Western Governors University Reviews
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This program has great potential, however please make sure you get a mentor that communicates with you. Mine had me on the wrong version of a test twice and when it was realized the university did not give me extra retakes for the exam. She also failed to mention the school's policy on how many times you can attempt a test despite my asking her. Then when I called to withdrawal from the university because of the situation, she told me I would get a refund, but was mistaken about the policy and when I called in to get my refund from the school I was told that "she knew better than that" and "couldn't have told me that". This came out to around $600. As long as you don't trust anyone at the school and look up all of the information yourself, you will probably be fine, but don't expect to get good use of your money by communicating with anyone at the university. Also, while they offer many cohorts and webinars, their harder courses don't offer any supplemental help aside from the text, so make sure to be good at self teaching yourself for an exam that has very vague parameters on what to study. I highly recommend you switch mentors if you have the mentor E.W. as she caused me to have a very bad experience at this university.
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.
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.