DeVry University has its roots from way back in 1931 as a film and radio repair teaching establishment. Today it is amongst the largest schools run for profit in the United States. The University as a company also finds mention in the ‘100 best Corporate Citizen’ list ranked at number 11. Through the years, over a quarter of a million students have graduated from the University. Its total number of enrollments according some estimates is around 50,000, which is a tad lower than that of Phoenix University.
DeVry University boasts of 70 odd locations from where students can take classes. Students can also take online classes. The most important attribute of the University is the range of programs offered. There is something for every body – full time, part time, night study or weekend classes or pure online classes. By offering both online and brick and mortar classes at a variety of locations, students find they are able to find the combination that best suits their needs.
The university is fully accredited and offers various courses in areas of Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications and Business Administration at both undergraduate as well as graduate levels. This differentiates the school from some of the other online universities, like Capella, that have repeatedly failed to receive accreditation for its programs. Of particular note, is the business school, which has a strong focus on business management. Management education is imparted via, the Keller Graduate School of Management and as such is quite focused and current in its curriculum.
Another good thing about the university is the ‘part-time job services’, which offers to find part time jobs for students wanting to earn while they learn. Students can earn from $6.5 to $10 per hour at entry level. But students have often been seen to be complaining about the frequency with which the job postings are updated. Even the limitations of the job board, however, are a stark improvement over some of its online competitors which do not even offer the service at all.
Online education is imparted in collaboration with CertifyOnline, which provides DeVry with the reference materials, tests and online labs. This enables availability of courses and reference materials in synchronous format with live instructions as well as in archived video media. The class sizes are small and offer personalized attention. That said, many students find that the formulated testing and teaching limits not only the creativity of their professors, but also the ability for them, as students, to learn at a higher level.
The overall quality of education is considered to be quite good by both current students and federal regulators. However, unlike less rigorous competitors, the quality of the education comes at a price. The school is quick to place students on probation, should the student’s grades fall even a little. Such a strict discipline is perhaps good when you look at the future employability of the student. Tie this with the figure of 90 % of the university graduates (who actively pursued employment or were already employed when they graduated) finding jobs in their referred field within 6 months. While certainly there is some room for the University to have fiddled with the figures, this number is nonetheless quite impressive. It is important to note, however, that in light of this statistic the University qualifies their 90% claim by omitting some students who were never employed before or during their education at the university, and are finding it a difficult job to get employed. Some students argue that this is because, despite the quality of education, the reputation of the school remains sub-par amongst employers.
The universities price tag and associated fees are on par with its other online competitors, but it is important to note that this does not always mean a bargain compared to other public brick-and-mortar universities.
One of the major deficiencies of DeVry University appears to be its administrative department. Students frequently claim to have difficulty in dealing with the financial aid department as well as with the other student services departments.
Many students express some serious displeasure with the marketability of their Devry degree. They are finding that despite the quality of education and rigor of the university, that some employers do not yet regard the school as equivalent to a more traditional four year brick-and-mortar school. Another cadre of students report, however, that they have found the benefits of having the degree a very tangible benefit. Other than this deficiency, however, it appears that in the actual business of teaching and learning, DeVry surpasses its online competitors. The question facing incoming students, is however, what is the ultimate purpose of that college degree.