Complaint Review: Western Governors University
Western Governors University online college university Salt Lake City Utah
I am here to give a thorough and honest review of this University. Like many, I was sold on the ability to move through quickly, and of course, the cost. I consider myself very open minded, and before investing into anything, I research it. A simple google search gives this school way too much credit. It is apparent there are numerous "Planted" reviews everywhere for this school. Even on this very site. As well as paid search engine spots. Lets be real, what normal and sound minded individual that is enjoying and loving their WGU education, is spending their days responding and cluttering forums with rebuttals on negative reviews?
I will first say I finished my AA entirely online at my local community college. I loved it. I proudly wore my cap and gown when graduating and walked away with lots of knowledge. The format was traditional. Each week I had assignments, a physical book to study, and worked through topic by topic leading to a final paper or exam. This school sometimes required proctored tests and used turnitin to weed out plagiarism. I also had a professor/teacher I could reach out to when needed. I was not exactly excited about WGU, but the price ultimately sold me for a BS. There are things I wish I knew and I wish enrollment counselors explained before I made this leap. I will list them below.
Format - How I missed this concept, I am not sure. But there is essentially no "coursework" for WGU. They are a pass or fail concept with a weird percentage calculation, known at "cut scores". You have one exam and an ebook and that is it. Some courses have cohorts and some have videos. Not all. Each is different. The classes and material are not consistent. It is difficult with this concept to figure, where to start? All of my mentors told me much of the material isn't used on the exams, and to only focus on certain areas. I was also told to always take pre-assessments first and then only work on the areas I performed poorly in. How is this a constructive learning format? I think it is confusing and misleading. When you take multiple choice assessments, pre or final, you can never see what you got wrong. The written assessments are equally frustrating. Some 3rd party nit-picks your work to death. You can have 99% of the format correct and above and beyond what was asked, but if you forgot your student ID, it will be returned and hold you back days. Again, not learning a thing, just re-wording things and moving material around to please the "graders" from who knows where. 99% of schools are traditional format teaching, and that is for a reason. I, like many others, learn best going topic by topic, and having a more engaged experience to retain information. This "unique" approach WGU speaks of isn't really unique. It's a quicky degree, for those that can actually absorb the crappy material. I say it is crappy because not all of my credits transfered, and I did re-takes of classes I have already done. WGU complicates simple concepts.
Mentors - I did not like this idea, but figured, oh well. Can't beat the price. Your mentor is your babysitter. They call weekly and then eventually bi-weekly. My relationship with my mentor was awkward. Couldn't really have comfortable conversation and often long silences on her end. I did not like that she wouldn't assign me the courses I wanted. When I would be in waiting periods, either for an assessment to be graded, or to be re-approved for an exam by a mentor, I was not allowed to move forward with other classes. Your mentor has to approve each one. Pretty misleading of the school to say you can go as fast as you want, when each class needs approval first. Mine never did. She never approved the ones I requested, and then began to tell me that classes were changing so I had to do a particular order. She became especially slow as a term was coming to a close. Some classes I could finish in days, but during that last month I heard every excuse in the book as to why I needed to wait til next term. I read a little bit about mentors intentionally holding students back, for the school to get the most bang for their buck, and I find this "rumor" to be mostly true. If you go on glassdoor and read employee reviews, many say this is true. They also say they are overwhelmed with students, and get docked for losing them. Anyway, the whole purpose of a mentor is not for motivation. It is to keep the school rolling in the bucks. This reminds me of University of Phoenix. Pretty disgusting to see a supposed "non-profit" using this method. Real motivation and respectable adult behavior is going to college and finish without anyone telling them to. That is the idea of college. Is to be completely self-disciplined, and if you are not, you do not finish. Boom. With a grad rate of 22%, the mentors and school in general are clearly focused on quantity more than quality.
Course mentors - WGU fanboys on this site will argue mentors are for motivation and course mentors are your "teachers" and are there to teach you when you need it. As I mentioned, the school is booming so fast each mentor is increasingly overwhelmed. You have to schedule a time with them, most often when you fail an assessment. I will mention, once you fail one, you cannot just "re-take" the course. The course mentor must approve. This can hold you back for a month or two, on just one course. The 2 I did fail involved long discussions that did not teach me a thing. I dreaded the conversations because they EXPECT you to know what you are struggling with. I am not seeking answers, just simple explanations. I am a logical learner. I do best with straightforward explanations. Virtually none of the material is this way. My best analogy of them "helping" is as follows. Normal teacher lecture: Giraffes have evolved long necks to adapt to eat from tall trees. WGU "course mentor" explanation: What animal is evolutionarily equipped to eat what food source in the sahara? See the issue? You fill in your own answers. For someone who does not understand something or is drawing a complete blank on a topic, this is not teaching or guiding or helping someone understand. They don't even give you a page of the text to reference. That is why course mentor talks never did a thing for me, and I assume others feel the same frustration. This brings me to the next topic..
Cheating police - It is pretty much impossible to cheat here. I heard all exams were proctored prior to enrolling, which was fine with me, as I do not cheat. The level they take this, however, is crazy. The proctors are a 3rd party Indian group(outsourcing, keep it classy WGU!). They are very crazy picky. They take over complete controls of your computer which made me extremely uncomfortable as they are not from the USA. I have lots of information stored on my computer I don't want some strange foreign country to have access to. As a full-time working mother, I often had to schedule exams during my youngests naptime or late in the evening. I prefered the naptime so I would be most awake. One assessment, I failed, because my toddler walked out and peacefully sat on the couch and wanted cartoons. I didn't even need to get up. I also mentioned in my prior paragraph, the course mentors were of little help to me. I kept getting one assessment returned from taskstream, over one line of a math problem out of about 60. I re-did it 10 times or so, and could not understand what was wrong. The course mentor, as I said, is a "fill-in-the-blanks" type of guy, which is useless. I sought an outside forum for help with that one area, as it seemed my only option. To my surprise, I get an email 2 months or so later with an investigative google search linking the username to myself, and I had to have a meeting with someone for plagiarsm, and faced suspension or losing credit for that course!!! That is INSANE. Tutoring and discussion of material is accepted at any other school. Why is it so wrong here? Shoot me I couldn't pass an entire course because of one math problem, even though 99% of my other problems were correct. Chime in the WGU fanboys, I am a cheater cheater pumpkin eater! I BEG to differ. If I wanted to cheat, I could've easily paid some honors high school kid locally to do the whole assessment for me. I needed help with one problem. In traditional school, online or in person, my grade would've still been an A with one problem missed! There is a reason that format is what has been used for 100s of years.
I hope those of you considering enrolling take this information to heart. My main emotional take away is this was the most frustrating "college" experience of my life. It is true, you get what you pay for. I will finish my BA, hoping I can find a school that takes their worthless credits. If not, I learned an expensive lesson, but would never dare add this school to my resume. It has officially become the cheap UOP, a true wolf in sheeps clothing.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/14/2016 07:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/western-governors-university/internet/western-governors-university-online-college-university-salt-lake-city-utah-1322408. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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