The Online University model and UoPeople, is it worth your time and money?

Ayoub NEJJARI
May 3, 2017 · 6 min read

The fierce competition between colleges and universities of higher education most of the time leaves the very element that they should serve and assist stressed and anxious, The Student. From the pressure of college loans to the stress caused by tight schedules, to the helplessness felt by those who, for some reason, couldn’t pursue and finish their college or university studies.

It’s become crystal clear that education, especially higher education, is taking the shape of a business rather than what it should be, an educational institution whose primary purpose is to promote education and educate people.

One of the greatest obstacles to escaping poverty is the staggering cost of higher education. — Chris Van Hollan

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Luckily for us, those who are more concerned to get a good quality education rather than a famous degree can achieve that, without the need to go through all the troubles and pressures caused by those businesslike institutions. Open Education Resources, Online learning platforms, recorded lectures from top universities, along with books, BOOKs, the real fountains of knowledge, and other resources allow us to get, not just good but, excellent and outstanding quality education. In fact, most, if not all, of the well-known and prominent experts in some fields have pursued the second road.

Of course, sometimes the best and only option is a university/college degree. If you studied medicine on your own, went to the nearest hospital, and asked the doctor to help him in his next operation, probably his next operation will be a brain surgery on you to make sure your brain is healthy and functions as expected. Some specialties, such as medicine and civil engineering, need the college path, it’s the only way you get your hands dirty, practice and develop the skills needed.

However, there are other specialties that do not require someone else’s intervention to practice and develop the needed skills. In fact, you can go way up to the mastery level on your own. Of course, there are other factors to consider, but I am not going to discuss them here.

It turned out that there is a third option, which is actually great for both, people who want to follow the path of autodidactism and those who want a real degree for whatever reason. This option is relatively new and it’s taken many shapes and it exists in many forms. Some of them are, well-known certificates programs, such as EC-Council Cyber-Security programs — I just figured out that they have now Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs, which are by the way 1000x better than university and college degrees. There are ComptiA certificates, Linux Foundation, etc. Also, some educational institutions offer online programs. Of course, there are more options and programs than I can list here. And just to note here, I am talking about well-known and renowned programs that are recognized by USA government and leading companies and corporations.

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I am not going to discuss job requirements here, even though these programs are more than enough to make you from the elite in your specialty, but most of us still feel the need to have a “real” degree from a “real” university. Right?

And for this, I think we finally can, with University of the People.

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I know, and I have been there too. Whether it’s about getting a job, because let’s face it, some outdated companies are still stuck in this mentality. Of course, I am talking about IT field. Or maybe you just want to make your parents happy, yes parents too are stuck in this mentality. Sometimes, it’s about the person herself and prestige. For whatever reason, Online accredited university seems to be the solution. And this is not like the programs I mentioned before, where it’s all on your own and the curriculum is so focused. I am talking about actual classrooms, classmates, professors and instructors, administrative stuff, uni courses, etc. The only difference between this model and the traditional college model is that the first is more flexible and all virtual.

University of the People is the first of its kind and the first institution that has adopted this model. And to be honest, even with all what I said, most people were still hesitated because, well let’s face it, the model is new, and we tend to be afraid of “new”. Also, there was suspicions about whether the university is accredited or not. Everyone had the right to feel this way. Not anymore.

Now that the university is accredited By DEAC, which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, UoPeople is a globally recognized educational institution. In fact, “UoPeople is approved to operate by the State of California and is approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to award degrees.” — UoPeople.

So, here you go. A real degree from a real university.

“Wait. I’m still afraid of this whole new online education thing. What about the quality?”, you may say.

Well, talking about what is it like to study in UoPeople needs another long post, but I’m going to try.

From the perspective of “the new model” it may feel strange first, because we’re not used to virtual universities, virtual classrooms and such. But once you become familiar with it, it’s another story. Believe me, I am not exaggerating, but I’ve actually felt the change in my body, you know when something affects you so much that you actually feel it in your blood? Literally, after each course, I feel like I am another person, whether it is about psychology, CS, philosophy, mathematics, or I don’t know. I’m not sure from where you’ve come or what your background is, but the traditional way of education sucks, even in some of the well-known colleges and universities. Especially in developing countries and some European ones. You know you’re learning when you work it out yourself, you interact with it and be able to discuss it with others. This is in summary what studying in UoPeople looks like.

The approach is so interactive and dynamic. It’s an interactive, peer-to-peer, research-based education that allows you to embark on the learning journey with enthusiasm and motivation, and guess what, learning becomes fun!

It’s all great, the students’ community, who are by the way from all over the world, the instructors and professors, who are accomplished and very helpful, and of course learning resources, courses, etc.

It’s worth noting that UoPeople partners with international leading organizations and corporations to help enrich degree programs and broaden student opportunities. Take a look to some of those partnerships. Also, “UoPeople partners with top universities worldwide to create unique, stimulating opportunities for students. These partnerships enhance online degrees with top of the line academic programs and research.” — UoPeople. Some of these partners are, New York University and University of California, Berkeley.

All this, with lower cost, time flexibility, and a much better learning experience.

So, back to the question. Is UoPeople worth your time and money. YES. Yes, and another Yes.

Everyone deserves to have access to higher quality education.

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I hope you enjoyed the post ^^. If you liked it please clap as many as you can, but don’t hurt your hand, and share it. You could save someone who is out there frustrated and striving for quality education.

The TechCave

EdTech, Blockchain, Software Engineering & everything related

Ayoub NEJJARI

Written by

Learning Technologist & EdTech Researcher

The TechCave

EdTech, Blockchain, Software Engineering & everything related

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