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  1. #1
    swimmagal is offline Registered User
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    Western Governors University - legit?

    I was thinking of transferring into Western Governors University because its online and I love taking my classes online. I find the below to be the pro's and cons of it but what do you think? Is this a legit university for a bachelors in education ?

    PROS:
    -all online
    -transfers in most credits (BUT you have to apply before they tell you which ones)
    -private school (fancy eh)
    -they have course mentors that help with class questions
    -tution - take as many classes as you want....anyone know how that works???
    -finish 1 class at a time, no wait time between starting a new class and finishing
    -no maximum amount of classes

    CONS:
    -pass/fail - no GPA for resume
    -no honors classes
    -webcam for proctored exams - that just sounds awkward!
    -no information on if the individual courses are easy or hard aka no preview
    -no due dates which means you REALLY need motivation
    -a biology education degree is a BA instead of a BS (does that make a difference??)

    Can you tell me if my cons are stupid or do they make sense? Answer the questions within the pro's and cons and in the first paragraph!! I just want someone whose been through this program before to help me and advise me! If you have graduated with an education degree from this school maybe we can keep in touch through email or something? Anyways please let me know what you think!!

  2. #2
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Western Governors University is legitimate. But most of your cons are reasonable objections. (Well, other than the last one, since in the U.S., BA/BS makes no practical difference.)

    If you don't think the school would suit you, keep looking. But if you think it would, then it's a perfectly fine school.
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://stevefoerster.com

  3. #3
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by swimmagal View Post
    tution - take as many classes as you want....anyone know how that works???
    You pay by the semester rather than by the credit or by the course. In other words, the faster you complete the degree, the less it costs. The more semesters you need, the more you need to pay.

    It's been discussed on a few occasions on this board. The consensus is that overall, it is a very good deal- so long as you keep up with your studies. However, it is highly unrealistic (although maybe not entirely impossible?) to think that you could finish in just one semester. You probably weren't expecting to anyway :)
    BA, Social Sciences ---- The University Formerly Known As Thomas Edison State College

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  4. #4
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    Different states have different requirements for teacher training. In some cases, WGU cooperates with specific states to provide programs that are tailored to those state's requirements. If you look at the bottom of the WGU Homepage, you will see a list of "WGU State Institutions", including WGU Indiana, WGU Missouri, WGU Tennessee, WGU Texas, and WGU Washington. So if you live in one of those states, you should click there. If not, you can still go to WGU , but you will have to make sure that the WGU program is consistent with the specific requirements of your state.

  5. #5
    Jonathan Whatley is offline Registered User
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    See also WGU 's helpful page
    Teacher Licensure State Requirements
    and the links to state teacher licensing bodies from there.

  6. #6
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    BA/BS doesn't really make a difference, but you should know that WGU 's program is not a hardcore biology degree. It's more like a degree in educational science with a concentration in biology. I would put "non-profit" as a pro instead of "private." It's much better than it being a for-profit college. Private rarely means prestige whether among for-profits or non-profits, but for-profits are definitely private schools that aren't considered to be fancy. There are a lot of state universities with more prestige than WGU .
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  7. #7
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    WGU falls into a gray area between "public" and "private" schools. It's sometimes described as "quasi-public".

    WGU was initially established and funded as a cooperative effort by multiple state governments (specifically, a group of Western state governors). So WGU is not a traditional "state" school, because multiple states were involved. In general, the easiest way for multiple state governments to cooperate is through the private sector.

    The WGU state institutions -- like WGU Washington, WGU Texas, etc. -- are technically private; however, they resemble typical state schools in that they give preference to in-state residents. For example, WGU Indiana says:

    Q: Will you admit students who live outside of the state of Indiana?

    Unfortunately, no. WGU Indiana admissions are only open to in-state residents. Students who live in other states are encouraged to explore our parent institution Western Governors University.
    WGU will probably not be regarded as particularly prestigious, whether you consider it private or public. On the other hand, it is definitely non-profit, so it avoids the possible stigma that is sometimes associated with for-profit institutions.
    Last edited by CalDog; 10-08-2013 at 11:23 AM.

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  9. #8
    Petedude is offline Registered User
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    As to the "no due dates" thing

    While there are few solid "due dates" with WGU , there ARE some deadlines:
    1. Every student has to clear a certain number of units every term, or they will be placed on probation. Getting too far behind can cause a student to lose financial aid and/or "get kicked out".
    2. If you do not complete a competency ("course") you have been enrolled in by the end of a term, you will receive a "not passed" mark on your records. This mark does not count toward any sort of standing such as GPA, but is not a positive if you should have to share your transcript with anyone.

    With WGU it is beneficial to stay on task and on time. The regular conference calls with student mentors should help in this regard.

    When I completed my program with them, they were expecting students to provide a spreadsheet with anticipated times during the week for a 15-20 hour commitment. As many will tell you, the actual number of hours you will spend varies-- some competencies require more, others less.

  10. #9
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    In some states, WGU might be quasi-public. In Texas, it's treated like a private school. It's not eligible for state financial aid, and Texas students don't get reduced rates.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  11. #10
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    In some states, WGU might be quasi-public. In Texas, it's treated like a private school. It's not eligible for state financial aid, and Texas students don't get reduced rates.
    WGU Texas gives admissions preferences to Texas residents:

    Q: Will you admit students who live outside of the state of Texas?

    No. Currently, WGU Texas admissions are only open to Texas residents.
    And WGU Texas does provide reduced rates to Texans, if they are graduates of Texas community colleges:

    Benefits to Texas community college graduates include ... a 5 percent tuition discount for the first two terms of your degree program.

  12. #11
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalDog View Post
    WGU Texas gives admissions preferences to Texas residents:



    And WGU Texas does provide reduced rates to Texans, if they are graduates of Texas community colleges:
    That is not even close to receiving in-state tuition based solely on residency or being eligible for state financial aid. Any private college is free to give preference and/or discounts to locals.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  13. #12
    swimmagal is offline Registered User
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    1- Do they offer an option instead of the webcam to go to an approved testing site (like my old high school)?
    2 - How can I tell which credits will be accepted without replying? I'm a sophomore and have taken 1 1/2 years of classes already at my local community college.

  14. #13
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    WGU also receives no state funding, and the discount amounts to less than $300. I was wrong about Texans not receiving a discount because I hadn't checked the website in awhile, but the discount only applies to certain Texans and is rather small. I could probably find another private college that gives a discount to certain CC students. I know, at one time, Straighterline students received some sort of discount. I still don't see WGU as being quasi-public in Texas.
    Last edited by sanantone; 10-08-2013 at 02:48 PM.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

  15. #14
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    duplicate post, delete
    Last edited by CalDog; 10-08-2013 at 04:25 PM.

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  17. #15
    CalDog is offline Registered User
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    It's true that ultimately, WGU Texas is a private school. However, WGU is hardly a typical private school, given that:

    -- it restricts admissions to Texas residents;

    -- it charges unusually low tuition, at a level that is more consistent with state schools, not private schools.

    -- it provides further tuition discounts to graduates of Texas community colleges (but not to graduates of out-of-state CCs). Admittedly the discounts are low, but let's not forget that their tuition is at a low, state-school-like level to begin with.

    - it was established by Texas Governor Rick Perry through an Executive Order. The Governor's Executive Order explicitly calls upon The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to:

    recognize, endorse and support online, competency-based education as an important component of the state's higher education system; to work to eliminate any unnecessary barriers to WGU Texas' delivery of such education programs; and to work with WGU Texas to integrate its academic programs and services into the state's higher education policy and strategy.
    So WGU Texas was established by an act of State Government, grants preferential admissions to state residents, and charges low tuition to those state residents. While it is a private school, it has an obvious resemblance to state schools in these respects.
    Last edited by CalDog; 10-08-2013 at 04:31 PM.

  18. #16
    sanantone is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalDog View Post
    It's true that ultimately, WGU Texas is a private school. However, WGU is hardly a typical private school, given that:

    -- it restricts admissions to Texas residents;

    -- it charges unusually low tuition, at a level that is more consistent with state schools, not private schools.

    -- it provides further tuition discounts to graduates of Texas community colleges (but not to graduates of out-of-state CCs). Admittedly the discounts are low, but let's not forget that their tuition is at a low, state-school-like level to begin with.

    - it was established by Texas Governor Rick Perry through an Executive Order. The Governor's Executive Order explicitly calls upon The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to:



    So WGU Texas was established by an act of State Government, grants preferential admissions to state residents, and charges low tuition to those state residents. While it is a private school, it has an obvious resemblance to state schools in these respects.
    I agree that WGU is not the typical private university since it was established by governors, but low tuition rates are possible because of their competency model. Not only have state schools like NAU followed this model charging out-of-state students a tuition rate even lower than WGU 's, but SNHU, a private school, is following this model also charging less than WGU . Patten University, a for-profit, also has extremely cheap tuition rates.

    The thing with WGU -Texas or any other offshoot is that the admissions preference almost has no meaning. I don't know if they have a limit to how many students they can admit at these campuses, but admissions is not competitive. If you don't get into one of these state campuses, you can always attend WGU . Other than having to pay $300 more, there is no difference between attending WGU -Texas and WGU . I thought I read once that WGU qualifies for state financial aid in one state. I think that is what would really make the difference. While I didn't qualify for federal grants for my graduate program at Angelo State University, I qualified for a state grant. WGU giving a discount to Texas CC students is more like a partnership/articulation agreement than some kind of government relationship. State colleges give lower rates to all residents regardless of where they went to school. WGU gives a 5% discount to CCs in Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia in addition to Texas.
    Welcome Community College Partners
    Community College Partners

    Edit: I found it. WGU Indiana is eligible for state aid.

    As a state-based online university, WGU Indiana is eligible for the same financial aid and grant programs offered to other in-state university students.
    WGU Indiana Tuition and Fees | Indiana Online University | WGU Indiana

    WGU also qualifies for state aid in Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont.

    Even though these states don't have their own WGU campuses, they treat WGU more like a state institution than Texas. I'd rather get a state grant than a $300 discount. Even Straighterline students can get up to a $200 discount. The grant for my graduate program was almost $1,000.
    Texas State University - PhD CJ (ABD)
    Angelo State University - Master of Security Studies and Grad Cert Terrorism
    Thomas Edison State College/University - BA Soc Sci, AAS in Environmental Safety, ASNSM in Biology, & BSBA in CIS

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