American College of Education Reviews of Doctorates in Educational Leadership

  • 18 Reviews
  • Chicago (IL)
  • Annual Tuition: $5,321
33% of 18 students said this degree improved their career prospects
50% of 18 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Reviews - Doctorates in Educational Leadership

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Forrest Flinn, BBA, MBA, EdS
  • Reviewed: 10/26/2022
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"I just finished my Education Specialist degree in leadership and am now in the doctoral program. So far, the experience has been good. I'm not going to lie or candy coat this: it's a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Some classes are more demanding than others. The most challenging courses were research methods and statistics for me. I am a lifelong learner, and ACE is perfect for my goals financially, academically, and professionally. You have to be good at managing time (this is where the sacrifice comes in) and make the commitment. I take one class a term, and it took me two and a half years to complete the EdS. If I can do this, you can too. Best regards to your academic dreams!"
Dr. Roel
  • Reviewed: 8/26/2022
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"I recently graduated from my doctorate at ACE and it was a wonderful overall experience. Yes, it is a lot of work, challenging and even exhausting at times, especially the dissertation process. I am wondering if the negative comments I see here are from real students or if these students stayed enough time in the program. I recommend this program if you would like to get your doctorate. I am so thankful I made the decision of applying as I learned A LOT! Enjoy the journey and don’t give up!"
Dr. Tiller Jr
  • Reviewed: 1/25/2022
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"This program was very rigorous and demanding because it was completely online. You have to be very disciplined and carve out time to complete the necessary task. I really researched the school before I enrolled because I wanted to make sure they were so this is what I found. ACE is accredited by Higher Learning Commission on 1/1/2005 and reaffirmed 2014-2015 next will be 2024-2025 This information can be found at: One of the best parts of earning my degree is the tuition is very reasonable and I have almost paid off my loan two years after my degree. ACE also accepted some of my credits from my Ed.S."
  • Reviewed: 7/15/2020
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"I completed Ed. S. in Leadership within 18 mos. All courses were offered online. Some courses were easy and some were challenging. I found the school's online course app easy to navigate. Most professors I've had were responsive to my queries. There were some who gave very little feedback and support. Self-motivation played a role on my completion of the program. I have yet to see the fruit of my labor, career wise. Overall, I am satisfied with the program and the support I received from the college."
  • Reviewed: 2/29/2020
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"While I am relatively new to the program, I have been impressed with the feedback I receive from the professors. In addition, a doctoral program is about individual discovery and application, which is very much the experience I have had at ACE. When assistance is needed, it can be found and most of the professors are very responsive and supportive. As in any program professors have different strengths and areas of expertise. If you enjoy doing independent research, this program will suit you well. If you prefer high levels of guidance, this doctoral program may be challenging. So far, I have very much enjoyed the doctoral journey at ACE!"
  • Reviewed: 5/15/2019
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"This school was exactly what I needed. As a 40 something father who works full time as a high school teacher, brick and mortar schooling was not an option. Truth be told, online education presents a different set of challenges. I found it more difficult than traditional schooling. However, it was worth it. This school understands that online learning is different and is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its students. I dealt with some wonderful faculty members, who encouraged me and challenged me to improve. At the dissertation stage they were extremely tough fair. I am very happy I chose to go to ACE."
Canadian Graduate
  • Reviewed: 5/3/2019
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"Going through the doctoral program there were a number of frustrations. The course work was fantastic and some professors just like at brick and mortar institutions are great and some not so great. When I and a few others complained about the professionalism/feedback of one particular professor (not whining but scholarly concerns) I didn't seem them back teaching at ACE.(wonderful).That said my experiences are essentially very positive particularly with my Dissertation Chair and Committee members. I am a proud graduate and would definitely recommend ACE to take your scholarly journey."
  • Reviewed: 1/4/2019
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"Don't do it. You do 5 times more work then other doctoral programs. You spend more time trying to figure out what to do then you spend getting it done. The materials they provide you are irrelevant to the assignments. If you do plan on attending be ready to spend 50-60 hour a week writing papers and discussions. You will not get any instruction - just confusing directions on how to complete assignments. The masters program at ACE was great but the Doctoral program is a lot of busy work with little learning."
  • Reviewed: 8/22/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"If you do not already know what your dissertation topic will be, then this is not the school for you. The ACE doctorate is a completely DIY program. If you ask the instructors for guidance they will only say "pick whatever topic you want." Also, you will not receive helpful feedback on assignments. If you ask for clarification, it will not be given. But on the plus side, if you know your topic and are a self-starter, then this program is the obvious choice--it's so much less expensive than other online programs and you can miss the entire point of an assignment and still get 100% as long as you don't miss any deadlines (there is NO late work accepted). Sadly, I did not have a solid topic in mind before I started the program, so the entire experience has been frustrating, hence the 1-star rating."
Carmen M Freund
  • Reviewed: 7/18/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"I am currently working on my Doctorate in Education and Leadership. The only negative comment I have is the instructors should be more active however, since I now am working on my concept paper I have had continuous support I hope to finish by May 2019. I enjoy the format used and appreciate the people I have engaged with during this educational journey. I originally was enrolled in Capella university Doctorate program.That program was so expensive and unfortunately the instructor assigned as my mentor never spoke with me."
  • Reviewed: 7/1/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"I see a number of negative comments about the program. That is not my experience. Was there frustrations? You bet, one of which was the contradictory direction and feedback from different professors. That said, my dissertation Chair and committee members were outstanding. Incredible support and feedback. I truly felt they wanted me to succeed, not just get me through. Yes there were many changes in the program but thats how the program gets better."
  • Reviewed: 4/22/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"Unfortunately ACE does not live up to their claims. Following virtually no teacher-student interaction I left ACE after a year. Although I had a 4.0 grade point, actual intellectual growth was virtually non-existent. The institution changes requirements for program completion mid-program, making on time graduation unlikely. Go with an institution that values your drive and intellect, not ACE."
Current EdD student
  • Reviewed: 4/17/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"Run away from this doctoral program! I am sorry that I selected this school over others. I am now 2/3 of the way through, and it is both a joke and a nightmare. Professors are rarely involved and provide minimal feedback. In several courses, I received no feedback at all, other than "Good job." The doctoral program has been revamped midway through, and students have been told that some of the courses they were required to take will no longer count. Many students will now have their earliest possible graduation date extended by six months, through no fault of their own. The school did offer to provide a refund for those redundant courses, but there is no way to get back the time and effort already invested. Students are expected to write and re-write a draft of their concept paper no less than five times, each time keeping the Turn it In score to under 20% similarity... for the same paper. It is not an iterative process, so do NOT give them your best work early on. Write the bare minimum; many of the instructors do not read your work anyway. Save your best for your final draft in your final course, because you will not be permitted to use work that you have previously written, even if you cite yourself. Most concerning is that a significant part of what they teach you is simply wrong. The statistics professor will literally argue that 125/510 (a fraction taken from a chart provided to students) must equal 0.276 (not 0.245) using his formula -- because he does not understand the difference between dependent and independent events when calculating probability. His reasoning is that there are lots of ways to do things in statistics. Unfortunately, this is just math done incorrectly, but he cannot understand that there are rules about when to use a formula for dependent vs independent events. In another question about whether someone (who guessed a series of fair coin flips correctly) would correctly guess the next coin flip, he will accept the answer as either an independent or dependent event. Again, this is simply wrong. Any middle school math student will understand that coin flips are independent events. It is very concerning that this is taught at the doctoral level. The good news is that the grading is very easy. After 15 courses, I earned either 99% or 100% in every course. But who knows if I'll ever graduate. They change the program to make the process longer, and offer no support to students. You get what you pay for."
  • Reviewed: 3/16/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"I thought the doctor of education degree is a nightmare! You get what you pay for. As some students stated, the professors treat the students like children but the students seem to have more experience in the public school. Feedback are not professional and the professors really dont support you to graduate. It seems like they are trying to get rid of you. And this is not my first school of being in a doctoral program but decided to do ACE for the cost. If you can do it, please go to a state school with some reputation bc you get what you pay for. Instructors are not big picture people and really some of them are not decent hunan beings. P"
  • Reviewed: 2/26/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"As several others have mentioned, don't do it, at least not for the Doctorate. The classes are fine (expect to receive late feedback, announcements, etc), but the dissertation process is a NIGHTMARE. I once had a professor who showed up the first 3 days, then was gone until Week 4. It wasn't until a classmate contacted an administrator that we found out what happened. Admin had no idea she was gone! Don't they check in on their faculty?!? They have recently revamped the program, leaving many of us to take new courses not originally on our degree plans. I have yet to find more than 2 people who have completed in the 3 year completion they sell you on. I attend ACE full time, worked diligently on my concept paper, and am still in the program, 4 years later! The entire dissertation process, which is currently being changed has students sending papers back and forth through several instructors and reviewers, wasting time and energy. When I obtained my Masters degree, I worked with my 3 person committee right from the start. At ACE, you create a concept paper first (a needless hoop to jump through) before even being assigned a committee. That's right, assigned. Good luck at getting to choose for yourself. Before you say it, yes, I know some people can take years to write a dissertation. I wrote a 120 page quality thesis in 6 months, and have plenty of experience in researching and writing, so I KNOW it is possible to complete a dissertation in a years time. That's another thing. If you are a current student, take a look at the sample dissertations provided. Yes, quality is preferred over quantity, but seeing DISSERTATIONS less than 100 pages was quite surprising for a rigorous program ACE claims to be. Finally, be prepared to deal with a bit of what I like to call attitude. Some of the doctoral faculty seem to forget many of us have been working in higher education AND TEACHING longer than they have. Don't let the lower price and 3 year promise fool you! I did have some great professors, but you can find great professors at other schools and in the academic community. Spare yourself the confusion and headache. Go elsewhere."
Concerned Current Student
  • Reviewed: 2/21/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"Very upset about the Doctoral program! It has not been organized and has taken me way longer than expected. The professors are not reliable and unfortunately the "good old boys" (male and female) look out for one another and nothing happens from the top. My professor is unprofessional and does not care about your personal time being wasted. The program has ALSO changed so many times throughout my class, that they should grandfather us in if we have been in a program for awhile. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS PROGRAM!!!!"
Current ACE Student
  • Reviewed: 2/8/2018
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"ACE changed the doctoral requirements without warning mid-program. For some now-obsolete courses, money will be applied to future courses but no compensation of time will be given. Some classes will require a focus of study change to be accepted, but tuition won't be reimbursed for those classes if you don't change your focus of study to the "General Track" (but really, what's the point of that track anyway?). I got my Masters from ACE and it did count towards my work, so I decided to stay on. This doctoral program change has caused many students to be out hundreds of study hours and thousands of dollars. The management has little respect for the problems this causes students all while saying it's for our own good."
  • Reviewed: 11/21/2015
  • Degree: Educational Leadership
"Don't waste your time. The tuition is low and so is the quality of instruction. You don't select your next courses, somebody else does it, and often times you do not get the 1-2 week break between courses. No textbooks =no real world application. Run from this school as fast as you can because this school is nothing more than a diploma mill."