National University Reviews
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There are more negatives than positives about National University. Before explaining my experience at the University, I want to provide a brief description of the institution. First, National University claims itself to be a non-for-profit organization that delivers both high quality education and educational services. Second, the institution has multiple mini campuses throughout California, and a few in other states such as Nevada. Third, the institution's main campus is at La Jolla, California. Fourth, the University offers online, on-campus, and combined online and on-campus courses for all majors. Fifth, the University has a wide selection of majors, but only offers the following: Bachelors, Masters, and certificates. I started attending National University in the summer of 2010. The reason why I chose National University in the first place is because I wanted an online teacher education program that is certified by the California Teaching Credentialing Department. Being both a full-time employee and a caretaker of two ill family members, I do not have the time to attend a traditional university. Upfront I knew that the cost of education at National will be quite expensive because it is a private educational institution. However, I did not know several other aspects about the University's financial aid practices, quality of on-site services, and quality of education. I relied on the information provided by the National University's website, which introduces the school's mission statement. Also, I relied on the information about the school provided by the admissions officer at the Costa Mesa, California campus. After a year and a half of attending National University, I realized that things were not getting better. The things that I am talking about are the quality of education, the services being provided to students, the attention given by the faculty, and the cost of education. First, I notice that every three to four months, National University sends an increase in tuition letter to all of its students. The students who are already attending the school have to pay the difference in the increase in tuition. I feel it is unfair for the students because they were told that the program will cost a certain amount at the time of entrance. For instance, I was told by my Admission advisor that the total cost of the teacher education program will be $22,000; instead, the amount became up to $30,000, because of National's financial practices. I learned recently, National just opened a new mini campus somewhere in California, which probably came out of students' pockets. It is quit bazaar that the school claims to be a non-for-profit organization. Second, in the process of my student teaching, I learned that National University is not the best school to get the best student teaching placement. Several school districts do not accept National University students, and there are multiple school districts that place the University's students last on the list. For instance, the director of student teaching placement Mr. Don Wise, had a difficult time finding a placement for me. Also, I was told by another National University student that Garden Grove Unified School District places National University's students last on the list. This student that told me the information said that she had spoken to one of the board of directors at the District. Third, the faculty, the department heads, the financial aid officers, the administration, and the credential advisors are all emotionally, and mentally distant from the students. I will try to explain a little bit better in the following sentences. The university’s staff are not involved or connected to the students' concerns and problems. The faculty members do not invest time helping the students grow both professionally and mentally such as educational wise. They have no empathy and sympathy for the students. More importantly, they do not care about the students' welfares and overall educational experiences. Instead, the faculty are more concerned about their own welfare such as getting a paycheck, and the university's welfare in terms of its connection with other institutions, and its financial goals. For example, the teacher education program directors and faculty members were not concerned on helping me improve and grow as a future educator. The education department directors and student teaching coordinators were too invested in listening to the words of the assigned Master Teachers. They are blind sighted in certain aspects when observing the student teacher, and they tend to misinterpret certain information. To me, the misinterpretation comes from the inability for the faculty members and directors to effectively communicate on an interpersonal basis. I describe an effective interpersonal communication process as one in which both the receiver and the sender listen, understand, and reach an agreement with each other. This did not happen with me when I was working with the professors, directors, and my master teachers. I did not receive an adequate amount of support, and advice for professional growth from all of the following: master teachers, professors, and directors. At the end I had to pay a huge price that is up to $30,000, which includes interest on an education that was not worthwhile. I tried to get some type of compensation back from the University's officials at the main campus. No one has contacted me back, which shows that they do not care.
I have attended National University for eight courses and have received A's in all of my courses. I am leaving at the end of the month to finish my graduate education elsewhere due to a change in goals. Even if I were not changing my objectives, I would still be leaving National. I feel that National has been one of the most expensive mistakes of my life. Yes, they are accredited and can get you your degree and teaching credential. Even so, the quality of instruction is not stellar. After all, how deep can you really dive into a subject in 4 weeks? There simply is not enough time to really get into a subject. Most of the assignments are a joke, and while you do have professors and live web chats, you will be teaching yourself. With a few exceptions, questions have been answered with vague responses or outright false information; this is especially in regards to assignment formatting. In regards to the "rigorous" nature of the courses, they are not. I was able to receive all of those A grades with little to no reading. Most of the papers were relatively short. The "signature assignment" in one course was a paltry 1500 words. For a graduate course??? I've also had some courses that employed texts which were woefully biased or utilized information that was outdated, particularly with the advent of Common Core Standards. Oh, and while every professor says that APA is required, almost every professor sees APA a bit different than what National considers as standard. I also loved the one professor who spent 10 minutes in a lecture explaining how important it was to use "Doctor" when addressing him - yes that sort of degree takes a lot of hard work, but when your PhD is from a second-rate school and your lessons are often unclear or even non-existent, you just sound as if you are a bit full of yourself. Financial Aid is a joke. Yes, you will get it, but you MUST stay on top of them or it will be delayed or messed up. If you can go to a brick and mortar school, please do; I though understand that is not always possible. Yes, National will get you your accredited degree and teaching credential, but don't expect amazing things.
I have heard they do have some great programs. I didn't start out in one. I chose digital media design, and I now scold myself for not seeking out others who had been in the program. If you like teaching yourself at the tune of $1500 per month, you love it! I switched to general studies to expedite my graduation, so I could learn digital media from actual teachers. I was told I would need 5 classes to complete that program. Eight classes later, on the exact day that I'm supposed to be finishing my final course I receive an email telling me that I need four more courses to graduate. I am furious. To be fair, the marketing professors are excellent, yet demanding. But I want demanding. In paying for this ridiculously expensive school I expect to learn and learn well. I am an excellent student, and I'm supposed to graduate with honors--that is if I ever get to. I think the school can be good for some, but do your research and get all promises in writing.
Absolutely horrid school. They exist to make money, not to provide you with a quality education. They did illegal things like: changed the graduation requirements $25,000 into the program, against the course catalogue. They lied and lost many important contracts vital to my education in the field.Be prepared to possibly fail a class even if you have over an A plus. If you don't pass the ATI (which they don't teach towards), they will remove you from the program. Units do not transfer. DO NOT GO HERE.
Does any advisor know what they are talking about? Why does financial aid information always change? Can I get a direct answer from anyone? Seriously, I don't know how they hire people here, but as far as advisors and financial aid officers go, IT'S NOT WORKING! One good thing, the teachers I have had so far seem to like teaching here and are totally willing to help students succeed. I can't wait to get out of here though. My advice would be to train the staff before they start advising people. It is people's lives there are messing with. Never been so stressed over school... and this isn't my first rodeo!
Very disappointed with my choice. I've had 9 classes and 1 great instructor. The classes require 1-3 hour chats in the evenings 1-2 days a week.
This was difficult for my schedule and may be for yours. Your advisor support was awful bounced between 2 advisors in 6 months, Financial Aid department is a wreck.
I just completed my BA with NU this year. I started off my college education on the traditional path at Wittenberg straight out of HS. I knew within a semester that particular path was not for me. I tranfered out to a community college where I got the support and foundation I needed to figure out what I wanted to do. Life took over and I ended up a mom and needed to be able to work. If you don't know what you want to do or need your hand held this school is not for you. The school is designed for serious students who have some direction already. I found the online tools extremely helpful for tracking my progress. The truth is their advisors are so so. However, the school give YOU the tools to succeed with your degree program. The requirements for the degrees are CLEARLY posted online. Anyone with half a brain can match up classes taken with classes needed.
The format is rigorous. However, you must understand you are doing a full semester's work in four weeks. Of course there are going to be multiple assignments during the week. Most of my instructors were engaging, helpful, and available. Feedback for coursework has been timely. I really appreciated the fact that the instructors are experienced with advanced degrees, not student teachers. There were only two instructors I had during the entirety of my time at NU that did the bare minimum (one did less than that and was promptly reprimanded by the department head, eventually let go). The thing with NU, though, is that they highly value student feedback. Give no feedback, and the school doesn't know what instructors are just skating by.
The fact is this is a private non for profit school. Anyone stating that the school was just in it for the money clearly has no understanding of how a non for profit works. NU has an excellent reputation and has high standards for their classes because they are REGIONALLY accredited and valued. You're not going to walk out of the door with a degree that's going to be laughed at. In fact, many counties contract with them to teach programs for their employees. Point blank: If you think you're going to sign up, pay your money and get handed a degree you're going to be dissapointed. If you're actually willing to put in the work for a quality education and be proactive in attaining it at an accellerated pace, this school may be for you.
National University has been one of the worst experiences in my life. The professors are o.k. but everything else about the way it is run and it's efficiency is absolutely terrible. It has already taken me 6 months longer than they told me the program was. I have never failed a class and have been enrolled full time the entire time.
They are constantly messing up scheduling. They has accidentally changed my program twice and had to fix it which set me back and had me take unnecessary classes which cost me money.
Their student teaching/internship program is absurd and there is a 80 year old woman doing my observations. Her feedback is incoherent. It takes several weeks for anyone to get back to you when you have a question or need something taken care of. If you are considering National, I would strongly recommend running away while you still can. Enroll in a program at ANY other school if you can.
I am currently studying my MBA at National University and it has been an amazing experience. All of my professors have been extremely knowledgeable and helpful in every subject thus far. I love the student to teacher ratio. This is an excellent program and I recommend it to anyone pursuing a Master's in Business Administration or any other subject.
From the first day I entered their facility I was lied to. I was told that I only needed a certain number of classes to graduate and they DOUBLED it on me half way through my education. They have this thing they call "Upper Division General Ed". General Ed is for junior college not getting your BA.
They also lied and told me that a certain class would fulfill more than one of their general ed requirements, and then they went back on their word. And of course, shockingly, when I was ready to graduate, they were waiting in the wings and told me that I didn't earn enough credits at NU and had to take yet another class.
Of course, because I was supposed to graduate in June, this extra class didn't happen until August, and what do you know, financial aid stops in June. So they tell me to reapply for the next school year, I jump through all those hoops only to get a nasty collection call telling me that I have to have 13.5 units to qualify for financial aid. Why did they tell me to apply if I wasn't going to qualify? Because they lie, and cheat, and steal and they aren't happy unless they are making someone else miserable. Do not go to this school, they treat you like a number not a person and all they care about is getting as much money as possible from you.