Western Governors University
Review Averages: 7.4 out of 10
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:
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
WGU > Disaggregated style is a barrier to learning: fails students
MSN - October 4, 2016
According to the FAFSA information on this school. The graduation rate is currently 14% for the Master's program. According to www.collegeresults.org, at the time of this review the overall four-year graduation rate is 7.3% Source> http://www.collegeresults.org/collegeprofile.aspx?institutionid=433387. I received my ADN doing traditional clinicals and chose the video lecture option (as opposed to in class lectures. I received my BSN through WGU entirely online (There four-year graduation rate is 18.2) http://www.collegeresults.org/search1a.aspx?institutionid=104717 I have been a self-directed learner my entire life and am no stranger to this type of program. The problem with this program is that it functions on a Disaggregated model. Whats that you ask? Simply explained, they have one group of people who design their course work. A separate group of people who design the tests and yet a third group who grade papers. So, whats the problem you ask? The people who design the content have no communication with the people who decide the test questions. The people who design the test questions do not look at the course content and, the people who grade papers do not talk to the students or the instructors. In short, one hand does not wash the other. I have taken one class in particular, and it seems that the test preparers and the course content developers do not at all agree on what the focus of this course should be. You will never be able to pass the OA if you are relying on the course content alone. For objective assessments (OA) many of us are used to taking a practice test and then being provided with the answers to the questions you got wrong or a rationale for the questions. This does not happen a WGU. The score you get is the score you get. You have no way of knowing what you got right, what you got wrong and there is no rational provided. Furthermore, If you go to your instructor and ask for guidance on the test, you will be told that they also do not have access to the testing material and therefore can not guide you in resolving any academic shortcomings. So, what happens when the course material does not speak to the material on the exam and the student has nowhere to turn for clarification? The students fail due to lack of adequate support in the content material and you get a four-year graduation rates of 7.3% and 14% graduation rate overall! WGU touts that it is a competency base learning program. This means that if you already have the knowledge base through prior experience great! You take the test, pass, and move on to the next class. If you do not, pull up a seat, read through the course material and we will get you there. Unfortunately, if course preparers, and test prepares are prevented from communicating and don't look at one another's content, Then you run the risk of each group going in two different directions with the student stuck in the middle and the instructors trying to build a bridge for the gap. The problem is that by preventing the instructors from being aware of the testing material, the instructors may build a bridge to nowhere that the student has no choice but to blindly follow. This disaggregated style creates a barrier to learning and fails active learners in their pursuit to expand their knowledge base.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Master in English Language Learners
M.A. English Language Learning (PK-12) - August 2, 2016
I was very interested in the topic of learning about teaching English Language Learners and the price was right. My advisor did a great job contacting me weekly or every other week to check on my progress. I was prepared for the phone call from my advisor. I typically had a goal already in mind to share with her. When I didn't meet a goal or needed guidance, my advisor encouraged me and pushed me to continue progressing through the program. I completed this program in 1 and 1/2 years, but I spent all of my time after work writing papers and studying. The Masters in ELLs prepared me for the Praxis (state test to be certified). I passed with flying colors and I moved into the role of teaching ELLs the following school year. The coursework was well organized and easy to access from a laptop, phone, or iPad. I found two dead links in the coursework during my time at WGU, e-mailed me advisor, and they were fixed the same day. This was a great program and school!
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Business- Sales & Sales Mgmt - July 29, 2016
I don't even know where to begin with telling the world how disappointed I am with WGU. The school either has inside people working for them or they are hacking into students private e mail accounts. I never thought that my personal email account might have been hacked by WGU. Why would they, right? Well, I soon discovered. You can't get help for anything outside the school. Hum, this seems like an unreasonable requirement. Tutors outside the school are FORBIDDEN! Don't even think about getting help on anything, because you have violated some rule. I hate to tell WGU that the reason people now know things is because of the internet. Getting help from their RUDE, NASTY, and MEAN staff is something that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I asked for help from an outside source. TWO WEEKS later I get a notice from the school saying I cheated. The only way they could have known is my hacking my account or someone at that site because I deleted my account and it was my own personal email account, which was registered under a different name, and email address. If you need help and aren't the smartest student, don't bother with WGU. You won't get the help you need and they will just keep sending back your assignments saying that it is wrong with no explanation to why or how to fix it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have had a great experiance at WGU
B.S. Nursing (RN to BSN) - July 28, 2016
I only have 3 classes left! I have found course mentors to be helpful when I had questions. Like any online program, it will require self discipline.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Started in 2015 - Graduate in 2017/2018
B.S. Information Technology --Software - July 7, 2016
I am a long time IT professional in my 40's with some certifications, lots of experience and a 2 year degree. I looked for about a year at various options to finish my 4 year degree and ultimately wanted something online that was flexible and reasonably priced. WGU fit the bill and after considerable investigation into them I decided to start their IT Security degree. The Good: There is way more good about WGU than bad in my opinion. My mentor is great and has helped me whenever I had any issues. The online curriculum / system is getting better over time as they constantly are updating things to make them better. You earn valuable industry standard certifications along the way which are part of your tuition and the degree you get is accredited. The courses offered have a ton of curriculum which is delivered in a multitude of ways (videos, online books, quizzes, practice tests, flashcards, simulators, etc.). Overall the curriculum is challenging but those with IT experience will have a leg up and be able to breeze through some of the material which is nice. Once you pass assessment tests with 90% (for most classes) than you can schedule your final at a date/time that is convenient for you.......most tests you take from your home and are proctored remotely but some of the certification tests (Network+, Security+, etc.) need to be scheduled through a different process and taken in-person through testing places like Pearson. The cost of WGU is much less than nearly any other online or brick and mortar school, and the more classes you want to take in a semester the less you pay and faster you get done. Combine this with the certifications you get and this is a tremendous educational value. This is truly the future of education pricing as it puts the students more in control and gives you a ton more value. The certifications can allow someone still working on the degree to gain valuable skills and credentials to possibly land a job before even getting their degree. The Bad: There are still some things WGU needs to work out when it comes to some of the curriculum and tracks they offer. The practical process for the database courses I found to be confusing and the Java class practical is a bit much for an entry level Java class. Instead of forcing students to take a python class and a java class they should offer a track...... do you want to take python or Java or possibly another language. Let the students decide and then let the students build their skills up in one of these languages instead of forcing them to learn just a little in a couple. Just as you learn one you have to retrain yourself to learn another and you really don't come away with an understanding of either, in my opinion. The "required" mentoring can be annoying for those of us adults that are going back to school. WGU really treats all students like they are fresh out of high school at times and this is annoying. Luckily for me, my mentor understands and we "flex" a bit on what WGU prefers we do. WGU treats the mentor part of the degree more like babysitting and professionals in the workforce really don't need this. When I started the website had a few bugs but most have been worked out now and things are much better just over the last 12 months. WGU needs to offer some better tools/suggestions for some of their classes.... such as, they recommend SQLfiddle for their database class (a free online SQL editor) but it doesn't always work right, can't save your work, etc. They should simply recommend MySQL or some other solid alternative. For those with IT experience we can get around these things but others in the degree program may not know where to look and WGU needs to do a better job of laying this information out. Overall, I think WGU is a great choice for those that want a flexible online degree that is very affordable and gives you the extra bang with industry certifications. Is it perfect? Certainly not, but I have attended 3 brick and mortar colleges and they all had their issues too....... and they were very expensive and not nearly as flexible.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sorry I signed up
B.S. Nursing (RN to BSN) - June 27, 2016
I regret signing up. The first course was passed in 11 days. The second one has such random, unrelated material in the resources, I had to go to outside sources to get ALL my info. Nothing but pure confusion and annoyance. Very sorry I spent the money on tuition here? Will finish the semester to get paid back via tuition reimbursement and then leave...anywhere else would be better!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I finished 93 competency units in four months
B.S. Business Management - May 13, 2016
So, I began my journey at WGU on 1 January 2016. I wanted to finish my BS in Business, and wanted to do it as quickly as possible. I never dreamed I would be able to finish everything in four months! It was a good program, I learned a lot, but I also set a punishing pace and worked 18 hours a day, 7 days a week to finish it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
M.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance from WGU
Master of Business Administration - April 30, 2016
I truly value my degree from WGU. I learned a great deal working toward and earning a Master of Science degree in information security and assurance. I graduated in 2014 and I believe the attainment of this degree was a key factor in my promotion with my current employer. I believe on-line degrees still have a stigma, but in this digitized society that stigma is fading. For me it wasn’t about the degree itself. I really had a deep interest in the subject matter and WGU was the best way for a non-traditional student like myself to obtain that knowledge in an organized and affordable manner. WGU does have its faults. Some of the content was recycled, some web pages had broken links to course content, some content had misspellings or general errors, but overall it was good. The mentor is like having another boss and the work is challenging. Their program states the degree is self-paced, but they do push you to get the course work done on-time. For me it’s like everything else, you get out what you put into it. I did learn a lot. It was a lot of work and I’m glad I am done with it, but I do not regret my decision to attend WGU. To be successful in this program you have to have the desire to achieve. You have to be a self-starter. And, in my opinion, you have to be willing to go it alone. WGU does offer plenty of assistance, but the truth is you are better off figuring things out for yourself.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Master's In Special Education - Great experience!
M.S. Special Education (K-12) - February 17, 2016
The Special Education program was a wonderful program! I found the program to be very easy, just time consuming and a lot of writing papers. (Not surprised for an online school). I flew through this program in just 11 months. I am a great self- taught person so this type of learning was no problem for me. It seems like the people who leave bad reviews are the people that have to have their hand held throughout each process and have no motivation to be self disciplined. Having to talk to a mentor each week/ every other week got pretty annoying because I didn't really need any help, but they still required you to speak with your mentor by phone. I enjoyed this degree so much, I am returning to get a second Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Hard work but worth it
M.S. Nursing --Leadership and Management - February 6, 2016
Well worth the price. Hard work and challenging. I completed my degree in 10 months. I highly recommend this degree to any BSN nurse who wants a challenge and increased career opportunities.
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