Walden University Reviews
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"Finance PhD Student from Traditional AACSB MBA background"
Having completed my MBA at a traditional AACSB-accredited brick-and-mortar university, I was at first skeptical about the marketability of Walden's online PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. Having attended my first academic residency in St. Charles, IL, last year I am confident Walden was the right choice. One criticism of PhDs in a discipline is that they can sometimes be too focused on esoteric theoretical matters and there is often a disconnect between scholars and practitioners. Walden University has addressed this concern by formulating from the ground up a distance learning scholar-practitioner model that constantly encourages doctoral students to discuss and refine their goals, motivations, and future applications so that their research remains both academically relevant and congruent with the real world. That the majority of Walden doctoral students are already successful executives in their own fields and continue as practitioners throughout their academic careers only serves to reinforce this model. Walden doesn't simply admit students into a doctoral program and leave them alone to complete their research without regard for the real world outside academics--all students before beginning research work complete a Doctoral Foundations course which involves several discussions per week with a professor and other doctoral students discussing and helping each other refine goals and research interests and strategies for success. One academic detail potential students should consider is that Teaching Assistants often grade assignments at traditional institutions as part of the learning model--often the course professors do not even see a given assignment. At Walden, your professor generally personally evaluates your work and provides valuable feedback. In research-based modules, such as KAMs and dissertation work, a mentor as well as panel of professors personally oversees your academic progress and work. The Walden University PhD program comprises a series of formal research papers--Knowledge Area Modules--each focusing on a standard facet of a student's chosen research interests, eventually leading to a formal published dissertation. A series of four- and six-day residencies along the way, averaging about one a year, complement the online learning process by providing opportunities to meet students and faculty from all doctoral programs and participate in seminars. With approximately one residency per month in locations across the country and internationally, there are tremendous opportunities for networking and face-to-face interaction. Walden provides comprehensive online access to academic journals and references through a combination of its own licenced resources and document delivery agreements. Its student support, including financial aid, writing centre to assist with the APA Style in place for all doctoral work, and disability and other services are available in an accesible and timely manner. Canadian Students: Walden University is an OSAP-approved US institution and qualifies for Canada Student Loan funding. I am confident that Walden, built as a distance-oriented program from its inception, has a winning model for its doctoral programs. If there are any specific questions you have before enrolling, I would be happy to discuss them personally! Please visit http://robincheung.info for contact information!