Western Governors University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (401)
Having earned my Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees from WGU, I admit that at times I felt that the material was limited. However, the fact was that there was a plethora of information and guidance available. It was I, who was expecting the program to be like a Brick and Mortar program, which offer a great deal more hand holding. I think that a previous review summed it up best "It is a GREAT program for the mature student". Another review nailed it by stating "you should expect out of it, what you put into it". I consider myself highly motivated and reworded by self excellence, to that end WGU far and above delivered!
This is a great school for mature people that have good communication and computer skills. The competency-based model saved me countless hours of classroom time. If you are the type of person that doesn't require someone to force you to do your work, and you want to learn content vs. just getting a diploma, this is a great school for you. I have already applied much of the content I learned to real-world situations.
The school and curricula are excellent. I have had no issues with the actual courses and once I began actually completing course work all the administration of my enrollment went well. I would warn before and during enrollment individuals have no access to the majority of the available courses and no access to audit degree plans except through an advisor. This makes selecting a degree plan an act of faith. It takes some digging, but audits are provided if the right person is asked the right question. Financial aid is not easily deciphered either. Enrollment councilors or advisors are not inclined to provide any objective or knowledgeable information pertaining to even the most basic financial aid inquires. Direct all questions or concerns over funding directly to the financial aid. Press for additional information and expect only the exact information requested. It took over fifteen individual conversations for me obtain a full description of the tuition disbursement schedule and refund process. Due to misinformation and omissions concerning financial aid my refund was delayed almost two weeks. As a first semester student with WGU all disbursements are delayed until the 30th day of your first course after enrollment. Funds are further restricted to a two stage disbursement during each semester. Pell grant is released the first day of your enrolled course (after the first semester at WGU). Loans subsidized or unsubsidized are released fifteen days later. This does not take into account holidays or any other unforeseen delays. Being enrolled in courses is not the final trigger for disbursements. A minimum of 12 cu (credit hours or credit units) must accepted within the enrolled degree plan. A student mentor helps chose courses to be taken during the current semester. As a student it is your responsibility accept these 12 cu to complete enrollment in the given courses. Failing to complete this process will delay disbursement as I found out the hard way. Overall the school is excellent. However, believe there is room for more transparency both before and after initial enrollment. The ability to complete courses through competency exams is an excellent opportunity to accelerate a degree program. The tuition is very competitive. The convenience of online courses is very liberating after being confined to a campus for 18 months. I would recommend WGU to anyone with the discipline to work independently and keep motivated to complete any degree plan. For my money it has been the best educational investment have ever made.
What you should expect from WGU's education model is nothing more than what you put into it. This program is not for a person that wants to be spoon fed information to regurgitated for a test at some point. With WGU you have to be able to prove competency, this is done with detailed papers and passing professional tests (such as teacher licensing). As a teacher now of a year, WGU over-prepares you for the education world, I had more in depth pedagogy knowledge and knowledge about academic laws than the students that came from the local traditional 4 year institutions and even more than some of the 3-4 year seasoned teachers. Mentors help guide you to find information for yourself, they do not show you on a chalkboard. This is a self-guided learning process, that gives you time (6 months) to prove you can master the class. If you do not have the ability to think for yourself, discipline your own learning, can take criticism and make corrections, you might consider a more expensive route.
I absolutely loved my time at WGU. The mentors were helpful, easy to get in contact with and support was there time and time again. I did the degree for my employer requiring it for Magnet status. I have since been able to move to a management role. I would recommend this school to anyone looking to complete there BSN. I cannot speak in regards to the other programs.
This school has very little to no guidance. They pretty much say here is the outline of the course read the book. They have contradicting information with the books they provide. I have taken many online courses and this is probably the worst. There is very few things to help and guide your studies. No videos, No study guides, pretty much no help. You are on your own with hundreds of pages to read and absolutely no guide with what to hold onto for testing. The only thing I liked about this school was there labs they had great instructors.
My degree plan was fantastic. The courses were organized and the requirements were straightforward. The school really provides everything you need to succeed from Cohorts, study sessions, Q&A sessions, and one-on-one sessions. My mentor was great in providing information on how to go about each class and what worked best for other students. The curriculum was challenging and I've found that I'm already using it in real world projects.
Director of Admissions Mr B. is unfair, took 4 Assessment tests-the webpage said I could view my scores after each test but then Admissions deleted that ability so that you get that screen after each test but cannot actually view your results.
I need to start off by saying that I did not end up graduating from WGU. I decided to return to a local university and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. I thought I would give a review of my WGU based on my experience. When I decided to get a teaching degree, I needed something to allow me to continue working (substitute teacher). I have small children and a busy lifestyle. I earned my Associate's Degree through a local community college and it was mainly online with a couple of classes on campus. It was hard to finish up a day of subbing and rush (30 minutes) to campus for classes until late in the evening. When I saw WGU, I was interested in the convenience. Here is my personal experience: WGU is set up on 6 month terms. Basically, however many classes you can finish in that time frame is up to you. You pay the same whether you complete 1 class or 30 classes. I loved this idea because I am very responsible, self-motivated, and a hard worker. I submitted my transcripts, filled out all of the required paperwork, and was given my degree plan for Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education). The local university had me graduating in May of 2014 where WGU had my estimated graduating date of May 2015. I didn't like the extra time, but thought I would be able to able to work hard and finish sooner. I had 16 classes needed at my local university and 24 through WGU. I went ahead and signed up with WGU. My mentor was to call at 6 AM, which was not good for me, but I made it work. I did not get much out of our conversations. If I had a question, she would tell me someone else to call. It felt like a waste of time. The course mentors seemed to know their stuff and they would offer webinars and recordings that felt like a class, but more times than not, these were scheduled at difficult times for me. The instructors gave written and verbal information. There was a lot of technical difficulty making it hard to call in to the webinars or listen/talk over the computer. Many times we had to type out our conversation, which isn't a problem for me since I'm a good typist, but this is something that many struggled with and ended up not participating much. There are two different types of classes. Some classes require that you study the information using the webinars, online text and other resources, and then take a multiple choice test at the end. You do have the opportunity to take a practice test to see if you are ready, but I never found these practice tests to be very helfpul as the material did not seem to be consistent. I did feel like the practice tests were harder, including more specific details. The ending test seemed more generalized and easier. You will need a WGU webcam and sign into a location that will monitor you while you take this test. You will be required to show them the room you are in, your computer, all around your desk area, etc. The other type of class requires a written research paper. This is turned in and evaluated by separate instructors who you have not been involved with while taking the class. If there is a problem, they will send it back for you to correct. I only had one sent back and it was pretty vague as to what needed attention. I was told the person who evaluates your paper can be different and is totally random. You may get someone who isn't picky about certain aspects, but the next time they might be. Not consistent grading. I think I went through the first couple of classes in less than a week, so I was moving quickly. A couple of months into my first term, my degree plan changed. I just logged in one day to see it. I immediately called and was told that they put me into the Special Education degree program as it was just a couple more classes and would make for better opportunities for me when I graduated. This was not discussed with me at all. The "couple more classes" ended up being 9 more, making a list of 33 classes and pushing my estimated graduation date back until May of 2017. The classes were lined up in such a way that the new ones were toward the top of the list of classes I needed to take next. I could not get any answers on this and it became very frustrating. I was locked out of the courses I wanted to take and could only move forward with the top few that were posted for that term. These were classes that were added for the "Special Education" plan. Over a week went by with no answer and I finally just picked a class that I felt would contain the best information for me. A couple of days after starting the class, I got a return call from someone at WGU who was trying to help me get it figured out. But they were still checking into it. I was so frustrated. I kept calling and it took a month to get that straightened out. Once they did though, my old degree plan list of classes was locked. It took them several more days to get me back on track and working on my classes. The pass/fail grade concerned me from the beginning, but I was assured that school districts were on board with the idea and that WGU offered a clear explanation that seemed as though passed classes were more than above average work. Be careful with this as I was finding out school districts may not like this. Many applications specifically ask for GPAs. There are a couple of required tests that each state requires their teachers to pass in order to obtain certification. WGU is based out of Utah, but I do not live in Utah. There was a lot of conflicting information regarding which test/s I needed to take. I was told that I needed to take all tests required for the state of Utah and then transfer to my state. I was then told I needed to take the tests required in my state. I was also told I needed to take past tests, even if not required by my state. I was told I needed to take both Utah and my state tests. It was very confusing. I called the department of education and confirmed what I needed, but WGU said they were not correct. Ended up I only needed to take 2 tests... one during/before I entered into the teaching program, and the major content exam for my state. WGU was wrong and misleading over this. Had I listened to them, I would have taken and spent money on tests I didn't need. I think WGU has a great concept, but has a lot of things to work out before I feel it is a good option for those seeking a teaching degree. Working online through all of the classes is convenient, but even with my experience in the classroom, I don't see how anyone could get the same knowledge from an online course as they could from a physical classroom environment. After my first term with WGU I realized this and went back to the university. This wasn't the only reason I made this decision, but it was just another factor for me. Although I am self-motivated, I felt all alone. I guess for some that is ok, but I enjoy the interaction with others... that is why I want to be a teacher! I enjoy the hands-on learning. I enjoy the experiences that being in a class of other students offers. All of that is just not possible with an online class. I was getting the facts/information, but there is SOOO much more to be a good teacher than that. WGU might be well suited for those going into other areas, but I feel for education majors, it doesn't offer what the student needs to be the best teacher they can be. I was also disappointed that most of the classes I took at WGU did not transfer. I left WGU and went back to the university. I graduated with my BSEd and have a job lined up. I am confident that my experiences at the university gave me far more of what I needed to be successful. The reasons I liked WGU: * Convenient * Can work at my own pace * Easy * Price seemed lower/comparable What I did not like about WGU: * Inconvenient weekly phone call each week * Lack of effective communication * Course work did not seem challenging * Missing out on physical classroom experiences for my degree - did not feel it was preparing me to be a teacher in a classroom * Felt they delayed my work on purpose to slow me down * Added/changed my schedule without discussing it with me * Ultimately was going to end up costing more in the long run * Did not offer GPA * Lack of knowledge over correct certification requirements/tests * Repetitive classes * Many classes did not transfer * Began to doubt WGU and did not have confidence in my direction with them This is just my personal experience. A lot of factors could be different with others changing their experience. I think it matters which program you are seeking, the mentor/s you get, and the speed at which you complete the courses. I hope this review helps.
I've finished my BA in Information Technology from WGU. My entire time at WGU was worth every dollar spent. I can understand why some students might not be happy with WGU competency base program since WGU is heavily weighed on independent learning and self-study. With that being said, if you don't have the motivation to push though; this school may not be for you. However, if you're ambitious, then this school is an excellent choice. The course professors (mentors) at WGU are terrific, they are extremely knowledgeable and easily accessible. The ability to speak with a professor who specializes in the subject you're learning is an enormous benefit. I have learned so much from my one-on-one calls with my professors that I feel as though our conversations alone have helped me grow into a better person. Overall, great school at an affordable cost that fosters a strong learning environment!