Walden University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (358)
One has to be self-motivated to complete an online degree. No excuses; one has to do the work and progress through the program as outlined. Is every faculty member perfect? No. However, having spent my entire career in higher education (30+ years), I can say that there are plenty of faculty members at excellent "bricks and mortar" institutions that are far from perfect, as well. The program at Walden worked well for me. I had only one suspect faculty member, but because the material in that course was mainly focused on current literature, the instructor had little bearing on the course itself. I also committed myself to the program. I put in 3-5 hours/day for at least 6 days per week. I learned a great deal and am appreciative of the opportunity to earn my doctorate and advance my career.
The good old days when life was simple and the faculty and process was exceptional. I cannot review the current situation but can attest to the excellent service and dedication of both faculty and staff. The courses were rigorous, the feedback timely and the quality of summer institutes second to none. The cohort of the late 80's were practicing professionals who dedicated an inordinate amount of time in pursuit of their goals. I have a sense that the current students are not willing to dedicate the time and energy needed to complete their degrees with efficiency. Maybe the growth of the univ and staff have lessened the overall dedication of each to completion. Tis ashame.
This "school" is the poster child for a predatory, unethical online school. To begin with, the instructors will vary of course as is typical with any academic institution. Some are very engaged and proactive whereas with others, you are lucky if they post two or three times in the course over the entire term. Where this school truly fails is in reference to the dissertation "courses". As part of your dissertation if you are pursuing a doctoral degree, you will be placed in a series of never-ending dissertation "classes" in which you are required to work towards your dissertation. Note, these "classes" are supposed to be monitored by an instructor however this is not the case. They market the program in such a manner as to tell students that you will work productively with a dissertation committee in an expeditious fashion towards your research. I am currently in my tenth "class" with no end in sight. The instructor is simply non-existent. Students continually post in the questions for instructor forum and in the discussion forums to no avail. The class as a whole has repeatedly complained regarding the lack of any guidance whatsoever but without any resolution. Walden will also charge you $3,000.00 per each of these "classes". Because of the lack of available instructors to serve on dissertation committees, you are forced to work with whoever is left over. The lack of communication is absolutely appalling. I once waited 9 weeks...yes WEEKS for a reply to an email. Feedback of any kind on your dissertation drafts will take MONTHS thus the justification to keep you locked into these classes indefinitely. It is repulsive how this school can continue to get away with this completely unethical (and let's face it illegal) business practice. Once you are done with your required coursework and begin the dissertation process, you are essentially stuck. You can either withdraw with no degree to show plus a mountain of debt or continue to process with the false hope of one day finishing....plus an even bigger mountain of debt. Enrolling in this school was unquestionably, unequivocally, the worst decision that I ever made. This school absolutely needs to be investigated for false business practices.
I am currently attending the MS in Higher Education program at Walden University. I am about a quarter of the way through the program and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised by the program to this point. I initially wasn't sure about the online learning environment, but have found it to be very easy to follow instructions and the material to be relevant to the themes of the courses. Every class has a major discussion requirement that connects you with your classmates, and makes the learning experience very interactive.
Do not enroll in Walden it's a scam. TIME TO DEGREE COMPLETION AND OVERALL POLICIES: I enrolled almost three years ago as it is one of a few CACREP accredited programs in counseling. I was told I would finish my degree in two years, three years ago. When and if you make it to complete your field experience beware. The email address listed in the field experience manual is incorrect and hasn't been for some time. I was forced to wait two terms because I sent in paperwork to said email address as instructed to do by academic advising and heard nothing. You will have to complete excessive amounts of documentation and the office of field experience will drag things out as much as humanly possible. Once you jump through all of these hoops they may or may not remember to register you for the course. As a student you are not allowed to add or drop any courses without speaking to academic advising. Oh, but wait it gets better, getting ahold of your every changing academic advisor is like trying to track down bigfoot. Even when you schedule appointments with them your assigned advisor is rarely the one who calls you back. I the three years I have been there I have spoken with a counseling program advisor twice. Most of the time you are sent to advisors for other programs who have no clue what your degree requirements are. Whatever you do please do not have any health related issues. I was placed on academic probation because I received C’s in two terms worth of classes causing my GPA to drop below the required 3.0. The reason you ask, I had cancer. Walden’s disability services did not consider cancer to be a short term disability and I was told that I would have to completely withdraw from the program which may or may not cause me to lose credits when I re-enrolled. So yes I was only able to get a “C” in the two terms I took during chemo and surgeries, because as I was told by financial aid and advising “you should have used your time away from work to focus more of your academics, it may have helped you get your mind off of your health problems”. FINANCIAL AID: First off their financial aid process is horrible. They do not notify you if there is any issues and let you find out when you get a bill. Every support staff I have ever spoken to or email has taken excessive amounts of time to respond. However, their "policy" is 1-2 business days. They use an outside vender to process refunds which is scary to me as far as security is concerned. FACULTY AND COURSES: The faculty teaching the courses are inconsistent with grading what may be an "A" paper for one will be a "D" for another. As far as the discussion boards are concerned which are required weekly, the instructor will give you the response requirements then count off if you do not exceed above the requirements. You are required to read 5 or more academic journal articles per week per class and find a way to cite them in your discussion, weekly assignment, and discussion response posts. Most of the counseling program text books are custom editions thus forcing students to order from Walden's bookstore and pay several hundred dollars per text book with a tiny $500 budget. There has not been one single term that I have not had to pay out of pocket for materials. You have to complete an online form that can take up to two weeks to be processed to get your book advance from financial aid, when there are only two weeks between terms. This forces students to pay for inflated expedited shipping costs so that they don't start classes without their materials.
I finished my Ed.D. In less than four years. I had one horrible professor but the rest were solid. If you are self-motivated and disciplined with strong writing skills you will get through.
Its a very expensive very long program. They do not give the full story when you sign up. There are tons of hidden costs. The professors grade inconsistent. The support staff is non committal and less than helpful. Much frustration associated with the process.
I attended Walden with great expectations in finishing as documented in the admission process. I found out way TOO late that the majority of the students do not finish in 5 doctoral study final classes - they finish in 10 classes!!! This adds time - over a year, not to mention so many DOLLARS. I had 3 different methodologist that took over 5 months to review a part of the study. Completed my study process over 6 months ago and between the individual reviews, it is still in process with no expected completion. Another tactic in keeping the dollars coming in to Walden. Too late for me, but do NOT start this program as the promises to complete in a timely manner are false.
The school does get you to your goal of graduating from an NP program with the ease of completing assignments when it is convenient. This allows you to work and go to school if you do not take two clinical courses at the same time. The frustration is you do not have a physical person to go see or to contact quickly with concerns. Often the instructors are in different time zones as well as classmates. There are times when you need to complete a group project and it is difficult to do so. The other issue is you do not have specific phone numbers for a specific person in the registrar office and such. They have a third party group that takes phone calls or you email this third party with concerns. Then they direct your concern to the appropriate person. This is time consuming and frustrating. If the specific person replies to your response they only leave contact information for the third party response team and not their direct contact info. For example, I requested my transcripts to be sent directly to the ANCC for my application for my test. The ANCC wanted the transcript sent to their PO box. It turns out Walden's carrier service will not overnight a document to a PO box and only the USPS does. By this time I already submitted my payment for my transcripts to be sent to the ANCC via their PO box number. I received all this info via email from the person processing my transcript transfer request. The response number and email was a general number for the department. I sent both an email and called the number. I was directed to a third party person that just answers my questions. He was not able to change the address on my transcript request. He only would tell me how to submit my transcript request. We just kept going in circles. In their NP program you really are the driver of your learning experience. You feel as if you have to teach yourself everything. You also have to choose your own preceptors, which is good and bad. It is good in the fact you can maybe get someone you know or that is close to your residence. The bad is they are hard to come by. Also, they do not provide a specific list of expectations for the preceptor. It is very broad and generalized. I was expecting to see a check mark list of skills, tasks, diagnoses, etc to have to see and experience.
The support staff have been very helpful so far, no problems with financial aid or advisement so far. I disagree with the classes being too easy. I guess they might be if you do not have a full-time job. Online learning is self-propelled. I am learning quite a bit from my readings, videos and personal research. However, the professors are lack-luster. I know that they are holding advanced degrees, but many of them are not teachers. Their practices fly in the face of what we are reading in our education classes. So far, many of them as rude and do not answer emails promptly. In the class I am currently taking, the professor or should I say facilitator takes two weeks to grade applications and then deducts points for word choice. I am not belly-aching because I am doing poorly, as a matter of fact, my grades are excellent. I just expected more expertise and more guidance. I do not feel that personal touch that I received from the support staff. For that I am sorely disappointed and if given the chance, I would not have began my graduate education with Walden University.