Walden University Reviews
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My undergraduate degree was achieved at a brick and mortar institution and I was very skeptical about online education. My husband is in the military so we move frequently. As the years passed and I had not gone back to school, and then found myself living overseas, I noticed some of my colleagues were attending online schools. I began talking to them and learning about different schools. One respected colleague had completed the MS Education Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment program and took the time to answer all of my questions and had very positive things to say about Walden. Since I very much needed to get back into school, I sent an email requesting more information.
My inquiry was answered quickly and it was very simple to get enrolled. My husband and I decided to pay my way so I did not apply for financial aid, so I cannot say anything on that topic. I have read lots of very nasty reviews about Walden, however my experience was great. Rubrics were used and clear criteria explained to get grades. I managed to graduate with a 4.0, feeling the work load was just right. Anytime I began to slack on assignments, points were deducted. It was not easy, but required discipline to stay on point and to complete the ePortfolio component. I had to take a break as my family was moving to a new country, but other than that one blip I went straight through. I feel I learned as much as I would have at a brick and mortar institution and the work improved my performance as a teacher. If you are not disciplined and willing to work hard, it is not for you. I've seen many people bash this institution so I waited until I received my email stating I had met all graduation criteria and to expect my diploma in the mail soon before writing a review. Any concern I had was responded to promptly. Throughout all classes, I felt all teachers were fair, professional, and prompt.
Please note I did not use financial aid services nor job placement services but had to fill in the stars.
I transferred into Walden after attending an APA accredited clinical psychology Ph.D. that was very hard to get into (2% acceptance rate) and earning my master's en route to the Ph.D. I have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 at a research extensive university, undergraduate research experience, and a 700 on the quantitative section of the GRE. I left my first program in good standing to try to find something else that was a better fit with what I was looking for. I ultimately arrived at working full-time in research and education and later attending Walden in a non-clinical specialization area.
The courses at Walden are no walk in the park, and this is coming from a student who was already used to hard work and being top of the class, etc. I have a 3.7 cumulative GPA at my first Ph.D. program with 45 ph.d. credit hours. There are only a few reasons why you should go to Walden rather than a traditional program 1) You need to work full-time or part-time and most traditional programs will not allow you to do this or your chair at your program will not allow you to do so 2)You have finished all your course work at your current institution, but you cannot graduate because your dissertation chair has no allies in the department and the committee members will not pass you because they hate your chair, 3)Your dissertation chair has left the University and the other faculty won't pick you up, because you started with another faculty member, 4)Your chair at the traditional university has asked you to do something unethical or is milking the heck out of you and working you 50 hours a week to get his research done and you can't get any of your own stuff done. Walden will allow you transfer in up to half of the course work you need for the ph.d. (9 classes of 18, excluding dissertation) Since being a student some of the roles I've had include being a full-time college instructor and being an assistant professor at regionally accredited colleges. Some of my colleagues at these institutions have turned up their noses and others have been cautiously optimistic.
Ultimately, it's about the work that you produce. I have been nominated for professor of the year several times and am working to publish peer-reviewed articles before and after I graduate. It is easy to get into Walden, but it is hard to graduate. The courses are rigorous and require a LOT of work. Also, there is no hand holding. You will have to motivate yourself or get a dissertation coach and maybe both. If a student actually graduates from Walden with a Ph.D. in psychology, that degree means something. In no way is it possible to skate through. I have learned more at Walden than at the APA accredited program I attended. That's probably because more is required, and so I have put in a lot more effort. The professors are unlikely to give you a lot of feedback. However, isn't it about independent learning anyway? If you can think critically at a high level, you will not have a problem. If you can't, don't go to Walden.
I do not agree with Walden's marketing schemes and I think that some of their policies are problematic. However, overall, for a non-licensure track specialization in psychology, the Ph.D. program is a good choice. By the way, because of my work experience and being just a few months away from graduation, I was able to obtain a full-time position at a non-profit regionally accredited institution teaching for a master's program in psychology. I don't think my experience is typical, but it shows that it is possible. I have been upset with Walden policies a few times, but I appreciate that the politics that exist at other institutions are counterbalanced with the purchasing power of the student. If you do not like your dissertation chair, you can fire him. If you have a professor who sucks, you can drop the class and take another professor without retribution. Again, Walden's not for everyone, but for those who start AND finish, it is a good choice.
I must say things got off to a rough start.I work in higher ed so I knew what I needed to get done to start. I have to admit that I hesitated in getting started due to bad reviews I read online,So at the last minute I completed my enrollment and submitted a FAFSA,etc.In the meantime my admission adviser was switched to a new gut who was afraid to answer direct questions,"I think he thought he was being shopped". I asked for someone else to work with and they obliged.
There financial aide office is centralized,meaning,the person that you speak with is NOT a financial aide officer.They are customer service representatives who collects information and forward it on to another office who actually processes all the packaging. Once I knew this,I was a little more patient with them.Once it was all said and done,I started and so far so good.I just completed my second class and I LOVED IT.I'M happy I pushed through. I love the writing tools offered by Walden.
I really had to push through the holidays to maintain an A.It takes a great deal of commitment to get through any online program. Because I understand this business I have to say that people should do their own research when considering colleges,especially online schools;Some of the negative reviews here are due to people's lack of doing your research,following up and making sure things are in order before you start a program;and most importantly knowing without a doubt that an online education is best for you in the long run.
If your goal is to learn the course subject, you'll do better staying home and reading books and published journals. It's impossible to learn from a discussion board consisting of your classmates' points of view, who like you do not have a college degree. Although most of the socalled instructors have doctoral degrees and claim to be experts in their disciplines, they are merely managers of the classroom. They teach absolutely nothing- no taped or live lectures rather make minor comments to a minimum number of students. They do not integrate their expertise in discussions. No, the discussion board is design for students to interact not for student and teacher as the teacher's voice is marginalized and insignificant. Most of their comments began with, "good point...." The discussion questions, quizzes and written assignments are so elementary that any teen could read a book to perform the work. A typical 5 credit hour course costs about $1600; so, I guess if you're willing to pay for convenience, Walden and others like it would be a good choice but don't believe the hype; this is not a good school. In fact, it's not an educational institution rather a business that fronts as a university and education does not take place. Those folks claiming to have learned alot are either lying, learned independently, or are naive.
I am writing to talk about my experience at Walden. I graduated one year ago with a MSN in Leadership and Management. This is NOT a diploma mill....by far. Walden prepared me for a DNP program (I just finished my first semester). I was excepted into Rush U, UNLV, and St. Catherines (which I chose). I interviewed with all three and presented my portfolio at each interview. All schools were very impressed.
The program at Walden was rigorous and demanding (as it should be at a graduate level). I often spent 40 hours a week on course work. On-line learning is not for everyone. You WILL be teaching yourself. The instructors will guide you but if you are looking for a 'spoon-fed' education, this is not for you.
Then again, if you are looking for that, you should not be going to grad school. It is hard work. I have nothing but great things to say about my 26 months at Walden. I am doing great in my doctorate program thanks to the experience writing, analyzing literature, and weekly discussion boards, as well as reading assignments and videos.
As I was reading previous reviews, I could not believe how many negative reviews there were. Due to my wonderful and positive experience, nothing I have read will change how I feel regarding Walden or online education.
Success occurs if the student is willing to put in the work required. Do not let the negative experience of another keep you from doing something wonderful with your life!
Flexibility of programs is great. Courses are challenging and full of differing types of assignments. Instructors are easy to approach and always willing to help. Only con is cost but that is the case with grad school in general!
When I first started at Walden in 2010,some of the instructors were very questionable. However, in the last year or so, they have dramatically improved.
There are quizzes each week, along with two tests-one at three weeks and one in the final six weeks. I have had very few problems with financial aid (as long as you are enrolled fulltime, there should be few problems), and very few problems with instructors.
The Student services isn't as good as it could be-student advising is often difficult to reach and really did not seem to be able to answer my questions, and tech support was alright.
This school is just a vacuum for federal money with no personal assistance whatsoever. It is a waste of time and money. Advisors only send out canned responses or updates and cannot deal with any issues on their own.
They cannot even contact the Admissions Office for questions. I have had it with them and that is why they need ombudspersons. It is obvious that they have had so many problems in the past that they have to have a mediator to deal with them. What a sham!
I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling. The instructor do not provide any instructions they just give assignments and directions. Most of the course require weekly papers and weekly discussion posting and response.
The instructors do not test you on the reading material assigned for the course, but they expect you to write like a scholar...Walden needs instructor that acutally provide notes.. to help their students......