Western Governors University Reviews - Bachelor's in Secondary EducationSee reviews of all programs at Western Governors University
Great school, highly recommended! I got a job teaching 1 month after graduating. The courses are tough, and require a lot of time and effort. But it is totally worthwhile. The mentors are there to not only guide you through the program, but act as cheerleaders as well, encouraging you to do your best. I am back at WGU to obtain a Master's degree. Great school for working adults!
WGU allows its students to work at their own pace. This is exceptional for the student that desires to accelerate and for the student that needs to take it slow. WGU also allows the student to use their life experience to gain competency in strong areas. I taught for 12 years at a christian school and decided to get my BA is Mathematics. I was able to "test out" of several classes and will be graduating with my BA in Mathematics and my teaching certificate in secondary math in under two years!! The student and class mentors were alway there to give assistance whenever I needed it, whether it was a word of encouragement or assistance with the curriculum.
I started my college career at a traditional 4 year university. My experience there was the typical college experience and I'm glad I have those memories. However, I married a military man and had to move before I graduated. That's what led me to WGU. I completed my undergraduate in elementary education and had a wonderful semester of student teaching. I am now a teacher in a large and competitive school district. Additionally, I am two classes away from receiving my master degree in education from, none other than, Western Governors University. I have had phenomenal support from the mentors and all the staff I have had interactions with (financial aid, course mentors, etc.). I am so happy that I found this school! Future students; WGU is writing intensive, yes, that means you write a lot of papers and do a lot of research. Plus, you have to be able to discipline yourself. There is no teacher begging for homework. However, you will have a great, friendly, and supportive mentor that will become like family. We love and hate our family right? Just kidding...the mentors motivate you and hold you accountable. I couldn't have graduated without mine! Bottom-line: Great school! Great staff! I regret nothing!
I just got word today that I landed a job with the 2nd school I interviewed with! I worked hard at WGU and had to put in a good deal of time finding my own resources to completing the assignments, but this helped me figure out how I learn. Learning how you learn one of the most important things to being successful at WGU. WGU is NOT a typical college and if you are expecting all the information to be in a single book or in some lecture, you will have a tough go of it until you develop some resources. Once you get a good pool of sites and books that YOU can learn from, the rest is fairly easy. I was always able to get in contact with faculty that could answer content or administrative questions and the student teaching process was set up for me by WGU without any issues. Look, if you want an easy degree this is not the school for you. However, if you want the ability to tailor your learning experience and dislike due dates, WGU will work out well as long as you are willing to commit the time. One last thing, my degree was never questioned by any administrators in my school district and I heard back from every position I applied to.
PROS: Flexible schedule, inexpensive tuition (books, etc. included in tuition), nationally and regionally accredited, required scheduled contact with school personnel and faculty, competency-based grading system that reflects academic difficulty of programs offered
CONS: Not as academically supportive as bricks-and-mortar school (ie. you are expected to take charge of your own learning, and if you need extra help, you have to schedule an appt.), skepticism from potential employers (not personally experienced, but have heard stories), ease of procrastination
CONCLUSION: For more disciplined students who are technology savvy, this is a great school. Also, for those who do not have access to a traditional school (due to location or cost), WGU is a good choice. However, this school may not be the best option for less dedicated students or those who learn best in a group setting or prefer unlimited access to professors. The curriculum is advanced and the grading system tough, so the academic experience is intense, but rewarding. If you experience problems with the work, immediate help can be difficult to come by. Though, when you do get help, it is usually very good and pertinent.
I'm stunned by some of these negative reviews; sorry your experience was not what you expected. I, on the other hand, do not regret my decision to attend WGU.
First, I'm a mother of four young children, my youngest has autism, I needed something that was flexible, accredited, and tailored to my learning style. I've sat here reading all these bad reviews about financial aid, taskstream, mentor calls, courses of study, changes in courses and so on and so on and I don't have a clue what you're talking about and I've been attending since late 2009. Never once have I had a problem with financial aid. Out of at least 100 tasks I've turned into taskstream, I've maybe needed to revise 4 of them, and they NEEDED to be revised...they contained mistakes; once I revised, everything was good. I have had two of the best student mentors I could ask for; I consider them both friends and look forward to speaking each week.
My mentor, especially the last 3 months has made sure I have done everything I needed to do before Demonstration teaching; she makes sure I'm overly prepared for anything that may come up. Are task sometimes vague, yep...guess what, email or call the course mentor and ask them what it is asking of you, problem solved. Course mentors have always gotten back with me in 1-6 hours to answer my questions and then I was back to finishing my tasks.
Next, in my 4 years here, never once has my degree changed; no course changes, no structural changes, nothing. I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones I suppose.
I have passed all my state praxis exams from the work I've learned at WGU. The school I'm getting ready to do my pre-clinical's at has had no problem whatsoever by me attending WGU.
I even asked the Vice-Principal about any concerns he had with me attending an online university; he told me...not at all, as long as I had the drive, go for it. And for those who say this is high school level work, I don't recall staying up until all hours of the night, day after day, doing research after research in high school. In my high school courses, I had to memorize facts; at WGU, I've had to learn the content of a course forwards and backwards.
I've been to other colleges, have a degree from a state college with a 3.8 GPA from there; the exams here are 10x harder than anything I've ever experienced, I was shocked at the degree of some of the questions they ask. As to the supposed "busy work", I've learned more from that busy work than one could imagine. 90% of my "busy work" tasks needs extensive research to complete. Lastly, almost all of my courses has a live or recorded webinar that has helped guide me through through the course or task; you can even ask questions during them or just listen the questions others have. My state (KY), will accept my degree and will allow me to get my teaching certificate when I graduate, and my state is extremely picky about what they will and will not accept.
I am truly sorry some of you have had a bad experience, I really am. I will just say, if you are wondering if you want to attend WGU, let me give you some quick tips so you don't get into something you don't like.
1)WGU is not easy. If you do not have the time to devote at the very least 16-20 hours a week towards studying, researching, and writing papers, go somewhere else. I will say though, I've managed to overwhelmingly pass my state teaching and content exams solely on what I've learned in my courses. I passed each Praxis exam on my first try; there were quite a few others in the testing room, who went to the local university, who were taking it for the 2nd and 3rd time. I feel I've been very prepared to become a highly qualified teacher.
2) If you're afraid to ask or seek out help, this isn't the place for you. I get stuck a lot trying to figure out a concept or how to complete a task; after I send an email to the course mentor, I either get a quick reply or we set up a phone meeting and he/she will walk me through. They're there to help you and are all too willing to assist.
3)When you're working independently, it's easy to procrastinate; however, you need to be motivated and self-disciplined enough to know when it's time to get back to work.
4)If you're still unsure, go to the WGU student forums: http://www.wgustudents.com/forum/ This forum was created by a student and not the university; you can read what we talk about and what we go through, without the university monitoring it. Feel free to ask questions; ask the students if they are able to get jobs with this degree, ask them if they are shunned by employers for attending WGU, and ask the alumni if they felt their work was "high school level work." Don't gauge your decision based on someone who attended for a semester or was denied before the enrollment process. There are people posting on the forum all the time asking questions, some decide to enroll, some decide its not for them. We're not going to lie to you just to get you to attend; we're mostly 30, 40, 50 year old career changers who will be very blunt with you about whether you're a good fit for this type of school or not. The last thing we want is for you to enroll, find out its not for, and then get on one of these review sites to complain about how horrible the school is.
One last thing, for those who feel this is a diploma mill school, just this week, 2 more governors (TN and MO), have stated in their state of the state address that they want or are getting WGU in their states. Google their state of the state addresses and read them for yourselves; I don't know of any governor who has ever stated his desire in such a public fashion to get a diploma mill school in their state.
Again, if you don't want to talk to an enrollment person just yet, go to the WGU student forum. We have nothing to gain by you enrolling,and, nothing to lose by you going somewhere else.