Western Governors University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (385)
Straightforward school. Entrance exam wasn't insane, they just made sure you could take life at a online university by testing your self-motivation through a written essay. I wrote about what the educational world would be like if robots were in control. The classes leading up to the capstone project were moderately difficult. I had to buckle down for the research theory section of the degree the most. This university is NOT for students who need their hand held. The online UI used to locate textbooks and find out what to read and study via the program outline is well-designed but not perfect. I am glad too. You need patience, logic, trial and error, and an appreciation for imperfection to survive in this university and those are some qualities which are paramount for real world survival so I am all for the early introduction. Student services sector was kind and answered my few inquiries fine. Lot's of support throughout the entire degree and especially at the end during the capstone project. This school is like the old wiseman sitting on an outpost at the edge of a village. Travelers approach the old man and ask what the village is like, to which the old wiseman responds, as wisemen do, with a question. "What is the place like from where you come?" "Horrible!!! Worst place I have ever been. This is why I come to this village", responds the traveler. "Interesting", says the wiseman, "But I lament for I fear this place will also be just as horrible for you". People who tend to see the silver lining will love this school, and people who always smell poop wherever they go will think this school sucks, and people like me, who are in the middle, will find that this school gets the job done.
My experience was top notch overall at WGU. I am a pretty self motivated individual, but there are times when I can also procrastinate. This probably describes most students, and I am definitely a blend. If it were not for the proactive, weekly progress calls with my student mentor, I don't think I would have been as successful at getting through my degree. She was awesome and provided excellent tips and advice.
I got my Masters Degree at WGU. The experience was an excellent one, the curriculum was challenging, I was in contact with my advisor on a weekly basis which kept me on track and on pace to graduate. I would recommend WGU to any person who cannot get to an on-site school.
I don't know if I would have ever finished school it it were not for WGU. After several starts and stops someone recommended WGU. the cost structure was great as it included books. I was able to apply the skills I learned immediately ang got a promotion on my current job before I finished the program. It took dedication but if you are serious this is a great program. I remember thinking I was too old to take 2 years out for school then I realized 2 years would pass anyway so now I have something to show for that time. It's never too late to go back!
I must give a counter review - a lot of the students here have been able to complete in much less time than planned. I haven't been that lucky. It's partially my fault, partially my circumstance and partially the fact that I won't blame it on a circumstance. WGU has been known to allow opportunities for students to move along a faster pace if they can sustain. I fully intended to but didn't. But with that, I am still graduating on time. And I cannot be more thankful for that. If I tried traditional brick and mortar (I hate that term), I wouldn't have made it. My circumstances have changed so much during my time that no one could have planned, yet I stayed "on-track" because I worked when I could. This is an amazing opportunity if you come across it. The course mentors and student mentors are there solely for your success. Use them, it took me a couple of semesters to realize their worth. I'd be a lot further ahead if I did sooner.
After going to a brick and mortar university and not really getting anything out of the classes other than loss of time with my family I decided to try going online for my degree. I tried another online university, which consisted of a lot of busy work (posting in online chats) and impossible to schedule group work and then did some more research and found WGU to be what I was looking for. I was able to work at my own pace and quickly knock out classes that I was competent in and receive extra help in those I was not. Being able to take tests and study in my own schedule made a world of difference. Not only did I earn my degree, I learned new tools that actually help me in my career.
Having just completed an MS in Management in Leadership in one year (almost to the day) while working full time, I thought I'd share my experience with those contemplating enrollment at WGU. For those who are self-starters, highly motivated and can set aside - truly - at least 20 hours per week for your studies, this is an exceptional program and a great way to earn an accredited degree. Everything I needed to know was provided in the form of online textbooks, journal articles and training materials. I found the exams to be challenging but fair, and papers were graded according to an objective rubric by a third party. My mentor provided guidance throughout the program and encouraged me to accelerate my studies - which saved me the $3,250 for an originally-planned third term. The tab for the entire degree? Just $7,000. By my reckoning, the Franklin-Covey training alone would have cost several thousand dollars and provided excellent, practical and highly relevant information (i.e., I was able to implement "The 4 Disciplines of Execution" - one of the many Franklin-Covey training programs, with great effect at my place of work). Solid experience and I'd recommend to anyone who is able to work independently and remain focused.
Western Governors University is the best online college for creating an excellent foundation of how to learn online, maximizing the amount of tuition to competencies learned, applying theory to practice by learning in the field hands on, and providing efficient use of time management by being able to learn in the evenings, on weekends, and still be able to work, parent, or have the flexibility to do other activities while earning a degree. The quality of education is at the highest because of the structure of learning. In order to earn competency credits, you must master every competency unit in order to move forward, every discussion, paper, and proctored exam must be at a level of a "B" or better in order to pass the competency units. The mentors at the university are more than academic counselors, they are there to assist you, your education, your career, and life goals. I feel that Western Governors University is the best undergraduate school I could have attended while working full time and raising my son. I am successful today because of the opportunities and quality of education that Western Governors University provides.
I speak as a alumni of Western Governors University, having earning a masters in business administration in just over five months. I'm presently working on a second graduate degree with them and wanted to share some of my broader observations with the general internet. The good: - The price is great. - They are accredited. - They do allow acceleration mostly. - They're all online. The bad - The graders often don't have backgrounds in what they're evaluating. This creates a number of problems. - The graders have indicated in their responses that they haven't read my paper, but issue a grade anyway. - The graders don't even pretend to adhere to a uniform standard. It's amazing to watch how others will put in very little effort, and it sails through. Others will work extensively and make an objectively better response, but it gets rejected. - Rejections often don't make sense. They'll pick a random, arbitrary reason why. When you step back and think about it, you could continue to find fault with any paper as long as you wanted. Even if there's no there "there", just continuing to say it's insufficient and provide no reason. What's to stop you? Apparently nobody stops the graders at Western Governors, and even an appeal will net you nothing. - My impression is that they're trying to guard the strength of their degrees and only giving them to people who are willing to rewrite papers several times. Not a great way of actually determining competency. - Appeals are worthless. They never addressed the core issue I questioned them on. When I asked an appeals person directly why my work wasn't even evaluated as indicated in the grader's response, they danced around the question. They'll stand behind their graders. - The course mentors are disconnected from graders. This is arguably the worst part about it. Course mentors, a.k.a. the people that know the stuff the class is about, are powerless. Reiterated, the person that understand the material can't influence the person who doesn't understand the material and is in charge of your grade that the response is sufficient. The ugly - Once a grader asked me to include a graph of a simulation that didn't exist. It wasn't asked for in the question prompt. I filed an appeal, and they said I could have made it from Excel. OOPS, wrong again! Some of the data required to manually make the graph wasn't any where to be found either. That's probably why it wasn't asked for geniuses! My next submission included a statement say such in all caps on that writing prompt. Then it passed. - Another grader said instead of analyzing a single round in a simulation as indicated by the requirements, that all 8 rounds needed to be evaluated. I filed an appeal, and the appeal predictably stood behind their grader. The course mentor responded to the graders and said that wasn't in the instructions. It took hours and hours to resolve this. I had to be the driver for this because it wouldn't have worked itself out. It ate an obscene amount of my time. - To further illustrate the non-uniformity of their standards, I've had multiple course mentors explain to me, including ECare themselves, that if I opt for an appeal, I could have work that was approved come back as disapproved. How much sense does that make? You passed the test! Oh, just kidding! Sounds like a great, accurate, precise setup, right? - Finally, they have different avenues to communicate, like web forums. I started venting some frustration at the graders and the process, and the course mentor decided an appropriate response would be to attempt to curtail my 1st amendment. I wasn't swearing, saying anything offensive, trolling, or criticizing any individual person. If they're too thin skinned to even allow general criticism of the process and results among the students, what does that mean? Why so touchy? In the end, I have a real love/hate relationship with the school. The idea of competency based learning is liberating. It makes so much sense. It is just so bitterly disappointing that Western Governors University does such a poor job at implementing the idea.
I dragged my feet about going back to school for 10 years. With kids and a high-pressure career, it sounded daunting and the thought of dropping $30k...it just didn't make sense. But I finally committed and finished my MBA in a year and it cost me less than $7k through WGU! I worked my butt off to make $150k+ per year and know that an equivalent job will likely require an MBA. There is security in knowing that when/if that day comes that I have to compete for a position at another company, I won't be disqualified because I am missing three letters behind my name. If you have the mentality that you are capable of doing anything you set your mind to, you can do this and I highly recommend that you do!