Empire State College, State University of New York
Review Averages: 6.3 out of 10 (90 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:
Not for the faint of heart but worthwhile
MALS - June 5, 2015
I have completed all but my final thesis project for my MALS (1/2 done now). During my studies I have lost 3 close members of my family, gotten married, and faced a number of other disruptive personal issues. Throughout the process my mentors have been supportive, helpful, and understanding. I started the program with the intention of pursuing a career as a professor. With that in mind, my professors challenged me to hone all the necessary skills to continue on to my Ph.D. Through that I was encouraged to submit papers to academic conferences and was able to present a paper at the PAMLA conference last year with professors and Ph.D. candidates. My ESC education did not leave my in any disadvantage compared to the other presenters at the conference. My personal experience with Empire is that you get back from your professors what you put in.
B.A. CULTURAL STUDIES
BA in Arts - June 5, 2015
I completed my BA in Cultural studies in 2010. My overall experience was positive. I did have a couple of problems with individual professors, but that is the case with most schools. I was able to design my own courses to pursue my specific interests through independent study. Approximately 40% of my courses were online. I found the online work less challenging than the independent studies. It is important to realize that ESC is a school designed for the adult learner, they do not offer prescriptive programs and expect you to carefully research and plan out your degree to fulfill your needs within a fairly loose framework. I was so pleased with the school I am in the MALS program and my daughter is about to complete her BS in Management and Economics. Empire is not for everyone, but it is a great school for self motivated learners.
Why do you guys think ESC needs to find a job for you ???
MAT - May 31, 2015
Ok, I just read Anonymous' complaints about the school NOT finding a job placement for him/her in the MAT program. It's kind of funny because what school is obligated to find a job for it's students? Isn't it YOUR job to find your OWN job??? Do you even know the job situation in Western NY? It's drop dead busted. Why would you think this program would guarantee you a job in a dry economy? There are NO teaching jobs in Western NY. Why do you blame the institution for this? I'm a former ESC MAT graduate, and I too had to do my own legwork and find a job. Guess what? I'm about to finish my 7th year as a classroom teacher. Go out and get your own job ... don't complain about the school not finding you one. That's not how it works? You want to teach? Come down to NYC ... there are plenty of jobs in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Harlem. You want a nice cushy teaching job in Western NY ... good luck, not happening. If you really want to make a difference ... come down to where teachers are needed. But don't complain about ESC.
Ups and Downs
BA in Arts - January 23, 2015
Everybody has different ways and speeds of learning and this is a school that caters to that. I read on here and on other websites that people prefer the traditional college route and if cookie cutter works for you, more power to you. With that said, I was never really well off in grade school and I barely got by in high school. While I'm in my first semester here, I feel a whole lot different about the prospects - and actually see a degree in my future. How valuable an ESC degree is in the real world remains to be seen, but when you don't have one at all, it can't hurt to have it. Added to that, there was a comment on here about someone who was put off by how bad many of his peers were at math - this is one of the hardest subjects for many people and a reason why they never went off to college in the first place. ESC is trying to cater to those people and help them understand where their grade school teachers failed. I find the faculty quite pleasant, except at times I do get annoyed with them. You can't enter any of the buildings without the receptionist butting into your business - "can I help you???" they always ask, every time in their usual tone. In that way I always feel a bit unwelcome and annoyed that I'm expected to explain myself, every single time I arrive for a class, workshop or just to use the computer lab. A personal story related to a certain professor was that I had been e-mailing with her a bit before I registered and I was really excited by the communication I had with her and after I registered for the class she recommended for me, I never heard from her again. On the first day of class when we were all introducing ourselves, she seemed to have no idea who I was and then later on in the class she wanted to address me and asked me to repeat my name for her. This was the blow that made me realize just how many students these people go through every single week. Me, you, our peers - we're cattle and the key is to do the work the best you can because in the end, they're not looking to network with us. The most off-putting thing is the school's push for PLA and boy do they keep pushing it! It's a fight not to be brainwashed into going that route, but if you can get your credits through actual classes, then *new* knowledge is more valuable. Why does ESC need to confirm you know something anyway?
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great College Programs and Affordable
Bachelor of Science in Busniess, Management, Economics with a concentration in Public Administration - November 27, 2014
In 1992 I enrolled in Empire State College with credits earned from two other accredited SUNY colleges. From my understanding ESC programs have graduated thousands of students who have met the rigorous academic requirements. I had successfully acquired a few credits based on verifiable experiences and submitted to the college for assessment via written format for review. , In my experience the college's programs as well as its faculty were highly professional and respected in the field. I met at least one of them in a graduate program from another respectable college. The correspondence courses are writing intensive and research oriented-students who do not write well will have ample opportunity to hone these life-altering skills. This college helped me to enhance my writing and research skills, which were essential to my graduate studies and my current role as a supervisor. Further, this college is a member of the SUNY education system; therefore, the academic offerings are regionally and nationally accredited, and THE MOST AFFORDABLE in New York and possibly the nation. I am a proud graduate of the Master's Degree program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice as as result of the educational offerings at SUNY Empire State College. The academic offerings are designed to challenge the student. The professors are leaders in your field of study (sometimes officials of local government). I took only took two online courses, however, some students may gravitate towards the online option based on their needs. Either way, this college will push you to the limits. ESC offers many academic programs to choose from. Look into it and meet the challenge. Good luck and God Bless!
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Unqualified instructors with low expectations
Bachelor of Science - October 30, 2014
If you want a degree to hang on the wall, ESC is a good college for you. If you want to find a job with your degree, ESC is not for you.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Beware of this Program unless you already have a job
MAT - September 26, 2014
I made the mistake of going into the MAT program without any connections or job offers in the education industry. The professors and Empire State administration do absolutely nothing to help you get any opportunities to build your resume in teaching even volunteer opportunities are scarce and hard to come by. I had to find completely on my own a placement to get "classroom experience hours" where I was treated as a nuisance. I can see doing this MAT program ONLY if you are already certified and in a classroom teaching or if you are guaranteed a job teaching once you are certified. For me this was a terrible waste of time and money that I will be paying back probably until the day I die. The professors were ok, the material was more or less useful, but there is absolutely nothing here that will help you get a teaching position, which are extremely scarce right now in Western NY. So unless you already know people this is not a good program that will assist you in making those necessary connections to break into teaching in New York State.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - July 18, 2014
I decided to return to school as an adult and for the money and because of prior learning credits I could receive, I chose SUNY ESC. I brought in an Associates in Accounting and was able to write 32 credits for prior learning assessments with 32 credits from ESC. It is not for everyone and you have to be organized and disciplined or you will not succeed. In one year I completed all of my work and will graduate at the end of August with my degree. I worked full time and cared for 2 sick parents as well as my own family. No one held my hand and walked me through anything, you have to be willing to put in the work. Some instructors were more rigid than others and although the instructions at time were unclear as to what to do, all you have to do is ask, don't wait until the semester is over to ask for help. I've read others who complained about this, it is your responsibility to get your work done. There were also all levels of learners in my classes so at times i needed patience as you could tell they were struggling. It is what you make of it and if you really want it ,SUNY ESC is a great affordable way to do it.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Would Do It All Over Again
Science, Math & Technology - Telecommunications Technology - June 15, 2014
The only reason I have not considered this as a 5 star school is the problem I have with the administrative functions of the school. I have heard complaints from other students about mentorship and sometimes how these people are oblivious as to what mentorship really means. Some of our instructors can also take lessons in T.L.C. A major complaint of mine, has to do with our school not administering honors degrees, and not allowing a student roundtable chosen by the student population each year, to air student concerns. The education here is excellent, however, and the graduate research format presented to undergraduates, is something that I very much appreciate.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Distance Ed - Still a Work in Progress
Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Health Service Management - May 18, 2014
CDL is not for everyone. While the business model is excellent (and probably will drive education in future) the execution is problematic. Students tend to be older with adult lives: families and work. There are always a few in the class who add a third element to the workload: a full time school program! Any glitch in any of the three aspects impacts the others. While some instructors have a laissez faire attitude, others work to a published schedule and reduce grades for late submissions. That can be a rude shock to some students. The mentors are largely overworked. The concept of a personal mentor is perhaps a holdover from the flower power days of ESC's early life in the 1970s. Don't expect too much hand-holding. If you have a problem with an instructor they will (eventually) contact the instructor and relay her response to you. Like many professional educators, mentors are more geared to asking you "What would you like to study?" rather than "To get this marketable degree you need to take X, Y and Z in that order. By the way, Z is offered only in spring and fills rapidly." The education is not tops by any stretch; ESC hasn't produced an overabundance of Rhodes Scholars. For most of us, some education is better than no education. The price is clearly in the right place if you can keep your focus.
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