UPDATE 04/23/08: It turns out I didn’t actually want to bring people out of the woodwork who have had troubles with Walden. I know the issues you’ll read about in the comments below can happen at any University. Also, though this was a frustrating time for me, I know I might have been as frustrated or more in a traditional Ph.D. program. Since that time my committee has been heroic in their efforts to push my submissions through the system – and just last night I had my dissertation approved with minor edits following my oral defense. If I can complete all the form and style revisions quickly enough I expect to graduate next month and to walk this summer. I’m thrilled. And I say again unequivocally that Walden was an excellent learning experience for me over five years, despite this one quarter of frustration. I know other individual’s experiences may very, but I can whole heartedly recommend the school and the Educational Technology Ph.D. program. In keeping with good blogging ethics, though, I won’t be removing this post or the comments below. I’ll let this update set the story straight.
Here are my last three posts on twitter about what happened today:
WOO HOO! Got approval from the research office to proceed with my study! Oh wait, that’s not IRB approval. ARRRGGGG! Are u kidding me!?????
The IRB office has had my docs since August 15th… but couldn’t review them in the meantime, or even concurrently with the research office.
I understand working with bureaucracies, but I feel as if I’m being exploited for $. That’s not good education & it’s not good business.
At the earliest I might get approval from the IRB next week (though it will more likely be in ten business days… plus some). If I get approval next week, I will have spent an entire quarter’s time and tuition waiting for approval to proceed with my study. I’ve done less than 40 hours of work on my dissertation in three months time (this was mostly minor – often contradictory – revisions). I don’t even feel like I’m in a Ph.D. program anymore.
Yes, this post is more emotionally charged than most I share here.. particularly the title. It borders on being unprofessional. But, this blog is my forum for my voice to be heard, and as I clearly have no other recourse with the university (and I’m not going to quit and stop paying them at this point), here is where I will voice my criticisms of Walden University. (That phrase should be Google-able.)
Incidentally, I’m looking forward to the end of the quarter evaluations, too.
In any case, I hope this post matters as much as the times I’ve posted about the benefits of Walden’s program. I’ve lead many prospective students their way. I hope this sends others looking elsewhere. I will need to see evidence of change in the approval process to re-endorse this program. I understand I am not alone in these frustrations.
I hope my feelings on this matter level off in the coming months, especially after I’ve finally completed my study. If not, I will be sad that my long journey ends with this sort of experience.
Note: For more details on much time I’ve spent waiting for approval, see my post from the 17th.