Baker College Online Reviews
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Personally, I wanted to complete my BA as I had only been able to attain my Associates many years prior due to financial issues. Online was very new to me, I found everyone I dealt with at Baker to be very helpful. I was paying for it myself and found the price to be reasonable compared with others. The instructors were mostly very good and very helpful when asked. It turned out to be a good move on my part as I am currently in an insurance career and a Bachelor's degree is now required. My career is great and my income puts me in the top 10% of wage earners and Baker was a part of that. As my company now pays for it, I'm going to start my MBA shortly at Baker Online.
Some of these rants are valid in some ways. I don't know how you can tell if a course is planned ahead of time and frankly, I don't care. The Computer Science program uses the same book as almost every other computer science program in America. One of the first things I did before attending Baker is find out what books they were using and compare those with what everyone else was using. They are the same for the most part. Most Colleges are not using the new VB programs but instead using 06,08, or VB10, same as Baker. We were told to use Dev-C or Codeblocks but the course recommended Microsoft. I can't speak for most of the core classes, I took most of those in a community college. I know English 102 was right in line with Eng 101 and did teach me things you don't learn much about in high school despite what some people here are saying. I took VB in high school and it was nothing like Baker. All the programming we did at Baker was with on the job skills in mind. We had several group projects and I love that because in the real world you are not writing programs alone!! We spent a lot of time on debugging. I would say SQL was a disappointment, only because I thought I would learn so much more but as I have read that is pretty much at every college. If you want to know about Baker here ya go, It's not a degree mill , people saying that just skip them because they don't even know wth that is. You must work hard, you don't get an A for effort. They will flunk you , kick you out, ect. You will find you are writing a lot of research papers, posting in discussions (some require a stupid amount of class participation so be ready for 500 words per post requirements). You will work with others, some professors do skype seminars but its not required by the course and most post some sort of written lecture. The discussion questions allow you to lecture each other as well. All of its credits transfer to most Universities (a few hate the 10 and 6 weeks systems, but most will accept them). You won't get a degree that says "Baker Online" , your background will show your degree is accredited like any other degree. I don't get the complaints here. You are in distant learning, no matter the college or university you are at, the professor isn't going to spend hours every day lecturing you like you are in class. They will help if you need it and many resources are available but all you need to know is in those books!!! I don't get the complaints. Most of them are lies, if this was a degree mill or easy you wouldn't see the complaining you do and its grad rate would be much higher.
The experience at Baker in the Computer Science program leans towards degree mill quality. The "instruction" entails mostly nothing more than reading a book, and the books are of varying quality. The book I am currently reading on web technologies is 7-8 years old, which is ancient for this subject. I don't mind reading a book to learn, but I was expecting more for $900 a course. The course materials are often disjointed, with the assignments having nothing to do with book, and the discussions having little to do with either. Some of the classes haven't been on the same subject as the name implies, such as "Introduction to Computer Science" being about how businesses use computers - nothing about Alan Turing here. Most of the time the "instructors" do little to nothing, and could be replaced by an automated bot that occasionally posts a conversation starter on the discussion board. While you are required to post 10 posts a week, most of the posts by other students are of far lower quality than what you could find in 3 seconds on stackoverflow. Much of the time the conversations are chatty and don't help you learn anything about the subject. It is seems like it would be quite possible to get a degree from here without really having much knowledge or expertise on the subject. Just posting drivel on the discussion board and turning in assignments that don't really test your knowledge is enough.
I was very excited to start at Baker. I have a new computer and operate with all the latest technology, however, after taking the required orientation "class" I was told I didn't receive enough points to register for classes and would have to take it again even though my computer of "Blackboard" (the online classroom environment) showed I passed. I argued and argued and got nowhere. Then, 2 semesters in to this program I signed up for a very small 3 week class which is a required class. It was only 2 credits while other 6 week classes are 4 credits and typically have 1000 possible points. I immediately noticed this 2 credit class was basically 6 weeks of curriculum CRAMMED into 3 weeks and I was very stressed as to how I was going to complete the coursework and required reading, so I consulted the drop policy and dropped within the deadline for 100% refund listed on my registration confirmation. I was charged for 50% of the class! When I argued this one and included a copy of their exact words listed on my registration that I dropped within the timeline I got nowhere. Now I have to pay for this class and frankly, I'm pissed. The final straw that is making me leave Baker is this, and I feel this is very important to some people: my accounting class is basically them sending you a book, assigning you a chapter or two a week to read, and sending you assignments. THERE IS NO INSTRUCTION FROM A TEACHER. You never see a teacher actually teach. Accounting is hard and I am struggling more than need be. If this was provided information in a classroom, I think I would be doing fine. Just be aware that this online format is not the same at all as brick and mortar classes!!!!
I am currently not attending Baker. I attended in 2011 in the HRM program. Baker was my second online campus and first time using Blackboard. I was not a fan of Blackboard but I enjoyed the course. My final thoughts are that I was enrolled with no problems started on time and enjoyed the enrollment process. I think the only time I got voice mail was late one day when I tried to call financial planning. I applied for a student loan advance received a debit card and the funds were loaded on the card about the third week of the term. My textbooks were not problem. I almost withdrew from the class but I stuck it out and passed one course and failed the other - the courses are intense and you have to be willing to do the work. I am now completing my bachelors degree at another online college next year in March but I have considered Baker because of the cost and the fact that they are regionally accrediated. The only reason I withdrew was because of the intense course schedule and more importantly I was working full-time while taking two courses. I read that APA is driving some people crazy and the papers were too much - however if you cannot write well which includes being ethical by siting your work college really would be a joke. Baker graduates students in Social Sciences so American Psychological Association will be the academic body that governs the institutions academia while MLA will most likely be required in a liberal arts or humanities school. Online education is not for every body but even schools of higher education are now debating MOOC's Massive Open Online Courses. I am really glad the options are plentiful and if I do not attend Baker again I would recommend it as an above average school in part because it is affordable and regionally accredited. Cheers
I can understand many of the negative comments. There were a few classes and professors I was disappointed in, however I have also attended Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College and have had similar experiences even in a traditional college setting. My overall experience at Baker was phenomenal. I still can't believe that I am finally finished with my degree. I started at EMU right after high school, and thought I would just take a year off because I needed to work full time in order to afford my apartment. That, of course, was a mistake. Anyways, over the years I took a class here and there at both EMU and WCC, but felt like I was never going to graduate. Then just under two years ago I decided that I was going to go to school full time (While working full time, and travelling for work), and just get it done. The Baker Online courses were perfect for me. I wrote papers on the plane, did discussion boards from my iPad and iPhone whenever I had a few minutes of down time, it was perfect. I can't say that it was easy. Writing 5-15 page papers every 6 weeks, with a few page paper thrown in here and there was stressful at times, but I did it and even graduated Magna Cum Laude. I do not believe that any of the A's I received were easy A's... I worked hard and earned every single one of those. I would recommend Baker to serious students. If you procrastinate and aren't willing to put in the effort then this is definitely not the school for you. :)
I already have a BA from Michigan State University. I began attending Baker College for a different degree, this time in business, as my last degree was history. I was really disappointed with Baker. Their online system is clunky and non-intuitive. For how much money students are shelling out for this online program, I expected a much better system to work with. The courses are designed ahead of time and it doesn't matter which instructor you have, the course remains the same. I find that odd--instructors should design their own lesson plans. As it is, most of the work is high-school level and you basically get an A for effort. As someone who had tough coursework at MSU, I resent the people in my program at Baker earning degrees with mediocre work. It makes me really uneasy how many degrees are being churned out at this school (and most likely many other schools). College is not for everyone, but Baker would like you to think it is. I'm dropping this school like a hot potato.
Always read reviews!
It is unfortunate to read some of the negative reviews because my experience at Baker College has been nothing but positive. Of course, there is the exception with some instructors who clearly care only about a paycheck, but most are helpful and enthusiastic about teaching. This is no different than any other institution. Many of the instructors have a Masters, while some have a Ph.D. I have never had an instructor who had any less. Not to mention, every one of them were very skilled in their subject and have held impressive professions prior to or alongside to teaching at Baker.
This institution offers the fundamental tools to become successful, but it is up to the student to put forth the effort. The online programs are accelerated and can be extremely demanding which include several essays, projects, quizzes and participation (for attendance) that involve 2 substantial posts, 5 days out of the week. If you are willing to put forth the effort, you will do well. If you are looking for an easy route, this is not the school for you.
As far as tuition, I have priced out many other institutions and had found Baker to be extremely reasonable. While many institutions (large universities)charge $500/credit hour or more, Baker charges $230/credit hour as of the writing of this review. And no, Baker does not make you buy the books through their bookstore, although they encourage it. A slight downfall is that the administrative staff have yet to be desired, and this is only because they seem very uninformed. I have talked to some of the staff (with the exception of the advisers) who seemed very clueless as to how they should answer my question.
A slight change in subject, I had read someone giving a bad review because an internship was part of her program!! Newsflash: An internship is a great way to get a job, especially if you have no relevant experience! In any event, this is a great example of a reviewer who rated Baker poorly because they did not want to put forth the effort.
WHERE HAS BAKER GOTTEN ME? I am a Computer Science major and am projected to complete the program in 2014. With the help of the tools and skills that Baker has provided, I was able to obtain an internship in the IT department of a major automaker. Not to mention, I have been acknowledged by a major computer manufacturer to whom I am currently interviewing with as we speak for a position as an entry-level applications developer.
During my internship, I have noticed that I had applied my learned skills through each of my core classes and was able to apply them throughout all of my tasks. In other words, I did not go into my internship blindingly, and was already familiar with everything that was brought to the table because of the curriculum at Baker.
Overall, Baker is not for everyone but in my opinion, it is a fantastic school.
l For every experience there are positives and then there are negatives. I've been to both campuses and online classes at Baker College. I would say I get more out of the campus classes the online classes are pretty tough. They do require a TON of APA papers (every week you will write at minimum 2 papers). The thing is every school will have their ups and downs. I can honestly say my GPA has risen since I have been excusively online, I guess I'm good at writing APA papers. I have seen other people go to other schools and compared to those schools Baker is a lot tougher. My wife currently goes to Ashworth College and I can honestly say that her school is hands down easier then mine.
SO overall, I would reccommend Baker Online if you have good work ethic and know and like to write papers. Every school you go to will have ups and downs, but honestly thats life. Baker is a well known school in Michigan and although its not MSU or U of M, its still a decent school and you'll get a quality degree. Just as a heads up, this school is not a degree mill by any means. Community colleges are more of a degree mill then Baker is and I've been to a few community colleges (Jackson Community College and Spokane Falls Community College to be exact).
The school advertises that 95% of the students get jobs after going to Baker College. I have been out since summer 2012 and have not gotten employment in what I studied still.
When I contacted the employment services that they supply they just sent me Indeed.com ads....which I already recieved. I had to set uo my own internship....this school did me no favors and I do not recommend it if you think they will help you out in career like I did.