Western Governors University Reviews
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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!
First, let me say that I am a real person who is attending WGU for my MBA. I live in Southwest Georgia, and I am working as a librarian. I am from Florida and I attended Florida State University for my Bachelor and Masters in Library Science. I graduated with my Masters in Library Science from Florida State University in 2007. I was able to obtain a professional librarian position with that masters degree. However, over the years I have thought about changing professions and getting an MBA. I do not make a lot of money, so I needed to find a program that would offer me the best bang for my buck so to speak. Last year I began in earnest searching for a reputable program that would not break the bank. My criteria consisted of a Regionally Accredited program that would offer me the option to transfer credits for a doctorate. I also offer prefer a non-profit over a for profit university. I love the history of WGU how it was founded by 19 Governors, which for me gives it more credibility. I did not have a lot of other options as far as going on campus for a traditional MBA. With all of that being said, I love everything about WGU. I love how the textbooks and assigned readings are available to me whenever I log in. I do NOT have to go out and purchase textbooks and then carry them around. I really love how my exams were proctored and I had to show my ID and have a professional proctor watch me as I took an exam. I have completed the ten required exams and I am now working on my Capstone. I have a great experience at WGU. My group that I am working with for the Capstone are three very nice professional ladies, and we all get along and we work together very well. My student mentor does call me each week to check in on me. I know for some people that might be an annoyance, but for me I enjoy it. It provides me an opportunity to discuss how I am doing and get her perspective. Overall, I am completely pleased with WGU. If I had to make my decision over again without any hesitation I would choose WGU for my MBA. Now, beware that getting an online degree from an exclusively online or virtual university will carry some stigma to some people. Some people may not respect your degree, but you will certainly be able to use it many opportunities in my experience. My coworker in IT is going to WGU for his MBA and he likewise is very happy with the curriculum and experience so far. I am now looking at online doctoral programs in Business Administration and I have had no problems with anyone accepting an MBA from WGU. When I started the MBA at WGU I wanted to learn more about business and I wanted a degree that would be relevant and enable me to change careers. I am finishing up my Capstone and while I have not actually changed careers, from what I have learned I can say it has met my expectations. I have learned a lot about business, which I know will serve me well as I begin my next chapter of earning an online doctorate, PhD, in Business Administration. Everyone has a different set of circumstances, so what works for one person does not work for another. Some people may not be a good fit for an online learning environment. You have to be self disciplined and you have to be self motivated. If you are and you keep your eyes focused on your goal obtaining an MBA or any other degree from WGU is very realistic. I definitely recommend giving WGU a chance it is a great university!