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Western Governors University

(74 reviews) Review It

Difficult Start - Fantastic Finish
Program: Dual Licensure, Special Education and K-8
Posted on November 15, 2009 by Joy

In my first semester, according to my mentor, absolutely everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Assessment schedules, computers not working during assessments, misunderstandings and misinformation on both sides.

I am SO Glad I didn't let those first glitches detour me. During moves related to my spouse's employment, I've attended several brick & mortar and online universities. Only WGU has a model that really works for a committed student who needs to have an online environment that isn't tied to a time frame. Once I got started, I was able to accelerate without cutting into the quality of the educational experience. I was even able to tailor my own preclinical experiences to match my interest in international schools overseas. Wouldn't have been able to do that anywhere else!
Overall Experience
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Comments about Joy's review

Posted by Nikki on February 1, 2011

I would love to hear more about your preclinical experience geared towards international schools. I am embarking on the Early Childhood Education track and would like to teach aboard soon after completion.

Reply to this comment
  by Joy on February 18, 2011
  It is nice to hear from another Joy. I am seriously thinking about going for my Special Ed/elementary education degree through WGU. I heard about your shaky start and appreciation later. Did you have any problems finding a school for student teaching? Were you able to obtain a position in the public school system. These are my two biggest worries. I would appreciate any information you could give me.
  by Joy on August 28, 2011
  Send a response and i'll send a link to the blog that records this experience.

Posted by Kristin on March 25, 2011
I am alos worried about what school will except me for student teaching and jobs with a WGU degree
Reply to this comment
  by Joy on August 28, 2011
  WGU has a demonstration teaching service - the office personnel were very supportive. Although I wasn't sure where I would end up doing my Student Teching - because I was coming back to the states just a few weeks before the start of the cohort - the WGU staff had two locations arranged. I was able to do student teaching in an public school inclusion 3rd grade and as a resource teacher in a public middle school. I also had additional opportunities in another state that I declined (because these two internship were close to family). I understand the concern - I was worried as well - but it turned out great. And my student teaching supervisor was FANTASTIC ! She was always available by phone and person - and worked with me in the classroom to make sure I had everything arranged that I needed to pass the assessments.

Posted by School Superintendent on August 28, 2011
Worthless Greedy Uni?
sorry but did they actually give you any courses like morphology or phonology?
For Christ's Sake... What did you learn before your teaching practicum or graduation thesis?
-_- ya... two pals got shyed away from due to WGU degrees, doesn't really provide a proper foundation in teaching literacy or any real core subject for high school.
Reply to this comment
  by Joy on August 28, 2011
  Dear "School Superintendent"

You ask "did they actually give you any courses like morphology or phonology?" Good Question!

In my WGU courses on teaching reading, I gained more essential knowledge and skills - as outlined by research done and standards set at The National Reading Panel - than I had at any of the other teachers colleges I had attended (regardless of illustrious reputation).

In fact, while I was attending a brick & mortar teacher's college (listed as a top school by US News & World Report) I was told by the head of the elementary education department that phonetics had no oral or aural components - and that I could anticipate failing her mandatory course if I disregarded her instructions and marked the exam according to what was very soon thereafter to become 'best practice'. Now, that was a lesson I won't easily forget!

The complete list of what I (and every other teaching candidate) had to prove competent in - prior to advancing to teaching intern - is spelled out clearly and in specific detail on the WGU website. (See course competencies: "The candidate will ..." ) At WGU, these are not suggestions or the typical 'pick and choose 80% to pass". ALL must be passed to standard in order to move on to teaching internships. So... Yes, WGU does 'provide a proper foundation in teaching literacy or any real core subject' regardless of grade level.

Note: With the strong emphasis on written communication at this online university, if your two pals who 'were shyed away from' also depend on expletives to frame an idea, or struggle in forming coherent sentences ... then maybe it was not where they earned their degree that was problematic. In that case, the dozens of papers required for each course at WGU could have only been beneficial!

Posted by Laurie on September 6, 2012
Hi Joy, would you please send me the link to your blog regarding your experiences in student teaching and obtaining a teaching position after graduating from WGU? Thanks!
Reply to this comment


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