Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hits/Views

I need to add a counter to this blog so you all can see what sort of views we’re having here.   Until I get around to that, I’ll just keep you updated in a post.

Today, we had over 330 views!  Another great day!  More than 1,400 views since inception!

Let’s keep it up and see what we can do!  If you haven’t already, please share the site with a friend or co-worker.  We’re here to represent everyone!

Vacation blues…

Scaredatwgu – I was thinking of you and how hard it is to get away for a few days 🙂   Then it occurred to me that I really don’t know just how many hours per week people are devoting to this job.  So using the oh-so-fancy “poll” function, I have created a poll to measure that.  Everyone take some time and give a response.  Remember – your answer is top secret and safe with us, so please be honest 🙂

 

What I want….

I must say that I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts.  You’ve given me so much to think about.  As of today, just one week shy of starting this endeavor, this is where I stand…

*  WGU offers one of the best distance learning programs for working adults.

* WGU employees are some of the most passionate advocates for distance education and adult students, that I have ever met.

* WGU has the potential to be a really great place to work, but is has some hard work ahead to get there.

* WGU is growing so fast they’re unable to keep up with some of the changes in structure and strategy that are necessary.  It’s getting harder and harder to keep up folks!  Can’t you see this??  We can’t do a query of our own students??  We have to tally by hand the number of courses that use a specific learning resource??  The foundation MUST be in place before we can move forward.

* WGU needs to be the innovator they claim to be and establish financial aid policies that hold students accountable.  Anything less than this lets down the distance education community, the taxpayers, and WGU employees.

* WGU needs to listen, really listen, to the concerns of their employees.  Instituting a new metric that changes employees from top performers to bottom performers within 6 months is a problem.  It’s bad for morale and just plain bad policy.  The employees did not change, just the metric changed.

Thanks for letting me have a say.  I appreciate your support.

Participation Update

Yesterday I asked those of you coming to read, to take some time and make a post.  Many of you did and I thank you.  We can only succeed if we all participate.

Today, we had over 470 views on this blog!  That’s pretty amazing for a one day total.  This tells me you’re telling your friends and they’re all coming to have a read.  Please encourage them to make a post.  Suggest a change.  Validate someone’s ideas.   I have consistently heard that many of you love the WGU model, you love your students, but you don’t love your job (or some aspect of your job).  Well, this is what we created to help make some change, so please take this golden opportunity.

I was going to blog about the “Student Loan Bubble” today, but was so distracted by reading everyone’s posts, that I didn’t get mine prepared 🙂  So stay tuned for that blog in the future.

 

Participation

I want to thank everyone that has taken the time to post here.  It really supports my belief that WGU has some of the best, most passionate employees that just needed a space to “have a say”.  For those of you viewing, but not posting, I’d like to ask “why”?  This is your opportunity to openly discuss what’s wrong and what we might do to fix it.  These are your peers!

In just a few short days, this blog has had more than 600 views.  This tells me others are interested, but perhaps are concerned about retaliation.  When you post, please feel free to use the name of your “alter ego” 🙂  We are all here to share our feelings and concerns and hopefully to make a bit of change.  Come join us!!!

Fraud

I decided to start with something that I think is a big problem at WGU – financial aid fraud!  It took me a few years (I’m a slow learner) to figure out how it happens, but now that I know – I’m mad!  Frankly, taxpayers would be furious if they knew what happened here.  Let me tell you how it works…..

Ben (a false name of course) registers to attend WGU as a full-time student.  During his first 6-month term, he passes just one class worth 3 CUs (CUs  stands for competency units and are like credit hours at other universities).  Now, what is important for everyone to consider is that in this case Ben did not even try to pass his other courses!!  He didn’t take notes, do quizzes or even fail the exam!  HE DIDN’T “SHOW UP” TO THE COURSE ONCE  AND WAS NOT SUSPENDED OR EXPELLED FROM THE UNIVERSITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But because he talked to his mentor off and on throughout the term, he was able to stay enrolled and collect ALL of his financial aid money.   He admitted to using the money to start a new business.  The new business was consuming a great deal of his time and that is why he said he didn’t work on his other courses – he was busy.  Unbelievable.  He’s using federal loans to pay for his education and tuition at WGU is really cheap, about $3,000 per term, so he was able to collect a ton of “overage” – somewhere around $8,000.  $8,000 to start his new business!!!  Paid for by me and you – the American taxpayer!  OK, there is some more you should know.  Because WGU is so “generous” (with taxpayer dollars) they allowed Ben to register for ANOTHER term and “try again”.  So, Ben registered again as a full-time student, collected around another $8,000 dollars from the taxpayer and this time passed two courses.  Improvement right??  Well, when you consider that he was supposed to complete four courses to be full-time, he’s obviously still far from the mark.  OK….here’s the rub – WGU, again being oh so generous with the taxpayer dollars, see he’s “improving”, AND GRANT HIM ANOTHER TERM OF FINANCIAL AID!!  What??  Are we nuts?? Another $8,000 of overage for his “business” while he’s completing 50% or less of his courses?  Again, he’s not even “showing up” for them!  He’s not even trying!   Ben has collected over $20,000 of taxpayer dollars and he’s completed only three courses.  Yes, three is the total because in his third term he didn’t complete a single course.  Yep, that’s what I said – he didn’t complete a single course and we still paid him his $8,000 of financial aid overage.  Unbelievable.

I know some of my co-workers are not outraged by this because they believe that the money is a loan and the student will have to pay it back eventually. I think they’re being a bit overoptimistic.  Check out this recent article from the New York times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/education/13loans.html, stating that default rates are sharply increasing.  It also talks about the new loan repayment programs that limits monthly payments to about 15% of the student’s discretionary income for 25 years, then the rest of the loan is forgiven.  OK, let’s think about that, when a student makes $35,000 and has a family of 4, their repayment amount is $18 per month.  If they only make $30,000 and have a family of 4, they pay NOTHING.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out here http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/IBRPlan.jsp.

Fellow WGU employees, what do you think?  Am I the only mentor that has seen this happen?

Fellow taxpayers, what do you think?  Does this upset you?

Everyone at the Dept of Education – is this fraud?  Misrepresentation?

 

 

 

Why I’m here

Hi! I started this blog because I work at Western Governors University (WGU) and am unable to vent my feelings of frustration anywhere else.  You see, at WGU if you say anything slightly negative or critical, management will help you find your way to the unemployment line.  Like many of my co-workers, I’m finding it hard to find another job right now, so venting at work is not an option.  I know many of my current (and former) co-workers are just as frustrated as I am, so I think this blog will serve as a safe place for us to “have a say” in a retaliation-free environment.  So, I invite everyone to read and post – students, current and past employees and yes…even management.  If anyone from management finds their way here, please feel free to post.  We won’t retaliate against you because unlike you, we believe every side/opinion should be heard and considered.