Western Governors University Reviews - Bachelor's in Special Education

3.79 out of 5 stars
(16 Reviews)
67% of 16 students said this degree improved their career prospects
81% of 16 students said they would recommend this program to others
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Student & Graduate Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Alyssa - 10/12/2020
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2021
"First off, this school is not everyone. If you are highly self-motivated and can set deadlines for yourself and stick to them, this is the school for you. If you struggle with that, I would suggest going to a more structured school with due dates. That said, I LOVE WGU! I love that I can take classes at my own pace. I love that I can log on to class when I want to and don't have to follow a set schedule. I can finish a class at 1am, 6am, 3pm or 10pm and there's no problem. I got my AS from a traditional brick & mortar school and thought it was fine, but it was hard to balance work and school. WGU has been great for me because I can work on it in-between customers and basically have permission from my manager to be paid to do school. Scholarships at WGU are practically non-existent (at least in my experience). They do offer some, but they are incredibly hard to come by, especially if you are under 25, even if you receive no financial support whatsoever from a living relative. It's "at your own pace" or competency-based, so it was awesome to be able to review a math concept one day, take the test and pass the next. Many of my generals transferred (29. I was a music major before, so some I knew wouldn't transfer). Because it's competency based, I could finish a class in two days, or I could take two months depending on how well I knew the material and how I felt about my learning. I LOVE that. Especially because that was my greatest frustration during traditional school. I would either get super bored or be struggling to keep up depending on the subject. At WGU, math for me was a breeze. SPED laws were something I really wanted to know and understand, so it took me 1-2 months. The Course Instructors are willing to go over any material you need more help with & some are even willing to give you memorization tips and tricks to help you get through the course faster with greater understanding. I know some people need more human interaction. MANY people already have been working in their field when they come to WGU, so the instructors are used to older learners and sometimes assume you already know what's up. This was a slight challenge to begin with as a couple would go off on applications most see in the field and I'd have to tell them I was a first-time, 20-year-old student that didn't have SPED experience. They definitely dumbed it down for me after that. I definitely called an instructor more than once for clarified instructions. Honestly, if you follow the procedures they give you to be successful, it works great. Mentors can be annoying and mine didn't seem to know who I was or what I was going into for a while which was super frustrating. You can set your call schedule for what you want after the first few months. My first semester I heard from my mentor each week. The second semester it was every other week. This is my third semester and I talk to my mentor on a "as needed" basis because she knows I'm independent. Observations were super nice to be able to visit a local school and see how classes are really run and to talk to people in the field with all of their experience. I was actually more excited to complete my degree after getting to do observations. The Field Placement people are AMAZING!! They were willing to work with me as I was moving and help me get DT placement nearby. The estimated graduation definitely changes according to how much time and effort you put into working on course material and tasks. Granted, everyone will be different. I've heard people that finish a class every two weeks. I'm NOT one of those. The average class time is usually 6 weeks. Mine usually varied from 3-8 weeks depending on the course. My first term was started June 1st 2019, so I took breaks to go on vacations, but was still able to complete 25 CUs. 2nd I got 23 done (took large breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas), 3rd I just finished 29 CU (Competency-based Units=Credits). The further I got into my degree, the easier and less time consuming it became. It started to be more applicable. I was originally told that I wouldn't graduate until November 2022. That was pretty frustrating to see, but watching the time shave off as I worked made it worth it. I will end up graduating in the same time frame as I would have in a brick and mortar school (May 2021), but I was able to take breaks whenever I wanted/needed, get the wedding planning done, work two full-time jobs, and still finish on time, so I'm happy. Plus, COVID-19 doesn't affect almost anything because it was already online to begin with!"
5.0 out of 5 stars
Doris - 12/17/2019
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2021
"I love WGU! I started my degree in education and transferred to the dual license for special education. The classes are hard. If you're looking for something easy, WGU is not the place for you. I've had 2 mentors (due to the degree change) and they've both been wonderful! The teachers are great! They are super helpful and so knowledgeable. I do not have any experience in teaching but with the classes I'm taking, I don't feel like I'm going to flounder. The mentors also have experience in teaching and are great for asking questions about their experience in the field which is wonderful. I hate when you have someone guiding you that has no experience. Don't let the bad reviews sway you to not go. It's a great school with great people. You're going to have to work though to pass your classes."
4.4 out of 5 stars
Angela Johnson - 9/15/2019
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2023
"Western Governors University is a special academic school. If you want to do something with your life this is the place to go. They have flexible schedules. And the best part is they are competency based. That means you spend your time learning what you don't know. Versus reviewing things you already have a handle on. It is not a school that holds you back. They want you to succeed. But, you have to want it even more."
4.9 out of 5 stars
Monique Valcourt - 8/7/2019
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2019
"I am so pleased with this school that I am not sure where I need to begin. Begin at the beginning right? in 2011 I began to look for a new school that offered a teaching degree in special education online. My choices were slim but I persisted and I found Western Governors University. I called them and started asking questions. I was assigned an application mentor. This person was amazing. They walked me through every single step to apply. They helped me transfer my credits from my old college and answered all the crazy questions that popped into my head, even the late night ones. Once I was accepted I met my degree mentor. A degree mentor is someone assigned to you for the entire duration of your degree. Above anything else that WGU did, this was the best and my most valuable and used asset. My first degree mentor was prompted to another department and I was assigned another mentor. The transition was smooth and my new mentor literally became my life coach. She lit a fire under my bum when I was dragging, she was always ready with encouragement, support, and she genuinely cared. When I moved to another state to finish my degree I was extremely overwhelmed and I took a break from WGU. The process to take a break and then begin again was smooth and tear-free. My mentor I had before was not able to be reassigned to me, but the new degree mentor I had was just as phenomenal. To this day I still talk to both of them and I cherish the friendship we have created! WGU also has multiple course instructors. I loved this concept because if I did not mesh with an instructor well, then I just spoke to another one. Course instructors are available any time and during my math courses I used them often. I truly think if I had not used the course mentors as much as I did then I would never have passed math."
3.7 out of 5 stars
Jeremy Stevens - 6/28/2019
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2018
"When I was in my mid-thirties, I wanted to do something different with my career, so I decided to study to be a teacher. I have a wife and kids, so that complicates such a decision. The first school I went to was a community college where I received an Associate of Science in Secondary Education. Of the seventy or so total credits I earned there, Western Governors University accepted forty-four of them as transfer credit. I looked at several different options before settling on WGU. I was looking for any reason at all to go to Austin Peay or TSU instead of WGU , in part because I had a hangup about an online-only school. I was worried that employers may not accept the degree or that it wouldn't be viewed the same as others. Ultimately, I got over that hangup when I realized that the school's accreditation and my licensure as a teacher really puts me on an even playing field with other new grads for the most part, no matter where they went to school. The cost of WGU and the ability to work at my own pace and on my own schedule were also very helpful. Once enrolled, I found that I like the WGU learning model. It's quite helpful for a self-starter who is motivated. My Special Education program requires 137 total credit hours (also known as competency units at WGU), and like I stated before, I transferred forty-four, so I completed ninety-three at WGU, and I finished those in two years and two months. So including my time in community college, I had a BA in Special Education in three years and six months. So how were my results? I graduated Friday, December 7, 2018. I started work Monday, December 10, as a special education teacher in an local elementary school, one of the two host schools I taught at during my student teaching. Both of them offered me a job so I had my choice of the two. WGU provided me the vehicle to earn my license to teach. And they provided me with the opportunity to spend time in my two host schools to show them that I am a capable teacher and employee. I just think it's more about the person than the school. It may be cliche, but I think a student will get out of WGU what the student puts into it. I learned a great deal and found myself in the position to get what I wanted, which was a teaching job right out of school. It's now June, and I'm starting WGU's Master of Arts in ELL program August 1. I'd like to complete it in a year. We'll see how that goes."
1.7 out of 5 stars
Lisa - 5/30/2019
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2019
"When I first started, I thought the school was great. My mentor was supportive and the course mentors were really helpful. Into my second year, things started to change and my experience with WGU seemed to get worse. My personal left to another position and I was assigned a new mentor. I didn't mind too much, but my mentors had withheld important information about state exams that I needed to take in order to complete a future course. My graduation was pushed back by six months because I did not complete the tests in time. Then came time for me to complete my last course and program and yet again I was assigned another new mentor, who did not seem to care about me. My last course is student-teaching, I was paired with a horrible host teacher, who from the beginning did not want to host a student-teacher. Halfway into my program, she decided to end the placement. I was told the process of terminating my placement would be simple and easy going. That has been far from the truth. They do not update you on anything, and everything you thought was going to happen, the opposite happened, with no warning. I have been given the run around and lied too. So much stress has been put on my shoulders due to their lack of support and knowledge. I was supposed to graduate this year, but now it will be next year(possibly later), as I have decided to transfer schools. If you are considering WGU for a teaching degree, I recommend finding a different school."
1.0 out of 5 stars
Karel - 4/12/2019
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2011
"This "college" is a joke. They will have MANY technical issues the day u try and take your final. It took me over 6 months to pass one class because of technical issues on thier side. To add to it, if u dont pass the class in their allotted amount of time they will charge you even when it's not your fault that you have not passed the class yet. The study material is not related to the finals as well. The "teachers" are a joke too. I was in a class for two months before being told that I was missing the correct study material. Apparently, the material posted for the class was wrong and the teacher had the correct guides, but I was never informed and only found out after failing the final and realizing that the questions did not even match what I was given. But don't worry, they still charged me to do a retake. So many bad things to say about this university that I could go on for weeks."
4.4 out of 5 stars
Dan - 8/31/2017
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2017
"Wgu is a great school to get a degree. Most people don't learn as much as a traditional brick and mortar school, but this school allowed me to work in my field for 3.5 years before I graduated. I am in my first year teaching, and I had 4 job offers after I graduated. I landed a job that checked off everything off my list!! During the last year of school I completed 21 credit hours in 2.5 months and the next semester I did 18 hours in 3 months. If you are a great test taker and a decent paper writer this school is for you. If not don't go! Once you figure out the system by all means exploit it and get it done. Overall I have very few complaints and if you have a chance request H. H. as you student mentor. HE IS AMAZING!!!!"
5.0 out of 5 stars
Kathi - 12/6/2016
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year: 2016
"I've been working as a teaching assistant in special education for 9 years. Finally decided to become a special education teacher. Since I didn't even have an Associate degree, I knew it would be a long road since I would need to get a bachelor degree as well as go through a credential program. I transferred my credits to WGU. I needed to complete 137 credit units to earn my bachelor degree which had the credential program wrapped inside. While working full time, I worked on my degree program in the evenings and during summer break at school. I was able to complete 47 credit units in each of my first two terms, and 43 credit units in my final term. At $3000 per 6 month term, I wanted to get as much out of each term as possible. I was fortunate enough to receive the "Excellence in Education" scholarship which paid $1000 per term towards my tuition. I was able to "fast track" my degree by using my extensive knowledge and experience to pass many classes quickly. Still, I had to write research papers, multiple lesson plans, case studies. I took praxis tests in special education and behavioral emotional difficulties as well as general education. I had to complete the California Teacher Performance Assessment as well as pass the CSET test for California. I had to study class videos and analyze teacher performances. I had to observe in classrooms for 60 hours. I had to do demonstration teaching under the supervision of not only a clinical supervisor, but the host teacher. I had my weekly student mentor phone calls which were amazing in terms of practical support as well as emotional support. When the chance to reduce the weekly mentor calls presented itself I declined, simply because I enjoyed having my own personal cheerleader/secretary who could keep me motivated on track, and organized. Any time an assignment was returned for corrections, the feedback was usually very clear and concise on what revisions needed to be made. Any time I was did not understand the expectations, an email to one of the course mentors cleared up any misunderstanding I had. It was a lot of hard work, I kid you not. The provided support kept me from getting overwhelmed, because it can be overwhelming. This week, I finish my student teaching and will be graduating shortly thereafter. I've already received several offers and inquiries about my availability to begin working in January. For me WGU was the only way to go, and I can't speak highly enough about the education and support I received."
5.0 out of 5 stars
J Griggs - 1/17/2014
Degree: Special Education
Graduation Year:
"I have been in the WGU teaching program for two full terms, with a goal of dual license in Special Ed and Elementary Ed. I LOVE the self-paced study and testing. I also love that you are not required a bunch of busy work like other online programs (things like: post in the discussion feed on three different student's introduction)<"
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