Is Walden University a well-respected school?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by sonshine27, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. sonshine27

    sonshine27 New Member

    Hello Everyone! I am new here and glad I found this discussion board. I desperately need some guidance. I am trying to decide whether to get my Master's degree at Walden University. I had never heard of this online university and scared to death of investing at a "diploma mill" as they call it. I have spent tons of hours doing google searches and come up w/ very mixed reviews on this university. I did a search on Yahoo Answers and was pretty discouraged w/ what I read. This Walden and Capella are the only two universities in the country to offer a MS in Instructional Design and Technology w/ an emphasis in Online Learning. That is the kind of program I have been looking for and was thrilled to find this degree being offerred. However, when I ask around to human resource departments and schools, noone has ever heard of Walden. I have had nothing, but positive experiences w/ my enrollment counselor during my admission process, but have also been accepted into the University of NE at Kearney (my alma mater) graduate program. I am trying to decide between the two. UNK only offers Med in Curriculum and Instruction and that is definitely not the route I want to take. Will employers view this as a creditable school/degree? I am so afraid of spending 1000's to get this degree and then having it more destroy my resume than help. I would really appreciate any advice you guys could offer!!! Thanks!
  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Walden University is accredited by the North Central Association. In other words, they're legit, they're no mill.
  3. scaredrain

    scaredrain Member

    Hi Walden and Capella are both regionally accredited. There are plenty of other places that offer Instructional Design, Instructional Technology, or Curriculum and Instruction degrees, and at much cheaper prices than either university. Try or If you do not mind a religious institution, try also has many online masters education programs and are accredited both nationally and regionally and even have NCATE accreditation.
  4. sonshine27

    sonshine27 New Member

    Thanks for your quick response! I appreciate it. I did check out those sites you gave me. What I am looking for is a degree program that focuses on developing online learning web-based instructional environments. Walden is one of the few universities that offer this program as it is so new.

    If you wouldn't mind telling me, I would totally appreciate Walden looked upon as a respected university? I just want to make sure that employers will respect the degree I put forth the effort to receive. Any thoughts would be greatly beneficial!!
  5. scaredrain

    scaredrain Member

    I am currently an instructional design and instructional technology consultant. I can say that if you want to get involved with this field then I would suggest by learning some of the more popular online course management systems such as blackboard, angel, ecollege, web ct, moodle, sakai, to name a few. Also become as familiar as you can with web 2.0 since most universities are looking to incorporate these things in their courses. Most course designers also should know things about adobe flash, and graphic arts programs, of course it depends on the university or educational environment you are trying to work for, some are more multimedia friendly than others. The fact I have a background in technology and education has helped me to land some of the contracts that I have. A good place to start with course developing is your local community college, especially the continuing education departments, where you can have almost total control in some cases of the courses you are developing, I know I did when I worked for a local university.

    As for Walden being reputable, I can say that its a good institution, the courses I had there was good and so were my instructors, I left Walden due to my work not allowing me to really take any residencies. You can also try Grand Canyon University for a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Technology, I received my masters degree from there. The link is
  6. KariS

    KariS New Member

  7. sonshine27

    sonshine27 New Member

    Thanks for that website KariS. I didn't know that degree was classified under that title. That has helped in my search. I will be going over all of those colleges in the next day or so. I did check about five of them out and suprisingly they are more expensive than Walden for out state of tuition.

    I am still curious about Walden's rep as people dont really seem to talk much about it. Thanks scaredrain for saying it's reputable. I wonder though if it's just that people haven't heard about it or if people stay clear of giving their oppinions. I am just super curious about this school. Yahoo Answer comment's scared me to death about their school and rep, but then when I went to a site that actually reviewed this univerisity it was about half and half positive/negative. It seemed like the ones giving the negative comments didn't really want to do much work.

    It's only going to be about $440 a credit hour for me and books are included in that cost. I think they have dropped their prices w/in the last couple of years as it seems comments on here made it seem a lot more expensive then it is now. I have tried looking at that sites from KariS, but Walden's online learning classes seem to be aligned much more to what I am wanting to study. Not necessarily the tech aspect (developing an actual website), but more the virtual education, developing curriculum for a web-based school and then teaching/training online.

    I really appreciate everyone's comments. I am learning a lot! Keep them coming!! Thanks!
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Hi sonshine - I have a few answers to your question. "Is Walden reputable?"
    The first answer is yes, it is. I would be happy to have a Walden degree.
    The second answer is maybe. Academic reputation is a relative thing. Is Walden's reputation as good as Harvard's? No, clearly it's not. Is it as good as fillintheblank State University? Probably. The third answer is, what comprises academic reputation? How is it measured? Isn't there more than a little subjecticity involved? Isn't there a bunch of wiggle room? If I told you that Walden had a great rep and then another member told you it had a terrible rep, where would that leave you?
  9. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    I'll admit I'm biased because I earned a degree from Walden, but it's an amazing school. I did the MSED CIA program. The Instructional Technology program is also through Walden's College of Education. Not only is it named for a former secretary of education, the programs are based on Lee Canter's work. Canter is a big name in the field of education. Furthermore, the program utilizes other big wig educational folks like Dr. Robert Marzano. I would highly recommend it.

    Walden was the fourth graduate program I attempted, and was the first one I really found to be of quality. I had tried an online Instructional Technology program through Virginia Tech, but I thought it was all busy work. Walden actually made the assignments applicable to what you are doing. The work was rigorous, but it was well worth it.

  10. Go_Fishy

    Go_Fishy New Member

    Yeah, plus some minor schools such as NYU, George Washington, BYU, and Syracuse... ;)

    There is not much difference between MA/MS/MEd - the individual syllabus is more important. Check out this definite thread on Instructional Design:

    And this incredibly useful matrix:
  11. Anthony Pina

    Anthony Pina Active Member

    I have been in this field for over 20 years and am acquainted with the faculty at most of the top-rated programs in instructional design and technology. Several of these, including Indiana U., San Diego State U. Florida State U. and Utah State U. all have online programs. Western Illinois U. has an excellent program and the University of Maryland University College has a masters of distance education degree with a number of specialities.

    There are a number of Walden and Capella graduates with very successful careers (although most of my colleagues with Walden degrees work in K-12 and Capella are in higher ed).
  12. DeterminedAdjunct

    DeterminedAdjunct New Member

    thumbs up for Walden

    I have my master's degree from Walden and have no complaints. I never felt like it was "not as good" as a brick and mortar school. Quite the contrary. It was, in a sense, more personal. Plus, I loved the idea of working at my computer in "my world." You can set your own pace. Plus, if I'm not mistaken they have a campus somewhere where you can march once you graduate, just like a brick and mortar school. More and more schools have online and face-to-face programs so as long as it's accredited, I think it's a personal choice. I vote for a thumbs up for Walden. But as someone said, someone may hate have to decide after you do the research...
  13. ucfmba

    ucfmba New Member

    Hi Sonshine27! I am faced with the same dilemma at the moment. My decision is more difficult as I am looking into a Doctorate program. I'd hate to spend 3-4 years and then have people say, "Walden who?"

    I recently attended an info session (with a free dinner!) and all my questions were answered, and I am comfortable with the school. I even learned that veterans get a 10% discount, something I didn't see anywhere on their Web site. You may consider attending one of those sessions.

    I would prefer to attend my alma matter - UCF, the 6th largest university in the country - but their business Ph.D. programs are all full-time, which rules them out.

    Let me ask you this: have you ever heard of Moravian College? How about Lehigh University? They are two prestigious, private schools located in Pennsylvania. But unless you live in that area, you may not have heard of them. My uncle and cousin graduated from those schools, respectively, and they are doing quite well! Bottom line: attend the school that best suits your situation, so long as it is accredited. I don't think anyone will care what school you attended - except maybe on Saturdays during football season!
  14. zanger

    zanger member

    The graduate class I took with them was easy, it took only an hour of work per week. Each week we had to do an online post, and every two weeks read a book and review it. Everyone either reviewed a book they already read or rewrote a summary they found on the web.

    The teacher was quite rude, because I was asking so many questions. This was the first week and it was my first online class so I was having some difficulty. I asked three questions. So much for teacher attention.

    Everyone got an A.
  15. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    Just wait. It gets tougher. My wife is working at least 20 hours per week in her classes (PhD in Psychology). The reading and writing are intense. Her first class was not too difficult either. She is almost at the dissertation phase (December)
  16. DeterminedAdjunct

    DeterminedAdjunct New Member

    For my Walden experience it was weekly assignments.
    *Readings from a textbook they supplied
    *An online quiz of usually 5 questions
    *Online posts for discussions weekly
    *Application assignments for how you used it in the classroom or would use it
    *A final paper
    *Course towards the end had research paper topics that had to have topics approved
    *Huge "Portfolio" at the end of your masters degree with a lot of components. If you have saved your assignments from course 1 throughout you could use it as a reference.

    They also have correspondence course that you could take which I did after the masters which is self paced with videos on DVDS and a book that you have to answer "a lot" of questions about and then a final paper.

    It seems very credible. I have a couple of potential job offers for the Spring Semester face to face online adjunct. As someone posted it works great for k-12 as I got a raise for it once I got a Masters and another raise for 30 additional hours. You can only take 6 courses at at time for Walden during correspondence so being the eager beaver I took 4 other courses somewhere else to fulfill the 30 hours quicker. I researched Peru-State to be very affordable and took classes there. Not everybody got an "A" at Walden. I could tell some stories! The weekly quiz average is posted for the "noncorrespondence courses" Sometimes my peers debated the teacher about the validity of the answer choices. Sometimes they won.
  17. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    Just out of curiousity, how do you know everyone got an A?

  18. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    Yes. Thank you kindly for asking. :)
  19. Wild Bill

    Wild Bill New Member

    It is accredited, its degrees are looked upon favorably in education as pointed out by Tony Pina but otherwise it has a middle of the road reputation. Sorry to rain on the parade of those who have posted otherwise.

    To Kizmet, do you really think that a degree from Walden would be as well received in New England as a degree from a school in the UMass system? :confused:
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    My answer is "It depends." If two people apply for a job as a public school teacher where one has a degree from UMass and the other an identical degree from Walden then I have no reason to believe the Walden grad would be at a disadvantage. Both systems offer MBA degrees entirely online, MPH degrees entirely online, teaching certs not to mention an handfull of Bachelors degrees (Psych, CJ, BA) etc. and unless the hiring Manager is an alumni of one of the schools then I know of no bias toward or against either. You may believe that a UMass grad has an advantage over a Walden grad but I'm guessing that you're just guessing. There's no data either way. You can speculate that the UMass grad has an advantage due to name recognition or a bias toward B&M schools but there's no way for you to know this is the case, especially since it depends almost entirely on the person who is doing the hiring.

    Here's two more things. If someone said that I could earn either a UMass degree or a Walden degree I would probably choose the UMass degree because 1) I love UMass and 2) it's less expensive. However, that's just my personal opinion and doesn't mean that I think a UMass degree would be better received in the marketplace. My own experience is that people with equivalent credentials are hired (or not) based on their work history, their personalities and their interviewing skills. Hiring Managers want people working for them that can do the job, correctly, the first time around and do it without complaining or creating other problems. If you can be that person then it doesn't matter where you went to school. That's my experience.

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