Adult Learners Fuel Growth of Northcentral University

Underscoring its belief that a rapidly changing global economy is transforming the profile of the typical higher education student, Northcentral University, a global leader in 100% online higher education, today announced that the majority of its 8,000 students are 40-50 year-old working professionals seeking Doctoral degrees in order to advance their career goals and objectives.

"We’ve been watching the trend lines for several years now," noted Ron Hendricks, Chief Marketing Officer of Northcentral University, "and the trend lines are moving more and more in the direction of mature Learners who are enrolling in Doctoral degree programs in business as well as in behavioral and health sciences — areas that Northcentral University is particularly strong in."

According to Hendricks, larger societal trends are responsible in large part for the changing profile of the typical Northcentral learner. “Clearly, the amount of information needed to be mastered in subject areas like business and behavioral and health sciences grows larger every day. The fact of the matter is that a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree earned in these fields ten years ago could very well be out of date by now. In order to advance their careers, or change them as the case may be, many working professionals are now taking advantage of the unique flexibility and benefits offered by online higher education institutions. This is certainly the case here at Northcentral University.”

Indeed, in July the University announced that its School of Business and Technology Management had expanded the number of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degrees offered to 18 areas of study. The University now offers DBA degree programs in Advanced Accounting, Applied Computer Science, Computers & Information Security, Criminal Justice, Electronic Commerce, Financial Management, Healthcare Administration, Homeland Security Leadership & Policy, Human Resources Management, Industrial Organizational Psychology, International Business, Management, Management of Engineering and Technology, Marketing, Organizational Leadership, Project Management, and Public Administration. “The DBA degree program is now the fastest growing area of study within the University, with more than 750 Learners enrolled in DBA programs,” Hendricks explained, “with the two most popular areas of specialization being Organizational Leadership and Management.”

The second fastest growing area of study is at the University’s School of Behavioral and Health Sciences in its Marriage and Family Therapy degree programs. In October 2009 Northcentral University became of the first school in the country to offer online Master’s and Doctoral degree programs in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) designed to meet the educational standards of the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy (AAMFT). The introduction of these degree programs met a pent-up market demand for high quality degree programs that don’t impose a residency requirement.

“Other marriage and family therapy degree programs have residency requirements, which can be costly and difficult to schedule,” Hendricks explained. “Some programs that appear to be focused on marriage and family therapy are in fact generic counseling programs that offer a few courses in family therapy. Marriage and family therapy is a unique profession and requires a curriculum that is clearly focused on training MFTs. Northcentral University was the first University in the country to offer genuine family therapy training with a course-by-course focus on MFT practice delivered online to the standards of the AAMFT.”

To be sure, Northcentral University continues to serve the needs of Learners seeking their Bachelor degree. “Our goal is to remain a partner in education for every one of our Learners at each stage of their career,” Hendricks emphasized. “We believe that, with more and more areas of specialization becoming enriched by an unprecedented amount of new information, many of our Learners will be in pursuit of Master’s and Doctoral degree programs.”

About Northcentral University: Since its founding in 1996 Northcentral University ( has pioneered a distinct approach to online Undergraduate, Graduate, and Post Graduate education that is dedicated to teaching individuals rather than classes. Combining the power of the Internet with an unparalleled faculty mentored approach, Northcentral offers students the flexibility to cost-effectively study on their own schedule using their own individual style while receiving personalized attention from course instructors whenever it is needed. Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the for profit, 100% online university currently serves over 8,000 students worldwide, offering Bachelor, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, and Behavioral and Health Sciences.

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