Walden University Reviews
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I decided to pursue an online MSN degree with Walden University. While I am not dissatisfied with my experience with Walden, it was quite challenging finding my own preceptors and not being able to physically access the school, instructors, classmates, etc. I successfully passed the FNP boards after completing the MSN, FNP program. If I could go back in time, I may have done things a little differently, but more so out of personal preference, not out of dissatisfaction with the program. Online programs offer a different way of learning and this should be kept in mind of those who are thinking about obtaining a degree through this route.
Please be aware that Walden University working school week is only 6 days. Day 1 is Monday, Wednesday initial assignments are due and by SATURDAY all other work is due. This is extremely hard for the working nurse and mom to lose a whole day. I will be considering a transfer out of the program due to this.
The academics I have received at Walden are good, however my experience with the Financial Aid office is less than par, if not absolutely horrible. Master's programs are expensive enough without having to deal with loan issues, caused by the University you are attending. Walden is at fault for an extreme delay in my loan disbursement and release, causing my family serious financial constraints and problems. Even though they are at fault they offer absolutely no resolution to my problems, of which they caused!!! There are many Universities that offer flexible online degree programs, with equally supportive financial aid teams. Everyone deserves a University who provides both. Beware of Walden!!!!
I guess I can't speak to some of the other programs that people are leaving poor reviews about, but my experience has been great. The teachers are professional and available to me when I need them. The material is what I expected from an MBA but exceeded my exceptions for an online course. The consolers have been knowledge and able to work with me when I needed to take a class off. I was able to take the class and then jump right back in when the next one started. The website works fine. If people are having issues with it, it is because they are using an outdated browser. I have even been able to use the website from my phone. Walden is more expensive than other online MBAs but the quality of the class is worth it. This is not a degree mill school. The grades you make are earned and not given. I was able to find the financial aide I needed and there was only as much hassle as you'd expect if you have ever applied for aide. They offer a discount for military as well. I will consider Walden for my DBA in the future and I highly recommend their MBA program.
Adult learners be aware. I'm very dissatisfied with the lack of empathy of instruction and circumstances. They seemed to more interested in money than with student success. Instructors seem to be facilitators of chatrooms rather than providing significant teaching of course material. Overall, I find Walden lacking quality instruction for course material. The technology of the chat room is a decade old with no video or lecture ability. Collaboration is great...however, it is mostly with students and is not real time. often many hours or even days go by without instructor feedback.
Walden started out good; however, thank goodness I am almost finished because they have been progressively been getting worse and worse. Academic advising has always been very bad and they know nothing about the field experience programs (clinicals). It is impossible to speak to an actual person regarding the field experience and they do not respond well to emails. It once took 5 weeks to get a response to an email which made the question obsolete as it was a question that a potential clinical place had and by the time I got the answer, it was past the deadline to turn in an application for the next clinical rotation. There is NO help in setting up clinical sites, you must do this all yourself. It sucks to be a middle person when trying to set up a phone contact, the instructor never responded to my preceptor (she tried multiple times) which makes Walden look bad, and I am embarrassed because I'm thinking they are wondering what type of school am I going to and what kind of education am I getting?! Other online schools have utilize alternate resources such as webinars and video lecture which would come in handy as options for someone who is having difficulty understanding a concept. I know some other schools also set up one or two times that a student must travel to the school in order to go over some of the physical assessment things (such as pelvic exams and prostate exams) which I think would have been helpful. I personally know people who are having a lot of difficulties with Walden and I do not recommend anyone to go here.
VIRTUAL FITS A BUSY LIFE. As a working professional, Walden was the perfect choice for me. The ability to do my coursework around my own schedule was of keen importance. There is a schedule and cadence of coursework to which one must adhere, so the flexibility comes from having no structured meeting time, not from lack of deadlines. YOUR SUCCESS IS UP TO YOU. In my coursework, there were no team meetings or group assignments which was much to my liking. I had years before experimented with another on-line university that did require team assignments and I disliked the lack of equal commitment. A few of us would wind up doing the lion's share of the work while others would offer sub-par submissions or skate by. At Walden my work stood or failed by my own efforts, and since I was earning my degree for me, that seemed more fitting. IT IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK. Having experienced both traditional college and on-line, I would say on-line is more challenging, especially if you are working full time or busy raising a family. I travel a great deal for work, so my academic activities were often done on airplanes or into the wee hours in my hotel rooms. I truly put my personal life on hold. Before I started grad school I made sure I had the full support of my husband, our closest friends, and family. I surrendered my weekends to writing papers and completing assignments. I also had the full support of my work team and my boss, as well as a tuition reimbursement benefit at work. With all of that in hand, I signed up and dove in. OVERALL GREAT FACULTY (at least in my area of study) Out of all my coursework, I suffered only one really poor instructor whose on-line demeanor was very off-putting. There was a lack of the genuine helpfulness that I experienced pretty much across the board for all my other courses. Certainly some were more engaging than others, and I had a few exceptional instructors as well, but overall I would say very good - to - excellent. BE SMART ABOUT THE PACE THAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU. I was encouraged to take two courses a quarter by my academic advisor, but I knew with my demanding work schedule and travel, it would be better for me to do it one course at a time. Thus it took me 3 years to finish instead of 1.5. It was exhausting but an accomplishment that means the world to me. DON'T MISS GRADUATION. You can attend a real graduation. Grads from all over the world attend, and it is a grand event that can be shared with family and friends. YOU WILL BE PROUD OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENT. My coursework absolutely equipped me for further career success, and I am a very happy Walden grad.
DO NOT GO HERE!!! -1) The website that you depend on is absolutely deplorable. Most of the time the links will pop up with HTML code and you are left with no choice but to call for help. -1) Calling anyone for help will most likely leave you with more questions and angry. Do not expect to connect with anyone having good customer service skills. -1) You will be thrown to the wolves. Orientation is a joke, but not a good joke. If this is your first time going to online school you will spend your first course constantly begging for guidance from your instructor on how to use the site, submit homework, find pertinent information etc.. -1) If this were any other business you would not be satisfied. School is a business. They take your money and provide a service. For the money they are taking you are getting screwed as a customer. The lack of knowledge and customer service within the recruitment and academic team is enough to ruin their reputation. They have the mentality that because they have been doing this for years that newcomers are expected to be on the same level of skill. This points back to a clear inability to educate. -1) There is no "flow" in your courses. You will bounce and tab back and forth trying to make sense of what you are supposed to do next. Do NOT fall for the quick talking, ever-so-kind and accommodating recruiter. Their job is to get your money. You and your education mean nothing to them. If you fail, they get paid regardless.
As someone with two other degrees, a Masters in education, and a Masters in theology, plus 29 years of teaching in the public school system, I found Walden to be just what I wanted and needed. I work part-time in a health care facility as a counselor and wanted to improve my knowledge and skill in the area of social work. Recently, Walden received accreditation of their School of Social Work and I am proud to have been a part of that process by being committed to academic excellence Thus, I am in Walden's Social Work honor society. I have also attended the residencies (They do promote student cohesiveness and faculty relations). My internship with a social justice agency was challenging but a great experience. All students are required to seek out their own internships which is part of the process of becoming a proactive learner. Was it challenging? Yes!! Was it rewarding? Yes, definitely!! The University supported my selection throughout the process. I am getting ready to start another internship, which I sought and was able to obtain. The process was also challenging, but rewarding. The entire process of being an on line student builds character, skill and helps you to problem solve, which is what advanced learning should be about. Walden encouraged lots of feedback, positive and negative and my experience has been that they respond to both. The library has greatly improved since I started with access to many peer reviewed articles. They have much writing support and follow the APA format of writing. I am able to apply my Walden learning to what is happening locally, nationally and globally. Thus far, I have had only one course that I think an in-person class experience may have improved. I chalked it up as a learning curve for me. On line education is cutting edge learning and makes it possible for people to get advanced degrees while working and serving. Yes, it is a lot of work. I spend much time reading, writing and responding to my classmates and instructors. If you are looking for an easy, free ride, keep looking because Walden is not the place. My experience in the MSW program has been one of academic excellence and professional support and preparation. Before making my final decision to be an on line student at Walden, I shared with the counselors that I was an older student and would need easy access to technical support. Walden's tech support has been excellent. I have become much more computer savvy and comfortable as a result of this on line experience as a student in Walden's MSW program.
I have not yet graduated, but I will tell you that Walden makes you work hard, but it is worth it. I am currently on my second draft of a proposal. And it wasn't the professors fault I didnt hit a homerun the first draft. The changes they suggested had me dive in deep and I had to become an expert to create a really great literature review. They have workshops you can take it you need help. Walden is well-priced and also very convenient for working people. Walden will work with people who do not have English as their first language, or have no family background with college. I suspect that for some they might be in over their heads, but for those who are willing to work hard, Walden is a terrific university. My only problem is that people lump Walden in with scam universities. There is no scam at Walden, not in my experience.