Review Averages: 6.1 out of 10 (114 reviews)Athabasca University of Alberta, Canada was founded in 1970 by Alberta’s provincial government with the mandate to offer distance education to students aged 16 and older. This leader in online learning offers more than 70 programs in French and English to students worldwide. Individual and group learning formats are available.
Accreditation: Province of Alberta
Athabasca University Reviews:
Hard work - Rewarding
Commerce - July 23, 2015
Very good school! You have to be self-motivated and a hard worker. You will not wing these classes; however, it is worth the effort. The tuition costs are very affordable, and the textbooks and learning materials are presented well. Admittedly, it IS difficult to learn without the face-to-face classes you would get from attending a campus, but if you want to work at your own pace, or even get a 4-year degree in 3 years, this is the way to GO! I'm starting my second year, and am on track to be done next year!
What are these people complaining about?
Bachelor of Management - July 22, 2015
I have read a lot of reviews here and quite frankly must be taking courses through a different university. I have been taking courses since 2009 and almost finished my bachelors in business management. I have never had any problems with the staff both admin and teachers. I have always received prompt responses and I have found the courses to be fair and reasonable. I have taken over 20 exams and never had a problem with an invigilator or the school. I am more than happy to recommend Athabasca University to any adult that wants to make an advancement in their education.
Finance Certificate and Additional Coursework
Commerce - July 12, 2015
While working more than full time hours, I completed a Finance Certificate through AU between 2012-2014, thereafter, finding myself unable to obtain employment based on my newly completed education, I enrolled in and completed further coursework in Accounting and Marketing. Between 2012 and 2015, I noticed the ongoing effects of further and further cutbacks, the transition to e-text books (course materials fees are included in the cost of each course and are not optional, so students must procure the paper text independently should they find it impossible to complete online work and refer to the online text concurrently), the lack of available or seemingly willing tutors for many courses, and the overall lack of administrative assistance. The call centre system in the Faculty of Business could test your patience on the best of days and often failed to produce results. While in some individual courses, I did have helpful tutors, overall, I would say that for about 70% of courses, when contacting tutors, the assistance I received lacked enthusiasm and necessary content and left me referring to Wikipedia for (hopeful) clarification of course content. The difficulty level of courses did not seem progressive or gauged to prepare me for a career. With a certificate rather than degree, I would have expected more practical and technology based learning rather than theoretical examinations of financial regressions and statistics and economic theorems and the like. I am very much looking forward to the potential employer who will ask me to explain the theory behind an inverted supply curve or the mathematics behind the Black Scholes theorem. Some of my courses seemed overly easy/minorly challenging but not necessarily helpful toward gearing me for a career in finance, while others seemed overly theoretical and not practical for my level of education. There was an extreme lack of focus in gearing me toward learning programs such as Excel or applications of accounting programs that would likely be more of an asset in real life career situations. In taking additional courses, I further feel that I am simply playing the game of funding this (currently insolvent) business as it continues to prove its inability to sustain and improve the quality of the education it offers while facing financial challenges. At this point (it is my hope to complete a full degree), I am considering cutting my losses and withdrawing from this institution whose only pro seems to be the flexibility of pacing oneself at courses, and considering the option of perhaps paying more or restricting my ability to work full time so that I might attend an institution that can consistently offer me a more meaningful, practical, and well rounded educational experience.
AVOID THIS PLACE OF LAZY AND LOWER LEARNING STANDARD
Athabasca University - July 7, 2015
I took the ECON248 intro to macroeconomics. This was a complete waste of my time and money I learned nothing from their course material, there was no video or recorded lectures, the entire course consisted of read the book and answer the questions found in the book no effort to enhance the learning was made the just used one text book which was quite frankly gibberish without a better explanation from a prof i could have bought the book read it answered the questions and got the exact same level of learning. AVOID THIS SCHOOL AT ALL COSTS DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
AVOID at all costs
RN to BSN - April 9, 2015
First of all I would like to let you know that I have completed my degree and I know how terrible experience I have had at AU. I was stuck in a situation where it just made sense for me to just finish what I had started even if that meant complete dissatisfaction. I finished my RN at AU however throughout the process I have figured out that AU's main goal is not education it is straight up MONEY! They don't care they will fail you, change their rules, increase their GPA's on you when you think you are close to finishing. Also there is a clear partiality that AU does with people not from Alberta literally they don't care if you not from Alberta. They will take your money and tell you too bad too sad we changed our rules and you don't qualify for this course or program anymore. You will have to take three or four more courses again to qualify. You will see that most people with positive comments on here are either live in Alberta or are originally from Alberta. So please anyone whose not from Alberta don't waste your time here like I did. Its better to wait and get into your local university/college or a quality university/college online than to get into AU. Hopefully you will take my advise and won't like to learn the hard way like myself. Keep pushing and stay motivated you will get there just be aware of unprofessional schools like AU.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
eMBA - a fully recognized career changing program
MBA - March 19, 2015
In my last year of eMBA and “I’m lovin’ it”. Only 2 courses away from my MBA degree. I am almost 50 now. It has been truly great experience because AthabascaU’ fully online teaching method provides great flexibility to be able to participate and make progress from anywhere in the world as long as I have the access to the internet. The value added by this program to my professional career is absolutely critical to my professional success. Good thing is that program awards PBDM Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Management) half way through the program so if someone decides to drop the program in the middle it still provides great value for the money and time spent. AU’s eMBA program is not cheap but lot cheaper compare to similar programs that are offered by other part time and online universities in Canada. Beware: Most of the American (USA) and British based online universities are not fully recognized in Canada so it is not recommend investing money in a program that is run by non-Canadian institutes. Those are perhaps private business and not a public funded institution unlike Athabasca. Being the current student of AU eMBA program I would suggest AU’s management one thing: AU should consider adding a web-cam based learning/discussion session where students can talk/listen professors in the real time at least once during each course. This will sure add personal touch for those who really love it (Baby boomers and X-Gen) Good luck to future cohorts.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not as good as 5 years ago - Poor recent experience
Computing and Info Systems - March 14, 2015
I already have two degrees from a bricks and mortar university, and I've been taking courses at Athabasca University for about 5 years now. Over the course of the 5 years, I can say the courses have been deteriorating in quality. I believe Athabasca has become complacent. The most recent course I took was terrible. COMP200 was poorly organized and the technology aspects were laughable. I went through the proper channels to try to get some things changed, including having almost no links in the teaching material that were not dead, and including adding Sticky Topics to the forum to assist students, but absolutely no changes were made in the 6 months.They are sympathetic at the administration level, but have no power to get things changed. They are aware there are issues. In addition, they have changed the tutor model, so that you submit a ticket to a central processing group, and then it gets farmed out to mostly the same tutor, but not always. In other words, you don't have any continuity with your assistance - typically you have to wait two days for a response. Not ok when you're stuck with a problem in your coding. And good luck if the tutor's answer was not clear, and then you have to ask for clarification - another two days goes by. Students end up using each other for assistance, which is difficult because you're not supposed to post much of your code. Frustrating, so say the least. The final exam did not reflect the course material (I'm an A++ student and got C- on the final - I am well versed in getting A+ marks, so it wasn't my studying or abilities.) There were errors in the practice exam material (math errors) as well - you just have to wonder whether there were errors in the final - but no feedback, of course. I'm a pretty positive person, but having taken 6 Athabasca courses now, and have noticed a definite slide in the quality of the courses as well as the quality and availability of tutor help. I spoke with a tutor and he was very bitter about the model, saying they only get paid now if they work with a student. No tutors were on the forum - it was the blind leading the blind where students were doing their best to help other students. I was shocked at how poorly the whole course was run. I would not recommend Athabasca, and I am researching another online university to take my Computer Science Certificate from.
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Avoid this so called university!!!!!!
Athabasca University - February 15, 2015
What a waste of money and time. This is the worse university I have ever had to pay money to and attend. I had to do a math course to finish my degree at another university and this was a very horrendous experience for me. I had to do two supplemental exams, because I failed the computer section by .5 points. I aced the theory sections and the mean awful professor failed me. I had to pay $250 to do a supplemental exam worth 7 percent......yes 7 percent. I will never recommend this awful, stupid money grabbing university to anyone.AVOID!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
One course does not make a program, but given my experience would not recommend
Anthropology - January 30, 2015
Completed one research methodology course to supplement my graduate education at a different institution. Value for money was poor considering how little feedback and direction was offered by the professor. There was always an excuse for not responding to questions or assignments - away doing field research, away for year-end holiday, busy preparing for a conference, presenting a paper, etc, etc. Perhaps Athabasca is demanding of its professors and this person is overworked. I feel like the university took my money but delivered little in return.
4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.22 GPA student telling you to AVOID AT ALL COSTS
Commerce - November 27, 2014
Here is the skinny, I did 99% of my degree at Dalhousie but I wanted to get a jump on the job market so I left my bachelor's degree 2 classes shy. I thought I would just do them distance and it would be a piece of cake. Well, Athabasca University is not at all what conventional distance is supposed to be. I had a 4.22 GPA so I am a motivated student and I still could not get over how difficult this school makes its course work. Here is how it works; you pay like 800 with fees per course, they send you an outdated textbook, then you literally have to learn from the textbook without help. They do not teach you via webinars or pre-recorded lectures. I cannot emphasize this point enough YOU WILL HAVE TO TEACH YOURSELF EVERYTHING. My advice give you money to a local college or university not this joke of a corporation because after my 1 courses I sure did.
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