Two years ago I decided to go back to school to pursue my BA. I emailed several local Westchester colleges and The College Of Westchester responded to me within seconds of hitting the send button. I scheduled a meeting with a recruiter named Vince. Vince really sold me on the college's job placement program and that the school would accept majority of my transfer credits.
This was not the case. The college took months, literally several months, to obtain my transcripts at which point they had already enrolled me in classes. After completing my first semester with a 4.0, I was a little concerned because the courses were very basic. It's not that I consider myself exceptionally smart either, it was just strange to me that I wasnt actually learning anything in the classes. I brought it to the attention of my student advisor which was a process in itself as she frequently wasnt not available during our scheduled meeting times. There was even once case when I took off of work to meet with my advisor at a specific agreed upon time. I arrived ten minutes early and was told "she was out to lunch". I chose to wait. A legit 90 minutes passed by and she eventually stuck her head out of her office and said to the secretary "were there any meetings while I was gone". (gone where? you were IN your office). The advisor sees me and bashfully says "i'm sorry I'm about to step out for lunch can we reschedule?". This was a common theme with any faculty members that have any level of descision making power. After refusing I met with the advisor, as well as the assistant dean. Then I heard this: "oh we're sorry it looks like you didnt need to take any of these classes, we didnt get your transcript in time". So essentially I took a full semester of classes that I didnt need to take. My college recruiter also blatantly lied about the amount of transfer credits that CW would accept. They accepted a lot less than I was told.
The college makes you take surveys to assess the professors towards the end of a class. They're done on the computer and students are told they're confidential. One professor who was frequently late, frequently no showed, and frequently would just read things out of the NY Times received a bad review from me as he had horrendous teaching abilities and taught nothing. The following day the professor knew about the bad review and was verbally upset by it, however didnt challenge any of it. The surveys are not confidential and just to be very clear, I was an A student, not someone goofing around where the professor would have a reason to call me out of class to 'confront me'. The professor's exact words were "I feel like you've been dissing me". I know that sounds outrageous, but thats the truth.
A common theme with faculty is that they want to be perceived as successful business people. In reality, they're not. A good handful of the college professors at this college are high school teachers or fresh out of a low level college themselves. One professor boasted about his successful business which turned out to mean he rented a baseball card store for a few years, another's success story turned out to be that he played the stock market. Not that there's anything wrong with those things, however I think back to my "college tour" in which an older White man in a suit picked up a copy of The Wall Street Journal and went on and on about how "The Journal is the key to all business". His claim to business success? He's the President of his condo community, sorta like Jerry's dad on Seinfeld.
I had one professor for three different classes. The problem was all three of those classes felt like the same class as no new material was ever learned. Specifically in my case, three business classes taught by the same professor resulted in: "okay class you're each going to write a business plan, you will have the whole semester to complete this project and thats all you'll be doing in class".
I took a math class which the school told me was required. Mind you I got a 98% on my math placement exam. The math class was very basic junior high level algebra and basic things like "the length of one side of a square is 2 feet, find the area". I wish I was kidding.
I took one class in which the ongoing theme was 'why outsourcing is good'. The next semester I took a different class which had the ongoing theme of 'why outsourcig is bad'.
The school requires you take Microsoft Office. They unfortunatley break it down into three seperate classes (each at $2,025): Word, Power Point, and Excel. These of course are all programs anyone can teach themselves. An instructional video on Youtube.com would be just as helpful as spending over $6,000 on the classes. In addition, the professors teaching these classes often have to resort to the manual or help screens to find answers to more complex questions. Also, completing these classes does NOT give you a Microsoft Certification, I mention that only because the school will claim they have that available. They do not.
Career Services. The school will sell prospective students on job placement. The reality is that Career Services legit finds "their jobs" off of Craigslist and Monster. The school does not get job orders and when they do they're minimum wage jobs. The school will also boast about their job fairs. What they wont tell you is that their job fairs feature employers that are local retail stores looking for part time help including TJ Max and Stew Leonard's grocery store. There are no businesses looking for office admins or marketing people at their job fairs, it is 100% all part-time positions for stores such as The Sunglass Hut.
Transferring your credits. The school will tell you that you can transfer their credits anywhere. Not true. I've directly asked several professors and advisors "what local colleges accept CW credits". I was amazed at how many different ways there were to say "I dont know".
As aforementioned, I dont consider myself exceptionally smart, however to give you a specific example of the intelligence level of the average student at CW:
During one class the professor posed the question "What US President came up with the idea of health care". The answer was of course FDR and I completely expected people to start yelling "Obama". However when a student stood up proudly and said "teacher i know this one" and then said "it was that Hitler guy, I read about him", I was truly at a loss of words.
Location. The college is in an old office building. The parking lots are both very small and fill up quickly. Students then have to either park at meters or across the street (Central Ave mind you, a major road with a lot of traffic) behind a bank.
Schedules. In normal colleges a student will meet with an advisor and make a schedule. Here they just randomly give you classes. In addition they dont even mail you a schedule. You have to login to one of their several websites, and go through several prompts to pull up your schedule at which point its 50/50 the room numbers are listed. If they're not you then have to go on your own time to the "Academic Office" and request a printout of your schedule.
Activities. The school will boast and brag about their numerous clubs and activities. These include "The Dance Dance Revolution Club" and "Street Fighter Tournament".
The Book Store. The "Book Store" is located in the cafeteria and resembles a closet. Books are very pricey to purchase , are often not used during classes, and the book store will not buy back used books.
An example of the overall idiocy. Lets say you want to make a photocopy of something. In order to achieve this you have to go the 5th floor to the Book Store (the closet in the cafeteria) and purchase a "Copy Card". Then you have to go the first floor to the library to use the xerox machine. Bit of a process.
The college recuriters will prey on people looking to go back to school or to go to local school that's not a community college. They will tell you anything you want to hear. All in all this college is about business. Unfortunately they highly lack in customer service and their business is taking your money and providing you with nothing.