I left Walden University when I finally realized that I wasn’t earning a graduate degree, I was buying one. When I applied at Walden and saw how easy it was to get in, it should have been a huge red flag for me. And looking back, I guess there was something in the pit of my stomach that just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t until I started taking classes that I began to realize that this program is not focused on learning, but rather on money. You pay thousands of dollars for courses that are high school level. If you can read a book chapter or an article and summarize it in three paragraphs, and occasionally write a longer paper, you’ll get A’s. That’s fine if that’s the type of “education” you want. But if you are really looking to be challenged to develop critical thinking skills and be able to analyze information and engage in the type of discussions with peers and coursework that fosters the type of learning that should be taking place at the graduate level, you won’t find it at this school. Mediocre work is acceptable, so you don’t have to work very hard. Sure there is a lot of reading and weekly discussion post (often just a simple 200-300 word responses to basic questions about the assigned readings), but it’s not very challenging work and you won’t learn much doing it. Many of the “positive” comments mention that to succeed at Walden you need to be willing to ‘”work hard” … but that refers to being able to read a lot and summarize the information for weekly discussion posts in two classes over a 12 week period. In other words, this is “busy work” that may take some people a lot of time to do. The problem is, it is not learning. It is not the type of work that really allows you to think for yourself and engage in meaningful dialogue with the instructors and fellow students. Everyone answers the same questions and basically writes the same summaries of the information. It’s dull, boring, uninspiring work. And you pay $2500 per class to do this! I thought the introductory started like this but expected the higher level courses to be more of what you’d expect in a PhD program. But even the 5 credit “advanced” courses are the same. What finally got me to leave the school was the fact that in my last class at Walden, my teacher waited until the last week to grade 5 assignments. This included my final paper which was 21 pages long. The electronic classroom tracks when you submit assignments and when they are received, viewed, and graded by the instructor. These 5 assignments were all graded within a 2 minute time period. In other words, the teacher did not read them. So what pride can I take in getting an A in the course if my assignments weren’t even read? The content of what you write, and therefore the content of what you actually learn in the classes at Walden, does not matter. Just pay your bill and submit something that can be graded so it can appear that actual learning is taking place. It really is a shame. I am actually embarrassed that I was a student at Walden for over a year before I finally woke up and asked myself “what am I actually learning?” … I don’t want to buy a graduate degree. I want to earn one.