Audit calls for Western Governors University to repay $700M

DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMPMember Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
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  • gespensterngespenstern Member Posts: 1,243 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I don't like when the feds do that. BTW thank feds for the necessity to have this annoying once in 2 weeks call with your mentor.
  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Member Posts: 614 ■■■■■■■■□□
    We'll see what happens. The recommendation is just that, a recommendation not a requirement for the classification or repayment. My perspective is that there are people that do not necessarily agree with the model influencing the results of the report but I have no direct knowledge.
    Thanks, Tom

    B.S: IT - Network Design & Management
    M.S. - CSIA (Started 3/1/2017)Progress T1: C688, JIT2; T2:TFT2, C700, VLT2; T3: C701, C702; T4: C706, FXT2, LQT2
    Black = Not Started, Blue = In Progress, Red = Complete
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Betsy Devos supports Trump U, so I doubt anything will happen. Still thought it was worth sharing......
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,279 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yeah if you read the articles about it it's based on a 20+ year old rule that I'm sure hasn't been updated for anything internet related. They'll probably just update the rule, I mean their regional accreditation was just renewed with zero issues. Still bad press though.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    Yeah if you read the articles about it it's based on a 20+ year old rule that I'm sure hasn't been updated for anything internet related. They'll probably just update the rule, I mean their regional accreditation was just renewed with zero issues. Still bad press though.

    You nailed it, just bad press.....
  • ITSec14ITSec14 Member Posts: 399 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I don't know why WGU receives so much negativity. People are always calling it a scam. They are non-profit, cost model is fantastic, plus you can take as many classes as you want each semester and earn some certs from their IT programs. If anything, I'd say we need more of this approach. The only one's being scammed are those paying $100k for a degree from a brick and mortar school and spending their life in debt.
  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Member Posts: 614 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thanks, Tom

    B.S: IT - Network Design & Management
    M.S. - CSIA (Started 3/1/2017)Progress T1: C688, JIT2; T2:TFT2, C700, VLT2; T3: C701, C702; T4: C706, FXT2, LQT2
    Black = Not Started, Blue = In Progress, Red = Complete
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    http://classroom.synonym.com/difference-between-correspondence-distance-education-3685.html

    Good article on Correspondence Education vs Distance Education.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/09/22/education-depts-inspector-general-calls-western-governors-repay-713-million-federal

    This is very interesting. From my understanding, WGU didn't follow the federal laws for federal funding. This will be interesting to see the outcome.


  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Danielm7 wrote: »
    Yeah if you read the articles about it it's based on a 20+ year old rule that I'm sure hasn't been updated for anything internet related. They'll probably just update the rule, I mean their regional accreditation was just renewed with zero issues. Still bad press though.

    Yea, this could happen as the rule is pretty old. Seems like WGU just hires any random person (as long as the person says they are somewhat related to a particular field) to contact their students and are trying to count them as "faculty" though. Not sure how much I agree with that as it doesn't sound like WGU students would be getting the most qualified people. But don't think people choose WGU because their quality of education.

    I'd be surprised if this held up and they had repay anything.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    There could be a settlement, instead of a full repay.
  • lismithlismith Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm planning to start WGU in a couple of months. This is definitely bad press, and will likely hurt the credibility of their degrees. I'm going to have to rethink... and I hate that, because WGU is perfect for me. icon_sad.gif
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    There could be a settlement, instead of a full repay.

    Unlikely anything will happen. It's a recommendation. There's no teeth behind this yet and unlikely to be any. It's based on a 20 year old law which critics even say is incredibly ambiguous. The government more likely to change the law than to require a school founded mostly be Republican govenors to bankrupt itself paying back a non-binding audit
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • NavyMooseCCNANavyMooseCCNA CCNA R&S, ITIL, Security+ ZZ9ZZAMember Posts: 543 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Out of curiosity, does WGU have PhDs as the instructors in their programs? When I got my MBA at University of Phoenix, none of the instructors were academics. All had MBAs and worked in industry, but none were tenured professors.

    'My dear you are ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly' Winston Churchil

  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Member Posts: 614 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Out of curiosity, does WGU have PhDs as the instructors in their programs? When I got my MBA at University of Phoenix, none of the instructors were academics. All had MBAs and worked in industry, but none were tenured professors.

    WGU does have course mentors with doctorates that are SME in the subject matter.
    Thanks, Tom

    B.S: IT - Network Design & Management
    M.S. - CSIA (Started 3/1/2017)Progress T1: C688, JIT2; T2:TFT2, C700, VLT2; T3: C701, C702; T4: C706, FXT2, LQT2
    Black = Not Started, Blue = In Progress, Red = Complete
  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Member Posts: 614 ■■■■■■■■□□
    <SNIP>Seems like WGU just hires any random person (as long as the person says they are somewhat related to a particular field) to contact their students and are trying to count them as "faculty" though. Not sure how much I agree with that as it doesn't sound like WGU students would be getting the most qualified people.<SNIP>

    The student mentors have some experience in the field that they mentor for but are not SME's, that's what the course mentors are for. The student mentors are there to help ensure that the student stays on track and on schedule.
    <SNIP>But don't think people choose WGU because their quality of education.<SNIP>

    I disagree but then I am biased. I have found the education to be satisfactory and the ability to accelerate through material I am competent in is useful. Like anything else, you get out what you put in.
    I'd be surprised if this held up and they had repay anything.

    It's not even about holding up, the department can choose to ignore it completely if they wish. I expect something like that will happen along with a push to modernize the pertinent legislation.
    Thanks, Tom

    B.S: IT - Network Design & Management
    M.S. - CSIA (Started 3/1/2017)Progress T1: C688, JIT2; T2:TFT2, C700, VLT2; T3: C701, C702; T4: C706, FXT2, LQT2
    Black = Not Started, Blue = In Progress, Red = Complete
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Unlikely anything will happen. It's a recommendation. There's no teeth behind this yet and unlikely to be any. It's based on a 20 year old law which critics even say is incredibly ambiguous. The government more likely to change the law than to require a school founded mostly be Republican govenors to bankrupt itself paying back a non-binding audit

    Maybe so, but the OIG is nothing to sneeze at. They are a very well respected government organization in fact one of the harder ones to get into from an employment standard. Much more difficult than, say the USDA or DOA.

    I've personally removed my masters degree from my LinkedIn and resume' prior to hearing the news and a few others on this forum did it for a "trial period". I found that I have been getting more hits lately without it. Could be a red herring.......

    On a personal level I didn't like the lack of engagement between other classmates, it was purely correspondence, not distant learning. And the concept of task stream always had me concerned, sometimes rushing trash papers through and getting a pass and the other times taking my time and getting it kicked back.

    Posting on a forum didn't do much for me either for primary engagement. Other Universities have engagement nights where you can meet other professionals in the industry you are studying, and in doing so it's much easy to build up a relationship and internship.

    In regards to my mentor, he came across more like an empty suit / salesman not a business executive.

    Either way no disrespect to you or anyone else with a WGU, I have one and like I said I don't list it.
  • slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Member Posts: 665 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Maybe so, but the OIG is nothing to sneeze at. They are a very well respected government organization in fact one of the harder ones to get into from an employment standard. Much more difficult than, say the USDA or DOA.

    Actually, every government agency has an OIG, OIG is not an independent government agency.
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, (ISC)², Microsoft USAMember Posts: 879 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Yes, I had a lot of interactions with mentors that held doctorates, including my capstone grader.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    Maybe so, but the OIG is nothing to sneeze at. They are a very well respected government organization in fact one of the harder ones to get into from an employment standard. Much more difficult than, say the USDA or DOA.

    I've personally removed my masters degree from my LinkedIn and resume' prior to hearing the news and a few others on this forum did it for a "trial period". I found that I have been getting more hits lately without it. Could be a red herring.......

    On a personal level I didn't like the lack of engagement between other classmates, it was purely correspondence, not distant learning. And the concept of task stream always had me concerned, sometimes rushing trash papers through and getting a pass and the other times taking my time and getting it kicked back.

    Posting on a forum didn't do much for me either for primary engagement. Other Universities have engagement nights where you can meet other professionals in the industry you are studying, and in doing so it's much easy to build up a relationship and internship.

    In regards to my mentor, he came across more like an empty suit / salesman not a business executive.

    Either way no disrespect to you or anyone else with a WGU, I have one and like I said I don't list it.

    I didn't take any offense or disrespect from it. I was just advising to not stress to much about it. Like slinuxuzer stated, every government agency has an OIG and they can make a "recommendation" which generates some bad press but I doubt it's going to change much.

    RE: Removing your Masters degree, that's your choice. I doubt many employers have heard of WGU either way so they're probably not making a decision to exclude you based on your degree alone. I remember you got a worried some time ago when you got a promotion and when your employer sent out an congratulatory email citing your experience to the team, they excluded your Master's degree and you worried that was on purpose. If you are open to advice, I would say to stop stressing so much about what your degree is. In most cases, you're 90% more likely to get people who have never heard of WGU than people who would ever judge you over it.

    As far as engagement with students, I take it you never joined the WGU IT Slack. With over 1,651 very active students chatting at all hours of the night, I find I can't keep up with that level of engagement. In fact, I often need to ignore it to do my job because there's too much engagement going on at any given day. I look away for 2 seconds and there are a bazillion messages. See screenshot of it below.



    The forums might not be super active since most people stick to the social media they know but the Linkedin group and Facebook groups were pretty active.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/westerngovernorsuniversity/

    I was bored by my mentor. I just wanted to work on classes. I don't think anyone wants to get
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Member Posts: 665 ■■■■□□□□□□
    To expand on this some, no one is challenging the accreditation of WGU, this simply has to do with regulating where government dollars can be spent, this law exists because of severe abuses by unaccredited schools leveraging government aid. The sad part of the whole thing is, this, the big schools are losing market share and money to WGU, so I have no doubt that special interest leaned on the education department.

    The irony to the whole thing, is that a market for WGU exists because education costs have gotten insane, the reason they are insane? Because government is in the business of underwriting student loans and handing out grants. Hands down anytime Uncle Sam gets in the market for any product, the price of that product sky rockets.

    Sadly, the reason things skyrocket is that industry realizes our government is wasteful, inefficient and spends like a drunken sailor, and they, being the astute business people they are, capitalize on this. One of the many reasons I am for limited government.

    A perfect example of this is the housing crisis and proliferation of "Ninja Loans" - watch the movie "The big short"
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    @ Iris, good memory and that was one major reason I started to omit it. The guys and gals from Harvard, Texas A & M, UCLA etc had their degree proudly posted in their promotional write up, mine was left out. I'm only left to speculate. Either way your advice is appreciated.

    @slinux, why would anyone think it was about accreditation, I can't recall any situation where a school lost accreditation and had to repay students back. This is about not complying with federal lending rules, which they clearly breached, it's not even up for debate. Now if we want to say the rules are old and obsolete then that's a different story.

    I tend to think they will settle some monetary penality through back channels and move forward while the rules get formally change. This is about money and someone will get paid...... There is a very good possibility that even if payment was made you wouldn't hear about it.
  • slinuxuzerslinuxuzer Member Posts: 665 ■■■■□□□□□□
    @DatabaseHead Maybe I read too much into you removing it form your LinkedIN, but just saying, no reason to hide having a WGU degree.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    @DatabaseHead, I wouldn't worry about what school other people got a degree in. There's always going to be someone smarter, who went to a better school, who gets paid more, who gets promoted faster, etc. I'm a firm believer in owning your accomplishments. Yes, I went to Western Governors University. I've beaten out people who went to better schools for a job. I've almost quadrupled my pay since I graduated in 2012. Anyone who wants to judge me for my degree and overlook the rest of my accomplishments or how far I've come, I would probably laugh at and move on. People only have the power to make you feel insecure about something if you let them. This is not a matter of you paying for a degree and not having to do any work to get it (i.e. a degree mill) so feeling insecure about it because other people haven't heard of it or it's not Harvard is, in my opinion, a waste o time. You paid the tuition, you put in the work, and you should be proud of it. You're not defined soley by your degree but you should be proud of earning it.

    As far as payments and backchannels, doubtful. Devos has signalled that she's not really for more penalties and regulation for schools. The most I could see happening is someone at WGU paying "political contributions" to key politicians but I don't believe the Department of Education will ever try to enforce this or ask for a settlement. Again, WGU was the creation of 19 mostly or all Republican govenors so I doubt a Republican Administration and Republican Congress is going to start chasing after WGU over an outdated law that doesn't reflect current technology. In all likelihood, we'll probably see the law changed before we ever see them try to hunt down WGU for $700M
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,501 ■■■■■■■■■□
    You could be right, see my post above.

    Betsy Devos supports Trump U, so I doubt anything will happen. Still thought it was worth sharing......

    I'd say chances are you are right, but for this to surface, there has to be more to it. Maybe some lobbyist tied to a network of "superior" schools. Being sarcastic....
  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Member Posts: 614 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Thanks, Tom

    B.S: IT - Network Design & Management
    M.S. - CSIA (Started 3/1/2017)Progress T1: C688, JIT2; T2:TFT2, C700, VLT2; T3: C701, C702; T4: C706, FXT2, LQT2
    Black = Not Started, Blue = In Progress, Red = Complete
  • aderonaderon CISSP, CCNA:S, CCNA:R&S, AWS:CSA Assoc, Sec+, Lin+, A+, Net+, Proj+ Member Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    ITSec14 wrote: »
    I don't know why WGU receives so much negativity. People are always calling it a scam. They are non-profit, cost model is fantastic, plus you can take as many classes as you want each semester and earn some certs from their IT programs. If anything, I'd say we need more of this approach. The only one's being scammed are those paying $100k for a degree from a brick and mortar school and spending their life in debt.

    I'm taking an online master's degree from a traditional brick and mortar. And I have to say the material is several times easier than what I was doing for my bachelors at WGU. I've said it before, but passing a college level class is easier than earning a certification imo.
    2019 Certification/Degree Goals: AWS CSA Renewal (In Progress), M.S. Cybersecurity (In Progress), CCNA R&S Renewal (Not Started)
  • tiftonhotchildtiftonhotchild Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I just seen the news. When I was in the process of starting to apply. Do you guys think I should wait to apply.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    @tfitonhotchild - I wouldn't worry about it. It's so unlikely anything will happen. The Department of Education was complimenting WGU while they were saying they would "review" the audit. The law is more likely to change than WGU getting told to give the money back.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,606 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Honestly, this isn't even news. There is at least one thread from nearly two years ago dealing with this issue. Granted, early 2016 is when they started looking into the issue and only now have they made a recommendation. This isn't about accreditation but with the way that a fifty plus year old law hasn't kept up with newer educational models. There was no deception on the part of the WGU, which means that even if the Department of Education wanted to recoup the money they would have a difficult time doing so. That is why, like Iris stated, that the law will likely get amended before WGU would have to pay back a single penny.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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