Western Governor's University

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by bethann, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. bethann

    bethann Rookie

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    Jun 4, 2007

    Hi all.

    I am a preschool teacher with a bachelor's degree in journalism and an A.A. in Early Childhood. I would really like to obtain my elementary teaching certificate, but am in a small rural town - looking at driving over an hour and a half each way in order to complete the two years of courses. I have searched a lot online, and found Western Governors University. They offer an MAT (similar to the University of Phoenix, initial certification with a bachelor's - only way less expensive than UOP.) They are accredited by the National Teacher Accreditaion organization, and the university was created by 19 state governors - including my state.

    Does anyone have any experience with this program? It is competency-based. You pay by term and complete what you can and pass assessments instead of earning credits. You still do the semester of student teaching. I am interested, but hesitant to go further until I've heard how others have found the program.

    Thanks for your help.

    Beth
     
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  3. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Jun 5, 2007

    Hi

    Im a student at WGU AND I LOVE IT!!!

    It is competency-based. you write a lot of papers. and the whole program is accumulative.
    You pay by term and complete what you can , if is only the required 12 then fine but if you can finish 36 like some people have then you can ,, you save money because in the end your there a few semesters less...
    I think in The masters program your not required to do student teaching..
    I find this program challenging. and worth my money. some on line schools let you do open book exams, that you really dont learn anything from. WGU is not like these schools at all
     
  4. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    Jun 10, 2007

    I actually switched from UOP to WGU. It's working out much better. At UOP you do a lot of work in teams and while I like the team concept in theory the practice was very frustrating. A team member may not pull their weight or they like to wait until the last minute to turn in their part.

    If a class is six weeks long it will take you six weeks to complete it at UOP. With WGU I've been able to keep my own pace which tends to be much faster than that. Like others have already said you can finish a class before the completion date and be enrolled in the next class even if it isn't scheduled until your next term at no extra cost. That's how you shorten the time in the program.

    WGU is writing intensive but then so was UOP. I found little difference there.

    I really like the Progress manager role. This is the one person whom you will stay in contact with on a regular basis. I had an academic counselor (actually several) at UOP but contacting them was a huge pain and they never initiated the contact. It seemed that every time I would call or email the line had been disconnected, email canceled and I'd have to search to find another counselor who could help me. I don't think this was common but I sure got the bad luck there.

    The number of hours of observation are quite different. UOP requires 100 hours not including the hours that are part of certain classes. I actually know several people who have finished everything except their observations. My WGU progress manager told me I only had 40 hours of observation and the time required by classes would take up a lot of that. I'll have to double check that. It's different than the 60hours someone already quoted.

    Acceptance of the program is also an issue. If your governor was one of the original 19 I'd think that the program is pretty well accepted in your state. There are certain states that don't accept UOPs Teacher Education Program. I'm in class now with a man who just moved to PA. He's having to do the program all over again at WGU because his original program was not accepted.

    I don't know if you were looking for a direct comparison but I hope this may have helped some.
     
  5. bethann

    bethann Rookie

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    Jun 10, 2007

    Thanks

    I really want to thank you guys for responding to my post. I am feeling very good about WGU at this point. I am thinking about enrolling a year from now, because that will have me student teaching when my youngest is in Kindergarten.

    It is great to hear from those who have experience in the program...please keep me updated on your progress.

    Thanks again!

    Beth
     
  6. bethann

    bethann Rookie

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    Jun 11, 2007

    CaitM, could you explain more about the 40 hours done at home with video? What exactly is that? As for the rest of the observation hours, how do they document that? Do they start working with a cooperating school at that point?
     
  7. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Yes, they will set it up through a school. You're not allowed to take care of it on your own with WGU. You give them several school's you're interested in, and they do everything else.
    The 40 in home hours I'm assuming are just watching videos of teacher's giving lessons, student interactions etc. Knowing WGU, we'll probably be required to write a paper on our observations.
     
  8. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    Jun 12, 2007

    I'm projected to graduate in May 2010. Unfortunately they didin't transfer any of my previous credits. I figure it will be a good refresher and I can move fairly quickly through the foundations part. It's been a little slow going as I'm currently doing a long term sub position but that will change in two days. I'll be able to pick up the pace then.

    I don't know what the requirements are for the progress manager but I feel like I'm in good hands. He has 30 years experience in education with the last few years being a principal. He just recently retired.
     
  9. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    Jun 12, 2007

    I'm so sorry your mentor left. That was one relationship I was never able to build at UOP and the one that excited me about WGU. It would be awful to lose one who has seen you through so much of the process.

    I was wondering about the communities. I assumed this would take the place of the discussions at UOP. I really liked that interaction. Now when I go to my communites I see something about joining groups but have no idea where the group studio is to join any. Do you know where I can find that?
     
  10. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Jun 12, 2007

    You should automatically have Elementary Education and the Student Support Center. Then every time you enter a new class, your Mentor opens that community. If you don't have communities then I guess they may not be offering them to new students. If so, that is truly a shame. That is where all students can get together and talk. I never would of gotten through my Critical Thinking class without the help from that community and community leader. Definitely ask your Progress Manager though. Maybe if you request it they will open it for you.

    ETA- Just looking through this thread and noticed a lot of the WGU info was outdated and no longer correct. Have no fear, the communities are still there and have been totally revamped!
     
  11. aksunshine

    aksunshine Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2007

    Hi There! Although I was already pretty convinced to apply to WGU, this thread has reinforced the idea. I am so excited! I have been attending a school over an hour commute part time for 5 years. Now I have 2 children and daycare is impossible, as are gas prices. I can't wait to see what transfers.

    So...Who would like to refer me? Anyone?:D

    Thanks so much for the encouraging words on WGU.:)
     
  12. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Jul 9, 2007

    Yay, another new student! I remember how excited I was too, and still am!
    If you would like someone to refer you, you can email me at caitlinm*@*my.wgu.edu *remove symbols around the @ sign*
    So, what are you going for? Elem ed?
     
  13. aksunshine

    aksunshine Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2007

    Thanks! Can you tell what othere fees are required besides tuition, such as books. And about how much do they run?
     
  14. aksunshine

    aksunshine Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2007

    And yes, Elem. Ed. Is that what you are studying?
     
  15. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Jul 9, 2007

    Tuition is $2,790 every 6 months, + a library fee of $40 I believe. For books, it's really hard to say. A lot of people use the internet more and only spend $100 or so every month or 2 on books. I get the books, and spend about $300 a term. I use half.com. My tuition so far has been nearly covered in pell grants etc, then I use a loan from Sallie Mae which covers the difference and leaves me with $1,000 a term for things I'll need like books, childcare once in awhile, etc.
     
  16. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Jul 9, 2007

    LOL we were posting at the same time, and yup it sure is!
     
  17. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    YEA!!! welcome to our WGU family!!! I love it. remember that the students there are a great resource and everyone is very friendly!!!
     
  18. aksunshine

    aksunshine Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2007

    Thanks so much guys!
     
  19. aksunshine

    aksunshine Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2007

    So, I just got off the phone with Robert Moore. I've caught one snag so far in the program. Since I am in Indiana, I can't do my student teaching here. I'll have to drive to Kentucky (45 min) 5 days a week for 12 weeks. Sucks, but I think it is better in the long run when compared to the school I've been attending. And by the time I get to my student teaching semester, we'll probably live closer to KY. We're currently looking for a house closer to hubby's work (and, thus, closer to KY!). Now, let's just pray some of my credits transfer! Cross your fingers for me girls!
     
  20. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Jul 13, 2007



    fINGERS CROSSED;)
     
  21. Heather7882

    Heather7882 New Member

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    Aug 9, 2008

    You like WGU??????

    Hi all,

    I am new here and am wondering if any of you ladies are still around! My boyfriend has been enrolled at WGU for the past few months, has taken a few classes, and has not had ONE teacher!!!! When he asked for help from his Mentor (a WONDERFUL woman named Missy), he was told his tutor would be able to help. When he asked if he was going to have any teachers/instructors, she said that there were only tutors and classroom discussion boards where the students helped each other "figure homework and stuff out together."

    He said he was concerned about not having any teachers because in essence, he would be teaching himself and paying several thousand dollars to do so.

    Is this "teaching" procedure new at WGU or has everyone here decided having no teachers is fine and as long as you learn the materials/skills necessary to become teachers, you're fine with it?

    I graduated from an online early childhood education program w/04 certification and a concentration in special education (Kendall College) and I had professors, most with doctorates, to help me along the way. I cannot begin to imagine what I would have missed out had I not had professors to learn from!

    Here is something to think about... why are you guys even becoming teachers if you do not think you need them at the college level? Shouldn't the kids be able to show up and teach each other or do schooling from home by themselves. Hey, if they learn the material, isn't that what matters? Of course not... so why is it ok for perspective teachers to get degrees on their own????

    Hope I am mistaken and can't wait to hear back from someone ASAP!
    PS. My boyfriend is changing schools unless he can get to the bottom of this!

    Thanks,
    Heather
     
  22. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Aug 9, 2008

    Hi Heather,
    I love WGU!! you have mentors that specialize in each content area. that is a person who has a masters or better in that specific subject. that is who you go to when you have a question. your boyfriend should go to a community leader (thats what the "teachers" are called). he can do this by going to the communities and leaving an e mail for this content advisor to get back to him.... and yes there is a lot of students helping students, but it is all done through the communities.... I have learned a lot more with this method of education then when I went to a "regular" school. I feel like all of the work is 5x harder also.. if you have any more questions feel free to ask...
    Ms Z;)
     
  23. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2008

    WGU isn't a normal school. A lot of it is finding the answers for yourself. Its all about proving you are competent rather than sitting through a lesson. How you get to that level is up to you. They offer resources to teach you... Thinkwell and Canter& Associates are video lessons/workbooks to help and if you still don't get it you can ask other students or community leaders like Ms. Z said. The resources are there you just need to use them.

    There are MANY students at WGU who are already teaching in a classroom and are successful at it. Some are just looking to get that piece of paper that says someone else believes so as well.

    Community Leaders have office hours where you can ask questions... there are additional student forums that are not officially supported by the school where students help each other out -- like a big study group. Teachers are important, but so is proving yourself. Some students are able to teach themselves (which is what WGU is good for) some are not and need someone to stand up in front of them and lecture.


    Also.. the people at WGU are adults they are not children. It is not fair compare the ability to learn between the two.
     
  24. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    Aug 10, 2008

    I couldn't agree more. It is absolutely silly to compare elementary/middle/high school aged kids to adults. We have more knowledge, experience, and the life skills it takes to attend a school like WGU.

    Frankly, your whole post was rather upsetting to me as I feel you are insinuating that teachers graduating from WGU are not as worthy. I can assure you that if ANYTHING, WGU prepares students even more then the traditional program. Do you have any idea how much discipline and competence it takes? A LOT. Don't make it sound like we we're buying a degree. We do our work, do in class clinical experience and student teaching just like everyone else.

    There is a reason that WGU has NCATE accreditation and other "professor led" programs such as UoP and UMUC do NOT.

    "In October 2006, the WGU Teachers College became the first and only online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The NCATE accrediting team extensively reviewed the entire WGU Teachers College curriculum to ensure "that candidates have the knowledge and skills to be effective in helping all students learn." NCATE is the premier specialized accrediting body for teacher preparation and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It accredits colleges of education that produce over two-thirds of the nation's new teacher graduates annually."

    By the way- your boyfriend certainly didn't do his job if he actually enrolled, paid for, and began a program without knowing how it works.
     
  25. chel0524

    chel0524 Rookie

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    Aug 21, 2008

    I am so glad to hear the positive feedback about Western Governors. I have enrolled there and just took the readiness assessment test today. I am so excited to go back to school!

    I have been out of college for 14 years. I have an associate in Accounting. I have 3 little girls and a full time job which make distance learning necessary.

    I do have a question though. Do you take all the exams online? How do they keep you from looking things up or is that acceptable to them anyway?
     
  26. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Hi and welcome to our little "family"
    to answer your question all exams are proctored. so you sit at an approved testing site and take your exam... it is all on line but you have to have a proctor...
    any other questions please ask
     
  27. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    chel - Welcome! please google WGU Student Hall... there is school specific information there as well
     
  28. time2teach

    time2teach Companion

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    Aug 21, 2008

    Another WGU student here....

    Not all classes have online assessments. Some classes you will complete tasks to earn your CUs for that class.

    A word of advice, don't buy your books too far in advance. I tried to be thrifty and buy my 2nd term books during my first term when I found them for a great deal. Then they either put them online for us (e-book type) or changed the book, then I was stuck with books I couldn't use.

    Good luck.
     
  29. CraigHill

    CraigHill New Member

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    Aug 22, 2008

    Glad to see there are alot of Wgu Students out there. We have our own little community at WGUforum.com check it out there are a lot of wgu students there
     
  30. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    Aug 22, 2008

    I am a new student! Just enrolled and will start in September. I am going for my Masters + certification. I am already teaching in a private, accredited school. For student teaching they said they couldn't guarantee that I would be placed at the school I am at...which I think is BS. I think they have to say that for liability..."in case Georgia changes rules and says student teaching only has to be done from a public school.."
    I called the board of ed downtown ATL...and they said as long as it is ok with my principal, I could do it there...and we had a student teacher last year who is now a full time teacher.
    I just don't want to go through the whole program and find out I can't do my student teaching where I am working. I know for a fact it would be ok with my principal.
    excited but nervous
     
  31. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    I dont know any reason, other than your state, that would wouldnt be able to. We have a few teachers doing their DT while they are the teacher of record... sometimes they are a long term sub.
     
  32. Ladysnap

    Ladysnap Rookie

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    How many of you attending WGU are working will you attend? After this thread I checked the school out and will apply there right after I graduate in December. I am hoping that I get a job during mid-term but I do want to continue on and get my Masters as quickly as possible.
     
  33. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Im working full time. its time consuming but worth it..
     
  34. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Hi, It has everything to do with the state and the requirements. private schools have different requirements. so to cover your back they want you to do it in a public school so later on your student teaching wont be questioned, and or redone..
     
  35. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    I worked full time up until student teaching... I LOVED that i didnt have too work school into my life or life into a school schedule.
     
  36. scienceteach82

    scienceteach82 Cohort

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    I'm working full time as a teacher. Plus a part time job at car dealership...might be giving that up...lol
     
  37. amyece

    amyece Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2010

    Anyone around still? I am SERIOUSLY considering beginning the Interdisciplinary (elementary ed) program. In Georgia it leads to a cert in Prek-5th.

    Would love to chat with others attending..or former students. :)

    I had planned to do early childhood education but was told Georgia only accepts the Interdisciplinary degree.
     
  38. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Aug 25, 2010

    I am!! I in my last semester of that program. I will student teach fall 2011. I LOVE THIS SCHOOL!! please ask any questions
     
  39. amyece

    amyece Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2010

    Hi there Ms Z! :) Which teaching degree are you pursuing?

    How long has it taken you?

    Any tips on how many credits to sign up for the 1st term? I don't want to under or over estimate my ability. :)
    I am really hoping to complete everything in no more than 3 years though.

    I am 30 years old, married, 2 step children, and will be starting a new job at a childcare center when they open in the next couple of months.

    I would love to hear your story. :)
     
  40. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Aug 26, 2010

    I am in the Interdisciplinary (elementary ed) program.
    I am 29, I work full time 40 hrs, and I have a 6 year old.
    I have been at WGU for 3 years, I could finish March 2011, but I want to do my DT (internship) in september.
    You can finish in 3 years if you take more than the minimum 12 credits. I started off with no credits at all. what I love about this school is that when I didnt know something and I needed to really slow down it was ok... but when I knew subjects I could speed through them in a week or two.
     
  41. amyece

    amyece Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2010

    I am super excited about getting started. :) Hope to see you around here. :)
     

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