Ok...here's the skinny with AAU. They're not going to hold you hand...period. If that's what you're looking for then may I suggest your local community college.
I think that they have done a great job with hiring competent instructors. Some will make you question them whether they're here on earth with you. I've only had one space cadet for an instructor. We went back and forth for a time, then he stop after he realized there was no doormats over here.
I've never been known to bite my tongue and I will not deprive you of it here. I certainly don't deprive anyone in the AAU community either. I'm not nasty with it, but my points are clear and direct. No use of sugar here. I'm an online student in the undergraduate Interior Architecture and Design program. I love it. I love it because I have a genuine interest in the field.
And...as an online student you must go above and beyond to get your education. Real pennies are adding up to quickly not to have that type of attitude. With all of that said, here's where I fall completely out with the school. The money. I'm so up and arms with them that I'm transferring and enrolling in my State university's architecture program.
Their accounting practice are very suspect. Even though you get federal aid, they really want you to come out your pocket, so they'll say you can use only your grant money and not your Stafford loan money if you take only one class during the summer. You should be able to use your awards to your discretion, not theirs.
They have no problem restricting you from the installment plans either. That makes it easier for them to force you to pay out your pocket until you get fed up and drop-out or transfer like me. If you attend this school, you must take control of your educational tract.
The student advisers are not there to advise you. They're soul purpose is to help build a portfolio. And I'm not knocking making money, but it's a problem when you are blatantly robbing your student body.
Compare you degree program with other universities and colleges offering the same program. Get in touch with their pre-transfer department to find out, if you do decide to transfer, which classes will transfer and which ones will not. Take those classes that will benefit you first and then if your interested in the other courses, take them later on down the road. Get your principal classes done first. Just in case you do decide to transfer.
The good part is AAU is accredited. I had a personal conversation with the Department of Education, verified it on their site, called the school I'm transferring to and they concurred,and done some other research with the organizations AAU said they were registered with. Not all AAU classes will carry, which is why it's important you do your homework.
And that's what the student advisers are particularly good at; trying to convince you that all classes are necessary and getting you take inadequate classes. Now I have the sweetest student adviser, but I'm my own adviser regarding this. And have been since I realize that some of my classes were a waste of time.
Another tidbit for you, every course offered at AAU is only worth 3 credit hours. Don't think that mean much? Check you State and other private universities (check your local community collage's) course breakdown and look at their credit hour structure. In any program. And in there lies the problem...the robbery...and the rape.
Again, if you still going to go to this school, which isn't all that bad, take charge of your own affairs. Note that supplies and books are always found somewhere else cheaper. You just have to be willing to sit down and put the time in to research it. Not everything on those supply list is even necessary for you to get you work done.
I would try to get every book if your interested in building a personal reference library. I keep all of my books. And until Congress really put their foot on the necks of these for-profit schools; know what you're getting yourself into.
I am truly learning at the Academy (in an online environment at that) and do hate to be leaving, but financially it's a deal breaker. Their decisions are far to arbitrary and are in contrast to the accounting processes of other well known national private and State universities.
You're going to get bad financial practices at those places too, at times, but they are a little more fair to the students. Don't be surprise if you hear that AAU is making an IPO. I'm sure the thought has been entertained. Be smart with it. It's not cheap. Speak up. Hold them accountable. You are paying their salaries; they do work for you.
If you feel like you're bugging them...good. Then you're doing what you're supposed to do. You're there to get an education and you can't learn without asking questions and requesting the time you paid for from them. But, be smart about it. There is a way to do it. I'm sure they'll be glad when I'm gone too. And if it don't work out for you at AAU, don't let your dreams, your education, suffer because of it. Good luck to everyone considering this school.