Western Governors University
Review Averages: 7.5 out of 10 (318 reviews)
Featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams in their “What Works” segment, WGU is the recipient of the USDLA 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning for 2013, awarded in recognition of their success in expanding access to higher education.
Online degrees based on your skills and knowledge.
Western Governors University—a private, nonprofit, online university—features a competency-based approach to learning that emphasizes mastery of essential skills and knowledge instead of accumulating credit hours. Progress toward your online degree is based on passing rigorous assessments that measure your skills and knowledge in your field of study. WGU offers over 50 degree programs in teacher education, business, information technology, and healthcare (including nursing). These programs are best suited for individuals with at least one year of college experience. Here’s what the WGU advantage means to you:
- An online learning and assessment model that gives you flexibility and control over your education.
- A mentoring team committed to your success.
- A trusted quality education from the only university to have ever received accreditation from four regional accrediting commissions.
- Affordable tuition with the possibility of accelerated learning that equals lower costs for your education.
Challenging and efficient. These are the hallmarks of WGU’s competency-based approach. Learn more today!
WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Teachers College at WGU is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU’s nursing programs are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036, 202-867-6791).
Note: In Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, through partnerships with these states, WGU operates as WGU Indiana, WGU Missouri, WGU Tennessee, WGU Texas, and WGU Washington respectively. Students who live in these states will receive information from and ultimately enroll in these state universities.
Western Governors University is the only university to have received simultaneous accreditation by four regional accrediting commissions. Currently, WGU's "home" accrediting commission is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the same organization that accredits such leading institutions as the University of Washington, University of Oregon, University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and other public and private colleges. WGU is the first online university to receive NCATE accreditation for its degree programs that lead to teacher licensure from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU’s Health Informatics program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). WGU's Nursing programs are CCNE accredited (CCNE, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington DC 20036, 202-867-6791)
Accreditation: Regional, NCATE and CAHIIM
Western Governors University Reviews:
48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Virtually no interaction is permitted among students
December 1, 2011
The school is real, it is accredited, and the degrees are a reputable way to attend college via distance learning. However, there are SEVERE deficiencies in the interactions that one expects in a college environment. The comments that repeatedly state "It's up to you" are drivel. Of course it's up to you. I did well in my six months at WGU. I got along well with my mentor, who was friendly enough but really didn't DO anything. The main problem with the school is that there is very little academic involvement available, either from the instructors or from fellow students. You're not permitted to talk about anything with other students regarding the assignments because of the risk that you won't do your own work. While I understand this policy, what happens is that there is nothing to talk about other than "how is the weather in Omaha today?" Entire discussion threads were removed without warning because students might be able to find useful information about assignments. At real schools I attended, we were always working together, forming study groups, helping each other with difficult problems and assignments. At WGU, that's all been banned, and furthermore, even your own professors can't give you any information about a topic that's covered in an assignment...because it could HELP you with the assignment, and that's not "doing your own work." So one is left to figure out the thing on one's own. I did read the book. I did try example problems. I still had questions, but no one was allowed to even tell me where to START looking for answers and I wasn't allowed to share my knowledge and experience with anyone else. If a university course, whether virtual or real, is not a shared quest for answers, than what IS? I roundly criticized the format in my exit interview. It's difficult enough to connect with other students at a conventional university, so at an online university, one would expect to be brought together in myriad ways to go over relevant subject matter and allow connections to be formed. Instead, just the opposite occurs. Discussions of anything relevant to the course are forbidden. Prompts are posted to message boards that are designed to get people to open up and share their opinions and ideas, but NOT about anything germane to the subject at hand. People just end up discussing their personal impressions of this or that, or discussing their life problems, but there is no rigor in these posts. I felt like I was at a support group meeting or listening to audience Q&A during the Oprah Winfrey show and not at a university. I had to return to work for financial reasons, and I told WGU that I would likely not re-enroll. The school has a responsibility to engage students with instructors and fellow students in a manner that embraces the the substance of what they are expected to learn. Instead, the university's obsession with possible plagiarism has led it to build walls in which students are kept as far away from each other and their professors as possible. Real schools encourage group interaction to discuss course assignments, and the irony of it all is that while I was taking courses in which the virtues of group learning were extolled, we were prohibited from applying that philosophy to OUR OWN learning. I strongly suggested a complete rethinking of the school's design, in which discussions were centered on assignments rather than irrelevant peripheral topics or sharing one's various troubles in life, and that students be encouraged to learn and share ideas about the subject of the courses...you know, the academics. I know it's rough to balance work, family life and school, so do it and stop bringing it up with everyone. This isn't group therapy, it's a class. We're here to discuss research in the field, current controversies and theories, along with practical, real-world situations involving the topic of study, not to be constantly offering each other emotional support because your child prefers apple juice and all you had was grape juice. Essays, short answer questions, mid-terms and finals are all ways to measure what has been learned on an individual level. End-of-unit problems should be wide-open for discussion, however, because THAT'S HOW WE LEARN and the goal is to learn and not get all psychotic because someone might pick up an idea from another student! One final note: I found WGU's excessive use of jargon to be ridiculous. Just call everything what it is instead of making up some silly new term for it. Call homework "homework," a mid-term a "mid-term" and a final exam a "final exam." WGU has all sorts of crazy terminology for these basic things. Finally, hire some teaching assistants who understand what's going on and are permitted to talk about it. My mentor couldn't do anything but listen, say "uh-huh" and talk about the weather.
27 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Worst paper-grading system ever.
February 16, 2012
I recently quit WGU because I was about to defenestrate myself over the ridiculous grading process they use for written submissions. WGU assigns 4-5 papers per term, and a term is about 3 months. Even if you do manage to find time to write a paper, once you submit it to TaskStream, just kiss your sanity goodbye. The graders are completely nonsensical with their criteria; they don't even adhere to the rubric/Course of Study. They seem to reject things and send them back for revisions for no good reason. The straw that broke my back was when I submitted a project where I had to write a short work memo to my "boss" about a certain law. It was rejected (of course) and the grader said "great job! you obviously grasp the material, perfect! just elaborate more." When I asked my mentor why I have never had a single solitary paper get passed, she couldn't even answer me. She read all my papers; I emailed them to her asking her to show me what was wrong with them. She knew just as well as I did that the graders are full of crap. To this day, I have never had a single paper get passed. NOT ONE. AT ALL. EVER. The tests I pass just fine; studying and taking a test doesn't rely on some buffoon judging your work, there are clearly defined right and wrong answers. This entire thing has been ridiculous. I hope WGU reads this and fires those loons at TaskStream. Those idiots are costing you students. Let me know if things change, I'll gladly come back, it's just that my time and sanity are too precious to waste any further. I am very disappointed, WGU was very affordable and the curriculum superb.
27 of 35 people found the following review helpful
WGU makes terrible decision to use Turn It In as a full on grading and policing program of its students!
December 8, 2011
I am a student at WGU and am horrified at the night mare I have been put through at this University. My first term was awesome and the only thing I needed from my mentor was to let me do my thing. The second term I decided due to some other aspects of our lives to accelerate my program and meet all deadlines in order to do my student teaching early, I needed to go to work. Like all the teachers and administrators I work with locally have said, I had just cheated WGU out of 4 terms of tuition. Without a single warning from my mentor, or anyone else, classes I had passed four months earlier were coming unpassed, it took WGU over a month to send me a letter saying I was being reviewed for originality, all of my work was being put back through the turn it in program in an audit, that audit and the turn it in program compared my work to my work, I explained this, appealed it twice and was told either I re-do all of the work or I lose my cohort. There are papers I have now rewritten 3 and 4 times, and still cannot get them to pass turn it in. If even one paper does not pass turn it in by less than 30%, I have to go through this again. Now I have just been told that all of the work I have done that does pass has to go through another audit before they will put my classes back into the passed catagory. I have had chest pains, migraines and have been physically ill over this and I have to continue to do what they say in order to graduate. I would have completed 60 units in one term, I have been locked in this never ending nightmare for over three months and I spend up to 18 hours a day working on school work. It was my work originally, don't believe the hype, turn it in will ruin any student, with over 50,ooo students a day submitting work in the same classes using the same reference material and answering the same questions, nothing will be original very very soon. WGU has ruined itself by backing a program like turn it in and forcing their students to use it, it is a no win situation! Turn it in literally breaks down each sentance into partial combinations of three or four words, I have had originality reports come back with more than 150 sources broken down into 3 and 4 word combinations, it truly is a nightmare that I cannot seem to wake up from!
25 of 37 people found the following review helpful
WGU's compentcy based education an unacceptable degree
March 25, 2013
I recently graduated from WGU in the MBA program and I am very happy to say its over. I have written well over 1000 pages during my time at WGU and I totally believed once I received this degree that it would further my career and it has not. I have applied for numerous positions within colleges and state institutions only to have this degree rejected because it has no GPA and the transcripts are so vague all it lists are the courses with pass or fail listed. I have been rejected by numerous college institutions for entry into DBA and PHD programs because there is no GPA associated with WGU degrees. Sure WGU states when you pass the courses you have obtained the equivalent of a 3.0 GPA but this is meaningless as WGU will not offer a letter to anyone stating this fact because I have requested it to no avail. As far as support my mentors previous job was a used car salesman and every time I had a question about course content he had no answers and quickly changed the subject. I am not going to go on and be negative about WGU because that's simply not my way however it is what it is, I will not be getting a better career nor will I be accepted into a DBA or PHD program with this degree having said that you make up your own mind.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Loved the program!
April 8, 2012
I completed my RN to BSN in 4 months while working full time. It was tough, and I spent every waking moment driven to succeed. I appreciated the feedback from taskstream, and toward the end, was passing every paper on the first attempt. My mentor was terrific, and I cannot thank her enough for the continued motivation. Thank you, WGU! See you in a couple of months for my MSN! By the way, I just accepted a MUCH higher paying job!!!!!!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
November 1, 2012
20 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Think twice. Then think it over again...and again...just don't do it.
January 10, 2013
I agree 100% with the review, "This is a joke institution!" I've been through 3 terms with WGU in their undergrad software program and I am enrolled in term 4, having completed 61 credits. I have 5 courses to go and I am considering quitting. As Anonymous said in their review, at WGU you are on your own. My experience asking for help from course mentors has been unhelpful and greatly disappointing. They don't grade your work anyway. They simply exist to answer questions, and I find they really do nothing but refer you back to the course of study (essentially the guide to success), which is lengthy, generally a waste of time, and of little value. Hopefully they are expedient in their response. Mine were not and they were vague, like getting a canned, useless response hoping I would go away, so I resolved my own problems. Besides, the basic formula is read the entire book, and take practice tests until scoring 90%, then take an industry-recognized, challenging certification exam. Or, other courses require numerous assignments to be completed. But those are graded by contracted graders. Why are they doing this? I thought online would be what Anonymous said: online lectures, a straightforward syllabus, and more in-tune with traditional college structure. The course mentors generally hold one session that goes over the COS I mentioned earlier. There are no open weekly discussions or attempts to educate you. You are on your own, at least in my program. I see others, perhaps who are in other programs or are squeaky wheels who get some level of attention somehow, but that has not been my experience. I am disappointed. I wanted to learn. I can learn on my own and made it this far, but some subjects require more than reading 800 pages of material to prepare for an exam that WGU does not create, and that the course mentors do not grade. I would not do it again. I don't know if I can even finish. And I don't know that my credits are any good to any other university should I transfer. That is a big issue and one you really need to consider. So I either somehow teach myself something I am struggling with or hire a tutor, as some other students have suggested? What kind of university is this that does not teach? I do not recommend WGU, and I have been asked more than once about it. I tell them what it is really like and that online learning is one of the biggest shams out there today. I got my other degree the old-fashioned way and it was challenging, but nothing like this. Isolated. Unsupported. Frustrated. So run, don't walk, from WGU. The ads are misleading and unless you work tirelessly every term to earn more than the minimum, you're not likely to save that much over community or local colleges and universities. WGU is not the great solution for working adults it believes itself to be.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Be careful - not really self-paced!!!
August 2, 2012
I just finished my first term. I got all my papers turned in by the end of the term but I had one that they graded and returned to me for revisions after the term ended. They put a not passed on my transcript and informed the VA that I did not go full time but half time. WGU changed the entire term to half time, even though I went full time the entire term. So just a warning to be careful. They advertise as "independent of time and place" (see their main page) but you are still in terms and you still have deadlines. I am a single mom with 4 kids, full time job in which I drive an hour and 40 minutes ONE WAY to and back every day. I kind of feel like they have cheated me and yes I am bitter about it. The VA has not taken the 4200 dollars back yet and I have written them with a statement plus all evidence that I turned all my assignments in on time. Hope they have mercy on me. Besides this, I still love WGU. My mentor, course mentors and all support staff have always been there for me. I know they are following their policy so that is why I wanted to post this to let everyone know that it is not really "self-paced." I didn't have to take this course over btw, the credits were added to my next term. But still, 4200 dollars from me and my family because they returned a paper to me 2 days AFTER the term ended and said I needed to revise it....
19 of 38 people found the following review helpful
This is a joke institution!
December 8, 2012
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.
19 of 29 people found the following review helpful
WGU IS INCOMPETENT and Lacks Customer Service of any kind
April 26, 2012
A math course mentor actually replied to an email of mine saying "sorry, we have thousands of students, so I can't be held responsible for making mistakes." There is no such thing as customer service and no communication between departments, no responsibility taken for any of their staff's actions, but they'll bill you on time! I would Not recommend this university. They do NOT care about the students, only care about collecting their money from you. The incompetence is overwhelming and I totally agree about the grading process - it is a JOKE! I've gotten papers back saying you need to include such and such, or this doesn't meet requirements, so I'll highlight everything in my paper without one revision and will point out that it is all there, and they totally change the grade to what it should have been to begin with. What an incredible waste of time! If you take an exam at a testing site BEWARE! The program allows you to mark items for review, BUT you can NOT go back to those items at the end of the test! This fouled up software made me fail a test just because I couldn't go back and I only missed passing by TWO questions. I had to retake the entire test again !
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