Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to Highlight the Value of Your Degree from Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) continues to prove itself as a forward thinking, reputable, and accredited university that is leading the way in competency-based education. However, there may still be a few employers who have misconceptions or negative opinions regarding online education. Below are a few tips to help address any concerns that may arise.

  1. Share that WGU is regionally, NCATE (teaching), CCNE (nursing), and CAHIIM (health informatics) accredited (depending on your program). Regional accreditation is through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, one of the major accrediting commissions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional accreditation is the highest form of accreditation given to institutions.
  2. Point out that WGU has nationally recognized programs. For example, in the Teachers College, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) recognized WGU’s secondary teacher program as number one out of 2,400 programs.  Also, Accounting Today listed the top 5 affordable online bachelor's degrees in accounting and WGU's accounting program was listed as #1. Even if you are not pursuing your degree in teaching or accounting, these recognitions lend to credibility. Keep an eye on the WGU Newsroom  as there continues to be numerous articles written reflecting the success of WGU programs and the online, competency based model. Pulling tidbits from these articles can be helpful.
  3. Create a portfolio that contains some of your harder tasks and projects worked on demonstrating what you accomplished across different content areas.
  4. Print out a copy of the letter explaining WGU’s grading policy available on the WGU Career & Professional Development website to address any concerns regarding a lack of GPA. 
  5. Highlight that WGU is a nonprofit university and is not in the business of making money. Tuition rates have not been raised for 7 straight years. 
  6. Several programs have you earn industry certifications in addition to your degree. Emphasize how your education through WGU prepared you to successfully achieve the certifications in addition to your degree.
  7. Remind employers how WGU has partnered with several states to help state residents obtain access to quality education.  
  8. Focus on the self-discipline and transferable skills required to earn your degree such as prioritization, time management, goal attainment, and love of learning.

Western Governors University continues to grow and the quality of its students and graduates becomes more and more evident. Employers are seeking WGU graduates rather than questioning the degree.  For those few skeptical employers that remain, hopefully these tips will help you get your foot in the door and provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate how much you have learned! For additional career guidance and support, please contact WGU Career & Professional Development.

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