Student Experiences at Western Governors University (WGU)

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  • bbarrickbbarrick Member Posts: 242 ■■■□□□□□□□
    powerfool said:
    So, this comes up due to some certification we must undergo to teach distance courses (I have only taught in-person courses, to date, with the exception of doing it "virtually" due to the pandemic).  This is specifically related to how financial aid works and how the federal government classifies a course as "distance" versus "correspondence".  If it is correspondence, then they are not able to qualify for financial aid.  The definition deems it as correspondence if it doesn't have significant interaction or if the student has to initiate the interaction routinely.  From from I know of WGU, there isn't even an instructor and pretty much everything is student initiated outside of occasional follow up from the "mentor"?

    It just has me wondering how much it is the college being overly cautious, as WGU isn't a new thing by this point.  If they were really "slacking" according to standards, it would have bit them already, I am thinking.
    I graduated in December of 2018 and at the time WGU had student mentors and course mentors. 

    Regular checkups with the student mentor were required. These people guided you on what classes to take and when, they also have some sort of background in the students degree. So for me I was in the Software Development track, my mentor had worked as a software engineer and had a CS degree. 

    Course mentors sent out emails as soon as you started on that course. It was a welcome email that would contain resources to get you started. I was in my late 30's with several years of experience so when I had to take an Intro to IT course there was no need for me to even respond and interact with the mentor for that course. 

    Many of their courses have videos recorded by the course mentor to explain various topics. If a student still has issues they can schedule 1 on 1 time with the mentor to get more help. 

    Having grown up in the 80's and 90's and actually taken a correspondence course, I do not feel that WGU is anything like that at all. I've got my degree so maybe I'm a little biased, but I've also got experience in both environments as well.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,821 Admin
    powerfool said:
    It just has me wondering how much it is the college being overly cautious, as WGU isn't a new thing by this point.  If they were really "slacking" according to standards, it would have bit them already, I am thinking.

    WGU has been offering online courses since 2000(-ish), is regionally and CHEA accredited, and currently has over 100,000 students enrolled world-wide. I think they have all the Federal and state angles figured out by now. :)
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