I was a stay-at-home mom with three active kids (all in school, but one was half day at the time), which made going back to finish my degree look impossible. I finally started looking for online options--on the brink of giving up after calculating the cost--when I ran across WGU. It looked too good to be true. Really. But I was determined, so I started doing my due diligence that this was actually a legit degree option. I called my state education department to verify that they were accredited and that my state would offer a reciprocal license since WGU is in Utah and I am not. I called four different school districts and talked to the principals to see if they would even consider hiring a teacher that had received their degree online. Three said definitely, one said no. I appreciated his honesty. Then I verified that I could get a student teaching position (very important to verify this--at the time I was inquiring it looked like I might have to drive to another state to complete that 12 week requirement and I'm 1.5 hours from the closest border!--I ended up being able to student teach in the school district I live in). It all checked out so I applied. This is a phenomenal option to complete a degree if you are disciplined and can buckle down. Their premise that you pay a flat tuition for a 6 month term and you can complete as many classes as you are able in that 6 months is unprecedented. I have literally been unable to find that option in any other college. They will also give you credit for knowledge that you already have--I was able to get credit for a health class because I could pass the final exam without the coursework. Again, unprecedented. I had completed some prior college credits prior to enrolling at WGU, so I came into their 4.5 year program with a year of credits. Since you can accelerate through the courses, I finished 3.5 years worth of classes in 15 months, and that included the 12 weeks of student teaching, which you cannot accelerate obviously! Do not get me wrong--this was a grueling process. It took extreme dedication, discipline, and focus to get through so quickly. I crawled across the finish line and I think I cried when I hit submit on my last paper. But I did it and I did it for a fraction of what the going rate is for a 4 year degree in this country (don't even get me started on that topic). Including books and fees, I spent a little over $11,000 (years:2009-10). I sold back some of the textbooks on Half.com and recouped a few hundred dollars as well. I feel that my quality of education has been excellent. I am in the know about any topic being discussed at the school where I currently work. A veteran teacher pulled me aside at one point and told me she was impressed with my knowledge and lamented about the quality of student teachers she was seeing at our school from her alma mater--a very large and well known state college. I felt really good about my WGU education that day! I also passed our state's PRAXIS exam with a distinction award for my score. This program isn't for everyone. You absolutely must be a self-starter and be disciplined or it is not going to be a value for you. I don't find learning on my own difficult, so this option was a perfect fit for me and I was highly motivated to complete the program. WGU does provide support for those who need more interaction and I believe there were tutoring options as well. I didn't have to utilize these options so I can't really comment on them. You have a mentor that helps you through the program and you have regular phone contact with them, which is nice and necessary so you know you are on the right track. I am currently teaching reading intervention part-time, which I absolutely love and is the perfect fit for my family right now. I can afford to teach part-time because I don't have student loans coming out of my ears. I was actually able to pay for most of my school as I went, because I was taking subbing jobs during that time. That would have been impossible if I had been attending a traditional school with set class times. The flexibility of online learning allowed me to attend school when it fit into my life, not try to wrap my life around a class schedule. I am now interested in completing my master's degree, but I'm holding out for when WGU offers one in reading. I'm hoping it is soon! I've looked at other colleges for this option, but the cost is ridiculous, especially on my part-time teacher salary. I cannot recommend WGU highly enough, for the person with the right personality fit for an online school option. Class Selection I went to a state school way back when, and obviously that school had class options that an online school cannot. I took figure skating for my health/gym credit for goodness sake! But I was looking for value when I found WGU, not 100 options for electives so class selection wasn't really my focus. Teaching Quality You will watch a lot of videos for the teaching classes, which I found engaging since they are being presented by some well-known authorities in the teaching field. You do a lot of self-learning through reading a papers as well--I would much rather do this than sit through the lectures I had to endure during my brick and mortar college days. As I mentioned, I learned what I needed to learn to pass the PRAXIS exam which is required in my state to attain my teaching license. I received the distinction award for my high score on that exam. Financial Aid I'm not going to take off points for something I don't know about. I know they were offering scholarships for people who lived in economically disadvantaged areas of the country at the time I was in school, especially if they wanted to teach math and science. The tuition was already so affordable, I was happy that it was the rate it was. We would not have qualified for any aid had we applied anyway. Accreditation I doubled checked this with my state department of education before I applied to WGU, and they were an accredited college. I also have received a teaching license in my state. No issues with them being accredited.