Excelsior College Reviews - Electrical Engineering

2.96 out of 5 stars
(4 Reviews)
  • Albany (NY)
  • Annual Tuition: Not Provided
75% of 4 students said this degree improved their career prospects
50% of 4 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Brent - 4/13/2018
Degree: Electrical Engineering
Graduation Year: 2018
"It is a great school for working adults. Teachers work with you on assignment lateness. Teacher/student communication is difficult at times because teachers work other jobs. The workload is sometimes large but not hard to find help when needed. Cost is $1530 per class which isn't terrible but there are cheaper schools with same accreditation you do have to buy books. Good reputation and partners with major companies. Very military friendly, lots of credit transfer. Overall good program."
1.0 out of 5 stars
MadStudent - 5/22/2017
Degree: Electrical Engineering
Graduation Year: 2017
"For a full tuition refund ($1230/3 credits,) you must withdraw 7 DAYS BEFORE THE CLASS START DATE! Their refund policy is unlike any other college I have attended. If you withdraw within a week of the start date, it's a 80/20% tuition responsibility (80% refund & must pay 20%.) Class starts at midnight Sunday, so if you decide the class is not for you and withdraw the following Monday morning after the start date, you fail to withdraw within the week of the start date, which bumps up your tuition responsibility to 60/40%!!! I withdrew Monday morning at 9 a.m., so I'm being charged $492 for seven days and 9 hours of access to a class that was a circus show to begin with! I began attending Excelsior with good intentions and a positive attitude, so I did not search out their refund policy or the specifics of their syllabuses. These were basically not readily available to view. Knowing what the class was going to be like 7 days prior to the start date and withdrawing to get a 100% refund was not at the top of my mind. Their refund policy ruined it for me, and I will not be returning."
5.0 out of 5 stars
Javier Gonzalez - 3/31/2016
Degree: Electrical Engineering
Graduation Year: 2016
"I took a leave of absence during my senior year at a traditional university after receiving a great job offer. Always intended to go back to school to finish my degree but life always seemed to get in the way. It was clear that traditional classroom-based learning was not an option at this point in my life, or in the foreseeable future. Fortunately, I am a "read the chapter and take notes" kind of learner. Hand me a book, give me a reading assignment, assign some exercises to try, and I can learn anything. Online learning was the perfect solution. About 15 years ago, I began taking online courses at different schools. I eventually settled on Excelsior College as it had the exact degree and available courses I needed. The school's non-profit status, affiliation with SUNY, and solid accreditation was key. I did not want a degree from a diploma mill, or for-profit corporation. The quality of Online education is highly dependent on the quality of the software used to deliver classes. Excelsior uses the Blackboard learning system, which is one of the better online software learning systems I've experienced. I took a course at another school which used the same system, so this software is not exclusive to Excelsior. However, Excelsior's version was newer than the other school. Excelsior upgraded Blackboard several times during my enrollment, so they really care about the quality of their software. Most (if not all) of the professors in the technical courses also taught at other schools. I had teachers from Penn State, University of Indiana, and other well-known brick-and-mortar schools. Most of the lectures were embedded videos direct from the instructor, but there were also some YouTube links of the instructor teaching the material at his/her other school. On a few occasions, lectures were presented in the form of PDF or PowerPoint series of slides with audio overlay. Sometimes the audio would be voiced by the teacher, but on rare occasion the slides would be narrated by a robot voice. I found the robotic power-point lectures to be rather silly. Thankfully that only happened in one class. I point this our only if you care about the quality and types of lectures you can expect. As stated earlier, I personally get more out of reading the material myself, not from listening to lectures, but everyone is different. What I found extremely helpful was that most professors were openly flexible with deadlines and other time sensitive issues. As long as you keep them in the loop, and communicate early (and often), they are very willing to extend deadlines and sometimes even examinations. Very few professors were exceedingly strict with deadlines. This is a huge advantage for working professionals, like myself, with fluid and demanding work/family schedules. While professors were flexible with deadlines, they always demanded quality work. Grading was academically rigid, but always fair. Outcomes were clearly defined and grading rubrics were readily available. If you lost points on an assignment, it was easy to find where and why. For me, knowing where I had weaknesses helped me focus on ways to overcome them. It absolutely made me a more well-rounded learner. Examinations were mostly delivered online. One would think this makes it easy to pass a test since it implies open-book, open-note, and full internet availability during the exam, but this was not the case. Exam questions were much harder than usual since professors expected students to have so many resources available during the exam. There were few rote memorization questions on the exams. Many of the questions required analytical and critical thinking to properly answer. Exams were timed, and while I typically finish exams early, the questions were challenging enough to require almost all the allotted time. Many of the major tests also have a written component - you have to take an online test and then submit the equivalent of a very hard homework assignment. One my midterms required a written assignment that took almost 16 hours to complete and ended up filling 11 full pages of written work. To pass these tests, you really have to study and be prepared. Excelsior has a thorough online library, research resources, and writing helpers like Grammarly. They also offer a free service to read and evaluate research papers based on the criteria you chose. This was a huge help for me. I had previously worked on research papers strictly on my own (with mixed success) and was dubious to use these resources, but found them to be extremely useful. My daughter is attending state university and we talk all the time about the tools and resources at Excelsior compared with what she has available at a traditional university. For the most part, we share the same resources. I found the counselors to be extremely useful, and friendly. I did not hesitate to use them. They really did provide value, and were a great asset finding courses I had interest in taking and also fulfilled academic requirements. Courses are offered in standard 16-week semesters, as well as rolling 8-week semesters. The 8-week semesters were a godsend to me. I wish all schools offered year-round 8-week courses. Also, Excelsior has an agreement with Microsoft where you can download almost anything from their library for free. There were software titles I didn't even know existed, like embedded robotics compilers. The only software missing was the current version of MS Office, but you have access to the complete previous version. You get a personal license for all the software, so it's a real licensed copy for you to use. This can save you thousands of dollars in software licenses. My experience at Excelsior was great, but there was one issue that left a bad taste in my mouth. Several years ago, the engineering technology track required a certain number of hands-on lab-based courses. I needed a total of four 1-credit labs to complete my degree. There were no 1-credit labs offered online, so I had to take four 4-credit courses (3-credits for the course, and 1-credit for the lab component). I had no problem with this requirement as I believe you can't work as engineer without having some lab experience. It took a year to complete all four courses. After completing the last lab requirement, Excelsior changed the entire program and removed the lab component. Those four courses were no longer necessary. In their place, they added four other requirements that I also lacked. I'm sure this was not done to screw me, it was unfortunate timing on my part since I took only a few classes at a time. It did extend my graduation and cost more money. The one thing I disliked about Excelsior (and frankly all schools have something similar), is the annual student fee. I don't mind paying a student fee while I'm in school, but you also have to pay the fee after you finish your last classes and await degree conferral. In my case, I finished my last class in December, but my degree was not conferred until February. My student fee expired in December. I had to pay a whole year student fee or they would not process my graduation. I complained to the bursar and appealed to the ombudsman, but the fee stood. They did take pity on me, however, and reduced the graduation fee. Yes, there is a graduation fee. In my case, they waived the graduation fee. I thought that was very cool! The annual student fee is around $500, and the graduation fee was about $250, so I think it was a fair compromise. My place of employment payed for the courses, but not books or student fees. I would get reimbursed at the end of the course (if I passed), but had to pay tuition up front, usually by credit card. Excelsior offers a payment plan which helped reduce the amount of credit card interest I would incur. I made too much money to receive any student aid, and didn't need to take out student loans so I cannot comment on that. Overall, I loved taking courses online, and enjoyed the flexibility of taking 8-week courses at Excelsior. I really learned a lot at Excelsior, not just about the courses, but about myself and what I can accomplish when motivated. Before starting at Excelsior, I took a general engineering test to gauge my engineering knowledge. The test had six parts, taking between one to two hours each to complete. I scored very poorly (around 40% overall). After graduating, I took the test again and scored almost 90% overall. I would recommend Excelsior to everyone who is serious about the quality of their degree, and has the discipline and motivation to complete online courses. It wasn't easy, but it was definitely enriching and fulfilling."
2.3 out of 5 stars
Anonymous - 2/6/2015
Degree: Electrical Engineering
Graduation Year: 2015
"Excelsior is the school for you if you just want to earn a degree. The teachers mostly grade assignmebts and do little in the way of direct teaching. You cab message them for help but it takes 2 days to get a response, far too long when you only have until Sunday to turn in assignments and you didn't encounter the problem until Thursday. The lectures are horrible and consist of youtube videos and other mediocre sources of information. A lot of the lectures are shotty summaries of the book in PDF form with a female robot voice narrating the text. The work itself is fairly easy but uninspiring. Dont expect a great deal in the from this school that you wouldnt have done by yourself and the textbook."
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