Walden University DIT Review

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by jam937, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    This review is long.

    I thought I would share some information on the Walden University Doctor of Information Technology (DIT) program now that I have been enrolled for two years. It is a fully online program but you are required to attend two in-person residencies during your program. These are four days long and typically held in a large city like Atlanta. The residencies are pretty good. Lots of information, networking with fellow students, meeting faculty, attending various training sessions, etc.

    Keep in mind this program is still fairly new. It started 3 years ago and nobody has graduated from the program yet. In fact I don't believe anyone has passed the proposal and defense stage let alone started their research study. It is supposed to be a 2.5 to 3 year program if you have a masters but it will likely take 3.5 years or more for most to complete. There is one student I believe is close to the 3 year mark with likely another full year to go. They also claim the cost to be $35,000 but that is everything is perfect which will never happen. The actual cost for most will be $45,000 or more. More on this later. Their website is a bit misleading about the time and cost.

    The course work and instructors are very good. Like typical online courses they require weekly discussions, assignments, etc. The weekly discussions are very active with lots of back and forth between everyone. I don't remember any exams. All assignments are mostly written assignments with a few projects in some courses. Some courses require PowerPoint presentations with audio.

    Once you complete your course work you move on to the doctoral study phase. This is similar to a dissertation. This is where the program takes a turn for the worse and all students really struggle. After two years the program requirements are still not fully completed. There are sections that still say "This section will be updated shortly." It is very difficult to write a section of your doctoral study when the instructions are not yet completed. There is only one main faculty member creating all the instructions and he has too much on his plate. He knows what he wants but other faculty and students do not because there is not adequate documentation. This lack of documentation is causing students to extend their enrollment adding both time and costs to their degree.

    After your proposal is reviewed you must defend your proposal via a Google hangout video call with your chairs. Nobody knows exactly what this will involve as nobody in the DIT program has reached this stage yet. If your defense is successful you then get IRB approval for your study, conduct your study, write up the results, go through the review processes again, write your abstract and get final approval from the chief academic office. Again, nobody in the DIT program has gone through any of these steps yet.

    There are very few resources for DIT students and getting help with your doctoral study from faculty is very time intensive. At various stages you submit your study for review by your first and second chair. Each person is supposed to complete the review within 2 weeks, but this does not always happen. Sometimes they will not even review your entire paper just a few sections. I don't believe any DIT student has successfully passed the review stage.

    During your doctoral study phase you must be enrolled which costs $2,500 for every 2 month term with a 10 month minimum. So every time your study is delayed beyond the 10 month minimum it costs more money.

    If you want more one-on-one time with faculty you can "pay" to attend an "intensive" retreat where they say you will get more one-on-one time with faculty to help you. I never understood this because it seems like you are paying extra for help you should already be getting. Not to mention the travel costs.

    One final note on the time factor. They require 85% of your references to be within 5 years of your graduation date. So if your study gets delayed and you fall below this 85% rule then you have to replace older references with newer ones. This can be very time consuming to find and read an article then revise your study.

    The interaction with faculty during your doctoral study phase is minimal. One phone call every 1-2 weeks and email in between. You are mostly on your own and will need to rely heavily on students who are ahead of you. Those at the front are taking the biggest hits in terms of time and costs as they are on their own.

    If anyone has any specific questions feel free to PM me.
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    It's always good to get first hand accounts of these programs. Thanks.
  3. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    I guess I should state my advice if considering Walden University. I would not enroll until some students have actually graduated from the program. The main issue is that it is a new program and there are several issues they haven't quite resolved. Waiting until a few students have made it all the way through will allow more time for the school to resolve these issues.
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't be concerned about quality and delivery as Walden has a long history of delivering DL programs. My concern would be the utility of the program, as IT is a field that relies more on certifications and experience, the question is if the market would be able to recognize the investment and time into the DIT program. As it is not a PhD, the DIT program would have little utility for academic jobs other than adjunct positions so the main target is industry jobs, would companies would be willing to offer executive IT positions to DIT graduates?
    My guess is that some might be able to benefit from this program career wise while others might not so much depending on their experience. As the professional doctorate in IT is a relatively new concept, my guess is that not so many in industry would know what it is.

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