Grand Canyon University Reviews
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I attend GCU online (majoring in English) because I have a work schedule that varies from week to week. Much of what I have to say is already covered in the other reviews, so I'll stick to things I didn't see mentioned.
First of all, be prepared to relearn the ANGEL system with every new class you take online. I've completed four terms now, and ANGEL changes every time. The alterations seem arbitrary, often making it more difficult to find things in the name of organization (which seems to truly be a monkey putting links inside folders).
Secondly, some of the professors' grading confuses me. I've seen full credit given to answers which barely relate to the discussion question so long as the student somehow manages to mash their faith into the response. I understand that it's a Christian university, but an incorrect answer is incorrect no matter what. This isn't true of every professor, but it's happened with more than one.
All of that said, I've enjoyed a few of my classes immensely. Some professors respond to answers twice per day in great detail, making the process a genuine learning experience.
I started at GCU back in 2008 in the MBA program. In early 2009 I was called back to active military duty for deployment to Afghanistan. Because of this I had to make a formal withdrawal from school. It was a real nightmare to get that done. I believe I had to send about two dozen emails and talk to about a dozen people to get that done. When returned early this year, I emailed the school informing them that I had returned and would like to finish the program.
I was informed that my Tuition had increased almost 100%. After complaining and sending emails to many different people. I was finally contacted by M.M., the assistant director of finance director promising me the old tuition rate because of my circumstance. He also said that someone would contact me the next day to guide me through the enrollment process. This was back on the 8th June this year. Today is 30th Sept 2010 and I am still waiting for someone to contact me!
I have been at GCU’s business program for a while now and I can tell you the teachers are great. You learn a lot and have a sense of accomplishment after you finish each class. I could do without all the CLC projects however I realize that working with people as a team is a part of the business environment.
My only concerns are the lack of communication between students and counselors, how GCU leadership often makes decisions without passing that information on to the counselor, and the high turnover rate of counselors. You can call your counselors (not all of them) as much as you want and you’d be lucky if someone answered or returned your call. Those counselors who do answer the phone and provide honest help are nothing short of Saints! Sometimes I think that the leaders in the academic and financial counselor departments could learn something from the business school program. If they could simply fix that problem this school would be among the best educational experiences I have ever had.
Again MY experience in the Ken Blanchard School of Business is great along with the instructors and students. Lets get the administrative side of the house fixed
I have been attending GCU for over a year. The only reason that I am staying is that I am very close to graduation.
One disappointment stems from the lack of support from the academic and financial advisors. I have had at least 3 academic advisors (I've lost count), and they have consistently been unresponsive and difficult to work with. They do not return emails or phone calls and often, are not able to answer simple questions when the advistors are available.
Another disappointment comes from the quality of the students in the classes. This would not be a big problem for me, except for the ridiculous CLC (team) projects that are required in almost every class. There are a great many students who cannot put a college-level sentence together, much less a paragraph. This makes the team projects more stressful than necessary, and, as my writing skills are better developed than many others', students without the same level skills get higher grades based on my hard work. This is very frustrating. The flip side of having extremely low quality students, is that excellent grades are very easy to achieve.
I read with great interest, the review from the faculty member. It seems as though the faculty can be as frustrated as the students, but it makes me wonder why the faculty member would continue "teaching" at a unversity that is overtly disrespectful to their staff.
Regardless, my experience has been that most instructors "phone it in". I not seen a great deal of subject enhancement from the instructors, either through the discussion boards or through the papers that are turned in. The good thing, though, is that I get consistent positive feedback on my work, so that is nice.
As far as the schools reputation in business, I have seen that some employers are not interested if a degree is achieved online or not, and some that care. It just depends on the employer.
I am in my third year at Grand Canyon University at the Master's Level. I began getting my Master's in Addictions Counseling and recently decided to also get a Master's in Professional Counseling. I work full time as an Addictions Counselor now, and wish to become a licensed therapist.
The resources are very good--especially the textbooks. Some instructors are better than others at giving feedback and sharing experiences, but overall I enjoy the classes. Be prepared to do A LOT of writing--usually every week there is an assignment. Most classes have a group project, which can be frustrating getting everyone to do their part--you will have some that do very little, but get the group credit, oh well...you'll have slackers everywhere.
Financial aid has been fine until recently when GCU changed their system. I usually get my refund around this time, and have not, which has caused a hardship for me, because I buy my books with that money. I contacted my financial advisor, Sara, who explained that there was a delay this semester. She called me the same day after I left a message, and explained that they are having to re-enter data and to watch when the funds post to my account..then it would be up to two weeks until the check is sent. Of course this is an inconvenience, and I would have appreciated some communication or notification that this was going to occur so I could have planned for it, but nothing is perfect. I was satisfied that she called me back quickly and explained the situation.
Suffice to say, GCU is a good school. You should be computer literate, like to write and read, and basically be motivated to be a self learner, and assertive enough to ask questions when necessary.
This school is not for anyone that does not know how to push themselves. You have to be proficent on the computer and willing to put the time in to read the material. I have one more class to go before I start my internship.
If you are depending on your financial aid to come to you in a timely fashion, don't. The class I am in now started over a month ago and I am still waiting on my financial. I have had to endure the entire class without a book. When I asked the academic department how was I to benefit from the class without a book, I never got an answer. However the classes are interesting, most of the teachers are helpful and go beyond the call of duty.
I am a grad student in the addiction counseling major and the accredation falls a little short on Ohio standards, but mostly because of experience hours and not the curriculum. It is a good program just make sure you have the money to buy books and not have to wait on the financial aid. The lack of communication is sometimes nerve racking, but all in all for the most part my experience was good.
I am in my 3rd class online... My financial aid was to me halfway through the first class, my financial advisor always checks up on me etc. I had a problem because my high school is gone and it was a christian school so GCU was the only one that would take what records i had. Compared to another az based online school the financial aid issues are nothing my bf attends there and has been in 3 classes and they still havent done anything. We are still paying his student loans and his gi bill hasnt been started.
I will say the instructors sometimes are not great and some of the other students frustrate me because how can i reply to posts when they dont post but all in all i have no issues with them.
I can not believe the issues I am reading here from others. I am currently in my 5th class with GCU working on my Masters in Addiction Counseling and all online.
All the professors I have had have taken the time to give me feedback on each and every paper I have written. They have a library you have access to online. They have tutoring if you need it. Everyone has always answered my calls or emails.
If you choose to complete a degree online of course it seems like more work, you are reading yourself, reading the lectures and writing your papers and completing group projects. I totally 100 % disagree with all the negative talk about this university. Even from the classes I have taken so far I am able to incorporate into my work skills now.
I think many are missing some of the nuances of the private verse public institution, cost, and quality of education. Firstly, one gets in what they put in. My experience was the classes were challenging, synthesis happen in all we did as long as we had the capacity for that level of thought and thinking.
Everyone of my classmate had a general interest in the subject matter of Leadership and the servant leadership model was emphasized throughout the program.
I was able to directly leverage my knowledge achieved through my graduate studies into a dream job as a director of an education department for a large forensic psychiatric hospital. So those that are bitter, I would subject that they would have achieved similar results at any school because you get what you put in.
Secondly, I have applied for a public university recently for a doctoral program and it has been a nightmare, nothing like my experience with GCU. The fact being they lost my application packet. This simply cannot happen at a private university because I have the power as a consumer and student to hold those people taking care of me accountable.
Public entities do not have the same accountability be it tenure or union contract. Also most of my instructors at GCU were retired military officers, two were generals. Many had real world leadership experience in both the military and private sector. Not strictly academic only experience. Also, my graduate degree was cheaper than my undergraduate due to a discounted tutition they offer veterans, which is awesome.
Having books to read rather than online books I felt was better as I have something to hold and share with others.
Lastly the graduation was next level at the Diamond Back field in Phoenix, speakers discussing servant leadership with all the stops pulled out. My experience was excellent with the university however I do not recommend the online university for everyone. Only those that are self starters and can handle the intense workload of writing and reading.
I've read tons of these reviews and it can be a good and bad school. I've just graduated from GCU with Masters in Education. Was it worth it? Yes!
Yes, much of the administration was disorganized, clueless, rude, unknowing in a lot of situations, but when you finally found the right person, it was excellent. I had a great principal that helped me with requirements for our state and in giving me a heads up when she thought I should question my GCU advisor etc.
Course work, You have to be prepared to write lots of papers and teach yourself, but that is why people go on line. You have to be self motivated and be responsible for deadlines.
I learned more in my onlne GCU classes than in two of the ground Universities I received my undergraduate degrees from.
Some teachers were excellent and some were non-existent. The CLC work (collaborative) was a joke, but it is in any school setting. There are always one or two people who do all the work in elementary, MS, HS, or college.
Technical problems are automatically put through to India. You just have to decide how long you can hold out and actually make a phone call to the ground school. Sometimes the techs in India were great help, it depended on why you needed tech support.
Over all, would I do it again? Yes. It was hard work, extremely time consuming, and I had several problems with computer and online stuff. Just know going in you have to be persistent and willing to do what it takes to finish. Many of these problems are the same as ground universities.