Academic Partnerships

  www.academicpartnerships.com
  www.academicpartnerships.com

Academic Partnerships Reviews

Updated October 16, 2014
Updated October 16, 2014
50 Reviews
2.5
50 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Randy Best
36 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • AP is a great learning experience; I was hired with little experience in sales and Higher Education (in 5 reviews)

  • Pay is ok; however, not worth the stress and frustration (in 2 reviews)


Cons
  • High turnover, culture of fear, senior leadership turns over constantly, and CEO seem completely out of touch with the business (in 3 reviews)

  • Read these reviews on here again (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 13 people found this helpful  

    AP is a Five Star Train Wreck

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director, University Sales
    Former Employee - Director, University Sales

    I worked at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The pay is what you might expect for a company focused solely on sales; average to slightly above average. There are still some professional, quality minded employees who work at AP. On a daily basis they do their best to serve their university and their students to the highest quality standards; however, these employees are fewer and far between as many have chosen to leave while many more continue to be fired.

    Cons

    Hostile work environment, disdain for quality employees, lack of innovative thinking, and management who manage by fear, intimidation, and coercion. One reviewer wrote employees are let go due to poor performance. Don't believe it. Turnover is high because of the hostile work environment created and enforced by all levels of management. It starts at the very top with Mr. Best and trickles all the way down through his yes-men rank and file. It has corroded this company to the core, yet, questionable personnel decidedly claw their way into management positions, conspiring with senior personnel for personal gain.

    Character assassination and sabotage of peers have become the status quo. Daily occurrences include misrepresentation, gossip, and innuendo. Exceptional employees are adversely labeled and then fired. Remaining personnel hear stories from Senior Management that their colleague(s) resigned, when in actuality they were forced out. Why? For what purpose? It is inexplicable, as management never holds itself accountable to anyone, for anything. They take no responsibility for their illogical and reactive decisions, they ignore the toxic reality they've created, and they refuse to listen to the truth from employees who still care.

    Care about an innovative, proactive work environment? Keep looking because you won't find it here. The only innovation at AP is the creative gloss-over of empty sales promises pitched to attract new university clients. Antiquated telemarketing tactics, dialing a student multiple times per day; these are acts of desperation, not innovation, and are tantamount to harassment. You won't have to dig deep, just look carefully below the surface to realize that the risk of associating with AP is born by the employee and the university client.

    Personnel who speak up about these concerns, out of concerns for sub-par student and university representation, out of concerns for colleagues, and those who do not tow the party line, put a target on their back and are at risk of being the next employee kicked to the curb. The deceitful business practices and the sadistic, cutthroat culture of this company are deplorable. Morale has hit rock bottom. It is an absolute shame what AP has become.

    For your piece of mind, if you care about the quality of your work, if you care about your client and about your professional reputation, than do not join the downtrodden ranks of AP.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop firing your best and brightest. Take responsibility for your actions rather than discrediting and shaming your employees. Create a proactive rather than reactive environment. Start taking advice from employees who still care about the work they are doing and the universities they are representing before you completely drive your gravy-train off the tracks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    If you like a fast pace & innovation - this company is perfect for you!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Vice President in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Vice President in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent pay and plenty of opportunities for the individuals who work hard and are flexible. Being innovative means always being ahead of the next trend and it requires flexibility and responding positively to change.

    Cons

    On-boarding is improving. Since there is always so much work to do, it is important to remember to pace yourself so you do not forget to make time for family and other personal commitments.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to share updates and new innovations/projects. The town hall meetings are fun, informative, and help keep the positive energy up!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    The changes have been for the positive if you come here and want to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    I have to say and I know others feel the same but the last several months even with all the changes have finally had some direction structure and consistency in leadership. I like the improved feedback I receive on performance and a spirit of purpose, helping towards building my goals and developing. nothing is ever perfect but the 3 or 4 months are very positive if you come to work to work and help students.

    Cons

    if you do not like having a goal and working to improve then you would have a hard time now. I have seen lots of things over time but at like now it seems consistent on direction. I think leadership is improving and feel it around me

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    some recent hires of new people and my leadership in particular I appreciate. it is nice to come to work and feel motivated and valued. not perfect all the time but you have to be happy with yourself. John seems to know the business so a good leader means a good follower. thanks for thinking of improvements and keeping our spirits high. town hall was very interactive and John and Ron are cool leaders

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
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  5.  

    Don't understand all the negative reviews...AP is hard work but it's worth it!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    AP is a great learning experience; I was hired with little experience in sales and Higher Education. The folks in Retention took a chance on me and I'm thankful for them.

    Cons

    There's alot of work; our jobs change from time to time but it's not anything that we can't handle.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the Town Hall Meetings...They are so fun. The raffles are the best. Ron should host a TV show! He's crazy fun!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Unethical Company that should shut down!!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Manager in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The honest employees and pay.

    Cons

    They laidoff some good and loyal employees and are currently demoting. Also, the whistleblowers they quickly laid them off and are not eligible for rehire.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the loyal employees and get rid of the bad weeds.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Academic Partnerships Response

    Oct 7, 2014Manager, Recruiting & HR Services

    Thank you for the feedback. We value and appreciate hearing from both current and former employees. Based on your review, we encourage you to reach out to Human Resources or a member of our ... More

  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Innovation ... I came back to AP to innovate again after a great first run....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - New Business Development in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - New Business Development in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    This place takes risks on behalf of students and universities. Innovation is tough work and sometimes there are times when you fail. Failure is part of growth and I want to be a part of a company that is out there taking risks based on our core principles of access, affordability, and quality. Tenacity is key and AP doesn't stop until we make it work for students and our university partners.....

    Cons

    If you don't like change or risk, this is not the place for you. Higher ed is changing fast, and there needs to be companies that are out there working to help figure out new models that provide access for students and sustainability for universities.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    On boarding training could improve and in the midst of innovation, a little more stability in people management is always a good thing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Proud to work with Randy Best and Proud to work with State U

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    We deliver for our clients in a major way. All of the press in the space is about 2U right now but don't lose sight of what we have done...enrolling 90,000 students in affordable programs is a substantial feat. Working for Randy is thrilling because he has the guts to go for it when others don't. He puts you in amazing positions professionally that develop you. Working with him alone is reason to be at AP. If you work alongside him- there is no doubt that you will grow in a million ways. I am very proud to work with my clients and the pay and upward mobility are both excellent. The people on here who are commenting on the economics don't fully understand the model. What we deliver for what we charge is amazing. 50% of low priced, public university degrees is not what you think it is...

    Cons

    Turnover. As I read these reviews, I find myself frustrated yet understanding of the comments. Turnover makes developing new employees difficult because the new leaders are not as experienced as they should be but at the same time, most of our turnover is a result of poor performance on the part of the employee and therefore it needs to be done. Customer relationships would benefit from the end of the turnover for sure. To change the churn, could mean slowing down and not doing bold risky things. That may benefit us at times. But, that is not who we are, so asking for it is not realistic. Reading these reviews reminds me that nobody wants to be accountable these days. All that said, the churn is definitely a business challenge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you are doing but be thoughtful while making hires to ensure the right moves are made and the right people are selected. If we can reduce the churn- this place is great and our work product is very good for our clients!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9. 16 people found this helpful  

    A train with no engineers going full speed toward a bridge that's already fallen into the river.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Employee
    Former Employee - Employee

    I worked at Academic Partnerships full-time

    Pros

    The original mission was to help more students get a college education.

    Cons

    Leadership is non-existent. Management is characterized by a pathological narcissist with an ego so big he promotes his own website devoted to his own philanthropic activities. AP doesn't have an office culture. It's the boss's way or the highway. This individual gets up every morning, comes up with ideas that are well beyond realistic scope and any hope of success; implements these ideas within hours; and then repeats the cycle the next day. Unfortunately, the leader's Southern gentry and folksy communication style with potential customers and outsiders is replaced by a non-compromising tyrant and bully to staff and employees who are all too often given unrealistic goals to achieve and very little time to prove themselves. Largely because of this leadership style and a true culture of fear, the company doesn't have any strategic plan or any sense of direction for its constantly revolving door of employees. No less than 4 different presidents have held that position in 4 years, but they only answer to the supreme leader who micromanages the company with every minor detail. Employees constantly are looking over their shoulders in consideration of being fired like most of their predecessors. Employees also are largely hired into top-heavy positions that sound important and which supposedly sound good to colleges and universities that are sold into forking over high percentages of tuition to AP's continually decreasing services and lack of customer service. The company's mantra of "under promise and over deliver" is at most a joke, and at the least is never realized due to its deplorable track record of endless personnel changes and mission changes. Training, mentoring, career paths, and bonuses beyond the original compensation packages are all non-existent. A "hire 'em, try 'em out, and fire 'em" management philosophy is the norm in this culture where "gun slinger" sales people are forced to camp out at colleges and universities on a weekly basis. This is looked at with a high level of disdain by university officials, who simply don't have the time to entertain AP employees on a frequent basis. Sadly, many very competent and highly educated professionals walk into this company with high hopes and a belief that they can do great things in online higher education. These hopes, however, are quickly dashed as numerous "Black Fridays" occur, dozens of employees are let go at the same time, and then the latest hiring binge re-occurs to bring in new blood, sweat, and tears. If you want to work somewhere for a short time to get some experience in helping colleges get a footing in distance education, feel free to join the frenzy, but understand the sharks here are big and are always circling the boat.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out the business.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Academic Partnerships Response

    Sep 23, 2014Manager, Recruiting & HR Services

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. The mission of AP has never changed since our inception and we remain committed to providing access to top quality education on a global basis. Our team, which ... More

  10. 15 people found this helpful  

    I'd rather be homeless than work at AP again

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Academic Partnerships full-time

    Pros

    This is an incredibly fascinating industry with strong growth potential. The mission of the company is on-point and there are a couple of top-notch individuals left.

    Cons

    The culture and unethical nature of the company completely takes away from the positive impact AP intends to make on students and Universities. Unfortunately, the only thing the CEO and Senior Leadership care about is the money that goes into their own pockets. Employees? Students? Partners? Who are they? What does well-being mean? As long as the numbers are solid, that is all the matters. Employees are treated and talked about as if they are mechanical robots, only there to perform a function and obtain enrollments. The leadership team is terrible. Their focus only revolves around dollar signs and feeding their overly-inflated egos. AP had some really passionate and talented employees, however, they have all left and the few that remain are hoping to get out of there as soon as humanly possible. I will be truly impressed if the company remains in business for much longer after witnessing so many unethical business practices during my time there. Working for this company completely demoralized me as a person. I couldn’t stand to promote what they do, as all of it felt so completely wrong in so many different ways. Since moving on and settling into a new organization, it is so refreshing to see that after a traumatizing experience at AP, there are still wonderful companies out there that truly care about their employees and treat them as such. I wouldn’t wish working for this place upon my worst enemy. The turnover speaks for itself. There are many inside jokes among employees: They refer to their tenure in “dog years”, because it is so rare for an employee to stick around for more than a year or two, at most. Also, the Enrollment Center is compared to a prison, where every minute of your day is tracked and you must get permission from the warden to use the restroom or go to lunch. The only way this company is going to be able to attract new employees is to seek out those who are unemployed and desperate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Throw yourself out of the equation for once and respect the opinions of the innovative employees that you have. Let them exercise their potential and give people a shot before you turn them over. Try keeping a senior leadership team member for more than two years to give them a chance to make an impact. Cherish employees at all levels that have passion and drive and work with them to help them develop. This means learning by mistakes, but how do people become successful otherwise? With one or two exceptions, all of the Senior Executive team members are cold and isolated in their interactions and don’t care about the big picture aside from numbers. Employees are all miserable and frustrated and therefore speak to each other in an incredibly poor and condescending manner. It would take nothing short of a miracle to turn this company around.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    Disheartening

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Enrollment Specialist in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Enrollment Specialist in Dallas, TX

    I have been working at Academic Partnerships full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, some of the best in the industry.

    Cons

    Irresponsible and incompetent upper management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value your employees, invest in them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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