Online Education: Western Governors University

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Backed by 19 western governors, WGU is probably the best buy when it comes to online education, offering low tuition and respect from the educational community.

Backed by 19 western governors, WGU is probably the best buy when it comes to online education, offering low tuition and respect from the educational community.

The following is one in an ongoing series of articles exploring the various online educational opportunities available for today’s college students.

Unlike many of the larger online for-profit universities, Western Governors University (WGU) operates as a nonprofit entity, tasked with educating students in a variety of fields. Founded in 1997 thanks to the collective efforts of nineteen western US governors, WGU was designed to fill the need for additional educational opportunities for the rapidly growing west. The governors realized that distant learning could reach many more students while serving to help their states offer higher education without allocating scarce public funds to expand or create new universities.

WGU has a physical presence in Salt Lake City, UT, but teaches most of its classes online. One exception will be its newly approved nursing program which will operate online but also work in conjunction with three Southern California hospitals for onsite instruction. SayCampusLife.com mentioned this program previously in, “Online University Pledges To Help Ease Nursing Shortage,” noting that the program will begin this month.

Mentoring Is The WGU Way

Because of its tie to the governors of nineteen states and the territory of Guam, WGU has taken an extra step to ensure that its students are receiving the education that they need to succeed. That step involves assigning a working mentor to each student who advises and assists them from the time when they initially enroll in WGU through class completion. An Academic Action Plan (AAP) is developed to help guide students, which operates as a blueprint and schedule to help them complete their degrees.

WGU students can work at their own pace, even accelerating their studies if their schedule permits. Working with their mentor students complete assessments (which serve as learning benchmarks) to help them reach their educational goals. Essays, term papers and online tests are all part of the WGU learning experience, traditional learning styles that effectively blend with technological enhancements.

Courses of Study

Nationally and regionally accredited coursework leading to Bachelors and Masters degrees are offered through WGU. WGU operates colleges centered on teaching, business, information technology and the health professions. Currently, more than 11,000 students from all fifty states are enrolled in WGU as the school is open to students beyond the sponsoring states.

Tuition for all students, no matter where they are domiciled is the same, with students paying a fixed rate for each six month period that they are enrolled. As of this writing, the basic tuition for each six month period (which equals a semester) is just $2890, less than half the amount charged by many of WGU’s for-profit online competitors. College scholarships are available through the university and the school accepts third-party scholarships, corporate reimbursement, GI bill and VA benefits and other forms of financial aid.

Although fairly new, WGU has gained a good reputation from a number of sources who recognize that the university offers a distant learning opportunity that most students can afford. With online learning growing sharply, WGU appears to offer the best bang for the buck along with the recognition and state support that some students will find to be important to them.

Adv. — Online learning opens a world of educational opportunities for students. Almost every course of study imaginable is offered via the internet, offering degree, diploma and certificate programs for tens of millions of students. To learn more, please visit SayLearning.com to find a program to your liking. Do you need financial aid? If so, check out our free financial aid charts to learn how to apply.

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Categories: Online Education