Western Governors University Reviews
Student & Graduate Reviews (478)
I've been attending WGU since this past June (2010). My experience has been quite positive. When I first ran across WGU through a website, I was leery. But, I did my due diligence, and found the school to be worth trying.
Now, that my first term is almost over, I can say that I made a smart choice! I've already earned 15 competency units (credit hours) and am working on my last class to get 3 more before the second term begins for a total of 18 CU's!
My counselor and the rest of the staff our responsive and helpful whenever I need them. My counselor contacts me once a week religiously to make sure all my questions are answered and any concerns are met. I must admit I've had very little concerns. The only concern I had initially was the length of time it took them to disburse my financial aid. But, once I spoke to my counselor about it, the problem was immediately taken care of.
I can tell you this: Do your due diligence. Don't just read these reviews. They are helpful, but these reviews are subjective and shouldn't determine your final decision. If you look up almost any school review, you will find something negative on them as well. Since it's hard to take into account the messengers (students new to online classes who are having difficulties; students with weak study habits; discouraged students who give up at what they deem one annoying experience, etc.).
Not only did I check out review websites like these, but I sought out WGU graduates. It was easy to find them. I found some on Facebook and Youtube. Some even have their own blog sharing their WGU experiences. I asked about their experiences at the school, their job opportunities after graduation, and their overall opinion when they look back at past experience at WGU. One student told me he was accepted into law school in Ohio. Two managers from Volvo IT Corp and Labcorp told me that they would hire graduates from WGU, as they presently have WGU graduates employed with them now. I talked to two directors at one company who told me that they are getting their masters from WGU, and one of their managers is getting their undergrad. They all study together during lunch and after work. They love the school because it works with their lifestyle because they travel so much.
All I'm saying is research, research, research. Chat with graduates on Facebook. I even watched graduations and contacted those people who had videos of their commencement on Youtube.
I'm loving WGU, and plan on finishing up in 2012. They provide a quality online education and low tuition, while you complete your degree at your own pace.
Remember, do your due diligence and don't let review sites be your final determining factor.
I wish you the best! And if you decide to become a student at WGU, welcome!
I have a degree a BA in political science from Concordia University Irvine. I decided to go into a different field than Political Science and have worked in the field for 20 years as a production manager. Concordia was a brick and morter school. Now twenty years later I want to get a BS in Business, This is self directed, you have to be disciplined to complete this degree. A lot of my credits transfered, but I needed a lot more science related courses. This school is not for the meak and mild. You have to be self directed. This is the type of people I am looking for when hiring for positions at my company.
I would recomend this school for anyone. Anyway the company that I work for is Unilever Best Foods. If anyone has a WGU degree, I would like to interview you for positions that may be coming up at my company.
If you are going to apply for any of Western Governors University Educational Programs/Degrees then make sure you have Pre-Clinical placement and Demonstration Teaching placement already set-up because WGU is not very well recognized online University. I did not finished the K-8 BA because WGU could not place me for either.
As a working parent of 2 children, I had no option to attend traditional school - although I did earn an AA and BS in traditional schools. WGU is accredited and affordable.
Yes I found some material to be pointless but I found that in the traditional schools as well. I like working at my own pace -- I have over 15 yrs of work experience and that helped alot, especially because WGU requires ALOT of writing papers and essays.
I earned my MA in Educational Studies and had to write my thesis and receieved a great deal of help from my mentor and communities. THE HELP IS THERE if you seek it out!! Yes my last exam took me 4 times to pass but that was due to my lack of effort. You cant blame the school.
Are employers going crazy to hire me just because of WGU, no I dont think so. Many dont even know what WGU is or still think online is just "buying" your degree, however many with common sense know that online is a growing option and they are willing to look at WGU and see that they are legit! I am happy I enrolled and was able to complete my degree. Again, all these negative reviews are from people who are prepared for putting forth the effort that is needed. Online doesnt = easy no work degree.
There are some pros and cons to this college. The pros are the school is cheap, easy to work around, and overall worth it. On the whole I would recommend this to most people.
The only students that should avoide this college are Students with Disabilities. WGU ADA program is lacking. As a Student with Disabilities in writting and math I was very shocked that the ADA office is ran by staff members with no real backround in ADA matters. Most colleges disability services offices will be staff by actual counselors with degrees in phycology. This is not the case at WGU. It seems that they offer some in house training but that is it to the staff members who that pick to run the ADA office. Also ask any disability services office and they we tell you that their role is to advocate for the students, this is not the case here. The staff is unaware of federal laws and seem to make up their own laws as they come up with them. If you are a student with a major disability make sure before you attend that they will provide you with the accommodations you need in writing before you matriculate. This will save you some hardships down the road. Also the be aware that WGU is not willing to improve on accommodation once they have been given. They feel that they are set in stone. So make sure you get what you need the 1st time for all your classes during your current term and the ones that you have yet to take.
Overall, I'm glad I chose WGU. I began my degree program in September, 2008 and expect to finish by the end of October of this year.
First, the obvious - you have to have some discipline and a lot of patience. This isn't for everyone, just as the brick-and-mortar college wasn't for me.
Difficulty - There seems to be a broad range in difficulty across the different classes. Some seemed exactly right for college level. Others, such as their science, seemed well below what I expected. The materials they provided for study were aimed at a much higher level than the actual exam (which mostly seemed geared towards middle school age group). Others, such as one of the writing courses, seem to set the bar really low in terms of the required passing score. Still, most classes provide an adequate challenge. It's only a few of the basics that I found to be on the easy side.
Pacing - Go at your own pace, with a catch. You are likely to find, as I did, that your mentor is very cautious about letting you add courses or start a semester with more than 12 hours or so. Between my mentor's hesitance and my lack of full understanding of the limits placed on students, I didn't get much done the first semester. If I had been allowed to make more decisions about my own course load, I may have been able to finish a semester sooner. Nevertheless, you'll still have way more freedom than you would at a brick-and-mortar school. If I remember right, only one course (the capstone) has a prerequisite. Everything else can be taken in whatever order you see fit.
Classes - Every course has an excellent Course of Study, which recommends, in detail, how to approach the material. In most cases, they also provide an estimated amount of time needed for the course. Of course, your background will probably affect the amount of time you use versus what they recommend. For example, the science class (which has been split up since I took it) recommended 13 weeks. I took the test with zero preparation time and made a 93. Conversely, I took longer for my networks class because I had absolutely no experience and barely squeaked by.
Interaction - I can't say a lot about this. Every class has its own online community so you can have discussions with fellow students, post questions, etc. I very rarely used this option, preferring to work on my own, but the option is there. You'll have a mentor call every two weeks. These calls can be helpful, or they can be tedious, depending on what's going on at the time. Other than getting my schedule done and adding courses along the way, I found them largely unnecessary. But, I'm the stubborn type who prefers to learn on his own.
Speed - WGU has excellent turnaround time for scores (both for homework and exams). Certification exam results, of course, are quick no matter where you go, but I had the results of the last basic class I took by the time I got to my car after the exam. That's a huge improvement over the 3-4 days results for basic classes took when I first started at WGU. As stated, I'm almost done with my degree. Total time to completion should be about 26 months. I only took 13 hours my first semester, 28 in my second, 45 in my third, 22 this semester, and my final 13 hours will start in September. And I managed to do this while working a 40 hour a week job.
Closing - For me, this is what really sets WGU apart from other schools. I could not have accomplished so much in so little time at a traditional school.
I'm about to complete my 2nd term at WGU and have been very pleased. I work full time and I HAVE to have a full time income. WGU allows me to do this without sacrificing time with my family or my job. There is absolutely no way I could get my degree without WGU.
I've read a lot of reviews concerning the testing. "Tests don't reflect the course of study". My response is this: IT'S COMPENTENCY BASED! If you have any critical thinking skills whatsoever, you will be just fine.
The cut scores on a lot of the assessments are 53%! The tests are designed not to simply test you on memorizing the course of study. Instead, they are designed to make you actually think about what you have learned while going through the course of study, and then apply it when choosing an answer to a question.
I would definitely recommend this school to anyone looking to earn a degree. Two terms in, I am very happy with the experience.
My experience at Western Governors University was mostly positive. Like with anything, there are always things that can be improved but the school sends out a survey that allows students the opportunity to make suggestions on how to better things and I saw improvement from these surveys.
I just graduated with my BS in Marketing Management and i am very happy with what I learned, how I was able to learn it and the cost per semester.
I would recommend WGU to anyone looking for a degree program that allows self paced learning at an affordable cost.
If you're a teacher, you know that the only real way to move up on the salary scale is to get a master's degree, and where you get your master's degree doesn't really matter, as long as it's from an accredited institution.
WGU fills the bill as well as any bricks-and-mortar university, and for a lot less money. No, it's not a life-changing educational experience, but I plenty of friends and colleagues who have done traditional master's degrees, and their programs weren't that great either. It's just another hoop you need to jump through.
This has not been a perfect experience by any measure. I've had way too many "right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" experiences at WGU, probably because none of the people I deal with (course mentors, my own personal mentor, graders, etc.) actually work together.
I get the impression that they only lay eyes on each other once or twice a year, and they clearly don't spend a whole lot of time talking to each other on the phone or by email.
There's a lot of runaround--one person can tell you about this but not that, and the person who can tell you about that can't explain why another thing is happening, and nobody can tell you anything about why you didn't pass your assessment other than "go back to the course of study and review the reading."
For each course, there's a Course of Study with assignments to follow (many of which you never turn in, so if you can figure out which ones will actually be useful and which ones are busy work, you can save yourself a lot of time). There's also a set of required tasks in Taskstream, which is the work that actually gets graded, and I agree with other reviewers that the quality of the grading is hit-and-miss.
The Course of Study and the Taskstream assignments often don't align, probably because they're written by different people who didn't bother to talk to each other, so I have spent a fair amount of time trying to find out exactly what I'm supposed to do. Judging from the comments in the student communities, my experience is not uncommon.
Also, there's recently been a staff shake-up that seems to have resulted in lots of people being let go. In my case, my capstone chair is gone, which is unfortunate but would have been more of a problem if I'd been farther along in my research project and had to change chairs in the middle; one of my course mentors who was incapable of giving clear information is also gone, and good riddance!
This all sounds pretty negative, but I still recommend WGU for the master's in education program. It certainly hasn't been a perfect experience, but in the end, I will finish the program more quickly than I would at a traditional university, for a lot less money, and I've had a lot more flexibility than I would have had in a traditional program.
I had attended two years at WGU. My experience was horrible. My first mentor left and gave no goodbyes or reasons. My second mentor said the schools policies were not similiar to her own and she felt their intentions were not in the students best welfare.
I was ready to quit when I was reassigned a very nice mentor. She tried to help me get around the financial aide suspension, she felt it wasn't my fault with having two mentors and all. Anyway I was finally re-instated but- by the time that happened I lost semester time.
I was never able to recover, and I couldn't receive the help I needed. It is true they have tons of evaluators, if you submit something today and it fails wait a week and resubmit-I guarantee it will pass. Very one sided and bias school, do not waste your time or money..