Baker College Online Reviews
If you have the option to go to any other school, take it. This school is a joke. It is outdated in almost every conceivable way. Instead of having a user friendly system for students to add classes, it has an archaic and confusing catalog style system. The financial aid department plays games with you on when you might get any financial aid disbursements. (So for those who take out loans to help cover living costs while going to school, this is extremely problematic.) The Blackboard will state that disbursements are released on x date, that date will come and go with nothing. You contact financial aid and they state, 'No it won't be released until 2 weeks into the next set of courses.' Ask repeatedly why this is, and why it is different than it was the previous semester (when it was on time) and just have the same thing reiterated to you. It isn't going to be disbursed until two weeks into the next set of courses.' Then, 4 days into the next set of courses...it's released. The courses themselves are pointless. You don't learn anything, and they are obsessed with APA formatting, which does NOTHING for you in the outside world. You're required to post and 'participate' 5 to 6 days a week, and some of the instructors don't give you enough to comment on in the discussion boards, so you're literally just reiterating what everybody else said on the same tired subjects, just to maintain your participation points. The credits don't transfer to a 'real' college and I am becoming increasingly worried over what employers will even take this degree seriously. So be warned, unless you are really just interested in having a piece of paper that states it's a degree, go elsewhere. This college has been nothing but stress and frustration for me since I started it.
It took me longer than most to finish but in the end I feel that it was worth the time and effort. I worked full time and had a family as well so sometimes I was only able to take a class or two a semester depending on work load.
I am finally graduating after 5 years at Baker. I have a previous bachelor's so my experience here is compared to that and may not be the same for everyone. Transfer credits - I saw some complaints about this. Not sure if things have changed since 2010 but Baker fully honored 100% of my relevant classes from my previous degree. It may depend on what institution you are coming from (I had graduated from a different Michigan school) but it worked out well for me. The material - It was really hit or miss, depending on the class. Some classes, specifically the core computer science ones, were very good and had challenging material. I have several good friends who are CS majors and they all said what I was learning was on par with what they'd expect for a BCS. This was a concern for me when I originally decided to attend because I didn't want to get a joke degree. That being said, some classes simply did challenge me enough. The database classes in particular I wish were 1-2 weeks longer. I felt we were just getting a good hold on the content and then the class was over. The electives, particularly for my interests (programming, algorithms, databases/structures) were very sparse but I did feel the ones I took were actually worth taking. Every class I took I was glad to have taken it afterward. The instructors - I feel this is where this school really falls short. I had some very good, engaging professors but I also had some that just didn't devote any time to their students. I had one class where it would take 6-7 days for a question to be answered. That is just simply unacceptable for an online environment. As someone else noted in their review, some professors with PhD's would know less than the students. I came across this once or twice, where the professor would be pushing some outdated concept or program, but it was only for one topic. Contrasting from my old degree, I don't think this is that unheard of. Plus, knowing multiple ways to do things is always a plus. Participation - Ugh, the WORST part of this whole experience is trying to find something to say 5 days a week. Some classes it was a breeze but others I really struggled with trying to come up with decent content to discuss. A few classes I just resorted to asking really dumb questions just to get a conversation started. However, participation did offer a great points buffer for those classes where you had zero instructor input which resulted in a lower grade than you may have deserved. Overall - My takeaway from all this is actually fairly positive. I had many times where I was frustrated and the online environment made it difficult to resolve any questions but I got through it. The biggest thing to consider is that you are basically teaching yourself 95% of what you are learning. That means that things won't always be a breeze and you actually have to put in some work. This whole experience has taught me to be much more disciplined and also eager to learn more. I currently have a career in a different field so I am unsure about how this degree from Baker will impact that but it has helped me a lot at work. I am hoping to pursue a master's degree in CS this fall (not at Baker) so that will be the real test of how well this one prepared me. In conclusion, it was a great learning experience and I would recommend the school to working professionals who want a career change in the future.
I think the college is fine if you are in Michigan but if you are in a different area, their degree won't do much for you. Employers tend to look at not only your degree but where you got it. There are also issues with what employers want as far as skill and the classes they offer. Of course I went to grad school after and compounded the issue. I had a 3.95 at Baker and 4.0 in grad school and didn't feel prepared to do much.
I got my associates degree from a reputable university. I started attending Baker Online in 2008 going full and part time and taking a couple of long breaks, but finally finished in 2014. I wish Baker would have transferred more of my classes prom my previous school, but I understand their hands are tied based upon their accreditation. I loved the flexibility, but if you are not good at studying and learning on your own, do not take online classes. They are very time consuming and more dedication is required versus traditional campus classes. I learned a lot and my BaCS helped me land a good paying software engineering position with a Fortune 500 tech company in California. If you can attend a traditional university, I would suggest that option first. But if you are older and need a degree for advancement and the traditional route is not an option for you, I highly recommend Baker Online. It will be hard, but stick it out and study hard and you will succeed. I graduated with a 3.86 GPA due to some stupid core classes that I got a C or B in otherwise I would have had a 4.0 GPA. In a traditional setting, this would have been closer to a 3.7-3.8. Without Baker College I would not be where I am today working in my dream job.
Everything seems completely reversed as to what they should focus on for their students. For example, teachers for general education requirements are usually very involved but often rude, inconsiderate, and only care how well you follow rules. Actually learning material is up to you as it does not seem important to the teachers. There are also massive discrepancies from teacher to teacher. For my web development classes, where it matters, it is completely the opposite. Most teachers are non-existent and only there to grade papers. Feedback is minimal and they are not engaged at all. There is very little material prepared by Baker to help you learn. The story is basically the same from class to class. Here is a book and here are the assignments. Do the assignments and if you don’t understand, try to figure it out on your own or hope a fellow student can help. One complaint specific to the web development program is that they “introduce” you to many topics. They cover way too many topics and don’t help you to become skilled in anything. At the end of the program, you have basically played with a ton of options but need large amounts of training to use any of them. My wife went to college online almost a decade ago and every class had live presentations every week. The professor would have prepared material for the week and go over it via webcam, and at the end every student had the ability to type questions and have the professor address them. With Baker, you are lucky if the teacher gets back to you within two days and it is often useless. In summary…go to Baker if you want a degree, but go to another school if you actually want to learn and get a degree.
I am a current student with two semesters to go. My Baker experience has been disappointing so far. Though I have passed all my classes with good grades, I do not feel I really learned a lot. There is way too much information to learn in the short, six-week classes. I guess it is okay if you just want the degree, but my goal has been to actually learn the subject material. I had a problem with the programming class. I literally begged for help from the instructor, and my emails and discussion board questions went unanswered by the instructor. Many of the instructors are not instructors. They blow in once a week to grade your work and give you critical feedback, yet do not help you understand what you did wrong. I feel in order to succeed in these accelerated classes, you have to have instructors that answer questions quickly and add helpful tips and resources to the discussions to help guide you through the class. I have had a few excellent instructors that did participate in the class and help guide you through, and I applaud them for actually doing their jobs. At the end of those classes, I actually felt like I learned something. I have found the textbooks in many of the classes to be very poor quality. Some of them I literally had to read sentences over and over to understand what they were saying due to the very poor grammar and spelling. Most of the classes are slapped together and have incorrect or conflicting instructions. I takes several days before you can figure out what it is you are supposed to be doing, and by that time, you are scrambling to get the work done. I feel these classes should be tested before they use them on actual students so they can work the bugs out. It is not fair to use students as Guinea Pigs when our futures depend on these classes. In a nutshell, Baker needs to either extend the length of their classes or shorten the learning material so students can actually learn. They need to make sure the classes are set up properly before presenting them to the students, and they need to make sure the instructors are actually instructing.
I registered for a university when I graduated from college. Nobody checked my background to see if I had a degree or any certificates and so I was planted into Computer Engineering without the required prior IT education. I stayed for one semester, dropped out and spent the next 10 years trying to figure out how to get back in college. One day I learned that s cousin, supervisor, and two co-workers were all registered at Baker and that Baker accepts tuition assistance from my job. The Website made it easy to research the school and the 1-800 number answered all my remaining questions. The online registration system made it easy to get started and my First Year Advisor has been patient, allowing me to email her any relevant questions. The first class you get familiarizes you with how Baker's Online classes work. Most of my teachers so far (I'm in my 11th class) have required the "naming convention" and APA citations. Some let people post however the post. I notice the class size halves by the end, so maybe if you do crap work, you get crap grades? Three of my teachers have been really trying in that they blatantly did not answer questions and would tell you to contact the Helpdesk or sign up for tutoring if you didn't understand something. Most, however were helpful, upbeat, and really added to "discussion". Some encouraged me to check out other books outside of homework if I was curious (I always am). My current one asks questions but doesn't participate at all. Not. At. All. My classes have had books in the $10-$160 range. My technical classes and math classes required me to download software (you might want a 500 GB hard drive to play it safe). One class required that I get a membership with Adobe paying $30 a month to get the software I needed and all future updates. What else... I cannot maintain my social life, hobbies, and do a couple classes. I don't know if I'm doing it wrong or if this is normal for Baker Online, but all I can do is one class with hobbies, my job, and socializing. I do homework and studying from 6pm-11pm (with house chores thrown in there somewhere). I tend to take a class, maybe two back to back, and then a break otherwise I start getting really irritable and stressed out. You can expect to read through your entire textbook (maybe minus a chapter or two) for each class... Or at least be expected the teacher to ask you to. Some co-workers tell me they don't read and they pass the classes with Cs. What I like about Baker is that they do have an online library available; You can check your grades, balances, required books, progress, and assignments online; you can check what classes you need, available classes, and register online; and you can purchase books online. My experience doing "online" with two other schools didn't do any of this. What I dislike about Baker Online is that some teachers get away with not being helpful or responsive. The only actual facilitator - from what I understand - is supposed to be on your first class ("college success and something or other"). If you're getting paid for me to treat you like a teacher, I expect you to interact just as much and just as kindly as me. Anyway, if you register for Baker, mind your Ps and Qs! There's no undo or recall button, lol.
Don't. The on campus classes aren't horrible, they are fair, but don't bother, get a real education at a real school. Any class online only cares about writing in APA doesn't matter if you write about the topic or not. They also will tell you every single source you use isn't scholary, no matter where you retrieve it from. Basically everything you do is wrong and you are stupid. Your teachers will tell you that you are inadquate and to check the rubric. The "Doctors" are stuck up and they think they are important because they "worked so hard" and you need to respect them. Most of the classes you already know what is going on and they make you take 2 or 3 sections on the same topic, you never learn anything new outside of the 101 classes, it's a scam.
Ok, I have only been attending Baker part time because of a busy schedule and between my associates and my almost complete bachelors, I have been there for 7 years. My biggest complaint I have is that they might as well call this school Baker College of APA. With the exception of Algebra, EVERY course has focused more on using APA formatting than on the actual course material. This is utterly useless. It is like algebra in a way in that you will NEVER use it, yet it is drilled into your head from day one. It seems every instructor grades APA in a different manner also. Some are more particular than others about placements of periods and commas, and honestly, none of it matters. I have friends that attend Oakland University, Macomb College, and Wayne State, and NONE of them focus so much time on this useless style of format. In fact, if you ever look at the American Psychological Association's website for info, they do not even write in this stupid format. The books are your teacher here if you are in online courses. The instructors cut and paste the assignments and lectures into the seminar folders, and most interact very little in the courses. You pay $900 for a 6 week course, and at the end of each course, I feel like I didn't learn anything useful. I got lucky and landed a career in my field and I don't even have a degree yet in HCA. There is no hands-on experience in an online course, and knowing APA formatting won't get your foot in the door anywhere. The APA part of each course takes the lead over the actual subject matter and harms the learning experience. If you have to write a 500 word essay, you will spend the vast majority of your time scouring through their lousy online library trying to find something that is actually useful. The books are outrageously priced for a "non-profit" college. They sometimes charge you $500 for two books and six weeks later they will not buy them back, or they offer you $20-$40 for them. Surprisingly though, they NEVER have used books and even if they do, they still charge you $100 or more for them. Honestly, I feel like I am being cheated out of my money and my education. I seriously would recommend a community college over Baker College of APA Formatting any day. The only positive to this school is that the online courses are generally easy, but made more difficult because of the wasteful APA crap.