University of Maryland University College Reviews
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I can say UMUC Graduate program I successfully completed was challenging and very demanding. Be prepared to write and use your critical thinking skills. The key is to log on every evening including weekends to stand above your peers. Take no more than 2 classes at a time. The professors are tough and demanding. On the other hand, the effort you put into the program will pay off. Stay focused and participate beyond the minimum during collaboration time with your colleagues. Like any graduate program, it requires discipline, lots of research, and above average writing skills.
In reading many of these reviews it appears that the positives are spot on and the negatives seem like sour grapes, to me anyway. I have nothing but praise for this school. I took both on-line and in-person classes and they were pretty fair and consistent. The support answer all questions in a timely manner and I never had any real delay with them getting back to me. The professors like any other school can be hit or miss but, all were professional. I actually enjoyed many of them as they appeared very personable and easy to contact. As for the work, I do believe that they have a pretty balanced curriculum. Some classes were tough while others were a breeze. I believe that school is what YOU make it ad if you are constantly displeased and this gives you an attitude towards the school, you're only going to make matters worse. I could deduce from most of the one star reviews that while the school may have had issues, the students probably made the resolution of those issues much more difficult. I really like UMUC and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an advanced education.
Overall, I will have to say that my experience at UMUC has been great. There have been a couple of snags with the financial aid offices, but any problems have been laid out and resolved very quickly. When it comes to financial aid, always be sure that you keep track of it, if anything changes with your GPA or status it can change drastically. The most impressive part of my experience thus far has been the quality of material and instruction. The courses are very interactive and require a lot of your time, YOU WILL HAVE TO EARN THIS DEGREE. Many students come into an online program expecting to breeze through the program, this will not be that case. Many professors are adjunct with other schools and their teaching styles prove it, many coming from UMD or Penn State. If you are willing to learn and work, you will gain a great degree, with a great deal of knowledge.
The admissions, administration, financial aid, and disability departments are terrible. They make no accommodations for disabled people at all. The staff is ignorant of the law. (-Asked for medical records which is illegal.) Both Webtycho and LEO are awful. I have had teachers who cannot even use the system. I have also had great professors. I am not sure the professors are enough to endure the rest.
The Information Systems Management program at UM is very good, it provides a very thorough look at the mid to high level picture of IT. One weak spot is that it doesn't provide much knowledge for the lower level IT functions. Since most new to the workforce employee will be starting out in help desk, this is a potential weakness in the program, but overall it was a great program and was well work the money and effort.
The negative reviews posted seem to be heavily weighted towards the financial aid and customer service aspects of UMUC. While I have never had an issue with the staff's professionalism or helpfulness, if the customer service at UMUC is an issue, it's probably unfair to drag the reputation of the entire university through the mud to vent your frustration with the administration office's personnel and your financial aid issues. Over the last seven years that I have been (slowly) working towards my degree, I have found that 90% of my professors were quality educators that are very dedicated to teaching. Some of them have been downright outstanding and carry some big time credentials in their field. In my experience, you better come prepared to learn and contribute to the classes. Yes, you have to contribute in the discussion forums. Getting As and Bs shouldn't be enough to pass, as learning in an online environment is very different than a traditional setting. Discussion forums are an important element to online learning. Some may not like this fact, but you know what you are getting into when you choose an online program and I personally feel good knowing that an academic standard is being upheld. The reviewers that commented on how they are in the military and now owe the school money; that is their fault. This means that they signed up for classes through the university instead of their respective service's education portal. That is the only way that the university would come after you directly for payment if you are in the military. And you are specifically told not to sign up for classes this way by both UMUC and your service's education advisors. Follow directions next time.
I've been attending UMUC for several years now. The only reason being is that not many colleges around the DMV area provide Homeland Security classes. Everything about this school is horrible. The online LEO/WebTycho never worked well , the tech support was scrappy and god forbid you try to talk with an advisor. I never was assigned a counselor or advisor. I had to email them to even know I was accepted into the school. I also didn't know my graduation status until they sent me an invite to my own graduation! the professors are hit and miss. I had one great professor this semester and one that was terrible. He was very rude to the class and gave out ridiculously high demands. I have to take the class over (which will be difficult because I graduate in May) because I missed three discussions. The fact that my grades are so dependant on discussions is ridiculous. I got As and Bs on most projects only to fail or get a C because the discussion requirements weren't met. Save yourself the time, money and stress level; go to a different school. Another note, talking to anyone on the help lines is pointless. It's a constant circle and financial aid is like talking to a wall. I had a refund to my account and instead of informing me that I had to call another financial organization, they said it was refunded. no, no it was not. three months later!!!! It was refunded and only then did they tell me -I- had to call the other company to get the refund. infuriating.
The Staff need to take their own Effective Communication course! I am a new student and I have been trying to enroll since Dec but missed Spring enrollment because of poor communications. I kept sending my requirements but no one is updating my file. And yet, the staff kept on sending me standard generated emails instead, asking for documents that are not applicable...i.e. Tuition Assistance (I have an approved Post GI Bill?), Re-enlistment (I sent a DD 214 for my retirement already?), residency status (I am in the military?)...
I started the Bachelors program in Investigative Forensics at UMUC in the fall of 2014. I found that the classes were just as informative and difficult as the classes that i attended for my Associates Degree. I was concerned about the online learning experience but found that since I had to read the material myself and not rely on a teachers study guide, I feel that I actually learned more. The education here is great. I can understand some concerns that others have expressed about the administration. They can be difficult to get hold of,but no more so than any other college. The financial aid department could be more helpful. They present you with the information needed, but really do not assist at all. I have found that the best thing to do is align yourself with a great student advisor. Overall, I would recommend this school to anyone that cannot attend traditional classes.
I graduated with an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology in December 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed my degree program and will recommend it to any educator. However, I am growing very concerned with UMUC's direction and its quest to attract qualified students at the graduate level. I believe that each graduate program should require that students submit standardized scores or a writing essay for admission into the program. Having graduated from an institution that is regarded in high esteem, it saddens me that UMUC's graduate admissions requirements are not more stringent. UMUC needs to focus on being a state school, appeal to overseas students and military/veterans. In a move to enroll just anybody will certainly be the death of its reputation.