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Western Governors University (WGU) Online Degree

Online Degree Programs in Education, Business, Health and Technology

WGU, a non-profit online university, offers online degree programs for undergraduates and graduate students. This article reviews Western Governors University.

WGU, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a non-profit, distance learning university established by 19 governors and funded in part by corporate sponsorships and government subsidies.

Known for its competency-based online degrees, WGU is accredited by four separate associations, and won a 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning. Reported by the Essay Helper Free.

This article will give an overview of WGU, detail its online degree programs, and explain how its distance learning works.

Western Governors University – Benefits of Online Education

Many adult students who have already gained solid skills in the workplace pursue a college degree for career advancement. Still others go back to school to change careers. WGU, regarded for its academic rigor and competency-based education, is an ideal choice for nontraditional students who need a flexible, online education. Below are some of the benefits offered:

  • Competency-based learning, in which students advance by demonstrating acquired skills rather than completing courses
  • Generous scholarships funded by numerous corporations and foundations
  • Tuition assistance for active-duty military personnel and approved learning under the GI Bill
  • Self-directed study in a flexible, asynchronous schedule
  • Excellent mentoring and academic support
  • Accelerated programs for students who enroll with previously acquired knowledge and skills

One of the unique qualities of WGU is that its tuition schedule matches its competency-based philosophy. Students pay for the time they are in school, rather than by credits, thus allowing those who demonstrate acquired skills quickly to pay less. Tuition is a flat rate every six months of just $2,890, which is perhaps the least expensive online university tuition in North America (for those able to finish school in a reasonable amount of time).

Regarding financial aid, online students are now eligible for federal student loans and Pell Grants. Additionally, besides research paper writing help, WGU has generous scholarship opportunities provided by its many corporate and foundation sponsors.

Western Governors University – Online Learning and Online Course Structure

The asynchronous learning structure at WGU is unlike any found among other online universities. Rather than accumulate credit hours by attending online courses, students must accumulate skills and demonstrate competencies in order to graduate.

Thus, students at WGU don’t enroll in online courses. Rather, they receive a portfolio of skills which need to be attained for each degree, and work closely with an academic mentor to plan how those skills will be acquired. In this sense, the learning is student-driven and uniquely flexible. Students not only choose their schedule, but their learning plan as well.

The choices students have to acquire knowledge and skills are unlimited, and can include textbooks, online group study sessions, online learning communities, and online educational resources provided by WGU. Additionally, students who come to the university with competencies and skills already acquired from past experiences may demonstrate them immediately rather than waste time by taking courses full of already acquired information.

Students demonstrate their competencies via online tests, papers, projects, and problem-solving initiatives, many of which meet industry standards for a given profession. The faster students finish their required assessments, the faster they graduate, thus saving both time and money.

The learning process is facilitated by a personal mentor with whom students work closely to develop a personalized Academic Action Plan. Mentors serve multiple roles for online students; they are academic advisors, educational coaches, and support service guides. This mentorship program provides students with the personal contact and assistance needed for academic success (which students at other schools find from their various professors).

WGU does offer online courses and web-based instructional sessions, but these are provided as resources rather than obligatory sessions students must attend. Additionally, there is a dynamic online portal through which students can connect with other online classmates. It is here students will find active learning communities.

Western Governors University – Academic Colleges and Online Degree Programs

WGU offers a menu of online degree programs through its four online colleges. This section, organized by academic college, will detail its degree offerings.

Below are the online degree programs offered through the WGU Online Teachers College:

  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (K-8)
  • Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
  • Bachelor of Mathematics (5-9 or 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Science (5-9)
  • Bachelor of Science (Chemistry, 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Science (Physics, 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences, 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Science (Geosciences, 5-12)
  • Bachelor of Social Science (5-12)
  • Bachelor of Special Education (PK-12)
  • Master of Teaching (K-8)
  • Master of Teaching, Mathematics
  • Master of Teaching, Science
  • Master of Teaching, Social Science
  • Master of Special Education (PK-12)
  • Master of Educational Leadership
  • Master of ELL/ESL (PK-12)
  • Master of Science Education (5-9)
  • Master of Science Education (Chemistry, 5-12)
  • Master of Science Education (Physics, 5-12)
  • Master of Science Education (Biological Sciences, 5-12)
  • Master of Science (Geogsciences, 5-12)
  • Master of Instructional Design
  • Master of Learning and Technology
  • Master of Measurement and Evaluation

WGU also has a post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program which offers teacher licensure in math, science, and social sciences. The program has been accredited by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and is the only online teacher preparation program in the United States to have received such accreditation.

The essay writer service prepared a list of the online degree programs offered through the Online College of Business:

  • Bachelor of Business Management
  • Bachelor of Human Resources Management
  • Bachelor of Information Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Marketing Management
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • M.B.A. Information Technology Management
  • M.B.A. Healthcare Management

Below are the online degree programs offered through the Online College of Information Technology:

  • Bachelor of Information Technology
  • Bachelor of IT – Networks Administration
  • Bachelor of IT – Networks Design and Management
  • Bachelor of IT – Databases
  • Bachelor of IT – Security
  • Bachelor of IT – Software
  • Bachelor of Health Informatics
  • Master of Information Security and Assurance
  • M.B.A. Information Technology Management

Below are the online degree programs offered through the Online College of Health Professions:

  • Bachelor of Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Bachelor of Nursing (Prelicensure)
  • Bachelor of Health Informatics
  • Master of Nursing – Education
  • Master of Nursing – Leadership and Management
  • Master of Nursing – Education (RN to MSN option)
  • Master of Nursing – Leadership and Management (RN to MSN option)
  • M.B.A. Healthcare Management

WGU offers all of these online degree programs on an asynchronous, student-created schedule.

Western Governors University – Online University Technology Requirements

Since the university does not have live, online classes, the technology requirements are very modest; students simply need a stable internet connection and access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Office or Open Office.

Western Governors University – Quality Distance Learning

WGU’s competency-based educational model – and the flat, inexpensive tuition rate which accompanies this model – set it apart from other online universities. Since students acquire skills rather than accumulate credit hours, those students who work quickly (as well as those who enter with previously attained skills) are able to graduate at an accelerated rate. This, coupled with the flexible, student-created academic learning plans and strong student supports, make GWU an unparalleled online choice for those pursuing an online professional degree.

For more information, reference the Western Governors University guide to online degree programs, from which the information for this article was gleaned.