Walden University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (410)
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.
I was told the tuition was around $40K; my bill stands at over $100K. The reason for the delay was through the dissertation process. The school has a URR steps process in which you must complete (sequentially) to finish your paper. Each step must be approved in order to move on. My first chair got me nearly to the end of the steps where I needed to schedule my final oral review. That's when he resigned due to a disagreement with the dept. head. A month went by before my second chair even contacted me, and then another month before my oral was scheduled. Their policy is that a committee member has 14 days to respond, but mine wasn't the case. Finally after my oral was accepted, my URR also approved my final work for the fourth time during this process. Each step causes more and more time to elapse, which equals higher tuition costs. My last step was the CAO's signature. He wanted me to make a few changes to the abstract, no biggie, so I got the director in Walden's editing dept. to help. Then my paper was completed. However, instead of sending it back to the CAO, I was notified that my URR was fired and I got a new one. I didn't care because I was finished. But--the paper went back to him, and he DISAPPROVED what had already been approved on 32 steps with 0% matches on the TTI report! So instead of graduating that next week, he had me change 55 pages AND take a writing course!!! Still, very little communication from my chair, so they fired her, too. Here we go again! I had a phone conference with the entire committee and dept. head, and we finally resolved to change just "three things." I did...again, again, and again. More changes. Then four months later, I resubmitted my final AGAIN and my URR wanted me to change pages that he himself had already approved! Ridiculous! Two months later, by the grace of God, I graduated. My advice: Do NOT get your doctorate from Walden! The stress it caused was not worth it. And now I have a $100 bill to deal with for the rest of my life. Total deception.
I am perplexed at the negative comments I saw about Walden. I had a fulfilling experience with the Instructional Design and Technology program (Master of Science). The courses were all formatted in a similar fashion so that I could create a routine to help me juggle school, work, and family life. The similar format of each class also helped me navigate easily. Each class utilized the same rubrics for discussion, essays, projects, etc. so that I always knew what was expected of me. Although I graduated with a 4.0, I did NOT receive a perfect grade on everything. Instructors used the rubrics fairly and when my assignments were not up to par (by rubric's standards), I was not "given" a perfect grade. Does the degree to which each instructor adhere's astringently vary somewhat? Of course! That is only natural. The instructors are available to answer questions and my classmates were helpful as well. The program was designed to foster a community of learning so that my classmates and I also felt comfortable asking each other questions. Did I ever get frustrated? Yes! That is a part of growing and learning, believe it or not. Walden also offers resources outside of the main course to help students, such as an advisor, webinars, and the Writing Center, to name a few. My advisors were helpful and even called me every now and then just to ask me how things were going. I did not have any problems with the financial aid. My loan went through each term just as it should. The process of receiving my books for each class was super easy as well. I can only speak for the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology program, but if you are seeking the kind of classes where you are presented with some info and then you take an exam, this is not it. Usually, each week you are given a list of resources (articles, websites, textbook, etc.) to read/study. You are also given a video program or programs to watch. Then you are asked to respond to a discussion forum. Your discussion answers are expected to be thorough and evidence. Sometimes the discussion will be asking you about the week's resources that you studied. Other times you might be making comments on a case study, for example. You are expected to respond to at least two classmate's initial posts. Besides this discussion assignment, you are usually presented with another assignment or project. Sometimes an assignment will last only a week, other times it will spread over several weeks. Sometimes you will have to work with other classmates on projects, which can be a challenge when you all have busy schedules, but it is doable. It also taught me much about professionalism and teamwork through difficulties. I hope this review helps someone who is trying to make a decision on colleges.
I found Walden University to be excellent. Well organized. Rigorous. Great information (as opposed to being bogged down with unimportant studies). I highly recommend Walden University.
I would not let the bad reviews of Walden turn you away. I am quite surprised by the reviews. This is my second Masters degree after receiving a MBA from a Brick and Mortar school. I knew what to expect when choosing an online school. As a mother of an infant who would have drive 90 minutes to a classroom each way I chose to do the classes online. Other colleges in my area have a mix of classes and online. However, all the schools require you to find your own clinicals at the NP level. I find the work online just as hard as in person. You need to be a self motivated learner. Instead of spending time driving and in the classroom you are at home or the library studying. The support is there if you need it. You need to pick up the phone and call which you would need to do at a regular school as well. Every person must make a decision that fits their lifestyle and needs. Walden has been a great choice for me.
The coursework was unchallenging and basic. The learning of new knowledge was non-existent. The inconsistencies among the course syllabus, rubics, instructors and assignments were highly stressful. God forbid one would inquire about these inconsistencies to the supervising staff, or one will get dropped from course without explanation and refund. Advisers and instructors were snobs and unavailable and one had continual delays in needed feedback. The tutoring services were non-existent, due to a contracted third party which the school had no control of, that would kick one out within 5 minutes. When one would try to log back in, the error reports generated were, "Your log in is not recognized or server is down please try back later." This tutorial service had no chat function available for assistance, only a long distance telephone number with a long wait, for literally no assistance. All Walden staff either had no control, had no clue, were completely inconsistent in answering questions, because everyone's answers were different, and/or were unwilling to offer assistance or options. The continual electronic mishaps with email and the online classroom was frustrating. The lack of support was horrible and the more one would try to find someone willing to assist, the more stressful it became. It was the worse educational experience I've endured. I wasted a full year of my time and financial aid.
I felt compelled to write a review because I am shocked at the negative reviews. I have had a very positive experience since enrolling last summer. I transferred from a community college where, even though I was taking online courses, I was struggling. The format of Waldens program (taking one class at a time) makes it SO much easier on me since I work full time. I have had different experiences with professors, some lenient and some more challenging, but that can happen at any school. I do feel that I have been able to apply things that I have learned in my current career. I have never had an issue reaching someone when I've needed them, instructors, financial aid, advising.. I don't understand the reviews saying that there is a lack of communication when support is there 24/7? I'd also like to point out that the people who withdrawal and then write a terrible review about getting a bill... Every school has withdrawal policies. I've withdrawn from classes during the first week and never had an issue because I know that's the policy. I do believe that there is a misconception that online schools are "easy" and I think they can be (in the sense that it's convenient).. But I think a lot of people enroll and then don't have the self discipline to finish their work (and this is for every school, not just the two I've attended). Anyway, I have enjoyed the past 14 months with Walden, and I don't see why I wouldn't stay for my masters degree. The tuition is SO much lower than some of these other colleges too! Phoenix was almost $20,000 more and Kaplan was even higher than that.
I do not know why there are so many terrible reviews. WALDEN DOES NOT HOLD YOUR HAND SO IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO HOLD YOUR HAND THEN YOU ARE AT THE WRONG SCHOOL. Walden expects you to be an adult and to be able to explore their online school and attend their orientations and webinars to figure out how your classes will work. I have had nothing but wonderful things from the nursing side of Walden. I am pursuing my master's degree in nursing with a post grad certificate in leadership and management. My advisers have been wonderful! My teachers have been excellent as well! Some have been lenient and others have been very strict. I have learned so much about scholarly writing and promoting social change. Walden has helped me for the best. I can not speak about other degree programs but I can say that most of the reviews are very wrong about this institution. Yes, there may be a few bone heads in your class or a few not so nice professors but that is life. You will find that in any school regardless if it is online or not. Many of you may not have attended all the online webinars or online orientation so you may feel you didn't know anything because you didn't hold up your part of the deal. I am receiving a wonderful education and I would recommend Walden to anyone who wants to pursue an excellent education online. The financial services department does not explain things very well without you asking, but if you ask them any question that you need to know then they will definitely answer them. I can't say enough good things about Walden. I know there were a few comments about what courses to take, but in the nursing program you are automatically signed up for your courses and they automatically send you all of your books either through mail if they are hard/paper back books or they will email you if it is an E-Book. IF YOU WANT TO ATTEND WALDEN, DO NOT LET THE NEGATIVE COMMENTS TURN YOU AWAY. I AM TELLING YOU THAT YOU WILL NOT REGRET WALDEN!!! I can not wait to graduate from Walden!!!
As a full-time working Mom of two, I was very fortunate to be able to complete my bachelors degree. Walden allowed me to accomplish this by providing online classes where I could do the work at night once my children were sleeping. The course work was set up the same for most classes to include: Initial forum post due Wednesday, two forum responses due by Sunday, and a paper due every Sunday. I got very good at writing and , typing papers. Some of my classes included a project such as a power point, online videos, and quizzes. The work load was manageable, but you have to stay organized. One down side to Walden was when they expected group projects, such as in the mandatory Social Responsibility class. Since classmates were around America and Canada, we had to deal with time changes. I live on the east coast so for most meetings I had to start them at 10 pm at night. I had to get up at 5 am for work, not good and they took a long time. I feel that since most people attending Walden University are working adults who have demonstrated that they can accomplish group work, this group work should not be mandatory. Overall satisfied and the cost was decent compared to other college. I went $30,000 in debt for my bachelors.
They have the best customer service. From the very begging with my admissions adviser all the way through with my academic advisers and instructors. I would recommend this school to anyone.