Western Governors University Reviews
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My experience at Western Governor's was very positive. An on-line degree program is not for everyone. But, for myself, I was already working in the IT industry and am an adult learner. The information and experience I gained from my courses and capstone project had a direct impact on my real world work projects. My mentor was instrumental in keeping me on track and graduating on time. Without his help I may not have ever graduated. I graduated a month late. I already had an associates agree at a community college. My degree has helped my career and is worth every bit of effort I put in to it.
Having attended both traditional brick and mortar college to obtain my AS and now WGU for my BS I can say WGU does a great job of preparing students for the real world. At work I do not have the option to have someone walk me through problem solving. When I have a project or issue I have to find the answer quickly and put the information together in a package that will be easily understood and accepted. The is classes at WGU prepare students for this type of work. No one is going to hold your hand and tell you how it should be. The information is presented to you and it is up to you to decipher and interpret it. My degree has filled in the gaps of my experience and education and made me a much more rounded individual. I use some of my new skills on a daily basis. I highly recommend WGU to anyone who is motivated and disciplined.
After finishing my degree program in March of this year, and waiting to write a review of WGU after a few months, I can honestly give the closest to an objective review of my experience here I can. I found the almost the entire program to an experience that was frustrating and torturous! This university's program is basically for people who are working or, perhaps, not really ready for the full university experience. I'm a reasonably intelligent person and found this education with "training wheels" limited and stultifying. While in community college, I discovered that I had a knack for writing. Almost every paper I received after grading were marked with comments of: "well written", "good research", and "interesting perspective." I love writing so much that I even took three journalism classes and wrote for the school paper. That love of writing was nearly ruined by WGU and the inane writing style you must adopt to pass papers and classes. This is done because all papers are graded by a third party and not by any kind of instructor. The people who grade your paper are looking for key words and phrases and not the serious content of your paper. I found out that I had to devolve my writing style to the ninth grade high school level and fill my papers with bulleted points and simple sentences made to be scanned easily by some disinterested person sitting six states away from me. I call this "assembly line" writing and it very nearly bored me to tears. And then there's the reading, there is so much duplication, I wonder if the people who decide what you read has actually read what they want you to read. For more than one class I had to read as much as twenty chapters from two books to prepare for a test. I have no problem with reading, but when there are five overlapping chapters between the two books. I certainly would have gotten through the reading quicker if I were not reading several duplicated chapters of information presented slightly differently. Lastly, the people in the Financial Aid office are only slightly nicer SEPTA train conductor or the Einsatzgruppen!
Great staff who are there to help in any possible. It helps to be self-motivated but they motivate you as well. I loved my program & I really miss it after graduating.
Obtaining a BS in IT provided the open door to a federal job with the DoD. My performance at work and technical skills are much better than peers who graduated from highly ranked state and private brick/mortar universities. My salary more than doubled, and I've been promoted several times. My degree from WGU was 1/3 the cost of other schools I was looking at, and the online environment allowed me to work at my own pace.
In WGU a student will get out of the program only as much as they put in. I can work at my pace and achieve great things.
I just wanted to say that WGU has been a great experience for me. It has offered me a graduate program that is affordable and credited.I could never afford to get my MSN any other way, the cost will be twice as much at least. Yes, WGU is a lot of work. Yes, you will work on your own, but you have mentors and Capstone Evaluators who work with you and guide you along the way. You get exactly what you put into it. The program is very doable. It has helped me developed the ability to work independently. Yes, you will do a lot of writing, but if you follow the rubric for each course, you will succeed. I have finished my MSN in 13 months. I highly recommend WGU to everyone.
Currently I am in the BSN program and it's a total waste of time and money. The "course mentors" (teachers/instructors) are usually 20-30 something years old and have spent the majority of their short lives in degree programs with little to no work experience to have as a reference point. So far, it has been a disappointing experience dealing with a bunch of kids calling themselves "course mentors" that are masquerading as experienced RN's. I think I was expecting something much more out of this program than what was delivered. But since I'm already thousands of dollars in to this and no where else to go, I basically just need to hold my nose and finish this "program". The bigger issue is there is a real danger in the sense that most facilities are now buying in to the "requiring BSN's" nonsense. The danger is evident when these newly minted 20 something year old RN's with a "Masters" degree in nursing starts taking care of critical patients. I have witnessed more than one bad outcome from these young kids. The old proverb, knowledge does not equate to experience...........that applies here. It truly frightens me to know that this is the trend education is going. To have a bunch of kids teaching and they don't even have grey hair yet was laughable when I was in my 20's. When I was in my 20's and 30's you were selected by people who had a masters degree because they had truly mastered the field. When you received your masters degree it meant something to you because you had been recognized by other well respected people in the field as having matured and grown as an apprentice to have a skill set that was unique to a select few. With that skill set came a huge responsibility to your field and to the next generation. These young people have no idea of the impact this is having on the future of education and the next generation to come. When I see a these young people walking around hospitals with MSN on their name badge all I can do is shake my head and think of how cheap that word actually has become. With a computer, a pair of pajamas and money you to can become a "Master"
Like a lot of other aspects of life, a degree only matters when you don't have one. I was highly successful in the field of software development. At the peak of my career, I was earning over $21,000 per month. After I left school, I completed 2 years of a BSc in mathematics and computer science. Bored out of my mind, I dropped out to earn money. Earn money I did. I have worked at over 40 corporations worldwide. So why did I choose WGU? Well, at every interview I attended, I would have to overcompensate for not having completed a degree. In many instances I would beat out PhDs because I knew what the organisations wanted to accomplish and I would promise to do it in half the time they estimated for a project to be completed. I decided in 2005 that WGU made it possible for me to test out of all the examinations. At WGU, you are only required to show that you have mastered the competencies. There is no need to waste many hours at a brick and mortar institution. Being a software developer I chose to complete the degree in Computer Information Systems. I can tell you that the proctored assessments were not easy. Twice I had to retake assessments. The exams are set by non-WGU academic staff and graded externally. WGU is not for just anyone. You have to be exceptionally mature because the mentors are in general quite useless. If you are not able to learn independently and think critically, you will not do well at WGU. There is NO instruction. That's why it's so cost effective. This makes it very difficult for ordinary high school graduates to succeed at WGU. It is an institution targeted at mature learners. There is no hand holding of any kind. The mentors usually refer you to study materials and resources, but they are not qualified to give you any tutoring whatsoever. If you can't find information and study resources on your own, you will not succeed, because often the information given to you by the mentors is insufficient. Your level of English proficiency must be extremely high. WGU's entrance tests are not easy. I would recommend WGU to mature individuals. There may be the exceptional high school graduate who will succeed at WGU, but I have known lawyers, engineers and doctors, who have failed to complete their degrees at WGU. The real benefit is that you get to complete your degree as soon as you pass all the assessments and assignments. I do not think of WGU as a university, but rather as a para-academic body with a specific purpose of serving those in similar situations to mine. I am glad they are there! I would recommend WGU to any suitable candidate in a heartbeat. Do employers still express concerns over my degree status? Not any more. A degree only matters when you don't have one.
I am back in college after 20+ years. I attended college right out of high school, but wasn't sure the direction I wanted to go with my life, so took a long break. Now, with my experience as a substitute teacher, I decided to pursue a degree in education. I first completed my associate's degree at a local community college and then had plans to transfer to the university that they worked with. This is where the frustration began. This university was not helpful at all. I was on my own for scheduling as my advisor was not involved and did not seem interested in my goals. I was put into classes I didn't need or it was the wrong one. I was also not told about classes that were only available at certain times of the year. Very frustrating! I took both online and on campus classes through this school, but after 1 semester, I had enough and that is when I found Western Governor's University. Because of the problems with the university, a couple of classes did not transfer because they were wrong for my degree. I loved how WGU laid out my degree plan, class by class. I also liked how each class was taken individually instead of 4 or more classes going on a time. That was some different that I really enjoy. I can concentrate on one course and get through it. All of the classes are online... however, that doesn't mean I am on my own. There are so many resources available!! I have taken advantage of all of them and that really is the key. Each student has a "mentor" that calls every week. Now that I'm into it all, those morning calls are annoying, but I would rather have annoying contact than nothing at all (as was with the case with my last school). Each course has course mentors who are wonderful! There are usually 3-5 of them, so you can get a quick response. You can email or call and they will help you through any problem. The course mentors also offer webinars, cohorts, and even private sessions. The webinars are live or recorded depending on when you can make it. All of these options are just as good as any on campus instructor. I love that I can work at my own pace. At my previous schools, I would get bored waiting on the next assignment to be posted. The course mentors are not the ones that grade your performance based essays, but I find this to be good as different evaluators will grade you. This makes for a more real-world situation as you find what different people like. This can help you grow as a student. The only thing I don't like about this school, and I'm not sure how big of a deal it is, but there are no letter grades. All of the classes are pass or fail. I'm going into teaching and I did call DESE to speak to them about WGU to make sure everything was on the up and up. They gave it a thumbs up. Now, having said all of that, the type of person best suited for WGU is someone who is very organized and motivated. You can't procrastinate or get lazy about your course work. WGU makes it convenient for any schedule, but you still have to commit to it. You have to be pro-active and take charge of your studies. You have to be dedicated. Working in the field that interests you in some way, is also a big part of it. If you don't have that experience, WGU may be more difficult for you. You should also have prior college (classroom) experience. This would only help you be a better WGU student. College is the ticket to any degree. It's a process that you must go through, so finding the right college that fits your needs can make all the difference on whether you are able to complete your degree. Good luck to all and congratulations on pursuing your degree!!