SUNY Empire State College Reviews
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Some instructors slow to post grades, and feedback. Constant outtages, and technology issues. I was going off to grad school, and was on a time constraint- was told by Empire administration to request grades early so that I would not be dropped, some of them refused saying they felt that they were doing me a favor. Meanwhile I was constantly bombarded by emails threatening to drop me from my graduate program. I experienced a number of personal/ professional setbacks while attending ESC, and the term was the longest I had ever experienced. I got good grades, but if I had to do it again, I would not! Grading is uneven. Instructors grade when they feel like it. Instructors may not respond to your email. Some fees go up each term.
Slow to post grades. Professors often do not communicate with students, and seem to work/post on their own time schedule. Throughout my six year academic career, I have NEVER experienced this before. Usually grades have been posted precisely when due, and there is high instructor feedback.
Good Overall. The school is great. But some professors are unprofessional. A L. is also professor at Skidmore College, and former students have negatively reviewed her there. She is an effective teacher, but does not grade in a timely fashion.
Helpful in some ways, horrific in others. I found many of the staff members rude, and unprofessional when I called. I worked hard and earned a 3.7 GPA and am on track for the same this term. Despite this the school passed me up for scholarships. I am earning both an associates, and bachelors this final term.
My degree was entirely online. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the mentors and faculty. they were all very knowledgeable and easy to learn from. their one -on-one help made completing assignments a breeze. The virtual classroom layouts were easy to navigate and well structured. the only issue i ran into was that at the end of my course work to graduate, the review board assumed that one legal class was the only deciding factor to my graduation despite having taken two other courses that covered the legal aspect needed.
Empire State College overall is a great school to attend. I was able to do all of my classes online, even though I live 45 minutes from their main campus, and that made it very convenient so I could continue to work full time and do my studies. My initial impression of the college was confusion. The students design their own degree program with the assistance of their mentor and chose what classes that they want to take. My mentor wasn't the best at explaining all of this to me. Once you put a degree plan together you have to write an essay explaining what you took and why you want to take it and get all of that approved as well by a panel. I didn't get my degree plan approved until right before I graduated because I was frustrated with it and decided to just move on and do it later. My mentor at first was good, she was responsive when I needed her and answered my questions for the most part, except for the degree planning stuff. About a year in though I wasn't happy with how long it started taking to get responses from her. I ended up having to ask for another mentor. In fact, I went through 3 while I was at this college. The last one was the best. If I had gotten her in the beginning I would have never needed another. I guess the first 2 were not just mentors but also teachers and I can only assume they got caught up in their course work that they didn't have time for me anymore. The teachers at the school were pretty good. I only ran into 2 or 3 who didn't like to respond to e-mails or questions and just let the class do what they wanted. They also didn't seem to pay much attention to the course work being done because I was getting all A's for discussion work that I know I fell short on but just ran out of time. The college also has all of their admin building in Saratoga Springs where I live but does not offer many classes there. If they had, I would have enjoyed going to a campus for at least some of my classes. I also would have liked to have seen more Information Technology classes offered. I was able to take 2 courses in Java and PHP but I would have liked to have seen one that focused on the UNIX language and BASH or shell scripting as well. Those are all very relevant to the IT world and highly used.
SUNY Empire State College is an excellent school. I highly recommend attending this institution for a number of reasons. I returned to finish my college degree and obtain my bachelor's in psychology. I found the enrollment process is easy as well as the application requirements were simple. I received an acceptance letter within the month of applying, which I did not have the anxiety of waiting months for a response. The school offers great support for new or returning students. For instance, SUNY provides a tutorial on how to use their platform and database, and for those students that will need a refresher, the tutorial is always available. For any changes to the platform, tutorials or FAQ's are available for guidance. The school's platform is also easy to use for everyone, including those that find technology challenging. I highly recommend the long distance option for busy adults that do not have time to sit in a classroom. Each course is flexible and does not require a specific login time. In addition, an academic advisor is provided for all students to assist in the transition to your new academic career. This is enforced with monthly meetings via phone, email, or Skype. This individual can assist with any obstacles with course selection and degree requirements for graduation. Moreover, the school offers academic coaches and tutors for students that need additional assistance. The professors are friendly and available for questions. My professors wrote my reference letters for graduate school and offered graduate school advice! Students are able to learn from the platform and benefit from the support despite the long distance program option.
I have been attending Empire since 2014 but this past fall semester was the worst semester I have ever experience in this institution. I dealt with VERY unprofessional professors that cared more about money than their students. What was the worst part about this experiences was that the administrative office supports these professors? To future and present students of Empire State College. PAY ATTENTION!!!!! I will be reporting this institution to Higher Education.
If you are new to online learning than it will take some time to adjust. I have had an overall, very good experience through Empire, and I would recommend it with some caveats. If you are expecting to be taught by instructors, you will be by enlarge disappointed. Although, some are engaged in the course work and require regular contact through out the semester to go over your papers, they are the exception rather than the rule. Furthermore, there are different platforms of learning for the same classes, e.g. independent study, and Module classrooms. The CDL, or module courses are more challenging with more stringent deadlines. Therefore, depending on your goals, I would recommend taking and independent study courses, same text, same material, same credit, less challenging.. The take away is this, if you have some discipline, are mature, responsible, and can learn without instruction you will do well. However, if you need constant feedback, and need to be told what to do, then online learning is not for you. If you stay in contact with your mentor, professors, and do the work, they are very accommodating and fair. My experience can be summarized along this format, you get the course syllabus online, you have the instructors telephone number and email, you purchase the assigned texts, read the chapters, do the projects or assignments, and submit the papers. THAT'S IT! No multiple choice exams, just reading, writing and meeting with your professor via telephone or email, 3 or 4 times a semester.. It's challenging, but very doable.. Again, I highly recommend it. I have become a much better writer and communicator as a result. In addition, if your a NYS resident, and have prior learning credits, you won't find a less expensive way to get a quality accredited degree from a State University .. PS. Purchase your books on Amazon, for a fraction of the price, don't fall for the bookstore inflated price rip off!!!
I feel that SUNY Empire State provides a thorough education, and really makes students work hard to earn credits, certificates, and degrees. You really must have (or develop) very good writing skills for anything at ESC. Even being online, the amount of collaboration and teamwork required (especially for the later courses) was excellent and meaningful. There were several on-site residencies which further enhanced interpersonal communications and teamwork. After graduating from both an Ivy-league college and professional (doctorate) school, I feel that I definitely received a quality education from ESC, and it really contributed to my professional development. I've also been able to lifelong connections with fellow students and professors which will be invaluable in my future.