Grand Canyon University Reviews
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I left University of Phoenix to transfer to GCU. It was a mistake. The website is not stable, I get kicked off Angel (their web site) all the time. You spend 10 minutes writing a response to a post and it does not post because you were timed out.
Yet sometimes I go to bed with the computer on and I am still on the school's web site after all night. There is no logic behind it.
They are changing to e-books. But... you have to be online to open the book. I downloaded my text books from 2 classes to my laptop, and while on a long flight I decided to read a chapter or two. WRONG, they say it is for Copyright reasons, but if you are not online, you cannot open your books.
They changed classes from 3 hours classes to 4 hours classes as a way to increase the tuition, and THAT screwed up the system.
The website changes ever semester, and there is no standardization between classes. In one class assignments will be under the Classroom tab, and in another it will be in the Syllabus. You have to hunt until you find what you are looking for.
Unique to GCU is the CLC, the Cooperative Learning Community, or some such nonsense. Most classes you are divided up into 3 to 5 person groups for a PowerPoint presentation or a paper. It is rare that the entire group contributes. Often it is me and one team mate that complete the assignment.
Bottom line, avoid GCU like you would a sexually transmitted disease until they get the bugs worked out.
I just finished my first class at GCU. I totally loved it. I have read alot of reviews about not being able to get in touch with advisors, but I have had NO problems with this. I always talk to everyone the same day I try to reach them. Alot of time they answer the phone when I call. I even get occasional calls from an advisor just to see how my week is going and if I am having problems.
I am very excited to start my next class. I would highly recomend this college to anyone seeking an online university.
Before I chose this school, I read all reviews, good and bad. The bad ones honestly scared me, but after weighing all of my options, thought this school was the best choose for me. I am glad! On the bad reviews I read, students said they could never get a hold of academic or financial counselors. I have emailed them ALL and they get back to me by the end of the day I email. And they are awesome and help me with everything!
The coursework online is fun, and feels like a classroom if you put effort into it. You use Discussion Forums to participate in student discussions, and to me, it feels like I am talking with people face to face. So far, nothing but positive thoughts about Grand Canyon University!
I am amazed at all the negative reviews I have read. However, after reading a few you will see their is a trend. Everyone that is complaining is complaining about how someone from the school hasn't held their hand long enough or cut their steak into small enough pieces.
I am in my last class, in 7 week I will have my MBA. Before GCU, I spent a year at Penn State transferring to Christopher Newport University in Virginia (my home state) Family couldn't afford out of state tuition.
I got my Paramedic from VCU (Virginia Commonwealth Univ)
What I am getting at is I have had my share of college experiences. In fact I finished my last year at CNU online. The problems that everyone has discussed are no different than any other school.
Learn to work the problem folks.... you call and leave a message with no call back.... call them back a ask to talk with the next available representative.
In fact, I didn't pay attention to the course calendar and forgot to start a class, after four days without the first post..... GCU called me to make sure everything was ok! How about that!!!
The online forum (ANGLE) is great! I love it. CLCs (yeah so what, you do more work that someone else and they get a good grade) Welcome to the real world!
The only heartburn I have was the switch from 3 credit to 4 credits per class. I will have taken 16 classes when I am done, now the same MBA is like 9-10 classes. Plus I had an extra class pop up in the end? The one I am taking now. This only effects those of us that where unfortunate enough to be enrolled during the switch. It will have no impact on new students.
The course material has been very educational and stimulating.... yes weekly papers has just about got me burned out. For those that complain..... I ask you this: Have you got a better system? If so, whats the name of your University? exactly!!
Hopefully you expand your research past this site. I assure you that GCU is a great school. You get out of it what you put in! If you are a mommy's boy that doesn't know how to do his/her own laundry, then yes GCU may not be the best place for you!
Sincerely, Alex Austin GCU MBA 2010
I just completed the Masters program in Leadership and have had some real challenging classes. I have learned very much in the subject of leadership and this will help me now and in the future. I would recommend GCU to anyone looking to attain their degree.
I have taken 5 classes so far toward my BA in Communications. My biggest complaint is the CLC's in nearly every class. They are very frustrating; 1 or 2 people do all the work while everyone in the group gets the same grade. It sucks! Next, why are there people who can't form simple sentences (4th grade level)in all my classes? Why were they even admitted, and why are they passing? A couple of my classes were very redundant, and I wonder when I am actually going to learn something other than APA or MLA. I get easy A's in all my classes--I would like to be challenged a bit more.
The counselors have been fair, but tech support has never returned my calls. I have not had major problems, but I have to say that writing long essays every week is tiring. I do have complaints, but all in all, I think GCU is not very different from other on-line schools--at least in Communications.
I intend to stick it out because I don't want the possibility of the same issues at another school and I am set in my ways. I think it all depends on who your enrollment, academic, and financial counselors are whether or not you will like the school. Mine are fine, although you can expect to wait a day or two before they get back to you.
First let me start off by saying that I am a student at GCU (online). I know what you are thinking, how can he be a student and be against the school. Well here is the answer. I started in the Summer of 2009 working on a MS in Leadership. I have taken 6 classes from this school. Well recently GCU has changed the curriculum for the degree. This effects hundreds if not thousands of students online at GCU. The new curriculum only has 9 classes to get the degree and each class is worth 4 credit hours now. When I started it was 12 classes, at 3 credit hours per course . The problem I have is, that as of right now, I have 5 classes to complete before graduating with the degree. If you do the math, I will have taken 11 classes, whereas, someone who just joins only has to take 9 classes. I contacted GCU about the problem and was told that the Curriculum Board changed it and there was nothing they could do. I then told them that it isn't fair because, I paid for 2 classes that aren't even required anymore and that someone who starts the degree can finish the degree in 6-9 months, where it is going to take me 15 months. I am sure this problem effected thousands, because I was told by GCU, that every course got changed. Unfortunately, I took 2 classes for nothing and no one seems to care, but me! I received some stupid drafted up, microsoft excel spreadsheet that determined what courses were transferable and which one's weren't. GCU only seems to care about money and with the changes, they received more money from me. Also, the way I figured it up, I will have 39 hrs to complete the degree, when the degree is only 36 hrs. to complete. I urge people to stay away from this school. Research schools before you get started. Also, the only reason I am staying at GCU is, because I am this close to graduating. If I transferred, I probably will have to lose hours, which would put be behind. Therefore, GCU kind of has you by the balls with this situation!
I would highly recommend staying away from GCU. I have had problems from the very beginning. My academic advisor was changed 3 times before my classes even started and I think I'm on my 6th finance counselor. I completed one semester there in which I found the classes redundant with each other, the professors very unresponsive to questions or not leaving feedback to discussion questions at all.
All you do is write papers week after week after week. There are no tests at all and your papers can be full of fluff and you still get a good gade. I purposely wrote a paper that I though pretty much sucked, it met the assignment criteria, but all in all I didn't put forth much effort. I still got an A on that paper. Granted it wasn't the 100 I had been earning but a 96 because instead of exceeding expections I only met them.
C'mon now, I'm the student and thought the paper I wrote was bad. That certainly doesn't say much as far their standards are concered.
Then I decided to not attend the next semester and I requested to drop before the deadline, which was done, however in doing so, they cancelled my federal student loan that should have paid for fall and spring. I then get a letter that over $3,000 is due and payable immediately or I will be turned into collections. I called my finance counselor, only to be directed to yet again, a new person and explained that only the spring funds should have been cancelled.
It has been a terrible game of cat and mouse to get this resolved. Today is April 16th and I have been working with them since January to get this fixed. Now the problem is that they finally re-requested my funds and due to the problems I have had, my student loan guarantor wanted me to endorse the checks to be sure that no other funds were taken that I didn't want, so I did that...and now the school has lost those checks and can't find them. We are talking almost $6,000.
NO ONE really seems to care. I am about to catch a flight down there and not leave until this gets resolved. I am ready to request a stop pay on those checks and have new checks issued, maybe to me only and then I can pay them - then at least I know where the money is and that the school has gotten paid.
This school is so unorganized, unprofessional and the curriculum is a joke. I've take jr. college classes that were much more challenging. Might I suggest CSU online (Colo State). It's called CSU-Global and get this...they guarantee your tuition rate for as long as you are enrolled. They are half the price of GCU too!!! Go figure - a school that actually seems to care
Solicited us at work, made me feel like I needed a second masters to get my teaching cert. They pushed me through all the paperwork and charged my card in the blink of an eye. Their program has more classes than anyone else, they won't transfer credits, the classes are difficult and not relevant to teaching and worst of all they misinform you of the refund policy then keep all your money. It's their word against yours, so guess who wins.
I am enrolled in the M.Ed Curriculum & Instruction with Technology. Before I enrolled at GCU, a representative from Mindstreams came to my school to talk to teachers about going back to school for a Master's degree. Well, I hadn't considered it because I have one Master's already. Then after thinking about it, I decided to obtain another master's in education with technology. Mindstream recommended GCU because it was supposed to be the number one online school.
Now I am wondering if there is a connection with Mindstream and GCU. I have never been able to get my financial or academic counselor on the phone without trying several times. They never return e-mails. (I have had one e-mail returned in the year I have been enrolled.)
Once I got a call from my academic advisor and I about fell over. It was busy instructing my class at the time, but I stopped my class to talk to this advisor because I knew that I may never get an opportunity to talk to him again. I mentioned that they have not examined my transcript from my former master's degree. The reply was that they never received it. Now I know they did because I had my former university send a certified return receipt to GCU. My former school sent me a copy of the signed receipt.
The classes are all the same. CLC papers with one or two people doing all the work. Everyone in the group gets the same grade. If everyone participates, you find out that most of the students cannot write past the 6th grade level. Therefore the workers clean up the paper. The same topics are addressed in every class. The assignments are the same in most classes, with a little variation.
So far, I have done very little with technology. The emphasis is more about the APA writing style than on content. About half of the professors are competent and the other half incompetent. One instructor did not seem to understand that multimedia is more than online projects. The required textbook for my current class has nothing to do with the class content. I do not think many of my papers have been graded. I just got an A without reason.
They are always improving Angel, so you cannot get onto the classroom site. They have these meet and greet forums to voice your concerns. Supposedly you can get feedback from the university, but once you give a negative response, they take you off the forum site.
The university changed from a 3 hour course format to a 4 hour course format. They have not really informed students about how it effects them. Some students believe that they are enrolled in all 4 credit courses from now on and they will graduate early. Some students believe that GCU will not confer a Master's degree upon those of us who started the program in the 3 hour program. I don't think either theory is correct, but who knows. GCU will not even accept their own classes if one decides to transfer to the 4 credit model. I have written my academic counselor about this and have never had a response.
I don't think I have learned one thing that I already didn't know. The classes have not been challenging. The most challenging thing is wondering what APA error will be found in my paper.
I am wasting my money and time. If it weren't that I am almost finished, I would transfer.