Western Governors University Reviews
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I have been going to college on and off for the last 24 years. I have earned two A.A. degrees from the local community college, a B.S. in Business Management from WGU, a very recently a MBA Information Technology Management, also from WGU. I have had a lot of people ask me about my experience at WGU so I decided to write my official review. My quick answer to what I think about WGU is that it worked for me, and it worked for the current me. If I would have attempted this program in my early 20s I would have failed miserably! One of the main reasons WGU worked for me is that I could fit it in to my regular life. In several of my terms I wouldnt do any school work for a full month and then I would take a couple of days of work and I would be caught up again. That flexibility was important for me. I work full time and I have a family and going to a traditional college just wasnt going to work. I also like the competency based learning. This meant if I knew the subject matter I could just take a test and move on. This allowed me to finish my B.S. in two terms. My MBA did take me a full four terms to complete. Now, this does not mean WGU was easy! Classes that had subject matter that I did not know took a lot of work! I also felt that most of the curriculum was relevant. The instructional format was very comfortable for me. I dont need an instructor to lecture me for hours and hours about a subject matter. Im not going to learn that way. I always felt that I had plenty of learning options, from books and videos to chat rooms and course mentors. If I needed help, which was rare, it was always available. Its hard to review WGU without mentioning what a great value it is! I priced out an MBA from another well-known online college, WGU was less than half the cost! Lets face it, most of us are going to school to get a better job. For me that has worked out very well. I actually got the job I wanted while working on my MBA. I also have two additional job interviews lined up. At this point I have received no negative reactions to my online degree. Now WGU is not perfect. Your student mentor is the most important person for you at WGU, get one that fits you! If your student mention isn't clicking with you ask for another one. I had to do this once. If you are not exceptionally self-motivated, WGU may not be for you. You have to be willing to push yourself. I have read a lot of reviews about WGU and I find I gravitate towards the negative one. I find that most of the negative reviews are either self-inflicted issues or they are challenges that just about every school faces. One person spent a lot of time complaining about how they had to take classes that they didn't feel were relevant. As I said earlier, I found most of the school work to be relevant. Yes, I did take a couple of classes that have nothing to do with anything I am ever going to do. I actually asked around and everyone I know that has gone to college has taken classes like that. Someone else complained about how task stream grades papers. Yes, they are humans grading papers and those humans grade papers differently. For me this was generally not an issue. Someone else complained about how their mentor called them but didn't help them with the school work. That is not what the student mentors is there for. They are your portal into WGU, not an educational resource. Finally, someone else was complaining about grades and how they felt WGU students were C students at best. I will be honest, I did better in some classes than others. At the end of the day, no ones degree has his or her G.P.A. on it! So is WGU perfect? Nope! Is WGU for everyone? Nope! If you are thinking about going back to school, WGU might be just the right fit for you, just do your research first.
It took me 5 years including student teaching, to receive my degree and get licensed. I worked full time while doing this. I received a great education and had a wonderful experience. I had help and encouragement through out the whole process. Also, the cost was a fraction of what I would have paid at a live campus.
I am not impressed with this school. I told my mentor before I ever started classes that I had a learning disability in math that was diagnosed as a child. Nothing was done to work with me to pass the required finance class because I was told that I "already had a degree in Accounting, so [I] could obviously do it." Needless to say, I failed the final by 9 points and was going to be forced into humiliating sessions with the course mentor that would not help my disability. They try to force you into a schedule for the classes instead of letting you decide what you want to take and when, excluding classes with prerequisites. Initially I was excited at the idea of being able to speed through classes and test out instead of spending weeks or months on one class, but I really think they need to make some changes. This school also screwed my husband over while he was working on his masters degree. He turned in his assignments toward the end of the term and was NOT given the priority for grading that he was promised. The graders sat on the assignments for days, which caused a not passed status to be put on his record. This caused his employer to demand repayment of the tuition assistance they had provided. They claim to be a "customer centric" school, but don't really seem to care about their students... err customers.
WGU is an amazing school for a self starter especially if that person does not need very much assistance and is able to research and find answers. I had an awesome mentor (Micah Pappas) who was very genuine and really held me to my goals. The school offers the flexibility to do as much as you can handle and I was usually able to pick up another class or two before the end of the term. Picking up additional classes allowed me to finish my BS ahead of schedule. In the IT industry we often face the choice of pursuing a formal education (degree) or proven competency (certification). WGU is a competency based school so many of my classes require the student to pass a certification exam and that was how I was able to kill two birds with one stone. This school was a game changer for me and allowed me to beat out my peers with formal education and certification at the same time in half the time. Highly recommended for those working in the IT industry.
I'm reviewing the Masters in Nursing but I did also complete my BSN at Western Governors. (If I were reviewing the BSN program, I'd give 4 to 5 stars). I would recommend this school for your BSN. If you are considering your MSN, I would tell you to look elsewhere. I took a year to complete my Masters at WGU. Some of the courses were really difficult, others were extremely weak. My focus was Masters in Nursing Education but I do not feel at all prepared to call myself an educator after this program. Their Pathopharmacology course was a joke, and there was minimal work in the way of learning specifically about nursing education. I've seen reviews on the WGU Facebook page from nurses who are boasting that they finished in 3, or 6 months. There is no way that these people are truly getting a masters level education in this manner. If you want to just have MSN after your name, but don't care what else you do with your career, go here and save some $$. I would imagine (and hope) this school won't have it's accreditation forever at this rate. If you want to go on to a Post-Master NP program definitely don't go to WGU. Their PASS/FAIL way of grading is not well-received by any reputable programs. WGU advertises that a PASS is equal to a 3.0 GPA but when your transcripts are sent to another institution, that isn't made obvious to them and they will deny you. The same Pathopharm. course I mentioned earlier also will not be accepted (Thankfully, because it was terrible). I was accepted to one of the FNP programs that I applied to but I had to do a lot of leg work to make them understand WGU's grading system. Other school aren't even interested in hearing about it.
Great school for people who are self motivated and goal oriented. I have attended WGU for the past year and I have not had a single negative experience. Mentors are very responsive if help is requested and a proactive when the notice you are struggling with a course . The courses in the degree programs are comprehensive and challenging. I would, and have, recommended this school to my friends/family.
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.
This school was so much better than I expected. I loved how you actually had to prove you can apply the knowledge you learned. It was more rigorous than I expected but it made me a better teacher. My student mentor was always there to guide me through my degree plan and the course mentors helped me through my courses.
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.
Western Govenors University is an excellent school. It seemed designed for me in that I do not live near a University that offers an MBA and uprooting to be near one did not seem to me to be a financially viable option. The course of study is challenging and requires a commitment on the your part to complete. You will work with a student mentor that will call you regularly and ensure your progress. This student mentor will have a degree at least equivalent to the one you are seeking. We set weekly goals and the follow-up calls were to review progress toward these goals and set new goals for the next week. This worked well for me, but if you struggle with organization, there are tools available to help provide structure for those less organized with their time and commitments. Course mentors are available to help you through any difficulties you may experience in the course work. Course mentors are PhDs in the field they are teaching. I found them to be outstanding in every way, very knowledgeable, eager to help and very available. The school is not a paper mill, it does not accept everyone that applies, but if you have experience in your field and appropriate documentation, you should be fine. Someone with good experience in their chosen field may be able to advance rapidly through the degree program. Competence based education through online learning is genius in that it provides a high quality education at a reduced cost. Tuition at WGU is fixed with no hidden costs - including your books (provided online). You get six months to complete as much as possible, so acceleration is up to you. It is possible all student mentors are good at their jobs, but mine was particularly excellent. Always going the extra mile, he made arrangements for me to speak to course mentors, introducing me and providing background before I spoke to them and helped me navigate through the very robust learning platform. He also, gently and effectively, kept me on task. Coursework itself is quite excellent, provided by experienced educators, often from other schools who take time to teach at WGU. My courses included a class taught by a professor at UCLA, one from UNLV, another from UofU and my favorite class was taught by a BYU professor. There are two types of exams, Objective (question and answer exams), and Performance (you write a paper or complete a project). Objective exams are uniquely proctored online so there is no need to go to a testing center. The exam material is challenging and will thoroughly test your competence. My background in IT, finance, and accounting did help and may have provided me an edge in these exams, but my most difficult courses were Statistics, and the IT related courses. WGU provides excellent learning resources for research purposes and other skilled resources such as a writing center that provides great help for grammar and citations. I enjoyed my experience at WGU. I seem to enjoy learning more than I did years ago. The experience gave everything context and I saw the value of what I was learning immediately. It is a competitive program and I highly recommend it.