Western Governors University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (463)
I did a very thorough investigation of the online college landscape before selecting WGU. I wanted a good price, regional accreditation and the freedom to progress at my own pace. I did not want to have to correspond daily with other class mates. I earned 114 credits and my BA in IT management in 6 months. The experience was so good that I went on and gained my MBA in IT management, also in 6 months.
I worked very hard, but my full-time job did not suffer. It cost me about $6400 for a BA and MBA combined. This saved me years and tens of thousands of dollars. I do not consider myself great at math or writing, but the presentation of the material was such that I did not need to seek the help of course mentors and I could figure out what I needed on my own.
I would highly recommend the school and if your experience is even half as good as mine you will save a lot of time and money.
I graduated this year w/ a BS in Business Management from WGU. I’ve read all kinds of reviews before I chose WGU and always vowed to do one, once (if) I graduated. Well I did, and here it is.
First, the reason I chose WGU was Accreditation. They are the only on-line school, that I found at the time, which is ‘regionally accredited’. That is the one that matters-I found. National accreditation from the US Gov’t, (distance learning etc) and other minor associations are not cutting it for me. So all these ‘online’ schools say they are accredited – but check it out…see what agency provides the accreditation and who else is accredited in that association etc. This matters! On-line college has a stigma already (and yes, it’s getting better as people become educated), but if you choose a school that isn’t regionally accredited – you’re two behind.
Next, This college is not for people with no work experience in the field you want to get a degree in. This university is really designed for that person who has been working for some years in a field..and is being held back because of no degree. If you are young and want to go from public H.S. education to Bachelors…I’d recommend something else. You CAN do WGU…but it will take a lot of time in my opinion. – You need to be motivated and goal oriented. I fight procrastination, and I think I could have finished sooner (took me 2yrs, 4mos from zero to full B.S.), but full time work, wife, life, etc… You need to dedicate no less than say 15 hrs a week to studying. Maybe more, maybe less, but not too much less.
Classes are thick – often the class (just like brick and mortar schools – which I did attend for a while) is based around one text book…and the final is on THE ENTIRE BOOK…so, what I read about ‘easy’ classes were false. There are some classes which use multiple text books (upper level) and depending on your retention capability/ study habits can be challenging. Some classes were easier (English lit) and some were very difficult if you don’t have any pre-exposure to them (higher end business classes).
There are two methods of evaluation. Finals (exams) and course work (projects). Some classes have a final you take at the end. This is usually 50-80 questions, proctored (at your local testing center usually at college or university) or in some cases you can get a bio-metric webcam and do them from home. At first, I was thinking ‘man, testing at home…i can just have an answer sheet.? – uh no….the bio cam reads your eyes, has a huge view area (not what is shown on your screen) and is physically monitored by someone in a testing center (i.e. they watch you). I even a final stop mid-way through and had to call because they need me to ‘pan’ the camera etc…So, any thoughts of ‘cheating’ (not that I was or wanted to) – you can forget it.
Personally, it was nerve racking – so I preferred taking them in person at my local university. The test were very conceptual – not memorization. I’d say 15% were ‘facts’ etc..and 85% were concepts.. so you really have to ‘know’ the material! After the first couple of Finals..i really had to change the way I studied. But you really learn a lot this way.
Then there are projects - Papers (out the wazo) APA style…for business classes there were a lot of project type stuff to do, and a lot of real world (I thought) items to complete – project management projects, H.R. memos, writing policies, corporate compliance statutes..all sorts of stuff. It was pretty educational and practical.
You are provided with e-books, online learning sites, access to university (U of Michigan, Utah State, etc) and other resources…but I found that those plus Wikipedia, youtube, etc..really make all kinds of information available to you. Some courses have videos of teachers lecturing, some have actual lectures that you can dial-into (webex, etc) - so however you learn, they meet it there.
There are two primary points of contacts…a personal mentor who you talk to once a week, once every other week,etc, depending on how you progress. And a course mentor - who basically is the professor for that course. I have never had a problem with either. The course mentor was always available to me via e-mail and phone call when i needed. These aren’t just academics…they all had decades of real world experience in their fields (for the particular classes in the course of study..e.g., business, or IT, etc..). If I had a question, or just didn’t ‘get it’…I never was left hanging. The personal mentor keeps you on task…keeps you focused, and really guides you through the program. Iike all humans, I’m sure some are better than others…but mine was proficient. WGU has a good policy, if you and your mentor are not ‘clicking’ they can address it.
I was unsure about this whole ‘competency’ based approach v. classroom time. But it’s great – if I had to take a freshman class about say how to use a stapler in the business world…and I’ve got years of stapler experience..i’d go to the professor and ask if I can just take the final and ‘CLEP’ or test out…why sit (and pay) for eight weeks of stuff you know already? Prove you know it…and if you really do- move on. There were some classes that I thought I’d test out of early – but when I took an ‘assessment’ test to see if I knew what they were going to teach me…nope..had to do the class. Others, I was able to due to my work experience. Bottom line, it works..it’s efficient, and is a good evaluator of your true knowledge.
So that’s it in a nutshell –you pay for a six month term and attack as much as you can. Go as fast or as slow as you want – this affects your tuition total (i.e., more classes you take in six months, the better)…but the bottom line is – get an education, not a ‘diploma’. You get out of WGU what you put into WGU (just like life). I highly recommend WGU for those in the workforce…at a certain level of leadership or management, but no degree due to life….this is your route. I would be open to answering any questions.
P.S. this review was written quickly- I’m not going to edit it fully, so if there is a typo, or sentence structure is jacked..it’s not a ‘result of WGU’s education’ – it’s me, I’m just a fast writer and I’m on a 5hr energy right now…
I've been attending WGU since June of 2010. I am completely happy with the program I've chosen, the mentors, and the school overall.
I'll return to share more details in the future. But, I LOVE WGU!!
I was a RN with associate degree before I started WGU. THis is a great school, I finished by BSN in one year and cost only a fraction of a traditional school.
After reading the mostly negative comments about the school, let me give you my perspective. I have attended WGU for over a year in the IT program.
This school will only work for you if you are a self-starter and independent learner. No one will be there to hold your hand. Sure, you have a mentor (academic advisor) and course mentors (subject experts for the course).
However, it's up to you. Right now I am learning networking to obtain my Cisco CCNA certification. This is a challenging subject to learn and it takes a lot of work.
With WGU's IT programs, if you don't have experience in this field or current certifications, it will not be easy. Also, they are continually raising the bar for their IT degrees.
People talk about resubmitting the same material to be graded and it is accepted the second time. Who are you cheating when you do this?
I had a math classes where I had to do assignments over. Instead of me doing the same thing and resubmitting it, I reached out to a math mentor for help and learned what I needed to know.
If you are lazy, etc, don't apply to WGU.
Everything about WGU and their method of learning is freely available on their website.
So before you start pointing fingers, do your due diligence. For example, check with your state to see if a teaching degree from WGU will allow you to get your state license.
Therefore, if a person fully investigated this school, this will decrease the chances of dissatisfaction.
I like WGU and am glad that I chose it. It is not easy doing the work and learning on my own but I know what I need to do and was aware of the process when I started.
I am not self-motivating. But I am an ICU nurse and work well under pressure. When I started WGU I had a meltdown over all the computer programs, I needed to be comfortable with. I probably had quite a few moments...
WGU was so supportive! Anytime I was confused, a mentor or student support or someone was always there. I have always felt so comfortable with anyone I have spoken with. I think the program is outstanding and have never heard or read any negative comments.
This school is great for someone that works well on their own. I transferred in with 60 credits and was able to complete 60 credits in 6 months in the Bachelors of Science in Business-Human Resources. That comes to about $50 a credit hour which you can't find anywhere else. I loved it so much I'm going back for my MBA.
Just wanted to add to a previous review I had done. After 18 months I was able to complete the k-8 teacher preparation program which is 6 months shorter than the predicted time it takes.
I feel that it has been a great experience and that I received a quality education. As I said before the effort you put into it is what you get out of it, in terms of the quality. It is not a perfect set up but I felt that they were continually looking to improve and any time I needed help, someone responded and did all they could to help.
As a 44 year old mother of 3 children and living in a rural area, going to an online school was really my only option and I am so glad that WGU was available. The cost is so much more reasonable than many of the online options.
I have nothing but good things to say about WGU. I am a 41 year old RN. I am also a dad of 6 and husband. I don't have time to drive to a brick and mortar school, park, walk to class, then reverse that after a few hours. I simply sit down at any computer and do my work. When finished, I e-mail my papers.
Now, I did have to drive to Purdue University to take proctored exams, but not now since WGU implimented the webcam service. Purdue is a large, mainstream university and they proctored the exams just as if I were a Purdue student. WGU is fully accredited and acknowleged.
My first degree from WGU was my BSN and now I am working towards my MSN in administration. I am not worried about transfering credits. My employer recognizes my degree and I am satisfied. Thanks WGU!
After reading this review page I felt compelled to write about my own experience at WGU. I am not a recruiter nor am I a WGU employee. I am a 48 year old who suddenly found himself out of work and in competition with people who had degrees. I researched online and brickand mortor schools to see which would work out for me. I finally settled on WGU. I am extremely pleased with the results.
I started with no previous college credits, so I started from scatch. I also needed to find a school that would allow me to accelerate. Since I am not working, I have studied and worked 8 to 10 hours a day. In seven months I have completed 116 units. Some of the courses I was able to breeze thru, others I have had to work hard at.
Being a self starter and self motivated, I have reached out to the course mentors only occassionally. My mentor, who is basically a counselor, has been there for me each week. If you are looking for an easy time, this isnt it. You have to put the time in. I imagine that some colleges have a hard time with transferring the competency units, but I do not intend to transfer. I have found that I study a lot of material that does not make it into my assesments, or tests.
I have also not discovered anybody that was not willing to help. Sometimes they are slow, but my wife, who got her degree from a brick-and mortor school 10 years ago is amazed at how helpful and responsive the entire system has been. Where else can somebody get a 4 year degree from an accredited school for under $5000, which is what I am on track to accomplish.
Even if I took the traditional time, at less than $3000 a term (semester) it is still a bargain. As I stated earlier, other than being a student I am not affiliated with WGU. And I highly reccommend this school for those that want to get it done, are disciplined and who are motivated. If you need somebody to stand over your shoulder or hold your hand, then this is not the place to be.