Western Governors University Reviews
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I chose WGU because I hated the four year university experience. Nothing makes me crazier than redundancy, and BS. You will get both during your time with WGU, just not as much as you do at a state university. My first major irritation is that they ask you to have a call with a mentor weekly or bi-weekly. This is a waste of time. The conversation usually consists of "How are you?" and "What are your goals this week?". Not helpful. Also, you are on your mentor's time. If you miss a call they will threaten to start the process of withdrawing you. The mentors are only available during the work day and my mentor usually called about 15 minutes late which caused a lot of problems. My mentor also told me at one point that I needed to score ten points above the cut score on the pretest to move on in a class. This was not university policy and kept me from completing a course that semester. This semester I completed 5 tasks for one class and they sent an assignment back to me one day after the cut off over a very minor grammatical error. This again caused me to not pass a class this semester. I hate to call it a scam, but it does feel like they try to prolong your experience. Overall the content of the classes is solid, but if you need further instruction from a course mentor do not hold your breath. I just need a piece of paper that says I completed a four year degree at an accredited university, and this will provide it. I do feel like I have learned a lot, but it was all information that you have to go find independently. You will have to jump through a lot of hoops to finish this program which is not different from any other school. At least I can work at my own pace on my own schedule, and the "professor" can't see me roll my eyes on the other side of the computer at unnecessary tasks.
They are continuosly finding ways to do two things to generate more revenue- 1) They cause delays and don't hold their staff accountable for these delays. 2) Every few months they add on classes that are now required for the same degree. I've looked at many other programs and have found some that are definitely more reasonable as far as the curriculum goes. Thankfully they're starting to get some serious competition out there. I've been an RN for 22 years and when I first looked into WGU's RN-BSN program it truly was a great deal. Unfortunately 2 1/2 years later and not so much. Not even close actually. They add on clasess approximately every six months to the degree plan. I'm actually now having to take six additional classes that weren't required for the degree in 2011. Arts and Humanities has NOTHING to do with my field of work yet I need to take two courses in this subject. More hysterical is during enrollment they demanded that my previously taken "Human Growth and Development" class wasn't good enough to transfer in and that I'd be required to take it with them. Then I get to my first mentor call to find out I'm not enrolled in Human Growth and Development. Why I ask? "Because we don't offer it". REALLY? Instead they gave me Behavioral Science which is a compilation of Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology- Nowhere close to H,G &D. And the kicker- "Too bad for you. There's nothing you can do about it now". I doubt I can stand this school for more than the semester I now have to complete. Hoping their competition steps it up faster because WGU's reign will definitely come to an end (at least in my field)
Let me just start by saying that I did receive my masters degree in three 6 month sessions ,I have seen reviews that state WGU is a " scam" it certainly is not a scam in that I did receive my intended masters degree which qualified me for a raise. The area of the University that I found to be sketchy was the quality of the teaching. There basically was not any instruction or a course mentor to interact or ask questions. Any query to expand on topics would result in a very general email to just refer to the course online materials. I found much of the information I needed to pass tasks by googling topics and seeing what came up. I also found You - Tube a great resource, which does not speak well to the level of instruction from WGU. I began referring to the University to my friends and family as Western Google University. Just to share a personal experience I was having difficulty passing a task that involved statical analysis. The course mentor did finally contact me but only after my term ended requiring me to start the course all over again. The course mentor told me that my paper was not passing because I had quantitative data that she did not fully understand because she was more comfortable with qualitative data. If I was going to pass the course I would have to change my entire data collection method to qualitative. For this course the instructor should be familiar with all types of data analysis so that student " tasks " can be properly graded. I also found it concerning that many of the courses are graded by Taskstream, not course instructors ( according to taskstream ) And finally, after writing my huge Masters Thesis and presenting what I felt was a wonderful power point to my Capstone Mentor I was simply thanked for my time and the online conference was disconnected, very anticlimactic - no comments - questions anything. Maybe it sucked, wouldn't know because after turning in a 100 page masters thesis I get a simple " passed" on my taskstream account. Would it be so hard write " nice job", "very original" or "this is the worst Capstone we've ever evaluated and want to be rid of you" Give me something. So if you read this tirade wanting to know if you should enroll in the masters in nursing admin program I would say yes only if you have had a great deal of nursing experience and research experience because if not you will be on your own and very frustrated.
WGU has these mentors who babysit you every week to make sure your doing your job. The courses you have to have everything exactly the way they want it or the entire task gets rejected. Seems like a planned set back to keep you in school. Simple things that can just be marked down and still accepted at normal universities and still be equivalent to an A- or a B+. They require everything to be exactly the way they want it and the instructions are not exactly clear.
You find a leap of information that could have been spelled out in original instructions after you call 2 to 3 mentors who are obviously paid to hold your hand. Really, its a waste of time, all these phone calls and what not. Not for me and I will be changing schools very soon.
After I completed my BA at Indiana University, I wanted to find an MBA program that did not require the 3-5 years management experience to be accepted. WGU had just come to Indiana as a new state school, so it seemed legit. I will admit I did not research it enough, as I was too excited to start and get moving on my MBA. I did classes for about a year, then decided I wanted to graduate from a stronger MBA program, as there are many online options. Below are the main problems with WGU:
1. Structure of School - WGU thought they could reinvent the wheel in regards to the standard structure of a university. Rather than the having an advisor, and a professor who teaches your classes and grades your papers, what you get is a personal mentor who calls you every week to check up on you, a class mentor who is basically just there to answer questions in regards to the class, and a third party grader who has no involvement in the class other than grading your paper.
2. Cirriculum - I was under the impression I would be having a standard syllabus with due dates on assignments flexible enough for the working person. Also, I thought there would be SOME multimedia and recorded lectures. What I got was a final project that you need to turn in to pass the class, and a bunch of material and quizzes that you can essentially bypass. They take random chapters from a variety of books and the final project has nothing to do with what you just read.
3. Grading system - When I enrolled they told me it was pass/fail but a passing grade was a 3.0 equivalent. To me, this meant that when an employer or university asked for my transcript it would show a 3.0 average. Not so... no GPA exists at WGU.
4. Going back to the structure of the university I will dive deeper in to the problems that plague WGU; a.)Personal Mentor - When you are new to WGU, you have a lot of questions, and it is helpful to have someone on call about how it all works. However, I am a very independent person. After a few weeks when I figured everything out, the calls got old quick. The mentor went from helping mode to essentially becoming my academic boss. They check up on you in a scheduled call each week, and start getting on your butt about getting the class finished. What I found out soon after is that mentors are paid commission for students they retain. If you fall behind or drop out they are denied commission. So they start panicking if you aren't up to par. Toward the end of my second session I seriously lost all motivation because I realized the program was both flawed and a sham. I just started ignoring the calls from my mentor, and he soon informed me it was required and I could be kicked out of WGU for failing to talk to him. Let's just say the mentor is an annoying pain in your side after the first month or so.
b.) Class mentor - These were likely the most helpful people at WGU, as they actually understood the coursework. Unfortunately their help is of little good, as what they want does not coincide with what the third party grader is looking for. I even had multiple class mentors admit that while they prefer it a certain way, to simply stick to the ruberic you are given for the class in order to pass, which brings me to the next section;
c.) Ruberic and third party grading - Unlike most professors who use a ruberic to a certain point but still have an understanding of the material you are writing, your paper gets submitted, then either approved or denied by a third party. Example, I finish a project for a class, submit a paper or project, then submit in their database. 5-7 days later I recieve a message saying that I did not pass, and must make revisions. Then you get a scale of 1-5 in each category, you must have a 4-5/5 in every category to pass. While the ruberic is acceptable, there are times at Indiana where the professor did not understand what I was getting at. When I talked to them and explained the situation, they accepted it or gave me feedback on what I did wrong. You get none of this at WGU, just accepted/rejected and numbers. You can have a different person grade your paper each time you submit. For example, I submitted an e-commerce project which required 10 links on the webpage. I have over 10... closer to 15 links. The grader just thought the links were blue underlined font and told me I only had 2 links. This would easily be resolved but there was no communication with them. I think they have updated this so the student can actually send a message back to the grader, but it is still third party grading... they literally outsource it to a company. To me this is unacceptable and I don't even know how these guys are accredited.
I started the program in 2/2011, and left 11/2011. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I am now looking at an online MS from a decent program so that I can eventually get into a top tier AACSB accredited school, hopefully IU Kelley School of Business.
Save yourself some time and money, don't go to WGU. When I read good reviews for this school it blows me away. I literally learned NOTHING over the course of a year in this MBA that I did not know from IU. I am paying for an education not a degree mill.
This school wasn't right for me at all. They are completely hands off and don't have their act together when it comes to what they expect. All details of assignments are vague. Written assignments are scored by rubrics that are interpreted differently according to who's doing the scoring. I had assignments that went back and forth three and four times, with different people wanting different things from it each time. I changed things and then, the next scorer wants it back like it was to begin with. This gets old very fast. It's like playing a guessing game. Submit the work enough times and someone will pass you sooner or later.
It's the fast food approach to education. It doesn't really matter what you've written or learned. I've had lots of online classes that I really liked at the community college level. I'm more of a self learner, so I like the online format. This was a waste of time though. Some may like it, but you learn more about dealing with bureaucracy than you do about the subjects you are studying.
If I would have known everything, or if I could go back and do it again, I never would have gone here. I am so close to graduation and WGU keeps messing things up. They cannot get all departments on the same page. I was supposed to start my last semester on August 1. On the 15th I was told everything had been resolved. It is now the 29th and it wasn't really resolved, and I was forced to either be withdrawn or extend my break another month. Now this will effect my student teaching and everything. Just the last thing in a string of mistakes they have made. The student has to be extremely motivated.
This school just wants your money. Granted, it costs less than most online schools per semester, but they also do not count any credits or classes that you have already taken. I'm on year 6 of full time paid tuition. There is a lot of bad communication. I am on my 5th mentor or "counselor," many of which gave me bad advice. The school does not honor what the mentor says. One mentor told me I had to get a job at a school in order to complete something, so I shifted my entire life around, got a job, and while it was a good experience- it did not help me accomplish anything for school. This school is ever changing.
I took an approved break from school and they did not honor what I had completed before the break. I had to fight tooth and nail, not to have to redo all of my pre-clinical experience. Things change from month to month. Changes are big and small... and no student is exempt from them. I wonder if they will still be considered a valid education.
One thing is true, the graduation rate is pretty low, and those who do graduate deserve praise and honor, because it is next to impossible. UGH... please reconsider going to a more establish school that does not change everything with every blink of the eye.
I enrolled in WGU because of good reviews and affordable tuition. Lo and behold you can not believe everything you hear or read. Instead of advisors this school has a mentor that calls and "checks" on you every week during your first class and every two weeks after. My mentor guided me incorrectly, did not own up to it and because of misinformation and constant policy changes I lost my financial aid.
I transferred in with a 3.6 average as a sophmore and will gladly go back to my traditional school and pay more. I requested a mentor change too late. I never heard from my instructor, never had classmate interaction except for the first week, and the whole set up is weird. This school gets an F from me.
Their course of study does not follow a specific order, the instructions on tasks (test or graded material) are vague, they claim many resources, but the resources have little use, Course mentors are not permitted to aid the students, and any problems brought to their attention is swept under a rug.... they tell you to go elsewhere....
Contacting the Board members is impossible... operators and student services try to reroute you every place else.
If you have money and time to waste... WGU is the place for you... all the hype of the certs are useless because if and when you need help... you are on your own.