California Southern University Reviews - Master's in
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.
I think independent study is a great way to gain additional education while working full time. I would not recommend this style of learning for an undergraduate degree or degrees that require a high level of engagement for learning success. I enrolled in the MBA program. For the courses that are incredibly easy to pick up, then I would recommend this university's approach. Otherwise, pick another online institution that provides interactive support and engagement as apart of their culture. Do not expect much help or support from the majority of mentors of the CSU courses. It takes them "forever" to response and the responses are usually not helpful initially. It takes many tries to get your questions answered, which translates to a lot of wasted time while your course deadlines are approaching. You'll end up extending to complete the course work, which translates to additional fees. Many of them do not keep to the 48 hours turn around time and when you ask the advisors to help, they take a long time to response as well. I had one mentor that was amazing at returning emails, the project management class. He should be used as the standard model for all mentors. Also, I had one good advisor in the beginning, but then she moved to another program. The value is in the cost for the program if you don't need much interaction to complete the assignments. For example, do you remember your differential equations from calculus? If so, then you'll do fine in the statistical analysis course. Or if you need guidance on what is the expectation on the level of detail or content for a multi-paper final marketing project, you can wait a long time for clarification. Overall, if you need help to explain any of the work or the expectation of the course work, then you're on your own with frustration and lack of motivation. There are a few exceptions as I mentioned above, but those are the exceptions, not the rule. If I had the option to choose again, I would pick another university online program. I would not chose California Southern University. I would pick a traditional regionally accredited program with an online extension.