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Master of Arts in Education/Curriculum and Instruction-Adult Education - March 7, 2011
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I graduated in 2008 with a Masters Degree in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a major in Adult Education with a GPA of 3.9. I worked my tail off for that GPA. It is not a diploma mill in any form. Being an independent worker and self-starter is a must, because nobody is going to hold your hand. However, this should be the case in any graduate program. My degree was 100% online. The experience was mostly positive and the university worked out all of the financial funding without a hitch. With a few exceptions, as in any program, the quality of instructors was superior. I had one instructor in a web design course that had no business being an instructor. I bought that 3 credits. However, I had another instructor in a Probabilities and Statistics class that called me unsolicited when he noticed I was struggling with a concept and he talked me through it. The University of Phoenix requires that you work in teams and it is 30% of your grade, with each team member receiving the same grade. Theoretically, the team effort in the degree program prepares the student to work in teams in the world of work. However, the University of Phoenix does not execute nor properly facilitate the team experience so that it is a positive experience, in my opinion. In almost every course, there was one or more team members who did not adequately participate, or submitted seriously substandard work. The instructors, for the most part, did not monitor the team forum, or when they did, they did not intervene even when a team member was not participating in team assignments. In the last few classes, I just took the assignment and submissions and wrote up the assignment. It was impossible get “blood out of a turnip, or rather, team mate,” than to just do it yourself. I do not recommend this approach, but the alternative, was to receive a lower grade. In fact, towards the last few classes, the team members who did nothing, little, or low quality work, knew there was likely no negative consequences to doing so. They had even come to rely on the team member that will pull the assignment together. That said, the rest of the experience was top notch. I loved the coursework and appreciated that evaluation was done by writing papers, research, classroom forum participation, and projects, rather than exams or tests. This is what I do best, and I feel it was a fair evaluation of my abilities. I have never been a good exam taker, in the form of multiple choice, etc. I am contemplating entering a doctorate program in a few months and am evaluating what school/program I want to enter. If I had to do it again, I would pursue a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix again. However, I am researching other schools/doctorate programs, as I am not keen on the idea of suffering through the University of Phoenix’s team experience, again. Over wise, I would highly recommend an online degree from the University of Phoenix, as it is organized and presented in the same format from one class to the next. There is no relearning logistical issues in how the course material is presented and learned. You know what to expect from on class to the next. Also, the university library is high quality and as an alumni, I have lifetime access to it. I can still go into my student account and check out what is going on and even attend tutorials if I want.

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