cons: classes focusing almost solely on ethics, awful communication between faculty and students, wrongly evoked expectations, inexperienced professors, and numerous excuses for setbacks, cancelations, and undelivered promises all at a cost of $$$

Ask around; don’t make the mistake we did in believing the hype. They’re in it for the money and spending more of it on advertising over the radio, LinkedIn, and Facebook than they are spending on all of our teachers combined. The “more than the bottom line” philosophy they so strongly market is in direct contradiction to the way the MBA program is ran- in just about every possible way.
quote
Duncan
This is a great example of why AACSB or EQUIS accreditation really matters: these school-wide accreditations ensure best practise.
This is a great example of why AACSB or EQUIS accreditation really matters: these school-wide accreditations ensure best practise.
quote
racheld
So true Duncan, I wish I had done further research into their accreditation (or lack there of) prior to simply taking it at face value as way to get my MBA within 1 year.
So true Duncan, I wish I had done further research into their accreditation (or lack there of) prior to simply taking it at face value as way to get my MBA within 1 year.
quote
sts
I am truly sorry for your unfortunate experience, which seems to have been the result of an incorrect decision to join a school, which seemed attractive at the beginning.

However, one experience with one single school still does not warrant the over-generalized conclusion regarding the importance of professional accreditation i.e. AACSB, etc. Still there is no guarantee that any professionally accredited school is better than any other institutionally accredited/recognized school with degree awarding powers. There are many other factors to consider, in my opinion. Candidates might care to investigate more intensely and carefully, rather than simply swing from one end to the other in a reactive manner.

[Edited by sts on Jul 20, 2015]

I am truly sorry for your unfortunate experience, which seems to have been the result of an incorrect decision to join a school, which seemed attractive at the beginning.

However, one experience with one single school still does not warrant the over-generalized conclusion regarding the importance of professional accreditation i.e. AACSB, etc. Still there is no guarantee that any professionally accredited school is better than any other institutionally accredited/recognized school with degree awarding powers. There are many other factors to consider, in my opinion. Candidates might care to investigate more intensely and carefully, rather than simply swing from one end to the other in a reactive manner.
quote
racheld
Hi SFS, I would ask that you reach out to the rest of our class- we have met multiple times to discuss our disappointments as a whole and in fact discussed it in class this morning openly as well. I can assure you that the material I have presented is not "over-generalized" and as multiple individuals in our 16 person class have complained personally to the dean and assistant dean the frustration is truly felt across the board. I would recommend that any person who may be considering PLNU's MBA program make their own decision based off of independent research however when doing that research it's also always recommended to talk to those who have taken the courses- such as myself and my fellow classmates. My intent is to simply portray the facts and experiences I've had so that others may take what they want from it and come to their own conclusion.
Hi SFS, I would ask that you reach out to the rest of our class- we have met multiple times to discuss our disappointments as a whole and in fact discussed it in class this morning openly as well. I can assure you that the material I have presented is not "over-generalized" and as multiple individuals in our 16 person class have complained personally to the dean and assistant dean the frustration is truly felt across the board. I would recommend that any person who may be considering PLNU's MBA program make their own decision based off of independent research however when doing that research it's also always recommended to talk to those who have taken the courses- such as myself and my fellow classmates. My intent is to simply portray the facts and experiences I've had so that others may take what they want from it and come to their own conclusion.
quote
Duncan
STS is simply mistaken. That is *exactly* what institutional accreditation does. It may not be better on every element, but on the ones that are taken into consideraton they are better. That is exactly what best practise means.
STS is simply mistaken. That is *exactly* what institutional accreditation does. It may not be better on every element, but on the ones that are taken into consideraton they are better. That is exactly what best practise means.
quote
sts
Hi SFS, I would ask that you reach out to the rest of our class- we have met multiple times to discuss our disappointments as a whole and in fact discussed it in class this morning openly as well. I can assure you that the material I have presented is not "over-generalized" and as multiple individuals in our 16 person class have complained personally to the dean and assistant dean the frustration is truly felt across the board. I would recommend that any person who may be considering PLNU's MBA program make their own decision based off of independent research however when doing that research it's also always recommended to talk to those who have taken the courses- such as myself and my fellow classmates. My intent is to simply portray the facts and experiences I've had so that others may take what they want from it and come to their own conclusion.


Thank you for your reply. Just to clarify, I have no intention to question the validity of what you have shared with us about PLNU MBA, nor do I have any idea about this particular school. What I want to draw attention is that this is about one particular school, among thousands of schools. Also this is the experience of yourself and your cohort and the people you know. These do not justify a generalization towards the differentiating power per se of professional accreditation among the set of all business schools.
[quote]Hi SFS, I would ask that you reach out to the rest of our class- we have met multiple times to discuss our disappointments as a whole and in fact discussed it in class this morning openly as well. I can assure you that the material I have presented is not "over-generalized" and as multiple individuals in our 16 person class have complained personally to the dean and assistant dean the frustration is truly felt across the board. I would recommend that any person who may be considering PLNU's MBA program make their own decision based off of independent research however when doing that research it's also always recommended to talk to those who have taken the courses- such as myself and my fellow classmates. My intent is to simply portray the facts and experiences I've had so that others may take what they want from it and come to their own conclusion.[/quote]

Thank you for your reply. Just to clarify, I have no intention to question the validity of what you have shared with us about PLNU MBA, nor do I have any idea about this particular school. What I want to draw attention is that this is about one particular school, among thousands of schools. Also this is the experience of yourself and your cohort and the people you know. These do not justify a generalization towards the differentiating power per se of professional accreditation among the set of all business schools.
quote
Duncan
Do you appreciate that the accreditation process assures quality in business schools? Don't you think that's meaningful, even if it's not comprehensive?
Do you appreciate that the accreditation process assures quality in business schools? Don't you think that's meaningful, even if it's not comprehensive?
quote
sts
Do you appreciate that the accreditation process assures quality in business schools? Don't you think that's meaningful, even if it's not comprehensive?


I do appreciate and find meaningful, however I do not single out it as the sole and decisive criteria for a comprehensive evaluation. It may also have its pros and cons, especially from the perspectlves of business schools, which have variations in many other dimensions such as the country, location, target sectors, institutional reputation and rankings, subject area specializations, etc.

[Edited by sts on Jul 20, 2015]

[quote]Do you appreciate that the accreditation process assures quality in business schools? Don't you think that's meaningful, even if it's not comprehensive?[/quote]

I do appreciate and find meaningful, however I do not single out it as the sole and decisive criteria for a comprehensive evaluation. It may also have its pros and cons, especially from the perspectlves of business schools, which have variations in many other dimensions such as the country, location, target sectors, institutional reputation and rankings, subject area specializations, etc.
quote
Duncan
Indeed, I don't think anyone will make it the only criterion but in this specific case it's highly relevant.
Indeed, I don't think anyone will make it the only criterion but in this specific case it's highly relevant.
quote

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