2/4/13 UPDATE: I appreciate all of the comments from fellow alumni and prospective students. Hopefully they've helped someone who's trying to decide the best way to spend their money towards an education. I approve all non-spam comments (whether people say good things or bad things - I'm sure visitors who read them appreciate the honesty), but it sometimes takes me months to approve them because I don't use Blogger as much as I used to. So if you post a comment, please don't be offended if it doesn't show up right away.
7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.
If you live in San Diego county, you've probably seen the commercials for Coleman College... "the fast track to a career in computers" or something along those lines.
You might be wondering, is it worth it?
As a Coleman alumni, I'm here to give you my thoughts about it. Depending on what path you choose, you go through different core programs. Each core program consists of 7 modules or mods, with two classes per mod. One class is 4 units and the other class is 8 units, or you may even have 3 4 unit classes in one mod.
I first started off wanting to learn the Computer Networking side of things. Since the first three mods of the core program for both Networking and Programming are all the same classes, I got to experience the programming side and ended up switching my major to CIS after mod 3 (a lot of people at my campus ended up switching from Networking to Programming).
Mod 1 - Intro to Programming (using C), Intro to PCs and Networks
Intro to Programming gives an overview of how to program using the C language. Here you'll start off with learning pseudocode, proper C syntax, and then learn about variables, conditional statements, loops, arrays, multidimensional arrays, references, structures, etc. The programs you write are a simple calculator, then a more advanced calculator, a temperature conversion program, an interview program. I enjoyed this course a lot because my teacher was excellent at teaching the subject. You could tell that she really had a passion for programming in general and would do her best to help anyone understand it. She wouldn't give up on debugging anything, so you'd never be left on your own if you really needed help.
I don't know if it's just because the way my teacher taught it that made it seem easy or if it just really was easy, but it really didn't seem that hard at all. The other people in my class also thought it was pretty easy - maybe we were all just a smart group.
Intro to PCs and Networks was just that - an introduction. So if you already know a lot about how to use a computer, Windows, and Microsoft Office, then this will be a really boring class for you. They have this class because some people who go to Coleman have NEVER used a computer before. So that's why it's the way it is... and the instructor has to stick to the curriculum. He can't skip anything, even if the whole class already knows it. You learn all about computer hardware and how to put a PC together, the boot sequence, IRQs, DOS commands, Windows, Microsoft Office, and different types of networking. This class was just a big snooze fest for me and the other people in my class.
Before I move on to mod 2, let me take a moment to talk about tests. Tests are a complete joke. Sometimes there might be a written test, but 99% of the tests you take will be done on computer by logging into Coleman's "Papa Bear" system. Most of the questions are multiple choice, but some will be fill in the blank. You usually get two ungraded quizzes before taking a test and the quizzes will have the same questions as what's on the test. The quizzes are taken in groups, so that everybody has a chance to see more of the questions that are in the test pool. So all you really need to do to pass a test is memorize the answers that were on the quizzes. If you don't have a good memory or you weren't paying attention to anything in class, then you'll probably do bad at tests. Almost everybody does pretty well on tests... that's why they're such a joke.
I'll cover more of the mods in more parts of this review later.
Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, more thoughts