The University of South Alabama has been a truly frustrating and disapointing experience for me. I have done very well in all of my classes, but have had a great deal of difficulty in reaching professors. The most significant issues started in the clinical portion of the program. In previous semesters I have been told to 'google it' when truly trying to understand part of the rubric that was not clearly defined. Have been told 'one of the best papers I've ever read' but recieved an 87% (made an A in the class though), have been told by several teachers to not call, but only use e-mail to communicate unless a true emergency arises. When needing approval for a topic for a paper via threaded posts, have had my request in for over a week with no response despite emailing the professor multiple times. I would have stuck it out in the program, though, if it weren't for the following issues (plus some others that I won't mention here):
1) In the FNP program, we were discouraged from looking for preceptors until 2-3 months before the clinical rotation was to begin (we were told-you have PLENTY of time). This would have been ok if every preceptor I approached wasn't full until summer 2015.
2) When issues arose with the contract, It was VERY difficult to get any kind of timely response from the instructor.
3) our clinical orientation did not start until 3 months after clinicals were supposed to start. So we are supposed to start our clinicals before actually orienting to clinicals...(FYI, this is not the case in every program. I know the dual program did their clinical orientation before the semester began)
5) we were not even divided into our clinical groups until 2.5 months after the semester started.
6) Once in the actual FNP classes, we were not told what test questions we missed. They only told us the concepts that 20% of the class missed (not even the actual questions). And even when offering alternate answers that were in the book, we were not given credit because they were using a different source for that particular unit (ie, cdc versus the actual text for the class).
I did actually enjoy the independent learning aspect. I'm a good student who is actually better at non-traditional online edcuation. My grades were excellent in this program. But Being discouraged from contacting professors except through e-mail (especially clinical instructors) is absolutely not appropriate, esp when there is quite a long turn around time for a response (think 5-7 days).
I think if you are looking to go to USA, the dual program might be a better bet. Family might be ok if you get a decent clinical instructor. To be fair, not every person had the same experience that I had. I did learn a lot, but that does not make it worth dealing with professors who are either completely incompetant or spectacularly apathetic (more info on this if you PM me). Good luck if you go the FNP route at South Alabama.