California Southern University Reviews - Master's in Psychology
I am really enjoying my classes at California Southern University. It's master's degree program is challenging, but I am learning a lot. The staff at CSU cares abut your learning, and they touch base with you. I would recommend this program for people who prefer not to commute to classes and are self motivated. I feel like I am getting a "good" education.
Studying at CalSouthern was an absolutely amazing experience. The courses were relevant to my field, delivered to the utmost standard with the professors always being available and reviewing projects, papers and ultimately my thesis to a very high standard. Going back to University was quite tough, it took me about 20 hours per week to go through the reading material, research on their very up todate library and submit papers. I can only recommend CalSouthern!
I have only taken a few courses so far. My academic advisor isnt very responsive and you get the sense that she feels put upon in each interaction. In fact, it should have been a red flag to me when she called me twice within about an hour when I enrolled to welcome me with the identical spiel; she had no idea she already just talked to me and was fake knowledgeable about me personally. I didnt say anything. I just listened both times and laughingly mentioned to my friend that I could tell the experience was going to be less than personal. Hopefully I wont need to count on her for anything too important, a little worrisome. My teachers (they use the term faculty mentor) have been good and available, but really you need to be self-motivated and able to figure things out for yourself. My second teacher seemed to be new to the school and was having difficulty understanding their systems. It made it a little tricky because I got the feeling from her that people might have been complaining about her learning curve and so she seemed a little on edge. It all worked out though. The classes are good. If you have no experience in psychology, the material is challenging - not neurosurgery, med school challenging but you cant just spend a few hours each weekend and get through the material. It is time consuming with lots of reading, 4-6 papers per class, a weekly forum blog to post and a two-hour final exam covering all the material from the texts. As an aside, buy your texts online somewhere. I tried their bookstore on their website and it was a train wreck, with nice people who were completely incompetent (at least in the one instance when I tried to buy from them). Also, do not rely on their list of books in the section where you click on links to classes and books needed; go to the course syllabus and get books listed there. I have at least one instance where there was a mismatch and the syllabus is what is operable. By the way, another instance when I reached out to my advisor who was her usual completely unhelpful self. I am reasonably happy with my experience so far for the price. I am very happy with classes and teachers and if my advisors responsiveness and interactional style were better, I would rate it as an excellent experience. So, I am not worried that I am not learning what I need, but just slightly concerned that if (really when) I hit a glitch, I have an advisor that wont be all that helpful.
If you are a self starter who learns well on their own and can commit to a fast paced program, then this is the school for you. Classes run about 8 weeks long (1/2 the time of the traditional 16 week semester format) and unless you have minimal other responsibilities I wouldn't recommend taking more than 1 class at a time. You're assigned 2 or 3 chapters per week to read. Forum discussions are weekly and mandatory as they account for a % of your final grade. You will have 4 or more papers assigned in the course syllabus. And yes, there is a comprehensive final exam. The assignments are arranged to encourage you to formulate your own conclusions and support your argument by applying the theories you have studied. An advisor is assigned to each student to help guide them through the master's program. And a mentor is assigned to each course to provide support and feedback. Mentors, like professors, have office hours and grade your work; however, they do not "teach" the class. They are there as a resource if guidance is needed, but you will ultimately be in charge of your own learning. This means you have to read the book, research via the virtual library of articles and journals if you don't understand something, confer with your classmates, use the video library to supplement the coursework, and be an active participant in your learning experience. This structure is well organized and easy to follow. They provide a suggested schedule, so as long as you're on pace or faster you won't be overwhelmed by the end of the course. They provide Microsoft Office 365 which includes word and outlook. They are regionally accredited, so I felt comfortable applying to earn my degree from them. You won't regret being a CalSouthern student. Their integrity and dedication to the quality of their students' education convinced me that they are the best online university to attend.
Great school! I love the flexibility of the program and the materials I'm studying. Although it's online, the time I need to spend in working on my assignments and studying are much more than during my undergrad. I believe that good education does not have to be expensive and done in traditional brick-mortar university. :)