Western Governors University Reviews
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"WGU grad's review"
I graduated this year w/ a BS in Business Management from WGU. I've read all kinds of reviews before I chose WGU and always vowed to do one, once (if) I graduated. Well I did, and here it is. First, the reason I chose WGU was Accreditation. They are the only on-line school, that I found at the time, which is "regionally accredited". That is the one that matters-I found. National accreditation from the US Gov't, (distance learning etc) and other minor associations are not cutting it for me. So all these "online" schools say they are accredited, but check it out. See what agency provides the accreditation and who else is accredited in that association etc. This matters! On-line college has a stigma already (and yes, it's getting better as people become educated), but if you choose a school that isn't regionally accredited - you're two behind. Next, This college is not for people with no work experience in the field you want to get a degree in. This university is really designed for that person who has been working for some years in a field..and is being held back because of no degree. If you are young and want to go from public H.S. education to Bachelor's, I'd recommend something else. You CAN do WGU, but it will take a lot of time in my opinion. You need to be motivated and goal oriented. I fight procrastination, and I think I could have finished sooner (took me 2yrs, 4mos from zero to full B.S.), but full time work, wife, life, etc. You need to dedicate no less than say 15 hrs a week to studying. Maybe more, maybe less, but not too much less. Classes are thick and often the class (just like brick and mortar schools - which I did attend for a while) is based around one text book, and the final is on THE ENTIRE BOOK; so, what I read about "easy" classes were false. There are some classes which use multiple text books (upper level) and depending on your retention capability/ study habits can be challenging. Some classes were easier (English lit) and some were very difficult if you don't have any pre-exposure to them (higher end business classes). There are two methods of evaluation. Finals (exams) and course work (projects). Some classes have a final you take at the end. This is usually 50-80 questions, proctored (at your local testing center usually at college or university) or in some cases you can get a bio-metric webcam and do them from home. At first, I was thinking ah man, testing at home- I can just have an answer sheet.? Uh no! The bio cam reads your eyes, has a huge view area (not what is shown on your screen) and is physically monitored by someone in a testing center (i.e. they watch you). I even a final stop mid-way through and had to call because they need me to "pan" the camera etc. So, any thoughts of "cheating" (not that I was or wanted to) - you can forget it. Personally, it was nerve racking, and so I preferred taking them in person at my local university. The test were very conceptual and not memorization. I'd say 15% were "facts" etc..and 85% were concepts.. so you really have to "know" the material! After the first couple of Finals...I really had to change the way I studied. But you really learn a lot this way. Then there are projects - Papers (out the wazo) APA style. For business classes there was a lot of project type stuff to do, and a lot of real world (I thought) items to complete and project management projects, H.R. memos, writing policies, corporate compliance statutes..all sorts of stuff. It was pretty educational and practical. You are provided with e-books, online learning sites, access to university (U of Michigan, Utah State, etc) and other resources, but I found that those plus Wikipedia, youtube, etc..really make all kinds of information available to you. Some courses have videos of teachers lecturing, some have actual lectures that you can dial-into (webex, etc) - so however you learn, they meet it there. There are two primary points of contacts: a personal mentor who you talk to once a week, once every other week,etc, depending on how you progress. And a course mentor - who basically is the professor for that course. I have never had a problem with either. The course mentor was always available to me via e-mail and phone call when i needed. These aren't just academics: they all had decades of real world experience in their fields (for the particular classes in the course of study..e.g., business, or IT, etc..). If I had a question, or just didn't "get it": I never was left hanging. The personal mentor keeps you on tasks, keeps you focused, and really guides you through the program. Like all humans, I'm sure some are better than others, but mine was proficient. WGU has a good policy, if you and your mentor are not "clicking" they can address it. I was unsure about this whole "competency" based approach v. classroom time. But it's great, and if I had to take a freshman class about say how to use a stapler in the business world, and I've got years of stapler experience...I'd go to the professor and ask if I can just take the final and "CLEP" or test out: why sit (and pay) for eight weeks of stuff you know already? Prove you know it, and if you really do- move on. There were some classes that I thought I'd test out of early, but when I took an "assessment" test to see if I knew what they were going to teach me-nope..had to do the class. Others, I was able to due to my work experience. Bottom line, it works..it's efficient, and is a good evaluator of your true knowledge. So that's it in a nutshell: You pay for a six month term and attack as much as you can. Go as fast or as slow as you want and this affects your tuition total (i.e., more classes you take in six months, the better), but the bottom line is you get an education, not a "diploma." You get out of WGU what you put into WGU (just like life). I highly recommend WGU for those in the workforce: at a certain level of leadership or management, but no degree due to life: this is your route. I would be open to answering any questions. Hit me up at: firstname.lastname@example.org P.S. this review was written quickly- I'm not going to edit it fully, so if there is a typo, or sentence structure is jacked..it's not a "result of WGU's education." It's me, I'm just a fast writer, and I'm on a 5hr energy right now!