As of January 2019, Western Governors University (WGU) serves 113,593 students, with a global network of 131,833 graduates. The majority (more than 75 percent) are from federally-defined underserved populations: low income, minority, first-generation college students, and rural students. The opportunity to complete an academic credential, regardless of time or place, and to accelerate through areas for which past opportunities have developed competency, result in WGU being the best postsecondary education option for many. In 1997, WGU pioneered competency-based education measuring learning rather than time. Competency units correlate to course outcomes without regard for the time it takes a student to master them. Students receive course credit when they have passed the required objective and performance assessments. WGU’s high standard of mastery has been designed to equate to a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. WGU's Teachers College was the first exclusively online university to receive accreditation for its teacher licensure programs from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In 2018, it received accreditation from the Council of the Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) with no stipulations nor areas for improvement.
I found WGU to be very flexible and affordable. I finished my master's in 11 months. I got exactly what I was looking for from the program.
- From 10 to 15 monthsProgram Duration
- OnlineProgram Format
Online, flexible and affordable (half of what you would pay at other online universities). Each student is assigned a mentor from the education field who provides personalized support. WGU is CAEP Accredited, ranked top one percent in Teacher Preparation, and number one nationwide in producing STEM teachers. WGU offers a flat rate for each six-month term, and students can accelerate once they demonstrate mastery of the subject. Terms begin on the first day of every month, so WGU students can start anytime during the year.
Earth Science (9-12)
Elementary Education (K-6)
Math, Middle Grades (6-12)
Science, Middle Grades (6-9)
Special Education: General Curriculum (K-12)
Program Semesters/Steps Overview
- Program Overview
Candidates are provided a standard path or course of study at the time of entry. Courses are broken out by six-month terms. Baccalaureate programs consist of eight terms. Candidates do not have electives and pursue the courses in the sequence of the standard path. Years 1 and 2 include courses in content and application for initial preparation. Year 3 consists of more courses in the professional core with preclinical experiences across the total program. Year 4 encompasses supervised student teaching. Each candidate is provided with a program mentor who guides the candidates in taking courses and following requirements for licensure.
- Hands-On Experience
Candidates have multiple opportunities for working with different school cultures throughout the preparation experience. Embedded virtual field experiences occur in three courses: Psychology for Educators; Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners; and Classroom Management, Motivation, and Engagement. Preclinical experience, which includes at least two placements, occurs prior to student teaching for 75 hours. Co-teaching is emphasized in the preclinical experience.
- Preparation for Diverse Populations
All candidates address ELL, cultural differences, and exceptional populations in these courses: Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learner; Cultural Studies and Diversity; and in all methods courses for instructional planning and presentation. Additional information can be found in the Code of Professional Ethics and Dispositions that addresses the ethics of care for diverse populations: https://cm.wgu.edu/t5/Field-Experiences-Handbook/Teachers-College-Code-of-Ethics-Professional-Behaviors-and/ta-p/109.
- Mentoring & Coaching
Throughout student teaching, each candidate will have a clinical supervisor (an experienced educator) and will work with a Host Teacher (cooperating teacher) with appropriate experience in the licensure area. Six observations, a midterm, and a final evaluation provide evidence of the candidate's capacity to teach successfully.
- Program Commitment to Improvement & Excellence
Involvement of host teachers, principals and clinical supervisors includes more than supervision. WGU surveys each to solicit information for program improvement and excellence. WGU has established multiple types of partnerships with school districts at different levels. Tier 1 partnerships involve contractual agreements with schools and districts, and surveys are conducted on the quality of the candidate. In Tier 2 and 3 partnerships, public school personnel are asked to review specific types of documentation and make recommendation for improvements. A unique factor is that WGU addresses all 50 states. WGU’s Education Council and P-12 Advisory Council each meet twice a year.
- American Indian or Alaskan Native
- Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
- Two or more races