Western Governors University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (410)
If you're a teacher, you know that the only real way to move up on the salary scale is to get a master's degree, and where you get your master's degree doesn't really matter, as long as it's from an accredited institution.
WGU fills the bill as well as any bricks-and-mortar university, and for a lot less money. No, it's not a life-changing educational experience, but I plenty of friends and colleagues who have done traditional master's degrees, and their programs weren't that great either. It's just another hoop you need to jump through.
This has not been a perfect experience by any measure. I've had way too many "right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" experiences at WGU, probably because none of the people I deal with (course mentors, my own personal mentor, graders, etc.) actually work together.
I get the impression that they only lay eyes on each other once or twice a year, and they clearly don't spend a whole lot of time talking to each other on the phone or by email.
There's a lot of runaround--one person can tell you about this but not that, and the person who can tell you about that can't explain why another thing is happening, and nobody can tell you anything about why you didn't pass your assessment other than "go back to the course of study and review the reading."
For each course, there's a Course of Study with assignments to follow (many of which you never turn in, so if you can figure out which ones will actually be useful and which ones are busy work, you can save yourself a lot of time). There's also a set of required tasks in Taskstream, which is the work that actually gets graded, and I agree with other reviewers that the quality of the grading is hit-and-miss.
The Course of Study and the Taskstream assignments often don't align, probably because they're written by different people who didn't bother to talk to each other, so I have spent a fair amount of time trying to find out exactly what I'm supposed to do. Judging from the comments in the student communities, my experience is not uncommon.
Also, there's recently been a staff shake-up that seems to have resulted in lots of people being let go. In my case, my capstone chair is gone, which is unfortunate but would have been more of a problem if I'd been farther along in my research project and had to change chairs in the middle; one of my course mentors who was incapable of giving clear information is also gone, and good riddance!
This all sounds pretty negative, but I still recommend WGU for the master's in education program. It certainly hasn't been a perfect experience, but in the end, I will finish the program more quickly than I would at a traditional university, for a lot less money, and I've had a lot more flexibility than I would have had in a traditional program.
I had attended two years at WGU. My experience was horrible. My first mentor left and gave no goodbyes or reasons. My second mentor said the schools policies were not similiar to her own and she felt their intentions were not in the students best welfare.
I was ready to quit when I was reassigned a very nice mentor. She tried to help me get around the financial aide suspension, she felt it wasn't my fault with having two mentors and all. Anyway I was finally re-instated but- by the time that happened I lost semester time.
I was never able to recover, and I couldn't receive the help I needed. It is true they have tons of evaluators, if you submit something today and it fails wait a week and resubmit-I guarantee it will pass. Very one sided and bias school, do not waste your time or money..
After reading these unhappy reviews, I cannot help but think that my experience is completely contrary. Whereas people stated that the school is not interested in a student's success and that WGU is only interested in making money, let me say that they are wrong.
My mentor has been nothing but supportive, knowledgeable, and encouraged me to work. The thing with this school is that you get what you put in. If you are motivated and enjoy applying knowledge, rather than simply regurgitating it, this school is for you.
The fact of the matter is that to succeed, your level of committment will determine your success. By working hard, seeking out answers, and applying yourself, this program will be worthwhile. If you want someone to tell you what to write, and what to think this program is not for you.
I am nearly done with my MBA and will recommend this program to anyone that asks.
WGU isn't a traditional school. It has a unique model that fits a variety of lifestyles, but requires a great deal of self-motivation to succeed.
At its core, its a series of study guides (courses), a series of learning resources (books, videos, online text, etc), a mentor (counselor), and course mentors (course counselors), who guide you through a self taught, standardized degree plan.
Barriers to your education the school handily removes are the logistics of delivering an education to you (no classes to attend), and the finances to fund your education (through grants and loans).
You supply the rest. You can capitalize on your own learning style, your drive to succeed, and your previous knowledge.
My average time to study is about 30 hrs per class. I take a pre-test to see where I am at, study those things I don't know, and sit for an exam, write a paper, or complete a project to show mastery of the coursework. If I fail (I havn't yet) I get to learn from my mistakes and try again.
Many barriers cropped up once I started. I found I was not studying enough, that I didn't have a good learning space to study in, and thus my performance was sub par. I didn't get anything done in two months, and wasn't any closer to a degree than when I had started.
I realized what I would have to change to succeed here, determined what to change, and I've enacted those changes. I have a set study schedule, and I have been able to earn 30 credits in my first term, which isn't over yet. I should graduate with a Bachelors of Science in IT with a security in a bit less than two terms, if I can keep up the pace.
The downside is I only get a year of schooling this way. I feel a little like I'm getting ripped off for three years of living the life of a student. I'm considering completing two masters programs. The MBA and Masters in Information Assurance, to make up for it.
As for the structure of the school, they take my suggestions seriously. Every employee of the school is given raises and bonuses based on student enrollment, graduation rates, and student satisfaction surveys. They have financial incentives to help me succeed. My mentor is really good too.
I have found the grading to be hard and fair. The classes are pass/fail, the GPA is set at 3.0, and psycho-metricians determine what level of competency must be shown to constitute a "B" grade, while most of my upper level classes are passed by earning an industry certification.
The general-ed classes are a roughly 1/2 of the program, a few are easy, a few are hard. Some people truly struggle with subjects. Its not possible to pass with a low C in any subject. You "get it" or you don't progress.
The upper level classes in my degree program almost always result in a certification. Some of those are easy. They all require study. A+, Network+, Project+, CIW web design & database certs, Microsoft certs, and Cisco certs.
Ok... I reread my review and it didn't quite capture the experience. I study 5 hours a day in a coffee shop or a bar. I have a laptop, and I'm either a little wired or a little drunk. I choose my poison based on the subject at hand. I read about 60 pages a minute, and retain most of it... sometimes I listen to headphones.
I take a break about every 15-20 minutes to go talk to someone about something not school related at all. Its honestly an incredibly pleasant, easy experience, and it doesn't feel like I'm working at all. When I finish a class I reward myself with a piece of delicious cake. School is making me fat. And smart. It rocks.
I am finishing up my 3rd term at WGU. I love this university, although the courses are hard, they r very do able. No university is perfect. I would recommend this school to anyone you like to learn independently!
I already have an Associates degree in Human Service Management. When I went to enroll in this school after looking at my transcript (GPA 3.2) they were only going to credit me with 32 "units"
They said there was no way that they would accept my prior management classes or my writing classes.
Why would I (or you) waste your time repeating or paying for work you have already completed?
Things were going great with this school until I had to do a hands-on project, which would lead to my Master's thesis. I had to do it in a school or workplace, since my workplace would not allow it, i had to do it in a school. Well since I was not a teacher, schools were very hesistant to let me in and teachers were not really overly cooperative....so I didn't get the required response rate that I needed for WGU to count my project.
I thought perhaps my mentor could help, but she claimed she was restricted to give students any help in this area, and that she was merely a mentor. I posted on several educational websites and other areas to garner teachers' attention, but didn't get enough response, and unfortunately reached the time limit covered by financial aid and had to take a sabbatical.
I took all of my tests with WGU, but wasn't able to complete the hands-on work....so basically wasted 2 years and $20,000. A brick and mortar school would have been more help in getting you into a school to do a program required for you to complete your degree....WGU does not offer that type of help.
So unless you are a teacher already....they aren't much help. I am paying on a loan that I got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for.
I needed to go back to school and get a degree, I decided on teaching and found WGU. Everyone learns in different ways and for me this was the best match out there. I was able to work at my own pace, my mentor worked with me all the way. Everyone from the top right to the lowest employee have been willing to talk to me and assist me in anything I have questions or needed from the college. I started with 21 transfer credits and I was able to receive my BA in education in 14months, I worked hard and was rewarded. Any snags were overcome with help from my mentor or the student serveces dept. I worked hard, and it is hard work, but I made it. After getting my BA I decided to try for my Masters in education. Wow, I thought I worked hard for my BA but being dyslexic I had to work even harder. Again everyone at the University worked just as hard with me. Any and ALL problems were handled in a professional manner. If you feel you do not have a good match with your mentor you can talk to student serveces and get a different on without any hard feelings from the college. They not everyone works well with everyone else.
I have both my BA and my Masters in education and am very pleased. I have made life long friends, earned both my degrees and at a resonable price. If you are a good self starter and not afraid of work, this could be the college you are looking for. My son is now attending the IT department and my daughter in half way through the teaching school. They are having the same response from the college as I did.
Looking for a great college go for it.
WGU was a terrible experience from beginning to end. From the first day you're assigned a "mentor" who's supposed to help you along the way. She was nothing but a constant problem. The program (MBA) started off being a lot of work, but worthwhile and challenging enough. I even tested out of classes along the way. Then came many re-writes of papers over and over again for rediculous reasons. Then came the last two exams for the entire program and they were absolutely HELLISH! After all of that time, effort, and money invested I really thought I was going to flunk out. Honestly, I have never failed at anything in my life. It was horrible because I had to take the last two exams SIX times before I passed them. The fees? $60 per exam and you only get 6 chances, so I literally passed the last two exams on the very last allowed attempt. Coincidence? I'm doubting it. Especially since I failed both exams by 1% on my 5th attempt. WGU is a scam and they're responsible for the lowest portion of my life.
I decided to take my classes at WGU to get my bachelors in Accounting. It is regionally accredited and the tuition costs are not expensive. I wanted to get my degree in two years....they just dont let you advance... I am going to change school, but the loan has to be repaid....You only have to read and read the books,but you dont practice. Definitely, I dont recommend this school..