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Western Governors University

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Western Governors University Reviews:

Great alternative to traditional education

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - April 20, 2013
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WGU is a great alternative to the traditional college institution. I have a very busy lifestyle with work and family and found there BA and MA programs to be the ideal way to complete college education. I have read some reviews that complain about lack of teachers or mentors not answering there questions and that they had to go out and find the answers themselves. Well WGU is competency based education meaning your not going to have someone sitting in your class or in their office to go to, so that you can get the answer from them. The expectation is that you should be able to LEARN the material from books and from research to be able to provide an answer. WGU is not for everyone, it is for the busy, SELF MOTIVATED student who wants to complete a degree. That being said it is a great program for someone like myself who is working full time in a professional career, has a family or doesn't have time to go to a classroom every day with a bunch of kids who need to be spoon fed answers. WGU education is much like the real world, work hard to succeed, learn to use the communities and mentors for communication, but ultimately completing your degree is on your own terms and passing or failing falls on one person, yourself. Thank you to WGU and all it's mentors and communities for helping me complete my educational goals.

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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful

MA 5-12 Graduate

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - March 24, 2013
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I would give WGU 3.5 stars out of 5. I recommend WGU mostly because of price. Many private colleges are not worth the price and other colleges will put professors part time or have graduate students teach you. WGU is a financially sound decision if you accelerate during the program. It can be a double edge sword financially if you fall behind, and take longer to finish your degree. WGU's Business and IT program has won awards from the US Distance Learning Association. The Education school has not. If you choose to study Mathematics Education at WGU there are some pros and cons. Pro or Con- You will have to teach yourself. WGU will give you a textbook to read and a Math mentor who may point you to useful resources that you will have to self learn. Con- Doesn't offer a discrete math course Con- doesn't offer educational psychology class (Needed on some state teacher tests) Con- You will write math essays that are scrutinized by an examiner meticulously and possibly repeatedly con- There are more effective online learning models than Pearson, which WGU uses. Example: Coursera and edX math classes. Con- On your course of study guide to learning math, more resources should be provided or should supplement already existing programs. Example abstract algebra is already offered online for free at Harvard. Linear algebra is offered online for free at MIT. WGU should redesign the COS so WGU students could reach the level of learning by Harvard and MIT. I still recommend WGU for the price, and its other programs. I wouldn't recommend anyone to being a math teacher as a career nowadays, too much hassle and drama.

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful

To Succeed YOU have to be a good student.

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - April 1, 2012
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This program is very doable and understandable IF you are a good student. What do I mean by "a good student?" I mean all of the following: 1. You schedule time to do your studies and work and you stick to your schedule. 2. You attend any and all help sessions and review sessions (online). 3. You are diligent about checking your own work. You can catch your own mistakes before submitting assignments (called "tasks" here at WGU). 4. You follow directions carefully. 5. You are willing to engage your classmates in online chats and message boards about math. Now, truthfully, if you don't have a math background, then I would suggest that it will take you the "recommended" amount of time (5 semesters) to finish this degree (MAME 5-12). However, if you DO have a math background, it can be done much more quickly. Hope this information helps someone.

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful

Student teaching placement in Washington

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - February 6, 2012
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My husband quit his job last year in order to start his student teaching. He should have had started his student teaching. He did all the paperwork and gave many school district choices. However, he heard nothing so far. Not only he didn't get placement. There are other science student teaching canidates waiting for one whole semester without work and just waiting. (He is not the only cases.) WGU washington needs to do the job. My husband's time is also valuable. Our family needs to work. I hope WGU can reply why their candidates can't get a placement in high need area.

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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful

Not good for math

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - March 6, 2011
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I recently finished the MAT secondary math program. I came to the program with a fairly recent undergrad degree in elementary education from a traditional university, along with considerable experience in live college math courses (taken many years ago), as well as more recent undergrad and graduate courses in special education and general education courses (taken mostly online). I also have almost 10 years of teaching experience in grades 7-12 math, although I was not certified in secondary math. I chose this program because it was convenient-- it fit my busy schedule-- it was inexpensive, plus I was offered a scholarship. The program bills itself as being for those who have a teaching degree but not in math. All the other distance education graduate programs in secondary math I researched required me to have a math undergrad, which I do not have. It appeared that this program would give me what I wanted, which was deeper understanding of math, secondary math certification, and a master's degree. I was very disappointed in my experience at WGU. My 'mentor'-- the person assigned to oversee my program and my progress-- admitted to me that she had no experience in math, that she was an English major. I felt she was more of a cheerleader than a resource for me to get what I needed. Every other online course I have ever taken has included some sort of video lecture component, so this is what I was expecting. Of the close to 60 credits I took, there was NO DIRECT INSTRUCTION. Repeat-- NO TEACHING. I am a 'show me' kind of person-- show me once, and I have it. The lack of any direct teaching made it very difficult to learn the material. If I hadn't already had an extensive background in math, I don't think I would have been able to learn the required material. The 'courses of study' (what substituted for a syllabus) were just wordy, disjointed conglomerations of sections of the textbooks and online readings (with Wikipedia prominent on the list), much of which had little, if any, value toward helping me learn. The program did utilize some online streaming courses that WGU subscribes to, but these were simplistic (mostly on a high school level) and provided a cursory review of what I already knew. The 'course mentors'-- those staff who knew the course material and were there to help if you had any questions-- never really directly answered a question but instead led me to yet more websites, some useful and some not. The 'exams' were a joke-- 15 question multiple-choice exams taken over several courses worth of material. The bulk of the work came in the form of 'tasks'-- papers written on math topics-- a total of over 60 papers in my program. While there is some value in writing papers on math, this was just about all I did for close to 3 years. For many of the courses, I just studied enough that I could write the papers required for the course. Papers were scored by blind graders-- I never knew who was grading my paper, and for quite a few of the tasks the wording of the tasks and rubrics was vague, making it difficult to know what was required. I did manage to pass the required Praxis 2 with a very high score, but that was due to my own initiative, not the education I received at WGU. I felt that the combination of disjointed courses of study, too easy exams, and too many papers made for a very poor learning experience. I don't think I know much more about math than I did when I started. While perhaps some of the other programs have more to offer, I would not recommend this program to anyone, especially someone who doesn't already have an extensive math background.

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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful

Love WGU

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - March 3, 2010
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I love this school! I'm a working mom with 5 kids. I got my BA in teaching through WGU about 4 years ago and I've been teaching 3 years. I thought my education was high quality. The only downside is that you don't get all the "state" education tips that you would if you went to a local school. I am now in my Master's program. If you are very dedicated and spend a TON of time- you can move through very quickly. I started 3 months ago and I'll be finished with my entire Master's degree in 3 more months. 6 months and one term paid for... $3000. Not bad. With WGU, time is money- the faster you push yourself, the cheaper it is. They have no limitations on the amount of classes you can take. It's a hard school, but if you're good at writing, you'll do great. It's been wonderful for my busy and hectic soccer mom schedule.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful

Good if you have strong math background

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - November 12, 2008
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If you have a strong math background, GO FOR IT! WGU would be a great value!! I am in my 4th term. This program has suited me very well- I have a strong background in math and have been able to really accelerate my program- this school is a great option for folks that want the degree and already know alot about the material. You pay by each 6 months- if you can squeeze in lots of credits, you can save a lot of money, I have! If you need alot of math review, you will probably struggle in this program. Mentors have to limit what they say about specific tasks- the point is to learn it yourself. That is frustrating when sometimes the suggested 'materials' do not cover what is needed for the tasks! I've had to do lots of research outside of what is provided. Thank goodness that I have a friend with a high math degree that can help point me in the right direction. If you have a strong math background, GO FOR IT! WGU would be a great value!!

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful

Ying and Yang

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - October 3, 2008
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Like with all things there are good and bad with WGU. For the record, I am a very self motivated student with a high academic record having graduated cum luade with a BS from a traditional college after graduating 19th in my class of 350 from high school. Having established that I am an independent learner capable of carving my own path, WGU has some major limitations. The graders and the whole system seem to be geared to passing Praxis tests rather than instilling and guiding the acquisition of knowledge. The whole assessment process is ridiculous. Comments are vague and unhelpful most of the time. I often have to supplement learning resources because they are severly lacking... thank goodness for my personal tutor since mentors/tutors/guides will NOT answer any question related to assessment questions..... what is that about? I don't want to cheat! But how am I suppose to figure anything out if you won't answer a few questions about the assessment questions? Everything that the assigned texts teach about teaching are completed ignored in this setup. I have also had to fight my mentor almost every step of the way to proceed at a quick pace. Having said that, I do enjoy working at my own pace, and the nugget of information is there to be learned. It's just frustrating trying to crack the nut every day to get to the information. Probably not for you if you are completely new to the content material. It probably would have been a lot easier for me if I had not been quite so rusty with Mathematics. However, I am still completeing my second BS in under 3 years. So I do not find it all bad...

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Not Satisfied

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - December 24, 2007
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I have been very disappointed with WGU. My mentor is not helpful at all and when I ask her a question she doesn't seem to know herself yet she has a PHD in math. One is required to complete these taskstream assignments with no help. The community is not helpful and the assessments one is required to complete has nothing to do with the work you have done in taskstream which are supposed to be helpful. Don't waste your money or time as this program si very time consuming.

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WGU ok so far

M.A. Mathematics Education (K-6, 5-9 or 5-12) - December 21, 2007
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This is my first term at WGU. I went to a state school for my undergrad degree and I have to say that there will always be minor (occasionally major) complaints at any university but overall I’m pleased with my experience at WGU. I think it is what it advertises to be: online, affordable, accredited, and accelerated. I have been able to accelerate my progress but it means putting in extra time. During your first month you talk with your mentor and select which assessments you will be taking that term and set dates when you will complete each assessment- if you don't meet your goal, it counts as your first "failed attempt" but you can still pass it before the term is over and it will be a "pass" on your transcript. Your tuition covers the first few attempts, so that is why not taking an assessment on time is a big deal- it counts as one of your "free" attempts even if you do not take the test. A term is 6 months long, but you can't sign up for assessments that involve writing papers later than the 5th month there is also a limit on how late you can take an objective exam. Their rationale behind this is you may have to make revisions/wait for work to be graded. Their graders do take a while- it took about an average of a week on each of my assignments to get graded the first time, and then if you have any revisions, there's another week you have to wait. They do let you have access to "learning resources" and the course of study (syllabus) the last 2 months of the term so you could always start other work. I think the quality of education I'm receiving is comparable to my undergrad degree in science education I received at a state school. My mentor does call me every week or so and that makes me feel more connected. The competency based approach is a good idea. It seems like some people have the idea that you could just test, test, test, and then be handed a diploma without "doing anything." What I have found is that my program does have some "objective exams" and if I had come to the program having already majored in math education perhaps I could test out of some/most of them. But over half of my "assessments" are assignments or papers. Even if a person came with all of the knowledge for the degree, the person would still end up writing hundreds of pages of work, plus complete a research project. You don't have to take classes over what you already know, but WGU does require quite a bit of work- someone could not take tests for a week straight and walk away with a degree. The biggest complaint I have so far is that my mentor is very nice but never, ever knows the answers to my questions and they signed me up for the "wrong" assessments this term and then wouldn't change them when I pointed that out. But I worked through it and it's fine now. I do think they require depth of knowledge in the MA in math ed degree and that it's a good value for the money. I'm glad they provide an accredited way for me to get my degree online at my own pace.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful


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