Exactly how I completed 23 classes in 5.5 months at WGU, plus tips + entry process!
Are you looking for WGU reviews? Western governors university reviews are sparse on google, am I right? When I began my journey in completing my bachelor’s degree online, I wanted to find out if western governors university reputation was actually legit and respected. I could hardly find anything online. Sure there was a couple wgu reddit threads, but the bad ones were murky. I couldn’t tell if they were legit or just bitter. So I am here to give you my WGU reviews and tell you how I passed 23 classes in 5.5 months!
So, is WGU legit? If you are anything like I am, you are reading this because you are thinking WGU is too good to be true, right? I was like you… desperate for answers…scouring the internet for anything I could find about WGU. Questions like: Is western governors university legit? Is WGU a good school? Is western governors university accredited? Are WGU degrees respected? These are all great questions, and I’ll be answering them in this article. I WISHED someone would have posted a blog like this back when I began WGU in 2019. That’s why I made this… just for YOU!
I found WGU by accident, and in the oddest place, another university. I was in a counseling appointment to re-register at a local college to finish my bachelors and I asked what colleges my credits would transfer to 100%. She rattled off some- and then reluctantly said WGU quietly. And I was like say that again…what’s that? I could tell she didn’t want to tell me. That spiked my interest. We said our goodbyes and I looked up the school. Like you, I read reviews online and was excited, then reluctant, then excited again. Keep in mind what you read online isn’t always the truth. WGU did not pay or endorse this blog post, nor am I affiliated with any staff there. I just want to share with you how WGU education changed my life in hopes that it could change yours, too.
A little bit about me.. I had paid a stupid amount of money at The Art Institute Of Portland for an interior design degree which is basically useless. AI faces many lawsuits and legal issues for false advertising and misleading students. AI also is in hot water over aggressive loan sharking. Because of their bad rep, they closed down most schools.
Later, I went to Clark College in Vancouver Washington for a while to pursue Engineering. Fortunately I had taken all my Math and Sciences here which transferred to WGU with no problems.
I decided to attend WGU in January 2019 because I had done TONS of research and decided it was a great option to get your bachelor’s AND the program allows you to accelerate. WIN/WIN
After graduating WGU I got a great job 2 months later! I got 4 in-person interviews and got jobs at 2. One was a brand manager, and another was a marketing manager for an international company that works with Kroger and others. I also got an interview with HP, but the job didn’t pay enough so I declined on the phone interview when she told me the salary range. The 4th interview was a smaller company. More on that later.
I have a friend who works at NIKE who is a WGU college grad, and one who is a teacher in my cities school district. So, are WGU degrees legit? Absolutely. Can you get an amazing job? Absolutely.
Is western governors university legit? Absolutely.
I am currently an MBA student with a 4.0 at another university. WGU accelerated my MBA goal because without it, I saved so much time in my undergrad program by attaining a WGU online degrees. I am so thankful for WGU and had the BEST experience there.
So, are WGU degrees respected? I would say yes and no and sorta. I know, I know. But online degrees are NEW and people like baby boomers (some of them) have this idea that if you didn’t go to a brick and mortar school – you arn’t legit. However, this is just a bias you need to get past. The other thing is… I only had ONE interview out of 4 where I was asked alot of questions about WGU. The guy was a total tool, and you could tell he was a know – it – all and was very stuck up about my degree. It was very rude, but I just stood my ground. This was the small business I interviewed at that I mentioned above. I’m not going to tell you that are not people out there that arn’t going to like seeing an online degree. However, WGU is accredited, and the overwhelming majority of people I meet are very excited about it! At my other three interviews, they either didn’t care, or said how theyve heard good things about online college. So, I don’t have an answer for you accept to.. go with you gut and use your judgement. There is always going to be haters, and WGU was worth it FOR ME. I have NO REGRETS. I LOVED MY EXPERIENCE HERE! To finish my bachelor’s I would have had to spend YEARS in school. As a mom and wife and a small business owner, I just don’t have the time or money. Accelerating was such a great opportunity for me.
Enough about me! Now to the good stuff:
Keep reading for the rundown on exactly how my experience went start to finish at Western Governor’s University as well as my tips on accelerating:
DISCLAIMER: I have added some Frequently asked questions below in addition to my numbered tips below. I will update more as I receive feedback and questions from people on my Instagram. I listed my Instagram handle at the bottom of this article so feel free to follow me and reach out on there. I’m happy to help answer your questions.
– Is western governors university accredited? YES! You can find out Western Governor’s University Accreditation on their website!
– How long does it take to get accepted to WGU? It took me 3 weeks from the date of my application I did online to get fully accepted at WGU.. This is because I had prior college credits from 2 schools and wanted to get them transferred to WGU university. I had gone to The Art Institute Of Portland where I had an associates in Interior Design, and had also completed my Math and Sciences from a community college in my hometown.
– How many credits did WGU transfer? I felt they were VERY fair in transferring credits and transferred the majority of them I was very happy!
1. Applying: Visited their website, filled out online application. Took 15 minutes. I didn’t need to pay the application fee, they had a coupon out which allowed the fee to get waived for me (application fee).
2. While waiting to hear back, I contacted my past colleges where I attended and requested and paid for transcripts to be sent to WGU. You can find this information on where to send transcripts on WGU’s website or talking to your enrollment counselor.
3. I got a call the next day from WGU and was able to ask many questions. The enrollment lady there wasn’t the best, but I had done so much research I didn’t let that hinder my opinion of the school. She couldn’t sign me up that day because my transcripts hadn’t come in yet for review.
4. After my transcripts arrived three weeks after I submitted them, the enrollment counselor called me with my results (exactly what would transfer) and if I was accepted. Everything transferred fairly, and surprisingly most of my Art Institute credits transferred which was awesome! I enrolled with her that day over the phone.
5. Sometime after I got a login and was able to sign up for auto pay through there website. Once they got payment, I was ready to go and just had to wait until the 15th of December to get assigned a mentor and see my classes.
6. I received a box in the mail a few weeks before I started which included a welcome letter, informational packets, a coffee mug, and the webcam.
7. Printed out my required classes and started studying a couple of classes right away on quizlet.
8. Heavily researched my upcoming classes in WGU Accelerators group on Facebook, and also on reddit. Search directly in the group with either the classes exact name: “Information Systems Management” AND the Class Number! I would search for both and find completely different posts. You want to research each class and document exactly the quickest way to pass the course. If the overwhelming majority of people say that all they did was watched the cohorts and passed – believe them! Document and don’t waste ANY time doing extra work. The cohorts at WGU are far better than other schools and you learn ALOT. When people say they watched the cohorts – please know you will have to take notes and understand the concepts. I still had to watch them, pause, watch, pause. I would take notes on my flashcards constantly. And then study the flashcards!
9. Purchased a day planner on amazon (I like the Erin Condren Day Planner Or A “week at a glance” brand – so I could see the full week ahead), 1000 pack of 5×7 flashcards, and notebooks.
10. I made a board with all of my classes and hung it up on my wall in my room for motivation. Each time I finished a class, I’d mark off a big X. This was incredibly motivating for me!
12. I personally used quizlet rarely, others swear by it, but for me I have a better time writing and looking at something to absorb information. I used traditional flashcards and would study them each night. I kept three stacks: Know, Don’t know, What the hell is this?
As I would memorize a term, it would go in the Know stack.. and so on.
13. Right before a test I would sit in front of the computer in a quiet room and go through ALL flashcards. You’d be surprised at how many times this saved me on questions.
14. Don’t abuse your camera. If you are accelerating the last thing you need is for your camera to break. Trust me, these cameras are cheaply made and WILL break. Don’t mess with it, don’t let your kids or husband/wife move it frequently. Just take care of it and use it when you need it: while testing.
15. For papers, answer the questions exactly. The papers are NOT graded by the same person or even the professor. This practice is fair, however, you will not get the same grader each time. Do exactly what the questions ask and don’t worry about adding “fluff”.
16. Plan extra time for paper grading. I am an excellent writer, but tend to do “too much”, getting too intricate and adding in details that they didn’t ask for. In other universities, this type of writing is considered good. However, at WGU, this isn’t the case. Simply write exactly what they ask for. Nothing more, nothing less. K.I.S.S. = Keep it simple, stupid!
17. Paper tests took an average of 3 days to get PER edit. Do not slack off on papers. Get it right the first time so you don’t suffer and get behind. Plan ahead and for the worst. My capstone needed 3 revisions and took me over two weeks to complete. Plan ahead.
18. Take advantage of the WGU accelerators group. Ask questions, no matter how stupid you think they are!
19. Search for keywords in the WGU accelerators group if you are looking for advice.
20. I did not slack off.
21. Pretend each class takes one week, go over the syllabus, and divide the work over 7 days. Get it done.
22. If you were “bored” in school, this is the school for you. You can accelerate quickly so the classes are fun and exciting. You get to move on as quickly as you can handle to a new class.
23. I personally never ever took a PA first. Here’s why: you end up having a halo bias – thinking you should study only what’s on the PA.
24. I would watch cohorts before touching the book.
25. Take extensive notes during the cohorts. Make flashcards from the cohort notes.
26. Bug your mentor. They have a ton of knowledge on classes and what’s more challenging vs. what’s a breeze to get through. Listen to them. I did.
27. I never attended a live cohort.
28. Information systems management was the hardest class. Plan 2-3 weeks of extensive memorization. I read the books, end of module quizzes and the cohorts. I probably over studied. How to finish WGU fast? Take your time in here and don’t slack off on this one!
29. Find out what classes you’ll be taking first and start studying right away for 1 or two by using quizlet. Even though you can’t open the classes early anymore – you can still study quizlet which will get you a head start!
30. I passed two classes in my first 48 hours doing this. Watched the cohorts for both classes, took the PA and then the OA. That was a great way to get ahead!
Other things to know at WGU:
What’s a cohort at WGU?
A cohort is a recorded lesson given by the instructor where you can hear their voice and they present slides like a power point presentation. The cohorts are amazing. The live cohorts are the exact same thing – but are live – so you can interact. People who struggle with a particular subject recommend live cohorts. Though, I never attended one. The reason? You have to arrange ahead of time – and I don’t have the schedule to be able to do that. I also was trying to accelerate at WGU, so every day wasted mattered.
Whats a PA vs. OA?
A PA is a pre-assesment. It is a pre test that goes over SOME of the material. THE PA SHOULD NOT BE A STUDY GUIDE. So many people just study the PA and fail the OA’s. Remember, if you are trying to accelerate, just do it right the first time. Study, watch cohorts and when you feel comfortable to take the OA, take the PA! Disclaimer: I only took the PA in half of my classes. I was usually very comfortable with the material and my mentor just unlocked the OA’s for me when I asked.
An OA is an objective assessment which is your FINAL exam that gives you a pass/fail grade in the class. THIS IS THE ONLY TEST THAT MATTERS. All the work you do: studying, flashcards, cohorts.. are leading up to the moment you sit down to take the OA.
As I think of more advice or tips, I will definitely update my article. You can also follow me on Instagram @westcoastjulie and reach out if you have any specific questions!