Empire State College, State University of New York
Review Averages: 6.2 out of 10 (87 reviews)Empire State College, part of the State University of New York System, offers online associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs as well as certificate programs. Empire State College also features programs especially designed for: international students; people interested in interdisciplinary labor studies; and employees at participating organizations in metropolitan New York.
Accreditation: Middle States
Empire State College, State University of New York Reviews:
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
So far very happy.
May 4, 2012
Empire State College is not for everyone. It is a school where communication is key and you as the individual learner has a responsibility to be engaged in your personal learning process. Overall the school is great. It is very inexpensive compared to many other colleges in the area of where I live, and is cheap compared with all online colleges that are for-profit, and they can charge 7-10 times the amount of ESC. The classes are rigorous and highly demanding. Your education at this school falls back on you and ultimately there is no hand holding in the process. Anyone who says they have had a bad mentor, it is there own fault for not switching mentors or just relying on e-mail correspondence. Sometimes you have to take the initiative and pick up the phone and call. Not all of the mentors are hip to the technology or they themselves are under a tight schedule, so making time for you is tough. When you are in a system like ESC, you have to take into consideration that you are not the only person that your mentor deals with, otherwise you are being delusional or just disingenuous, and passing blame off of yourself. I will agree with some of the comments that some mentors do not fit in this environment. One example, is an accounting professor who had too much on his plate and could not really give as much attention as I would have liked. I think if you look at many colleges there is always one professor that has it out for you or lacks credible knowledge to really be the type to foster mentoring skills, so the system is not perfect. I find most of the claims on this review site to be individuals who are bitter by their own personal experience. The school has a few bad apples yes. But according to the college's web site there are, "The college serves nearly 20,200 students worldwide at 36 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more." This has to show for something. When you have over 63,000 alumni they have to be doing something right. Before you make a decision on coming here know that the school does serve a purpose for adults who have not finished their degree and they offer an opportunity to let you move up in the world by your personal will to excel. If you have any questions about the college you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, this school has more to offer if you are a disciplined self-starter. I hope this has been informative and good luck to you on your journey of continued learning.
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
February 10, 2012
I spent one semester in the MBA program at Empire State College (ESC) and wondered how ESC is part of the SUNY system. Among other factors, quality of a higher education institute depends on its competitive admission requirements, expectations, and faculty qualifications. ESC lacks these and other factors. I was shocked by the mathematical ability of some of my peers. The mathematical ability of these students was at a low high school level; as if the program is open to any student. As a result, I did not find my courses challenging, and left the program. Not to my surprise, the college I am attending, did not accept my ESC courses for not meeting the rigor of graduate-level courses. If other institutes don’t value ESC courses, how valuable a graduate degree from ESC can be?
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Is this really an accredited college?
January 11, 2013
I just finished my second semester in a graduate program and am considering cutting my losses now. Losing the tuition money is a better option than continuing whatever it is that passes for an education at Empire "college". Here is my experience so far: The mentors are friendly and approachable at the residency, and then you will never hear from them again. Emails and phone calls are not answered, and you aren't given any instruction or feedback until you've already turned in an assignment. You are not told how to do the assignments, only that you have done them wrong. There is no information on how your grades are calculated, and questioning anything is either simply ignored or met with confusion, hostility or both. And, instilling confidence in us new students, our department chairman told us that he is only the chair "because no one else wanted the job". I would love to hear an explanation of how this school became accredited. I've talked to dozens of graduate students here and they all have similar stories. I've also heard that I am not alone. more than two thirds of the graduate students drop out of these programs. (I'm not surprized, but wonder: Why doesn't anyone in the adminstration think that there might be a problem here?) I have heard that the undergraduate programs are not as bad, but if you're looking for a good graduate school keep looking. This is certainly not it.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
January 25, 2012
I have been a student at ESC for the past 2 1/2 years. I just graduated with a BA in Historical Studies. I can't understand all the negative comments because I found this school to be great. Having survived a year at Thomas Edison State College, ESC is 100 times better. Every school is going to have its issues. My son attends Kings College in PA and he goes through the same BS there. College is what you make of it. I think alot of people look at the online concept as being somewhat easier than face to face classroom instruction, but other than not taking exams, it is quite demanding. There has been several semesters where I was taking 4 and 5 classes and believe me it was very challenging. I sometimes don't know how I managed it all, but I did. As with every school, there is going to be crappy teachers. To be honest, I really only had 1 teacher that I had an issue with. All of my teachers were very understanding and quite helpful. If you are up front with your professors and let them know that you are having problems, they are more than willing to work with you. This is college and you are pretty much on your own and you have to be proactive. This school was great for me and I have no regrets. I completed over 60 credits with this school and all of the classes that i took were great. I left there with a 3.75 GPA. They offer a large selection of classes and the price can't be beat. It is money well spent. Don't listen to the negative comments. I was a terrible student in high school and i never thought that I was college material. I came here and all that changed. This school has allowed me to develop as a student and I've learned so much. I had a great mentor, who I happened to take 2 independent classes with and whom I loved. If I ever had a problem, it was always resolved immediately.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed with quality of school
January 4, 2012
First things first, I only completed two courses with Empire State...but that was enough for me! I had high hopes for Empire State. The website seemed to outline the different programs and requirements well, and I was of course impressed by the SUNY name. After my initial credit evaluation I was still hopefuly, because Empire State was willing to accept about 70% of my credits (including some of my military credits). It wasn't until it came time for my tuition assistance form to be processed and for my assigned mentor to contact me that I encountered some issues. My tuition assistance form had to be faxed three different times after I called for confirmation each time. Still, my form which would pay for my two classes somehow got "lost" each time. Not only that, but the form took so long to be processed that it was almost the last date prior to being dropped from the courses for nonpayment before it was recognized. I excused this, however, because I have had issues in the past with schools taking a very, very long time to process military tuition assistance forms. Next, though, was the total absence of my mentor. I understand the concept of adult online education. The student is to be independent and responsible. However, the role of the mentor is to still provide SOME sort of guidance. I emailed my mentor for help about what classes I should start with, and received no response for WEEKS. I waited patiently and no reply. I then had to contact her again with a forward of the same email. She finally replied to the second email after a week and a half. Her reply left much to be desired. It was almost as if I were bothering her. She was vague, and basically said I could take whichever class which falls in the categories where I still needed credit (errrr, duh?). I had also asked her for some explanation on how the transcript and degree planner worked. Again, very vague answer given. She told me to "play around" with the degree planner to become familiar with its functions (I thought this was a bit of a no brainer? I was hoping for some more specific answers to my specific question about different buttons/tabs/etc. of the degree planner). Anyway, I ended up selecting my two classes and hoped that my mentor would either be more helpful next semester or that I would be assigned a better one. My course materials were affordable and easily attainable through both the school website and other websites such as Amazon. I was grateful for this, because I have spent much more in the past on books for classes. Though, it could have just happened that other courses offered by Empire State were more expensive, and I happened to take two courses which were very affordable material-wise. The coursework was indeed challenging and interesting most of the time. The weekly assignments and discussions kept me actively participating in the course. Some of the assignments, however, felt like pointless busy work for the sake of writing weekly essays, but I suppose that's the case for other schools as well. The big failing for me came with the instructors. It could be that my instructors happened to both be rather unhelpful and distracted. I'm sure there are better teachers instructing for Empire State. However, my experience is enough to leave me displeased enough to seek the completion of my education elsewhere. I particularly disliked that I was left in vagueness in terms of my grade for one of my courses until the very end of the semester. I emailed my instructor for some sort of in-depth feedback of my work after the first month or so, because I found it odd that I had no idea of where I stood at all performance-wise. She replied with a vague promise that she would send out feedback of my standing at the midway point. I waited for this midway point, and the "feedback" was two sentences long and seemed very generic and impersonal...almost as if it were sent out to other students. The lack of feedback continued, but I kept on turning in assignments and assumed it meant the grading would be an A for effort type of deal. Fast forward to the end of the course, and once again there is no explanation provided of any assignments with a final grade posted of C-. I am going to be honest, I felt agitated. Not only was I not provided with specifics after asking, but I was given a grade I feel was unfair for such lack of communication. This was probably what sealed the deal for me, that I would no longer attend Empire State. All along throughout the semester I was becoming more and more disenchanted with the school in general, the lack of structure, the impersonal instructors and mentors, the sometimes tedious assignments, the errors of the school finance office, etc., etc., but I think this was the last straw. The fact that I had received my lowest grade ever in a college course when I participated fully and previously asked for feedback on my standing in the class. Again, I understand the concept of independent adult education; I actually prefer this set up to in person education. I have learned so much from my previous school and other schools where I have taken individual classes. I have had some instructors I thoroughly felt were invested in my learning and progress. This WAS NOT the case AT ALL with Empire State. It's funny, because prior to enrolling at Empire State I came to this website and read reviews on the college. I took in the positive and took in the negative and made my own decision. This is why I am choosing to review here, to help provide some info for those who are thinking about enrolling. Of course, it's an individual decision, and I am sure there are people who have had much success with this college. Unfortunately, I have had the exact opposite experience. I really thought this was going to be the college for me, but it turned out otherwise.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
ESC instructors that are not meant to teach.
October 26, 2012
Online education is meant for motivated and independent students. I am a motivated and independent student, but from time to time I have questions. I am taking three online courses, and am very disappointed with all my instructors. Two instructors never replied to my emails about the assignments. The reply of the third instructor was as if she never read my emails to know what I was asking. I had a question about the intend of the article, and in just two words she responded: "Next week." Feeling that she might have mistaken my email with another student's email, I asked again what the implication of the article was. Again, in just two words she replied: "Next Tuesday." Students, be aware of the quality of the college and its faculty.
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Difficult, but great experience
July 26, 2012
I completed my Bachelor of Science in Management at ESC. Having already completed an AA degree prior, I was hesitant to start an online degree program and was unsure of the expectations. Taking classes online is difficult, it takes A LOT of personal commitment and time. The professors responded in a timely fashion, though there may have been 2-3 over 2 years of attending that were not so great, but what college does offer perfect professors? I was disappointed to see some really negative comments here, please keep in mind majority of them were from students that lasted a semester or two (probably not highly motivated individuals) and the course work is a lot. This is by no means an easy degree program. You will work for your grades. I recommend this college to anyone looking to work hard and complete a Bachelor level degree. The course work is heavy, requiring a lot of papers, but once you get the in the groove, it all comes together. Side note *** I am NOT embarrassed to put SUNY ESC on my resume, in fact I just left a management role with the largest pharmaceutical company in the world for a promoted management position with one of the best colleges in NYC and the country. Just sayin' :)
13 of 22 people found the following review helpful
MENTOR HAS NO CLUE AND DEGREE PLAN PROCESS IS A JOKE! SUNY SHOULD BE ASHAMED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ESC!
April 24, 2012
My mentor had me take courses which she said met general education requirements. The director of the review board also said they met gen. ed. Now in my senior year, I find out that I cannot graduate because my degree plan cannot be concurred! They also took away my life credits because they will not allow you to be over 128 credits. I requested a refund of the $300, and they have refused! I am now out $300 for the life credits, and I have to pay (out of pocket) for 3 additional courses because of their mistakes! Worse yet, no one is now responding to my calls or emails.... Don't Waist Your Money!!!
12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
April 29, 2012
Its a sad excuse for education. Teach yourself and then we will have some part time instructor that doesn't care evaluate you. Oh, and btw, the instructors haven't got a clue about the expectations or how to be responsive to the students. It's literally a chance experience. Most times the instructor doesn't care and never replies and just give a grade. And others the instructor thinks he is the police and will show you who is boss. Take your pick. If I could I would do it differently. I wouldn't have gone there, but since the process of transferring is so much work, and I already have a full time job, I cannot. It's like going to a bad high school, stay away!
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
January 20, 2012
I'm a second year grad student in the teacher certification program. It is bad when most instructors are adjuncts. It is worst when I see the adjunt is not qualified to teach the course. It is even worst when I have to find a teaching job to be certified and graduate.
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