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Athabasca University

2.9
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Athabasca University Reviews:

AVOID AVOID AVOID

Athabasca University - April 20, 2017
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The other people writing terrible reviews on here are definitely not exaggerating. AU is nothing more than a money grab and they do not really care if you succeed or not. I was in my last year of my degree and needed to take this course online because it wasn't offered during the winter semester at my institution and I just needed it to graduate. Did my assignments and my final and got my grade back with an overall of 61. Sweet! I passed (this was the second time I was taking this course so a 61 was great in my eyes). Not...apparently that is a fail because I got less than 50 on either an asignment or the final. Never, EVER have I ever encountered an institution that is run that way. I understand where they're coming from because one could easily get someone else to do their assignments for them because it is an online couse, but after begging and pleading and explaining that I only needed this class to graduate and that I'm actually graduating from MacEwan and NOT Athabasca, and my school will recognize a 61 as a C- and not an F, but they wouldn't budge. It's ridiculous. And then charge you another 150$ to rewrite the exam. The only way to communicate with your tutor is via email and mine wouldn't respond for DAYS at a time. So hard to get a hold of. And when you call the school, everyone is extremely rude and unhelpful (except Sandra Blaquiere, bless your heart). Seriously, do not go to Athabasca if you do not have to. Instead of getting my degree in june 2017, I have to put it off until November 2017 because of Athabasca giving me and F even though my overall grade is 61. That doesn't even make sense. UGH

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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful

Bachelor of Arts - Multiple courses

Athabasca University - January 22, 2017
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I have taken several course at AU, both individualized study and the group format. My experience has been very positive. Initially it was very easy to register and transfer courses from my "bricks and mortar" school. Every time that I have had a question the response time has been well within the guidelines listed on the website. I find that the myau portal has good guidance around which courses you still need to take and I have been assisted with my program planner usually within 2-3 days when I had a question. I find the tutors are just as available as any tutor I have had in the physical world. The teacher experience is no different than attending a university in person or even high school. Some teachers are hard markers, or not particularly helpful and some are, I don't think the online format changes that. It's as though some people expect that because the format is online all of your questions should be answered within the hour. When I have been physically at my university campus my teacher would take a few days to respond to my emails and I typically had to schedule an appointment to meet with them to talk about anything in more detail. And occasionally I had great teachers and occasionally I had terrible ones. In my experience all of my teachers at AU have been helpful and provided good feedback on assignments and responded to queries relatively quickly. To be honest, I think some of these negative reviews may have less to do with the school and more to do with the type of learner you are. In order to succeed here you need to be VERY independent. You don't have the ability to lean over and ask your fellow classmates for help and you can't corner the teacher after class. I have found all the textbooks and materials to be comparable to what I experienced at the university that I transferred from. In some cases I found the courses to be even more difficult. With all things in life, if you reach out and work hard you will succeed. I think some people are apt to blame a bad mark on the format or a bad teacher on the format. You will get bad marks and have bad teachers in any school whether in-person or online. The other piece is that some people just require more structure. They will need deadlines and frequent human interaction in order to succeed. AU does not often provide that as most of the courses are individualized study. Yes, you will need to read some dry text materials and direct your own learning. Essentially, you will need to be your own teacher because that is the piece that is missing, the individual standing at the front of the class "teaching" the information to you. If you NEED that then you will not do well at this school. As for the people complaining that these courses are "designed" to be so difficult that you will need to pay for multiple extensions that is simply not the case. I have been able to complete all my courses within the designated time frame. I had one course where I did not put in the required time and I had to rush the last month to complete the materials and as a result I did not do as well on the final exam, but that was my fault. In all scenarios where I have structured my time and focused on my studies I have been well within the deadlines and had plenty of time to communicate with my instructor and schedule my exams.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Not worth the Headache

Athabasca University - March 31, 2016
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I understand all of the negative reviews here. I took one course from Athabasca University and that was one course too many. I was surprised by how terrible this institution actually is. People here aren't exaggerating! Students receive ZERO support from the faculty. The Tutor assigned to my course was so terrible that I I filed a formal complaint. The Director of the department contacted me to apologize, then proceeded to make excuses as to why the Tutor wasn't doing his job, a job that I was paid over $700 for him to do, I might add. In the end nothing was done to resolve the issues. I've completed a degree from U of A, then years later after making a career change, took a 2 year diploma from NAIT. I would highly recommend both of these schools over Athabasca University, if for no other reason than the quality of education that I received there was far greater than the quality of education Athabasca University was willing to offer me.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

worst university in Canada

Athabasca University - March 8, 2016
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DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL IF YOU WANT TO HAVE YOUR MONEY OVER AN OPEN FLAME! HOW DOES ONE FAIL A COURSE WITH A 75% AVERAGE IN EVERYTHING ELSE ON 1 ASSIGNMENT??? REALLY???? I HAVE JUST WASTED (AND LOST THOUSANDS) TO THIS SCHOOL TO BE VICTIMIZED REPEATEDLY i.e. ignorant and condescending instructors and underserved ignorant remarks on final assignments! There is NO support from the so-called "faculty" and they help only a select few get through the program! It's pretty sad when no one will stop such insanity therefore jeopardizing this place's reputation. This joke of a school is not even ranked for crying out loud! Word to the wise: ALWAYS select a post secondary university which is classified in Canada's ranking system, otherwise, you may pay a heavenly price like the many of us who are left with double standards, a maxed out credit card and no degree! Select your university wisely that's all I say!

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14 of 22 people found the following review helpful

Terrible Excuse for an Educational Institution

Athabasca University - February 24, 2016
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I am in the process of taking courses needed to get into a graduate program and am extremely dissatisfied with Athabasca University. I have already completed a university degree and did not anticipate having any issues completing online courses, however, this has not been my experience. Not only are there no course lectures provided (where is the $800 per course going?), but your TAs are terrible at responding to questions, so you are essentially teaching yourself all of the material. It takes weeks to get your marked assignments back, and the feedback provided is unhelpful. When you call the help line, you are given generic responses and transferred from department to department. Each time you write an exam or a midterm through an invigilator you pay $50 so the course ends up costing well over $800, which is ridiculous. I am beyond disappointed in Athabasca University not just because of the awful experience that I had, but because they are overcharging for a service that they are not even providing.

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Do NOT recommend this university, they have ridiculous standards for success and all they want is your money

Athabasca University - September 10, 2015
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I would not recommend this university to anyone. Failing even one small assignment will fail you the course, and make all your other hard work a waste of time. If you want to rewrite, the fees are outrageous. You already paid hundreds/thousands of dollars, and they want hundreds more dollars if you make one mistake. It is ridiculous. Do not take the courses offered here, unless you do well under extreme pressure and have loads of money to spend.

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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful

Unreliable Online Course

Athabasca University - November 6, 2014
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The program required to submit my oral presentations was said to have many difficulties. My tutor told me that she could arrange alternatives if I had difficulties. I needed such alternatives; however, her support was not there. I submitted my assignment via document and she refused. Unprofessionally, I was told to leave a voicemail as my submission. The University I attend full-time and the invigilator school had recommended I do not pursue this demand. Half of the emails I have sent to this tutor were unresponded to. It took over a month for her to reply with my password and username for the program I needed to use to meet deadlines. She has not been in her office during designated officer hours on 5 accounts that I have called and left messages. She has failed to return my phone calls. Upon calling the University for assistance, I was redirected many times. I was told to send an email with documentation of my experience at that time. This I will wait to do upon completion of the course. How can this process be effective when the email I send will be forwarded to the Tutor that will mark the rest of my assignments?

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful

Student Loans Workers Negligent at best

Athabasca University - October 16, 2014
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If you need to use the student loan department of this university, then I hope for your sake that your name does not begin with R-Z. [Name omitted] is the worst person you could ever be unlucky enough to have assigned to your name. She has no interest in doing an effective job, and does not care one whit for the importance of your education. If she decides she doesn't like you, she will do everything in her power to hold up your application...and if you dare ask any questions about her behavior, or if you question the status of the appendix 3 they are supposed to send, she will decide she does not like you. If you are abused by the complete futility of this woman's work (or lack thereof) don't bother attempting to contact the supervisor. She will just brush you off and not answer or return your calls or emails. There is NO accountability to this department whatsoever, and your funding is at the mercy of childish, snotty, inept buffoons.

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful

Great classes, awful administration

Athabasca University - September 4, 2014
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So far I have had an extremely great experience with my courses. They are well structured, intersting and the material is good. However if you need to deal with the financial aid departmentmbe prepared for a very long process. If it is your first time with financial aid you cannot take more then one semster and three credits. If you for some reason take a break from classes they will make you speak with a counsellor who will give you an hours long lecture on how to study. Even if you have always successfully passed your previous courses. They will not let you start classes in the summer months if you recieve financial aid and you have to submit a loan study plan four months before you in tend to study. The women whom I have had to deal with for my financial aid was extremely rude. All financial aid officers really have to do is sign the papers confiming your intent to study, register you in the clssses and confirm you are enrolled. Instead of helping you through the process they create unnecessary road blocks that result in delays. They will also send you emails demanding you respond by the next day or you will be delayed even further. Financial aid administration at athabasca is absolutely horrible. If it wss not for the delays they have caused i would have finished my degree in January 2014 instead it will now be January 2015. I have never had any problems with the coursework or tutors.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful

There are positives and negatives

Athabasca University - August 10, 2014
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I've taken many courses through Athabasca for my undergrad degree at University of Ottawa through their recommendation when some of my courses there have been full and/or because of convenience while I travel and am not able to take a course in class. It's great because of convenience and being able to do the course at your own time. However, this can also be a disadvantage if you have troubles self-motivating yourself to do the work. Although the school provides a suggested schedule for each course, I've normally found it harder to follow (out of my own laziness and lack of motivation). Despite this, I've been able to get through most of my courses I've done there, even if I end up doing everything within 2 weeks. There are some negatives as well though. Overall the tutors are good, but I find that they only help as much as you do to ask. Asides from introduction e-mails, I haven't really had any follow ups on how I'm doing in the course etc. When I do ask questions, I normally get good responses but that is about it. There are exceptions either way though. For example, for a Psychology course, my tutor was great and would provide immense feedback on my material being so specific that she would even mention the smallest spelling or grammatical error. While this could be seen as nitpicky, for an online university with no real professor-student interaction, it was great and really helpful. At the same time, I've had professors who have given minimal feedback and have barely connected with me through the term. I've also had some very dick professors who have been pissed off that I haven't followed the study schedule and have given me a low mark simply because they felt "I should've spent longer on my assignment". I did apply to a Master's program and got in but ultimately chose not to do it. The reasons don't necessarily have to do with the school, but more so because of the timing of it. I personally like being in real classrooms and like the feeling of going to school and learning from a professor. I think it creates much more simulated learning and analytical thinking. That being said, if you follow the Athabasca courses and curriculum as prescribed for each course, it should more or less do the same. I just think as humans it is sometimes harder for us to find that motivation to do it. Also, for some courses the curriculum does seem very 'easy' per se and I haven't found the assignments to be reflective of what we learn. This has been rare tough. I also find their library databases to be limited and dated at times. Overall, I think the university is great for taking courses here and there especially if you are travelling or have other commitments that make it difficult to attend class in person etc. Would I do my full university undergrad degree or graduate degree there? Most likely not. It isn't a horrible thing, but just not the way I would choose to learn. If I had to because of my circumstances, it is a great alternate choice.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Hard work buy should be expected

Athabasca University - November 10, 2012
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This school serves its purpose. It defenitly isn't on top off using the most updated and quality material. However, for distance learning and the flexibility that comes along with that it is adiqute. I'm in my first yr working toward a career change and have 2 kids. I will only complete 13 courses with them then I'm transferring, and some of the tutors have been horrible but others have been great. It is hard work doing all the learning without being taught but with a lot of effort it can be done. It is not easier because it is online it's more difficult. Real courses without the lectures!

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful

AVOID!!!!

Athabasca University - July 14, 2012
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I had a really bad experience with this school. Before I even applied I had to wait for days, to get answers from admissions (via emails). In response to my detailed questions I was receiving one sentence, vague answers, that did not explain anything. I was misled to believe that the school would be flexible and willing to work with me on my deficiencies in the prerequisite courses, but after spending money for the application fees and waiting long time for their decision, I was not admitted due to lacking two prerequisite courses. I was willing to take these courses separately, but the women from admissions would not even have a decency to replay to my offer. Awful school, awful management and misleading practices. Avoid!

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8 of 35 people found the following review helpful

Fantastic University, for MATURE learners

Athabasca University - May 3, 2012
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I just finished my MBA with AU. It is far harder than a conventional university. I have two other degrees from a classroom setting, from good schools, and the MBA program demands are not light. It is however, a very enjoyable program. I truly enjoyed all courses, and yes, I had the one eventual weak prof here and there, but overall, all profs are very competent, and highly educated. I think that the most important advice for AU's prospect students is: if you are lazy, if you like to have things done "for you", don't bother. AU MBA offers a mature environment, for MATURE learners. It is not about "doing yourself" as the support is incredible, but it is about "thinking for yourself". Nobody is there to tell you what to do (although the MBA program will provide you with a detailed agenda, ahead of time, on what to do in each course). You either do it seriously, or you might as well just save your money and time. If you want to "play along" and "piggyback", AU is not for you. Here you really have to work hard, and show that you do work hard.

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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful

Always a positive experience!

Athabasca University - March 19, 2012
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I've been taking French courses through Athabasca since last year. I have an undergraduate degree but have been accumulating a few extra credits for a diploma in education - teaching French and English. I have absolutely no complaints with the courses I have taken so far, but I do agree with some of the comments on here, particularly those that say distance education is not for the lazy! It takes a lot of time management and organization, but if you're on top of your work you can finish courses in no time. The one problem I had was with an "individualized study" course that was not online. When I realized there were no lessons, just me and a textbook, I promptly withdrew from the course as I really believe there's no use in reading/memorizing a textbook then spewing out information on an exam. There's no value in that. Athabasca was very accommodating and very quick to grant my withdrawal and subsequent registration in an "individualized study ONLINE" course (similar to the previous 2 I had taken). I have also been entirely impressed with the administrative staff at Athabasca. Each time I've called or emailed I've had exceptional service and the Athabasca staff has always been friendly. This institution is really great for distance education online, but beware of distance courses that are not online...I just don't think it's acceptable to charge $700+ only to be sent a textbook, study guide and assignments. Aside from that hiccup, Athabasca is such a good fit for me since I work full-time and have a pretty involved sports schedule. The flexibility of online learning is perfect!

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful

Terrible experience with Aussie tutor NURS 432

Athabasca University - February 26, 2012
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My tutor was terrible and when you talk the financial aid office, the lady does not know what she is doing.she wait till dying to process loan certificate. Thereby making one to getback late

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9 of 24 people found the following review helpful

For Mature Students only

Athabasca University - February 17, 2012
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I recently completed two online courses at AU: BIOL204 and CHEM217. I decided to take these courses out of interest as I am a working High School Teacher. I only went as far as gr. 11 Biology and chemistry so I knew i had to be prepared and organized BIOL204 was mainly readings, two written assignments, 7 at-home labs, and two exams. I did not really speak with my tutor too often and just emailed. I had to re-write my first bio report as it was barely a pass. I took note of my tutor's feedback and scored 80% on the re-written report. The written assignments were not hard but information presented had to be detailed, exact, and with lots of examples. The labs were fun and did not take up a lot of time. The textbook plus assignments ( including assignments grouped by first name that i did not have to do but did anyways) provided enough info for the exams, but i also used random youtube lectures for extra understanding. My final course grade was an A-. I considered this an easy course and not very consuming. CHEM217 was definitely harder and more consuming. I felt like I was doing 2 courses in one. Each chapter included problem sets that needed to be worked through before progressing onwards. I was doing problem sets at least 4 days each week, about 4 to 6 per day. I scored well on the assignments but I got a lot of help from youtube lectures and online examples from various sources. My tutor helped with explaining assignment problems but I was not in contact with them that much. You definitely need to have a tutor available for chemistry. The home lab is requested after passing the first two assignments. I did not get my lab kit until late in my calendar which threw off my study schedule. The labs were very consuming. They took me at least 3 to 4 hours to do as they included additional problems that needed to be answered on top of the basic lab report. It normally took me about 2 days to finish each lab and submit the report. Since i received the lab kit late I was trying to do 10 labs plus problem sets and preparing for my final all in about 3 weeks. I thought both exams were very hard. I scored 68% on my mid-term and 64% on my final (however the marker's feedback for both exams was that I did well). Since I averaged an A on my assignments and A+ in my labs my final grade was a B. In conclusion, I enjoyed the courses because they were challenging and interesting. I felt like I pushed myself intellectually and feel that I can definitely push through academic obstacles. However doing these courses on your own, especially chemistry, requires commitment, organization, focus, and major problem solving skills. I knew that i was getting the basics when I was able to notify my tutor of several chemistry textbook mistakes in a few chapter examples. These were confirmed by him later. But this was after spending hours on these incorrect problems. You dont want to waste time trying to figure out a problem so contacting the tutor as soon as you can is the best thing to do. I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out problems on my own. But i definitely would not have passed CHEM217 without using the internet as a resource for information, lectures, and problem examples. My BIOL204 marks were posted within the two week time frame but the chemistry marks took longer. I notified my tutor when they took too long to post and received them promptly(tutors do not mark exams only assignments). I cant say anything bad about AU. Distance education means you are doing it on your own so if you are well organized and committed you should do fine. If you get a bad tutor then try and get them to give feedback on assignments so you can tailor your results to fit their standards. I did that with my re-written BIO lab report and went from a 53% to an 80%. Chemistry was tough but I am proud that I was able to get through it and complete both courses. I am currently enrolled in BIOL205 and CHEM218. Wish me luck!! R

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful

Athabasca: Not worth it

Athabasca University - September 9, 2011
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Athabasca sucks, you pay for them to give you a textbook, and you're expected to learn everything on your own with no tips on what to focus on. No posted lectures, no help at all. I would recommed this crappy school to no one.

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13 of 31 people found the following review helpful

jumping through hoops if you have the money

Athabasca University - August 30, 2011
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Overall the university is high quality, because the tutor (who marks everything) is available by email (or phone) whenever needed, has a phd in field and is successful in professional career with subject (my tutor for english undergrad. is a published author). Also good feedback is given on essays, so you know what marker expects. Any calls I have made to university have been answered and I was satisfied at the end of the call, furthermore I was never transferred to other people. Unfortunately, I won't be taking another Atha. course because of the 'hoops' I feel I have to jump through and the exorbitant amount of money being charged for the course. I have an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree and continually upgrade my qualifications through online and on campus courses for the past 8 years. This is my first distance learning course, and found that the amount of work expected - with additional fees for EVERYTHING (despite being the most expensive tutition I have ever paid even than international univer.)is more than has been expected of me in all my experiences. I much prefer online courses to this... I managed to find an inviligator at my local library for FREE but up until i stumbled onto it, i was going to have no choice but to pay 85$per exam -and travel to another city! (You can register someone new to invili. but it takes 60 days to go through the process.)While I submitted my essays by email-it is not necessarily the norm. My exams are all handwritten and have to be mailed away. I think part of the problem of price for this course is that they send you all the books required(i had a boxful dropped off in my driveway by the road and found them when i went out one morning!) but I already had many of what they sent. There should be a choice to get the books my self if it will save me 500$.... I took this course because of the flexible time given and the option to buy and extention if needed. I have four kids, am a working professional and found the flexibility extreemly attractive. However, I could have been patient for 6 months taken an online version with another great university and saved myself a lot of money, course work and physical work meeting deadlines and finding inviligators! It really has been more money than it is worth, and the pluses of this university can be met elsewhere.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful

History major

Athabasca University - August 12, 2011
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After high school I attended Siast. The first program I took from them was basically the teachers reading from the textbook and repeating everything three or four times. The courses and exams where extermatly easy. I was so disappointed that I had to go to school Mon-Fri 9 to 4 to be treated like a child. After I finished my program I was unsatified with the job it allowed me to get so I thought I would give it another try at Siast with a different course that posed to be more challaging. It was exactlly the same as the first one I had taken. I was so angery that I wasted my time again to go to class and do everything in the classroom that I could do at home. I decided that I wasn't happy going to class to learn the same things I could learn the same stuff in half the time sitting in my Pjs. Athabasca university is the best time I've ever done. I can go though the material and complete the assignment as quickly as I want and I can still work full time. If you need to go to class and have everything explained to you distance learning is not for you. If you want to complete courses fast and are an independent studier then try athabasca university. Keep in mind distance learning isn't for everyone and requires you to structure and plan your own studying.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Disappointing

Athabasca University - July 25, 2011
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As a graduate of two Universities with two undergraduate honours degrees I am truly disappointed to experience the lack of attention paid to a quality of learning at Athabasca. The student guides contain obsolete information and are still being published and distributed. As a public school teacher, I feel that it is sad to see this University publish information that I wouldn't even feel is adequate for my own students. In addition, while the printed policy is that 5 business days is the turnaround time for assignments, I found myself chasing after my tutor who never responded even to the reciept of my assignments. When I asked a question regarding the corrections made to ensure that I would improve my practice, I was told that "We do not do corrections." In other words, Athabasca University is not an institute that is based on teaching and learning. At this point, I feel that I could not recommend Athabasca to anyone who is genuinely looking for a meaningful learning experience and have notified my colleagues that require the same coursework.

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful

Master of Nursing

Athabasca University - July 19, 2011
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I have been in the pursuit of my MN degree for 2 years . I am beyond pleased ; faculty and employees are great and respond promply to my queries . I would recommend this program to any busy nurse out there who would like to continue their education , but cannot b/c of the constraints of balance of work and Home . This is not a walk in the park either , you must be organized , dedicated and stay ontop of your work .

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful

Decided to give it a try at 38. Lol big mistake.

Athabasca University - June 14, 2011
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Pro: Good books. Good tutors. Good instructors. Cons: Terrible management. Terrible structure. Terrible attitude from management staff. I really didn't believe it when my fellow colleague warned me about this particular aspect of the uni. But no, it's there, it's true, and it's laughable and embarrassing for a school which holds 'prestige' and 'rank' (L.o.l.). Terrible support. Terrible technology. Terrible Efficiency; let me explain: they rather courier an examination from wherever they are from, than to send an invig a passworded PDF or something. Terrible "high-ups". They aren't highly skilled to be brutally honest. Just high out of their minds. Got my course, got out. Will be paying $100 more to go to weekend colleges. PS. It's true what people say, their examination office is the one bad apple that infects every fruit of the tree.

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8 of 16 people found the following review helpful

Bachelor of Commerce

Athabasca University - June 5, 2011
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After reading some of the rants of former AU Students, I started to wonder if they were disappointed because AU is not as easy as they thought it would be. Kids... If you are used to mommy and daddy doing your laundry then distance education is not for you. It takes a lot of motivation, focus and hardwork. Yes, there are some profs who are useless or harsh markers but that is like any other uni. This is my 6th year with AU. 4 more courses and I am done!

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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful

Athabasca University

Athabasca University - May 13, 2011
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I would urge anyone to consider finding a real school somewhere else. The lay-out of the course is extremely poor. Study Guide as well as the assignment book had errors, quite confusing and less helpfull than they supposed to be. The tutor was quite nice, but very forgetful and incompetent at times, had to remind her a couple of times about the same thing. Didn't find her helpful at all, she would only give me general answers to all of my questions. Student guide referred to pages that were absent. I would not recommend this university to anyone!

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Great tutors. Unhumane policies.

Athabasca University - April 26, 2011
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Athabasca University has amazing tutors, texts, and books. Their lab materials are great too. Here is the issue; they are EXTREMELY backwards when it comes to technology. Myself and 3 other friends can vouch for this. Athabasca will use every opportunity to squeeze money out of you. They will charge unreasonable fees for simple requests. Their manager for this is the most unprofessional person you will speak to. I was at my test center waiting to pay my test fee and write, and he brought a student to tears because she couldn't afford to pay a late fee for something that was Athabasca's mistake. He then hung up on her. Other friends have complained about similar events. Their administration is extremely unprofessional when put beside their tutors. It's a shame because their tutors are fantastic.

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful

MAIS

Athabasca University - April 9, 2011
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I have studied in a number of places in undergraduate, graduate, business and health-related diploma/certificate courses. AU's Master of Arts Integrated Studies has exceeded my expectations in several ways. the curricula are well designed in terms of scaffolding learning; the professors (even the one I didn't much like) have been brilliant and responsive - really concerned about my needs, as opposed to touting themselves; my peers have been excited about what they are learning, well read and engaged in the forums. It's been a great deal of work and I am now about half-way through, but some of the best learning of my life. the program is flexible and designed to respond to an individual's goals. it's certainly not for people who are half-committed, although I have a friend who seems to work much less hard than i do :) I could not be happier with my experience. My only quibble would be that the student awards (bursaries and scholarships) are very much targeted to Alberta residents.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful

A solid and positive experience

Athabasca University - April 5, 2011
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I've been "Attending" AU for a couple of years now. From the very beginning, the experience was exactly what I was looking for (self-paced, 100% individualized-study, access to quality tutors/teachers as req'd). While this isn't a news flash, it's still worth repeating....AU is only a good choice if you're actually capable of managing your time/effort. Every course comes with a sample timetable, however there is no hand-holding. It takes a real effort (even for the most structured people) to effectively develop and execute a learning plan. That all said, the rewards are incredible. The flexibility AU offers is amazing, and I'm regularly impressed by the quality of graduates I've met. The Certs, Diplomas and Degrees are recognized everywhere, and are well thought of for admission into Graduate studies.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

A.U. Review

Athabasca University - March 29, 2011
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I am in my fourth year. I highly recommend A.U. First thing I would like to comment on i s some of the negative comments. I do not want these negative comments misleading some people. You have to remember that when a person fails they NEED to blame someone/anyone. Because it is never their fail, ya right. This is why you may see negative comments. I have to say if you have the drive and time to succeed at AU, you can Get on your assignment right away and stay in contact with your tutor. Nothing comes without working hard, before applying remember one thing, that its University.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful

University Certificate Human Resources & Labour Relations

Athabasca University - March 25, 2011
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The AU courses require self discipline and effort to commit about ten hours a week for each course. The courses have about the same material and difficulty level of any other university in Canada. The only problem I experienced was that some tutors would not communicate by any other method than email. Sometimes a bit of advice on how to complete an assignment or project on the phone is easier to comprehend than an email message. Overall though I was pretty well impressed with AU.

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful

Athabasca University's Master of Arts - Integrated Studies

Athabasca University - March 15, 2011
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I just finished the Master of Arts – Integrated Studies (MAIS) through Athabasca University (AU) and I felt compelled to post a review here because this program in particular is truly outstanding. Everything, both the instructors and the courses, far exceeded my expectations for a master’s-level degree program. Even administrative parts of the program, like asking questions of the MAIS or Centre for Integrated Studies Offices and getting information, or submitting certain documents or what have you, was always a hassle-free experience--they are all super helpful and professional. I never had a problem with contacting anyone for help in relation to submitting study plans and accessing the usual services necessary to moving forward in a degree program. I think someone else made a great and very accurate comment in other reviews for Athabasca University when they said that AU is for mature students who are willing to work hard, and it is NOT for those who want an easy ride. You have to be highly disciplined and self-motivated to take AU courses, even the paced group-study courses where a certain amount of the grade is devoted to discussion and participation/interaction among students on the online Moodle boards. I worked full time while I pursued my degree and so I had to be highly organized and spend a lot of my free time reading, researching and writing—-that is the reality of this program. There are no shortcuts with this program, and there is certainly no hand-holding. I also understand that, based on some comments that I read from my other classmates during the course of the program, it is not all that uncommon for people to drop out of the courses at Athabasca because they tend to be much more challenging than expected. I did an English honours program at a highly regarded university in Canada, and now I work in a social sciences/health-related research/writing area, and I can say that my educational experiences with the MA-IS program were far and away superior to pretty well most educational offerings that I have had, whether my B.A. program courses or professional workshops or conferences. The quality of the education is on par with most of the best universities in Canada, but I would argue that it is better based on my own experience. Although I am not familiar with their undergraduate courses, I know that Athabasca’s Master of Nursing and MBA programs are also very highly regarded. Even though AU prides itself on being an open university and is progressive in its curriculum and in terms of reducing barriers to pursuing post-secondary education, I would caution that if you are considering the MA-IS program you need to have a strong undergraduate background, i.e. strong in writing and research skills, with relatively good grades. If you sailed through your Bachelor’s degree with low marks, you won’t get very far and will find the MA-IS extremely challenging and disappointing. The MA-IS program is a LOT of work, and there are high expectations of what sort of work the students will produce. Overall, I highly recommend the MA-IS program and Athabasca University generally. It is a high-quality institution with great instructors and administration. Of course, there will always be some issues and small hassles with distance learning—-this is unavoidable. But if you’re disciplined, relatively intelligent, and are willing to work, then you will get the most out of any course that you take with them.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Bcomm - Great school

Athabasca University - February 25, 2011
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I laugh at some of the reviews that people write here. Most of the bad reviews are from students who are currently attending university and did poorly on their course so they think that taking an online course from an university such as Athabasca is the easy route. News flash kids. The courses offered at Athabasca are real courses. In fact, this is distance learning, and therefore, its more challenging than your tradtional courses. Again, don't register to Athabasca if you're looking for a quick way to obtain credits cause you'll be disappointed. As for my experience, I'm enrolled in the Bcomm program and I have no complaints. Sure, you might have one or two profs that you don't get along with, but hey, you'll get the same experience at traditional unversity. As for the profs themselves, all of them that I've worked with are qualified, some have MBAs or PHDs. The school has pretty high standards on who they hire. Don't believe me, check their career section. Distance and online learning is the future folks. No one has the time anymore to attend school especially when everyone is trying to upgrade their skills while working on their careers. This format of studying is the solution to many of us who are constantly trying to improve themselves. And for that, I thank Athabasca.

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful

POOR GRADING, POOR TUTORS POOR ADMINISTRATION

Athabasca University - February 23, 2011
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The administartion is after money. I had a tutor who gave me wrong marks for a wrong exam. No chance to complain because they just "subdue" you. Thye have some of the worst tutors except 4 i had who were fantastic. Thye refused to transfer my Computer credits from another province because they wanted me to pay money to their stupid institution. One English course had errors in books. Student guide referred to pages that were absent. They put unnecessary prerequisites for degrees just for money. If you are going there just to get a transcript of attendance its okay but not to get a degree b,se you will not find any help nor backing when you complain. One old tutor called Brophy even complained when one student addressed him by his last name and so he decided to penalize him with low marks. Dont go there if you have other choices b,se you may not even graduate. Me i was lucky b,se i had prior advanced degrees. Watch out against this institution.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Calculus 2 is the first and last course I will take at Athabasca

Athabasca University - February 15, 2011
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I am 3rd year engineering student and needed Calculus II when I was transferring between universities. I ended up taking it with Athabascsa and wow what a struggle it was. For this course, you are given an book full of notes/examples, a textbook with questions and a solution manual. The only good thing I can say about this experience was I got the grade and credits I needed. Thats about it. Now onto the bad: Firstly, the tutor. What a joke. I only spoke with him a handful of times over the phone during the course. Each time I asked a question, he simply wrote the solution (EXACTLY the same as the solution manual) and faxed the answer to me. In my opinion, unacceptable. Secondly, the schools organization. I had a very tight dates and a specific deadline to have this course done (my new school needed the grade). The school sent one of my exams to a different province and lost one of my exams in the mail (over the week during the summer when the school is closed) which resulted in myself phoning all over to track it down. Luckily, I managed to find it (not where it was supposed to be). I have heard so many good things about the business programs at this school, which is why I thought this would be a good option for Calculus 2. I was wrong. I have also talked to other students about my awful experience and deferred them away. Lastly, this course is ridiculously hard. If your math skills are weak, I wouldn't recommend this course, especially with the tutors they have. By far the hardest university course of my educational career.

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Distance Education is always a crapshoot...

Athabasca University - January 4, 2011
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The bottom line is this: Athabasca is for mature hardworking students who want to (and have the ability to)learn the material, get the transcript/credits, and get out. Some even do better in this type of course than a traditional program. It's not for students who need hand holding to get through a course. You definitely need to be motivated and a textbook learner. If you cannot learn on your own from a textbook and need everything explained to you, AU is NOT for you. You have to be bright enough to figure things out on your own. You can't be surprised that you have to figure out how to best make use of your text book, or that your assignments didn't cover the material on your exams. In distance learning, this is how they cover all the material. Your assignments cover most info NOT on the exams. Otherwise the exam is just a longer assignment repeat. On the other hand, if you are reasonably bright, a hard worker, can read a text book, and can follow instructions, you have a very good chance at doing well if you try. Now that doesn't mean that you won't encounter problems, or that the school doens't have issues (all distance programs can be hell at times), but you have a good chance of learning what you want and getting the official piece of paper with marks saying you did just that. Some people can't handle distance courses, and others can't handle the frustrations and politics dealing with such schools. But if you need to, and you can grit your teeth, you can get what you want out of it and move on. The good thing about AU is that while distance courses are expensive (as standard for most distance programs), the courses are reputable and transferable to pretty much any school in Canada.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Transfer Math course Taken

Athabasca University - June 30, 2010
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I would not recommend this university to anyone! I just needed to take a math course here to complete my undergrad at Brock university and it was such a rip off. I basically paid athabasca to read out of a math textbook and write exams and assignments with little to no support. My tutors hours were from 10pm to 11pm Tuesday nights! My tutor left the university towards the end of the course date and I had to go through the whole process of getting to know your tutor during the busiest time of the course. You have to pay for exams, student Id and I figured I spent about $400 extra dollars for the worst university course I have ever taken. Exams take over 3 weeks to get back to you!

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Bachelor of Commerce

Athabasca University - November 15, 2009
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I am satisfied with the service I am getting with AU. I must agree some of the instructors were a little "off" but those were the subjective courses I have taken - Psych, Commercial, etc. All in all, the instructors and AU staff were very helpful. It is interesting to know that most students measure their education by how prestigious the university is. That may have some merit but in the end it is YOU who can make a difference, not the university. Completing a degree, certificate, masters or what have you does not guarantee a good career but it does give us the ticket to get our foot in the door. Brick and mortar universities are the traditional way of getting an education but will still be the ways of the future?

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Is AU a good Choice?

Athabasca University - October 19, 2009
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I have noticed some people who have had less than good experiences with AU, post online. I would like to tell you of my experiences. I am in the Anthropology Program and have been for 7years part time (almost done, whoopee!!) Over my time at AU I generally have been estatic with everything. The school policies are clearly posted online, and the tutors have strict turn around times as stated on the internet. That is not to say I too have not had problems. For one English Course I had a tutor who never returned essays- and then later did after much begging, she also rarely returned emails. Complaints to the tutor services and her Professor were taken care of immediately and professionally. (although I really burned a bridge with her!) At other times when I had difficulty with a project or marking, I was given the opportunity to rewrite or challenge the mark. (Even at places like UofT you often are restricted from rewrites) I can say that the tutors for Anthropology have been fantastic. Two of them have even won AUSU Student favourites awards! I loved my Geography Tutor, She was so enthusiastic! It is a great University but it is not for everyone. It takes good discipline to complete courses by yourself. As well you should read and know your rights, so if you are getting poor service you know what to do. I believe the quality of education is comparable to other Canadian Universities.I took several 4th year Anth courses at UofT at the same time, and I received very similar marks. I cannot speak for all programs but the Anthropology Program has been great. I hope this helps.

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful

MBA

Athabasca University - July 7, 2009
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An online university that pays scant attention to what their academics do or, especially aren't doing to assist online learning - even though their promotional material and course syllabus specifically describe them.

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful


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