Liberty University - Comments and Student Experiences|
Last term I took 2 classes at once because I want to just finish so that I can start earning money. I got the flu and had to drop one class because the work load was so heavy. So I dropped Java and completed HTML with a B for a final grade. I am now taking 2 courses this term, PHP and E-Commerce. The work load is tremendous. On top of that I get a damn 25 out of 50 on a stupid discussion board. Every grade I get from this professor is horrible and I work my ass off for it. When I turn my assignment in the website pages work fine but I still get bumped for it. I will probably barely end up passing this course if I pass. If you cannot handle devoting at least 40 hours a week for each online class at Liberty then DO NOT TAKE IT!
I have had a couple of really great professors there that were really helpful and I appreciate them. But, my overall experience of gaining the knowledge you need to be successful at what you do it is not the place to go.
Now, I am in debt with student loan and feel like I've been on a hamster wheel during each class so have not retained the knowledge I would like to. I am not new to college and have an associates degree from years back. If you really want to get a degree my advice would be to attend a local college where you can actually sit in the classroom and talk to someone if you need help or have questions.I very much believe in God even though I said a couple of curse words. Believe me, God would probably say a few too. I am thankful that I gained some knowledge but after this term that's it for me with any college. All they want is your money and don't really care for you as a student. Really sad too. You can get online certificates for 95 dollars at w3schools.com and learn as much or more than you do at liberty. Or, go to Barnes and Noble and grab a book on the subject and teach yourself. That is the same that your doing taking online classes. At least at Liberty that's all your doing.
1. School administration is a nightmare. For example, I have a sleeping disorder and was having an issue with my dorm situation being extremely loud. I went to housing to find it being run by students who forced me to move (with a 24 hr notice) several times in a hunt and peck attempt to find a better dorm. Only after being moved three times did someone suggest that I visit office of disabilities, which has specially reserved housing for people like me, and which I wasn't told existed before then, or I would've gone there first. Overall, this was a 6 month process, through which I developed severe health problems due to lack of sleep. This pretty much sums up the level of efficiency and caring with which this school is run
2. Residential life is a nightmare. The first thing that makes it miserable is the long list of rules students are forced to abide by, which by the way, anyone on a sports team is basically exempt from because in order to enforce the rules, word would obviously get out that a team member got in trouble, making liberty look bad. As it is, if they did enforce the rules, the entire football team alone would be expelled by now. I have PERSONALLY witnessed many of them drunk, high, and trying to convince girls to have sex with them. Now it is true that students do sign a contract to abide by these rules, but I would like to mention the fact that the full rules cannot be viewed without a student account, which can't be obtained except by officially becoming a student. In other words, one signs the contract without much idea what they are signing. I only found out about the ridiculous dress code, curfew (sometimes as early as 10:30), forced convocation three times a week, censored internet, and stringent moral code when I was moving in. Secondly, the fact that liberty literally expects you to maintain their dorms for them via strict cleanliness checks when they don't even care enough to build dorms that hold up for more than a month is ridiculous. Literally, I moved into the brand new commons the first semester I was here, and barely a month in, paint was FALLING off the walls because the cheap labor Liberty hired had not bothered to prime them. Thirdly, Lynchburg has an insane lack of things to do. There is nothing here. Fourthly, If you get a power obsessed RA, you are screwed. This is because a lot of the rules have gray areas that are up to RA interpretation, for example, what constitutes a clean dorm room. I have literally had a roommate that was fined for a single drop of water on the bathroom mirror. Another good example is how far they take the no men in the girl's dorm rule. I can't count how many times I?ve needed a guy's help carrying heavy groceries and dorm furniture only for my RA to tell me that men are not allowed to help. It also should be mentioned that never once in this situation has an RA offered to help. The last time this happened, I ended up at the doctor's office with a ripped tendon from attempting to carry a heavy load up three floors. Lastly, this school does not build up Christianity, it wastes your time with it. All the classes are needlessly bloated with it even though there are a ridiculous number of required theology courses as gen eds. Convocation is an hour long church service three times a week that literally focuses more on how awesome liberty is than anything else (more on that later). Not only that, but it frequently runs late and students are not allowed to leave early to make it to class on time because convo is considered a higher priority than learning and because it "disrespects" the speakers, without regard to the disrespect of the students and their time committed by convocation running late.
3. The course work is a nightmare. The teachers are not included in this, as admittedly, the teachers are one of liberty's only strengths. I have yet to have a teacher that did not care about the students, and that did not do the best they could with the material they are given. That being said, they aren't given much. They and the students are forced to work with an outdated program called blackboard because liberty is too cheap to upgrade as most colleges are apparently doing now. The assignments themselves are a total waste as they are too focused on brainwashing the student with liberty's version of a Christian worldview, and not enough on actually teaching the material. This is true no matter the degree, and I can honestly say I have learned very little in the two years I?ve been here. And sadly, the school isn't hammering a Christian worldview because it cares, but because they wish to advance themselves as the largest Christian school in the country.
4. Liberty doesn't care about students, only about money and image. Liberty loves to market themselves as a school that cares. As a matter of fact, they love to market themselves in general. CFAW abounds with false advertising. The food is always much better, and students are generally discouraged from sharing negative views of Liberty with visitors to the extent that a student can be fined if caught. And it doesn't stop when you are suckered into enrolling. Hardly a convo goes by without a promotional, self-righteous video about how wonderfully Christian Liberty is and all the amazing things it's doing and sponsoring, and without our campus pastor brown nosing the Falwells. But this school cares nothing about the students at all. There is a lot of evidence that makes this clear. For example, they purposely oversell parking for the sake of making more money, even though this means students usually end up fighting to even park on campus, and are being shamelessly ripped off. Also the fact that convo is considered as a higher priority than classes, that students are forced to give up what little parking they have for parent weekends, football games, alumni weekends, and their dorm space for CFAW for the sake of making the school look good to attract new students, and the fact that students are accused of disrespect and punished for any view that opposes the views that liberty markets are just a few more things that make it obvious what the school's priorities are. Liberty makes plenty of money, but they are too cheap to upgrade the program they use to educate, too cheap to hire real builders that actually do a good job on their residential buildings, and too cheap to upgrade their outdated and overtasked servers and routers, making using internet on campus a nightmare. I could go on for a while about the many ways Liberty fails to live up to its image.
To sum up, this school is run on hypocrisy. They brainwash students with their Christian views, but prove repeatedly that they do not run this school on the Christian attitude they preach. This school has disgusted me to the point where I want nothing to do with religion ever again. I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would pay to come here.
I know that many people speak poorly of Liberty because it is Christian, and because it teaches its classes in that context. If one takes an objective look, however, it is usually not difficult to figure out that quite a few of those criticizing the school have other motives. With its relatively low graduation rate, many people who attend this college will be unhappy when they leave. It is no surprise that they speak against the college. Many who oppose Christianity will also speak poorly of the school simply because it is Christian. That is no surprise either.
The coursework is not absurdly difficult, but it is challenging. I have made my education a priority during my time at Liberty, and I have done very well. I can understand, though, how someone who does not complete all of the reading (there is quite a bit) would have difficulty on the tests. A bulk of the grading ends up revolving around student papers, which is good for an online college as it helps to subvert any attempts to cheat. Many of the projects are uploaded to a database called 'SafeAssign' (in Blackboard) that will alert the professor to plagiarism.
Many of the courses have immediate practical use, and I had what amounts to an internship in my second year simply because I had the knowledge to complete the tasks that the organization needed.
The faculty is exceptionally nice, and will work with students. I have had some technical difficulties, but the prof's have always been understanding. They can be sticklers over due dates, but that is understandable. They have always been very fair, in my estimation, in their grading of assignments.
I am a Christian, albeit of a different denomination than Liberty. In fact, my denomination (Nazarene) is fairly close to the Methodists, both of which tend to be at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Liberty. Despite this, though, I found the two (yes, only two, many would have you think it was much more) required 'religious' general education classes were relatively neutral in their presentation. If you can get over the fact that all of the classes are taught from a Christian perspective, then the Bible class is essentially an ancient history class focusing on Israel and its surroundings (which is good to study anyway considering the state of the Middle East). The other class, focusing on Apologetics, was actually one of my favorites. Any student who can keep an open mind would enjoy it. It would help Christians to understand their faith, and could even give atheists some interesting information to ponder.
While Liberty does create some of its own material, many of the textbooks will be the same ones read in other colleges. Like I said before, there is quite a bit of reading, and if you fall behind it can be difficult to catch up.
One thing that I do not like is the amount of group work. There are quite a few (maybe 6 or 7) classes that require students to work together, which can be a real burden when some of the students do not participate. Those students, obviously, do not receive favorable grades, but the additional work does fall onto the remaining team. This is not terrible, though, as the real world often works this way. This method does teach how to divide and prioritize work, as well as how to work with others, motivate a group, and respond to difficulties. Its not fun, but I can see why the school chooses to use group work from time to time.
All in all, it is a very good school. The coursework is challenging, but this helps one to learn. The degree is valuable (despite what others may say), and my wife (who works in upper management in a health insurance company in Richmond, VA) and her peers would not hesitate to hire someone with a degree from Liberty. Liberty is accredited through many institutions, so attacking the education that one receives there is a bit silly. Two thumbs up, Liberty. Keep up the good work.