Student Experiences at Western Governors University (WGU)

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  • bbarrickbbarrick Member Posts: 242 ■■■□□□□□□□
    powerfool said:
    So, this comes up due to some certification we must undergo to teach distance courses (I have only taught in-person courses, to date, with the exception of doing it "virtually" due to the pandemic).  This is specifically related to how financial aid works and how the federal government classifies a course as "distance" versus "correspondence".  If it is correspondence, then they are not able to qualify for financial aid.  The definition deems it as correspondence if it doesn't have significant interaction or if the student has to initiate the interaction routinely.  From from I know of WGU, there isn't even an instructor and pretty much everything is student initiated outside of occasional follow up from the "mentor"?

    It just has me wondering how much it is the college being overly cautious, as WGU isn't a new thing by this point.  If they were really "slacking" according to standards, it would have bit them already, I am thinking.
    I graduated in December of 2018 and at the time WGU had student mentors and course mentors. 

    Regular checkups with the student mentor were required. These people guided you on what classes to take and when, they also have some sort of background in the students degree. So for me I was in the Software Development track, my mentor had worked as a software engineer and had a CS degree. 

    Course mentors sent out emails as soon as you started on that course. It was a welcome email that would contain resources to get you started. I was in my late 30's with several years of experience so when I had to take an Intro to IT course there was no need for me to even respond and interact with the mentor for that course. 

    Many of their courses have videos recorded by the course mentor to explain various topics. If a student still has issues they can schedule 1 on 1 time with the mentor to get more help. 

    Having grown up in the 80's and 90's and actually taken a correspondence course, I do not feel that WGU is anything like that at all. I've got my degree so maybe I'm a little biased, but I've also got experience in both environments as well.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,436 Admin
    powerfool said:
    It just has me wondering how much it is the college being overly cautious, as WGU isn't a new thing by this point.  If they were really "slacking" according to standards, it would have bit them already, I am thinking.

    WGU has been offering online courses since 2000(-ish), is regionally and CHEA accredited, and currently has over 100,000 students enrolled world-wide. I think they have all the Federal and state angles figured out by now. :)
  • SHADOWSTRIKE1SHADOWSTRIKE1 Server & Network Administrator Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Has anyone here taken their Masters course?

    I finished my bachelors about 5 years ago from a local university, and am now considering WGU for their M.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance.  I figured if I'm going to get my Masters, picking up CEH along the way would be nice.  I'm curious what the course load is like.  I'm working a full-time job currently, and plan on transferring to a new position in the near future.  Not sure if this would be a good idea or not.  They say 76% of graduates finish within 24 months... which would be 4 "terms" which sounds like around $16K.  Is this timeframe a real expectation?  Has anyone been able to finish sooner or took longer?
  • Neil86Neil86 Member Member Posts: 179 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited March 3
    I'm working from home primarily now and have much more time on my hands. I decided to utilize it and go for my B.S. at WGU and looking at the Network Operations and Security program. I was wondering how much my A.S. and certifications (only CCNA was accepted) would contribute, and to my surprise, it took care of 65% of the courses. I'm working on financial aid and hopefully some tuition reimbursement from my employer. Looking forward to starting soon. So far it's been a pleasant experience.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 424 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Has anyone here taken their Masters course?

    I finished my bachelors about 5 years ago from a local university, and am now considering WGU for their M.S. in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance.  I figured if I'm going to get my Masters, picking up CEH along the way would be nice.  I'm curious what the course load is like.  I'm working a full-time job currently, and plan on transferring to a new position in the near future.  Not sure if this would be a good idea or not.  They say 76% of graduates finish within 24 months... which would be 4 "terms" which sounds like around $16K.  Is this timeframe a real expectation?  Has anyone been able to finish sooner or took longer?
    I am the second term of the Masters now, though I am doing IT Management, rather than Cyber. Rather than sprinting through, as I did for the Bachelors, I am taking my time. The MSITM is 11 courses, and the minimum load is 3 courses per term. So, 24 months would be the outside limit (3/3/3/2). I have been taking my time, and still finished 4 courses in the first term. In that same time, I am working remotely, started dating someone long distance, and got engaged. In retrospect, WGU has been the least stressful thing on my plate.

    But, it all depends if you are motivated. If you don't actively WANT to do it..... you won't.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 424 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Neil86 said:
    I'm working from home primarily now and have much more time on my hands. I decided to utilize it and go for my B.S. at WGU and looking at the Network Operations and Security program. I was wondering how much my A.S. and certifications (only CCNA was accepted) would contribute, and to my surprise, it took care of 65% of the courses. I'm working on financial aid and hopefully some tuition reimbursement from my employer. Looking forward to starting soon. So far it's been a pleasant experience.
    BSNOS replaced the BSITSec degree a few years ago. Back then, the degree required CCENT, CCNA, and CCNA:Security. Those alone were 12 credits. Plus, I think there are 50-60 credits in the GenEd stuff, that gets waived with the Associates. Not sure about the new degree, but the CCNA was by FAR the hardest part. If that is out of the way, you are going to breeze through.

    Welcome to WGU :)
  • jah8887jah8887 A+,Net+,Security+, Cloud+ Essentials, LPI Linux Esentials, Project +, AAS Network Specialization Member Posts: 80 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Neil86 said:
    I'm working from home primarily now and have much more time on my hands. I decided to utilize it and go for my B.S. at WGU and looking at the Network Operations and Security program. I was wondering how much my A.S. and certifications (only CCNA was accepted) would contribute, and to my surprise, it took care of 65% of the courses. I'm working on financial aid and hopefully some tuition reimbursement from my employer. Looking forward to starting soon. So far it's been a pleasant experience.

    I am currently enrolled in the Network Operations and Security program and have enjoyed it so far.  I started August 1st of last year and if you have experience in the field you should be able to knock out quite a bit early on.  With my experience I was able to knock out 9 classes plus orientation if you count that in the first semester.  Currently I am experiencing more challenging classes that I have not as much knowledge in and have slowed down to take my time to learn the stuff.   My mentor for the program has been outstanding and he is always on top of everything to help keep me going.
  • Neil86Neil86 Member Member Posts: 179 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks @jibtech and great to hear @jah8887 . I started this month and so far things are good. I should be able to make some good progress in this first term with the easier courses.
  • biggenebiggene Member Posts: 153 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Does anyone know if the requirement for an Associates degree is still in place? I applied to attend WGU once before, but my application wasn't accepted due to my not having an Associates degree.
  • jibtechjibtech Member Posts: 424 ■■■■■□□□□□
    biggene said:
    Does anyone know if the requirement for an Associates degree is still in place? I applied to attend WGU once before, but my application wasn't accepted due to my not having an Associates degree.
    There are a couple of different approaches. Typically, they want to see some sort of activity beyond high school. The easiest is probably showing that you have pursued certification through other sources, like Sec+, Cisco, etc....

    Reach out and speak with an enrollment counselor. They should be able to give you pretty good guidance.
  • Excellent1Excellent1 Member Posts: 462 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Long time since I've posted here, but I recently decided to start studying for the CCNP which led to me coming across a reference to TechExams.  I decided to recover my account and see if anyone from previous decade was still around.  :smile:

    I completed my BS and MS from WGU in 2012 and 2014, then ended up doing a long stint as a software developer.  A few years ago I transitioned to full time DevSecOps and now I spend the majority of my time working with Kubernetes, OpenStack, and general appsec.  

    Anyway, wish all of you the best in your studies and I can reassure everyone that your WGU degrees are completely viable.  I can tell you with certainty that none of the people I've hired in the past few years were chosen by the college issuing their degrees.  The degree checked the HR box for them to get the interview -- after that it was on them to sell themselves.  Degrees are a means to an end and you get out what you put into them.  Take care, all.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,436 Admin
    Hey, welcome back! A few of us OG posters are still here! ;)
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