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Western Governors University

  • Ranking: #21
    Non-Profit: Yes
    Country: USA
    Website
    Accreditation: Regional, NCATE and CAHIIM

3.7
361 Reviews
5 135 
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3 22 
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1 46 
0 0 

Western Governors University Reviews:

Started in 2015 - Graduate in 2017/2018

B.S. Information Technology --Software - July 7, 2016
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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.

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful

DO IT!

B.S. Information Technology --Software - September 25, 2014
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If you are considering going back to school and aren't the sort who needs babysitting in order to stay and task and get work done then WGU is a great choice. I am in term 3 and am on pace to be completely done with my BSIT-Software degree next term. Great school and the competency based model is a real plus for those who already have real world experience in their field of study.

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful

Perfect program for me

B.S. Information Technology --Software - July 29, 2014
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I finished my BSIT-Software over a year ago and within 4 weeks interviewed with and received job offers from two Fortune 500 technology companies! I have attended many brick and mortar schools and the educational requirements are on par with the local universities I have attended. The only difference between the two is there isn't much hand holding at WGU. You are assigned a student mentor whose sole purpose is to ensure that you are staying engaged and making efficient progress(similar to attendance requirements at B&M schools). They keep you motivated and help to hold you accountable, however, they are NOT subject matter experts-this is where the COURSE mentors come in. Most course information is pretty self explanatory and course mentors are usually not needed. When there is a course known to cause students difficulty, the course mentor actually sends out an email with links to live webinars that are basically Q&A sessions with links to study guides and other resources-they are held several times at different times throughout the week(s). Basically, you get out what you put in. Unlike B&M schools where you show up and are given or expected to take class notes based on the professors own research/knowledge-YOU are responsible for mastering the content enough to complete assessments and assignments. This requires a different mindset than that of every other traditional school I have attended. If you are a self motivated person who can learn almost independently, this is DEFINITELY the school for you. There is a reason why WGU is geared towards adults, they expect that you can set a goal and accomplish it without too much babysitting or outside assistance. Also, unlike other online schools, there are no weekly post or assignment requirements. When you semester starts, you are given access to your course of study(syllabus) and work at your own pace to complete assignments. So if work gets busy one week and you're not able to dedicate any time to study, it is okay. You have until the end of the 6 month term to get your work in(although I believe this has changed a bit to require at least one assignment by the first 45 days-not 100% on this though). On the flip side, if you have an abundance of time, you can work ahead and finish as much work as fast as you can, even adding additional courses to your term if you finish the initial 12 CUs(credit units/hours) with time to spare. And for those wondering, I have also been accepted into a local private university's graduate program without a problem due to WGU's regional accreditation. Before applying, I did ask the admissions office if WGU's pass/fail grading system would be a problem. She informed me that it would not if the transcript indicated that a PASS score was at least of B quality(which it does indicate).

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful

WGU is my type

B.S. Information Technology --Software - April 9, 2014
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WGU is exactly what I've been looking for: I can study on my own pace (a.k.a. faster) and have my own schedule. It's being working pretty well for me, because I prefer studying by myself to being taught. So far, I only had to interact with English Composition course mentors to get feedback on my writing, they promptly responded all my e-mails with helpful tips. For the other courses I took so far, I just studied the material, took the exams, and everything went smoothly. WGU is a great option for self-taught people. On the other hand, if someone needs to get "babysat" during their coursework, it's better to look for a more traditional college. ;)

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful

WGU Rocks

B.S. Information Technology --Software - February 2, 2014
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I started at WGU in September of 2013 and am just about to complete my first term. So far I have already finished up 48 credits and have only 5 classes left until graduation. I will say that the WGU style isn't for everyone. It does get rough when you are trying to figure out the right way to set up a program or complete a project. I disagree that the course mentors are inaccessible, and have had nothing but a positive experience so far. If you are motivated and have/can get the resources you need to succeed it is a great value school with excellent support staff.

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Think twice. Then think it over again...and again...just don't do it.

B.S. Information Technology --Software - January 10, 2013
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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.

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22 of 48 people found the following review helpful


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