Western Governors University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (543)
I need to start off by saying that I did not end up graduating from WGU. I decided to return to a local university and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. I thought I would give a review of my WGU based on my experience. When I decided to get a teaching degree, I needed something to allow me to continue working (substitute teacher). I have small children and a busy lifestyle. I earned my Associate's Degree through a local community college and it was mainly online with a couple of classes on campus. It was hard to finish up a day of subbing and rush (30 minutes) to campus for classes until late in the evening. When I saw WGU, I was interested in the convenience. Here is my personal experience: WGU is set up on 6 month terms. Basically, however many classes you can finish in that time frame is up to you. You pay the same whether you complete 1 class or 30 classes. I loved this idea because I am very responsible, self-motivated, and a hard worker. I submitted my transcripts, filled out all of the required paperwork, and was given my degree plan for Interdisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education). The local university had me graduating in May of 2014 where WGU had my estimated graduating date of May 2015. I didn't like the extra time, but thought I would be able to able to work hard and finish sooner. I had 16 classes needed at my local university and 24 through WGU. I went ahead and signed up with WGU. My mentor was to call at 6 AM, which was not good for me, but I made it work. I did not get much out of our conversations. If I had a question, she would tell me someone else to call. It felt like a waste of time. The course mentors seemed to know their stuff and they would offer webinars and recordings that felt like a class, but more times than not, these were scheduled at difficult times for me. The instructors gave written and verbal information. There was a lot of technical difficulty making it hard to call in to the webinars or listen/talk over the computer. Many times we had to type out our conversation, which isn't a problem for me since I'm a good typist, but this is something that many struggled with and ended up not participating much. There are two different types of classes. Some classes require that you study the information using the webinars, online text and other resources, and then take a multiple choice test at the end. You do have the opportunity to take a practice test to see if you are ready, but I never found these practice tests to be very helfpul as the material did not seem to be consistent. I did feel like the practice tests were harder, including more specific details. The ending test seemed more generalized and easier. You will need a WGU webcam and sign into a location that will monitor you while you take this test. You will be required to show them the room you are in, your computer, all around your desk area, etc. The other type of class requires a written research paper. This is turned in and evaluated by separate instructors who you have not been involved with while taking the class. If there is a problem, they will send it back for you to correct. I only had one sent back and it was pretty vague as to what needed attention. I was told the person who evaluates your paper can be different and is totally random. You may get someone who isn't picky about certain aspects, but the next time they might be. Not consistent grading. I think I went through the first couple of classes in less than a week, so I was moving quickly. A couple of months into my first term, my degree plan changed. I just logged in one day to see it. I immediately called and was told that they put me into the Special Education degree program as it was just a couple more classes and would make for better opportunities for me when I graduated. This was not discussed with me at all. The "couple more classes" ended up being 9 more, making a list of 33 classes and pushing my estimated graduation date back until May of 2017. The classes were lined up in such a way that the new ones were toward the top of the list of classes I needed to take next. I could not get any answers on this and it became very frustrating. I was locked out of the courses I wanted to take and could only move forward with the top few that were posted for that term. These were classes that were added for the "Special Education" plan. Over a week went by with no answer and I finally just picked a class that I felt would contain the best information for me. A couple of days after starting the class, I got a return call from someone at WGU who was trying to help me get it figured out. But they were still checking into it. I was so frustrated. I kept calling and it took a month to get that straightened out. Once they did though, my old degree plan list of classes was locked. It took them several more days to get me back on track and working on my classes. The pass/fail grade concerned me from the beginning, but I was assured that school districts were on board with the idea and that WGU offered a clear explanation that seemed as though passed classes were more than above average work. Be careful with this as I was finding out school districts may not like this. Many applications specifically ask for GPAs. There are a couple of required tests that each state requires their teachers to pass in order to obtain certification. WGU is based out of Utah, but I do not live in Utah. There was a lot of conflicting information regarding which test/s I needed to take. I was told that I needed to take all tests required for the state of Utah and then transfer to my state. I was then told I needed to take the tests required in my state. I was also told I needed to take past tests, even if not required by my state. I was told I needed to take both Utah and my state tests. It was very confusing. I called the department of education and confirmed what I needed, but WGU said they were not correct. Ended up I only needed to take 2 tests... one during/before I entered into the teaching program, and the major content exam for my state. WGU was wrong and misleading over this. Had I listened to them, I would have taken and spent money on tests I didn't need. I think WGU has a great concept, but has a lot of things to work out before I feel it is a good option for those seeking a teaching degree. Working online through all of the classes is convenient, but even with my experience in the classroom, I don't see how anyone could get the same knowledge from an online course as they could from a physical classroom environment. After my first term with WGU I realized this and went back to the university. This wasn't the only reason I made this decision, but it was just another factor for me. Although I am self-motivated, I felt all alone. I guess for some that is ok, but I enjoy the interaction with others... that is why I want to be a teacher! I enjoy the hands-on learning. I enjoy the experiences that being in a class of other students offers. All of that is just not possible with an online class. I was getting the facts/information, but there is SOOO much more to be a good teacher than that. WGU might be well suited for those going into other areas, but I feel for education majors, it doesn't offer what the student needs to be the best teacher they can be. I was also disappointed that most of the classes I took at WGU did not transfer. I left WGU and went back to the university. I graduated with my BSEd and have a job lined up. I am confident that my experiences at the university gave me far more of what I needed to be successful. The reasons I liked WGU: * Convenient * Can work at my own pace * Easy * Price seemed lower/comparable What I did not like about WGU: * Inconvenient weekly phone call each week * Lack of effective communication * Course work did not seem challenging * Missing out on physical classroom experiences for my degree - did not feel it was preparing me to be a teacher in a classroom * Felt they delayed my work on purpose to slow me down * Added/changed my schedule without discussing it with me * Ultimately was going to end up costing more in the long run * Did not offer GPA * Lack of knowledge over correct certification requirements/tests * Repetitive classes * Many classes did not transfer * Began to doubt WGU and did not have confidence in my direction with them This is just my personal experience. A lot of factors could be different with others changing their experience. I think it matters which program you are seeking, the mentor/s you get, and the speed at which you complete the courses. I hope this review helps.
I've finished my BA in Information Technology from WGU. My entire time at WGU was worth every dollar spent. I can understand why some students might not be happy with WGU competency base program since WGU is heavily weighed on independent learning and self-study. With that being said, if you don't have the motivation to push though; this school may not be for you. However, if you're ambitious, then this school is an excellent choice. The course professors (mentors) at WGU are terrific, they are extremely knowledgeable and easily accessible. The ability to speak with a professor who specializes in the subject you're learning is an enormous benefit. I have learned so much from my one-on-one calls with my professors that I feel as though our conversations alone have helped me grow into a better person. Overall, great school at an affordable cost that fosters a strong learning environment!
They were constantly changing requirements as I went. I had a situation where I was working on a paper for weeks that suddenly changed it to an exam. I was back at square one and they did nothing to compensate all of the time and and money I spent for their changed mind. Things like this happened constantly throughout my program. Then when I needed help from course mentors, they knew nothing about the overall material or tests. The mentors don't know what is on the tests at all so they were zero help in actually guiding specific study. They also don't have any say in the material or make up of the class. What is the point of having a course mentor? Basically, it can be done but you're pretty much on your own. I finished in a year and a half for a good price overall, but with no support from the institution itself, the staff or faculty. I was constantly submitting complaints about big issues within the program that were never addressed at all. Overall extremely disappointed.
I started WGU's Management and Leadership masters program because I knew that I would need more schooling eventually to further my career. It was rocky with my mentor in the beginning because unlike the mentors of some of the reviewers here, my mentor pushed for me to get things done too quickly. I ended up resolving the issues and it has been fine ever since. WGU is a very self-motivated school and requires you to push yourself in order to get through the content. This is obviously not for everyone, but I actually really enjoy it. I am currently finishing up the third semester of my program and it has already helped me to improve my skills as a supervisor/manager. Everything is very applicable and useful, which is nice. Whenever I study, I usually am able to apply it into my situation. The difficulty of the program is not extremely high. This could also be because I study a lot on the topic during my off time. I wouldn't expect to coast through all of the classes though. They are rather challenging and push you to actually know the content instead of memorizing vocabulary, which is where I believe most people are frustrated. College is not meant to be easy and you are supposed to be challenged. I haven't had a lot of problems with the exams or projects. The grading can be subjective from time to time but that is because of human error, which is to be found in any situation. I really like the affordability of the tuition. I have a newborn and live in a costly area (San Diego), so being able to attend school at a reasonable price is amazing. Overall, WGU has been perfect for what I need. It isn't going to be Harvard, but then again, the price tag reflects that.
I love WGU! WGU is a non-profit university. They care about QUALITY education, not making money. They ensure you know the material forward and backward. There is no chance of cheating during testing which further displays the integrity and concern on a quality education. I love that I have been able to work at my own pace. No every student who applies will be accepted because they want to make sure WGU is a good fit for you.
I transferred out to pay higher tuition due to the lack of support and clarification received from Course Mentors, Student Mentors, and management. You will be fine as long as you keep your head down, and avoid noticing any of their many inconsistencies in modules.
I am one year of two years into my BSN degree through WGU. While I agree there are courses they could have accepted (i.e.: Nutrition) from my Diploma Nursing program, I was pretty happy to receive the credit I did, especially since I haven't been to school since 1984! I have a nurse co-worker who finished the two year program in 5 months! She works and has two small children. All the comments about WGU holding up the progress of the student can be challenged by the example of my friend. I appreciate the relationship I have established with my mentor. I do not mind the weekly calls. She is supportive and encouraging. I just finished my second semester 2.5 months early and am going to enjoy the summer with my family, especially my 18 year old daughter before she heads off to college. I love pacing myself to give me this opportunity! And there is nothing to complain about, in regard to costs. Yes, it is a very self-motivated program. I spend a ton of hours studying each week! Some of the activities are a lot of busy work, I will agree. The course mentors have been less beneficial for me, but I don't contact them unless I need them. I would encourage WGU to require the entire course site to be up-to-date for each student. I have found opportunities for WGU course mentors to eliminate old information which is no longer applicable. Proctor U does need to offer to "turn on" the items they "shut off" on my computer before disconnecting. But I have not had any issues with my computer after an assessment. I just have to remind them, each time. There are glitches...but in talking with my mentor, I am able to resolve issues. My experience with the IT employees has been very helpful. I have not had but a couple of issues with getting on the site...but what computer system doesn't have that issue at times? I have never had any of my tasks or papers sent back to me to improve or correct. And when I pass my assessments, my family and mentor are there to say, "hurray!"
I received all the support I needed from my mentors to help me succeed in this program. Parts of it were really challenging, but I learned a lot of hands-on community health, leadership and communication skills. I feel more prepared as a professional nurse after completing this program, it was a very valuable experience. I think you must have an internal drive, a lot of self-motivation to complete this program. There are resources to contact course mentors and other students, but the responsibility lies with you to work hard and stay motivated to complete this program. There is a lot of reading and papers, but also real world projects that give you hands on experience.
I did not graduate from WGU- after a year and a half of blood, sweat, tears, and total frustration in their Bachelor of Arts program for Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8), I decided to transfer to another university. I finished my associate degree with another online university and went to WGU for my bachelor's. From the outside, WGU's competency-based program and cheap tuition seems ideal. Trust me, it's not. Start with the fact that WGU does almost nothing through email. It's all phone calls, weekly phone calls with multiple people. If you need help from a "course mentor" (the expert to help you pass your class) it has to be done through a phone call. You are required to have weekly phone calls with your "student mentor," AKA academic advisor, as well. If you miss these phone calls or just cancel a couple times, you're automatically put on probation. Miss 3 phone calls and they'll kick you out. As a working mother of four with zero free time, these required phone calls became the bane of my existence. Add to that the fact that WGU operates on their own time, not yours. Zero urgency when you're in a hurry to graduate. I wasn't even allowed to technically start my classes until 9 days into my first term because I was required to have a special phone call with my student mentor, even though I'd completed enrollment and set my start date months prior. And the classes themselves are ludicrous. Don't expect to learn anything. You have the occasional "task" (or multiple tasks) that you must complete to pass a class. Submit the tasks and a couple days later you'll get them back graded- it's pass or fail, nothing else. Sometimes I had tasks sent back for something as simple as an incorrect title at the top of the page, as if that was enough to completely derail the rest of the paper. If you're unlucky enough to get an "objective assessment" class (aka a class you pass by testing out), you study your digital textbook and the "course of study" religiously, then take a pre-assessment that has nothing to do with what you just studied. If you pass, it's because of prior knowledge, not because of anything WGU taught you. The teacher licensure program is a joke. None of the other programs I looked into required you to get professional liability insurance just for your observation hours, but WGU does. They also require you to submit a resume just to get approval to start your observation hours, even when you already have approval from a school to complete your hours there, and the resume will get sent back to you for things like..."YOUR REFERENCES NEED EMAIL ADDRESSES!" Isn't including someone's email address on your resume a personal choice? Oh, I was also reprimanded for once jokingly saying to my student mentor that I was willing to "bust my a-**" working on my next class. She threatened to withhold her "recommendation" for my graduation because I was using foul language. My entire WGU experience was a nightmare. I walked into it blindly, assuming that all schools were as honest and upstanding as my previous university. I was wrong. Stay far, far away from this one.
Overall, WGU is a great educational option for individuals who are self-motivated. If you need someone to constantly harp on you to get stuff done, this may not be the best choice for you. When it comes to instruction the Course Materials and Course aids are extremely helpful resources, and most (notice I said "most" not "all") of the Course Mentors are extremely helpful individuals. That being said, if you struggle with teaching yourself (by that I mean reading the material and doing the work independently without it being required to pass, pick a different school). I chose WGU because of the cost of attendance. Flat rate tuition = BIG SAVINGS if you are motivated. For example last term (aka:semester) I completed 31 competency units (aka:credit hours) for the same less than the current COA for 12 hours and my local university. The Financial Aid office is the best I have EVER come into contact with. I sent them an email today and less than 2 hours later, I had an answer and a solution! There is never a bs hoop to jump through. Student Mentor - I have heard horror stories of terrible student mentors here and honestly I don't know whether the reviewers who wrote said horror stories are entitled and incompetent or telling the truth, either way: there is a solution: contact Student Services and ask for a different mentor if you are unhappy with yours. All that said: I absolutely LOVE my mentor, she is motivational without nagging and very, very understanding and encouraging when I fail to meet a goal or deadline. There is never a negative response to any excuse I have. I am so thankful for her. During your first term, you are required to speak to your mentor by phone every week, but these are scheduled for the same day of the week and time of day each week so it is easy to find something that works for your schedule and after the first term, the calls are bi-weekly but you can request to remain on weekly if you want to. Competency-based programs: Pros: if you have work experience or knowledge of a course (i.e. Employment Law) then you can take a Pre-Assessment (think of it like the quiz some professors give at the start of the semester and end of semester to gauge where you are at or what you have learned) IF you pass the Pre-Assessment you can take the Assessment and if you pass that you get credit for the class, without doing any actual work! It helps when you know material and don't want to waste time doing stuff you already know how to do. Pass/No Pass - you either pass or you don't. When you pass you are guaranteed a "3.0 or higher" GPA on your transcript. If you don't pass even by just 1 point, you typically have to conference with a Course Mentor (aka Professor), jump through a few hoops (think extra credit work) and re-take the Final. You get 3 free chances to take a final and pass without it affecting your GPA, if you need to take a final a fourth time, then you will be required to pay a re-take fee of $60. Cons: The online learning can be especially difficult with regard to mathematic courses, i.e. Managerial Accounting and Finance. I am naturally, not a math person (I also read a study where scientific research has identified that people who are good at math are born that way and it doesn't get easier with practice for those not born that way - so I can confidently say that no matter how hard I try I will have a very hard time with math, forever). I had a very very very very hard time teaching myself Managerial Accounting and Finance, in fact, as I type this they are the only 2 courses standing between me and a BS- Business, HR Management. Long term, I would like to go to Law School, I have NOT been told that WGUs grading structure will be an admissions issue if it is, I will update this posting. I recommend WGU to EVERYONE I know because it is affordable and truly the best option for parents and/or full-time employees. I will say this: at one point during my WGU experience I was enrolled full time at WGU, had 3 children under the age of 6 and was working a full time job and 2 part time jobs. That was the same term I completed 31 hours in, so if you have an excuse, forget it - ANYONE can make their education a priority. I don't have time is not an excuse, we all have the same 168 hours in a week, you had the time, you just didn't make it a priority. Make school a priority and save money with WGU!