Grand Canyon University Reviews - Master's in Elementary Education
Review of Elementary Education Masters Degrees
For the past 11 years since earning my Bachelor's degree, I had been on a slow, reluctant search for a graduate program. I am wanted the advance degree but I also knew it would place a financial and daily demand on a schedule that had been free of course work for a decade. Not to mention, I wasn't much if a tech type of person so online courses were not even seriously considered. It all changed when the most caring, no nonsense Grand Canyon University representative visited my school recruiting, as well as celebrating one of my colleagues who had graduated from there. She encouraged me to apply and allow them to research possible financial aid eligibility. They found my aid and had me enrolled by December 2017. The experience has left me speechlessly pleased with a growing sense of accomplishment. Each instructor has shown tremendous patience. The student counselor and tech department have been very responsive and thorough with whatever my concerns were. I am on my 4th online GCU Grad course, angrowing in knowledge and readiness for the 21st century classroom. I would not change ANYTHING about my GCU experience!!
The good Lord sent me to the right place. I was looking for a school that would help me get the degree I needed, so I could teach. I have learn so much already and still have more to learn. I have always gotten the help and support I needed from everyone I have to deal with.
I have finished all core classes, now I just have to finish internship. I have a favorable impression of GCU. My only complaint are the other students. Some are lazy and submit subpar work. This makes everyone look bad. I have found most professors to be excellent. Most have a PhD/EdD and truly care. I did drop one class because of poor instruction, but that was the only class I have had an issue with. I have put forth my best efforts and have found this to be a rewarding experience. Be prepared to struggle every 6 weeks to find a location to do the required CFE hours for each class. While it can be stressful, I managed it.
I feel this Master's Degree in ELED sets you up to fail. If you work a full time job, do not enroll in this program- you will not be able to meet the requirements necessary to succeed. I work a full time job, 50+ hours a week and I am enrolled as a full-time online student. To me, the purpose of online schooling is to allow students to work AND get a higher degree at the same time. This program is designed in a way that 10-20 hours of observation are required in EACH CLASS, let alone student teaching, which makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible to find the time, while working a full time job (and keeping your job). The staff- teachers take forever to give feedback, grades, and answer questions which is difficult and incredibly stressful to work with. Administration/advisors- very disorganized, do not disclose all information up front, and by the end of the program, you're bound to talk to at least 5 different people who say they are your advisor. Why not just have ONE person be the source of all your guidance, questions, and answers? Test- What I do like about the program is that there aren't any tests, which increases the load of paper writing, but decreases test anxiety. However, about 3/4 of the way through the program, you are instructed to take the teaching test (praxis, basic skills, PLACE, etc). I am really frustrated with the lack of guidance from instructors and advisors as to go about finding study materials and assistance with test prep overall. The teaching test includes everything- social studies, LA, math, science, reading, ELL- by the time you take your teaching test, you have not covered all the subjects needed for the test. The test also asks you to know specific dates, history, people, etc- none of which are even remotely mentioned in the online courses. Honestly, it feels like we are set up to fail. Very disappointed, stressed, concerned, and aggravated with online schooling. Unless your job allows you to not go to work and you are comfortable with disorganization, I do not recommend this school or program.
I do highly recommend this school- it's supposedly one of the best online programs and for me, this was the only way I could obtain a Master's Degree. However, I am not huge fan of all of the teachers- they often take a long time to respond to questions and give feedback, which is very frustrating and stressful. I also highly do not appreciate the fact that online students only get a winter break. As an online student it's kind of offensive- as if we don't work as hard or don't "deserve" a break. I am extremely anxious to see how this program is viewed when it comes to being interviewed for teaching positions.
If you need an honest answer on whether or not to attend this school- DONT! They're supportive until you're accepted, and then all help goes right out the window. Not only was the "application process" a joke, but it's clear they allow anyone who qualified for financial aid in. They're not concerned with quality students, it's all financial for them. The professors are a joke, they do not respond to questions, the advisors are even worse. They call you constantly to check in, but when a real problem comes up they are no where to be found. I've sent several emails to them stating that I work during the day, and yet they continue to call during the work day. It's a business.When they call YOU, you're asked to identify yourself by name, telephone number and address. If you call me, this is an inconvenience, especially when I'm at work. There is nothing personalized about your experience, and conversations you have with them is forgotten five minutes after hanging up the phone. You are not a person to GCU, you're a number and a cash cow. Don't expect to receive support, and don't expect anyone to help you once you begin classes. If I could do it again, I would have chosen a different school 100%. It's been over 7 days and I'm still waiting for a phone call back from my advisor. Good luck if you choose GCU, I promise you'll be disappointed. The only reason they're getting 5 stars for financial aid services is because when it comes to money, this school is on their game. Go figure.
I have been in this online program for about three months now and I recommend it to anyone! I am in the Elementary Education program going towards my Masters and teaching certification. First of all, my advisor was very nice and helpful without being pushy, and was a big reason I came to GCU. I was going to attend WGU because it was cheaper, but glad I made the change to GCU. The professors are great, they are very fair with grading and always appreciate the hard work you put in. They give timely advice and answer any question promptly. So far I have gotten two A's in both my courses. I am in my third and have 10 more to go, and student teaching in a year and a half. I like the fact this school is not highly test based like WGU. There are 2 discussion questions a week and a lot of writing! Which I love personally. The professors also let me get 3 extra days when I was late on two papers due to illness, I thought that was nice. Also, the financial ed. department was great. I got my student refund in a timely manner, and financial aid went by smoothly. I am very happy I made the choice to come here, and I know having a Masters will help me be a better teacher. I recommend GCU online to anyone. I had a bad experience in my undergraduate, and I am glad it is so much better in my graduate school.