Northern Arizona University Reviews
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I attended Northern Arizona University from 1998-2002. While I began with a major in journalism, I changed my major to Elementary Education after my first semester. Like many people, I did not always appreciate the required general education courses I had to take before I began my studies that focused on my major. Although, I will say that I now appreciate the general knowledge I received taking the courses. The Education college was amazing and had such dynamic, world class professors teaching the courses. I remember one professor who had a couple hundred students in one section of her class. The first day, she had video cameras at each exit and asked us to say our name into the camera as we walked past. By the very next class period, she had all of our faces and names memorized! She had many, many cooperative activities to help us learn the concepts she was teaching. She was very memorable and made a huge impact on many of us. By my junior year I was part of a cohort focusing on multi-age classrooms. Our lead professor often traveled to schools in other countries wanting to set up multi-age classrooms in their schools. Our cohort spent many hours in local schools practicing methods and concepts taught at the university. By graduation, we had a good idea of what teaching in a classroom would be like. NAU had a great campus life. I especially enjoyed meeting up with a group of students in the Student Union at lunch time. And when I bashed my chin open on the ice of the local skating rink, the campus health center stitched me up! I took advantage of the campus swimming pool, and a life guard there helped me with my stroke. I even signed up for a private music room one time, just to tinker around on the piano. Fall and summer in Flagstaff are gorgeous. But the winter snow is a force to be reckoned with! I'm happy to live at a lower elevation now where the snow is not such an ordeal. NAU has a great, small town feel to it. If you're looking for a cheaper option and don't mind a small community, NAU is a great choice!
I thoroughly enjoyed attending NAU and living on campus. I lived in Tinsely Hall which was one of the best dorms on campus. I made a lot of good friends and those friendships helped me grow as an adult. The curriculum at NAU was great. I loved all of my teachers and learned a vast amount from them. I enjoyed Flagstaff very much and may decide to move there one day. My father, may he rest in peace, also loved Flagstaff.
NAU is a wonderful institution and the upper-level Anthropology courses were both challenging and intellectually stimulating. Not all colleges offer five sub-disciplines to choose from including Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Applied Anthropology. The opportunity to specialize can be a great tool for post-graduation career opportunities. As an undergraduate student, I grasped the concepts of human social, cultural, biological, prehistoric, and language systems. This program features a holistic cross-cultural approach. I also conducted independent research studies and archeological fieldwork. Students are required to take four semesters of language, which was challenging for me but extremely useful post-college. I learned about non-ethnocentrism, cultural relativism, cross-cultural emphasis, diachronic approach, and holism. Courses that I recommend include ANT 301 - Peoples of the World, ANT 306-Peoples of the Southwest, ANT309W- Cultural Anthropology, and ANT465- Indigenous Perspectives in Anthropology. I strongly recommend doing fieldwork or an independent study, as this will enrich your hands-on experience. My favorite class was ANT 305 - Peoples of Southwest, there is truly no better place to learn about Native American culture than Northern Arizona. Flagstaff is in close proximity to the Navajo and Hopi reservations, which provides for fertile learning. Another great feature of the B.A Anthropology is having the opportunity to self-select your minor. You must complete a minor of at least 18 units. I enjoyed my general electives and took various courses in health and women studies. My main critique of NAU is the lack of career services and this field generally doesn't have a high earning potential unless you pursue an advanced degree. Perhaps there are more services now than when I attended in 2009. Overall NAU is a good institution with well-trained professors.
I completed my Bachelor's of Dental Hygiene through Northern Arizona Universities online program. I had a great experience and was able to complete my degree in a short amount of time and a low cost. I am so glad that I completed my degree. Although it is not required to have a Bachelor's degree to be a hygienist in the clinical setting, it is important to help set you apart from the many applicants. It has also made it possible to teach in a dental hygiene program as an instructor. I was only able to accept an instructor position when it presented because I already had my degree.
I love NAU and I find the campus the perfect place for someone who wants a smaller college with a more personable atmosphere. That being said, the graduate program, though challenging at times, was not as demanding as I would have expected. My biggest concern is that we did not write a thesis, we did not have to present our thesis, or get our thesis published. Instead, we had to write 10-page papers and present at conferences, at least one to graduate--and it was easy enough to just present at the NAU Conference. I would have prefered to have a thesis and be on a publishing track of some kind. On the other hand, I do not regret my experience presenting at conferences out of state.
I loved the small feel of NAU's campus. Not just the cooler weather, but the old-town feel of the architecture and the environment on and off campus. It's a great place to find yourself. The campus is easy to navigate and the public bus system is great. I spent most of my time on North or Central campus, so I do not know much about South campus. I do know that the classes and course work are appropriate for what is expected of you and it is a very supportive campus.
I took the management emphasis which is essentially useless unless you manage to get a good internship(s) where they teach you applicable skills that are lacking at NAU. I'm sure the other emphasis areas may be better for the job market, however the faculty has fooled themselves (despite complaints from students) into thinking the curriculum they established is what the market needs. The market requires harder science classes. They have watered down this program with irrelevant classes and compared with a specialized science such as chemistry or environmental engineering, the Environmental Science students simply do not compete. I can only speak for the management emphasis but I felt mislead upon picking this because they mention how many electives you can take. I felt I could customize my education and pick from a variety of harder science classes, however I found it to be a rather small selection of classes that would be considered Liberal Arts (i.e. Environmental communication, Environmental Ethics, etc.). They should think about making a more challenging core curriculum for Environmental Science and focus more on natural resources management, atmospheric science, geology, chemistry, mathematics, economics, etc.
I attended the extended campus at Chandler Gilbert Community College. The education program was amazing, all the staff and professors have been very helpful and I felt like they truly cared about all of us. I feel prepared to enter into the career field as teacher because of NAU.
I would recommend perspectives students pursuing a degree in Elementary Education to attend Northern Arizona University. I would recommend this school and degree program because the content given and learned through the courses has allowed me to be the most prepared in becoming a successful teacher. Learning through real-world applications by being placed in various schools with multiple teachers which provides knowledge about the different styles of teaching. As well as learning to teach to a wide variety of students by understanding their needs and how to help them grow to become successful students that make an impact in society. Learning from instructors who have been teachers before and have specific knowledge about the topic they are teaching with effective strategies to implement in the classroom. The course materials at Northern Arizona University gave me the confidence to be this teacher for myself and my future students.
Northern Arizona University is a bargain for the wonderful and rich education you will receive if you choose to attend this University. The class sizes are small (though they were growing towards the end of my time at NAU due to an initiative at the state level) and the professors are knowledgeable, approachable, and helpful. The campus community is strong and inclusive, and the surrounding town of Flagstaff is beautiful, friendly, and something from a time bygone. The academics are rigorous, but you will receive the help and support you need, especially if you take the opportunity to seek it out. Living on campus was an experience that I will never forget, and my time in the dorms are some of the happiest and most memorable to date. I would highly recommend this University if you want an affordable, intimate, challenging education, and a fun and memorable college experience! Go Lumberjacks!