Walden University Reviews
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It is true that I applied to Walden because I know that I could get a degree without studying much or do any meaningful research. I did not know how (understandably) biased the industry was against Walden graduates. I would have stood a much better chance of getting a teaching job without this EdD than with it. Now, I cannot get a job because I graduated from Walden. And- I'm broke!
I will complete my Bachelor's in November of this year, and I CANNOT WAIT! The excitement does not have anything to do with the quality of school, I'm just thrilled with the thought of being out of school. :) Honestly, I have had a few bad experiences with instructors, but that will happen in every school. I attended Phoenix for my Associates, and I can confidently say that I am thoroughly impressed with Walden. UoP seemed to have tons of busy work and little application to their assignments, which is certainly not the case in most of my classes at Walden. I work hard to get everything I can out of my education (after all, I am paying a fair amount); I am diligent in posting my assignments on time and communicating with my instructors if I cannot. Overall, I feel like I have learned a lot and I have a fair amount of knowledge that can assist me in my future endeavors. I thoroughly plan to go back to Walden for my Masters after taking a year off to pursue my career in non-profit.
I transferred from a brick and mortar college with a 4.0 GPA. I was about to start honors classes but I had to move. Between taking care of a dying family member, work, and taking care of my special needs child I thought that I would never get my degree. Then a friend recommended online school. I am a few classes short of earning my Bachelor's at Walden and I have never had a problem. Yes some classes and instructors are demanding and tough (I have never had lower than a 4.0 GPA in my life until Walden. I am now at a 3.82 GPA) and some instructors may be "unfair" (and even downright nasty), however this can occur in a traditional school too. I've had my share of bad teachers online and offline but if you really do the work, you will pass the class period end of story. I work hard, I study, I do the work on time; I do not expect a free pass or special treatment. They have never cheated me with financial aid and were always willing to hear me out when I had a problem. Bottom line is, it's a good school if you actually expect to do work instead of expecting a diploma mill.
I have just completed year 1 of 2 of the MSN FNP program, I start my practicum courses in two weeks. I have had an excellent experience and am still shocked why the reviews are so terrible. The texts, the readings, quizzes and assignments are all comparable to other FNP programs. You do miss out on the benefit of learning live in the classroom and gaining that extra coverage of the material, but the same content is still covered, its just very self motivated. If you dont do the readings, you wont learn what you need to do be an effective NP and pass boards. You are expected to set up your clinical rotation sites however this is not uncommon. All of the other universities I looked into were this way also. The Nurse Field Training has been an excellent resource, they have provided me an extension on finding placement for my peds rotation and provided suggestions in my area based on experiences of other students. Great experience so far and I've completed one year, including the toughest courses of Health Assessment and Pharmacology.
I am currently in Walden's MSN FNP program. I am finishing up the first practicum rotation this week. I have read some of the negative reviews and it took me awhile to put my finger on what it was that bothered me about them. There are some that really seemed to expect the school to "teach" them. Graduate programs very often do NOT teach and online school in general do not teach. The learning that you do is entirely up to you as the student, which brings me to the next few reviews that I read that basically said "Walden is a diploma mill", "you don't earn your degree, you buy it", "your degree means nothing" yada yada yada. The problem with these views is that while yes, there are some mediocre students, and the admission requirements are not as stringent as many schools, and maybe you can skate by in some courses without putting much effort into it.....it doesn't HAVE to be that way. I am pursuing my education by investing myself and my time into it. Regardless of what the school does or doesn't do, allows or doesn't allow....*I* will be getting a meaningful degree because I worked hard for it and I earned it. ANY school has a minimum set of standards and some are more stringent than others. But do you choose a school because their minimum forces you to work harder, strive for more? Or do you work harder and strive for more because it is worth it to invest yourself into your learning and degree (no matter WHERE you go to school)??? Walden is not perfect. The MSN FNP program has some kinks that need worked out but the program is only 2 years old too. The fact is, I went to a brick and mortar school for my FNP initially. and what I saw in my first preceptor made me cringe. He was alumni and not 2 weeks into the rotation, he asked why I didn't use the papers of graduated students, since that was what HE did. Not only that but he did not always follow up on my assessments many times unless I asked him to. And a few times when he did, he came up with some strange reasons for why he could not complete that part of the assessment (which did not concur at all with my assessment). It was scary to me that my assessment skills were more accurate and more honest than his. I transferred to Walden from that school and I am so glad I did. Yes I had to find my own preceptors, but my first preceptor was wonderful, very accurate, comprehensive, and ready to teach. Online learning is still trying to become mainstream, so there will be lower opinions of online school for now. But that will change with time. I've seen it happen before, and I have no doubt it will happen again. By the way, this review site would not let me post this until I posted my estimated annual income and actual annual income. I am not currently working and I am still in school, so neither is applicable but they won't let me post my review without choosing something.
When you hear of a predatory, solely-for-profit on-line school, let this school serve as the poster child. The lack of communication is truly appalling as is the outdated and archaic curriculum. I was in the doctoral program before merely rolling my credits into a master's program and leaving the school altogether due to my incredibly high level of frustration. In my last dissertation course, the instructor was non-existent in the course from Week 3 - Week 10. EIGHT weeks of zero interaction and for this I paid over $3,000? Week after week of students floating aimlessly in an unsupervised virtual classroom without any navigation or direction whatsoever. I wish I could say this was the exception but this was the norm. The instructor in this particular course did not even check the questions for instructor forum - ever. Hello? Is anyone here?? Additionally, you will wait several weeks for an email response from course instructors and/or school staff if you are lucky to receive a reply at all. Unacceptable and inexcusable. Save your time and your money. ****AVOID****
I'm so tired of reading the positive reviews that say "apply yourself", basically saying that if you hate this school, then you didn't. So wrong. I attended another online university for my undergraduate. I know how a good school program is run. I graduated with a 3.90 GPA. I am a strong, independent learner with reasonable intelligence. That's how I know that this program is really, really poor. Someone mentioned in a review that "Walden was the only school that required citations for discussion posts" as if A) that somehow makes the school more academically challenging and B) that this is rare. My previous undergrad was exactly like this; my husband is in an MBA program in another online university and his is like that too. This is not a sign of quality. What IS a sign of quality is: Professors who participate, collaborate, and don't disappear in Week 3 of an 11 week class Challenging, thought provoking discussion questions that can't be answered by scanning a single paragraph in the textbook Use of multi-media rather than just posts on a page Grades that are legitimate rather than boilerplate an IT environment that is modern rather than a very tired version of Blackboard Academic Advisers who are reachable, interested in your success, and accurate in their information rather than graduate students who are simply working for tuition discounts (Yes, I'm serious). And let's get to the social work program. It's a joke. No, really. It is. Admittedly, as of this writing it is not yet accredited. Sadly, with CSWE's lax standards, they may get accreditation. While it is a new program, it is so flawed that it's really not salvageable. Where to start? The extended delays in getting out important paperwork, the field manual, field agreements? They had months to prepare to roll out the MSW program - yet students waited? The complete change in position from assisting students in finding field placements to basically saying "let us know when you find one?" under the guise of "You know your community best"? Do you know the number of potential placements I've contacted who have LAUGHED when I say where I attend? They want to know why I'm calling them (why hasn't your university?) and what support I'll have in the field (answer....very little). It's honestly embarrassing to say where I attend and hear people's reactions. You will see a common theme in the reviews you find. There will be a few who like the program. These are likely people who went to substandard online universities prior to coming to Walden, or never attended online college before and are ignorant as to how it "should be". For a few majors that are merely book learning, or for people that want this degree for enrichment, fine. But when you are connected to a program that is supposed to lead to a profession (Social Work, BSN, etc) forget it. This education will not prepare you. You will learn from many professors who are adjuncts, substandard, and work for several online universities and dedicate little time to your education. You will very often teach yourself. You will get a lot of A's and feel good about yourself, until you realize how low the academic standards are. You will read posts in discussion forums from other students and see how unsuited so many of them are for graduate level work. There are no real admission requirements. Just about anyone can get in. The idea is that "the curriculum will weed out those who can't keep up". Maybe that happens, but before it does, you'll see an awful lot that will cause your head to scratch. Fundamentally, the MSW program is flawed because it appears to be run by people who really don't know how to get this program off the ground. There is no support for students. There is no help securing field placements that are relevant and very little real field supervision. Walden in general lacks depth in their IT, has poor academics, and simply doesn't provide a graduate level education. I know others will argue differently but trust your gut. I wish I had.
I am a second- time around student at Walden University, having already received my Masters in Higher Education. I am now a doctoral student. I find the negative comments interesting, as I have my dislikes about certain aspects of Walden, but I did when I attended a F-2-F college for my Associates degree and my Bachelors as well. I never believed in myself until I was 50 years old. I wanted more in life, and I made the decision to do something. I had never heard of Online education, but found myself hunting for a new experience where I could finally make something of myself. See, that's one of the keys, you have to want it bad enough. You believe in yourself, your self-worth and you make your success happen. Walden University does not particularly hold students hands. You are there to learn. Each assignment builds on the next, so if you have an issue with having to do a final project, you have missed the point of the course. The learning outcomes are spelled out at Walden. You are expected to be a critical thinker and reader. It does not happen overnight and no one teaches this or hands it to you on a silver platter along with a pacifier. When I have had issues with an instructor, I have gone to the Department Chairman. That person can get things done advising cannot. Granted some of the faculty are there for a paycheck nothing more., That exists at virtually any college or university, online or not. I had a dean from a prestigious college who even had an award named after him--he was a lousy instructor. The class put him in his place after his lack of interest in the course, it was 8 weeks, because this was in my masters program. Anyone can get through 8 weeks if you are invested in your education. Walden, gives you the tolls, as a student you are expected to use them in order to not only succeed in your program, but succeed in your life. If you are willing to chuck it all, with only three classes left to graduation, then you cannot be invested in your life and knocking Walden and the education you have received obviously there is more to the story told in the review here. Walden is not for quitters. One sure sign of a student who hates Walden is in how they write their review. If someone writes a bad review and the review is written with anything but an educated voice, you know the person reviewing Walden, obviously is not there for a reason. Trash talk is cheap, getting a good education is not. Walden is a good education. Nothing in life is perfect, not all my experiences have been, but as a responsible adult, I do not think sounding off negatively in a review will get them fixed.
I decided to quit-the last teachers made my life absolutely miserable, one was worst than the other. When you say something they will make your life hell. They don't care when the teacher lies and re-edits their grading, if they don't participate in the discussion posts, if they give you 12 point deductions because you submitted something 1 hour late, they simply don't care. This university turns out to be all about teachers and management, shareholder value nothing else. They don't care about you the students. I'm only 3 classes away from graduation, and now I'm forced to go somewhere else, I cannot handle this abuse anymore. No matter what I do, I can't win. I criticized the teacher and now he is retaliating, same thing happened before, walden had formatting issues and the teacher blamed me. Don't bother speaking up, this will make everything worse, because no matter what, they will side with the teacher, even they lie and cheat, they make you look crazy and belittle you. All they want is your money and they are cold and mean-spirited. They have all the words but don't live what they preach! Then one hand doesn't know what the other hand is doing, they are so big now there is no oversight. They give you a grade deduction if you use references older than ten years but they themselves provide you with text books which are 15 years old and references over 20 years...nothing makes any sense! Their curriculum is vague and has several errors in there. They don't update their data and texts have spelling errors in it. They let the teachers do whatever they want and even they know they are wrong they still will side with them and throw you under the bus! They are dishonest and have double standards when it comes to ethical standards, they expect from you to be quiet and like a robot but they themselves are never wrong and have the last word-that is all Fashism, they should not be in business anymore since they don't know how to be good people! It is all about money and profits, and they could not care less about a human being-you!
Love Walden! I graduated in Feb. 2014, passes board certification on the first try in March 2014 along with all of my classmates, and received my NP license. I had a wonderful experience with Walden and now starting my DNP through Walden. Online education is what you make it and I took every opportunity to learn through my clinical experiences and classroom experiences. The advisors were helpful and so were the instructors.