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Going back to college is a big decision. The older you get, the harder it is to go back. There are many factors that are taken into consideration when going back to college; family, time, money, among other things. These are the many things that we had to consider as a family when deciding if my husband should go back to school. How were we going to afford it? Would there be time for him to go to class? What about coaching the kids in sports and his work schedule? How would we be able to fit it all in? There were so many reason to put it off, but Western Governors University helped us change our mind.
The Hurdles of Going Back to College
For many years, my husband had told me that he wanted to get his masters. It was something that he had envisioned for himself, and for his career, would eventually be inevitable. With having 3 kids, a household to run and my own job to consider, the thought of my husband having to attend 2-3 night classes a week was not something that I was looking forward to. I also knew that he didn’t want to give up his time with his family. Missing sports practices or games, or coaching the soccer team, was not something he was willing to do.
Then there’s tuition. Higher education is not cheap! While there are many programs that offer financial support, there were none that my husband qualified for. His tuition would have to come 100% out of pocket. What comforts would be have to give up as a family for this to happen? I certainly didn’t want my kids to miss out on something because we didn’t have the money.
My husband did a lot of research on various universities. He quickly ruled out the universities that required physical attendance in a classroom. We knew that with our kid’s active schedules that it would not be possible for him to be in class 2-3 nights a week. Still, as he searched out online universities, each of them still had the same ‘attendance’ requirements online weekly. It just didn’t seem that he would be able to stop everything and be online when he was requested to be.
The Western Governors University Difference
Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit, online university. They offer over 50 degree programs in teacher education, business, information technology, and healthcare – including nursing! Their programs are designed around competency-based learning focusing on mastery of skills and knowledge, opposed to accumulating credit hours. What does that mean for you? It means that you are able to learn the course content at your own pace, then complete an assessment (exams, papers, etc.) that measure your knowledge. Once you prove that you have learned the content, you are free to move on to the next course.
This gives you flexibility of time. You read through and view course content at your pace, when it’s convenient for you. My husband was able to review course content on the weekend or weeknights when there were no events to attend. He didn’t miss soccer games or practices, karate events or hip hop performances for the kids.
Each student is also provided with a mentor. This mentor became my husband’s best friend while he was enrolled! They spoke once a week about his progress and his struggles. His mentor offered solutions and encouragement when he was feeling down and was there to cheer him on to the finish line! My husband was actually able to meet him in person at the commencement ceremony in July!
WGU is also affordable. Not only is the tuition lower than many other online universities, they offer a payment plan to make it easier. In addition, because of the structure of their courses, there is the possibility of accelerated learning that may result in overall savings as well. As a matter of fact, because of the flexibility and competency based learning, my husband completed his master’s degree in less than one year. We only had to pay for 2 semesters, opposed to 4!
Western Governors University Accreditation
You may be thinking to yourself that this is one of those cut-rate online universities, but you would be wrong! Western Governors University is the only university to have ever received accreditation from four regional accrediting commissions. In addition, WGU is accredited by:
- The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- The Teachers College at WGU is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- WGU’s nursing programs are also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
My husband did it, you can too!
If you have been thinking about going back to college to get your bachelors or masters, I encourage you to contact WGU today! It’s free to apply. Simply click on any of the photos in this article to be directed to the WGU site. They can give you information on what it would take for you to take the next step. You can do it! You’re worth it!
Just take a look at the pride in our children’s faces the day that my husband walked in the commencement ceremony:
I was pretty proud of him too!
Want to learn more about Western Governors University? Check out this article in Forbes Magazine!