Fielding Graduate University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by greentealady, May 19, 2010.

  1. greentealady

    greentealady New Member

    Hello,I am currently a School Counselor. I have a Masters in Counseling Education and a PPS Credential. I would like to further my education into a PhD program. Unfortunately I do not live near any college institution so I am considering a distance learning program. I am concerned about the reputation online programs hold in the work force. How do you all feel about this subject? I have done some research and it looks like for Psychology Fielding Graduate University has one of the better reputations. I appreciate any advice you might have to offer.

    Thanks and I look forward to your advice.
  2. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    If I remember correctly, Fielding offers the only online APA-accredited degree. So having that accreditation is a big point in its favor.
  3. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Everything I've heard about Fielding is that academically, it's an excellent program, and as far as I know, it is the only APA-accredited distance based program. But to my knowledge, it is not a 100% distance program. I believe there are a number of short residencies required.

    Also, I remember some years ago there was some discussion that their teaching methods and curriculum is (or was) somewhat unorthodox and some people did not like the program. Not that it was bad or inferior, but just that the delivery methods or materials they used weren't to the liking of some students. You might search our archive; the messages are probably there somewhere.
  4. greentealady

    greentealady New Member


    Thanks for the replies, I live close enough that I could swing some short residences but could not do it every week. I am lucky for that. I am trying to figure out the cost without having to contact them directly. It seems as soon as you call one of these schools they hound you 24/7. I hate the whole sales pitch feeling, it makes the whole process lose some credibility. I have not experienced it with FGU but certainly with others.

    In regards to the curriculum delivery, I am so glad you brought that up. I am amazed at how few schools use pod casts and other INTERNET options to tie their programs together. It is so important to feel of the whole program to feel connected to the instructors and other students. I will check into this more with FGU.

  5. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Keep in mind that while Fielding is the only APA accredited institution with a (mostly) online PhD in clinical psychology, it is also prohibitively expensive. Tuition currently runs ~22k/year. The average time to complete a PhD at Fielding is 5-7 years. This degree will run you above 100k! It would be less expensive to go to med school and become a psychiatrist!

    With that said, since you are a school counselor, it is unlikely that you should need a PhD from an APA accredited school (unless you are planning on becoming a psychologist).

    There are online doctorates in counseling and counseling education. Here are a couple of options to explore:

    Argosy University - EdD in Counseling Psychology

    Capella University - PhD Counseling Studies
  6. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

    I don't know anybody who has completed a psychology Ph.D. at Fielding, but two friends completed doctorates in other disciplines at Fielding and loved the experience. Very difficult. Very expensive. Probably worth it. They are very picky about who they hire to work with doctoral students.
  7. simon

    simon New Member

    Prior to seeking out specific schools it is essential to be clear as to whether a doctorate in Counseling or Clinical/Counseling Psychology would best meet your future professional and personal objectives. The differences are significant in terms of of what you plan to do with the degree and the time and financial commitment involved in completing each of these degree programs.

    A doctorate in Clinical Psychology is a major commitment taking significantly more time to complete than a doctorate in Counseling, and as required by such schools as the Fielding Institute, will require an inordinate amount of tuition. It is possible to attend other online distance Clinical or Counseling Psychology programs as well as in Counseling at Walden, Union or Capella but keep in mind that they are also very expensive. In addition their Clinical/Counseling Psychology programs are not APA approved which in a number of states would not allow one to sit for the licensure exam as well as potentially result in fewer job opportunities. Argosy is also expensive and although offering an Ed.d in Counseling Psychology is not intended for licensure as a Psychologist.

    So it comes down to how you intend to use the doctorate, your financial resources and ability to pay very high tuitions (unless your job will assist in paying this tuition), your level of commitment to endure anywhere from five to ten years to complete a rigorous independent online program much of which is done in isolation and whether you will be able to recoup your financial, personal and professional investment after completion.
  8. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    If your career goal is to stay in the school arena, then an online degree should not be a hinderance. Having a doctorate definitely makes a difference in academia, whether it is at the K-12 or college level. A distance degree would not be best for someone who is looking for a full-time tenure-track faculty position at a brick & mortar university, but there tends to be good acceptance for administrative, staff and adjunct faculty positions at universities and at nearly all levels at the community college and K-12 arenas.

    Fielding Graduate University is well established and has a very good reputation. It is pricey, but if you are planning to go into private practice as a psychologist, APA accreditation is essential. Otherwise, you have a number of choices including those provided by japhy4529 and these below:

    Walden Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision

    Liberty University Ph.D. in Counseling
  9. simon

    simon New Member

    Anthony Pina:

    "Fielding Graduate University is well established and has a very good reputation. It is pricey, but if you are planning to go into private practice as a psychologist, APA accreditation is essential."

    Yes, Fielding has a very good reputation BUT is a very lengthy doctoral program and exorbitantly expensive. It is a very research oriented doctoral program versus other available clinical programs which are more balanced in relation to their research and clinical emphasis. So it is very important to determine if such a program is congruent with one's professional and academic interests. In addition although APA adds to the value and recognition of a clinical doctorate as well as increases one's career opportunities (ie, Federal jobs), in a number of states APA approval is still not required to obtain licensure, to obtain employment or to initiate a private practice.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2010
  10. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    I am a Fielding Student

    I am a Fielding student in the clinical psychology program. I find the program to be extremely challenging (in a good way) and a wonderful experience. Yes it is very expensive but now we have all sorts of loan forgiveness options on federal loans and income based repayment makes even large debt easy to manage. I look at the expense issue this way. If getting a Ph.D. raises my income by a minimum of 10 grand a year (and it will) the degree will pay for itself in 10 years. I work very very very hard though. However, I should point out that Fielding is most emphatically *not* online. We have a platform we call FELIX which allows us to communicate and exchange files and use a library database etc.. However, there is no real online component. Fielding came into existence before the invention of the personal computer and it received its APA accreditation before the invention of the internet. Fielding's academic work is based on individualized learning contracts rooted in the progressive educational movement started by John Dewey. Calling it "online" is a real misnomer. Please feel free to ask me any questions!!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2010
  11. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    One other thing. The great thing about the model Fielding has developed is that it is very flexible. Fielding tries to tailor the learning experience to the learning needs and style of the student. This is why they use learning contracts. As a mid-life mid-career professional, I bring into the educational environment a very sophisticated set of skills but I am lacking in others. This model honors my previous learning experience while challenging me to develop in new areas and new skill sets. It also gives me the flexibility to chose that learning style most conducive to my growth. Fielding has truly tried to create a learning environment in which the student is at the center of the learning, not the faculty. Fielding faculty do not get tenure because tenure makes the institution faculty-centric rather than student centric. We form collaborative mentor relationships. Yes we have lots of face to face time also. Generally these are monthly with week long sessions two times a year. Let me close by saying one of the trademark motto's of Fielding "If you need anyting, Please ask!"
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2010
  12. TimStorm

    TimStorm New Member


    I was curious if you have any advice regarding the application process for Fielding. I am applying for the Spring 2011 semester and would like to find out as much information regarding what to expect as I can. As far as the program itself is concerned I know a great deal but I'm not entirely sure what to expect in terms of criteria of successful applicants and interview questions. I have 2 bachelor's degrees (Social Psych and HR Mgmnt) and 2 Master's degrees (I/O Psych and Psych with a focus in biological behavior) with an undergrad GPA of 3.48 and grad GPA of 3.25. I've also got experience in training, education, and a military background and am currently 6 months into a position as a Master's level mental health counselor. Hopefully this information helps to provide a clearer picture of my background. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  13. pagg

    pagg New Member

    Not like most

    I contacted Fielding in regard to their program, and they mailed me the material I requested and have never called me even once. They are not like most schools as far as that is concerned. I have been searching for a different school to transfer to, I am still working on my BS in Psychology, so I know what you mean about getting a tsunami of calls. However, I think you will not have that problem with Fielding. I haven't.
  14. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    Work very heavily on the personal statement and the statement of goals. They give a great deal of weight to your ability to utilize critical thinking. If you can speak about your intellectual interests and your desire to be a scholar, then discuss this in detail.
  15. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member

    Years ago, when I contacted Argosy, they never stopped sending me emails, snail mail an the like. Fielding does nothing like that. Fielding has more people applying than they can admit so they are not so hungry.
  16. Triciam

    Triciam New Member

    Not online?

    I'm confused - what kind of program is it if it's not online? Do I have to live in Santa Barbra to attend? Thank you!

  17. chrislarsen

    chrislarsen New Member


    Fielding uses a model in which you do independent work under faculty guidance supplemented by face to face meetings. You create a learning contract in which you develop a plan of study for each "course" you take. It's a hybrid between the British model of a "research only" doctorate and the more typical American model.
  18. Blessed5000

    Blessed5000 New Member

    Fielding Graduate University - A student perspective

    I know that some time has gone by; however, I felt compelled to provide a first-hand account of my experience with Fielding (FGU). I received two Masters from a traditional/ivy-league university prior to attending Fielding. My first Masters was a reasonably good experience; whereas, my second was just a matter of me paying to have the name on a degree and resume. I was happy to finish the program. When I started to search for a doctoral program, I did consider a couple of ivy league schools, and world-renowned international universities. In total, I applied to Fielding and three other schools. I received acceptance letters from three out of the four. Yet, I chose FGU/Fielding due to its flexible and student-centered approach. Now that I am preparing to graduate in a few months, I do not regret my decision.

    I agree that one should reflect upon their motivation for attending graduate school, and choose a program that best suits their needs. In my opinion, after the "traditional" approach, I was not sure that I wanted it again. I researched Fielding's accreditation status; the work of many of their professors; and, some of the work of their students. After careful research, Fielding was best for me.

    In my opinion, Fielding could be a great option for individuals seeking to acquire research-centered positions, or for the everyday practitioner. I believe Fielding is good for both professional pursuits since it allows students to complete courses in a mode in which works best for them. The course work is rigorous. Some professors are very technical and will make you memorize the most up-to-date APA format, while others will challenge your ideas to help you perfect them. But at the end of the day, I believe that many of the professors are amazing!

    Now of course, this is my point of view. Everyone has a different point of view. The most important thing I can share with you is to "be your own advocate". This is important, because Fielding does not educate cookie-cutter graduates, in my view. Having your own ideas will help you structure your experience in a way that has meaning and interest to you. FGU allows you to learn the theory, examine theory in-depth, and then apply it. That is the main difference. The applicability component is where you can write and publish articles, conduct research, and more. The good thing is that professors are there to support your scholarly interest.

    I could go on and on regarding my views on Fielding. It may not be for everyone, but in my opinion, it has been the right experience for me.


    P.S. Fielding is not an "online university". It is based upon a distributive learning model. There are some options for group sessions; however, I did not choose that for myself. I travel a lot, but the great thing is that I could complete my course work anywhere. As long as you can email your professors, or get on to FELIX to conduct some of your research, you will be fine. But again, I agree with Chrislarsen, it is not an "online" program.

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