Western Governors University Reviews - Bachelor's in Healthcare InformaticsSee reviews of all programs at Western Governors University
When I was first considering enrolling WGU, this is one of the first websites I visited to read what other students had experienced and from the mixed reviews I was hesitant. So I wanted to share my experience for anyone who might be considering WGU. This school is for professionals with experience either in the field they are wanting a degree in, or experience in a closely related field. The class work is challenging and you will be taking a variety of courses which entail anything from having to write research essays to taking proctored, multiple choice exams. You are matched with a program mentor to assist in your studies, check in with you regularly and all around support you in your educational journey. Your programs are laid out in modules consisting of reading (LOTS of reading) videos and other multi-media. They offer you practice quizzes and preassessments to see how much you know already and give you suggestions on what to focus on. Instructors are available via email or you can set up appointments to speak with them over the phone if you need guidance in a subject. There are TONS of resources to help you, they have a writing center if you aren't great at English, a math center and a tech center if you need help with your PC or have connection issues. You do need to be self motivated and push yourself to make progress, but everything you need to succeed is laid out before you, you do need to know where to find those resources and all of that is shown to you before you start the first course. Also, I will say that most people who are internet saavy can usually figure out where to find everything they need. As far as mentors go, every person is different and you may need more hand holding or less. If you are matched with a mentor that is not right for your needs, you can reach out and ask for another to just deal with them, honestly. One thing to know is the longer you take to get your degree, the more you pay (obviously, but honestly), and once you pay for a term you can take as many classes as you can get through before the term ends, at all hours of the day. So get into WGU and don't dawdle. Make progress and take advantage of all the resources they provide. Bottomline: WGU is for you if you are highly motivated to succeed, don't mind alot of reading and feel like you would do well with an online educational format. If you do better in a traditional classroom environment, WGU may not be the best option.
The program is labeled as Health Informatics but the focus is Health Informatics and Information Management. Most of the time things run smooth. My issue is the school does not back or support you as a student at all. They have your money so they don't care. The PPE process is a nightmare. You do all the work calling around finding places. The contract gets bounced back and fourth and they don't assist in speeding the process. Mine took almost a year. Schedule got set and when I started with the site it was so unorganized and probably the worst experience to date. The site scheduled me in the wrong department, they didn't review what was required or suggested as tasks and, my scheduled hours were approved but was was not honored by them. Day two I was told the contract that took a year was no good because I was listed as a nurse and the school didn't correct that. Day one is when they looked at my requirements no arrangements had been planned and other departments were not available on such short notice. After speaking to my Advisor, health placement, and the program director they said there was nothing they can do to make my situation better and backtracked on finding alternative solutions.
I have been a nurse for a very long time and had no tech experience when beginning this degree. I will also say I am a mature student at 50 years old when I graduated. I have an associate degree in nursing obtained in 1992 after a two year technical nursing program in the Army that allowed me to become a licensed practical nurse. I opted to go to Wgu for the healthcare informatics program because I felt that it gave a very balanced and thorough coverage of the technology and business side of things. I didn't need more clinical background so I opted not to do nursing informatics which I feel limits your career options in comparison to this degree, even though it would have been easier and taken less time for me. This is not an easy program and the selection process is very rigorous, or at least when I began and the program was fairly new. The program had some growing pains and had a few changes along the way as well. As others have mentioned it's not a school for everyone. You definitely need some motivation and not need hand holding. However I feel that is part of what makes this a really good program. Given that most of your final exams are certification exams there's definitely motivation to take your classwork seriously. As a person who has been in the workforce for sometime I valued the ability to study and test on my time . I felt the classes were quite relevant to the job market and gave me a definite leg up and a lot of credibility that I feel I wouldn't have otherwise had without the certifications (that do not cost extra by the way). They are industry gold standard well recognized, (and not inexpensive to take on your own). Overall I feel that the quality of the education at Wgu is what you make of it. If you take advantage of what is offered and work very hard you get a lot of return on your investment. I would say however you need to have a particular personality type to be successful. If you go to Wgu expecting the social experience of a brick and mortar school, again you will likely be disappointed. Overall I had some bumps in the road, but find the program to be more than adequate in preparing me for a multitude of opportunities. I would say my biggest complaint was turning in the performance based competencies and the grading system associated with it. I find it difficult to relate at times with the grading and scoring of the written projects without being able to actually speak to the evaluator. I think that if you were able to speak with someone instead of simply reading comments to make corrections that perhaps it may be a little more effective and you would actually be able to learn more from the project overall. I found that you don't always get the same evaluator for your corrections that were suggested by the previous evaluator. This can be somewhat problematic at times. In summary I would say if you are willing to put the effort in and sincerely work hard and take seriously the amount of time that they tell you you should set aside for your work that Wgu is a fantastic bargain . You must be able to self teach to an extent and reason out problems on your own at times but that's what being a working adult is all about in the long run really . For the cost of the program the quality is amazing. My only real problem is deciding which direction of the many choices I now have to pursue with my career! This brings me to what I feel could be a lot more robust post graduation and career support program, I for one would even pay extra if needed!
I don't think any degree program is perfect. But I have learned a tremendous amount of real-world knowledge related to informatics. My mentor has been very receptive, and the same is true for the course mentors. There have a been a couple of classes that could have been presented in a more effective manner, but overall I am very pleased.
Maybe I see things a little different than some that's on here. This school is NOT for everyone. They do not hold your hand. They are not going to baby you into doing what you have invested your money (or loan) to do. I think it works for those who work and have other obligations that interfere with being in a brick and mortar. I have a great student mentor and course mentors. The forums are a big help as well. Not once have I encountered a situation where I was not able to speak to any mentors. They have been very personable. If you are looking for a place that follows behind you and keep staying on you then don't enroll. Because everything that you do (or don't) is on you. They are there to support and help you stay on track but excuses are not allowed.