Beverly Letcher

I am most definitely able to stay engaged in my online coursework. I enjoy contacting classmates and professors through discussion posts because I feel like I’m actually in class having real-time conversations.


University of Phoenix


Master of Science in Nursing, Saint Xavier University (1986); Bachelor of Science in Nursing, North Park University (1971)


PhD in Nursing Science


Why did you decide to attend University of Phoenix to get your PhD in nursing science?

I decided to attend University of Phoenix to get my PhD in nursing science because the school offered a rigorous program with plenty of resources for students. In my experience, University of Phoenix is dedicated to providing students with a quality education. They also set students up with an academic counselor and financial aid advisor.

I chose to pursue my PhD online because I needed a convenient program that accommodated my work schedule. I previously attended an on-campus school for 1 year and found it to be quite tedious attending classes at a set time and location. Plus, I knew I would succeed in an online program because I have my certificate in teaching online.

What are your school’s biggest strengths?

The school’s biggest strength is the excellent facilities. University of Phoenix offers great instructors as well as a library system and access to article databases that nursing students need for their research. Another strength is the collaborative atmosphere in the classroom. I am able to learn from my professors and other students.

Do you view University of Phoenix as a community?

Yes, I view University of Phoenix as a community. I am extremely engaged in the class material and feel like I am part of the student body. In fact, I met my classmates and several instructors at my program’s first residency in Atlanta.

Does University of Phoenix have brick-and-mortar campuses?

Yes, University of Phoenix has several brick-and-mortar campuses throughout the country. Although I attend University of Phoenix online, my transcript does not indicate that I earned my degree online. Even if it did, I don’t think it would be a big deal. Online learning is becoming more and more popular. In fact, there are several well-known traditional universities that also offer online programs.


How are you paying for college?

My PhD program in nursing science costs about $6,000 per semester which includes tuition. On top of that, I pay for online book fees. I am paying for college using financial aid and federal loans, and I am currently looking for scholarships.

How helpful was your school in assisting your financial aid process?

University of Phoenix was extremely helpful in assisting me in the financial aid process. They provided me with a financial aid advisor who guided me through the process of obtaining student loans. I primarily interacted with my financial advisor using the student information center as well as phone and e-mail.

Do you feel like your overall cost of education is more or less than the cost of a degree at a traditional institution?

The overall cost of education is about the same as the cost of a degree at a traditional institution. The only difference would be if I lived in Arizona, which is where University of Phoenix’s main campus is located. I might be eligible for additional funding if I lived in state.

Admissions Requirements

Can you describe the admissions process from start to finish?

The entire online admissions process lasted only a few weeks. I submitted my transcripts, curriculum vitae and educational goals, and then received a notification in the mail that I was accepted. Before starting my classes, I took several online orientation classes, a non-credit ethics course and online trainings on research and the APA format, all of which helped prepare me for the program.

What did you write about in your personal statement?

In my personal statement, I discussed my desire to continue my education as a nursing professional. I also talked about my specific academic interests in the nursing science PhD program.

How many letters of recommendation did you submit in your application?

I submitted 2 or 3 letters of recommendation for my application. I approached my nursing professors who had worked with me previously in order to secure a more personalized letter.

Do you have any insight on how University of Phoenix weighs the different parts of an admissions application?

I believe that University of Phoenix places the greatest emphasis on students’ academic transcripts and grade point averages. They also make sure that students hold a valid degree at the bachelors and masters level.

During the admissions process, did you interact with an admissions advisor?

Yes, I interacted with an admissions advisor during the admissions process. My advisor was very helpful in guiding me through the application process and making sure that I completed all the necessary forms. I found the admissions support at University Phoenix superior to any other school I have encountered.

Classroom Experience

How is class material presented?

Class material is presented through online documents. Each week, students complete reading assignments, work on individual and group projects and participate in the discussion boards. Students are required to make 2 substantive posts on 3 different days. Students also complete proposals, PowerPoint presentations and scholarly papers in APA format. Although students can complete coursework any time they want, they need to submit materials by certain deadlines in order to get credit.

What are the benefits and drawbacks of this style of presentation?

The main benefit of this style of presentation is the flexibility. Students can complete schoolwork whenever it works for them. Plus, they don’t have to dress up for class or spend money on gas or parking. However, the main drawback is the strict deadlines. Certain assignments are not accepted at all if they are turned in late.

Are you able to stay engaged in your online coursework?

Yes, I am most definitely able to stay engaged in my online coursework. I enjoy contacting classmates and professors through discussion posts because I feel like I’m actually in class having real-time conversations.

Do your professors encourage class participation?

Yes, professors encourage class participation through discussion board requirements. Students are graded on the quality and quantity of their discussion posts. Plus, professors assign several group projects to encourage interaction between students.

What method of communication do you use to keep in touch with your professors?

I communicate with my professors using e-mail and an online thread that allows me to ask questions about my coursework. Professors also list their phone numbers and the preferred time to contact them. In my experience, they have always been responsive. Also, at the beginning of the class, they provide students with their online biography, so I am able to get to know them a little bit.

What resources does University of Phoenix provide to help you succeed in the classroom?

University of Phoenix provides great online library resources as well as student workshops that give information about dissertation requirements. I love the fact that University of Phoenix has so many excellent resources to help me prepare for the classroom.

What advice would you give to students to help them succeed in an online classroom?

The main piece of advice I would give to students is to be very conscious of time. Students should monitor their time and not wait until the last minute to complete their assignments.


Why did you choose to enroll in your nursing science program?

I decided to enroll in my nursing science program because I wanted to enhance my research experience in the nursing field. I believe in continuing education as a nursing professional.

Does your program include a dissertation component?

Yes, my program includes a dissertation component. I have not started my dissertation yet, so I am not quite familiar with all the requirements. I do know that the paper needs to be a certain number of words.

Are you given an advisor to assist you through the dissertation process?

Yes, I am given an advisor to assist me through the dissertation process. In my case, a nursing instructor with a PhD will serve as my dissertation chair and provide me with expertise on my chosen dissertation topic.

Does your program have a residency requirement?

Yes, my program has a residency requirement. Students are required to meet on 2 separate occasions during their program. The purpose of the residency is to meet all of the students in the program and put a name to a face.

If you were to do it again, would you sign up for University of Phoenix’s PhD program in nursing science?

Yes, if I were to do it again, I would definitely sign up for my program again. If students can practice good time management skills, it will be an excellent program for them.


What general advice would you give to a student who is considering a PhD in nursing science at University of Phoenix?

I would advise a student who is considering a PhD in nursing science at University of Phoenix to go for it. University of Phoenix offers more support than I’ve ever had at any other program or school.