National University Reviews - Master's in Education
Review of Education Masters Degrees
DO NOT DO National. I regret so much joining this program. I've had to juggle my classes which are accelerated AND had to deal with financial aid mishaps AND TWICE had emails sent to me notifying me that I would have 24 hours to schedule, study and pay for a required state test before moving on to my next course? My advisor was of absolutely no help, nor were the 'specialists' assigned to me, but I'm still paying $1,895 a month and RISING. One specialist just straight up passed me on to the department head because "she couldn't answer my questions" and because she had over 600 students in her caseload it was really up to me to reach out and ask questions, not up to her to give me a heads up on program function. On top of that they have just announced they are RAISING tuition, effective IMMEDIATELY. No consideration of grandfathering in the students who are already enrolled and struggling. Classes are accelerated, in some cases, you are reading up to 3 textbooks a month with 2-4 large papers every week. Online meetings are MANDATORY in almost ALL classes but you don't know what day you will be meeting until the week class starts. In some degrees, like mine, you have to make time to drive up to 50 miles out of your way ONCE a WEEK for a class. That is NOT sustainable, nor is it what they said when they said the program was built for a working lifestyle. There is also no room for complaints or feedback as they have a disclaimer in the contract that they can remove you at any time if you start to air grievances. They pointed this out to me when I sent an email for a clear and cohesive timeline of my programs when I got tired of taking last minute required tests. Lots of turnover in financial aid and as a result i had to pay out of pocket to continue my classes for 3 months before it finally kicked in, I revisited the same documents multiple times due to misinformation and mishandling/loss of paperwork. Plus the less than 24 hours to study for an $80 and $160 test. But the closest you'll hear to even an apology will be "I can't speak to what happened before". Research a better institute. Professors here are great but only worth it if you don't mind spending an equal part of energy on your own admin work
The program is fast and online. For student teaching they place to at a nearby school district. The price is really high, but the instructors are ok. I had 3 or 4 different counselors. Some good some bad. The credential representative is terrible. He is disrespectful and makes sure you know he doesn't want to help you. I have met with him and called him a few times and each and every time he was spoken down at me. Others in my program had already warned me that he is rude and disrespectful, but I was surprised to see to what extent. National University charges so much in tuition, at the very least they should hire support staff that are willing to actually help students and do their job. I would not recommend this school to anyone unless you want to pay high tuition just to be disrespected and talked down on.
I had nothing but problems with National University. I had to repeat the same assignments in every class, regardless of what the class was supposed to teach. I did not obtain valuable knowledge. I did graduation with a 3.7 G.P.A. This is not because they taught me anything.I was denied the opportunity to do an Internship to obtain my teaching credential. I had to quit my job and go through student teaching unpaid because of mistakes on their end. I am not way further in debt than I ever should have been. I would not recommend National University to anyone who cares about their education.
Friends, the graduation rate of a college is a good indicator of the support you can expect. NU is one of the worst. Learn from my mistake. I paid $70,000 in tuition, took an incomplete. The financial aid office dropped the ball, and now they want $7,000 in tuition before I can graduate and take my final class for my Master's. I don't qualify for any more financial aide, and I am not made of money. So I get nothing for my three years of graduate study and got saddled with 70k in debt. I did get a teaching credential so there is some hope for my future. They don't help their students at all, horrible school. Go to a better university or don't go at all...in a land of broken toilets the plumber is King. My cousin is in a trade and makes $100,000 with two years of community college. Who needs all the debt, expense and toil of a graduate degree? For most of us it isn't the fast track to anything but debt and disappointment. With NU's dismal 26% graduation rate, the education they offer is little more than legalized banditry. Save your money for a more deserving school.
I don't usually need to complain unless there are so many horrible reasons I need to and this for sure is one of them. I'll start with one positive which is most of my teachers were great. Now onto the negatives: I am not sure if my program was new but National University made several changes throughout my program and tried to have me go along with the catalog that was not my year! Financial Aid started out great, but for sure I wasn't really let in to how much the whole program was going to cost. I only had 3 online courses which were the worst online courses you have ever taken. The teachers and the program was very unprofessional. After taking the courses, it was even worse. I was told I was able to do my internship at one site then my site supervisor said I could not anymore even though she signed off on it. I went on to write my thesis paper, had no support from staff and teachers when questions were asked! I felt like they put off a great front, great teachers, great education, and then once you pay them for the classes, they could care less about you. It is a waste of time and money, invest your money in an education more worthy. There seems be a theme to National University it is unprofessionalism. All the students I attended with felt the same way so it validates that I am not the only one.
I am seeing people complain about the school but I have had an overall positive experience. I am seeking a special education credential and masters. I feel I have been completely supported by my National person who oversees my internship. I can call for advice on any questions or challenges I encounter. Financial aid? Never has been a problem, it has always come through like clockwork, provided I filled out the forms correctly. Learning? Be prepared to work hard. I have attended 2 community colleges and 2 CSUs and in general the work load at National has been far greater than any of these other schools. I figure its because they need to makeup for not having students in a physical class. I think people who feel unsupported are just people who are not appropriate for online study. To be successful in this online program you must be a self directed learner. I believe that if you are nit self directed and committed, this program will be extremely difficult and a disappointment to you. For people who are independent learners, the online program is excellent. I will receive my masters in 2 months and I enjoyed the flexibility the program provided me in relation to both my professional and personal life.
Having read all the other reviews of National on this site, I feel compelled to offer my experience there as a reference point. I graduated with a BA from UCSD in 2005, and spent two years in retail, trying to figure out what to do with my life. I chose National because they credential more teachers than any other school in the state, and I could get my teaching credential and my Master's in 18 months start to finish. Since I lived in San Diego at the time, I started by going to their brick and mortar campuses, of which they had three at the time. (I know that now they have several more). I had a good experience going to the classes but I found them boring. I was working 6AM-4PM in a warehouse, and then I would drive to school for class from 5PM to 10PM three times a week. On my off nights I was doing homework. After about 6 months my schedule at work changed, and so I switched to online. Although people said that online was bad at National, I actually found it to be perfect. It is very fast-paced, very self-directed, and very rigorous. I learned that procrastination is the enemy, and their standards are high. If you're not a self-directed learner, then National is not for you. As soon as I switched over to the online program, I realized that's what I should have been doing from the start. There were discussion forums, papers, and a capstone project which was a digital portfolio. Overall, I had no problems with this format, and although keeping up with the reading was hard, I was a straight A student the entire time. I had zero negative interactions with students or professors the whole time I was there. When you go to class online, the professor just facilitates and grades. I had no problems there, and I don't see how someone can have a problem with a professor who, in effect, does nothing but give assignments and grade them. If you do shoddy work, you will earn low grades. When I was going to classes in the brick and mortar, I met some professors who I liked more than others, and some were easier or harder graders, but nothing out of the ordinary. I made friends with people in my classes, and that's the only thing I missed when I switched to online. I had zero problems with my enrollment plan, there were no hidden fees or surprises, and my financial aid came through like clock-work. Half-way through my 18 months, my loan got sold to another bank, and there was some paper-work involved. I don't remember that being an issue at all, and the payments came on time. If I needed help, I sent an email and got a prompt reply. A lot of people on this site are complaining about Financial Aid and Enrollment issues. I really don't see why. I walked in, told them what I wanted to study, and they had me enrolled for the full 18 month program and had my financial aid papers ready in less than 2 hours. How is it possible to get to a point in the program where you don't know how many classes you need to graduate? Just look at your paperwork carefully and stay on top of your lender. From that moment forward it was 100 miles an hour until I finished. Perhaps my advantage was that I lived in San Diego, and I could just go to their office if I had a question. If you live out of state the situation may be different. National is not for everyone. You must be self-directed, very organized, a fast reader, and good with technology. Their portal at the time (we're talking about 2006, so I'm sure it's better now) was not easy to navigate at first, but you get the hang of it. Nobody there will hold your hand, and you need to self-advocate if you need help. The truth is, I was NOT that person when I entered National, and the work-load at first was a shock to the system. I reoriented my study habits very quickly after that, and I'm a better person for it. You must be prepared for this if you want to go to National. If you have these qualities already, or think you can learn them, then you should choose National for your education. If you have any hesitation, then don't go to National. There are schools that are easier and cheaper than National University. But if this your big push to get ahead in your career, then you should go to the most rigorous program you can stand, even if it does cost more, because there is where you will learn the skills to help you succeed at work. I spent $36K on my degree there, and I find it money well spent. I don't miss the long hours, but I don't begrudge them either. My education there led to immediate full time employment, and I have been fully employed as a High School English teacher since then.