Western Governors University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (385)
Currently I am in the BSN program and it's a total waste of time and money. The "course mentors" (teachers/instructors) are usually 20-30 something years old and have spent the majority of their short lives in degree programs with little to no work experience to have as a reference point. So far, it has been a disappointing experience dealing with a bunch of kids calling themselves "course mentors" that are masquerading as experienced RN's. I think I was expecting something much more out of this program than what was delivered. But since I'm already thousands of dollars in to this and no where else to go, I basically just need to hold my nose and finish this "program". The bigger issue is there is a real danger in the sense that most facilities are now buying in to the "requiring BSN's" nonsense. The danger is evident when these newly minted 20 something year old RN's with a "Masters" degree in nursing starts taking care of critical patients. I have witnessed more than one bad outcome from these young kids. The old proverb, knowledge does not equate to experience...........that applies here. It truly frightens me to know that this is the trend education is going. To have a bunch of kids teaching and they don't even have grey hair yet was laughable when I was in my 20's. When I was in my 20's and 30's you were selected by people who had a masters degree because they had truly mastered the field. When you received your masters degree it meant something to you because you had been recognized by other well respected people in the field as having matured and grown as an apprentice to have a skill set that was unique to a select few. With that skill set came a huge responsibility to your field and to the next generation. These young people have no idea of the impact this is having on the future of education and the next generation to come. When I see a these young people walking around hospitals with MSN on their name badge all I can do is shake my head and think of how cheap that word actually has become. With a computer, a pair of pajamas and money you to can become a "Master"
Like a lot of other aspects of life, a degree only matters when you don't have one. I was highly successful in the field of software development. At the peak of my career, I was earning over $21,000 per month. After I left school, I completed 2 years of a BSc in mathematics and computer science. Bored out of my mind, I dropped out to earn money. Earn money I did. I have worked at over 40 corporations worldwide. So why did I choose WGU? Well, at every interview I attended, I would have to overcompensate for not having completed a degree. In many instances I would beat out PhDs because I knew what the organisations wanted to accomplish and I would promise to do it in half the time they estimated for a project to be completed. I decided in 2005 that WGU made it possible for me to test out of all the examinations. At WGU, you are only required to show that you have mastered the competencies. There is no need to waste many hours at a brick and mortar institution. Being a software developer I chose to complete the degree in Computer Information Systems. I can tell you that the proctored assessments were not easy. Twice I had to retake assessments. The exams are set by non-WGU academic staff and graded externally. WGU is not for just anyone. You have to be exceptionally mature because the mentors are in general quite useless. If you are not able to learn independently and think critically, you will not do well at WGU. There is NO instruction. That's why it's so cost effective. This makes it very difficult for ordinary high school graduates to succeed at WGU. It is an institution targeted at mature learners. There is no hand holding of any kind. The mentors usually refer you to study materials and resources, but they are not qualified to give you any tutoring whatsoever. If you can't find information and study resources on your own, you will not succeed, because often the information given to you by the mentors is insufficient. Your level of English proficiency must be extremely high. WGU's entrance tests are not easy. I would recommend WGU to mature individuals. There may be the exceptional high school graduate who will succeed at WGU, but I have known lawyers, engineers and doctors, who have failed to complete their degrees at WGU. The real benefit is that you get to complete your degree as soon as you pass all the assessments and assignments. I do not think of WGU as a university, but rather as a para-academic body with a specific purpose of serving those in similar situations to mine. I am glad they are there! I would recommend WGU to any suitable candidate in a heartbeat. Do employers still express concerns over my degree status? Not any more. A degree only matters when you don't have one.
I am back in college after 20+ years. I attended college right out of high school, but wasn't sure the direction I wanted to go with my life, so took a long break. Now, with my experience as a substitute teacher, I decided to pursue a degree in education. I first completed my associate's degree at a local community college and then had plans to transfer to the university that they worked with. This is where the frustration began. This university was not helpful at all. I was on my own for scheduling as my advisor was not involved and did not seem interested in my goals. I was put into classes I didn't need or it was the wrong one. I was also not told about classes that were only available at certain times of the year. Very frustrating! I took both online and on campus classes through this school, but after 1 semester, I had enough and that is when I found Western Governor's University. Because of the problems with the university, a couple of classes did not transfer because they were wrong for my degree. I loved how WGU laid out my degree plan, class by class. I also liked how each class was taken individually instead of 4 or more classes going on a time. That was some different that I really enjoy. I can concentrate on one course and get through it. All of the classes are online... however, that doesn't mean I am on my own. There are so many resources available!! I have taken advantage of all of them and that really is the key. Each student has a "mentor" that calls every week. Now that I'm into it all, those morning calls are annoying, but I would rather have annoying contact than nothing at all (as was with the case with my last school). Each course has course mentors who are wonderful! There are usually 3-5 of them, so you can get a quick response. You can email or call and they will help you through any problem. The course mentors also offer webinars, cohorts, and even private sessions. The webinars are live or recorded depending on when you can make it. All of these options are just as good as any on campus instructor. I love that I can work at my own pace. At my previous schools, I would get bored waiting on the next assignment to be posted. The course mentors are not the ones that grade your performance based essays, but I find this to be good as different evaluators will grade you. This makes for a more real-world situation as you find what different people like. This can help you grow as a student. The only thing I don't like about this school, and I'm not sure how big of a deal it is, but there are no letter grades. All of the classes are pass or fail. I'm going into teaching and I did call DESE to speak to them about WGU to make sure everything was on the up and up. They gave it a thumbs up. Now, having said all of that, the type of person best suited for WGU is someone who is very organized and motivated. You can't procrastinate or get lazy about your course work. WGU makes it convenient for any schedule, but you still have to commit to it. You have to be pro-active and take charge of your studies. You have to be dedicated. Working in the field that interests you in some way, is also a big part of it. If you don't have that experience, WGU may be more difficult for you. You should also have prior college (classroom) experience. This would only help you be a better WGU student. College is the ticket to any degree. It's a process that you must go through, so finding the right college that fits your needs can make all the difference on whether you are able to complete your degree. Good luck to all and congratulations on pursuing your degree!!
I luv WGU. It gave me a chance to relieve my self. I have plenty of bounce checks and court bookings and bankrupcies but they do not care since they hired me anyhow and now I work in enrolments of studants and can get my class's on the cheap. I can do it all from the house too which's nice. I am planning to do some at work in batween calls too so I can get done early. This would be a good school if you are in prison due to the issue of not being able to go any where. I truey luv it and praise jesus for the chanceto relieve my self. It is cheap too. Check it out.
You MUST be motivated, that said, I love it. I started at UOP and wasn't impressed. I then transferred to Kaplan and hated it, completely useless. They recently changed the online testing company and it's made a world of difference. The old system was tedious, the new one is pretty close to perfect. While my mentor doesn't answer many technical questions, she has been amazing at directing me to exactly where I need to go for information or help. I completed 21 units this term so you can't beat the price either!
WGU is definitely geared towards those who have already had some college classes and/or have working in the real world for awhile. I would not recommend it to anyone who does not have any real world experience. The lack of having a GPA will quickly get you cut in the mix of job applicants if you do not have relevant experience. It should add the necessary "piece of paper" for those looking to advance in their career or with the current employer. It is self-paced so you can do a lot in one semester, save money and graduate in a reasonable amount of time. The things I have learned so far are definitely applicable to my career and hopefully my future. There are some hiccups though. As others have stated, the weekly calls with the so-called :mentor" are futile and annoying. They are definitely not a mentor in the true sense of the word. The competency-based grading system is confusing and annoying, and some tests can easily be passed without knowing much of anything. It is ironic because in one of the first classes I took, I learned that people will always work harder when a letter grade is at stake versus just passing or failing. So if I were a recruiter and knew this and saw someone from a reputable, competing university that had a good GPA, it would factor into my decision of who to hire. Additionally, it is almost impossible to transfer to another school or into an MBA program without letter grades which is a negative. The tests that are proctored via webcam are frustrating and annoying. I researched quite a few completely online schools and some brick and mortar schools that offer online degrees. None of them were perfect, including WGU, but it seems to be the best fit for me.
This program started out promising, but in the end......it is a diploma mill. The mentor process is annoying. You have to talk to this "cheerleader" every week. If you really need help, they can't help and refer you back to course mentors. Mine called on the wrong day, at the wrong time, and generally became one of the most annoying parts of my week. There is no option to not participate in these calls. The final project is a big joke.........it has nothing to do with skills at all. Students would be better served by doing a thesis type project. People defin. cheat at this school.......but staff do not want to hear about it, especially in the capstone part of the degree. I think this program had good intentions, grew too fast, and needs someone in charge who knows what they are doing. The mentor process should be optional once a student has shown they can do the work.
I chose WGU because I hated the four year university experience. Nothing makes me crazier than redundancy, and BS. You will get both during your time with WGU, just not as much as you do at a state university. My first major irritation is that they ask you to have a call with a mentor weekly or bi-weekly. This is a waste of time. The conversation usually consists of "How are you?" and "What are your goals this week?". Not helpful. Also, you are on your mentor's time. If you miss a call they will threaten to start the process of withdrawing you. The mentors are only available during the work day and my mentor usually called about 15 minutes late which caused a lot of problems. My mentor also told me at one point that I needed to score ten points above the cut score on the pretest to move on in a class. This was not university policy and kept me from completing a course that semester. This semester I completed 5 tasks for one class and they sent an assignment back to me one day after the cut off over a very minor grammatical error. This again caused me to not pass a class this semester. I hate to call it a scam, but it does feel like they try to prolong your experience. Overall the content of the classes is solid, but if you need further instruction from a course mentor do not hold your breath. I just need a piece of paper that says I completed a four year degree at an accredited university, and this will provide it. I do feel like I have learned a lot, but it was all information that you have to go find independently. You will have to jump through a lot of hoops to finish this program which is not different from any other school. At least I can work at my own pace on my own schedule, and the "professor" can't see me roll my eyes on the other side of the computer at unnecessary tasks.
Firstly, let me say that I did not go through the financial aid process so can't comment on that. That being said, I can only image that it is Byzantine at best regardless of the school you attend. Why WGU? It is accredited and it is online, allowing for the flexibility I needed to complete my degree. My work and business travel schedule prohibited me from going to a traditional school that has strict attendance requirements and rigid schedules. In addition, my salary did not allow me to apply for financial aid so their set tuition suited my needs. That is why the set tuition, regardless of credits completed, was great for me. Additionally, I liked that I could "set my own pace". There were some courses that I felt, after years of personal and professional development, were "tedious" because I already had knowledge of the content area. Granted, the self-pacing/self-study was daunting because you have to be motivated AND organized to handle this type of learning process. Luckily, I have always thrived in this type of environment. So be forewarned that your own personal motivation and organization are the key to your success. The courses (assignments and tests). The online proctoring of tests was tedious in that there are many technical requirements that need to be met (internet connection, virus software, operating systems/computer types, etc.). That being said, it seems to be this way every time technology is involved. I feel for our IT department at work dealing with the "confusion" of us non-IT mortals! :-D Regardless, I got through it. In addition, when turning in assignments, I found it helpful to use a software program such as Grammarly that would give me a % score with regards to possible plagiarism or duplicate online content. This is because WGU, like many universities, puts your written assignments through the Turn-It-In online system used by many universities today. The assignment is given a % score based on perceived duplicated content through an online scan/search. You MUST be aware of this and address the issue BEFORE turning in an assignment to save the need for revision. Also, I would recommend actually reading the rubrics of the requirements they will be looking for in each assignment. Having a rubric checklist that I "checked off" prior to submission helped to save time with regards to resubmission and corrections. The courses (tutoring and instruction) Finally, if you require significant tutoring on subjects, this university may not be suitable since it is primarily for working professionals with a strong sense of self-management and individual initiative. There are course mentors to call on but they will usually guide you to where to find the information you need. Some will also provide online study groups or learning sessions for those struggling. But you should not expect a "classroom teaching environment". If that is what you need, you should go back to university full-time in a classroom environment. All in all, I have to say it was a great experience that allowed me to complete my degree after years of wanting to but not having a higher education university model that could fit my full-time working needs.
They are continuosly finding ways to do two things to generate more revenue- 1) They cause delays and don't hold their staff accountable for these delays. 2) Every few months they add on classes that are now required for the same degree. I've looked at many other programs and have found some that are definitely more reasonable as far as the curriculum goes. Thankfully they're starting to get some serious competition out there. I've been an RN for 22 years and when I first looked into WGU's RN-BSN program it truly was a great deal. Unfortunately 2 1/2 years later and not so much. Not even close actually. They add on clasess approximately every six months to the degree plan. I'm actually now having to take six additional classes that weren't required for the degree in 2011. Arts and Humanities has NOTHING to do with my field of work yet I need to take two courses in this subject. More hysterical is during enrollment they demanded that my previously taken "Human Growth and Development" class wasn't good enough to transfer in and that I'd be required to take it with them. Then I get to my first mentor call to find out I'm not enrolled in Human Growth and Development. Why I ask? "Because we don't offer it". REALLY? Instead they gave me Behavioral Science which is a compilation of Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology- Nowhere close to H,G &D. And the kicker- "Too bad for you. There's nothing you can do about it now". I doubt I can stand this school for more than the semester I now have to complete. Hoping their competition steps it up faster because WGU's reign will definitely come to an end (at least in my field)