I enrolled at Walden because, as a teacher, there were very few brick & mortar schools with doctoral programs that could accommodate to the schedule of a teacher, and none in my major. At the time (2008), I was ambivalent given that it was "online" as people might think that it was an easy program. Since then, many large schools in this country now have developed online programs, though doctoral programs, as far as I can tell, are still only offered by online schools (e.g., Walden). The courses were certainly not easy (one exception was the very first course, which was an introduction to online learning - I found that to be a terrible waste of time and money). Some were very good and taught me quite a bit, others were simply fair. There was certainly a large range when it came to the quality of the instructor: some were great, some were good, some were bad, and some were REALLY bad. Not surprisingly, the most dedicated ones were those who were employed full-time and/or held more important positions in the school (whether they were more dedicated because they held higher status or held higher status because they were dedicated is anyone’s guess). Walden employs many part timers (but then, that's a growing trend among many colleges, online or otherwise), and some treat it as a part-time gig, but then there were part timers who served performed their instructional duties magnificently. As I mentioned before, the courses were not relaxed, and the workload was more than I expected (taking two courses while working full-time was one of the most difficult and stressful things I have ever done, and that was before I had children). However, given the online format, there was a great deal of flexibility, and I could complete my work at my own pace so long as it met the assigned deadlines (which were often weekly). Doing well in these course was not a Herculean task so long as one was dedicated to studying and completing coursework in a timely fashion. I will say that there were some classmates who probably should not have enrolled in the program as they were not likely ready for doctoral level work, as I would see a number of them eventually drop out for a variety of reasons. Did I have difficulties with certain faculty and processes? Yes. One hangup came from the IRB (the group that reviews a study for its ethical qualities before a study can commence). I reckon that a number of people who have posted complaints about this process probably had a proposal that was beset with potential ethical problems. For example, there are some students who work in prisons or other settings that have what are called vulnerable populations (e.g. children, members of the military, etc.). To conduct a study using these for a dissertation is possible, but many safeguards need to be put in place so that ethical codes are not violated. Based on my experiences, many get slowed down (and even halted) by the IRB in these cases. Other studies involve procedures that might pose risks that are greater than the risks experienced by everyday life. My dissertation involved the use of hypnosis, which made for a much more challenging IRB review (at least two to three months, whereas other projects that involve secondary data analysis might take a week or two). In the end, I was approved (and the study went without a hitch), and the wait resulted in a dissertation of which I am quite proud. Nevertheless, that process was a pain in the neck. Like others who have posted comments, I did have issues with finding a chair. Students are left almost completely on their own to find their chair and and build their committee. This can be quite challenging, as many of the best faculty members have reached their permitted maximum (which is understandable, as having too many students to attend to results in less than stellar supervision). When I did finally find a chair, he sat on my draft for two quarters and provided no feedback (but plenty of excuses). To make a long story short, I was advised to change chairs and, by a stroke of dumb luck, found the one wanted to have initially but was previously unavailable, and I never had an issue again. I think it’s important that students know their rights, no matter where they go to school. In my situation, I faced a problem that many other students have experienced (lack of feedback), as some others have posted about. One thing that many do not realize is that if a faculty member does not follow the school’s policy (such as meeting deadlines when returning drafts of a dissertation), then the student can file a tuition appeal. I did this twice, one for the situation above and another due to a lack of communication between departments that needlessly delayed me from finishing my degree. Both were successful. Walden values its accreditation, and they need to have and follow these policies and procedures in order to keep it. If they are forced to take action that costs them tuition as a result of students going through the proper channels, then they will be sure to retain good faculty and let go of those who are not up to snuff. I cannot compare Walden’s doctoral program to that of a regular brick & mortar program as I did not attend the latter. Still, based on observation of my peers at other schools, I have noticed some things. Perhaps the biggest difference is the focus of the program. Walden’s goal is getting students to develop and complete their dissertations. Many who attend traditional schools, on the other hand, are often part of a team of other doctoral students who work on a variety of projects, not just the dissertation, which lead to being part of several published works, which in turn bulk up one’s CV. Given that Walden caters to those who are already employed (which is hardly a secret), they are not too concerned about this aspect of professional development (though it appears that they are starting to have a paradigm shift in this realm). On the other hand, you are less likely to have to deal with department politics and other quarrels that have been known to stall students’ progress. In the end though, I think that the hassles one might have at Walden or any online school are going to be found at brick & mortar schools, and vice versa. The doctoral degree, no matter where it is earned, is a process, full of frustrations and challenges, but very rewarding. Bottom line is this: If you are considering Walden, you need to be flexible, dedicated, and informed of your expectations. There is no hand-holding. You are fully responsible for your progress. You need a good chair (and finding that person takes time and patience) and a plan of how you finish your degree (e.g., dissertation topic, time frame, etc.). Ask yourself why you want your PhD (or whatever degree it might be). If it is more than just to get the title or letters to follow your name, then ask what you value most. If it is autonomy and flexibility, then Walden is likely a good fit. If not, consider other options.