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:
MBA --Healthcare Management - August 25, 2015
I'm writing to discuss some of the problems with WGU's implementation of competency based learning. I speak as a alumni of Western Governors University, having earning a masters in business administration in just over five months. I'm presently working on a second graduate degree with them and wanted to share some of my broader observations with the general internet. The good: - The price is great. - They are accredited. - They do allow acceleration mostly. - They're all online. The bad - The graders often don't have backgrounds in what they're evaluating. This creates a number of problems. - The graders have indicated in their response that they haven't read my paper, but issue a grade anyway. - The graders don't even pretend to adhere to a uniform standard. It's amazing to watch how others will put in very little effort, and it sails through. Others will work extensively and make an objectively better response, but it gets rejected. - Rejections often don't make sense. Pick a reason out of a hat why. It's like they just pick a reason to reject it, feel free to change it at any time, or stay with it as long as they like. When you step back and think about it, you could continue to find fault with any paper as long as you wanted. Even if there's no there "there", just by continuing to say it's insufficient. What's to stop you? Apparently nobody at Western Governors. - Appeals are worthless. They never addressed the core issue I questioned them on. When I asked an appeals person directly why my work wasn't even evaluated as indicated in the grader's response, they danced around the question. They'll stand behind their graders. - The course mentors are disconnected from graders. This is arguably the worst part about it. Course mentors, a.k.a. the people that know the stuff are powerless. My course mentor agreed my submission was much better than several others he'd seen, but was powerless to do anything about it. He told me to make it fluffier to get it to pass. The ugly - Once a grader asked me to include a graph of a simulation that didn't exist. It wasn't asked for in the question prompt. I filed an appeal, and they said I could have made it from Excel. OOPS, wrong again! Some of the data required to manually make the graph wasn't any where to be found either. That's probably why it wasn't asked for geniuses! My next submission included a statement say such in all caps on that writing prompt. Then it passed. - Another grader said instead of analyzing a single round in a simulation as indicated by the requirements, that all 8 rounds needed to be evaluated. I filed an appeal, and the appeal predictably stood behind their grader. The course mentor responded to the graders and said that wasn't in the instructions. It took hours and hours to resolve this. I had to be the driver for this because it wouldn't have worked itself out. It ate an obscene amount of my time. - To further illustrate the non-uniformity of their standards, I've had multiple course mentors explain to me, including ECare themselves, that if I opt for an appeal, I could have work that was approved come back as disapproved. How much sense does that make? You passed the test! Oh, just kidding! Sounds like a great, accurate, precise setup, right? - Finally, they have different avenues to communicate, like web forums. I started venting some frustration at the graders and the process, and the course mentor decided an appropriate response would be to attempt to curtail my 1st amendment. I wasn't swearing, saying anything offensive, trolling, or criticizing any individual person. If they're too thin skinned to even allow general criticism of the process and results among the students, what does that mean? Why so touchy? In the end, I have a real love/hate relationship with the school. The idea of competency based learning is liberating. It makes so much sense. It is just so bitterly disappointing that Western Governors University does such a poor job at implementing the idea.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Master of Business Administration - August 11, 2015
Excellent school with an excellent model! I went straight from WGU’s BS course of study to their MBA program and it paid off big, I am now in upper management as a direct result of my academic accomplishments. The university mentors were amazing, the curriculum was tough but well laid-out and I loved the work at your own pace model. I have recommended this school to a lot of people and they are all on their way to graduating either with a BS or an MBA.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
B.S. Nursing (RN to BSN) - August 5, 2015
I obtained my ADN in 1976. I researched many, many so called "on line" RN to BSN programs prior to enrolling at WGU. I read all the pros and cons to this program and enrolled on July 1, 2014 I graduated this month. All of my courses transferred and had 40 credit hours to complete. I not only work full time, but full time nights. In spite of the 2 courses that nearly made me quit (statistics and community health), I finished a semester early. The experience was wonderful, so much so, that I am now enrolled in the RN to MSN in education at WGU.....I highly recommend this school. By the way, I am in no way a self starter. All the mentors in all departments, even the IT department are VERY helpful and nonjudgmental, but accessible. I LOVE THIS SCHOOL
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Check with your local board first!
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8) - July 30, 2015
I have it a fair rating because the school is legit but you MUST check with your local board first for acceptance! I spoke to a rep to confirm I can continue my education here and be a licensed teacher New Jersey and they said yes. I signed up,enrolled was going to do financial aid but I decided to check with New Jersey State Board of Education to make sure that if I graduate with a degree from them that I could be a licensed teacher over here New Jersey . New Jersey does not except this at all . Although GWU had all the credentials and are qualified New Jersey does not except an out-of-state degree to be a teacher. Have to attend a college in New Jersey to be a licensed teacher . So I'm not gonna write a really negative review there is no reason for it but check with your board of education if you're pursuing an education degree or overall just check with your state first
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Don't believe the lie that you are a B student
BS Nursing Prelicensure - June 15, 2015
The university is built on student assessment. This is where corners are cut and this puts students at a disadvantage. It says in the WGU policy and student information that any student that that "passes" an exam is considered a "B" student. This is false. The assessment department uses the modified Angoff method to determine cut scores for their exams.(sometimes they don't use anything and just pull a cut score out of a hat.) This Angoff method is based on the a minimally qualified student - someone that is "just passing." So, you can not translate this to a grade of B. Also, most of the vendors that are used for the development of the exams are less than competent and this results in another loss to the students. Students that pass WGU exams are "C-" students at best. The university has lied to them.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Master of Business Administration - June 14, 2015
My experience has been positive, though I agree with other reviewers that WGU is not for everyone. College isn't for everyone, either, but if you are considering an online program it is probably important to note some of the differences between virtual and brick-and-mortar venues. Each has its pros and cons, many of which have been tallied in other posts so I won't repeat them. I would, however, like to add value to this thread by commenting on the nature of WGU's programs as being "competency-based." This is an important element and it took two master's degrees for me to really appreciate it. In 2013, I began and completed an MSN. I did this in one semester by reading, writing, taking tests, and studying 8 to 12 hours most days. I don't recommend this, as it's fairly obsessive, exhausting, and has side effects like ending personal relationships. My point being that it can be done, but it takes a lot of focus, self-motivation, and established competencies in the field of study. After completing my MSN, I began an MBA program. I no longer had 8 or more hours a day to devote to school, but I still put in the recommended 15 to 20 hours a week. It has taken me the full two years to complete the MBA on this schedule, but my background and competencies were in patient care and not business... so this makes sense. Having completed an associates, two bachelors, and a clinical doctorate at brick-and-mortar schools, and now two masters degrees online, I will say that I consider the online venue slightly superior. The education seems equivalent and I don't have to travel or circle for parking. You do indeed get out of it what you put in, but ask yourself what you want out of a degree. If you intend to network, then brick-and-mortar may be better with Ivy league being ideal. If you just want knowledge, then the Internet is likely all you need. I will also say that WGU, while excellent, has all the bureaucracy of any other university. That being said, I would absolutely recommend it if you have the time, motivation, and skill set to succeed.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not for everyone, but works great for me.
M.S. Curriculum and Instruction - June 5, 2015
I started this course straight out of a regular college teaching program. The first few classes were so simple I began to wonder about the credibility of the program. The first few classes were material which I covered in great detail while gaining my teaching license. I didn't even read the books, which are free. I just wrote the lessons and papers (tasks) and moved on to the next class. As I have progressed through the course, they are starting to gain rigor and I have begun to research my papers instead of writing them from former knowledge. Seven courses in I have gained a picture of where I am going. Every course is aimed at me being able to write my capstone project. With the competency based program, I was able to blow right through those initial classes instead of waiting for the semester to end. The student mentor is there to help you determine deadlines and keep you on track. Additionally, each course has a course mentor which you can call during business hours or email at any time. I work on the tasks and only contact the mentor if my work is sent back and I don't understand the feedback.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
GReat choice for professionals!
Master of Business Administration - May 14, 2015
I am currently doing the MSN in management and leadership. GReat program and with great course materials. I am enjoying so far and using the materials for current work. I don't find the system easy nor hard. I don't need a lot of help and coaching either. Just what I expected for a self paced online degree program.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I got what I wanted!
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8) - April 23, 2015
When I started this degree I was working full time in a school as a para-educator and pretty busy. I was able to transfer over a few previous credits from other colleges and I got started. I put my heart and soul into the work and I was able to complete between 30-40 CU's (credits) per 6 month term. In a short 18 months I had completed my degree and I had 2 job offers. Starting this degree my primary concern was would I be able to get a job? Well my experience has been nothing but positive. I have landed a job in one of the most competitive districts in my state (I was 1 of 73 applicants for 1 job). I am currently getting ready to start my Masters with WGU.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
B.S. Accounting - April 18, 2015
This is a serious program. As I read the reviews I understand how WGU is really a composite of competitive adult life in general. Those that excel with this institution seem to be generally hard workers and, specifically, self-motivated. Those that find the program unhelpful appear to be mired in superficial details or simply don't understand their own expectations. The Accounting program is demanding. The volume of study is impressive and the competency-based curriculum keeps you focused on the core principles of the discipline. The broad availability of materials is very good. I don't think they're set up well for Apple interactive study but you can work through it. I also think they need a few more mentors in their core displine areas. The mentors are not there to teach but to keep you focused on the end. And this ends up being a valuable application. I recommend the school. It gets better (and more difficult) every day. Do your research. And if you get accepted at the school be prepared to work hard.
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