Letter from the Editor
The Disruption Issue


Over the past few years, disruption seems to have taken the world by storm. Today the status quo is no longer good enough. In practically every aspect of our lives, we expect things to be easier, faster, more efficient and more convenient.

Greg Pollack Greg Pollack

Education plays an important role in training and developing the next generation of innovators, and in my role at NCU, I'm privileged to have a front-row seat to see the extraordinary changes our faculty, staff, graduates and students are making in the world every day. In this issue of Higher Degrees, we're proud to introduce some of these remarkable programs and people.

Check out our cover story in which Dr. Robert J. Sapp, Dean of the School of Technology, talks about data science, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and other technology trends and how the School is preparing students to address them. You will want to read about NCU's new Dissertation Completion Pathway program, which is opening the door for students who did not previously finish their dissertation to earn their doctoral degree. The issue also includes an update on some of the new developments happening in the School of Health Sciences.

In addition to our programs, the issue highlights some of the exciting work our leadership, faculty and graduates are doing to make a difference. Russ Natoce, NCU chief marketing officer, shares recent changes to the University's master's program based on student research into what is truly important when evaluating online programs. And Dr. John Orlando, associate director of faculty support for the School of Business, is hoping to change the way professors provide feedback on assignments by training faculty on screencasting techniques.

Dr. Sylvester "Bruce" Wilson, Jr., NCU's 2018 Dissertation of the Year winner, along with the 2018 doctoral and master's Alumni of the Year Award winners – Dr. Kirby Reutter and Joy Quanrud Grimsley, respectively – are also featured. Wilson talks about his research on "doubled-up" youths, which will help schools better recognize and serve an often-overlooked segment of homeless students. You'll also learn how Reutter's work combatting human trafficking and helping victims of trauma and abuse and Grimsley's efforts to bring together mental health professionals to support patients are making significant impacts in their communities.

Finally, the issue wouldn't be complete without a story about NCU's 2018 graduation that was held in Phoenix in August. We were so fortunate to welcome 600 members of our total class of 2,113 students from around the globe to the festivities. We're sure that we'll be celebrating the achievements of these disruptors in the years ahead!

We hope you enjoy the Higher Degrees Disruption Issue! If you have comments or feedback on the issue, or if you have suggestions for the next publication, we'd love to hear from you at HigherDegrees@ncu.edu.

Greg Pollack
Vice President, Marketing

Northcentral University educates professionals throughout the world and provides unparalleled flexibility to earn a premier U.S. regionally accredited degree. Students are mentored in a one-to-one learning model by professors who all hold doctoral degrees. NCU commits to helping students achieve academically and become valuable contributors to their communities and within their professions.

NCU is a WSCUC accredited institution. WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510.748.9001, wscuc.org. WSCUC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). For program disclosures, please visit www.ncu.edu/program-disclosures.

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