Widener University - Comments and Student Experiences|
I wanted to be at a smaller school where I wouldn't be just a number. I definitely feel that way here. Widener has a great sense of community. Your social life is what you make of it. No there are not going to be the same amount of acticmvities and events as a larger school and I guess it could be better but the good definitely outweigh the bad. Definitely something for everyone.
My nursing and engineering friends who are seniors all have had externships so they have jobs lined up for after they graduate.
As far as being in Chester - I feel very safe on campus. Security everywhere. Chester is a tough town but then again look at a temple. Temple is right in the middle of North Philly and there are shootings up there all the time. If you go off campus at Widener most people will just go over to Media or Springfield which are both nice safe areas with restaurants, movies and shopping. Also when the weather is nice we are right by the bridge to New Jersey and you can be at the Jersey beach in an hour. Or you can drive up to center city Philly in 15-20 minutes.
Tuition is high but they offered me scholarships and other aid that made it as affordable as a state school. I live off campus this year but was on campus the first 2. The dorms aren't bad but they could be updated. Not having ac in September and May during finals was brutal. But they do have living learning communities and as a freshman that was the best. For nursing it's the NET program. You live with other freshman nursing students and take the same classes.
Founders Hall is new for nursing and we have everything we could possibly want in sim labs and a facility. We are really able to get a good feel for things before going out and doing clinicals.
Food is decent. Some days it's better than others but there is a big selection. It's definitely better now than my freshman year. More healthy options. Wood oven pizza is great and you definitely won't starve. It's actually a lot better than other schools I've been to.There are definitely parties and Greek life but so still don't see Widner as a "party" school. I didn't want a school like that which is why I didn't go to West Chester. I was accepted to Drexel but didn't like the campus and the school is so big. I also liked University of Delaware and they have a great nursing program too but coming from PA they weren't offering me much aid so it made it unaffordable. For me Widener was the best fit and I'm happy I chose to come here. It's not perfect but what school is. Whatever you choose you should definitely visit the schools to get a better feel for them.
Widener boasts about their 'online graduate program' they started in 2012 but in reality they use adobe connect to record and live stream the lectures. In practice the adjunct professors rarely knew how to utilize the technology and for the most part recorded lectures were hard to hear (due to instructors not recording sound, charging microphones, or just having the mic out of range of their mouth) or the lectures weren't recorded at all, again due to instructor error (not sharing screen, not pressing record, pausing recording and not unpausing) - for me this occurred more often than not, and most students I spoke to regarded this 'technology' as a disadvantage. In many of my classes the professors would take up at least the first 10-15 mins just to figure out the bugs in order to start the recording. On top of that the 2 hour and 40 min (once a week) lectures usually only lasted around 1 hour, with the exception of one professor who just preferred to keep talking, so you may pay for 2.5 hrs a week for 15ish weeks totaling 37.5 hrs but you'll only get about half that. Not to complain, but it tends to get old fast when you drive an hour to get to class, only to have it last 45 mins, just to turn around and do it again.
About the class material itself - I only had two classes where I actually learned material that required actual effort. Most of the time my graduate level classes (600 level courses) were combined with undergraduate senior classes (400 level courses) where I relearned things I was taught in undergrad. Widener only recently started doing this around about 2014 where they would combine graduate level and undergrad courses and say the graduate students would do extra work (such as a project/report) in order to differentiate the courses, but in the 5 courses I had which were combined I never did any extra work. In fact in 6 courses I didn't have a first assignment (homework, midterm, quiz, etc.) until about week 9 or 10 (not graded by week 9 or 10, given out by week 9 or 10, and typically given out because "the computer was asking me for midterm grades"). I only had one class where there was an in class midterm and/or final, all others were take home tests. In several classes I would half-ass a report/project because I knew the teacher didn't read it, I even called her an idiot in the report repeatedly and she never saw it. In another class (this one combined with undergrads) I had a disagreement with the teacher about my final grade because he never gave us our grades for anything (5 homeworks, 1 midterm, 1 project, 1 final, and class participation). When I asked to see the number value grade he gave me for each category he suddenly got dodgey and wouldn't respond to calls/emails until I cc'd the Dean, at which point he told me I would've had an A if not for my lack of class participation, (due to the fact that he couldn't put a face to my name, even though I sat right in front of him everyday). After much debate, he agreed to change my grade from a C+ to a A-, (he was also completely oblivious to the fact that as a grad student anything below a B- had to be repeated due to the fact that he had never taught grad students before).In conclusion, if you'd like to simply pay for a piece of paper and not have to do any work, go to Widener - it's a great place to waste your time, money, and brain cells. The teachers are glaringly incompetent (one teacher taught using a modeling program from 1995 and said it was the most up-to-date, when I personally knew from professional experience it was not), they couldn't care less if you actually do the assignments they give out, and if you're lucky they'll offer more than 2 graduate level courses each semester that are actually in your area of study. Oh and by the way, there aren't any advisers for grad students, so make sure the classes you take are for the correct program you're in and not what the degree audit in campus cruiser says, because that system hasn't been updated in 10 years! Of all the courses they list in their degree catalog very few are ever offered over the course of your graduate career, let alone each semester.