For those of you who are not yet aware, I am starting a degree program July 1st. I will be studying Marketing Management online at Western Governors University. Most of my friends know because I can’t shut up about the school. I’m literally in love with the idea of the school, even though I have yet to begin. Over my last few years as a SAHM/WAHM I’ve read a lot about online coursework, and I gave up on the idea before because it was SO EXPENSIVE. But WGU is a fully-online not-for-profit university that has national and regional accreditation and a stellar reputation.
The classes are also very different. My sister is attending Everest University Online, and she’s doing very well there. However, she has assignments that have to be turned in at a specific time, and she’s required to use forums to prove her participation. WGU has assessments, which vary from quizzes essays and proctored exams. Successful completion of these assessments proves competency in a subject, and gives credit for the course. So, I’m not required to sit through lectures and do homework about subjects that I already know: I can just prove my competency, collect credit, and move on with my degree. I also don’t have to juggle different subjects at the same time. I’m free to take one at a time if that’s easiest for me, which I suspect it will.
Put the low cost of tuition together with a truly self-paced learning system, and you have such an amazing recipe: The tuition cost is per six-month semester. They set you up to take a standard 12-credit semester, but if you finish those 12, you’re free to complete as many extra competencies each semester as you can for the same flat rate. I’ve calculated this: Considering the credits that were transferred, I can take just ONE class per month starting July 1, 2013 and FINISH my undergraduate degree by June 30, 2015.
WGU is ideal only for students who intend to finish their degree at the school. While I have found them most generous with their acceptance of credits from other institutions (CLEP courses are AMAZINGLY effective there), the WGU system doesn’t seem to transfer well to other colleges midstream. I’m not sure why this is, but I don’t find it relevant to my situation — I’m not likely to opt to pay 3x as much for a less-reputable education. Also, there isn’t a GPA at WGU: You either know your stuff, or you don’t. Everyone graduates with the equivalent of a 3.5 GPA, or they don’t graduate at all. So, I guess I won’t be on the dean’s list (kudos, sis, for that achievement!), but I’m really okay with that.
Today, I started the orientation process. I’m not having much luck getting the kids to cooperate with quietly playing, and I’m in desperate need of coffee, so I think I’ll put a pause on it until after bedtime. I’m going to try to get the kids to snuggle up for a nice long nap. LOL. . . And when that fails, I’ll do some laundry.