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Walden University

How this student rated the school
Research QualityD- Research AvailabilityD
Research FundingF Graduate Politics-
Errand RunnersA Degree Completion-
Alternative pay [ta/gsi]D Sufficient PayF
CompetitivenessB Education QualityC
Faculty AccessibilityD Useful ResearchC
Extracurriculars- Success-UnderstandingC
Surrounding City- Social Life/Environment-
"Individual" treatmentD FriendlinessC
Safety- Campus Beauty-
Campus Maintenance- University Resource/spendingC
Describes the student body as:

Describes the faculty as:

Lowest Rating
Research Funding
Highest Rating
Errand Runners
He cares more about Research Quality than the average student.
Date: Dec 31 1969
Major: Psychology (This Major's Salary over time)
Walden does not issue school email IDs to students (this web site asked for my school email ID).

I am at the end of my first year at Walden, and I am in the master's of general psychology program. Walden is not your usual university, but it has some advantages.

1) I had a good undergraduate record, but I took no psychology credits, and Walden accepted me. I was on probation for two quarters because I did not have a related undergraduate degree, but I got good grades, so it was not a problem.

2) The programs at Walden are designed for people who work and need flexibility.

3) Many minority students in my classes comment that they like being anonymous in the classroom.

4) You are presented with interesting course materials, and if you study you will learn a lot about your area of study.

That's all the good things I that I can tell you at this point. Here are some not-so-good things:

1) I have not tried to transfer credits, but I expect to find it difficult. I am keeping a portfolio of my work to help me in the credit-transfer process.

2) Many teachers will give you minimal feedback. I generally do well on all my assignments, but I would still like to see feedback about minor problems that would be an issue at other schools.

3) I do not have any information about the grades that other students get, but based on the public postings of all of our homework, I would say that it is relatively easy to pass a course at Walden. I would estimate that half about1/3 of the posted homework assignments would get failing grades at a regular school. Surprisingly, about 1/3 also do very good work. Many of the students already have master's degrees in other areas and there is typically a person (or two) in each of my classes that already has a PhD in a different field (some come back to school for clinical psych after working in a related field).

That is my list of pros and cons, and here are a few notes about how the program works at Walden:

1) Each online class has about 25 students. You read your textbooks each week and then write one or two research papers per week in each class. My papers are usually 2-5 pages each, single-spaced with anywhere from 2-6 references in a typical post. You then copy your essay in text format to the bulletin board, and you have to critique at least one other essay for every one that you post. You typically need to include journal articles in every post, but you can easily get passing grades by using only the textbook (which should not be the case).

2) Walden has online databases of research journals that you can use to do your research. The databases do not compare to the completeness that you would find at a state university, so I go to a local university to get some extra information. Most students rely on the Walden databases for research. There is also a program where you can get library books from a school in Indiana, but I have never used it.

3) Many classes have quizzes, and they are a joke. The questions are usually easy considering that they are open-book, but I have had a few bad questions. The quizzes are typically 10 multiple-guess questions, and sometimes a final exam will be 20 easy questions. I am registered for three classes now and only one has an exam (the rest use homework, term papers, and group projects).

4) Most classes will have a term paper of 15—20 pages double-spaced with about 30 or so references. I have a class this quarter in which our term paper is a consolidation of the weekly assignments, but usually you have to pick a relevant topic and write a paper (which I should be doing now instead of writing this!).

5) I graduated in the top 1% of my undergraduate class at a regular state school, so it is not surprising that I am getting good grades at an online school. I am also learning a lot, in part because I am a very independent learner and I work hard. Unfortunately, I do not expect other schools exhibit high regard for my work here. As I mentioned above, I am keeping a portfolio of my work to help me when I apply for a PhD program.

6) Some people in my classes find it difficult to learn on their own—you could say that they have

different learning styles
or that they have learning disabilities. If you are in this group, this may not be the school for you unless you have no alternative.

7) I suspect that you could get a degree from this school without doing quality work, but you will need to make a serious effort to complete your term papers and manage your time. The best way to fail at Walden is to not manage your time!

8) Although I gave Walden low scores in most areas, I am happy where I am because of my unique situation. If a conventional brick-and-mortar school does not suit your needs, maybe Walden will.

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