Western Governors University Reviews
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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!
Horrible school. Rude staff. IT idiots. Computer systems never work. Save yourself the time and money and stick with a regular school. The admissions is a joke, with no follow up and nothing but excuses. You would think with all the competition they would care more.
This school is a joke. They accused me of cheating on a paper and I called them on it asking for proof of receipt since they said I bought the paper and...........NOTHING! They couldn't provide anything and I was still punished with a six month suspension. They made the "hearing" in the middle of the afternoon when AKA online students work !!! Needless to say I got my money back and transferred out. Seems to be a theme from them, as others have said they push back your graduation date to get more money.
Not only was it a positive and rewarding experience to get my degree at WGU, they also offer great alumni services. My student mentor was great, the course mentors were helpful when I needed them, and my degree has allowed me to get a better job. It might be hard for some people to do education without hand holding but it was exactly what I needed. I was able to finish on one year and I learned a lot about my field, this is a place where you can learn as much as you want if you are willing to put the effort into it. Being able to fly through a few classes, with my current knowledge, was a huge relief. I'm trying to be partial in my review but it's hard to be when you are so excited. Because WGU also offers scholarships, one of which I received for $500 a term, I was able to finish my Bachelor's for under $5300 including all materials and fees. I intend to return for my Masters.
Nothing is wrong with WGU, and no I am not a "plant", whatever that means. I am married, pay my own bills, etc. and attended a 2 year tech school, but never graduated. I have been enrolled at WGU since 2013 and will be graduating in 2017. I had no problems with transferring my credits, even though only about 24 of them transferred out of maybe 46. I am enrolled in the BSIT program and have had about 3 degree plan changes, which isn't a big deal imo. Some courses were dropped and replaced by more relevant ones which I thought was a good thing. WGU is a self-study, self-paced online school where you must be responsible for your time! They have a low graduation rate because people can't handle taking care of themselves. You have to find motivation to work on your classes because there are no teachers to hold your hand. It is taking me the full 4 years to complete my degree, but that's not because I am slacking off, it's because I am a slow learner and try to understand everything before attempting the assessments. If you can find motivation on your own, and not waste your time or are not lazy, I would recommend WGU to you. If you need assistance every step of the way when it comes to learning, then please save yourself the trouble and go to a traditional college, which by the way is much, much, much more expensive. WGU terms are a total of $3035 every 6 months, and you get to add the typical amount of 12-16 "credit hours" worth of classes in each term, BUT if you finish all of your classes quickly, you are allowed to add more classes into your term without paying anything extra as long as you are able to complete them within that term. Many of the classes in the IT Security degree are based on certification exams, mostly CompTIA, and CISCO. Basically if you pass the certification exam then you pass the class. As for the general education classes and the other non-technical classes, you submit tasks (assignments) through a service called taskstream and you get graded based on a rubric that is presented to you for each assignment or objective assessment. There are no homework assignments by the way, only the final assignment and/or test. I have had no problems with task stream in the past, people tend to complain about how long it takes, but they don't give them a fair chance. I always received my results within 2-3 days. One other thing is that you keep in contact with WGU through a student mentor whom calls you every week when you're a new student through your first term, and then calls you every couple weeks depending on a schedule you set with your mentor. Many people complain about this as well, yet I have no clue why. Overall WGU is a great online college that is very affordable. I do recommend this school easily.
If you are wanting the bottom line, then here it is: WGU is a wonderful, progressive approach to higher education; but only for motivated students with related work experience. This concept is very important to understand if you are considering WGU. It's not a bad thing. It just means that WGU's approach caters to a specific type of student. If you have little/no experience in the field of your desired degree, then you may find WGU's competency approach to be difficult. If you are not good at organizing your time or keeping yourself on task, then you may not reap the cost-savings benefit of WGU's flat rate pricing. Personally, I had a great experience with WGU and received a wonderful education. My focus was in business - first with the BSBM program and then with the MBA program. My 6+ years working at various supervisory and project management levels certainly helped me to pull the courses' business concepts together. The coursework was challenging and I retained volumes of knowledge through the process. Sure, I had to commit 12+ hours per week to class work for a few years, but I kept myself on track and finished both programs far ahead of schedule.
I was able to cut off 9 months because my experience helped me to get through classes I already understood faster. The projects they make you do really prepare you to be a leader and advocate, I have gained so much experience and confidence in the research, project and community health role. One of my projects was used by my work to update a patient care policy. I have learned and gained so much from this program. The concepts align with the standards of magnate status hospitals. At home proctored testing, the online format, and support from course mentors made this program convenient for my lifestyle. Although, you must be extremely self motivated to study and stay on track.
WGU allowed me to obtain this degree with great flexibility regarding schedule. I could not have graduated from a program with hard deadlines due to my demanding job. I found course mentors to be variable, just like any other school. Some were terrific, others...meh. The content of courses is very similar to what my colleague got at a brick 'n mortar, high profile school here in Michigan, I am very grateful I don't have her loan! It is possible to pass without doing much reading, but I have learned this is true for non-clinical MSN's at other schools too.
I recommend WGU. The school is under rated, the business curriculum, and course work is up to date, and on par. It's not easy however, which probably accounts for the very low MBA graduation rate. Occasionally, a few technical snafu's pop up, but to anyone experienced in business online, they're manageable. I'm now pursuing a PhD.