Grand Canyon University Reviews - Doctorate in Organizational LeadershipSee reviews of all programs at Grand Canyon University
If you are reading this before applying to the GCU doctoral college, stop and choose a different University a doctorate! You will bleed time and money and question the selling of a "Private Christian University" The classes were not easy, as expected, it is a doctoral program. Residencies are required and the student is told "The work done at residency streamlines things once you start the dissertation courses." What a lie! You can attend both week-long residencies, at over $1000 each, and still be told in your 1st dissertation class, "Start over!". Once in the dissertation phase, you will get lots of subjective feedback from your "committee" and reminded that "Committee gets 10 business days to respond to communication." Waiting 2 weeks to get feedback on changes made to a handful of sentences in a 200 page document, all while paying for this time, will leave you feeling like a sucker even if you graduate. I even watch people who worked for the University quit the program midway!
Stay away from GCU - at least the doctoral programs. I received very little support in my Year 1 courses, and I even feel duped for taking these courses. They do not care about the students - they care about money. They are secretive about your financial aid - when and how much they will give you. They should be more straightforward about financial aid. You do not even speak to a financial aid officer - just your advisor. My advisor was very unsupportive and uncaring. I think she just was doing as little as possible at her job. Some of the professors were uncaring and just wanted to drop some students from the program. All in all, I feel duped that I wasted time, money and energy in this program. Unfortunately, GCU doesn't care about my success or situation. Study in a program where the advisor actually cares about your success and the university wants you to be successful. GCU could improve their financial aid services in that they need to be more straight forward about financial aid awards or what you will not receive, improve in student services (i.e. advisors), improve in their quality of professors, improve in their quality of doctoral curriculum within courses, improve with their ability to work with students that may have a life situation that influences their studies temporarily.
Grand Canyon University is a Christian university and has a solid base in terms of the level of education/learning you will experience. The quality and content of the education you will receive here is of a high caliber. However, GCU leaves much to be desired in terms of their program roll out. This school was formerly a not for profit college, and I feel that when they switched over to the for-profit sector, they replaced God at the top of their organization with money. The doctoral program advertises completion for students in 3.5 years. I have found this to be the exception, not the rule. Prepare yourself for an average of 5 years (without time taken off). They have "streamlined" the process multiple times in the 5 years I worked on my doctorate. Those of us who had reached certain milestones were supposed to be grandfathered in to the previous version, however we were "encouraged" to switch over to new versions with new expectations. In an attempt to increase the academic rigor and academic quality of the program, there are 7 layers of review to get through, each with a new perspective that will cause major rewrites on your committee approved work (so your committee is not trusted to uphold a high caliber or work from their learners). I understand this is necessary when you have more than 2,000 students accepted into your doctoral program; the school does not want to look like a degree mill. Also, each chair (mentor, etc) has a case load of approximately 15 learners, and your methodologist has approximately 40, in addition to the expectation that they also teach courses. This is not in the best interest of either the learner or the committee members. So if you want to go for your doctoral degree, I would recommend a school with a much more rigorous acceptance policy so that you will receive the level of education and support that you deserve and are paying for.
Anyone seeking a doctorate from GCU should be warned, especially if you need to use financial aid. Once you enter the dissertation phase, exceed the continuing research course, and move to the extension of the extension courses, your aid will expire. Once your aid runs out, you are obligated to pay out of pocket for additional extension courses. The kicker is, whether you are progressing in your dissertation or not, they will still want payment to keep the "classroom open", even though you are not earning credit. Not to mention, getting past your AQR can be a nightmare! Some of the staff who are associated with the program are difficult just because they can. When your committee can attest to the difficulty of their peers, you know it is bad. I have hired a private editing service to help with my dissertation. With the phenomenal work that has been done, I still have not progressed because of GCU faculty. What their deal is in making the dissertation so adversarial, beats me. The point of higher education is to ensure that students are learning and preparing to give back to the educational community. If one cannot get through the dissertation, they may be stuck in All But Dissertation (ABD) status regardless of efforts to supply the faculty with the criteria they are asking for. It really seems as if GCU is in the business for money along. I cannot say that they genuinely care about their students on all fronts. On a positive note, the core classes were great. I have learned a lot.
Instructors are helpful and supportive. Content is practical and relevant to the field. Excellent program setup for working professionals with integrated plan for dissertation development throughout coursework. Christian focus is optional throughout.
For a online program I actually feel that I am in the classroom. There is always positive response from the professors and the material is easy to grasp. I am looking towards the following classes and the dissertation process. There is a standard of intergrity that is uphold at this university.
This university had the best and smoothest admissions process I have ever seen. One minute I was simply gathering information, and the next thing I knew, I was accepted and then enrolled. They wanted me there, and not just to get my money, but they believed in me. I still get calls and emails monthly from advisors just to check on my progress, and not because they have to. They are always caring and professional. The instructors have been great. They actually teach you what you need to know, instead of expecting you to already know it all. Even the professors want every student to succeed, and it is contagious to the point where even the students cheer each other on. I am learning so much and am so encouraged here.
I completed two graduate degrees at GCU, a Masters in Education and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Not only were the professors knowledgeable, but they were also caring. All questions were answered and there were supports throughout the process. Anytime an issue occurred, GCU stepped in and made things right. It does take a great deal of discipline to complete a degree online, and many people seem to expect to put in very little effort, yet expect excellent results. University policies are clearly outlined and as long as you follow them, the school is fair and helpful.
In short, I just want to say that as an individual you are responsible for the level of education that you want to receive. I have been a successful professional for almost a decade, and I made it happen for myself period. I love GCU and not only have I challenged the Professor's, but they have challenged me as well. Consequently, there are people who are homeless (I know a few) that went to Ivy League Schools; again, it is all in what you put into it. In fact, no one is responsible for your student loans or your educational journey you are completely. This is a great and well organized school; in fact, I am currently applying what I learned within my day to day professional career! Thanks GCU!
Do not attend this school. They only want your money. Do not contribute to this for profit organization. Attend a University that really cares about your academic success. GCU is fools gold if they call run away they only want your money. Unfortunately, I found this too late in my academic journey.