Western Governors University - legit?

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Western Governors University - legit?

Postby swimmagal » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:45 pm

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!!
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby nosborne48 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:39 pm

WGU is about as "legit" as it gets. The only concern I would have, other than whether an on-line degree program would be something I could accomplish without the structure of residential classes, is whether a B.Ed. from WGU is acceptable to the state Board of Education where I want to teach.

I am not a teacher but I am fairly familiar with the state licensing process. The bachelor's is the basic professional degree. The analysis might be different if you wanted an M.Ed. but already had a teaching license. Contact your state BoE and ask them.
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby johann » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:47 pm

swimmagal wrote: Is this a legit university for a bachelors in education?

Absolutely. Did you read the site? A quote from the accreditation page:

"The WGU Teachers College is the first exclusively 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)." The whole thing is here. http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/accreditation

I am unconcerned with individual likes/dislikes. I just want you to be sure that WGU is the real thing. We have grads of WGU on this board who can tell you how good it is. Incidentally - the school has grown. It graduated its first student in 2000 and now it has over 10,000 grads a year.

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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby nosborne48 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:52 pm

Oh, and the probable reason for being a B.A. instead of a B.S. is that the degree is really in Education, not Biology. You won't do all of the upper division course work in biology that a student set on a career in the sciences would take. Instead, you will take a lot of pedagogy.
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby johann » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:00 pm

Just read your reply, Nosborne - right after I finished cooking up mine. Many, many moons ago, I was a teacher. Not for long - it was something I really didn't want to do in the first place - and I escaped for good at the first opportunity. Nowadays, I have teachers in the family, too.

The one thing I can't understand is this - how anyone, anywhere qualifies for a teaching credential in the K-12 world without a significant amount of supervised practice teaching in a real school. Can't be done, at least in this part of Canada. You have a degree and you want to teach? Then you go to a B&M Teachers' College for a year - and quite a bit of that time is spent in schools, teaching students and being assessed on what you did right and wrong.

Is it really not that way in the US?

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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby swimmagal » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:15 pm

I understand that there is no field experience part in this school. However, what do you think of my cons?? If you are a pro-WGU how would you argue against them? If I wanted to get accepted into a masters program at another university, could I without a GPA?
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby johann » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:25 am

swimmagal wrote:However, what do you think of my cons?? If you are a pro-WGU how would you argue against them?

No argument. My sole reason for my original reply to you was: I know WGU is legit and didn't want anyone thinking otherwise. End of story.

Maybe some of our WGU grads will come out of the woodwork and address your concerns. The school has a good rep - I've heard from some happy campers in the forum - but I never went there. I've also heard from a couple who did both Bachelor's and Master's at WGU - so there's at least one way around the no-GPA problem - and there are others. Here's WGU's own list of schools where WGU grads have been accepted for graduate degree programs:

http://alumni.wgu.edu/s/1110/noRtCol.as ... 1&pgid=321

Regarding your "con" about not being able to see in advance if the course is easy or hard: Presume it's hard and work accordingly. That way, you'll never be disappointed. :)

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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby swimmagal » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:14 am

Do you think any of you experienced forum users could poke a WGU graduate up from the deep sea to answer some of this? (and to be my new BFF!!!!!!!)
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby SteveFoerster » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:45 pm

johann wrote:Is it really not that way in the US?

I think you do need supervised field experience to get a teaching credential, but I'm not sure about a teaching degree. Think of the former as akin to passing the bar after getting a law degree, in that you need both to practice.

And also like the legal profession, things vary a lot by state, I suppose.
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby nosborne48 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:54 pm

You DO have to have supervised teaching experience for the degree, I believe. I don't know how they do it at WGU but I didn't look very close.

From the WGU website www.wgu.edu

"5. Complete a Term of In-Classroom Student Teaching (Demonstration Teaching).

"Demonstration Teaching (or student teaching) is a critical component of any teaching degree program. This in-classroom experience is invaluable in helping to integrate the academic knowledge and teaching skills you’ve developed to this point into a practical application that will prepare you to tackle the challenges of your own classroom effectively and with confidence.

"Demonstration Teaching (DT) at WGU covers the competencies required for in-classroom proficiency. DT is a full-time, supervised, in-classroom experience of a minimum of 12–20 weeks. During Demonstration Teaching, you will be hosted by an experienced teacher. You will undergo a series of at least six observations by a Clinical Supervisor and also receive evaluations from your Host Teacher to evaluate your performance based on accepted professional standards.

"As you approach your Demonstration Teaching, a WGU Placement Specialist will work with you to set up your placement. The process of scheduling your DT placement may take up to six months. You may be required to assist in the process of setting up your placement. In some cases, you may be required to commute up to two hours (or in rare cases longer than this). Note that students are not permitted to work during their Demonstration Teaching experience. You must be at least 18 years of age before you may begin the application process or participate in preclinical experiences or Demonstration Teaching."
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby swimmagal » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:37 pm

nosborne48 wrote:You DO have to have supervised teaching experience for the degree, I believe. I don't know how they do it at WGU but I didn't look very close.

From the WGU website http://www.wgu.edu

"5. Complete a Term of In-Classroom Student Teaching (Demonstration Teaching).

"Demonstration Teaching (or student teaching) is a critical component of any teaching degree program. This in-classroom experience is invaluable in helping to integrate the academic knowledge and teaching skills you’ve developed to this point into a practical application that will prepare you to tackle the challenges of your own classroom effectively and with confidence.

"Demonstration Teaching (DT) at WGU covers the competencies required for in-classroom proficiency. DT is a full-time, supervised, in-classroom experience of a minimum of 12–20 weeks. During Demonstration Teaching, you will be hosted by an experienced teacher. You will undergo a series of at least six observations by a Clinical Supervisor and also receive evaluations from your Host Teacher to evaluate your performance based on accepted professional standards.

"As you approach your Demonstration Teaching, a WGU Placement Specialist will work with you to set up your placement. The process of scheduling your DT placement may take up to six months. You may be required to assist in the process of setting up your placement. In some cases, you may be required to commute up to two hours (or in rare cases longer than this). Note that students are not permitted to work during their Demonstration Teaching experience. You must be at least 18 years of age before you may begin the application process or participate in preclinical experiences or Demonstration Teaching."


Does that mean this sole class could delay my graduation date? Also what is the graduation rate of the school out of curiosity?
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Re: Western Governors University - legit?

Postby johann » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:31 pm

swimmagal wrote:Does that mean this sole class could delay my graduation date? Also what is the graduation rate of the school out of curiosity?

I don't know about "delay" - but I'm guessing you won't get a teaching credential till you've done the 20 weeks with satisfactory standing. It's an indispensable part of the program. To become a welder, they make you weld. To become a teacher, they make you teach.

Graduation rates? If you're curious, why not sift through available info and find out. Here's some "pre-fetched" data to start with:

http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/annual_report_2012.pdf
http://www.educause.edu/library/resourc ... university
http://www.wgu.edu/wgu/student_consumer_guide

If you've filtered through all that stuff, you've found that the latest posted "grad rates" are pretty low - about 22 percent. But I don't think this "average" matters much to you. Do you really view yourself as "average?" ... I thought not. :) Seriously, pretty well all the stats I saw on my brief search had to do with undergrad degrees. You're coming to this school with a degree already - to earn another. That puts you in a different (and better) ballpark, as far as potential success is concerned.

My take: success hinges largely on the practice teaching. The academic part should be do-able, as you have successfully completed one degree already.

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