Excelsior College Reviews
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For those who don't know, EC is know as one of the "Big 3" (Thomas Edison State College & Charter Oak State College being the other two). These 3 regionally accredited (RA)institutions of higher learning have a unique structure. Unlike the vast majority of RA traditional and online colleges/universities, the residency requirements at these colleges are at the absolute minimum. What does that mean? How is that an advantage? In general, most colleges/universities require that you earn X number of credits from them in order to obtain a degree. I want to say that most require 30 or so credits to be earned by taking classes from that college/university. As far as I remember, the only course that needs to be taken from EC is a 1 credit hour online Information Lit course. The remaining 120-125 credit hours that are required for a particular degree can be satisfied externally. This is a huge advantage over other colleges/universities. Limits on credits transferred in are common at most colleges. With minimal exception (how long ago you took the course and if it applies to your particular degree plan), EC allows you to transfer in as many as you want. This is a fantastic benefit that saves time and money. Testing out options. Traditional institutions limit the number of courses that you are able to test out of using CLEP/DSST and other sources of college level credit. At EC you can basically earn an undergraduate degree completely by "testing out". This is not to be confused with credits for "life experience". I don't think that EC awards credit for life experience by itself. I think TESC has a program that allows you to "challenge" credits/courses based on life experience, they are called portfolios or something. If I remember correctly, you have to document why you feel that you should be awarded college credit for particular topics you have advanced personal knowledge in. Then a committee reviews and accepts or denies. I believe the process is more difficult and expensive than testing out. I was able to piece together an undergraduate degree, with a decent GPA, largely through "testing out": 15 traditional courses at various community colleges and four year colleges. 15 DSST Exams 5 CLEP Exams 5 EC exams The way the process works: you enroll in the college, have all your previous transcripts and CLEP/DSST scores sent to EC. You pay a first year fee/tuition, something around $2k or so if I remember correctly. Your advising team evaluates your previous credits and then tells you what courses/exams you will need to take to complete a degree. Then each year until you complete your degree you pay an annual fee/tuition of $500 or so. At this point you determine, with the help of your advisor, which CLEP/DSST/EC exams you want to take to satisfy your requirements. Your first avenue, in my opinion, is to take as may CLEP/DSST exams as possible. They are inexpensive, around $100 each for a 3 credit exam plus the test center fee of about $20. Finding a test center that is open at a time convenient for you is most likely your biggest challenge. Most community colleges offer these exams at their test center. You don't have to be enrolled at the school to use their test center or take exams. When you take exam you will be asked where you want the exams results to be sent, EC has a code number you provide before taking the exam. For further discussion on the individual exams go to: Degree forum.net Once you have used as many CLEP/DSST exams as possible, for cost reasons. Figure out which EC exams you can take to satisfy the remaining credits. EC exams are more expensive, $200-$300 I think, but cover more of the required upper level required credits. Your advisor will do a better job of explaining this than I just did. These exams are not easy, nor are they difficult. You will read on forums and bain4weeks.com of some individuals taking a ridiculous number of exams in a very short period of time. I remember reading about some guy taking 10 exams in one week, that's heavy! The most I took in a week was 4 DSST exams. My point is, for short money and in a reasonable amount of time you can complete an undergraduate degree. A real one. Without going to class. It takes a lot of work on your end but, it is completely possible. The only down side I see is name recognition, or lack there of. I highly doubt that you will see EC bumper stickers while driving down the street or people bragging that they attended EC. I do believe that they have a better reputation than univ of Phoenix or DeVry. I also think EC looks better on a resume than UOP. In the end, my EC undergraduate degree was enough for me to gain acceptance into some decent graduate programs. 5 Years later, I've completed an MBA and am about 1/2 way thru the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program at U Mass. I'm currently in the process of applying to a few PHD programs for when i'm done with the MSF. I can't say enough about the doors Excelsior College (EC) has opened up for me. **I've read the negative reviews on Yelp and elsewhere, mostly related to the nursing program. In defense of EC, YOU have to do the work. YOU have to take the initiative and be proactive with everything (Enrollment, classes, advising, studying, staying on top of things), just like everything else in life. These types of nontraditional programs are designed for adults. If you are not willing to take responsibility for your own education then EC might not be for you. But I will argue that if you can't make EC work, I don't know where you will find a more flexible situation. EC is not a scam, EC is a legitimate "Regionally Accredited" (the highest accrediting body in the US) College. EC has been granting degrees since the 1970s. EC is not some fly by night college with a questionable past or profit motive. Take a look at the alumni list, read the stories of the 1,000s of graduates (including nursing students who have had success), read the newsletter, call and speak with an advisor. If someone can't see the opportunity EC presents, then they will have trouble finding a better solution to their education needs. Stop complaining, take responsibility, do the work, and join the vast vast majority of EC Alumni (myself included) who have EC to thank for everything they have helped us accomplish.
Terrible experience - there is no teaching involved and the "tests" you take measure test taking skills, not learning. When you finally get to the CPNE (the practical), you have to wait about 14 months for a test date. The pass rate is about 58%, and that only if you pay many dollars to private teachers who teach how to 'game' Excelsior's system. Again it isn't learning nursing, it is memorizing tiny details unrelated to actual nursing. I would strongly recommend a 'brick-and-mortar' school that actually teaches nursing.
The most dishonest bunch of thieves. This is not what nursing is about and they taught me nothing. The only thing they really taught was how to come up with strategies for them not to fail you on NON nursing issues. Everything I learned was from a nursing workshop NOT excelsior. Please do not go here!
This was the most unethical experience I have ever had with those who call themselves "nurses" and at that, I am talking about master degree nurses. The examiners I had at this place were dishonest, driven by money and did nothing more than to follow the leader to secure their own jobs with no regard for students of good moral character. How does one judge the difference between those characters if one is rotten to the core, dishonest and continues the pattern? Would not go here if just one honest person wrote it the way it is.
Excelsior College is an outstanding online college with a competitive curriculum and professional staff. I don't understand some of the negative reviews, which all seem to be associated with Nursing. The Health Science curriculum was outstanding and the liberal arts and science classes I took as electives were equally rewarding. I am now pursuing my Masters in Health Sciences. Great experience overall and has made me much more marketable to employers. Thanks
Overall Excelsior has been a great experience. The classes are user friendly and the instructors are always willing to go the extra mile to accommodate the students. I am in the military and ever since I started taking courses with this school all classes fitted my career. Like in most places, you get what you put into.
Excelsior is a much better school than people think and the Nursing program seems to be giving them a bad reputation. I completed my BSHS in Healthcare Management from GWU in 2012 but decided to go into the Public Health field. After taking only 2 classes with GWU's online BPH program i transferred to Excelsior after researching their program and finding that it closely mirrored GWU's online BPH program. First of all, both schools are in the same academic region so all of my classes transferred over with no problems. To my surprise, the curriculum is almost exactly the same as GWU (same text books, assignments and outcomes) except Excelsior is 8 weeks versus 14+. Both use blackboard, however, Excelsior has recently switched to Canvas which seems just as user friendly (I am currently pursuing my MPH with them). Overall I find Excelsior's Public Health curriculum just as challenging and rewarding as GWU's Public Health curriculum if ample time is put into studying. With that said, the papers, quizzes and exams are easier at Excelsior versus GWU. The negative reviews I see are almost entirely related to the NURSING program, which may be understandable as this type of program involves hands on learning that cannot always translate well via online learning. Medical School, PA school and Nursing are probably best suited for class room environments only to allow for hands on learning. I would like to see Excelsior remove their Nursing program in the future for the above reasons. I would like finish by saying, the professors I have had thus far have been excellent and very qualified and challenging. Their are a couple professors who have public health positions outside of teaching that takes time away from their attention to the class rooms and this is usually addressed in reviews, however, this has been rare and feedback to students is usually prompt and helpful. Overall outstanding experience so far.
If I had a choice between a traditional classroom Nursing school I would have chosen that over Excelsior College Online. But since I worked full time, Excelsior was my only option for the associate nursing program. I passed CPNE my first attempt, I got most B's in my classes. The course work seemed easy but I learned little and it did not prepare me very well for the NCLEX. I was enrolled into ATI NCLEX, but I feel Excelsior could have placed a lot more emphasis on NCLEX. But then again, I was focused on CPNE. So it was an overall okay experience. Definitely not the best, but not too terrible. I do have to say after seeing all these reviews about how bad it is. I think it's because they didn't pass.
I've seen a lot of bad reviews for Excelsior but I actually enjoyed it. Everyone was nice and professional. I've taken online courses from other colleges and I think that a lot of the negative reviews are from people who aren't/weren't prepared or mature enough to handle online classes. If you need THAT much instruction, you should really consider going to a brick and mortar school to earn your degree. No school is going to hold your hand and spoon feed you material. One has to find it within themselves. That being said, Excelsior does an excellent job.
I was shocked at the number of negative reviews. I started attending Excelsior in 2008 for a degree in nursing. I completed all of my classes and unfortunately was unable to continue working as a nurse. The advisors were fantastic. I was able to switch to Liberal Arts and obtain my BS in psychology in 16 months. The instructors and advisors were always there to answer any questions I had. I enjoyed this school. The only problem I have is I have to find another school to get my Masters in psychology as Excelsior does not offer it. If they did I would sign up in a heartbeat!