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Empire State College, State University of New York

3.1
95 Reviews
5 21 
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Empire State College, State University of New York Reviews:

Healthcare Leadership

MBA - June 5, 2017
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I'm an online student with ESC because I never liked sitting a classroom. At ESC I started off enrolling into an advanced certificate course for Healthcare management, which are MBA level courses at $600 per credit. I had some issues receiving financial assistance from my union so I switched to an advanced certificate course for Human services since these were regular masters courses at $453 per credit. I took 2 courses in the HCM program and got A's in both courses. I took one course in the HS program and also got an A. My union began providing tuition assistance again so I asked to go back into my HCM certificate program. They did inform me this would be the final time I could do that, but switched me back without a problem. I can only speak from my experience and say I haven't had any of the problems I've read here in this thread. My professors responded and gave me feedback on my work every time I submitted a paper. I will honestly tell you hands down if you are not a strong writer or big on reading several chapters, do not apply to this school. Most of the work are at minimum 8-10 pages. But you have ample time to get them done. You figure if you a semester at ESC is from Sept-Dec and you have 4-5 papers to write then there shouldn't be a problem if you manage your time effectively. There are also discussions throughout the course you have to participate in like any other online program. You have to be a strong writer, know how to research, capable of reading a lot, prioritize your time and stay organized if you want to succeed. If you're going to expect someone to hold your hand then you can forget that because I assure you that won't happen, not only here but in most online programs. You have to truly be a self starter and be able to follow direction well in some of the courses. I completed my bachelor's in 2014 at another SUNY school and most of the time you are teaching yourself. That's just my take on any online school. I recently applied into ESC's MBA program for Healthcare Leadership and was excepted. I asked my professor to write one of my recommendations and she wrote one which was flawless and related to the work she saw I did. I also had to get one from my supervisor which I did and I wasn't as impressed. It wasn't bad but it showed there was a lack of thought put into it compared to my professor. I think every school and their teaching style is different and you have to find what fits you and your learning style. ESC fits my learning style since I'm a strong writer and I love to read. I do not enjoy tests and don't feel a test should be the sole determining factor in my grades. Plus as a full time working parent I have that flexibility. I don't think the school is bad, I think some people may have some unrealistic expectations or didn't get their way so they are bitter. I look forward to completing my MBA at ESC. And ESC is an accredited college which can absolutely be verified.

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DO NOT GO TO THIS COLLEGE

Bachelor of Science - June 4, 2017
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I would not recommend ANYONE going to Empire State College. I transferred to this school after taking most of my Gen Ed classes at Kingsborough and Brooklyn College in the hopes that I could finish my degree while working because of my particular circumstances. My experience at this school has been nothing short of a disaster. To start, I have been at this school for four years when I should have completed it in 2 years. This is due to the fact that they assigned me the wrong "mentor" who messed up my academic degree plan and had me take classes that I did not need. It was only until later did I find out that he was not knowledgable in my academic area at the time (mathematics) but because he was in the science and technology field (science), the school thought that he would have the content knowledge to advise something he didn't know anything about. Second, I had to keep taking time off in and out of school because their financial aid department doesn't know how to calculate their financial aid budget. I paid my tuition through student loans so once you send it to the school, you think that everything will be ok moving forward. Not at this place. You send it to the school and then later before the semester starts, you find out at the last moment that you have some miscellaneous outstanding balance that can impede you from taking classes. Not professional. Thirdly, at all costs, I will not recommend taking their independent and especially their online classes because professors give you WAY too much work to complete that is atypical of a normal undergraduate course. In addition, depending on the professor that you get (which is not always your choice depending on what is available), you have professors that give you absolutely no help with the work if you need help, they don't take into account that some students have to work full-time and go to school full-time, they're slow to respond or give you your grades on time which can affect your financial aid if you receive it, and, from my understanding, there is no regulatory body that oversees the online studies so you can have one professor that gives you an astronomical amount of work to do and if you can't complete it, you will ultimately fail, which I believe is what the school ultimately wants you to do. They market on their website and through ads that the college is built around the working adults' life but in my experience, to me, it doesn't seem like the school is in the best interest of its students, it only seems to me that they are more concerned with taking the money out of students' pockets and putting them through a stupendous amount of administrative hurdle than it is about getting them to graduate on time and with the least of amount of debt possible. I really had high hopes for this college when I transferred back in 2013 but after going through all the problems that I have been through, I highly recommend that you find another school to complete your studies.

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Avoid Working with Saratoga at All Costs!

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies - January 9, 2017
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Before I go into my review, which is largely bad, it should be known that I am a straight A student going into my final term to earn a BA in cultural studies with a concentration in creative writing. College Background: The college is basically a SUNY school that operates like one of those online for-profit schools, in that they don't really have an endowment, so their entire funding structure relies on tuition. Because there are no real campuses, except in New York and Saratoga, most students study via the internet and therefore there is no limit to how many they can accept and admissions are on-going throughout the year. Academics and Student Life: The school administration doesn't seem to put a value on students that achieve high academic scores nor students that pursue difficult degree plans. Both of which I would fall into. I went well out of my way to research a complex degree plan that would surpass the expectations of even the toughest colleges out there. At the time I enrolled, I thought this stuff mattered, but the people who run the college are mostly into social issues and students that get involved in social issues. Namely race issues, and this brings us to BLM. If the constant push to shove racism down your throat isn't apparent by the end of your first term, then learn abotu BLM. Their "football team" as I've come to call it is the Black Male Initiative: a group so powerful within the college that if your club has booked a room for an event, BLM can swoop in and take it the day-of and there's nothing you can do about it. The administration has unofficial anti-white leanings (even though they're comprised of white people) due to the fact that their student base is largely from New York's urban centers. White people are of course welcome, but don't expect to be accepted into student life with open arms unless your willing to accept that all the problems that black people face in America is entriely due to white people, including me and you - and certainly don't expect to be nominated for any leadership positions within the student body. At one point I was nominated by a professional staffer to represent my local center, but was told that I likely wouldn't get it since - and I quote - "White people don't represent diversity, and they're angling for someone who can show the state how diverse our school is". But that I was "nominated" was an achievement (meh). Regardless of where you study, the college is run by these sniveling weasels up in Saratoga, who have absolutely no idea who their students are. A couple even purport to "investigate" student complaints against one-another is if they're some gumshoe in a pulp novel. Try not to wind up in contact with these people if possible - it'll be hard but it's possible. ESC provides an important service in that it allows working adults to go back to school for whatever reason they need. But there's a lot that needs to be fixed with the place starting with their funding structure, and the bullies who work in Saratoga.

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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Very Good Education

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Management - December 13, 2015
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I earned my B.S. in business management in 2010. This was all online study through the CDL. It was not easy and required a lot of time and effort. Many research papers and assignments. If you are not a self disciplined adult, this is not for you. Time management is critical and be prepared to do all the work! On a good note, ESC will give credit for prior learning if you can validate it. I recommend ESC to working adults who need to study online for various reasons. My final analysis is that ESC provides a top notch education at an affordable price and will give you the tools needed to excel in your workplace. Best of luck!

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Empire admits in a memo that they can't determine their students qualifications to teach!!!!

MAT - June 26, 2015
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Overall this program should not be able to qualify teachers for certification. They admit this themselves in a recent Memo sent to enrolled students who have paid tuition and depended on them to deliver qualifying course work. They explain that if the Pearson Tests say one is illiterate they will not, as is their ability, write and tell the State you are literate. So they accept the money from illiterate people, give a Masters degree and even straight A's but will not say you can read!!! Any Grad program can tell the State Cert Board that the test is flawed, which everyone knows, and their evidence, grades and course work confirm you can read. Empire won't do that. The tests cost about $130 a pop. Pearson earns billions every year testing all grade levels and the cert tests. So if a grad student takes the test again, more money for Pearson. And no responsibility for Empire State College ! The instructors are extremely unresponsive. Rarely participate in on line discussion or instruction. The web sites they refer you to are more often than not down! If Pearson is the God of teaching Certification why is a "program" needed at all? Give out a book about test taking strategies and save all the instructor salaries! Yea, that's what Empire offers, a course on test taking...if you can read it!!!! The Empire memo should be posted on Facebook for all to pass around. To be clear, even though the NYS Board of Regents says a program can over-ride the results of the tests Empire State College will not say its students can read! Return their money Empire

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Not for the faint of heart but worthwhile

MALS - June 5, 2015
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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.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful

B.A. CULTURAL STUDIES

BA in Arts - June 5, 2015
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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.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Why do you guys think ESC needs to find a job for you ???

MAT - May 31, 2015
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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.

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Ups and Downs

BA in Arts - January 23, 2015
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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?

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2 of 3 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
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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!

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Unqualified instructors with low expectations

Bachelor of Science - October 30, 2014
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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.

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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful

Beware of this Program unless you already have a job

MAT - September 26, 2014
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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.

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful

Great Experience

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - July 18, 2014
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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.

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Would Do It All Over Again

Science, Math & Technology - Telecommunications Technology - June 15, 2014
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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.

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6 of 7 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
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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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Not what I expected

MALS - April 19, 2014
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I am finishing my first semester of graduate work at ESC. I understand the negative reviews here and "question" who wrote a few of the positive reviews. While I can say that I did learn quite a bit this semester, I hardly credit ESC. Professors are generally unavailable (you do not expect your professor to be out of the country and unavailable for the two weeks immediately preceding your final project), the grading is entirely subjective, there are NO introductory courses (i.e., I would have expected, perhaps, a 2-6 week tutorial in reading and writing at the graduate level before receiving a C for a poorly formatted paper), and the standards are nonexistent. I was shocked to be posting online with well thought out critical analysis while many of my peers could not spell the simplest words or write a grammatically correct sentence. A topic asking for critical analysis of a book is not fulfilled buy someone writing, "I feel the author made severel good points and I enjoy finding references to other works we read." I am not saying that ESC can't work for certain students who have family and work commitments. However, I believe you can find better value for your money elsewhere. I cringe thinking exactly how much this degree will actually be worth in the job market. SUMMARY: 1) The residencies are total bullshit and are there only for the purpose of providing propaganda to our "feeble minds". (Why do I always think ESC staff is always seeing us as suckers?), and 2) Why in hell are the FEDS giving me $10,000 a semester in student loans when tuition for a 6hr semester is 2500. That is way fcked up.

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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful

Better Experience As I Went Along

Science, Math & Technology - Telecommunications Technology - October 26, 2013
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When I first started at ESC, this rating would have been an overall "4." However, as I progressed, things became somewhat better. The minimum hands-on attitudes of many of the instructors combined with poor business and adminstrative practices, had ensured a bad rating. However, during my third semester and nearing graduation, my mentor went above and beyond to find me an independent study course that replaced a course that was not offered that semester. The course was great and the instructor was the very best. It took quite a while for my PLA to be approved but once it was, ESC took 94 of 96 total credits I earned from other colleges. The online course work is challenging and definitely worth it. I would recommend that anyone who wants to experience what ESC has to offer, that they have had at least one year of college classroom experiences. Coming down the stretch, the overall rating for ESC has gone from a 4 to an 8.

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Human Resource Management

Bachelor of Science - September 22, 2013
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Spent 3 years at ESC and I have to say that your experience all depends on your mentor and professors. My concentration was Human Resource Management and I had a very good experience. My mentor Margaret Anne Williams was great and helped me every step of the way. I put in effort and took my courses seriously. This online system is NOT for everyone. So don't decide based on the reviews... Reach out to the admissions office and see for yourself if this is something that you want to do. I graduated in June '12 and am a proud graduate.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful

BS Social Theory Social Structure and Change_ Military Student

Social Theory Social Structure And Change - August 16, 2013
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To give you some context for my review. I attended a Brick and Mortar community college, and one of the best State Universities in NY, SUNY Binghamton. Because I moved and knew I would move again, I was forced to transfer to an online school. I choose Empire State because it falls within the SUNY system. Pros 1) It is inexpensive. 2) Online classes can be taken in your underwear, anywhere. 3) You can design your own degree, taking all your non-required courses in subjects you are interested in. 4) You will learn how to write well because it is all about written evaluations. 5) The college is great about accepting transfer credits, military service credits and converting life experience into credits. 6) My mentor is addressing short term requirements with me along with looking at long term goals. She has been very responsive, incredibly helpful and especially encouraging. 7) I feel that I have been pampered by the Veterans support staff in comparison to my other college experiences. 8) There are some wonderful, thoughtful professors working for this college who will take the time to reply to every discussion post you make and to give you helpful feedback. 9) You will learn from other students discussion posts if you thoughtfully read them. Cons 1) The volume of writing can be overwhelming. 2) Some instructors are not responsive or respond in unhelpful ways to inquiries. But I had this experience at my other colleges; it's not an Empire thing. 3) Something special is lost when you aren't physically in a classroom with other students and the instructor. 4) You must be self-motivated, disciplined and not procrastinate or you won't produce what you are capable of. I recommend Empire State to those students who need to attend college online. It is an excellent deal for those students who are using Veterans Benefits.

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful

overall excellent, fair and balanced school

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Management - June 25, 2013
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Received credit for prior studies, made the school worthwhile money and time wise. Mentors were essential. Received AS degree in 2000. Have BS studies in progress, completion target is Dec 2013. Students must read and complete all assignments, no questions asked. Instructors will guide courses, and yet it's up to the student to have a high level of discipline and organizational skills to achieve success. ESC is a school for our time, it meets all criteria for the serious adult learner. Before signing on to ESC, read and reread all of the preparatory school guidelines info, no questions asked. There will always be room for improvements at any school, for the quality and the price show me a better option than SUNY ESC.

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Met the minimum acceptable level

Bachelor of Science - May 29, 2013
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I am not the smartest tool in the shed. With that said. I don't know how this college gets away with the classes being so easy. I feel that it's almost unfair to other students in other colleges and feel somewhat guilty about the grades I have received. So why did I go? Because I needed a better GPA and a degree fast! I have just started looking for a job and things do look incredibly promising. However when I do get the HR job there will be no way in hell that I would ever higher a graduate from Empire. Besides that the staff are not incredibly bad, the facilities are okay and the transferring of credits are good.

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13 of 34 people found the following review helpful

Suny Empire State University review

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Management - May 26, 2013
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i transferred here after 2.5 years at Green Mountain College, which is ranked in the Princeton Review best 300 plus colleges in America. I graduated from high school in 1997, attended some college and culinary school. Decided to return to college after over 10 years. After 2.5 years of sitting in classes with mostly kids right after high school, I switched to Empire and it HAS BEEN A GREAT EXPERIENCE. Horrible experience sitting in classes with really immature kids. America's youth are so lazy and have no social skills. This school should be for students who have experienced college and know what college level work is all about. If your rusty with college level work after a long time then do some prep work first. Yeah I hear people with the mentors are not always on the ball and the professor can be a little delayed with responses. BUT THIS PROGRAM IS NOT FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED THEIR HAND HELD LIKE A LITTLE BABY. Take some time to try and figure it out on your own or ask someone in your class. BE SELF MOTIVATED, BE SURE YOU CAN WRITE WELL AND KNOW HOW TO CITE YOUR WORK, BE ABLE TO MANAGE YOUR TIME WELL, READING SKILLS HAVE TO BE UP TO PAR, DONT WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE FOR ASSIGNMENTS OR YOU WILL PAY FOR IT. TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH I FIND THIS PROGRAM HARDER THAN MY PAST SCHOOL. Most of the time I went to class and learned nothing. I felt I was mostly there for attendance points. Plus the learning process that I grew up with back in the late 90's is gone. Most of the schools now want you to teach yourself and then ask you questions about it and work in groups. By that I mean read and take notes so when you go to class the professor can quiz you on it. Back in the day it was the teacher taught you and then you go home and study it. Its a weird change for sure. Anyways I hope this helps anyone trying to attend Empire, its good just don't be lazy and expect to have your hand held because this is for ADULTS to children or dumb people. lol

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Excellent if You Are Disciplined

Bachelor of Science - March 7, 2013
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I am in my third year, and thrilled. For those reviewers that say you do not receive an education at ESC, I am befuddled. You can just as easily coast at any other state school. SUNY ESC is for the mature adult learner who needs the flexibility if studying on nights and weekends. Their online course work is easy to follow and challenging at times. This is a SUNY degree. It is an accredited school. I think this is a great option if you are a working adult.

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful

Is this really an accredited college?

MAT - January 11, 2013
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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.

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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful

Great for Individuals Who Don't Need Their Hand Held While Pursuing A Degree

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - December 31, 2012
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I am surprised to see the complaints on this board! However, it seems that the individuals most likely to comment are those who are upset and need a place to complain and vent their frustrations. With that being said, I honestly found my experience with SUNY Empire to be great! Occasionally I dealt with instructors who weren't as deeply involved with the courses as they could have been, but for the most part they were helpful and highly interactive. Anyone who has attended a traditional college knows that this situation is the same just about everywhere - you will have some instructors that are really involved and that go the extra mile to help their students and others that have no passion for teaching and who do not seem to care about their students at all. For those complaining that their primary mentors were not helpful, I would suggest trying to set up a meeting to talk to your mentor in person or at least over the phone (versus through email) when you have very important issues/problems/concerns that need to be addressed. If all else fails and your mentor is completely unhelpful - then request another one! At first I didn't care for my mentor but after actually speaking to her over the phone and discussing the concerns I had, I found that she was very helpful and she had just misunderstood a few of the questions I had sent her through email. We kept in frequent contact throughout my time at ESC and she was pretty knowledgeable about the school's policies, program requirements, etc. If there was something that she was unsure of, she would get in contact with someone at the school who could clarify the matter and she would relay the information back to me. My mentor was also kind enough to provide a reference for me for graduate school (at a different college) as well as an academic reference for a job I had applied for. As far as the ANGEL system goes (through which students access their lectures, assignments, etc), I only had a problem once with uploading one of my assignments for a course due to an internal glitch - the instructor of my course was notified about the problem and he gave all of the students in our course three extra days to submit our assignment. Glitches in the ANGEL system are very rare, and scheduled down times for the system are usually announced well ahead of time so that students are able to avoid any problems that might occur from the system being down. I found the work to be demanding and in many courses there were a significant amount of written assignments as well as group discussions that must be participated in (nearly all instructors require you to be active in the discussions at least three days a week and you are expected to prepare thoughtful, knowledgeable, and well-written responses). I personally participated much more in the written group discussion boards for my courses at ESC than I ever did at a traditional college! Overall, ESC is not a perfect school and you are expected to be quite independent and self-disciplined. Do not expect someone to hold your hand as your pursue your degree there - you need to take charge of your education and do your best to help yourself. Become well-versed in the school's academic policies and requirements BEFORE enrolling - get an understanding of the way the college operates and see if it is a good fit for you. Expect to take a degree-planning course - yes it is boring and may seem useless, but it will make you truly understand what is required of you in order to obtain your degree, and it should help you figure out if the major you have initially chosen is what you want to stick with. However, hopefully you already have a good idea of what you want to study BEFORE enrolling at this school; changing your major down the line can lead to added confusion, frustration and expenses that can be easily avoided if you just pick your major before enrollment and stay with it! Finally, be prepared to devote adequate time to your coursework - in most cases you are expected to do TONS of reading and plenty of written assignments and you will only get frustrated and overwhelmed if you do not give yourself the proper amount of time to do all that is required of you. At the beginning of the semester you are advised to print out the course schedule for all courses you are taking - this will keep you organized and will allow you to plan ahead for any particularly lengthy assignments. If you have questions, do not wait until the last minute to ask! Do not assume that your instructor is sitting around at all hours of the day waiting for questions to be asked; many of them have other jobs or are teaching other courses and many only log on a few days a week for each course - you can also ask general questions on the discussion boards within your courses so that your classmates can help you, too. If all of this sounds like too much trouble, please look at going to a different school - preferably a traditional college. When pursuing a degree online you are going to face challenges that may not be present if you were attending face-to-face courses; if these challenges are too overwhelming then perhaps online schooling is not for you. With that being said, ESC is a fully-accredited, reputable SUNY college and if you decide to attend graduate school elsewhere after earning your undergraduate degree there, you should have no problems doing so.

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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful

ESC MAT - class of 2010

MAT - December 29, 2012
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I am a graduate of ESC's MAT program, class of 2010. I began the program in 2007. I am currently in the middle of my 5th year as a public school teacher. The negative reviews listed above are both true and not true. The concerns about obtaining a teaching position in order to graduate are legitimate, but were also outlined to all incoming students. We all knew we had to obtain a teaching position in order to complete the MAT program. Don't blame the school for this. The MAT program was a perfect fit for me. I was an adult learner looking to change careers and enter the teaching profession. The online and hybrid courses allowed me the flexibility to do this while still working. It was also up to me to find my first teaching position. ESC awards us with a Transitional B license after the first year of study, while allows us to teach in all NYS public schools. This also means we need to do the leg work and find our own jobs. There is no teaching placement or guarantee of a teaching position. Again, please do not blame the school for this. Understand that teaching positions are scarce right now. But there are opportunities for those who apply themselves. Do not expect to find a cushy position teaching in posh suburban school district. You must go to where the jobs are ... Brooklyn and Bronx. ESC's MAT program changed my life and gave me an opportunity which I would not have otherwise had. But it is up to YOU to find a teaching position to complete the program. Do not blame the school.

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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Great School for self-starters!

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Marketing - December 19, 2012
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I'll graduate in May 2013, so one semester to go for my BS in Business Management & Economics. This is a great school for those that need an online program. You must check and re-check what assignments are do and when. You must be organized because yo do not have a great deal of interaction with other students except for the occassional and dreded, group project to talk about due date and what is expected. As with any school there are good and bad teachers. I would do it again if I had to make the choice knowing what I know after being an ESC student.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Great school, if you're willing to dedicate time for independent study

MBA - December 18, 2012
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This is my first semester in the MBA program. Thus far, it has been a great experience. You really have to be disciplined--making sure you log in daily to keep up with discussions. You have to be organized and aware of what is expected of you in the classes. The work is challenging. I'm really glad I chose this program. It's much cheaper compared to the other MBA programs I considered. I plan on attending school full-time beginning the spring semester. I also like that I can graduate with an Advanced Certificate in a certain area. I would recommend this school to anyone.

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Empire State College - BEWARE!

MAT - December 13, 2012
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What a waste of $20K, and this is coming from someone who has attended two other academic institutions.

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6 of 23 people found the following review helpful

Mixed Experience - 2 semesters

BA in Arts - December 7, 2012
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I've attended ESC for almost 2 semesters and I have mixed feelings. I was strongly recommended to take Degree Planning 1st semester and I quickly chose a concentration, just for the sake of choosing a concentration. I went through the work of comparing my chosen majors requirements at 3 colleges (an exercise I thought was really stupid. Why doesn't ESC simply have its major requirements in the catalog????) Anyway, so I chose a major - in something I have a "new" interest in. I never took any courses in it. 2nd semester I took an Intro course (in the Independent Study format - which means meet with a mentor once a month.) My mentor for this course is so apathetic. My assignment is to do a summary of each chapter (20) in a BORING text, then meet with her and talk a little about the boring chapters. Then I have to ask, how am I doing? She says "C-ish" I am bored out of my mind, but I did put in a lot of effort. Anyway, I told my primary mentor that I wanted to change my major and THEN he told me - I would have to take the DP course over again (which is SOOO boring) and pay a fee!!! At NO Time was I told this!!!! Yes, it's in the catalogue, but not PROMINENTLY written. Why couldn't my mentor VOLUNTEER this info right at the first??? Why don't they TELL you this info at Orientation?? I like my on-line course - the activities are good, text is EXCELLENT and the mentor is bright, interested in her students and provides interesting commentary. My other two courses were with the same mentor - good courses and she is good. From now on I will be taking all online courses - I feel less "lonely" doing that and less pressure as I can see other students do the work. Anyway, Degree Programming, what a shock!!! Never knew that my program was supposed to be "permanent"

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful

BA in Communications

BA in Arts - November 20, 2012
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I received a BA in Communications from Empire State College in 2009. I had previously done college coursework at two other institutions (University of Houston in Houston, TX and El Centro College in Dallas, TX). Since these are accredited schools and I received passing grades in my coursework there, I was able to transfer my credits to Empire State College. Empire State is geared towards adult learners, like me, who may have been away from school for a while and may also have applicable life/work learnings that can be used for college credit. I did not pursue the life/work learnings track but did find out about how this credit works. The key is the credit is for life "learning", not experience. You can work somewhere for 20 years and have lots of experience, but if you cannot articulate, through the examination process, key learnings from that experience then you don't get the college credit. For me, I had a substantial amount of college credits and actually wanted to complete the required coursework for my degree so I didn't take any of the life learnings exams. When I first enrolled, I was paired with a guidance counselor/course advisor named Dr. Nataly Tcherepashenets. I don't know about anyone else's experience with ESC guidance, but Dr.Tcherepashenets was excellent. In our initial conversations by phone, we discussed my educational and career goals and she helped me understand the degree requirements and how my previous coursework fit into my degree plan. Before each sememster, we discussed my progress and she was available to answer my questions. When it was time to work on my final essays, etc. to submit to the degree department, she gave me guidance on how to make the very best submissions and worked as a communications liaison with me and the board to make sure my degree plan was accepted and that I was approved to be awarded my degree. This process took place over about 18 months. As far as the coursework, I found it engaging and fairly rigourous. Of course in any classroom situation, there are those who are not as engaged and can find ways to skate by. However, my experience was that in every class there was a core group of students who were engaged and made the online discussions and group projects part of a valuable learning experience. Most of the professors were also very engaged and provided lots of feedback to discussion posts. They assigned challenging assignments most of the time and were available, mostly by email, to provide feedback on those assignments. Each professor has their own teaching style and some were less demanding than others, but overall I can say that the coursework at ESC provides opportunities for intense learning and development of critical thinking skills. Online learning is what the student makes of it. You have to be self-disciplined and self-directed to be successful in this environment. If you look at education as both an opportunity for personal growth and an investment, you will take it seriously and get the most for your money. This means reading the assignments, getting engaged in the learning discussions, and putting your best work in for the assignments. Forget about the skaters and be about the business of learning. When it's time to pay back the loans, be sure you got the most for your money! I have been able to leverage my ESC degree into a promotion at work. I also went ahead and earned an MBA from another institution, which took me to another level. I had a job before and now I have a career. ESC was a big part in helping me transition to a new career.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful

BS Community & Human Services

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - November 13, 2012
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I'm a Bachelor of Science student in Community & Human Services. I'm a month from graduation. My overall experience has been wonderful. My mentor was helpful the whole time and the instructors strive to help the students succeed. There were a couple of instructors (out of many) that were a bit critical and rude, but not in my particular program. They were in a couple of electives I took. Outside of that, the experience has been awesome! I will say that online schooling requires a solid commitment and self discipline in order to make it. Some of the coursework is very heavy and rigorous and even a bit too much at times but most instructors know that some students are working adults, parents and have busy lives. I would recommend Empire to perspective students.

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful

ESC instructors that are not meant to teach.

Bachelor of Science - October 26, 2012
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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.

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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful

Interesting how all the negative reviews begin after 2011...

BS in Community and Human Services, Homeland Security - October 20, 2012
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I find it highly suspect that virtually all the negative reviews begin after 2011. Did the school change that much? I'll leave that for you to decide. I attended Empire from 2004-2012 on a part-time basis and earned an AS & BS from them. As other reviews have mentioned, this is a school directed at adults/young adults, who are already in the workforce and looking to further their education. SUNY is not "affiliated" with Empire, it IS A SCHOOL IN THE SUNY SYSTEM (just like Albany, Buffalo, Stony Brook, etc). A majority of their courses are offered online, however they also offer "guided independent study", in which the student periodically meets with a professor throughout the term to review assignments, ask questions, etc. Overall my experience at Empire was excellent. My primary mentor was fantastic and helped me through every facet of the program. My guided independent study and online courses were mostly enjoyable, but just like any adult-oriented college you have to be self-motivated (they aren't going to coming looking for you or your assignments, it's not their job to baby you - they expect, as they should, for you to be a responsible adult). There was some bad. My primary mentor changed three times while I was there, prompting confusion and the need to re-explain my degree program to individuals who weren't directly involved in my major. The online courses use the ANGEL learning system, which can initially be a bit confusing to navigate. I've also found that some professors who teach the online courses are not as involved in the student's dialogue (as I think) they should be. The tuition has also increased substantially since I started (but I believe now rests at a [still reasonable] $232 per undergraduate credit). Having said all that, I believe that SUNY-Empire is an excellent choice for the adult/ young adult learner. Unlike a lot of the other fly-by-night online schools out there, this one is in the SUNY system and your credits will transfer anywhere within the SUNY system (and most likely outside of it as well).

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful

WARNING!!! A COMPLETE WASTE OF RESOURCES

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Mental Health Services - August 31, 2012
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I have absolutely no use for this college; in my opinion the college is flawed, the ANGEL system DOES NOT WORK, and the advisors do not give a crap. The treatment I have received from the student services and academic advisors was deplorable. I switched mentors my first semester; as my mentor (Macmillan) seemed to forget what I needed and misinformed me on how to apply and what was needed for the prior learning assessment credits. She failed to explain what was needed for graduation; and counseled me to take all classes that would not help me toward an esc graduation requirement. She also "telecommutes" to work; she had a "real" job in NY City that she actually cares about. As she was useless and uninformed, I received a new mentor, and of course it took two weeks to process my request, which was processed THE FIRST DAY OF classes. As you may expect, that semester was a complete bust. The mental/psychological psyche-out was horrible. I beat myself up a second time for registering for classes with this BS institution. Again, the problems erupted immediately after classes begin in a different form. I informed [my Spanish teacher] that I commute to and from work 160 miles round trip and would not be able to make her timed 6 pm daily (mon-thurs) real-time classes, she simply ignored my requests. I then sent [someone in student services] multiple messages and called; she failed to do a damn thing and didn’t even bother taking any action. Angel kicked out my attachments the second week, and also the real time sessions that I did make were always a bitch to log into. I bought a second laptop as I had so much trouble to get into angel, again a costly fix.

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13 of 22 people found the following review helpful

Difficult, but great experience

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Management - July 26, 2012
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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' :)

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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful

Beware. Review this college completely.

MBA - July 16, 2012
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Review this college completely. There is more bad to say than good, but once you are in, you are too financially committed to get out. For those who have attended here, we know how embarrassing it is to list this college on your resume. I list SUNY, not Empire, and hope no one will ask. I don't know how they got their accreditation, but let me tell you, you are teaching yourself, with excessive amounts of work (that are more busy than productive), no clue about life requirements no costs (with excessive textbook costs). Subjective grading, often on the fly, instructors spend no time with students and provide little feedback. Ninety percent of my instructors rarely answered emails in a timely manner, which is a must with online courses. When they did finally send feedback about assignments, comments were confusing. I have started classes with lots of people only to find I am the only one left standing. Beware.

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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful

SUNY Online Format Is Truly Flawed

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - July 3, 2012
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SUNY's online learning network is a true joke. The mode of instruction is ridiculous and the use of 'participation' online amusing. Read a few pages and post some generic comment and receive an A. Grading is far from college level. I'm aware of some students that did not do the coursework but rather had a surrogate provide the coursework. Degrees are awarded where there's clear indication no real 'learning' took place. ESC was a model for non-traditional education in the past but I'm afraid the value of an ESC degree is minimal. Don't waste your money on this substandard 'college'.

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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful

Empire State College is unprofessional

Bachelor of Science - June 13, 2012
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This so-called educational institution is a travesty to the academic world. The mentors were never available, the staf was consistently uninterested to attending to the needs of the students, and I was rudely ignored when I has ample questions that pertained to my degree. I would vigorously assert NOT to recommend this poor excuse for a college to anyone. Students, do extensive research when applying to online/distance learning schools. Empire State College is not conducive to higher learning.

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15 of 23 people found the following review helpful

Where are my instructors?

MAT - May 27, 2012
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Is ironic that in a course that is all about assessment, the instructor did not provide any feedback for weeks. Is this an institute that collects money, gives a degree, but doesn't care about learning?

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12 of 20 people found the following review helpful

So far very happy.

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - May 4, 2012
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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 danielhiggins13@gmail.com, 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.

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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful

Horrible

Bachelor of Science - April 29, 2012
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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!

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17 of 27 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!

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Mental Health Services - April 24, 2012
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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!!!

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18 of 27 people found the following review helpful

Low Expectations

MBA - February 10, 2012
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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?

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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful

A degree that doesn't lead to a job!

Historical Studies - February 1, 2012
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I was happy to earn 69 credits for real-life experience at ESC. Now that I have graduated, I have a hard time explaining this to the perspective employers. I didn't find the courses challenging, and it explains why most emplyers don't value my degree.

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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful

Great School!!!!!!

Historical Studies - January 25, 2012
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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.

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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful

Teacher Education

MAT - January 20, 2012
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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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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful

ESC HAS BEEN GOOD FOR ME.

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - January 8, 2012
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I'm currently in my second term at ESC. Before ESC I attended BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College). In all honesty my experience at ESC has been way better than my prior experiences. This school is for people who are self starters. You have to understand the college system. I also research my professors before I sign up for any course. I've had wonderful professor always willing to help. Also other students are always very helpful as well. My mentor is easily accessible at all times. Anytime I email her I get a response the same day. The financial aid office can be a little difficult but I HAD TEN TIMES WORSE EXPERIENCE AT BMCC with the financial aid office. The lines went on for hours. All you have to do is email the financial aid office and they get back to you in 24 hours or less. This school gives you the freedom to do your work at your own convenience. I dont have a scheduled time block to attend classes and that for me is the best thing ever. If you dont take the effort to try and figure out things on your own do not sign up. The school offers alot of tutorials for things like the degree planner. My mentor had a seminar on how to use the degree planner and it is true that the best way to understand it is to play with it a bit. Also the mentors are extremely helpful they called me and we had a 30 minute conversation about what classes to start with and how the programs works and what to expect. The conversation was extremely thorough. I read everything and know how to go about my degree here based on all the materials the school has provided. I like ESC, this program is perfect for my needs. This program is really intended for people with college experience and a strong academic background. Its not easy.

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful

Disappointed with quality of school

Bachelor of Science degree, Cultural Studies - January 4, 2012
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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.

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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful

Teaching Certificate at Empire State College, SUNY

MAT - December 27, 2011
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To earn a degree and teaching certificate from the MAT Program at Empire State College, you must have a teaching job in your first year in the program. MAT claims 16% of their English and SS perspective teachers are offered a job. This must be an old data, or there would be more students in the Mentored Teaching courses. I left the program for not securing a teaching position. I hope this does not happen to others. Know what you are getting into.

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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful

Great!

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - November 19, 2011
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I'm enrolled for the Spring 2012 Semester and every single aspect of ESC I've been a part of so far has been wonderful. I really think the people with the horrible reviews must fall into these categorizes: 1. Looking for hand holding (either they've been out of school too long and are just uncomfortable or are right out of high school and have no idea what they are doing.) 2. Professionals going back to school and are so /so/ so full of hubris they trash the school when it's not exactly how they want it - when they want it. Everything they say is very clear - very true. I received my mentor assignment 2 weeks after I completed my orientation TO THE DAY. They said it would take between 2 and 3 weeks. I had called to ask for the process was going because I really wanted to register for classes with my first pick professors and bam - my mentor was assigned. HOWEVER - they didn't send my info in the mail or an email yet - I TOOK CONTROL and looked to see if the process was completed by going into my account information. All it takes is a little time and dedication and the school is FANTASTIC. I don't work for them - feel free to email me any questions - this is my email for the school. Brandi.CDL.ESC@gmail.com

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful

Enjoy Phoenix

BA in Arts - October 14, 2011
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These heavy handed negative reviews are ridiculous and probably written mostly by salespeople hoping students will go to some rip off for profit school. After 2 1/2 years at Empire I've seen the best and the worst, the worst experiences I've had at ESC involved disappearing or apathetic instructors and that can happen anywhere. ESC is a great school for the motivated, adult learner. Unbelievably fair tuition, most credits will transfer throughout the SUNY system. Would I go there for teaching degree or MBA? Probably not but only because I'm not already employed in those fields, it might work for someone employed in a system already and just requires further credentials. Seriously, why would you so vehemently knock what SUNY is offering adult, working students? If you need hand holding and lots of attention go to community or a brick and mortar, that simple.

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful

RUN!!!

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services Administration - October 10, 2011
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This has been terrible. What a waste of time and money.

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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful

Is ESC For You?

Bachelor of Science - September 5, 2011
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If you're not ready to take your own higher-education destiny into your own hands, then ESC is not for you. This school is geared toward the the highly motivated, self-sufficient and mature learner. As a student at ESC you need to be assertive and in-charge of how you're going to learn. For those of you who need your hand held, ESC is probably not for you. For those of you who have clear educational goals and are willing to work harder than you ever have, you will find ESC amazingly well-suited.

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Run, Don't Walk, To the Nearest Exit

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - August 9, 2011
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I have three degrees, and work as a financial controller running companies for a living. I did not initially obtain an MBA because this was not initially required in my field, but now is standard. I was told that the Empire MBA would allow me to sit for the CPA exam. Oddly, the MBA program contains virtually no accounting courses. Upon entering into a self study program for the CPA exam, I quickly found I was in over my head, despite 20 years of experience. I was forced to simultaneously take every accounting course available at the undergrad and grad level (not already taken) in order to prepare for the exam that my MBA was supposed to prepare me for. Fortunately, I was able to IDA out of half of the MBA program by taking independent life assessment tests. This is a plus, and offered to this extent by no other educational institution to this degree to my knowledge. Also, this is the cheapest MBA program in the entire world, and for some god forsaken reason, is certified as a qualifying SUNY degree. On your resume, due to obvious reasons, if you have read other comments up here, do not state Empire College. State SUNY. Otherwise, they may laugh you right out of the interview if they have any knowledge of Empire whatsoever. Now to the real story. The teachers are lifetime students with no real life work experience. I have only had one so far that speaks "native" English. They do not respond to inquiries, have canned tests that are often provided from the textbook companies, and often do not even correspond to the text, and do not teach. Don't even expect instruction. There is absolutely none. Further, they have no clue about costs. I have had courses that are over $500.00 for books, parts of which aren't even covered for testing purposes despite the purchase of 2 to 3 books per course. The work load goes way beyond what they tell you, so it is very easy to get in over your head. I have started a course with 15 other students, and been the only one left standing. I am disabled, and had more time than the average, but was often sitting there on oxygen struggling to complete a project with no response from the professor on major aspects of the project. If I had been working in my executive job, I would have lost a fortune in failed classes. The requirements aren't grueling in a good way, but all about excessive project requirements. Not to blow my own horn, but many of my instructors understand the subject matter less than I do, because I work in it every day. Also, the college will not respond to complaints. I have had many. Someone in registration actually enrolled me in courses without my permission or knowledge (for which I already had IDA credits and thus didn't have to take), and then immediately put me into collection to pay thousands of dollars. Being disabled, I just about had a heart attack. It took several weeks to straighten itself out, and I was sick with worry. No apologies. No penalty for this person (who broke the law by accessing my account and creating an illegal registration without my knowledge). The residencies cost hundreds of dollars and are nothing more than a way to bring money into Saratoga Springs. Further, the group assignments (which are required in many courses) are hell. If I wanted to be at the whim of someone else's non-existent availability schedule, I wouldn't have signed up for an online course. I was forced to work with students who literally would not perform their part of the assignment, jeopardizing my straight A GPA. Unacceptable. I had one instructor who got surgery and simply didn't respond to anyone for the 1st month and a half. I had another who posted an entire curriculum (from her hospital bed) using the prior semester's criteria, and then changed it six weeks into the program (when I, as a disabled person, had already completed the work ahead of time). Further, the quality of this program is so questionable. The course selection is outdated, and half of the textbooks you are forced to buy are authored by the head of the Empire MBA program, Mr. Belasen. Convenient. Expensive. Unable to be resold to anyone else at any other college because only used at Empire. Wasted money. I have had multiple courses where I was the only one who passed. Many students, who didn't have lifetime experience, were lost. They couldn't communicate with the professor, the project requirements were poorly communicated, and many of the projects far exceeded the course "teachings" (which mean, reading the book). I put together an exhaustive production schedule and capitalization program for a particular assignment in order to determine payback time on a piece of equipment based on maximization of plant utilization, and the instructor didn't understand it. Literally, at least 60 hours of work for one assignment (which went way beyond the course), and the woman didn't understand it. I literally walked her through the entire process with flowcharts and arrows, and she was lost. She even graded me down because she said I hadn't fulfilled the terms of the assignment (which was a Harvard case study that clearly asked for a utilization breakdown and a breakeven point for capitalization purposes based on multiple pieces of equipment and a specified long term volume). This was for a health care finance course that provided no insruction in costing whatsoever, with no costing courses required as a prerequisite. This instructor required one project (Harvard) per week. Unbelievable. I have not learned anything from this program. I could have taught myself this information and saved myself $20,000.00 dollars. Further, you go through a mentor who is supposed to be sure to check out your course selections to be sure you won't be overburdened with work. What's the expression? Watch the hole, see the wood chuck. They have no clue. You could seriously wind up with 60 hours of work for one class. I'm not kidding. So, use the student network to find out about each and every course and each and every instructor. It will save you time and aggravation, believe me. I couldn't afford a more expensive MBA, and frankly think the MBA is just another way to get people's money. Inquiring minds don't need to go to school, they need to read industry periodicals and constantly educate themselves. However, if you must get an MBA (and can't buy one out of a cereal box), then you might as well go here. But, be advised, their rates went up excessively during the program, and they are completely impossible to deal with. And, if you are disabled, don't expect any courtesies at all whatsoever. You won't get any, and probably not even get a response for the inquiry.

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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful

Very Worthwhile

Bachelor of Science - July 16, 2011
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Empire State College is worthwhile for working adults. Opposed to sitting in a classroom, half asleep and avoiding answering questions ESC requires students to put forth a good deal of effort. I attended traditional classes, online classes as well as one on one classes with a mentor. Each format required active participation as well as completion of all assignments. Even during the online classes, a question would be put up by the instructor for discussion and a good part of your grade depended upon your immediate response as well further discussion with your classmates. Papers were required throughout most classes with final paper being the longest. All written work was strictly required to follow widely accepted writing formats and had to be well researched. Discussions required research as well as references being listed. I know people who cannot write an understandable e-mail much less a decent memorandum yet have degrees from big schools. My guess is they attended classes but learned little. ESC enables learning, and empowers the students to do it the correct way.

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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful

Excellent University - Top Notch Program & Amazing Faculty!

Bachelor of Science - July 3, 2011
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Empire State College is truly one of the best colleges in New York (and from what I have heard and past experiences, possibly in the entire United States!). Anyone who has a rational understanding of what upper-level education requirements entail will realize that the learning process and workload required to earn a Bachelor or Masters degree is going to actually take some effort on their part. DO NOT expect to sit back and wait for your degree to show up in the mail. This is NOT going to be easy. You actually have to TRY and WORK to earn your diploma (imagine that!). The faculty at Empire State College is wonderful... for anyone who thinks otherwise: you need to wise up and open your mouth. Yes, the faculty has some faults and could use some work. However, this is COLLEGE. No one is going to hold your hand. You are going to have to follow-up and possibly chase down certain administrators. This is NOT kindergarten and you are NOT the only student at Empire. I have ONE faculty member that really does not belong at ESC - Frieda Mendelsohn. I took (SMT-273154) Economic Issues & Strategy with Mendelsohn. She would basically hand me an "F" and tell me I should have done it "this way". Ok, fine. My next paper would be done "this way" and she would tell me "You really have no idea what you are doing... You are completely off course. If you don't know what you are doing, ASK". THEN I would ask - and she would tell me she did not have the time to help... Plus she took 6-8 WEEKS to return papers. How was I supposed to know what I was doing wrong when I did not have any other papers returned to base my writing style, research or improvements needed? Other than Professor (does not deserve the title) Mendelsohn) - ALL of my professors have been EXTRAORDINARILY helpful. They will go out of their way to make sure all students are on the same page and understand the material for each module. I am now enrolled in the MBA program at ESC. I graduated in December (2010) and it is all thanks to Empire State College. I was always a good student but it was not until ESC that I began to actually research topics in-depth and properly understand the material. I am now a straight A student with a 3.8 GPA. I have been reading the negative reviews on this page and really cannot make sense of the comments here. One review says "I am in the Graduate program taking 2 classes. They told me I would need to study 15+ hours but I am studying 30-40".... SO? You are in a GRADUATE program. This is expected! Graduate courses are not the same as your high school economics course. The expectations are much higher and the work you need to put in is NOT going to be 15 hours... and you said "15+ PLUS"... 30-40 is included in the "+ PLUS". Empire State also says 15+ PER COURSE... Basic math tells me 15x2 = 30... Be wise and step up to the plate - an MBA program at your local brick & mortar university will require in-class time (plus commute) -- average 5-6 hours a day... give or take... x2 classes = average 10 hours (class time + commute)... then you go home and have to study - probably 10-20 hours, depending... so right there - a rough estimate brings us to 20-30 hours. Am I right, or ... am I right? I am really sickened after reading these horrible reviews. People expect an online university to be easy... It is NOT going to be easy. The work is actually HARDER than a traditional university since you are not in-class, need to basically "teach"/review the work yourself to a certain degree, and the program is set into place to ensure students are not cheating (since everything is basically "open book" - hence zero-->minimal multiple choice tests)... Lots of WRITING! But hey, it's college... No one forced you into this relationship - YOU want a degree? WORK FOR IT! :) Choose SUNY EMPIRE if you are interested in receiving an EXCELLENT EDUCATION!

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Worst expereince ever!

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - June 5, 2011
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This may be one of the worst schools in existence. For a state run public institution it acts if they are a for profit school. They take your money and turn your back. They falsely advertise about the experience and about this being a legitimate degree. 70%+ of all teachers do not respond to e-mailed questions, and do a poor job explaining material. If you do not get the material, or if you would like an explanation on a grade, good luck. Suny should be embarrassed about this school, and I hope that one day someone sues this school for fraud. The faculty does not care, because there is no recourse poor work ethic. Most of the professors are actually employed full time in a field, and do not actually attempt to respond to the students needs. Grades are random, and usually do not provide for any explanation. You would do better going to the library. I wish I could have given them a zero.

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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful

041011

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - April 12, 2011
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I was told the MBA program would take around 15+ hours per week for 2 classes per semester. While I have straight As, it is way more like 30-40 hours per week. It is nearly impossible for anyone who works full time and has a family. ESC does not understand the concept that time is money either. The on-line discussions often spiral into inane discussions with little feedback. It's almost like reading a crazy person's bad blog. This program is designed for someone who has nothing better to do than to log onto their esc email and go back and forth into the zillion different places on the website for information. The classes I have had so far have been taught by excellent professors surprsingly, but the program itself is not good. I echo others comments regarding over-extended professors, little feedback, meetings to make the PhD professors feel better about themselves, and horrible administration. Individuals have been good, but they make it so hard with the hoop-jumping for no answers. To succeed in this program, one needs a very regular 40 hour per week or less job and little else in their lives. All MBA programs require sacrifice, but at least you feel good about what you are learning. If I felt the learning was valuable (more than 30%), that would be great. Instead, ut it's the first school I just want to get through (I have an undergrad degree from an excellent school and another advanced degree). There is so little value-added. Why don't I leave--too much time and effort invested. The school likes to use the excuse that it is someone not being ready for graduate level work, but that is crap. Most of the concepts are good, but much of the work is sheer busywork. Even with the great value, they are mostly interested in getting your money. If they would just fix the administrative end, including within the classes, that would go a long way to cut down on the wasted time.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful

Good School, some good instructors.

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - April 6, 2011
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I really enjoy this school. I have read some bad reviews about the instructors and staff, but like any school there are good and bad people. I usually check for reviews of instructors prior to registration, this helps me pick instructors that are the best available. I love the fact that this is a SUNY school. The SUNY network isn't a bad school system at all. Many people feel that teachers do not participate in the course; I feel that they participate as needed. The concept of online learning is that the person is expected to be an independent learner because there is no actual classroom time. Overall I love this school; I am completing this degree and would love to continue with this school for an additional degree. I currently have a 4.0, but this is not an “easy A” school. In one of my current classes the course average is actually posted as 46. The online learning system, Angel, allows a person to actually see their grades in comparison to the class averages.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

TERRRRRRRRIBLE SCHOOL!!

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - March 29, 2011
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This school is terrible, as is the faculty and staff. And before I'm completely discredited, I have a 4.0 gpa here. I have heard several potential employers -- administrators in public school districts -- talking about how they would, and I quote, "Never hire someone from SUNY Empire." Stupid me, I thought all teacher prep programs were relatively the same, and respected as such. Not the case -- if you are considering going here for education, STEER CLEAR! They are not respected; what's more, they require that you, the student, find a job before they will even certify you. Any public school administrator will tell you, as I've now learned, they will NEVER grant you an interview unless your teach account says "certified," which is IMPOSSIBLE in there trans B certification process. If someone tells you, "Don't worry about it -- you'll be fine," they are LYING. In this job market, ESC's dime-a-dozen degrees mean nothing. Especially their education degrees and their pathetic certification process.

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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful

Horrific college! Do not waste your time or money!

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Mental Health Services - March 1, 2011
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The SUNY system should be ashamed to have Empire State College under their umbrella of schools. This "institution" is a joke! I am an older student and I have been around the block when it comes to transitional and SUNY schools. I can only beg you for yourself, your career and your education to find another institution. ESC falsely markets themselves as a students school. They are not there for the student. I have never come across a more non traditional, non flexible school. I have attended and graduated another SUNY school who made it their business to make sure that they were able to get me my degree. The administration here is God awful! I think this is their biggest downfall. The mentors are bound by these people and have little to no say in anything. Their biggest concern should be to have their students graduate, but sadly it is not. This is why their graduation rate is at 7% overall. Very sad. I wish I could say more but I may have to take my case further. I am here because I do not want what happened to me happen to others. No one knows what they are doing at this school. You can ask 100 people the same question and get 100 different answers. That is when you can actually get them to answer you. So please if you read this, rethink your decision. There are amazing schools out there that you will be proud to attend. Don't make the same mistake I have.

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful

Administration SUCKS!!

Bachelor of Science - January 20, 2011
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Once you are actually able to take classes it is challenging and engages your mind. It can be a bit much for anyone working full time with young kids, but it's still possible. My biggest issue is with the administration! They often do not know what you are talking about when you call, or you get someone who gives you one answer while another person gives you a different answer for the same question. When professors do not hold up their end on grading, the school holds you, the student, responsible instead of the professor.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Online courses were challenging

BA in Arts - December 13, 2010
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I took courses at ESC online and in person in New York City to complete my degree, which I had started 25 years ago. I was very impressed (and challenged) by the rigor of the online history courses. They involved lively discussion (via discussion board posts) alot of reading and alot of writing. I got A's in everything, but I worked hard to get them, and I would NOT in any way consider these courses to be "Mickey Mouse" courses. I had attended a SUNY college 25 years ago, and I work at a private college, so I know what college courses are. And the ESC courses I took online ARE college-level courses. I did feel that one of the professors could have been more proactive in offering her comments to the students' message board postings, but her evaluations, once received, were very helpful.

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Adjuncts

BA in Arts - October 4, 2010
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When reviewing colleges based on tenured professors it's imperative to note enrollment has skyrocketed in colleges, especially at community and state level. It's a given an adult oriented college would be flooded with applicants. Most colleges have been hiring adjuncts, judging one college over another because of that necessity isn't reasonable. Especially when judging an institution with an open policy or geared to adults. In this climate it would hardly be ethical for ESC to reject students rather than hire more adjuncts.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Wouldn't Change A Thing...EXCEPTIONAL SUNY COLLEGE

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - September 28, 2010
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I am graduating in December and very pleased with my experience at Empire. If it was not for ESC, I would not be where I am today. Yes, it is very difficult at times trying to rectify problems - This is COLLEGE, not Kindergarten. I never expected anyone to hold my hand and glad I took matters into my own hands when necessary. During my orientation/first semester, my mentor was "MIA". I would not tolerate this and pushed the college to assign a new mentor. This is NOT common practice as reassignments RARELY happen (as in close to NEVER). I would not settle and within a few days had a new mentor whom I absolutely ADORE. I struggled during my first semester. ESC is MUCH more difficult than a traditional college. Everyone always comments "can't you CHEAT online? isn't it easier because you just Google and have open book tests?" - THIS IS NOT THE CASE. If you think taking online courses will make life easier assignment and reading wise - think again. Yes, you can go to school in your pajamas and not have to drive anywhere. But, you make up for that "saved time" with a tremendous workload. Now that I am almost done with my studies, I am actually thankful for the much more difficult workload. I would slack off in college and basically memorize vocabulary and concepts. At Empire you are forced to actually grasp the entire CONCEPT, understanding the topic from head to toe - inside and out. Since 90% of assignments are papers, there is only research work which must be done and a LOT of reading since you are basically teaching yourself 80% of the time. If you want an easy degree, perhaps try your local community college which feature multiple choice quizzes. If you are looking for a solid education which will help in your career field, Empire is the way to go I don't want to sound like a spokesperson because I did have some difficulties at Empire. It started day one with my mentor. But like I said - do not expect someone to hold your hand. Take matters into your own hands, follow-up with the appropriate departments. Some professors will be absent and non-existent throughout the semester. COMPLAIN. And when I say complain --- I MEAN ON A DAILY BASIS. It is YOUR FUTURE AND MONEY. I had a professor who was A NIGHTMARE. I complained and so did my ENTIRE CLASS. Apparently she is some big shot at the school and must have a free pass to not work all semester, tell students to "figure it out", take 5-6 weeks to grade assignments, and basically not attend - and get away with it! This was a COMPLETE disappointment and 'till this day I cannot believe proper attention was not paid. She treated her students like animals and put us down on a daily basis. Watch out for her. If you are able to work independently, comfortable writing, schedule tasks and can keep up with deadlines, and can take responsibility for yourself - ESC is for you. If you like working in groups and having your hand held while driving to school - try another university.

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Not a SUNY education

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - June 18, 2010
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Let me preface this by saying that I had a 4.0 GPA at Empire State when I recently withdrew (more than halfway through my degree), because I think readers might tend to suspect that negative comments come from disgruntled underperformers. I personally know four other 3.5+ students - including the person who originally encouraged me to enroll at ESC - who have also withdrawn from the school within the last six months for the reasons I am about to describe. Unfortunately, when it comes to the quality of instructors and course experience, SUNY Empire State has become almost indistinguishable from the for-profit diploma mills new ESC enrollees are trying to avoid. For one thing, there was literally zero instructor participation in literally half of the courses I took, over two-thirds gave no meaningful feedback with graded assignments, and almost none ever posted to any group discussions regardless of how far afield they had gone. Some here have noted that the school is designed for adults and therefore apparently feel it's acceptable for students to virtually teach themselves while adsentee instructors silently babysit, but I strongly disagree. If just reading textbooks and articles and discussing them with classmates without any form of active guidance was sufficient to prepare a person for a career, there would be no need for a higher education system at all. Another big problem I found was that a large number of the instructors are increasingly part-time adjuncts from all over the country who teach at multiple online schools and have no particular ties or allegiance to SUNY. Many of these over-extended instructors run well behind on grading, aren't familiar with the often outdated lectures and resource links, and can take days to answer time-sensitive questions. I also found that multiple instructors who taught courses important to my major had little-to-no direct experience/education in the field! You may ask why, if my experience was so lousy, I stayed with ESC for so long. For one thing, I was concerned about losing the money and time spent on courses that might not transfer elsewhere, and I also figured that if a SUNY online school is this bad, no other online school would be any better. But finally, I got so fed up that I cut my losses and transferred to a brick-and-mortar university. It will take me considerably longer to get my degree, but at least I'll feel better about my preparedness when I graduate. After spending some time looking at my new program and talking with faculty at the new school, I've decided to re-take a few important courses that would have transferred because I'm not the least bit confident in the adequacy of the ESC versions. SUNY Empire State College may have once been a very good school, but times are changing fast. If you MUST attend an online school, ESC is a relatively inexpensive option and it does carry the SUNY name - just don't expect a SUNY-quality education.

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful

It's What You Make Of It

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Management - May 29, 2010
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I graduated from ESC in 2004 with my B.S. in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources. Prior to ESC I received my A.S. from SUNY Jamestown Community College and prior to that I attended a very respected private college in Ohio. So, I have seen about it all with the exception of Ivy League. I would truely have to say that my education at ESC was the most difficult to get through of the three. You are only going to get out of it what you put in. Don't think that they are going to take your hand and gently guide you through your program, like a community college tends to do (at least in my experience). I have seen in the community college instances where papers were extremely late, tests taken at later dates and work not completed and the teachers would cater to the student's every whim. Not at ESC (or a private school). You must stay up with the work, no exceptions. And yes, the amount of reading is extensive. And yes, the amount of research and writing is extensive. But, what are you in school for? I took 2 classes per semester and I would say for that load, you should expect about 20-30 hours of work per week, depending on if you have a paper due. As far as the teachers, I can only remember one that I had "problems" with. He wouldn't answer e-mails, grades were late and he really didn't seem to care. Other than that, nothing but praises for my teachers. All in all, ESC is a fine school, but you MUST go in with the right mindset. You MUST be self-disiplined, and self-motivated. Realize that the workload is going to be heavy. But, if you give it your all (truely), then you'll be pleased once you graduate and realize that all the work was worth it.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Intense, but I love it!

BA in Arts - April 21, 2010
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As a non-traditional learner, I can say that SUNY Empire State College (ESC) is steadily helping me to reach my goals. ESC differs in approach to learning and administration because it serves seasoned adults, not post-high school teens. Personally, I thrive on the sense of independence and am satisfied with my highly educated and available mentor. So far, each of my instructors online have been excellent, including many who are also in good standing as instructors in traditional colleges or universities. The process has been intense at times but thoroughly enjoyable as I push through. I do believe that ESC falls short in its promise to the busy adult student who will face excessive reading and writing assignments. I know that this is fine for some; however, the college seems to confuse rigorous academics with onerous expectations. In the past, I have maintained a job and social life while successfully completing courses at local colleges, so my observation is not because of laziness. As for the low rating for technology, this is because the ANGEL program used to facilitate courses can be slow or inefficient at times. The program known as Maple, used to assess students in some math courses, is also slow and on occasion is inaccurate. These problems consume already limited time. For my current needs, the program at ESC is the right choice. My diligence, combined with appropriate course texts and good instructors, results in a quality education that is being used now, before graduation. It is true that you get out of it what you put into it, but the unduly burdensome aspects and technical problems should be addressed so that students can benefit even more.

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Two weeks from Graduation

Bachelor of Science - April 17, 2010
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I am just two weeks from completing my Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Manangment. I am a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy. I was attending a local community college that has a Navy partnership. When I started taking classes I took some in the classroom and a few online. When it came time for college algebra I took it online, but being out of high school for 13 years I was not able to re-teach myself so I dropped the online class and decided to take it in a class room. I was told on the first day of class that if I missed more then two classes I would automatically fail the class. I explained to the professor that I was enrolled under the Navy partnership and I would miss a class from time to time because I had to get underway. He didn't care. Some partnership. After I dropped his class I did some research on the Navy's college website and discovered SUNY Empire State. The following semester I enrolled. At the community college I was only halfway to my associate?s degree. After ESC reviewed my college transcripts and my life time learning credits from the Navy I was only 48 credits from my Bachelors Degree. I was very skeptical of this but I bit anyway, and I am very glad that I did. ESC is not only a SUNY school it is regionally accredited and their classes will transfer to any other regionally accredited college or university. I finished my Gen Ed classes and continued taking the business management classes that I put together in my degree plan. The classes I have taken here at ESC have been more challenging then I expected. I have learned more at ESC then I did sitting in classes at the community college. At the community college I had professors that lectured the class and if you paid close attention and took notes there was no way you could fail. Being enrolled in the CDL I do not have scheduled class times, no professors lecturing and no study partners to help me out. ESC takes discipline and a self motivated individual if you want to get through it. Taking two classes a semester you can expect to write about 100-200 pages of assigned course work. If you are looking to breeze by this is not the school for you. Almost all my professors have been very understandable about my job and understand that the ship often does not have internet access, or has very low bandwidth while at sea. As long as I give them a time line before I go out to sea they all have worked with my schedule, except one professor who was retired Navy...Go figure. Over all I have enjoyed my experience at ESC. If I was not looking for diversity in my education I would consider continuing on at ESC for my Masters Degree. However I am attending Penn State World Campus, which has the same accreditation as ESC, and accreditation is very important. I already have my ESC associate's degee hanging on the wall, and in 2 weeks My Bachelors degree will be right next to it.

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Degree planning course

BA in Arts - April 9, 2010
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It's true you have to take a 2 credit degree planning course. I took mine immediately so I wouldn't waste time or money. It's an excellent course and the credits are applied to the degree. Empire caters to adult students who often have very specific needs. Students are given the opportuniy to design their own degree, within SUNY and Empire guidelines. The purpose of the course is to design the degree and then justify it, it is then submitted for approval, the process can take months. Excellent course, should be required in all SUNYs.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Good courses overall - HORRIBLE administration!

Historical Studies - March 24, 2010
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The mentor program is a joke if you get stuck with an incompetent one. They fail to note on their website that you must take a planning course and design your own degree. Then you must wait 3 to 6 months to find out how yours credits transfer in and if your "plan" is approved or not. You could be wasting your time, especially if you want to finish at a certain point. Most of the classes were great. the planning aspect is however, is ridiculous and unorganized! I have one semester left, but I am not even sure if I can graduate once I finish my credits because I have to wait for some committee to approve the plan I am creating which has required a lot of guessing and assumption. My mentor is no help and is very condescending. At what college can you not graduate even though you have finished your required amount of credits????

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful

Good College

Bachelor of Science - March 1, 2010
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I strongly recommend this college for self motivated students stay away if you need constant hand holding.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

It's an adult school

BA in Arts - February 17, 2010
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SUNY Empire is an excellent school for the money and convenience. I noticed most of the negative reviews focused on lack of attention. I think they may have missed a main point of ESC, it's a school for busy, working adults. They have plenty of support available but not the kind of guidance found in community colleges or schools catering to inexperienced youths. This makes an Empire education and student as valuable or more so to an employer or graduate school as any other college. Trashing the school because it's classes are demanding and self directed is a contradiction to what defines a good education, the ability to educate oneself while building a decent frame of reference. Empire has so far proven to me a competent adult could not only navigate Empire's education system but appreciate the unique opportunity to develop autonomy while learning. If you're looking to immerse yourself in an intellectual environment with plenty of guidance SUNY Empire is not your school. If you're looking for a non-profit (no corporate atmosphere/motive) adult oriented, practical education to build on already existing competencies, SUNY Empire is an excellent option. I would liken SUNY Empire to a four year community school that delivers in response to the effort a student puts into their own education. I wouldn't recommend any degree program that is earned entirely online although that option is possible through Empire. Empire is very generous with transfer credits from community and four year colleges for a reason, in class time prepares a student for the rigors of an entirely self guided degree program.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

You Decide

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - February 11, 2010
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Unfortunately for ESC, I can relate to all the negative comments made so far in this forum. The program is, in fact, very "flexible," and it is ultimately up to you (of course) as the student to get something out of it. I was handed a "learning contract" for only one of the two courses I am taking, and it simply consisted of periodically submitting answers to questions from the text and a final research paper. After that, I received virtually no feedback on the work I submitted, and my mentor rarely replied to my e-mails (in fact, he/she has not replied to my last e-mail from over a month ago). Academic guidance, in my opinion, is essentially non-existent at ESC. If I learned anything here, it was definitely on my own. Some students are okay with that level of ambiguity. Some like me, however, need some structure and feedback, even with an "online" program such as this one. So I've decided this style of "instruction" is not for me. It's really not what I expected from a SUNY college. ESC will definitely help you obtain a degree. Whether you can actually get an education at ESC is certainly debatable. So you decide what is best for you and your future.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful

I was really incredible surprised

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Management - January 13, 2010
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I am almost done with my BS in business management. Out of the 128 credits I need to graduate, 96 were done in the traditional class room at other colleges. Empire by far is more demanding school I have attended. You need 100% participation to do well. In traditional schools you could skip some class, memorize some material, and pass you test. At Empire they put a great emphasis on writing. Most of my professors have their doctorates and many are from prestigious schools. My mentor was amazing and really cared about my success. All staff realizes that their students are adults with many responsibilities outside of school and they go to great lengths to accommodate their students. You can do all your classes on line. But there are also opportunities for traditional class settings and one on one independent study. I literally met with my professor every two weeks one on one for 1-2 hours. Where else can you get that kind of educational service? Sitting with a PhD for an hour or two going over course material and my work taught me far more than any 30+ student class I have ever sat through. The school is amazing. But it is only for the self motivated and discipled. Despite an enormous amount of resources available to help you be successful, the course work is not for the lazy. I love the school and I will be proud to call myself alumni this spring.

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful

ESC- The good, the bad and the ugly

BA in Arts - January 5, 2010
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I am completing a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies. I am currently taking my final two classes. I have taken all of my classes online so I can't speak for the on-ground or hybrid options. The Good- The fact that this is an online program has afforded me the opportunity to finish a degree that I would not have had the time to complete otherwise. The cost is VERY affordable, even cheap in comparison to other online schools. It is a SUNY school and as a result garners a certain level of respect from other institutions. The Bad- The school claims that instructors will reply to emails within a 24-48 hour time frame. I have not had even ONE professor who did this. This is an online program, therefore students do not have the opportunity to go to a professor's office to ask questions, nor can you stay after class for clarification or details about an assignment. Thus it is very logical to assume that teachers in an online program would comprehend the great importance of being available to students in other ways. NO SUCH LUCK! Teachers sometimes take over a week to respond. I have had more than one teacher that I couldn't get in contact with for over a month. There is a LOT of work. That worked for me because I actually like learning, researching and writing. I came to ESC with 96 credits and wanted to finish as quickly as possible. I knew going in that I would be taking numerous classes at a time to finish and was willing to go without sleep for days at a time to meet my goal. However, all students are not in as much of a rush as I am. My sister also attended ESC for a time and the work load crushed her. Students should be informed when they register that taking more than two classes at a time will require a minimum of 40 hours per week for the ridiculous amount of time it takes to complete the reading and writing assignments. The Ugly- The grading policies are severely subjective (meaning if you disagree with your professor or call them on their b.s. your A+ will magically become a B- despite the grades that your work received). Of course there is a grievance/ appeal procedure but it takes FOREVER and involves more hoops than a Barnum and Bailey show. The bureaucracy at ESC is unending. There is red tape after red tape, arbitrary policy after arbitrary policy and an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. My own mentor was mildly helpful, but I have heard absolute horror stories from others. Overall- If you are looking for an affordable, flexible program from a moderately respected school ESC is a viable option. It is not at all what I would call a pleasant experience. The administration is mediocre at best, 99% of my professors have been horrendous, the grading policies are severely subjective and the workload is tremendously time consuming. But after all is said and done, if you survive it, you will get your degree.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful

A Good Option

Bachelor of Science - January 2, 2010
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I have 1 class to go for my BS degree. ESC is primarily viewed as an "online" degree institution. The truth is that it depends on what degree program you follow. I took classes at University of Buffalo as well as some online courses and one-on-one classes with a professor. All were great with one exception with an online course. The instructor was horrible and I could have "taught" the class myself. Other than that it was very good and a great fit for anyone who needs the flexibility.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

MBA Excellent

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - December 11, 2009
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I went to SUNY Oneonta for undergrad and learned more in the initial residency offered by SUNY Empire's MBA program than the 4 years at Oneonta. I went into the work force for about 6 years then returned to complete my MBA. I have 6 classes left and have learned a tremdous amount. I cannot emphasize enough the VALUE here. I have been in the traditional class room as well as virtual and find ESC right on. THIS is not easy. DO NOT take this route if you do not like to read, write, self motivated and are willing to put time in. I write about 150 pages worth of work per semester (2 classes). With that being said it is a great experience. Most people have complained about mentors/advisors. YOU will not be baby sat so if thats what you are looking for go to a community college. I have found the few questions I needed answered were done so in a a acceptable manner.

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Positive Overall

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - November 15, 2009
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I began my studies at ESC CDL in 2003 and completed in 2007. My decision to attend ESC was driven by its value and the flexibility it offered me as a working parent. I was generally pleased with the fact that many transfer credits from other NYS-based institutions were accepted, and I was granted 16 experiencial credits. ESC's determination of my advanced standing was done in a way that conveyed to me academic integrity. Prior courses needed to be relevant to my program, and I had to prove college-level learning for the experiencial credits through written and verbal means. My mentor was wonderfully supportive and responded quickly to my questions and concerns. Like others who have posted here, my experience with the instructors was mixed: some were excellent, engaged, and challenged students while others were MIA throughout the entire course duration. The fact that we were asked to rate instructors BEFORE the end of the term led me to be less truthful than I would have been once grades were issued. I had very few technology issues over the years, and I found the admin staff helpful. I, personally, would highly recommend ESC with the same reasonable cautions that others here have given. Without access to ESC's on-line environment, I likely would not have completed my degree. Now, I am seriously considering returning to ESC or another SUNY school for a graduate degree and would much prefer another on-line program or a hybrid for the benefit of some professional networking. All this said, my husband - also a recent ESC graduate - had a frustrating experience due, primarily, to an unresponsive mentor and administrative delays. Hence, he is unwilling to recommend ESC.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

A degree, not an education

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Health Service Management - October 14, 2009
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After much deliberation, I've decided to transfer to another institution to complete my degree. The school is starting to rely too heavily on remote adjuncts who teach for multiple schools and are completely overextended. It ceases to be a SUNY education when the instructors are institutional babysitters hundreds of miles from the nearest SUNY building who did not author the courses they are instructing and only silently drop in every 7 to 10 days to leave a few much-belated grades. I would expect this from U. Phoenix or the like, but I think it's a shame that a SUNY school is going this route. If you just want a degree, it's a great value. Just don't expect an education. If you're going into a field (or applying t a graduate program) where instructor recommendations would help give you an edge, steer clear of SUNY Empire State College's online establishment.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Empire State College is run my a bunch of MORONS

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business - August 27, 2009
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The mentors are pathetic and when they can't evaluate you they send in the CLOWNS... Then when you file a grievance, they run for cover and send in the CHIEF CLOWNS... DON"T WASTE YOUR MONEY

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful

SUNY: ESC

Bachelor of Science in Busniess, Management, Economics with a concentration in Public Administration - August 27, 2009
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AFter a failed first attempt at college fresh out of highh school, 20 years later I started again at ESC. The program was designed by myself in conjunction with my staff mentor with a very rigorous and complete justification process to assure its applicability and integrity by the college admittance board. From the start I was challenged to stretch far beyond what a classroom experience would have provided me. Research, writing, and continuous defense of my ideas was the norm and it could not have served me better. The instructors were all active in various fields of public sector service with many years of extensive experience of which I was the beneficiary. Top notch and well worth the time and effort. Kudos and much gratitude and thanks to all of my instructors,the Dean (Meg Behnke), and the school for all it proved to be for me.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Military Student

Bachelor of Science - August 4, 2009
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I was going to a local community college here in Jacksonville Florida, and was having problems with them working with my military schedule. I was looking on the Navy's college website and found Empire State College. I completed the semester and began ESC in the spring semester. ESC assigned me a mentor how has been really good at answering questions. It seems as time goes on I need my mentor less and less. I would not say that ESC is an easy college, it seems that online degrees are harder then attending class, and take much more disipline to complete. Over all I am very happy with my experince. As a military member the College has done a great job at working with me and my work schedule. I am very happy I chose this school.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

horrible!!

Associate in Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - June 28, 2009
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My husband and I both take courses at ESC. My husband is in the military and has had issues with the school since the beginning. They claim that you are assigned "mentors". What a joke! The mentors do not know what they are talking about half the time and that's if you can even get in touch with them! NOBODY had any idea what so ever about soldiers going to school. They claim to be "military friendly" and have this new department specially created for military and they still have no clue. It seems that students are not #1 on the priority list. The staff is only worried about themselves and spend all their money on trying to look good by holding big meetings and lunch-ins with the community big shots. The tuition just went up, you would think they would use the money on staff training and helping the student.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful

ESC is a Great for a Busy Lifestyle!

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - June 19, 2009
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I started taking online courses through University of Phoenix for two semesters and I realized that I wasn't getting what I wanted, so I started with Empire State with the CDL courses. I just graduated in June 2009 and I am so pleased with the education I have earned at ESC! I am a working professional with a busy family and ESC fit right into my busy life. I was able to earn credits for my life experiences, so my degree plan waa efficient. Now I'm starting the MBA program in September and I can't wait! As with anything, you get out of it what you put into it. I had one instructor in particular that was non-existant throughout, but the rest were all very supportive. My future goal is to continuing on with ESC as an online instructor so I can still continue my career, while supplimenting my income and building another career opportunity! I LOVE ESC!

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

BS in Science Math & Technology: Computer Science

Bachelor of Science - May 7, 2009
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I'm about to complete my BS in SMT with a concentration in Computer Science. I have 2 classes left that I will be taking this summer. In the past, i've attented both (in class) Community and Private University along with Phoenix Online U. Empire State College ranks up there with a great State & Private University. The coursework was rigorous, and the classes were intensive. I would recommend this school to anyone who would like to continue their Bachelors online. Phoenix U was really a waste of time and money. ESC is a real accredited college that will stand against any 4 year university when applying for ANY graduate program. Some advice: Learn to manage your time, Create a separate space/time @ home to study & write, be prepared to write (at minimum) 5 page reports bi-weekly along with FIVE 1 page response posts in the discussion areas and one 15 page research paper per class, be ready to be involved, take classes that you think you'll enjoy, and take the time to learn the material.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful

Great Program

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - May 6, 2009
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I am very happy with my experience at ESC. If you are looking for a great online education at a reasonable price ESC is the way to go. No need to worry about its credibility since it is backed by SUNY. Most of the professors are great, some are involved more than others. I received my AA degree from a different online college and can tell you that ESC is dedicated to their online students. And its nice to have the opportunity to create your own degree plan.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful

The "Write" Stuff

Bachelor of Science - April 20, 2008
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With three years of college, an Associate's degree, and substantial working experience as a graphic designer under my belt, ESC provided me with an opportunity to finally get my "paper" from a reputable school without going for broke. I graduated in 2004 after three semesters of study with a BS in the Arts and a concentration in Visual Arts. The Center for Distance Learning requires students to meet the same General Education requirements as SUNY on-campus students so I felt that I left the school with a strong liberal arts background that included two semesters of a foreign language. As an "alternative" institution, ESC also requires that students take two classes in Education Planning and research their own degree program--this is an excellent process that really encourages you think about what you want from your education. As with any school, the quality of instruction varied from excellent to slightly below average in terms of delivery ( out of ten instructors, I was only unhappy with two). I would highly recommend Ann Wentworth who teaches Women's and Family History in America, and Sylvain Nagler--both excel at creating an online classroom community. My advisor was helpful, responsive, and genuinely interested in helping me complete my program, including hooking me up with an art instructor for two independent studies. Overall, every instructor was accessible and returned papers and projects in a timely manner. Feedback was excellent. For Spanish I and II, I had a telephone tutorial once a week and a monthly "live" class. Support staff was never anything but supportive and I rarely had a problem with technology. Course readings and materials were interesting and enjoyable. As ESC is not known as a "selective" college in terms of their admissions standards, students with high academic standards might find themselves frustrated and disappointed by the level of discussion and communication that occurs in some of the online classes. As the CDL is also a writing-based program and papers will form the basis for your final evealuation, if you don't think you will enjoy writing paper after paper, this is probably not the school for you. However, the emphasis on oral and written communication practically guarantees that every student leave a much better writer.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

A really good SUNY School

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - April 17, 2008
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I am graduating this June 2008 and I have to say that my experience at SUNY ESC has been an enjoyable one for the most part- aside from the writing three 15 page+ research papers, but hey, this is college and this is the kind of work that is expected of a senior getting their bachelor's degree. Like every college, there will of course be problems with professors, administration, and grading-this is to be expected, you just have to be assertive and take care of the problem. In fact, my fiance who hashis degree from Cornell University was not immune and hated most of his professors as they were not good teachers. Interestingly enough at ESC, I really haven't had that many problems. My financial aid, very suprisingly, has worked out perfectly. A side from one useless professor the rest were very helpful and knowledgeable. I know that ESC is known for online classes, but I haven't taken one online course so I cannot comment on this. I have takenclasses through independent study (highly reccommended, only if you are good at self-motivation) working closely with the professor, all my work is completed basically on my terms. Although you are provided with a "learning contract" aka syllabus, the "deadlines" are flexible to your schedule. The other type of class I have taken is the study group option-also highly recommended. The study group usually meets for 6 classes, for 2 hours typically every two weeks. The classes are small maybe 7-12 students. If you are taking classes in the Hudson Valley-Hartsdale location I recommend, Prof. Altman and Swartz (both are really great and and have alot experience in their field!!) Overall, I would highly recommend this college to anyone.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Overall GREAT experience

Associate in Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - April 8, 2008
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I have also just completed my BS in Community and Human Services and previously attained a AAS in Interdisciplinary Skills with SUNY ESC and am in agreement with the previous writer, the school is a good one. In New York they are highly recognized, and if any one knows the SUNY name they know that SUNY is known highly respected. The things I mostly valued were the cost, you cannot beat the tuition rates, they are almost as good as community college rates. Mostly the instructors were good, there were a few that were less than desirable, but I am sure most would say that about their college experience. I also felt that most professors wanted to see you succeed and would work with you at times on some of the time constraints. Materials always good and up to date, however, they never sold used books. I never really had a problem with the financial aid, I think most students will also say that the financial department in any college USA has its issues. I also like the fact that you could tailor your degree. Dislikes were when they changed the course space, the new space took some time to get used to and to me was not as user friendly. My mentor was great but I know of someone else who's mentor is not so great and you depend on them a great deal especially in the beginning. Also the tailoring your own degree did get confusing at times. I also did not like having to take classes just to learn to tailor your degree. All in all a good college experience and I hope to continue on to graduate school there as well.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Great Experience

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - March 2, 2008
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I came across this site while searching for a college to pursue my MBA and after reading the first comment here I felt compelled to add my experiences with ESC. First, the site was rarely unavailable, and was announced if it was to become so. Second, most of the professors I had were of a high caliber and their critiques were generally given in an acceptable time-frame. I had a problem with a couple professors but I know that is par for the course, just another learning lesson. I thought the courses were quite rigorous and were graded fairly. The text books were excellent and usually the latest versions, which I liked. Bottom line is that I know that I learned what was needed in order to acquire a BS in Business Administration and get out in the business world and succeed, because I am doing just that. I personally do not think you could go wrong choosing ESC for your degree. Good Luck!

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Are you kidding?

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Management - February 22, 2008
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This school with the excpetion of a few great instructors has only two things going for it. First, they offer classes online which allows the student to accomplish them at a convenient pace. That does not mean that they allow you to complete them at your pace as advertised. Second, they are at least for now accredited which adds a measure of credibility to the diploma. I will not bash them simply to bash and understand that these are my own experiences. The school is marginal at best. For the first two years they never had enough staff to process student loans which meant above average waits for loan disbursement. Now that same staff is simply incompetent but there are enough of them. I was graded at least in one instance on how well I related to the instructor and not on merit. After a lengthy process that situation was remedied. The online based school has frequent scheduled outages for their web site. This would be okay if they scheduled these outages for periods that did not involve every students deadline for submitting homework (ussually Sunday). Many instructors still have not mastered the internet or the school's web site. Grading is ultimately accomplished but the gee whiz web site offers continous feedback that is never properly used (I currently have a 333.33% in Income Tax 2). 20% of most course grades are based on regular contributions to discussion posts. The grading on these discussion posts are subjective and vary by instructor. This would be okay if the instructors used the 'grade book' on the website so you could gauge your level of response or even pointed out examples of good posts. I could go on and on. If you are considering Empire, I wish you better luck than I had.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Best Online School Worldwide

Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services, Concentration in Human Services - December 9, 2007
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I have just completed my BS in Community and Human Services with SUNY/ESC. What the first reviewer left out was probably the most important factor pursing a degree in ESC; it is a State University of New York degree. Not as valuable as a SUNY Cornell degree, but valuable nonetheless. It is true, as in every college, you have some okay professors, some schmucks, or diamonds in the rough. One would be in criminal justice classes S. Raptis. I had this professor for two semesters, his knowledge, clarity, and truthfulness was genuine. There are some others to avoid, especially Prof. J. Putt in Urban Studies, he is as useful as nipples on a bull. My life credits brought me to 75 credits after completing the Educational Planning, no worries with that, if you have a decent mentor they will give you a template. Remember when you succeed, so does the mentor. I received federal and state grants rather easily. I suggest that you buy all of your required reading used - you will save hundreds of dollars. Some classes require literature from ESC, so you have no other choice on those. If you are an adult learner, and have accomplished a lot in your life vocationally, and the likes, I strongly suggest ESC over ANY online school. ESC degree does hold weight - I myself will be taking the LSATS in order to get into Northwestern School of Law that shows you the weight of ESC.

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful

A good program

Business, Management and Economics, Concentration in Business Administration - October 3, 2007
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SUNY at Empire State College (ESC) is run by its Center for Distance Learning in Saratoga Springs, NY. SUNY, founded in 1784, has dozens of schools in its system. Empire State's charter came in 1971. As a requirement, you must take a 2 credit Degree Planning course which helps pull prior credit together into your program. Even with an assigned mentor, that initial experience could be overwhelming for first-time online students. My advice: READ the undergraduate catalog. This was not my first online learning experience. That prize goes to University of Phoenix Online. In August 2004, I took one class with UoP, which was delivered through MS Outlook Newsgroups. It wasn't user-friendly, and the discussion threads were kludgy. ESC delivers its content through its ANGEL portal, which can be user-modified. In fact, I've been through a transition from the Student Learning Network to ANGEL. Although SLN had its deficiencies similar to the thread problem, ANGEL is still slow and sometimes buggy. But their tech support is sharp. The format is the same for all courses, but the content is controlled by the instructor. I would say the ESC courses are rigorous. The texts are top-shelf: Paul Krugman for Economics, Twomey & Jennings for Business Law, Peter Stearns for History. The professors are average. You have, of course, a choice of teacher when you register for class. Use RateYourProfessors.com to see which instructors are duds. On the whole, I've had responsive teachers, which is what counts in this environment. You will do well if you complete writing assignments on time. Since you can never complete the readings (unless you speed-read), always go to the assignments first, then read what you must to answer the questions. Multiple choice testing is sometimes performed at the end of each module. You could do the tests at any time, but stick with the program. You have support through your mentor, your Student Government Association, fellow students, and teachers: so ask questions! Raise your hand! The financial Aid office is very responsive. The bookstore is fast, and you can defer payment in favor of pending grants or aid, but you can always get books cheaper through Half.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or The College Store. When your student aid refund comes, pay yourself back. I intend on continuing my education through an online MBA program. When doing so, you apply to several schools, of course. My research was going along well, then I came across this website. I was applying to Grantham, but saw its review and decided "No thanks!" So this feedback is very useful. If you have high standards, these reviews will help you cull out the obviously poor choices. If you choose ESC, please rate your experience here. Good luck!

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful


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