StudentsReview :: Naropa University - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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Naropa University

Total Grad Surveys 4
Females 2
Males 2
Avg years at University 1.3
Research Quality C- (3.5)
Research Availability C- (3.6)
Research Funding D+ (3.0)
Graduate Politics C- (4.1)
Not Errand Runners B- (6.2)
Degree Completion C (4.6)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] D+ (2.9)
Sufficient Pay D (2.6)
Competitiveness C- (3.8)
Education Quality C (4.6)
Faculty Accessibility B- (6.3)
Useful Research C (4.4)
"Individual" treatment B- (6.3)
Friendliness B+ (7.4)
Safety B+ (8.0)
Campus Beauty B+ (7.5)
Campus Maintenance B- (6.0)
University Spending C- (3.7)
Extracurriculars D+ (3.1)
Scholastic Success C+ (5.4)
Surrounding City B+ (7.7)
Social Life/ Environment B (7.0)
Sufficient PayD
Prior to applying to Naropa University I hadFeb 14 2011Psychology
Prior to applying to Naropa University I had extensive experience in the field of entry level social work, and un-official counseling experience (i.e. without supervision or accreditation). I've worked in many capacities, including but not limited to non-profits, government agency work, and as a self-employed aide. Prior to that I received a dual degree from a mainstream University with high grades.

I attended Naropa in hopes of not only gaining deeper insight into myself and my relationships, but also to receive applicable accreditation and to become well-equipped to enter the field of counseling. What I got, instead, was too much of the former (filtered through a culture that treats professors like gurus and students like 'chosen ones', so long as the students fall in line and carry themselves as always-friendly beings on the path towards enlightenment), and not nearly enough actual clinical training. Finals were a complete sham, where literally everyone got an A in one of my classes just for showing up.

The basic values espoused by Naropa, which heavily emphasizes the importance of a 'contemplative education' (i.e. filtering lessons and information through one's self, and and recognizing that there is knowledge beyond intellect) is sound, and indeed, important. However, the actual curriculum and experience at the school falls very short of its appealing rhetoric. For around 50,000 dollars, this education is not worth it.

Furthermore, be warned that Naropa is NOT FULLY ACCREDITED. While it is true that a person can still attain accreditation after their degree, given proper supervision and perhaps extra hoops to jump through, the governing board that oversees counseling programs in the US (CACREP), does not recognize Naropa as an accredited institution. Spending a semester at the school, I can easily see why... how is it that a graduate program can give all of its students 100% on a final, without actually testing any of them?

Furthermore, keep in mind that the Veteran's Administration will not accept any graduates of a non-CACREP accredited school, and many other large organizations may follow suit.

Naropa may work for some, but it certainly didn't for me. I have applied to other mainstream schools , and now have a much deeper respect for the 'traditional' way of doing things. Also, its important to keep in mind that values like love, compassion, and kindness are not the exclusive domain of Naropa! Quite the contrary, many 'traditional' professors at mainstream universities hold these values as well, and have a legitimate institution and research body behind them (unlike Naropa).

I still meditate and have a spiritual practice, but I don't think it has a direct place in the classroom.

As a final note: Naropa often employs Jungian language, such as 'the shadow', which is a potent image of all that is cast away from acceptance and integration to a person of group. At Naropa, with its pasted smiles and holier then thou sub-culture, the shadow is dark and looming... and is difficult to constructively challenge.Hope this helps, and good luck with your decision.

Research Topic(s): N/A
Jan 04 2009English
Get into a good program and skip their ill planned workshop atmosphere that poses as education.
Because of the uniqueMay 15 2005Religion/Religious
Because of the unique nature, pioneering spirit that is Naropa, this school provides a cutting edge in the field of chaplaincy, encompassing what other schools offer and MUCH MUCH more.

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