Grand Canyon University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (321)
I am in my third year at Grand Canyon University at the Master's Level. I began getting my Master's in Addictions Counseling and recently decided to also get a Master's in Professional Counseling. I work full time as an Addictions Counselor now, and wish to become a licensed therapist.
The resources are very good--especially the textbooks. Some instructors are better than others at giving feedback and sharing experiences, but overall I enjoy the classes. Be prepared to do A LOT of writing--usually every week there is an assignment. Most classes have a group project, which can be frustrating getting everyone to do their part--you will have some that do very little, but get the group credit, oh well...you'll have slackers everywhere.
Financial aid has been fine until recently when GCU changed their system. I usually get my refund around this time, and have not, which has caused a hardship for me, because I buy my books with that money. I contacted my financial advisor, Sara, who explained that there was a delay this semester. She called me the same day after I left a message, and explained that they are having to re-enter data and to watch when the funds post to my account..then it would be up to two weeks until the check is sent. Of course this is an inconvenience, and I would have appreciated some communication or notification that this was going to occur so I could have planned for it, but nothing is perfect. I was satisfied that she called me back quickly and explained the situation.
Suffice to say, GCU is a good school. You should be computer literate, like to write and read, and basically be motivated to be a self learner, and assertive enough to ask questions when necessary.
This school is not for anyone that does not know how to push themselves. You have to be proficent on the computer and willing to put the time in to read the material. I have one more class to go before I start my internship.
If you are depending on your financial aid to come to you in a timely fashion, don't. The class I am in now started over a month ago and I am still waiting on my financial. I have had to endure the entire class without a book. When I asked the academic department how was I to benefit from the class without a book, I never got an answer. However the classes are interesting, most of the teachers are helpful and go beyond the call of duty.
I am a grad student in the addiction counseling major and the accredation falls a little short on Ohio standards, but mostly because of experience hours and not the curriculum. It is a good program just make sure you have the money to buy books and not have to wait on the financial aid. The lack of communication is sometimes nerve racking, but all in all for the most part my experience was good.
I am in my 3rd class online... My financial aid was to me halfway through the first class, my financial advisor always checks up on me etc. I had a problem because my high school is gone and it was a christian school so GCU was the only one that would take what records i had. Compared to another az based online school the financial aid issues are nothing my bf attends there and has been in 3 classes and they still havent done anything. We are still paying his student loans and his gi bill hasnt been started.
I will say the instructors sometimes are not great and some of the other students frustrate me because how can i reply to posts when they dont post but all in all i have no issues with them.
I can not believe the issues I am reading here from others. I am currently in my 5th class with GCU working on my Masters in Addiction Counseling and all online.
All the professors I have had have taken the time to give me feedback on each and every paper I have written. They have a library you have access to online. They have tutoring if you need it. Everyone has always answered my calls or emails.
If you choose to complete a degree online of course it seems like more work, you are reading yourself, reading the lectures and writing your papers and completing group projects. I totally 100 % disagree with all the negative talk about this university. Even from the classes I have taken so far I am able to incorporate into my work skills now.
I think many are missing some of the nuances of the private verse public institution, cost, and quality of education. Firstly, one gets in what they put in. My experience was the classes were challenging, synthesis happen in all we did as long as we had the capacity for that level of thought and thinking.
Everyone of my classmate had a general interest in the subject matter of Leadership and the servant leadership model was emphasized throughout the program.
I was able to directly leverage my knowledge achieved through my graduate studies into a dream job as a director of an education department for a large forensic psychiatric hospital. So those that are bitter, I would subject that they would have achieved similar results at any school because you get what you put in.
Secondly, I have applied for a public university recently for a doctoral program and it has been a nightmare, nothing like my experience with GCU. The fact being they lost my application packet. This simply cannot happen at a private university because I have the power as a consumer and student to hold those people taking care of me accountable.
Public entities do not have the same accountability be it tenure or union contract. Also most of my instructors at GCU were retired military officers, two were generals. Many had real world leadership experience in both the military and private sector. Not strictly academic only experience. Also, my graduate degree was cheaper than my undergraduate due to a discounted tutition they offer veterans, which is awesome.
Having books to read rather than online books I felt was better as I have something to hold and share with others.
Lastly the graduation was next level at the Diamond Back field in Phoenix, speakers discussing servant leadership with all the stops pulled out. My experience was excellent with the university however I do not recommend the online university for everyone. Only those that are self starters and can handle the intense workload of writing and reading.
I've read tons of these reviews and it can be a good and bad school. I've just graduated from GCU with Masters in Education. Was it worth it? Yes!
Yes, much of the administration was disorganized, clueless, rude, unknowing in a lot of situations, but when you finally found the right person, it was excellent. I had a great principal that helped me with requirements for our state and in giving me a heads up when she thought I should question my GCU advisor etc.
Course work, You have to be prepared to write lots of papers and teach yourself, but that is why people go on line. You have to be self motivated and be responsible for deadlines.
I learned more in my onlne GCU classes than in two of the ground Universities I received my undergraduate degrees from.
Some teachers were excellent and some were non-existent. The CLC work (collaborative) was a joke, but it is in any school setting. There are always one or two people who do all the work in elementary, MS, HS, or college.
Technical problems are automatically put through to India. You just have to decide how long you can hold out and actually make a phone call to the ground school. Sometimes the techs in India were great help, it depended on why you needed tech support.
Over all, would I do it again? Yes. It was hard work, extremely time consuming, and I had several problems with computer and online stuff. Just know going in you have to be persistent and willing to do what it takes to finish. Many of these problems are the same as ground universities.
I just graduated. GCU is the most unorganized institution I have been part of. I am flabbergasted that this place passes as a university. I am embarrassed that my degree comes from this joke.
"Where did you get your BA?", someone will ask. "Disneyland", I will reply. "How was your experience?" "Well, I got to talk with Mickey Mouse- he was my academic counselor."
I cannot say enough... there are other online programs out there. Be patient, do your homework and stay away from this place. It's like getting a degree from Wikipedia.
I'm about half way through my Masters in Organizational Leadership.
The Angel Learning System had some major issues for several weeks, but those seem to be resolved.
Some professors are great, others are barely visible. Some classes are tough, others are a cake walk. Geee this is similar to my Brick and Mortor undergrad school.
You (yes that means YOU) need to be very sure to remember the cutoff dates for cancelling classes. On the other hand you are in College. You need to take on some personal responsibility!
GCU has been a very good fit for me as a mature learner. I've gotten a lot out of my classes. The class discussion boards are usually interesting. I've been able to relate a lot of my classwork and papers to real world problems.
It ain't Harvard, but in another year I will have a Masters and will have learned a lot. Overall, I'd give it a "Thumbs Up."
I have very mixed feelings about my experience with Grand Canyon University. My major is Addiction Counseling (BS Degree Program). The education is online. There have been a lot of unpleasant surprises for me with GCU.
The first was all my drug and alcohol courses are subcontracted to a local community college in Phoenix called Rio Salado College. My very first two courses had a textbook glitch.
I ordered my textbooks from the University Bookstore and yet the instructor and the course were written for an earlier addition. We as students noticed this a couple of weeks into the course when our reading assignments did not match our text. The glitch has occured two more times over the course of my education. Fortunately, we could work around it and no serious damage was caused but it sure has been annoying.
Make sure you check your syllabus for the proper text materials and editions since you cannot trust the bookstore.
Be advised you will be a self-taught student. The instructors are just their to grade papers. They facilitate the course but no teaching is involved. This suited me fine since I can learn what I need from a book and write papers. This is why I took an online degree anyway.
One more problem I have to share is with financial aid. Everything went fine for me until here at the last just before graduation. I am still waiting for my excess loan money to come in. In previous modules it did work fine. It is two months overdue and I am getting the runaround.
Another problem that I have to call about tomorrow morning is a grade of 'A' and credit for one of my courses last module has not appeared in the grade records as it was supposed too. I believe this happened because the instructor did not summit her grades on time and the system is not registering them.
All the courses of the curriculum are good and apply to addictions counseling except for one---Spirituallity in Healthcare. This is a course written for nursings students not addictions counselors! You will just have to plod through it.
On the plus side, I have a 4.0 and will have an accredited BS degree in Addiction Couseling soon. I live in California and I found that Grand Canyon University is listed in the Drug and Alcohol Counseling licensing programs out here. So you can get what you want but you are likely to have more than a few bumps in the road. So I leave with the following words: You decide.
After a year at GCU, I can say that I wish I had never started here.
Some of the reviews below are quite accurate, you basically have to teach yourself. The instructors are all but non-existent, they are only there to grade your papers.
I cannot change schools now, I am too close to graduating. But if someone were to ask me, I would advise them to find another school.
I continue to be amazed at the students here, I am taking 300 and 400 level classes, and there are still a large number of students who cannot spell. That bothers me, because there will be GCU Grads that are in the job market that have not the least grasp on grammar or spelling, and some employers are bound to notice. GCU online exist only for the money.
GCU at the campus is probably a good school. Online, it sucks.