Western Governors University Reviews - Master's in EducationSee reviews of all programs at Western Governors University
I already had my BSN and always wanted to get my MSN to have more options in future. I decided to go with WGU because of mainly two reasons. First, it's competency based. Second, I knew I would commit myself to study one or two hours a day even after a long hard work day. To sum up, if you're a student who waits until the end of a semester, it's not the school for you. I worked full-time, studied 15-18 hours a week, and finished BSN to MSN-Education in 10.5 months. The main thing is to do the work every day! I have to say that the entire course is very, very writing intensive and you have to follow exact rubric instructions to do well. Don't worry because WGU has a wonderful support system as long as you're willing to do your part. Good luck on your journey!
I graduated in 2014 with my BAIS degree here and went right back to get my masters in learning and technology. This was by far the most rigorous college I attended and felt prepared for my current teaching profession. You have to be self motivated and push through. The papers that are done have to be perfect to be accepted as they are graded with a rubric that you cannot miss points on (some allow 3/4 points). I had to work for my degrees which I could not say about the other colleges I went to.
Overall, WGU is a great school that has the benefits of an "at your pace" class setting with flexibility and financially affordable degrees. My biggest complaint is the lack of rigor for most of the courses. With the requiring pass rate at 60% for the majority of the courses, and without a grade system to hold students accountable or push them to gain adequate knowledge pertaining to a course, it is easy to skate by in the classes. For some that may be seen as a benefit but for others that want to have trust in what other peers are gaining from classes (especially when those are learning nursing/medical fields), it seems lacking.
I really recommend this university. It offers an amazing curriculum that students can complete at their own pace, which is very convenient for students who have a job. Nobody tried to slow me down at any point, with hard word I was able to complete my degree in less time. Mentors are knowledgeable and eager to assist students. They offer webinars and cohorts to support students achieve their goal, graduation.
My experience has been positive, though I agree with other reviewers that WGU is not for everyone. College isn't for everyone, either, but if you are considering an online program it is probably important to note some of the differences between virtual and brick-and-mortar venues. Each has its pros and cons, many of which have been tallied in other posts so I won't repeat them. I would, however, like to add value to this thread by commenting on the nature of WGU's programs as being "competency-based." This is an important element and it took two master's degrees for me to really appreciate it. In 2013, I began and completed an MSN. I did this in one semester by reading, writing, taking tests, and studying 8 to 12 hours most days. I don't recommend this, as it's fairly obsessive, exhausting, and has side effects like ending personal relationships. My point being that it can be done, but it takes a lot of focus, self-motivation, and established competencies in the field of study. After completing my MSN, I began an MBA program. I no longer had 8 or more hours a day to devote to school, but I still put in the recommended 15 to 20 hours a week. It has taken me the full two years to complete the MBA on this schedule, but my background and competencies were in patient care and not business... so this makes sense. Having completed an associates, two bachelors, and a clinical doctorate at brick-and-mortar schools, and now two masters degrees online, I will say that I consider the online venue slightly superior. The education seems equivalent and I don't have to travel or circle for parking. You do indeed get out of it what you put in, but ask yourself what you want out of a degree. If you intend to network, then brick-and-mortar may be better with Ivy league being ideal. If you just want knowledge, then the Internet is likely all you need. I will also say that WGU, while excellent, has all the bureaucracy of any other university. That being said, I would absolutely recommend it if you have the time, motivation, and skill set to succeed.
I completed WGU's Teacher Preparation Program as the university was becoming a state university in Indiana, and then re-enrolled in the MS Curriculum & Instruction program in 2011. After having attended traditional universities, I found the freedom from rigid schedules to be incredibly refreshing. As states in other reviews, many courses are made up of a testing portion and a series of essays called "tasks". As with any coursework, you will get out what you put into the program. I found the structure and coursework to be as engaging and and informative as any previous instruction that I had received at two traditional universities beforehand. My key to success at WGU was that I was able to continue at my current job, have time for my family, and still work toward my degree. Another key benefit of WGU is the ability to work at your own pace. Some weeks you may have a lot of time to devote to studies, while others you may have no time at all. At WGU, you can still achieve your goal as long as you complete all of your coursework within the assigned six month term. If you finish early, it is easy to open a new class and work ahead! In order to keep students motivated, WGU utilizes course mentors and student mentors to maintain contact with students. Mentors create "communities", which are essentially chat rooms for students to communicate and help each other work through problems. Mentors will also provide insight as needed on the chatrooms, so help is never more than a few clicks away. Overall, if I had it all to do over again, I would have saved my money and attended WGU from the beginning. Cons: The only real problem that I ran into at WGU was that there isn't a lot of guidance at the end of the program. For example, my bachelor's coursework culminated in a student teaching capstone. Although I knew it was coming up, and I asked my mentor several times for information, it wasn't brought to my attention that I would need to complete all classes AND have all paperwork from an assigned school 8 months in advance until only 2 weeks before the deadline! WGU did work with me, and everything turned out fine. However, all could have been avoided with a little more transparency. I had a similar experience during my master's program when working on my master's thesis. I completed several classes ahead of time so that I could spend the final semester working on nothing but the thesis. I spoke with my mentor several times about my plan. He approved. When it came to my final semester, however, I received a letter stating that I would not receive full time status. It meant I would have to pay the tuition out of pocket. It wasn't a big deal because we had money set aside, but it could have been catastrophic if we didn't. Again, some forethought by any of the mentors could have prevented a stressful situation. Although I was upset at the time that these events occurred, I must say that I was contacted by the university on both occasions. An administrator took the time to make sure that he understood my situation, and I received a series of emails and phone calls explaining how the university was improving the student experience based on my communications. Try finding that type of student service at your traditional institution.