American College of Education Reviews
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I graduated with a Doctor of Education in 2018. I found the coursework to be good, but not particularly challenging (typical of most coursework in American doctoral programs). The dissertation is really what a doctorate is all about and I was not disappointed. I received a lot of faculty support from my committee and others and was challenged to produce my best work. The program changes which others are complaining about would actually make me recommend the program more. While I had no problems completing the program in a reasonable time, the new changes seem well-designed for student success. The changes include dedicating specific courses to the development of dissertation chapters rather than just being in a continuous "Crafting a Dissertation" course each term. Overall, I was very happy with my experience.
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.
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.
Ace has the good, the ok, and the REALLY BAD. The good. If you are able to work on your own the work itself is not that bad. The horrible? The Professors. Usually, I have very little interaction with them. So far I have had three negative interactions with three different professors. All three times I received bad grades for items missing from the assignment. The problem? the instructions are so unclear that you need a miracle to understand them most of the time. Once, I copied the instructions and pointed out that what I had been marked off on was NOWHERE in the instructions. The reply? Sorry you didn't understand. Virtually the same thing happened twice more. This last time it was almost the entire class that missed it. Not in the instructions again. Multiple people have been asking for clarification on the message board and we get very curt snarky answers. One student asked if this assigment consisted of option a or b. Response? if you do option a you wont be happy with your grade. So is option b correct? I have no idea. So someone else asked. Again a vague answer. Another reviewer put it perfectly, they treat the students like children. They often forget that many of us have more years experience than they do. If the majority of the class( who are mostly seasoned educators themselves) does not understand the instructions THERE IS A PROBLEM.
ACE is a good school, especially if you put in the effort to learn. It tries to balance value for the student with low cost. Most assignments provide the ability to learn something relevant in a low stress environment. I've only had 1 bad instructor, most range from helpful to very helpful. I have offered feedback on several occasions and have felt listened too, which speaks to a student-centric climate. The doctoral program has been reorganized, it sounds like for the better but it is too early to tell. I am not sure if I would attend this school if I wanted to get a degree and teach at a university, but for a professional who is already employed, it is a good fit.
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
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.
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!!!!
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.
If you need a totally accessible, friendly, amazing degree, this is the place. I have never had instructors that were so helpful, interested, and knowledgeable in one place. The work is balanced. I love that we had no books to purchase,and we used current everything! The price cannot be beat, especially for what you receive in return. Look no further for a great place for your next degree. ACE is the best!