Thomas Edison State University Reviews - Bachelor's in Computer Science
I chose TESU because it was the only option my current job allows. It has its upsides. They're very generous with credit transfers. They offer a highly flexible schedule, both through the nature of online programs and by allowing students to enroll in classes at the start of any month. Their tuition costs are relatively affordable. TESU is a great school if your only interest is to put a degree on your resume from somewhere accredited with as little time and effort as possible. What TESU won't offer, however, is any kind of effort on their part to teach you anything. This is what you can expect from all your classes: 1. Buy your required books. 2. Do end-of-chapter activities and soulless forum participation (95% of the time utterly ignored by professors) by Sunday of every week. Unless you're taking a "Guided Study" course, which is just a flowery way of saying you won't be required to talk to other students on a forum. 3. Take midterm and final exams that are often filled with questions that don't even gauge your understanding of concepts, but rather your ability to memorize minutia scattered throughout the book. I understand it's not easy to provide education through an online platform, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on this. Actually, scratch that; it's very easy. There are countless resources online. Most are amazing. Many are practically free. Average people are doing on Youtube for hardly any ad revenue what TESU is apparently incapable of doing for $7,000 a year per student. I watched videos of (free) Carnegie Mellon lectures, yearning to be back in the presence of someone who offers substance, rather than someone who is probably spread far too thin and forced to grade as many assignments as possible for the sake of cutting corners. TESU is thoroughly solidifying my cynicism of higher education. We're not paying to learn. We're paying for permission to work.
I already had a degree in Engineering, but from many years ago, and liked the self-directed / guided study approach which Thomas Edison takes and their willingness to apply so many of my credits towards a second degree in Computer Science. If you are self-disciplined and willing to manage your time, you can take 2-3 courses in the Comp Sci area of study and do quite well. I am very happy so far and would recommend (I do still have 2 classes to go). The only thing I would prefer is more options for GS rather than OL ( the former has more homework but no need to post on forums and interact with other students as in OL - which is a time waster for me).
I didn't learn very much from Thomas Edison since most of the courses for my major were transferred from a community college. This really disappointed me since I felt that community college classes fall short of providing the level of study to award a Bachelor degree. The rest of the classes I took were gen ed and math which didn't help me much. I felt that most mentors didn't really participate in the course besides assigning homework and grading tests. You're pretty much left on your own to deal with a textbook that may or may not be enough to learn the material. Not having feed back was a big issue. You never knew how well or poorly you were doing until it was too late. Unfortunately I found out after graduating that most prospective employers didn't value the degree as much as going to a school and attending classes in person. I would avoid technology degrees and if you still choose to make sure you immediately try to get accepted into a graduate program where you can attend in person.
To preface, I already had a Bachelors from a more traditional school, I took some courses to prepare for a MS program. I paid the $5500 to take 36 credits over a year, I ended up taking 8 classes. It was pretty up and down. I had some good professors who would respond within a day or so, I had some who never responded to a single email. I had a couple classes where it was obvious that the professor never checked the homework and just gave you an A if you submitted anything. No video lessons or office hours so you are really teaching yourself everything and paying for a syllabus and credit. My biggest problem was with a class where I submitted an assignment and the professor claimed that it was never received. This was a professor who is no longer working there but on the first day of class he said that he liked teaching online classes because he liked failing people from multiple states. I also had problems with the online tests in that they were very poorly made and during math exams some of the non-alphanumeric characters came out all distorted or out of place. I asked the online proctor to make a note of it and they said they did but when I questioned it they said that they lost the screenshot of my problem. I didn't do well on the exam because I missed a good 20% of it due to those issues and the dean's office was extremely hostile and refused to review the situation anymore. They said it was my fault for not having up-to-date Java (which I updated right before because you are prompted to before the exam). Despite all this, I was able to get into my target graduate program and it was relatively affordable. I however can't recommend this to people getting their first degree. Many employers don't take online colleges seriously and this isn't a very good school. Perhaps if you are in the military and want to knock out some prereqs.
Read all the negative reviews with a grain of salt. There are A LOT of lazy people that are attracted to online schools. TESC is no different. My experience has been good, it's like any other online school. You have to put in the time to learn the subject - it doesn't just come naturally. If it did, then everyone would have a degree. TESC really will help you, they're there to help you succeed. You getting a degree helps them look better. Sometimes there are bad instructors, it happens at every school. I had one who just blatantly told me to google the problems, then failed me for not doing it the way he wanted. So I filed a complaint and got a full "credit" (meaning I was able to re-take the class without paying) Sometimes there are great instructors, who will hold your hand and guide you through everything. The work is on you though. For the subjects I have trouble with (anything Math) I use online videos to help, iTunes U has a lot, your YouTube.