Connections Academy

  www.connectionsacademy.com
  www.connectionsacademy.com

Connections Academy Reviews

Updated November 7, 2014
Updated November 7, 2014
62 Reviews
3.1
62 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Barbara Dreyer
22 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Generous work from home privileges (may vary by department) are a nice perk (in 19 reviews)

  • Connections provides excellent work-life balance for the employee with life, health, and financial insurance (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Additionally, the work is cyclical and can get very busy during the summer months, when you least want to spend long hours behind the computer (in 4 reviews)

  • low pay (with no insight into pay structure) (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    LACA Louisiana Connections Dawn Collins

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - WFH Kidergarten Teacher in Baton Rouge, LA
    Current Employee - WFH Kidergarten Teacher in Baton Rouge, LA

    I have been working at Connections Academy full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I love how my co workers are willing to help and support one another.
    The corporate benefits are fantastic.

    Cons

    It was a lot to learn upfront, but I am doing better everyday.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Growing company with bright future and great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Connections Academy

    Pros

    -The company is growing, growing, growing!
    -Great outlook for company
    -incredibly talented and friendly people. It's remarkable how dedicated people are here- everyone works hard and looks to improve themselves, their work and their dept. It's inspiring!
    -They promote from within
    -Good benefits and flexible dress code
    -Cake once a month!

    Cons

    -Salary and vacation days / personal time is definitely weaker than what I have had at previous employers
    -Location (COLUMBIA). Company wants to hire young talent, so move everyone back to downtown Baltimore to be more appealing. Columbia is not appealing to the intended demographic.
    -I wish they had better health and fitness benefits (gym membership?)
    -Cater breakfast (it's supposed to be once a month?) lunch or happy hours more for employees. These people work HARD for CE, reward them and show appreciation more!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you have great employees- show them more appreciation and adjust salaries
    no more columbia (lol)

    Recommends
  3.  

    Started off Great Declined Quickly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at Connections Academy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If in the Baltimore office location is great! Some people also have work from home privileges

    Cons

    In my opinion a lot of the supervisors are less experienced than the workers they have assigned under them! It's all about who you're "friends" with or know in this company. They receive high ratings because they make employees take survey's saying that they're anonymous when they actually aren't! Rate someone bad and they'll know you did it!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire better supervisors'

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    A wonderful alternative for parents that are tired of barely getting your child through school

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Learning Coach in Antioch, CA
    Current Employee - Learning Coach in Antioch, CA

    I have been working at Connections Academy part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Dedicated, exited and passionate educational professionals are the teachers you will interact with here

    Cons

    Being a great alternative - the number of students is constantly expanding, requiring teacher rotation/turnover/additions throughout your year.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Consider an expansion plan with 2 levels to work in between - minimal growth and maximum growth. Expect to grow more than normal as the trend is - especially in California - going to continue to grow in participation.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Simply not what education needs to be for most of the students who are this school's clientele.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Connections Academy

    Pros

    Good people to work with and after a number of months, there can be some flexibility with work schedule.

    Cons

    Young mothers are attracted to working here because once they are granted the permission to work from home, they can then be around at home for their own children, which of course isn't a bad thing in itself. But, most teachers endure this job solely for that reason; not because there is any good education happening for Connections' students nor for feeling like there is truly valuable differences being made in the lives' of these students.. A workforce of mostly young women keeps the pay very low- Connections pays bottom dollar because it can- its workers want the schedule it offers. Ambitious leaders don't stick around, so there is a real dearth there. Connections attracts a handful of independent students who do well in school; from home or not. Most of the students, however, are the ones who come to the online format to hide. Teachers' and support staff's time is primarily spent being an online police officer- yacking at kids to show up to lessons (which, by the way are only optional for students to attend) and being an awful pain in the neck to kids who are uninterested in the first place. There is absolutely no skill a teacher needs other than knowing how to not care about how poor the job is; teachers just act as parrots; there is no creativity. The main requirement from teachers is to just put up with not truly being able to connect with your students in a real way that these kids need. Connections, indeed. Think long and hard about why you went into education in the first place if you are considering a job here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Present the job honestly before someone invests in working for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    A great job with some inherent flaws

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher

    I worked at Connections Academy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Plenty of support at the administrative and corporate levels, great school culture, ability to work at least part-time at home, fair salary, opportunity to advance into roles not typically available to teachers in brick and mortar schools. At first, my salary was less than what I could make in the traditional public school, but after taking on some additional responsibilities, I was making quite a bit more than I could have made elsewhere with my experience (I'm a fairly young teacher; only about 5 years of experience in the classroom total).

    Cons

    High workloads, often 200-300 students on your roster, a lot of work to attempt to engage students/families who often do not want to be engaged (i.e., students who want to drop out of school but do not want to be labeled a drop out, so they attend virtual academies to "hide out"). I would like to see more being done to re-route students for whom the virtual school model simply does not work. A lot of time is spent by teachers chasing these students down and trying many things to engage them with little results. It also results in high failure rates for teachers, even when they work very hard to individualize instruction for their 200+ students--a very difficult task.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I believe this model can only work effectively if teachers are able to develop relationships with their students--this is already difficult virtually, but when teachers have 200+ students on their rosters, it's virtually impossible (no pun intended). This is a normal caseload in the virtual environment and there aren't really any steps being taken by CA to make it more manageable. It's just accepted as something that comes with teaching at a virtual public school. I like that the virtual school model is growing and that it provides opportunities for many students for whom attending a traditional, brick and mortar school is difficult for various reasons, but some of the criticism that virtual schools face (primarily due to the high number of students that one teacher can be assigned) is warranted. It should say something that teachers are often asked not to tell students/parents how many students they have on their roster.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    This is a call center job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Academic Placement Advisor in Columbia, MD
    Current Employee - Academic Placement Advisor in Columbia, MD

    I have been working at Connections Academy full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Management is very friendly. You get a relatively high salary for a very simple job. Everyone working there is young and motivated and interesting but...

    Cons

    those interesting people don't stay long because almost everyone working there is waiting to find a teaching job somewhere else and leaves as soon as they do. Also, this was supposed to be a job about academic placement, but you are on the phone non-stop (except for lunch) all day, often answering questions that have nothing to do with the placement that you were hired to do--people will call you "customer service" on the phone, even though most people in your deparement have multiple degrees in education or psychology and customer service is not your job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make your want adds clearer that this job involves 7 hours a day on the phone answering questions in general about the company in addition to placement work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    I have just been hired to work at CA.

    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher

    I worked at Connections Academy full-time

    Pros

    So far I have received support and encouragement and loads of information pertaining to what my job will entail.

    Cons

    I haven't experienced anything negative at this point.

  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Flexible and Fun

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Curriculum Project Specialist in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Curriculum Project Specialist in Baltimore, MD

    I have been working at Connections Academy full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours and work at home privileges (once earned) are convenient and the casual dress code means that I can be comfortable without having to invest in expensive dress clothes. The HQ office in Harbor East is convenient and offers a great location for lunchtime walks, restaurants and shopping. A full benefits package is offered and compensation that is reasonable for the area. My immediate supervisor is very pleasant to work for and seems genuinely concerned about my well being. There is an office shower so you can walk to work, run at lunch or commute by bicycle.

    Cons

    The work can be uneven and the team can be understaffed. There is an expectation of 9 hour days at a minimum, but I find myself working more than that regularly. Additionally, the work is cyclical and can get very busy during the summer months, when you least want to spend long hours behind the computer. However, Management is making an effort to relieve some of the seasonal pressure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talk to the people doing the work, ask them what their challenges are. What do they need to get their work done? How can it be made fore efficient? What's not working for them? Be open to ideas and innovation and new ways of doing work.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Totally Sucks

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Oklahoma City, OK
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Oklahoma City, OK

    I have been working at Connections Academy full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It's great if you want to account for every working hour and work like you have a fire under you all the time. Or if you like the project manager to estimate stories and dole them out to everyone. Or if you like to be told a minimum number of hours that should be logged for the month. No fudging here! You'll also love it if you're a robot.

    Cons

    We use to be AAI and then Connections bought us. It's gone down hill from there. We don't have free parking anymore. It's only $6.25 a week from our paycheck, but c'mon... really? You can't pick up the $25 a month? There's a BIG emphasis on time tracking, specifically capitalized labor versus non-cap labor. I mean to the point where you're afraid to get it wrong! Don't forget to check in the code you wrote today so they can see what you've done. As far as the job goes, it's shifted into maintenance of old C# code. They bought us for our software. We were rewriting it, but that's been canned in favor of just fixing and duct-taping the old app. A small, laid back development shop has been destroyed by big corporate regulations.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. You wouldn't take it anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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