Empire State College, State University of New York

Review Averages: 6.2 out of 10 (87 reviews)

Empire State College, part of the State University of New York System, offers online associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs as well as certificate programs. Empire State College also features programs especially designed for: international students; people interested in interdisciplinary labor studies; and employees at participating organizations in metropolitan New York.

Accreditation: Middle States
Non-Profit: Yes
Country: USA

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Empire State College, State University of New York Reviews:

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
So far very happy.
May 4, 2012
Empire State College is not for everyone. It is a school where communication is key and you as the individual learner has a responsibility to be engaged in your personal learning process. Overall the school is great. It is very inexpensive compared to many other colleges in the area of where I live, and is cheap compared with all online colleges that are for-profit, and they can charge 7-10 times the amount of ESC. The classes are rigorous and highly demanding. Your education at this school falls back on you and ultimately there is no hand holding in the process. Anyone who says they have had a bad mentor, it is there own fault for not switching mentors or just relying on e-mail correspondence. Sometimes you have to take the initiative and pick up the phone and call. Not all of the mentors are hip to the technology or they themselves are under a tight schedule, so making time for you is tough. When you are in a system like ESC, you have to take into consideration that you are not the only person that your mentor deals with, otherwise you are being delusional or just disingenuous, and passing blame off of yourself. I will agree with some of the comments that some mentors do not fit in this environment. One example, is an accounting professor who had too much on his plate and could not really give as much attention as I would have liked. I think if you look at many colleges there is always one professor that has it out for you or lacks credible knowledge to really be the type to foster mentoring skills, so the system is not perfect. I find most of the claims on this review site to be individuals who are bitter by their own personal experience. The school has a few bad apples yes. But according to the college's web site there are, "The college serves nearly 20,200 students worldwide at 36 locations in New York state and online. Its 63,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more." This has to show for something. When you have over 63,000 alumni they have to be doing something right. Before you make a decision on coming here know that the school does serve a purpose for adults who have not finished their degree and they offer an opportunity to let you move up in the world by your personal will to excel. If you have any questions about the college you can email me at 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.

16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Low Expectations
February 10, 2012
I spent one semester in the MBA program at Empire State College (ESC) and wondered how ESC is part of the SUNY system. Among other factors, quality of a higher education institute depends on its competitive admission requirements, expectations, and faculty qualifications. ESC lacks these and other factors. I was shocked by the mathematical ability of some of my peers. The mathematical ability of these students was at a low high school level; as if the program is open to any student. As a result, I did not find my courses challenging, and left the program. Not to my surprise, the college I am attending, did not accept my ESC courses for not meeting the rigor of graduate-level courses. If other institutes don’t value ESC courses, how valuable a graduate degree from ESC can be?

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Is this really an accredited college?
January 11, 2013
I just finished my second semester in a graduate program and am considering cutting my losses now. Losing the tuition money is a better option than continuing whatever it is that passes for an education at Empire "college". Here is my experience so far: The mentors are friendly and approachable at the residency, and then you will never hear from them again. Emails and phone calls are not answered, and you aren't given any instruction or feedback until you've already turned in an assignment. You are not told how to do the assignments, only that you have done them wrong. There is no information on how your grades are calculated, and questioning anything is either simply ignored or met with confusion, hostility or both. And, instilling confidence in us new students, our department chairman told us that he is only the chair "because no one else wanted the job". I would love to hear an explanation of how this school became accredited. I've talked to dozens of graduate students here and they all have similar stories. I've also heard that I am not alone. more than two thirds of the graduate students drop out of these programs. (I'm not surprized, but wonder: Why doesn't anyone in the adminstration think that there might be a problem here?) I have heard that the undergraduate programs are not as bad, but if you're looking for a good graduate school keep looking. This is certainly not it.

14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Great School!!!!!!
January 25, 2012
I have been a student at ESC for the past 2 1/2 years. I just graduated with a BA in Historical Studies. I can't understand all the negative comments because I found this school to be great. Having survived a year at Thomas Edison State College, ESC is 100 times better. Every school is going to have its issues. My son attends Kings College in PA and he goes through the same BS there. College is what you make of it. I think alot of people look at the online concept as being somewhat easier than face to face classroom instruction, but other than not taking exams, it is quite demanding. There has been several semesters where I was taking 4 and 5 classes and believe me it was very challenging. I sometimes don't know how I managed it all, but I did. As with every school, there is going to be crappy teachers. To be honest, I really only had 1 teacher that I had an issue with. All of my teachers were very understanding and quite helpful. If you are up front with your professors and let them know that you are having problems, they are more than willing to work with you. This is college and you are pretty much on your own and you have to be proactive. This school was great for me and I have no regrets. I completed over 60 credits with this school and all of the classes that i took were great. I left there with a 3.75 GPA. They offer a large selection of classes and the price can't be beat. It is money well spent. Don't listen to the negative comments. I was a terrible student in high school and i never thought that I was college material. I came here and all that changed. This school has allowed me to develop as a student and I've learned so much. I had a great mentor, who I happened to take 2 independent classes with and whom I loved. If I ever had a problem, it was always resolved immediately.

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed with quality of school
January 4, 2012
First things first, I only completed two courses with Empire State...but that was enough for me! I had high hopes for Empire State. The website seemed to outline the different programs and requirements well, and I was of course impressed by the SUNY name. After my initial credit evaluation I was still hopefuly, because Empire State was willing to accept about 70% of my credits (including some of my military credits). It wasn't until it came time for my tuition assistance form to be processed and for my assigned mentor to contact me that I encountered some issues. My tuition assistance form had to be faxed three different times after I called for confirmation each time. Still, my form which would pay for my two classes somehow got "lost" each time. Not only that, but the form took so long to be processed that it was almost the last date prior to being dropped from the courses for nonpayment before it was recognized. I excused this, however, because I have had issues in the past with schools taking a very, very long time to process military tuition assistance forms. Next, though, was the total absence of my mentor. I understand the concept of adult online education. The student is to be independent and responsible. However, the role of the mentor is to still provide SOME sort of guidance. I emailed my mentor for help about what classes I should start with, and received no response for WEEKS. I waited patiently and no reply. I then had to contact her again with a forward of the same email. She finally replied to the second email after a week and a half. Her reply left much to be desired. It was almost as if I were bothering her. She was vague, and basically said I could take whichever class which falls in the categories where I still needed credit (errrr, duh?). I had also asked her for some explanation on how the transcript and degree planner worked. Again, very vague answer given. She told me to "play around" with the degree planner to become familiar with its functions (I thought this was a bit of a no brainer? I was hoping for some more specific answers to my specific question about different buttons/tabs/etc. of the degree planner). Anyway, I ended up selecting my two classes and hoped that my mentor would either be more helpful next semester or that I would be assigned a better one. My course materials were affordable and easily attainable through both the school website and other websites such as Amazon. I was grateful for this, because I have spent much more in the past on books for classes. Though, it could have just happened that other courses offered by Empire State were more expensive, and I happened to take two courses which were very affordable material-wise. The coursework was indeed challenging and interesting most of the time. The weekly assignments and discussions kept me actively participating in the course. Some of the assignments, however, felt like pointless busy work for the sake of writing weekly essays, but I suppose that's the case for other schools as well. The big failing for me came with the instructors. It could be that my instructors happened to both be rather unhelpful and distracted. I'm sure there are better teachers instructing for Empire State. However, my experience is enough to leave me displeased enough to seek the completion of my education elsewhere. I particularly disliked that I was left in vagueness in terms of my grade for one of my courses until the very end of the semester. I emailed my instructor for some sort of in-depth feedback of my work after the first month or so, because I found it odd that I had no idea of where I stood at all performance-wise. She replied with a vague promise that she would send out feedback of my standing at the midway point. I waited for this midway point, and the "feedback" was two sentences long and seemed very generic and impersonal...almost as if it were sent out to other students. The lack of feedback continued, but I kept on turning in assignments and assumed it meant the grading would be an A for effort type of deal. Fast forward to the end of the course, and once again there is no explanation provided of any assignments with a final grade posted of C-. I am going to be honest, I felt agitated. Not only was I not provided with specifics after asking, but I was given a grade I feel was unfair for such lack of communication. This was probably what sealed the deal for me, that I would no longer attend Empire State. All along throughout the semester I was becoming more and more disenchanted with the school in general, the lack of structure, the impersonal instructors and mentors, the sometimes tedious assignments, the errors of the school finance office, etc., etc., but I think this was the last straw. The fact that I had received my lowest grade ever in a college course when I participated fully and previously asked for feedback on my standing in the class. Again, I understand the concept of independent adult education; I actually prefer this set up to in person education. I have learned so much from my previous school and other schools where I have taken individual classes. I have had some instructors I thoroughly felt were invested in my learning and progress. This WAS NOT the case AT ALL with Empire State. It's funny, because prior to enrolling at Empire State I came to this website and read reviews on the college. I took in the positive and took in the negative and made my own decision. This is why I am choosing to review here, to help provide some info for those who are thinking about enrolling. Of course, it's an individual decision, and I am sure there are people who have had much success with this college. Unfortunately, I have had the exact opposite experience. I really thought this was going to be the college for me, but it turned out otherwise.

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
ESC instructors that are not meant to teach.
October 26, 2012
Online education is meant for motivated and independent students. I am a motivated and independent student, but from time to time I have questions. I am taking three online courses, and am very disappointed with all my instructors. Two instructors never replied to my emails about the assignments. The reply of the third instructor was as if she never read my emails to know what I was asking. I had a question about the intend of the article, and in just two words she responded: "Next week." Feeling that she might have mistaken my email with another student's email, I asked again what the implication of the article was. Again, in just two words she replied: "Next Tuesday." Students, be aware of the quality of the college and its faculty.

13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Difficult, but great experience
July 26, 2012
I completed my Bachelor of Science in Management at ESC. Having already completed an AA degree prior, I was hesitant to start an online degree program and was unsure of the expectations. Taking classes online is difficult, it takes A LOT of personal commitment and time. The professors responded in a timely fashion, though there may have been 2-3 over 2 years of attending that were not so great, but what college does offer perfect professors? I was disappointed to see some really negative comments here, please keep in mind majority of them were from students that lasted a semester or two (probably not highly motivated individuals) and the course work is a lot. This is by no means an easy degree program. You will work for your grades. I recommend this college to anyone looking to work hard and complete a Bachelor level degree. The course work is heavy, requiring a lot of papers, but once you get the in the groove, it all comes together. Side note *** I am NOT embarrassed to put SUNY ESC on my resume, in fact I just left a management role with the largest pharmaceutical company in the world for a promoted management position with one of the best colleges in NYC and the country. Just sayin' :)

13 of 22 people found the following review helpful
April 24, 2012
My mentor had me take courses which she said met general education requirements. The director of the review board also said they met gen. ed. Now in my senior year, I find out that I cannot graduate because my degree plan cannot be concurred! They also took away my life credits because they will not allow you to be over 128 credits. I requested a refund of the $300, and they have refused! I am now out $300 for the life credits, and I have to pay (out of pocket) for 3 additional courses because of their mistakes! Worse yet, no one is now responding to my calls or emails.... Don't Waist Your Money!!!

12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
April 29, 2012
Its a sad excuse for education. Teach yourself and then we will have some part time instructor that doesn't care evaluate you. Oh, and btw, the instructors haven't got a clue about the expectations or how to be responsive to the students. It's literally a chance experience. Most times the instructor doesn't care and never replies and just give a grade. And others the instructor thinks he is the police and will show you who is boss. Take your pick. If I could I would do it differently. I wouldn't have gone there, but since the process of transferring is so much work, and I already have a full time job, I cannot. It's like going to a bad high school, stay away!

12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Teacher Education
January 20, 2012
I'm a second year grad student in the teacher certification program. It is bad when most instructors are adjuncts. It is worst when I see the adjunt is not qualified to teach the course. It is even worst when I have to find a teaching job to be certified and graduate.

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Old Comments

Oct. 10, 2010, 1:52 p.m.
+3 votes/
I graduated from ESC with a Bachelor's Degree in Business, Management and Economics (Management concentration) and let me say this much in response to some of these comments: it was not easy!  I had attended a traditional college for several years in a normal classroom setting and did very well (3.43 GPA).  I switched to ESC to expedite my degree progress and have the convenience of working from home.  Well, ESC was the right choice for me.  They accepted all of the transfer credits towards my degree, and I earned some extra credit for valid, verified training through my employer.  I completed my degree by being highly motivated, disciplined and relentless in my academic performance.  The workload in the ESC online classes is very demanding.  There are many tough writing assignments that are graded accordingly.  Furthermore, you as the student are on a clock regarding the submission of all writing assignments, posting responses, homework and group projects.  Be prepared to work very hard to reach your goals.  In the end, the reward will be great.  In conclusion, I found ESC to be a top-notch college with a demanding curriculum that puts their students to the test.
Sept. 28, 2010, 10:14 p.m.
+1 vote/
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, Freida Mendelsohn, 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.
Sept. 9, 2010, 5 p.m.
+2 votes/
I needed to complete my education online after a move to another country. After three years at ESC, and with a 
background that included matriculation at a traditional SUNY college, I would observe that ESC is neither better nor worse than the average college. 

As with *any* college, if one wants to avoid dissatisfaction, he or she must review a school's accreditation, policies, administration, professors, and the quality of course materials. Yes, there are some issues at ESC, but these are related to matters similar to what I also ran up against at the traditional SUNY level. Lack of real guidance or availability? Discouraged by peers who are lackluster? These problems exist offline at SUNY and to the same degree, in my experience. In real terms, I take control of my own education, so my ESC experience has been satisfactory in many respects  

Concerning instructors, I favor qualifications over location since my remaining studies are online. For instance, I have benefited from studies with an instructor who is current in her field, active and available, and in good standing at Russell Sage College. On the flip side, I have avoided a SUNY-affiliated nightmare professor against whom complaints are mounting. If some insist on SUNY-only affiliation, in spite of verifiable credentials and professionalism, then to each his own.  

By the way, as when working with a doctor, lawyer, or businessman, I personally select good instructors based on information found through Google, review sites, LinkedIn, and even Facebook. There's no need to enter a virtual classroom blindly.

ESC is not for everyone, but time will also tell if the school will rise to meet the challenges put forth by some dissatisfied students. I do not dismiss the dissenting opinions expressed on this site. The bottom line is that we own and respect a degree based on the effort we put into attaining it. Keep this in mind, and you will be fine with your ultimate decision.
July 25, 2010, 5:29 a.m.
+1 vote/
@ DOOR--- thank you very much for your literate, intelligent, and extremely helpful comments.  You have helped to solidify my distaste for, and even fear of, ESC.  I have already enrolled for the approaching fall semester, but will not return thereafter.  Thank you,thank you, thank you.
July 17, 2010, 2:24 p.m.
0 votes/
College enrollments are skyrocketing, especially at community and adult oriented colleges. Many schools are hiring adjuncts to fill the need, the hope is ESC maintains strict standards. I've been happy there but am comfortable with self guided courses. I prefer not to sit through classes in oversized lecture halls with little to no class participation, so the online boards work better for me. While it would be nice to have a hands on instructor guiding every opinion it's not very realistic, except in small community college classes and small liberal art schools, often those classes also discourage positions that oppose the instructor's. If you're looking for a good foundation to build practical experience on, and can handle autonomy and self direction, than ESC is a great school for you. On the other hand if you want constant feedback and guidance consider community college or a small liberal arts college.
June 30, 2010, 7:29 p.m.
0 votes/
I graduated from Suny ESC in 2005 with a BS in Business and I found to college to be very good, affordable and the professors that i had to be great.  Just choose your courses carefully and always try to be on top of your classes because because getting a degree online is very challenging.
May 11, 2010, 10:33 p.m.
0 votes/
Finally finishing after 3 years of 3 semesters a year and I must say I have had friend attempt to help me with advanced degrees and they consider some of this material and grading more difficult than what they learned in school. Regardless you must teach yourself the material which makes it considerably more difficult but enhances your education. There were many moments of frustration and I must have written hundreds of papers that are graded harshly so you will get your money's worth. The administration is very friendly and helpful but prepare yourself for giving up half of your week writing papers and researching till your brain becomes mush.
    I took a business course with a concentration in finance and the material they expect you to absorb within months is insanity. Imagine teaching yourself economics and financial formulas without a teacher/tutor and becoming reliant upon yourself. The graders are sticklers but let me tell you know that you are on your own. They grade diligently, and the assignments are numerous along with some courses requiring online class with microphones weekly. One word of advice choose your courses carefully to ensure you know the prior material and do not simply jump into advanced courses.
May 8, 2010, 2:46 p.m.
0 votes/
Thank you for all your reviews and comments.  Have been researching on line colleges for about a month.  This helps so much.
March 15, 2010, 9:51 p.m.
0 votes/
I have been attending ESC for about two years now. Since starting I have had some very good professors and some not so good. I transferred in with 80 previous college credits which left me to take 12 classes. At the beginning I used my mentor a lot now I hardly talk to him. This experience is not for people who have problems self starting. ESC is far more challenging then any other college classes I have taken. There is no scheduled class time, no professors lecturing you on the subjects, and you can not just make an appointment for extra help if you need to. It is up to you to read the course material on your time and get a hold of the professor over e-mail or on the phone to help with the problems. 

Most Professors are very helpful, as a member of the United States Navy I often times had to turn in assignments a little late because of low bandwidth. And I would sometimes have to join the discussions late. The only professor that gave me the most problem was of course retired Navy (go figure). 

I am very proud of everything I have achieved at ESC and by no means agree with any of the negative comments posted above. A degree from ESC does carry weight it a SUNY school and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Which is the same as NYU, Cornell University and Penn States accreditations, which I have been accepted to continue one for my Master's program. This goes to show me that ESC is not a scam or a sham. 

All I can say, I recommend ESC to anyone who asks, but remind them they have to be a self starter who needs little or no supervision at all. They must be willing to read every word of every chapter over every assigned reading, and must be willing to write paper after paper. 

Great experience, I’ve learned a lot, and look forward to putting my degree to use once I retire from the Navy and continuing my education at Penn State.
Feb. 23, 2010, 5:37 a.m.
0 votes/
I am currently atending ESC (concentration in Human Development w/ "minor" in Child Development)with one semester to go! I cannot say that it has been an easy experience, but it has been rewarding. The assignments and discussions are challenging. However,the professors are kind (some more than others) and more than willing to help you. I am pleased with my experience at ESC thus far and with the price of tuition is reasonable as well. Good Luck all!
Feb. 22, 2010, 6:41 p.m.
-1 vote/
I have recently grauated with a Bachelor os Science in Business, Mangagement and Economics with a concentration in Business Administration and Finance, from SUNY Expire State College. I was able to transfer 96 credits, which I earned at Hobart College and Hofstra University. I mapped out a degree plan, with my mentor, for the remaining coursework, and to ensure I filled all requirements.  I needed to take approx 11 classes, of which I can say were amongst the most rigorous I have ever taken, anywhere. There were times I felt I could have used some more traditional classroom time, and other times when I fully appreciated not having needed to go in. The assignments and workload I received practically borderlined on ridiculous (Meaning a ton of work and meeting a very high standard of work quality). However, now that I have successfully completed them I truly appreciate the rigorous work. SUNY ESC is a great great place. It allowed for to finish my degree while working full time and earning a living. However, I never felt that I was at an online school at all. It really does depend on the person. For me, I took full advantage of my mentor, (who is there for you in addition to the professors fr the full time you are at SUNY ESC)and of my professors along the way in each class. They were very accomodating, and I graduated without a hiccup. I do live in the area and this made it feel more like home for me as well. I recommend this school and program to others.
Feb. 17, 2010, 1:41 a.m.
0 votes/
I'm entering my third semester at SUNY Empire and have been impressed so far. Yes, it's primarily self guided learning, yes, there's a lot of work and writing and yes, no one is going to hold your hand and walk you through the learning process. It's far more personal than some enormous lecture halls at prominent universities where you never interact with the professor though. I've been to community college and now online at Empire and I'd say I'm learning as much if not more at Empire because I'm able to focus on the material without the distractions of attending class in person. Denigrating it as a "waste of time" or "rip off" sounds more like sour grapes than an honest opinion. I don't believe any of us, mentors, instructors or students are wasting our time. Far from it. I absolutely love it so far, except for the expense.
Feb. 12, 2010, 6:10 p.m.
0 votes/
I wanted to look for anyone that knows someone that has taken the education degree and became a teacher? Please let me know about your or their experience. Thank you
Jan. 24, 2010, 1:13 a.m.
0 votes/
I agree with the professor the stduent was trying too hard. Edu is to be approached like the Tao detached- do ur best. When are ppl going to open their eyes and realize that edu is a brainwashing dumbingdown operation. i am very happy i found this school. i believe in self edu and with this school i can put my piece of pape on the wall to rep that i have a degree. thats it ppl. edu ain't nothing but a standard ppl use 2 judge themselves. free ur mind. go 2 the most economical school that what edu is worth.
Oct. 25, 2012, 2:53 a.m.
-1 vote/
All they want you to do in this school is to write/post in the discussion boards and write tons of essays.  You have to respond at least two times and you have to respond to everyone who replies to your posting. In one class there were like 80 postings on complete nonsense, not even relating to the course.  The worst thing about this school is that YOU HAVE TO take a class on planning your degree.  You have to write dumb essays on why you are taking that class, why you chose it and the descriptions AND after you do all this waste of time essays and degree planning, they do not make it clear that your degree plan might not be accepted!!! You have to research OTHER schools to come up with your degree plan.  A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME and money.  Now I know why this school has such an extremely low graduation rate. Hardly anyone graduates and some of the instructors such as Nathan Smith (The Global Environment)are horrible. I took a photography class and not once did the instructor say anything on how the pictures submitted could be done better. The instructor actually gave me a bad grade because what we mostly did was write essays on what we thought of different pictures they provided and after many paragraphs I just could not think of anything else to say about the picture. It was an introductory photography class and it was absolutely horrible.
Aug. 14, 2012, 10:31 p.m.
0 votes/
I am currently perusing my B.S at mercy college in Public Health Management, I would like to continue with my Master but Mercy has become too expensive for me to continue. my question is, do empire state have a master in mental health or social work? 
June 13, 2012, 7:58 p.m.
0 votes/
I just graduated from ESC with a BS in Community and Human Services after 2 yrs of attending the college. I received an AAS from Suffolk County Community College and then transferred to SUNY Potsdam as a psychology major. After two semesters I realized I wanted to focus more on advocacy and case management but SUNY Potsdam did not offer a BS in Human services so I looked into ESC. I got high marks but worked my ass of for them. The teachers didn't give much feedback but then again neither did any professor I had during my undergrad career. I do not need a lot of direction, but I could see how if you were returning to college after a number of years of going straight from hs how not having direction would make it very difficult to stay on track with the classes. I literally had a professor this semester who did not grade any assignments till the last week of the semester, I didn't bother me and I received an A in the course in the end. It's about balancing the courses and the professors. Some want you to log in every day and others have a more relaxed approach. Just like professors in my brick and mortar schools that had no attendance policy or very strict policies. Just like when they were strict down to the margins or could care less what format your paper was in.When taking online courses you really need to have a good understanding about what type of student and what type of learner you are, they are not for everyone. As far as being able to find a job after college. My last day of classes was April 27th, I received word I officially graduated May 7th and was hired as a social worker at a foster care agency in Syracuse NY May 15th. When interviewing with the Director and the head of HR, the head of HR commented how she just completed an MBA program through ESC. I enjoyed the flexibility and the amount of classes available. I was able to take courses in things that filled degree requirements but that I was also interested in. All the jobs I interviewed with as well as agencies I interviewed with for my internships commented on my academic resume and how they wished their colleges offered specific courses like ESC. My advice would be to really be sure you can deal with online classes and the type of teaching that is a result of online classes, going to college means you will most likely have tons of debt (45k for me) regardless of whether you finish your education or not. All in all I loved my education at ESC, have received no negative feedback about my degree being from ESC and have a sister who has recently enrolled. She didn't realize how demanding it would be and needed to cut down on work hrs as well as social activities but she is loving the classes!
March 11, 2012, 11:37 p.m.
0 votes/
Some good and some bad:  I thought online college must be easy.  I was shocked and overwhelmed at the amount of coursework and especially writing I was assigned.  Anyone who thinks this is a degree factory is in for a surprise.  They are very flexible with degree requirements, and that is a good thing.  ESC will take more transfer credits than anyone, and their residency requirements ("virtual" residency) mean you probably won't have to take courses over just to get in X amount of credits from ESC.

The bad was:  I thought I was a bleeding heart liberal but there is some serious slexism by women against men here.  One advisor was repeatedly incompetent and when I could not get a resolution and talked to the dean, I was hit with a slexual harrassment accusation.  When the advisor could not prove anything, and when the dean discovered that I am a gay man, I was allowed to get a different advisor -- also a female, and she totally rocked.  She was helpful and on top of everything and helped me navigate my way around.  I had one online class with a female teacher, and she literally, I am not making this up, she would not acknowledge any of the guys.  She ignored the guys in her class, any postings and any questions.  She was fine with the female students.  It was kind of obvious and kind of ridiculous.  I withdrew from that class.  

This is going to happen anywhere, and I am a white male and have never experienced true discrimination until I bumped into these two rotten apples in an otherwise ace experience.  At the very least, now I know the tiniest bit how it must feel to be a person of color or a female in this white male dominated world.  The one advisor, she did seem like she was "off" just a bit.  I have had an incredibly fortunate and sheltered life.  Most of my managers in my career have been ladies, and I was raised by strong (or rather, ridiculously stubborn) women, so I have not been exposed too much to the good ole boys of the world.  I have always worked for places with slexual orientation as one of the non-discrimnation polices, so even the straight male managers were cool with everything.  I don't even know why I am dwelling on this, other than the instructor who blatantly did not acknowledge males kind of cramped my plans.  I wondered if it was just me, since I had two experiences in one place in short notice.  Other guys and some of the gals noticed it too.  

That was the only real blot on the experience.  The most important thing to remember is, you had best enjoy writing (I do) because you will be doing plenty of it.  Memorize the MLA book beforehand, because you will not get out of ESC without knowing the MLA backwards and forwards.  The instructors are pretty rigid about adhering to MLA standards.  It's quite tough sometimes, but in the larger picture, here is one organization that is forcing the next generation to write properly.
Aug. 20, 2011, 9:33 a.m.
0 votes/
Thundercat, I suggest that you Google search the terms "LinkedIn" and "Empire State College," along with relevant medical school phrases, including the names of specific programs you are looking into. When you find someone at LinkedIn with relevant education history, check the profile to see if he or she is open to contact and then reach out directly with questions. I've successfully used similar methods while researching former ESC students and found relationships to my graduate program of choice.
Aug. 16, 2011, 6:17 p.m.
0 votes/
This school is scary.  You must create a degree plan - NONE are pre-set like at any other school.  Even if you want something that is a cut and dry Psychology degree, you will have to "argue before a Committee" why your plan fits a litany of rules and regulations for Degree Plans.

I do not feel challenged in my course-work and feel over-charged for what training I get.  Some professors "Commentary" that is posted on each module amounts to a paragraph, literally.  That is truly scary.

I have taken online classes at two local Community Colleges and I would say those were as good or better.  They were more challenging (and cost less).  Good luck - I thought this would be a good option, but it likely pales in comparison to any of the brick and mortar SUNY schools that offer Bachelors degrees.

The last poster is right, "Run to the nearest exit!"
Aug. 5, 2011, 12:12 p.m.
+3 votes/
Hi, I am to enroll in ESC this Fall as a biology major. I am planning on going to medical school and was wondering if anyone has successfully went on to medical school from ESC, because I am just now finding out that none of their science classes offer a lab, and cross registration has been so far a nightmare for me. Before I paid my enrollment fee and signed up for orientation I called the 1-888 number almost everyday to ask them if they can really a truly provide me with the requirements I need and it wasn't until I sat with a mentor that I found that the answer is no. I would have to cross-reg. for the science lab and still fulfill my ESC  32 credit requirement, because any cross-reg. courses will be considered transfer credit. So when my mentor said that i will be graduating in a year, I now realize that is not true. Before I give up, I just really want to know has anyone successfully completed and science degree and went on  to medical school from Empire 
State College. 

Jan. 10, 2012, 1:55 p.m.
0 votes/
I attend ESC.  I took 32 credits, 8 of which were cross registered courses, and they are not considered "transfer."  These 32 credits fulfilled by requirements for a B.S. degree in Biology (focus on pre-healthcare).
Aug. 1, 2011, 1:07 p.m.
0 votes/
I will graduate in December 2011.  Having attended a community college and a major university prior to coming to Empire State I have found Empire to be much more difficult.  I don't work so I have time to do all the assignments. If you need to be led by the hand this is not the school for you.  I had a great mentor and I have taken classes both on line and in house at Saratoga Springs. Empire State is not a diploma mill.
June 9, 2011, 3:34 p.m.
0 votes/
Sorry. I must have been halfway asleep that day. 
Feb. 22, 2011, 7:36 a.m.
+1 vote/
Take this for example:

A school on the semester system usually has 3 credit courses. You need 120 credit hours for a bachelors. You will need 40 courses to complete your degree (maybe a little less if you have some 4 credit courses). If you're paying $200 per credit, your degree is going to cost $8,000.

A school on the quarter system usually has 4 credit courses. You need 180 credit hours for a bachelors. You will need 45 courses to complete your degree (maybe a little less if you have some 6 credit courses). If you're being charged $200 per credit, your degree is going to cost $9,000.

All in all, schools on the quarter system are a rip-off.

120 semester hours = 180 quarter hours

That is why you need the conversion.

1 semester hour = 1.5 quarter hours

180/1.5 = 120 

Empire State College is not doing anything wacky or trying to devalue your previous credits. 
May 25, 2011, 3:53 p.m.
0 votes/
Your math is off Tammy. I'd love to know of a college where I can take 40 classes for $8,000. It should be more like $24,000.
Feb. 22, 2011, 7:24 a.m.
+1 vote/
Every school that is on the semester system will reduce the amount of credits you have from a school on the quarter system. A regular course at a semester school is 3 credits. The same course providing the same amount of education at a quarter school will be 4 credits. A bachelors at a semester school is usually around 120 credits while it's around 180 credits at a quarter school. Schools on the quarter system cost more because you're paying per quarter hour, but you're getting the same amount of education. Converting quarter hours to semester hours is like converting kilometers to miles. It's the same distance, but you have two different ways of measuring, hence, the difference in numbers. A semester hour = 1.5 quarter hours. 

Please do your research before you start bashing someone for something they did right. 
Jan. 27, 2011, 3:32 a.m.
-2 votes/
I appreciate your honesty about the ESC atmosphere! I also acquired an Associates from another college and transferred in with 90 credits but they only gave me 55 credits after some wacky equation they did (quarter semesters vs full semesters) where they are trying to minimize the value of my previous education, yet are asking for an additional $300 to consider the balance of credits that I earned but they did not allow! Whaaat??? I discovered some other tidbits, like dropping a coursel but not being allowed to take another course because the professor has provided 9 assignments in 4 days but he's unavailable? Guess What? I've only been in ESC..8 DAYS!! 
Jan. 16, 2011, 8:52 p.m.
0 votes/
Krisitne, I think your mentor acted responsibly to note earlier student questions and to have information ready for you. As for your additional statements, can you please provide links to specific pages for background information and context?
Dec. 20, 2010, 12:13 a.m.
-1 vote/
I am a new student and just got off the phone with my mentor. I feel as if he is selling me the college and before I could ask any questions, he had an answer. So he must get the same questions from new students about the quirky dp planning system.
 I also read In the website the CDL is a pilot program?   It appears the graduation rate to complete the program 4 years is only 16%.  Anyone know about this?    
Nov. 4, 2009, 3:18 p.m.
0 votes/
It's really a disservice to Empire to call it an "online" school.  I earned my BS in Finance from there, and I took a total of TWO credits "online".  All the other credits were earned through textbooks, assignments, and meeting with the teacher in person.  

I attended SUNY Stony Brook for two years and let me tell you this- Empire was MUCH more work, but I learned SO much more. 

And the quality of teaching at Empire is just like anywhere else- you get some great teachers, and you get some horrible teachers.  Just a short example: At Stony Brook, I had a teacher for Financial Accounting who barely spoke English (she was Chinese) and I finished with my "A" and 3 credits, but walked away feeling almost robbed.  At Empire, I had a teacher for Corporate Finance who was incredibly bright, articulate, and always made himself available.  It's all relative.

Bottom line is this- it is all what YOU make of your experience.  If you want to do well, you put yourself in that position.
April 9, 2012, 12:47 a.m.
+1 vote/
@Bill, I really appreciate the comment you made. I am a senior at ESC and I've had some great and reliable teachers and some horrible teachers. I am persistent and I hardly ever take no for an answer. You are right it is what you make of it. Not every school you go to is for you. I transferred to ESC from a traditional college in Georgia, once I got here I asked myself why didn't I go here first, I feel that there here to help me and they act as though they want nothing but the best for me. I am graduating in June and I even had help with getting great internships. I couldn't be more happier with my success at ESC. Everyone just has to find the right college for them. Good luck everyone!
Oct. 29, 2009, 6:28 p.m.
0 votes/
So in other words, don't apply
Oct. 11, 2009, 6:31 p.m.
0 votes/
I enrolled at SUNY Empire State (ESC) three semesters ago because of the convenience and excellent value-for-money. I was also attracted to the school because I prefer full-length semesters to the drastically abbreviated sessions that have become the hallmark of online diploma mills and are increasingly disparaged by many employers.

So am I happy at ESC?  Decidedly not. Like most online institutions, the faculty are scattered all over the country.  Most teach for more than one school and project no sense of personal commitment to ESC or have the time or inclination to address students individually.  The courses they teach are not of their own design and their lack of personal investment in the assignments is often very evident as well - quite often they don't even know what's supposed to be happening.  On average it's taken five weeks to get my first grade/feedback of the semester and most instructors stay seriously behind in their grading throughout the term.  Their conspicuous lack of presnce makes for poor partcipation in class discussions as well, so you really do feel like you're learning entirely on your own. 

I was also surpirsed by the lousy level of scholarship I've found in the many assignments that are intended for peer review and exchange. I'd attribute some of that problem to the lack of course leadership, too, because many students don't seem the least bit motivated or confident in their work.  The result is the frustration of having to craft meaningful responses to halfhearted, uninteresting submissions on a regular basis. A serious drag.

I should note that I had already earned an online Associate's degree before I enrolled at ESC so I'm no stranger to online learning, and I really enjoyed going to college in cyberspace until I transferred. Over time the toxic apathy at this school has eroded my interest in what I'm studying to the point where I am actively trying to find another school for Fall 2010. 

In short, SUNY Empire State is not a particularly good atmosphere for education and definitely not worthy of the SUNY brand.
Oct. 1, 2009, 2:43 p.m.
0 votes/
"To NY Long Island "    did you went to this school, did you took classess online?
 if you can please send us real online college or university,

please everybody i just need some advices, i want to start study but i cant decide to which school i have to go

please help me.....
Aug. 27, 2009, 11:57 p.m.
0 votes/
To poster "NY, Long Island", it seems like you are just ranting without saying what is wrong with ESC! This is SUNY you are talking about so you better be direct with your statement.

You did not even say if you went to the school, the courses you took...NOTHING! 

I was looking for recommendation and your posting just wasted 2 mins of my life's time!
Aug. 26, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
0 votes/
Please list REAL online colleges.

ESC is part of the SUNY program.  If it's not good enough, try elsewhere.
May 10, 2009, 3:05 a.m.
+1 vote/
Empire is a scam!  It's a lie.   Empire is a Sham!  Run. 
The professors take weeks to get back to you --providing they respond to you at all.  YOU ARE LEFT HANGING.   Empire promises you personal attention and flexibility; anything to get your money.  Once your fee is paid you are disregarded and ignored.  Eventually you quit, hurt and discouraged but don’t take it personal.  This is how Empire does its business.
Nothing on Empire's web site is true.  If they were a business, the management would be in jail. Empire one of those places where you’re just waiting for the 'shoe to drop'. You know trouble is coming but you just don't know when. Empire’s unethical practices and the crooks that run the place will hit the newspapers sooner or later. The lighting is visible; we’re just waiting for the sound of the thunder to arrive.
And don't but that 'suny credit' stuff.  When they tell you “All our credits are suny credits and accepted anywhere you go.”  That is not completely true.  Most maybe, some are not.  Not by some other colleges and not by some New York State Licensure agencies.   Not everyone accepts all Empire credits face value, and in some instances will reject Empires credits as having no use or value at all.  Do you homework before you even think about attending.  And don’t bother asking them, remember they lie.
Best thing is to stay away.  Go to one of the REAL online colleges where you will learn something and get value for your money.  And your degree be worth something. Avoid the insults and aggravation you'd feel when the professors ignore your phone calls and e-mails.  Don't waste your time complaining, the people in charge enable the problems by doing nothing about it.  They know what you’re experiencing when you complain about how shabby you have been treated.  They have heard it many times before.  They are the bigger part of the problem.  They don't care!  In fact, they'll blame you! 
You deserve better, and anything is better than Empire State College. 

New York, Long Island.
May 2, 2009, 8:10 p.m.
+1 vote/
It makes no sense to disparage the institution through which you have taken your certification; on the contrary, to a degree holder, the praise received by the institution illuminates its graduates.  No one who takes a degree from any institution is, therefore, unconflicted in criticizing or in praising that institution.  

With that in mind, and having taken a B.A. from SUNY Empire State, I felt it necessary to include the following remarks.  

In half of the courses I took, getting any kind of feedback from the instructor was a Sisyphean exercise in futility.  In these "courses," it was only necessary to buy the book(s), write the papers, and move on.  The "instructors" were conspicuous by their disinterest and silence.  They seemed to see their roles as detached spectators or referees.  

In one instance I was finally told by one reticent professor that I was "trying too hard."  You pass if you do just what is required, no more and no less.  Each course is simply a phase in an industrial process, one which requires little or no human oversight or intervention.  

If you are, as I was, looking for instructors to act as mentors, give up the idea.  Such involvement is rare.  

Of course I must admit that there were exceptions.  In three cases out of all the courses I took, the instructors bothered to maintain a meaningful (and educational) exchange with me.  

If you feel that the human dimension of a modern education is spurious, then ignore my remarks.  I, however, was overwhelmed by the sense that my certification proves that I have read several books and written acceptable papers in response to them.  Nothing more.
April 8, 2008, 5:47 p.m.
0 votes/
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.
Dec. 9, 2007, 5:04 p.m.
0 votes/
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.
Aug. 10, 2011, 6:08 a.m.
0 votes/
Did you ever get into law school?

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