Student & Graduate Reviews
Anonymous - 11/5/2020
Graduation Year: 2021
"I originally selected GCU because it seemed that they had everything that I needed to be able to actually complete a master's degree while still having a very busy life outside of school. Tuition is cheap, classes are accessible completely online, I only had to take one class at a time, and they seemed to have a very welcoming environment. All of these things remain true, which is good. The only problem is that the program is designed and run so poorly that I am starting to feel like I have just wasted an enormous amount of time, effort, and money. I would seriously consider before deciding on this program from GCU. It's really difficult to overstate my disappointment and frustration with this school since I have yet to have a truly positive experience with anyone who works there. However, I will try to be mostly objective in this review as the purpose is to help you decide if this is the right program for you. I suppose it must be that this program will be a good fit for some people. The most important thing to know about this program is that there is absolutely no instruction of any kind. I only have two courses remaining, and all of my courses so far have had the same exact structure just with different assignments. Each class is eight weeks long and contains 1000 possible points that can be earned. Each week you must post one original comment to each of two discussion questions (DQs). You must also post responses to your classmates a minimum of three days in the week. This usually means responding to three different people, each on a different day of the week. The original posts are worth 5 points each and the weekly responses are worth a total of 20 points for each week for a total of 30 points per week just from discussion questions. This comes out to 240 points (30 * 8 = 240) just from discussions. And so far, my experience with DQs has been that they are basically just a pulse-check. I have never lost points on a post or a comment that I've made, and I have intentionally made some very poor comments just to test it. It appears that you get full points as long as you're present regardless of the quality of the post. So that's just under 25% of the course grade, which is basically free if you put in the time to do it. The rest of the points come from weekly assignments and sometimes a mid-term and final exam depending on the class. Typically (though there is at least one exception to this) there is one major assignment per week that is worth anywhere between 60 and 120 points. Some are group assignments, but most are just a standard research paper. They tend to be between 750–2000 words and require between 2–8 sources depending on their point value. They require some work, but they're really not much different from the standard paper that I was asked to write while in my bachelor's program. And that's pretty much it. Each course has a list of weekly assigned readings, but, honestly, I haven't even looked at any of them for my last couple of classes, and it hasn't seemed to matter all that much. In fact, I'm not really sure what their purpose is because they don't seem to relate to the course material at all. At first I thought I could use them as sources for some of my assignments, but I haven't found any so far that have enough relevance to be included, so you don't really need to waste your time reading them; conducting your own research is sufficient and more helpful anyway. It's also worth noting that I have yet to have a single class from a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty member. Every instructor has been at the adjunct level. Now I'm not saying that adjunct faculty cannot be great instructors, but it does strike me as odd that a student can go through nearly the entire program at the graduate level and not have even one full-time faculty instructor. It just kind of seems like the school doesn't even take this program very seriously, and that's really disappointing. One final thing I'd like to mention is the program's use of student services counselors. When I first started the program, I was really impressed that I had a counselor who would reach out on a pretty regular basis to check on my progress and to see if I had any questions or needed anything. However, the further along I got, the more I realized that my counselor really has no clue what is going on with the program. My counselor has never been able to give me any specific details about any of my courses, cannot see which instructor is scheduled to teach my next class even if it's less than a week away, has virtually no knowledge about online student success resources, and has consistently given false information regarding payment and other scheduling deadlines. I had hoped that this was due to just one poor employee, but I have now worked with multiple student services counselors and talked with two other classmates about theirs, and this appears to be a trend rather than an anomaly. I know I said I would try to be as objective as possible, so—to that end—I would like to also say something positive about GCU and the program I am in. Unfortunately, the best I can come up with is that it is cheap, easy, and accessible. As long as you're okay with all of your learning coming from reading research articles and being asked to participate in largely-meaningless weekly discussions, then this program will probably be fine for you. It's also great for people who are just looking to get a master's degree without any kind of challenge or academic rigor. As long as you have the time to put in to do the work, just about anybody can get a degree from this program. I would like to conclude by apologizing for not quite being able to keep all the bitterness from this post despite my promise to attempt to be objective. It's just really hard to try not to scream out that everyone should avoid this school when my experience so far has been so depressingly abysmal. Please take great caution when deciding whether to select this program or you will almost certainly be underwhelmed."
DeterminationIsRequired - 10/18/2020
Degree: Organizational Leadership
Graduation Year: 2020
"Reading the numerous reviews for Grand Canyon University requires some self-reflection on my part. There are many positive and constructive responses that are valid. There are also responses that require self-reflection on the part of the individual who submitted the original post. I began my doctoral journey in August 2015 with the expectation of going through GCU's doctoral program with great ease, being that I started my courses online in the comfort of my home. I quickly realized that I needed to have face-to-face interactions in order to be successful. I spoke with my SA and she quickly revised my schedule to have me take my remaining courses on campus. Making the change to an on-campus cohort was the best decision I made. Having the opportunity to speak with my instructors face-to-face was extremely beneficial to my progress in the program. If I felt the need to challenge an instructor, I could do it in person rather than email. Believe me, I did not always agree with my instructors and made sure to advocate for myself when I needed to. When entering the program, I was told that the entire doctoral program generally takes 3.5 years to complete, start to finish. This was not the case for me. The first portion of the program (coursework) went along as planned. It was not until the dissertation writing process that I experienced delays in progress. There were a number of times in which I was required to rewrite a portion of a chapter to insure that my document was aligned. There was an instance in which I paid a large amount of money for an editor, only to be told that the editor did not do a great job! I was encouraged to located another editor. I did not find another editor, I simply edited the document with the help of my wife and Grammarly. I also paid for a statistician to assist me with my chapter 4. I was told by my chair that everything looked great once chapter 4 was complete, but my AQR reviewer presented many changes that needed to be made before moving forward. I must say that although I was frustrated with the need to make changes or the disagreements between some of my committee members at times; I can honestly say that they all worked for me, not against me. I would be remiss if I did not say that the requests for me to rewrite and my frustration in such request play a major role in the extension of time in my program. I have no bitter feelings about the time extension because, I was able to produce a quality dissertation that has been signed my the dean and published. I have earned my degree and have accomplished something that has never been accomplished my family. I could not be more pleased with myself. Perseverance is the main ingredient in the doctoral process. It is required from day one of the program. You have to be willing to think outside of the box. You have to be willing to research rigorously. You have to understand that the master's degree program and the doctoral program are not similar. You must also understand that you are the captain of the ship when it comes to your journey and your committee. You have to taste the doctoral degree in order to achieve it. I experienced many obstacles during my journey (required travel for work, job loss, raising a family, loss of family, etc.), but I pushed myself to obtain the goal that was predestined for me to achieve. Making the decision to enter a doctoral program is the easy part of the process. Making the decision to give it your all is a decision that will require you to make some hard decision and will require you to make some personal sacrifices. You must be comfortable in making such decisions/compromises. If you are not willing to do so, I would say the doctoral program will cause a great deal of frustration for you. So, one thing to take away from this post is that the doctoral journey is an individual journey that must be embraced full-heartedly."
Adam - 10/2/2020
Degree: Substance Abuse Counseling
Graduation Year: 2020
"This was absolutely an incredible experience. I was challenged by professors who are experts in the flied and procured employment in the middle of my Internship. This program is legitimate and teaches everything you need to know in a clinical setting for substance use. It has set me up for full licensure (LAC) in the state of Colorado. I've been a therapist for one month and am grateful to GCU for giving me this opportunity. You can't go wrong getting this degree!"
Go anywhere else - 9/23/2020
Graduation Year: 2020
"Please go anywhere else. The counselors are a joke and will put you in classes that you do not need or will suddenly have more classes for you to take as soon as you are about to graduate. In t experience, I was a transfer from community college and they attempted to place me in classes that I had previously earned credits for. When I made them aware of their mistake they would remove me from the class and apologize. What was the point of me sending my transcripts over from community college then? Kylie Wetsel is the worst counselor I have had so far. If you ever get her, please ask for anyone else. She communicates poorly, puts you in classes you do not need, and is essentially only there to confuse you and rob you of your money. The professors are a joke. If you have to take organic chemistry look forward to failing because that is the goal of the course. Andre is the worst professor teaching that course and looks forward to seeing you fail. Please just don’t go here. Go to any other college in Arizona."
Current chair elsewhere - 8/24/2020
Graduation Year: 2022
"WOW! What a waste of time and money this university is worse then a university of Phoenix type of school and only cares about robbing you of your money. You will get canned content classes in which they will plug whatever teacher they can find into to run at last minute who is really there to babysit. You get no instruction at all on assignments and all questions are always met with a vague answer that will not answer your questions either. You will really get no relevant information to this profession as I have been working in this profession as a chair at a college for 10 years and would never run or allow a class to be handled so poorly in my department. I have worked at 2 colleges and gone to 3 different colleges and this is the worst excuse for a money pilfering organization I have ever seen or run into in my entire life. Please save yourself some time, frustration and money and not attend here and find a program somewhere else or maybe even read a self help book as that will be more informative then you will get here and much much cheaper. What a joke not sure how they maintain accreditation but that should be pulled as soon as possible."
SB - 7/29/2020
Degree: Physical Education
Graduation Year: 2020
"I began a graduate certificate program in coaching this spring and feel pretty mixed about the program. I do think I would have been better off just going to a coaching school. The literature and instruction qualify is passible, but my feedback is mostly technical and note substantive. The main problem I have is with the admissions and financial aid people! I elected to take out some financial aid during the program so I could work less get everything out of it I could. They are electing to give me this aid 4 weeks before I am done with the 7 month program. Obviously it is not going to be useful to me at that time. I had to really pin them down about specifics so this does not feel like another one of their unfortunate “oversights”. I am self employed and leased my work station according to how much I would be working- now I have to scramble for something else. I think they told me what I wanted to hear so I would choose their program and it feels sleazy to me. I don’t have proof that it was intentional, but I would be very careful to get everything in writing!"
DJC - 6/25/2020
Degree: Nurse Practitioner (Acute Care)
Graduation Year: 2021
"Wow! This program is a joke! If you do the online program, the assignments are difficult to understand, the communication is sub-par, and they do NOT prepare you to actually take care of patients. It's not difficult to get good grades in this program, but it's difficult to actually learn anything relevant. Even the professors will acknowledge that the assignments don't make sense. Contact people for this program are very difficult to get in touch with and they do not communicate well AT ALL! This program claims to be there for students who are also working full-time, but they give no leniency. If you do not respond to them promptly, even if you are working, you might just get in trouble. If you're looking for a good nurse practitioner program, go elsewhere!!!"
GradStudent2019 - 5/6/2020
Degree: Criminal Justice
Graduation Year: 2019
"I am hesitant to write this review, because I don’t want it to seem as though I am bashing all majors or suggesting that all of the Professors don’t make classes engaging. In fact, quite the opposite, from my experiences on campus. I graduated top of my class and participated in clubs on campus and am currently in a grad school. But, be warned of the level of difficulty of classes. My major did not challenge me. Granted, there may have been 1 or 2 semi-difficult assignments but in a 4 year degree, that’s a joke. Those classes do not prepare you for the rigorous course loads of grad school and most of the students that end up being successful are those who are already knowledgeable of the material or study on their own. As for clubs, normally I would encourage you to participate, but keep in mind some people make these clubs toxic. A lot of people at GCU tend to act like they are still in high school, and obviously that can cause problems. Beyond that, student services can be good (luck of the draw with what SSA or SSC or whatever they call it now) that you get. Good luck choosing schools, and make sure to choose one that prepares you for the real world."
Overpriced - Ridged - go somewhere else, especially the nursing program - 4/9/2020
Degree: RN to BSN
Graduation Year: 2021
"Way overpriced. It might be a good school if you are actually attending but if you are doing an online program and working, forget about it. There is absolutely nothing that is self-paced or "on your own time". You might as well be required to attend class and labs etc. Minimal flexibility. The online platform is not user-friendly at all. No notifications if you get a message from the instructor or other students. This is terrible if you have a group project. I would NEVER recommend attending this school. If you want a RN to BSN specifically, try WGU. I have two other bachelors' degrees prior to being a nurse, and actually enjoyed school before attending here. Highly suggest looking elsewhere."
Jennifer - 3/29/2020
Graduation Year: 2020
"Do not waste your time or most importantly your money with this program. There is absolutely no teaching included in the nursing online courses. Everything is a canned discussion question with no consistency in grades. They do not even include a single powerpoint for information, instead relying on "self education" with a ridiculous amount of reading text. The on campus portions, especially the 2nd one is expensive for students not living in the area, could be condensed significantly and or even stopped. The staff is not easy to contact and in many instances never respond. Save your money, time and frustration. Attend a school that provides education with the degree and this is not one of them."
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