WGU MSCSIA Starting April 1st

mizterkewlmizterkewl MemberAgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
edited March 2019 in Colleges & Schools

I’m starting WGU on April 1st, so I’m creating this post to hopefully keep myself motivated and maybe help others along the way. This Friday I should I be able to access orientation and start my journey on obtaining my Masters in Cybersecurity. I bumped up my start date from May 1st after being motivated by @MrsWilliams post on the forums. I would love to be able to knock out this degree in two months, but I think a more realistic goal is at least one term. I know they’ve changed the program a little and my enrollment counselor wasn’t very helpful on being able to elaborate on the changes besides that it’s more aligned with CISSP (which I figured already). My only concern about the program is I am not really the best or a fan of writing and reading puts me to sleep lol soo we will see how it goes.


Hopefully there's some others starting April 1st as well...


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Comments

  • H-bombH-bomb Member Posts: 129 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck!

    Do we know which courses are performanced based and which are objective based?
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,439 Admin
    The enrollment counselors are behind on understanding what all the new changes to the WGU program are. Your Program Mentor will be better able to tell you what to expect. So get through the ORA1 course and get your PM assigned!
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited March 2019

    I’m starting WGU on April 1st, so I’m creating this post to hopefully keep myself motivated and maybe help others along the way. This Friday I should I be able to access orientation and start my journey on obtaining my Masters in Cybersecurity. I bumped up my start date from May 1st after being motivated by @MrsWilliams post on the forums. I would love to be able to knock out this degree in two months, but I think a more realistic goal is at least one term. I know they’ve changed the program a little and my enrollment counselor wasn’t very helpful on being able to elaborate on the changes besides that it’s more aligned with CISSP (which I figured already). My only concern about the program is I am not really the best or a fan of writing and reading puts me to sleep lol soo we will see how it goes.


    Hopefully there's some others starting April 1st as well...


      To reiterate what JD said, your Program Mentor will be the most helpful. The enrollment counselors are basically admission counselors. They no less of the actual programs and more of what it takes you to get admitted. All that care about is your admissions and once you have completed admissions and been assigned a mentor, you'll never hear from them again. 

    The only thing you really need to read is the rubric for the assignments. All that matters is your passing grade. How long you take to do an assignment is 100% on you. But, I would suggest doing the most reading on the topics you have the least experience in. I don't want you to get the wrong side of the grading scale. You have at least three chances to turn in a paper. I think after the fourth failed attempt, someone higher up has to approve it. 

    Getting a degree isn't a race. The overall goal is for you to graduate. If I have the option to complete a degree in a short amount of time, I am going to do it. Almost every other reputable (not saying WGU is or isn't) school in the world will only let you take X amount of credits per semester. I was asked why I was going so fast. But really, why not? The person who spends 5 years in college and the one who spent 3 years in college still comes out with the same degree. 

    I would suggest selecting the easiest classes first. Let your program mentor know your goal. They more than likely won't let you take the capstone until last. Understandable. But, every other class should be taken in any order you please! If they give you push back, request a new mentor. You are not in school to make friends with program mentors. Then when you get the new mentor, inform them of your goals and let them know that they are your second mentor (which they'll probably already know). Once they know you have no problem changing mentors (which makes them look bad), you'll be on your way. Sometimes you have to set the foundation and make an example out of someone before things start progressing. It's nothing in the student handbook that says a class must be taken in a certain order, it's not mandatory. Like I've said in another post, they might have added it to the student handbook after I blasted off a lengthily email to a few people. So, always check the student handbook first. 

    The entire program is aligned to the CISSP?  Yeah that sounds about like a lie to me. But, the CEH and CHFI are still in the program. Hmm. Secure Network Design and Secure Software Design totally sound like it would be covered in the CISSP. Anyway, minimize what you believe. Good Luck

    I hope my motivation continues to extend throughout the world. 
  • Pmorgan2Pmorgan2 CISSP, CCSP, A+/Net+/Sec+/Project+, ECIH, ITIL v3, CIW SDA & WSP Member Posts: 116 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hey there.  Glad to see you pushing yourself!  Keep us posted on your progress so we can cheer (or jeer) you along the way.
    2021 Goals: WGU BSCSIA, CEH, CHFI | 2022 Goals: WGU MSCSIA, AWS SAA, AWS Security Specialist
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,926 Mod
    Make sure your mentor can keep up with you. I was moving at a very fast pace and my mentor was artificially slowing me down for no sound reason. I had to "fire" her and get another mentor who was 1000% better and understood what I was trying to achieve.
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Don't forget, if your courses show up go ahead and activate them and get to writing to the rubric. 

    Yes, you are right I didn't say get to reading I said get to writing! >:)

    You don't have to have the courses added to your term in order to see the rubric.  Tip #1

    Although, I've heard of some people who (allegedly)  have not seen the classes until the start date or closer to it. 

    Later!
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    H-bomb said:
    Good luck!

    Do we know which courses are performanced based and which are objective based?

    yes, they are labeled in the student portal.
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
      To reiterate what JD said, your Program Mentor will be the most helpful. The enrollment counselors are basically admission counselors. They no less of the actual programs and more of what it takes you to get admitted. All that care about is your admissions and once you have completed admissions and been assigned a mentor, you'll never hear from them again. 

    The only thing you really need to read is the rubric for the assignments. All that matters is your passing grade. How long you take to do an assignment is 100% on you. But, I would suggest doing the most reading on the topics you have the least experience in. I don't want you to get the wrong side of the grading scale. You have at least three chances to turn in a paper. I think after the fourth failed attempt, someone higher up has to approve it. 

    Getting a degree isn't a race. The overall goal is for you to graduate. If I have the option to complete a degree in a short amount of time, I am going to do it. Almost every other reputable (not saying WGU is or isn't) school in the world will only let you take X amount of credits per semester. I was asked why I was going so fast. But really, why not? The person who spends 5 years in college and the one who spent 3 years in college still comes out with the same degree. 

    I would suggest selecting the easiest classes first. Let your program mentor know your goal. They more than likely won't let you take the capstone until last. Understandable. But, every other class should be taken in any order you please! If they give you push back, request a new mentor. You are not in school to make friends with program mentors. Then when you get the new mentor, inform them of your goals and let them know that they are your second mentor (which they'll probably already know). Once they know you have no problem changing mentors (which makes them look bad), you'll be on your way. Sometimes you have to set the foundation and make an example out of someone before things start progressing. It's nothing in the student handbook that says a class must be taken in a certain order, it's not mandatory. Like I've said in another post, they might have added it to the student handbook after I blasted off a lengthily email to a few people. So, always check the student handbook first. 

    The entire program is aligned to the CISSP?  Yeah that sounds about like a lie to me. But, the CEH and CHFI are still in the program. Hmm. Secure Network Design and Secure Software Design totally sound like it would be covered in the CISSP. Anyway, minimize what you believe. Good Luck

    I hope my motivation continues to extend throughout the world. 


    Yeah I know it's not a race, but I'm just using what I can in hopes to challenge myself and stay motivated. Studying, writing, learning on your own is a hard enough task. Like you said though, if I can push myself learn and get it done. Why not?


    Yeah the enrollment counselor didn't know much so I didn't even attempt to ask more questions I just said "ok" lol. I will probably talk to my Program Mentor about that and see what they think. I really hope that I get a good one, I don't want any problems.

  • H-bombH-bomb Member Posts: 129 ■■■□□□□□□□
    yes, they are labeled in the student portal.
    Could you possibly post a list of the classes labeled as Objective or Performance, please?

    I emailed WGU a week ago asking for the same thing and heard crickets....
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    H-bomb said:
    yes, they are labeled in the student portal.
    Could you possibly post a list of the classes labeled as Objective or Performance, please?

    I emailed WGU a week ago asking for the same thing and heard crickets....

    If you go to your Degree Plan. All the classes are labeled with an O or P. Did you do orientation yet?
  • H-bombH-bomb Member Posts: 129 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I'm not enrolled at WGU. I'm just curious
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Alright so here's a quick update....

    I have completed orientation. I was working on my first classed. Almost passed the Pre-Assessment so decided to read all of the material just to get a feel for how courses would be. My study plan didn't really work how I planned (won't even get into that) so it took me a lot longer than expected to get through the material. I have revamped my plan, which should reduce my stress level and put me back on track where I want to be. I am going to take my first Objective Assessment in the next couple days. That I was so close to passing the PA my Mentor opened the OA so that I can take the test. I am kind of worried how difficult it is though, but at least you get multiple tries. I actually enjoyed speaking with my Mentor, he was nice and I think he will be good to work with. He changed up my Degree Plan because I had fit everything into two terms and told me that he has no problem moving a course up if I've completed the work. I felt like he was basically telling me, this is the plan, but you don't have to go by it. He also told me at any time if I don't like something he's doing I am more than welcome to transfer to a new mentor, but he's here to help me and hopes that I don't lol. 


  • Lili37Lili37 Member Posts: 13 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Just completed another class for the MCSIA program, 4 classes left. Taking longer than expected, but I’m getting through it. Let me know if I can be of any help.
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Here's how the terms get setup. You have access to all the class material in any of the courses so you don't necessarily have to follow the path that they've assigned to you. Under Assessments P = Paper Assessment and O = Objective Assessment. I believe @H-bomb wanted to see which courses required what...

  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well I'm super excited...it's week one and I passed my first class!

    C725 - Information Security and Assurance
    When I took the Pre-Assessment for this class, I realized I was semi familiar with some of the questions and almost passed. That I had previously been trying to study for CISSP I saw this material as an Intro to CISSP to class. It didn't get crazy in depth, but definitely laid down a foundation. I only did one of the labs and it was pretty cool until it stopped working. I can see how someone could enjoy using things like the labs to learn more and tie things together. I did read all of the regular material, but didn't utilize and of the "additional resources". Some of the questions I definitely thought, wait did I read about that? So they definitely got some questions from material that I didn't read. Anyway on to the next class...

    I don't know much about Networking so we will see how this goes...


  • H-bombH-bomb Member Posts: 129 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for sharing!
  • ConflagrateCarlConflagrateCarl Member Posts: 13 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Also looking at starting this MS program in the next month or so. Have CEH and going to knock CHFI out before I start, so that will eliminate an entire term. Hoping to know it out in 2 terms. Glad to see others in the same program! Best of luck to you and congrats on passing your first class. 
  • Pmorgan2Pmorgan2 CISSP, CCSP, A+/Net+/Sec+/Project+, ECIH, ITIL v3, CIW SDA & WSP Member Posts: 116 ■■■■□□□□□□
    How'd Secure Network Design go?  Did you make more progress?
    2021 Goals: WGU BSCSIA, CEH, CHFI | 2022 Goals: WGU MSCSIA, AWS SAA, AWS Security Specialist
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Pmorgan2 said:
    How'd Secure Network Design go?  Did you make more progress?
    Secure Network Design is the devil!!! lol Let me do an update post that people have been messaging me, I was trying to wait.
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Alright so here is an update on my progress. Tips, tricks, complaining and some excuses lol

    I thought that I would be able to knock out the classes because I honestly have a lot of time to study at work and after work. Though what i soon found out was my coworker was going to make this A LOT harder than I thought. I would tell him I was going to start studying and even with headphones in, he would try and talk to me several times throughout the shift when I told him I was going to try and study. Or he would literally blast the TV knowing I was trying to read. I know it's a work space and I'm not saying we have to sit in silence for 8 hours, but he could be more considerate to me studying as well. Besides that I was also worried about writing the paper for C700, so I was slacking on studying, dealing with my coworker, then I also went on vacation in May so I definitely didn't have the mindset to get my work done. I came back overseas and I was more motivated and focused on studying. I also found a few people that formed a group that are in the MSCSIA Program and that was been very helpful. I definitely recommend trying to find a few people and starting a group chat to help each other. 

    C700 - Secure Network Design
    I had focused on this class initially but I took the Post Assessment and was close to passing. I figured I just needed to do some slight reviewing and I would be able to pass. I don't know if it's just me but I don't feel like like the Pre-Assessment reflect the Objective Assessment. I decided to do some more reviewing while working on the paper. The instructions are very vague and my course instructor wasn't very helpful in telling me what I was missing or what I actually needed to input in my paper for sections that kept getting rejected. It took 4 attempts before it finally got accepted. The last submission I asked the group chat I am in what I needed/was missing and they were a lot more helpful in telling me what I was missing and VOILA I passed! I believe I took my second attempt of the Post Assessment after I passed my paper. I thought I was ready but I didn't pass. I took the test during a break and was rushing trying to finish before my roommate got off so that's on me. I was hoping to re-take my test on Monday or Tuesday, but the Course Instructors and Mentors are all in some training all week and my course instructor wants to do some "oral quiz" before he approves me taking it again. I probably could use the additional study time anyway. Hopefully I can test some time next week and be done with the class.

    C727 - Cybersecurity Management
    I did a lot better in this class. I feel like I got the hang of what they are looking for in the Objective Assessments. When people say write the rubric. Literally write to the rubric. What I did was any question, comment, statement they made in the rubric I would put the key points at the top of the section of my paper to make sure I was hitting them as I was writing. They aren't looking for grammatical errors, punctuation or any of that stuff. Basically just making sure you are staying on top and hitting what they are looking for. I passed on my second attempt. I had minor corrections I needed to do, I think only like two sections got rejected. Again the study group was definitely helpful in this. For the Post-Assessment I actually did pretty well. I was really close to passing my first time I think I was at like 64% and you need a 65% to pass (right click on the bar > hit Inspect and it will tell you your percentage). I talked to the course instructor and we he was actually really helpful in regards to telling me what I should go over again and I passed a few days later. I think the pre-assessment is a good gauge on where you're at and what material you need to go over. I did not read all the sections, I just went over what I was weak in based on the Pre-Assessment. Unlike C700 I'm literally going over everything...



    Hopefully next week I will have some good news in regards to passing the Objective Assessment. 
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    As of July 10, 2019 WGU made some changes to course material. You are no longer able to see all the course material unless a class is active in your term. A mentor also is only supposed to approve one course at a time if you want to accelerate. All you can basically do is take the Pre-Assessment until your mentor approves it.

    There's a little trick to that if you want to at least read the material before hand (which I'm doing for my next class that I have to wait an entire cuz of the current meeting they are in). 


  • jb111jb111 Registered Users Posts: 3 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hi.  I am starting September 1 and was wondering about this preview mode. Is it enough to prep for the PA? I’m also wondering if it will be available prior to my start date
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited July 2019
    As of July 10, 2019 WGU made some changes to course material. You are no longer able to see all the course material unless a class is active in your term. This has always been the case. A mentor also is only supposed to approve one course at a time if you want to accelerate. This has always been the case as well. I fought the battle and won. To be perfectly honest, they don't want you (the student) to bite more than you (the student) can chew. ESPECIALLY if you failed/fail a course. If a student fails a course, the student can't expect a mentor to approve another or let you fast track. If you pass a course in 1 week, they don't have any other choice but to let you fast track and approve another. The key to everything is PASSING. You will never pass a class and be denied taking another. I just want to clarify that. All you can basically do is take the Pre-Assessment until your mentor approves it. This has always been the case. No mentor is to going to let you take the Objective Assessment without seeing that you passed the pre assessment. 

    From what you mentioned, I don't see any changes. ..

    There's a little trick to that if you want to at least read the material before hand (which I'm doing for my next class that I have to wait an entire cuz of the current meeting they are in). 


    Good Luck on your next go at Secure Network Design. Keep us posted :)
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    @MrsWilliams I was definitely able to see course material that wasn't in my current term before. Now when I click on course material I get that message.
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    @mizterkwel

    You are absolutely correct. I apologize. 
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    jb111 said:
    Hi.  I am starting September 1 and was wondering about this preview mode. Is it enough to prep for the PA? I’m also wondering if it will be available prior to my start date
    No, you basically can only take the Pre-Assessment.
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Work Around to View Course Material:
    Currently I am able to still view all of my class readings directly through uCertify. All the reading are available in the My Library, which is how I am reading ahead for C706 - Secure Software Design. I don't know if they will change this in the future, but I saved the all the courses for offline use just in case. 
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited July 2019
    Work Around to View Course Material:
    Currently I am able to still view all of my class readings directly through uCertify. All the reading are available in the My Library, which is how I am reading ahead for C706 - Secure Software Design. I don't know if they will change this in the future, but I saved the all the courses for offline use just in case. 
    Quick question.....

    Did you pass the Objective Assessment for Secure Network Design? The last picture you have has red for the O. That was just on the 23rd. 

    I would personally recommend completing the course and making that red turn to green. I had more than one mentor. With that being said, I am not sure if your mentor will let you take the Pre and Objective with a failed class. They might request that you pass Secure Network Design before moving on to another class. I think studying for two exams at once can have positive and especially negative results. Writing two papers at the same time is one thing. I think it's great to clear your mind when you run out of ideas for one topic.  Trying to memorize definitions and meanings for two classes is another. ..



    Hopefully next week I will have some good news in regards to passing the Objective Assessment. 
    Good Luck
  • mizterkewlmizterkewl Member AgrabahMember Posts: 122 ■■■■□□□□□□
     @MrsWilliams I haven't passed the objective for C700 yet, I cannot take the test until they complete the meeting they are having this week. I can take the Pre-Assessment for C706, but I would not be able to take the objective until I pass C700.  My mentor is aware and suggested I take C706 after I pass C700. My focus over this week has been going back over the C700 material, I have just been going over C706 when I need a break and want to read something else.
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Member Posts: 192 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited July 2019
     @MrsWilliams I haven't passed the objective for C700 yet, I cannot take the test until they complete the meeting they are having this week. I can take the Pre-Assessment for C706, but I would not be able to take the objective until I pass C700.  My mentor is aware and suggested I take C706 after I pass C700. My focus over this week has been going back over the C700 material, I have just been going over C706 when I need a break and want to read something else.
    That's a sign that you were unsuccessful with more than one attempt based on my prior knowledge of the WGU student handbook. 


    Question. Did you pick the classes you were going to take first or did your mentor?

    Like I've said previously it was nothing in the student handbook (at the time) that said that you had to take the classes in any particular order. 

    With that being said, Networking probably isn't your strongest topic/course. If I wasn't good at networking or the material, considering you previously had access to all the class material before they changed it..I would not have taken that as my third class. 

    With you potentially having another go at the exam retake. I don't think having mixed material in your brain is a good idea. I strongly suggest reading the material over and over again. If you read the material and go through all of the uCertify information, it's going to take a while trust me. No I didn't read through all of the material but I glanced at it. For you, I would suggest going through it again and again. 

    Most of the time, after the first attempt the questions change. What I will say, as I think I've said before I've seen exact or closely resembled questions on the OA that where on the PA. You can go back and look at the answers for the PA. I wrote them down and studied them. Of course the OA won't be 100% of the same questions as the PA but if you get 2 or 3, that can be the difference between a pass and a fail. 

    Keep us posted. 



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