The question can come up almost any time. When you tell colleagues, friends, family, or even the person sitting next to you on the plane that you’re a student or graduate of Walden University, they’re likely to ask, “Why Walden?”
Certainly everyone has their personal story for choosing any university, but Walden offers unique benefits to its students and alumni that are the foundation of that story. So, the next time someone asks you why you chose Walden, here are key talking points to help them understand what we’re all about.
Walden understands that working professionals need a different way to further their education.
Life can be incredibly busy once you reach a certain point in your career. Between your work and family responsibilities, it was probably daunting to find the time to earn a degree that would help you advance your career or open whole new paths. Teachers Bernie and Rita Turner understood that obstacle. In collaboration with University of California Berkeley faculty member Harold “Bud” Hodgkinson, they founded Walden University in 1970 to make higher education more accessible to working professionals like you.
“Walden was a very early pioneer of education that puts the student—and the student’s needs—first,” explains Dr. Brett Andrews ’97, a PhD in Management graduate. “The university was one of the first to recognize the changing cultural needs and wants of adult students who needed something different than what a traditional, campus-bound college could offer. Walden crafted a delivery model around academic excellence and student support, delivered in a new way.
“I was attending a traditional college when my wife became ill, and I had to take a break from school,” Andrews says. The recently named dean of Newman University’s new business school in Wichita, Kansas, recalls when he realized there was a better way. “A friend took me to a Walden residency, and I realized that I could continue my education and support my family. It’s not a one-size-fits-all education. You are an active collaborator in the excellence of your own education.”
Walden has a diverse, committed community of faculty and students around the world.
Learning at Walden isn’t limited to a campus and its immediate community. Our network of faculty members, students, and alumni like you reside all over the world: The January 2016 graduating class alone represented more than 90 countries. What’s the benefit of our diverse community of learners? As you collaborated through our online classrooms, you likely gained a broader perspective on what you were studying.
You also built an expanded understanding of different cultures and workplaces, an important insight in an increasingly global and interconnected world, and you developed a wider network of connections. Walden is also part of a global network of more than 80 accredited online and campus-based universities that spans 28 countries with more than 1,000,000 students worldwide. It is the flagship online university in the unique, multinational Laureate International Universities network, which focuses on providing our students with broader opportunities to advance their careers and change the world for the better.
Residencies, like the one Andrews attended, and commencement often bring people together for the first time, but the relationships and opportunities for connections don’t stop after graduation. It’s likely you’re still in touch with at least one other person whom you met through Walden. And with our new online networking events, you can connect in real time with fellow alumni with the same interests, degrees, or backgrounds as you, wherever they may be located.
A Walden education provides you with the knowledge and skills you need in pursuit of positive social change.
At Walden, you certainly got an academically rigorous education, but you also built the knowledge, skills, and connections you needed to make a difference in your life and in your community.
Diana Shaw ’15, a Master of Public Policy (MPP) graduate and one of Walden’s two 2016 Laureate Here for Good Award honorees, embodies that commitment to positive social change. An attorney and legal consultant, Shaw moved from her native Jamaica to Belize to practice law. “In Belize, I observed children and women being trafficked and sexually exploited,” she says. “They did not have adequate advocacy services or any understanding of how to get help. I got involved to raise awareness of the issue and provide psycho-social support for victims. I also led advocacy efforts for legal reform on the national level, drafting laws to better protect victims, and providing training to government officials when those laws were passed.”
For the past decade, Global Days of Service have brought students, faculty, staff, and alumni together to share their time and expertise helping neighbors in need all around the world. Positive social change is embedded in the curriculum and essential to the dissertation process, and Walden awards scholarships and fellowships to students and faculty who are bringing the university’s commitment to social change to life. There is also a growing community of alumni who have received the annual Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of their dedication to excellence in service since earning their degrees.
“In 2008, I started The Child Development Foundation to expand this work. We’re currently building a rescue and rehabilitation shelter for people who need long-term rehabilitative support,” Shaw says. “Fostering community requires that we are not just concerned about the problems they face, but that we intervene in a way that respects the dignity of those in need and empowers them to make positive change happen in their own lives. My Walden education equipped me with the practical and leadership skills I needed to improve and sustain the operations and programs of our organization.”
Walden supports your education needs today and tomorrow so you can achieve your career goals.
Walden is built on the belief that learning is a lifelong endeavor. For Dr. William Washington ’15, a Doctor of Education (EdD) graduate, his Walden education continues to open doors. He is now assistant principal of Rappahannock High School in rural Virginia and chief academic administrator of Transition Academy, a school-within-a-school program at Rappahannock High.
“I came out of Walden with a comprehensive understanding of the philosophies behind the buzz words,” Washington says. “Others look to me for expertise and expect me to be a resource for them. That expectation continually drives me to use the Walden alumni library and work on literature reviews that keep me current and establishes a body of work that I will use to publish my own studies.”
Like Washington, you earned the degree you needed to achieve your career and life goals. When you want the skills to take the next step or change your career path, we’ll still be here to help you along the way. As an alumnus, you are eligible for re-enrollment benefits, including a 30% tuition reduction* over the life of your program, waived enrollment fee, eligibility for scholarships, and the opportunity to transfer credits from other programs.
“I would never be doing any of this had it not been for my Walden experience,” Washington says. “If you desire a deep understanding, then this is your place to learn. My EdD has helped me make a real difference at my school and has allowed me to reinvent my professional role.”