Looking for WGU Info/Reviews

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Deviant, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. Deviant

    Deviant New Member


    I spent a good bit of time talking to a recruiter/counselor type person today. It appears that my MCSE/College credits will leave me with only few classes/assessments left to take.

    Assuming that his assessment of my transcipts matches the official transcript.

    *********Needed Classes/Assessments ***********

    Bachelor of Science
    Information Technology—Network Management

    EWOB Education Without Boundaries

    CIT1 CIS IT Management

    LP01 Leadership and Professionalism

    RPTU Reasoning & Problem Solving in the Context of the Humanities

    PTFU Portfolio Requirement

    CAPU Capstone


    Does anyone have any experience with these specific classes, or the school in general? Any horror stories?

  2. Maria

    Maria New Member

    EWOB Education Without Boundaries

    EWOB is a month long course that is basically an introduction to the competency-based model. You will also be introduced to the services and resources available through WGU's website.

    CIT1 CIS IT Management

    Can't help you with this one. My program is for a B.S. in Business—Information Technology Management and I took BIT1 vs. CIT1.

    LP01 Leadership and Professionalism

    This covers management techniques and organizational behavior. Once you are enrolled, you can take a pre-assessment. If you pass the pre-assessment then your mentor will send you a study guide for the final which you can schedule at your convenience.

    RPTU Reasoning & Problem Solving in the Context of the Humanities

    This involves a 6 week course which basically steps you through the steps to critical thinking and decision making. You choose one of the following topics:

    • What is the best way to deal with poverty in the United States?
    • What is the best way to achieve economic development in the “third world”?
    • How can we best care for our frail elders?
    • What is the best way to deal with cultural diversity in education?
    • How can we best encourage U.S. teenagers to grow and learn?
    • What is the best way to educate the U.S. workforce?
    • What ethical standards should guide business practices?
    • What will be the future of the Internet?

    It culminates in a paper which is submitted to WGU for credit on the RPTU domain.

    I haven't worked on the PTFU Portfolio Requirement or the CAPU Capstone, yet.

    I've been very pleased with WGU. The instructors and mentors stay in touch and answer questions promptly. The cost is reasonable and they are regionally accredited.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Oaskie

    Oaskie New Member

    Maybe there's newer info...

    I'd like to read more from students, too. There were several threads about WGU over the years as it progressed and became an RA school, I found threads using cached google WGU site:www.degreeinfo.com

    There were positive and negative reviews/posts.


    In an old thread http://www.degreeinfo.com/static/forum_archive/8/806/thread_806_page_1.html
    Lawrie Miller wrote...
    As many of you may know, WGU achieved regional candidacy status last November. WGU
    is the only university to hold candidacy status with four separate regional accrediting agencies. Note that although a committee (IRAC) was formed to oversee the
    process, regional candidate status was awarded by the individual agencies. There is nothing "funny" or odd about the nature of the status. It is normal standard regional candidacy. IRAC was a convenient tool, nothing more.

    Begs the question, though: why multiple regional accreditation? Perhaps "regional" in cyberspace is an oxymoron and the Regionals recognize it. They may be trying to accommodate the new distance learning paradigm: education without geographical constraints. It is also noteworthy that this is the first exclusively online university to be approved by the Western Association (WASC), or so I believe.

    In "another distance ed news board" some have
    argued that candidacy status might not be that big a deal (Chip?), and indeed that the probability of a candidate for regional accreditation actually becoming regionally accredited was not high. This is at odds with
    my understanding of the facts. a) Candidacy status is an significant achievement and a major step for an institution, and, b) that institutions achieving candidacy status have a very good shot historically of subsequently becoming fully accredited. Does anyone have actual numbers on this last point, I wonder.

    The most important aspect of WGU's success in achieving candidacy status is that it is an overt endorsement by the Regionals of the principle of awarding graduate degrees *entirely* on the basis of prior learning. Now clearly, the validity of the prior learning must be tested (by written and oral exam, and by other assessment methods),
    but there is absolutely no requirement whatsoever for new learning (I'm laboring this point since it was disputed elsewhere).

    Well, so what? Well, this is the first time a fully assessment based university has gained regional association sanction. It is now possible to gain a master's degree from a regionally endorsed (but not yet accredited) institution by simply passing a series of exams or assessments. One can, walk in, sit down, take the exams**, present any materials (portfolio), and walk out with a graduate degree, in record time and at minimal cost, thank you very much.

    For the first time the Regionals are saying learners are due credit exclusively for what they know, not how they learned what know, not where they learned what they know, BUT
    that they *do* know.

    It addition to several bachelor degrees, they offer a master of Arts degree in Learning and Technology. The degree is earned by a combination of tests (written and one oral), and portfolio submissions (as in a project submission - a reworked TESC-like portfolio, perhaps?).

    There is no requirement that you attend any courses or otherwise enter into any specific learning agreement. There is no requirement for any new learning. All that is assessed are the outcomes.

    There are recommended courses provided by third party institutions that "map" to the master's degree, and these may be helpful to many. However, if you come pre-loaded with the requisite skill set (already possess all of the required competencies), all you need do is demonstrate that it is so, by passing the (if I recall) six sets of competency assessments.

    Would it be possible to complete the degree entirely by way of prior learning, and if needs be, supplementary independent study? I think it likely.

    Lawrie Miller, who was the first WGU grad student ever to take the university's master's competency exam.
  4. Deviant

    Deviant New Member

    From everything I have talked to them about.

    You can get credit for most everything. ((certs, cleps, or prior learning))

    They won't accept cleps directly though, which I thought was semi strange. So you have to get them posted at another school.

    However, you end up taking the 4 or so classes(tests) that I posted above.

    Which I'm still looking for more info on.
  5. Brewster

    Brewster New Member

    WGU review

    I totally love this school. The staff is absolutely wonderful. I have been in the WGU MBA program for six months and I love it. They are still working out a few kinks, but overall it's a great program.

    It is not easy, though. Don't let anyone tell you that competency-based education here is easy.

    For my program, even if I pass all my classes and exams, I have to take the CMBA exam (completely outside of WGU) to test my mastery of the competencies involved for the program.

    If I don't pass that final exam, I get no degree!

    I think this will really catch on, and WGU is at the forefront of a great thing. Once I get my degree, I'll put it up against anybody's. Not only to I have to learn the material to pass the classes, but I have to retain it to pass the whole program when I'm done!

    Prestigious schools hate this, because it challenges those who place their value on their name or ruputation, not by what you actually walk away with. I think competency-based education will really start to catch on...why should somone who has been in business their whole life have to take Business 101?

    I know that I'm not in the computer major, but I could only assume that they have a similiar structure in place for other majors.
  6. Oaskie

    Oaskie New Member


    Thanks for the reply and information.

    Can you give us any details regarding the classes and exams you mention? The CMBA portion of their MBA program is interesting, although only one of the many MBAs I work with knew what CMBA was. Where are you taking classes, if not WGU? How many exams are you taking or do you have planned? When will you finish...I know it's selfpaced and will vary, but how long do you think it will take you?

    Good luck w/the rest of your program...I'm glad to hear it is going well.
  7. Brewster

    Brewster New Member

    The CMBA concept is one that is only about two years old....I fully expect it to become more and more a part of distance education programs, especially for schools who are constantly defending the legitimacy of distance learning. In addition, I think it is a clever way for little known schools to prove their worth. Unless your MBA friends have graduated very recently, they probably won't know about it. Even then, it takes awhile for schools to jump on board.

    When you enroll in WGU, you are assigned a mentor. The mentor most likely does not work at the school, because WGU has mentors scattered all around the country. My mentor is a PhD who works from home, and all she does this full time now that she is retired. She is great, I can't wait to give her a big hug at graduation when I meet her face-to-face.

    I assume that other mentors work in a similiar fashion, although some may not do it full-time. In the beginning, you'll take some assessment exams, just to see where you're at. It allows the mentor to identify your strengths and weaknesses. If you are strong in an area, or have work experience in a particular subject, your mentor will allow you to test out of that class, or complete the case study required for the course on your own. My experience is that you will take all of the classes required unless you can convince the mentor that you don't need to. Since I have worked in HR for years, I'm skipping the HR class, and I'm going to complete the assessment on my own. However, I plan to attend all of the other classes.

    I have taken three classes so far, through Wasatch E-learning. I think Wasatch is affiliated with WGU, but I'm not sure. WGU also allows you to sign up for courses through other universities that teach those competencies, although I haven't done that yet. I really like how Wasatch is set up...the interface is very easy to use, it is much better than other distance learning courses I have done.

    My Wasatch courses were both taught by local guys from Salt Lake City who have day jobs. One was a CPA and another was an executive in the recording industry. The CPA taught my accounting class and the recording industry guy taught organizational leadership. These guys were GREAT. They are extremely professional, efficient, and I learned a lot. I can't say enough about my experience with them so far...I was kinda sad the classes ended. For someone who hates school, that's saying a lot!

    My MBA program is divided pretty much between writing papers (case studies) and taking protored exams. With the papers, we use case studies from various business schools around the country (Harvard, UVA, etc.) and then we write lots and lots of papers that analyze how these cases apply to the concept that is being taught. The good thing is that you get what's called a scoring rubric with each case that covers each objective that the paper must contain, and assigns a point value on how well you covered it. It is a great way to learn, because you really dig into the areas that are important. If you follow the rubric closely, you will definitely succeed!

    I will take a total of four protored exams, and complete five case studies, then a capstone project and a capstone oral defense. I think this is much like a thesis. As far as completion time, I work on my schoolwork about ten hours per week, which is a relaxed and comfortable pace for me. I estimate that I will finish in 18 months, which is pretty good. I was a bit scared in the beginning, because I didn't know how much time is was going to consume, in addition to my full-time job. I can been pleasantly surprised, as I have found it quite manageable and compatible with my lifestyle. I still have plenty of time to goof off when I want to!

    As I previously mentioned, I will take the CMBA exam before I can graduate, which will test if I am truly a "Master of Business Administration"!

    And if all of that was great enough, the school is cheap. It costs $3250 every six months, plus books. You can go as fast or as slow as you want, just remember that the faster you finish, the less you pay!

    I know I probably sound like a paid endorser, but I promise that I'm just a very satified student who knows that I made the right choice!
  8. Oaskie

    Oaskie New Member


    I was intrigued by the school's history, low tuition, and it's unique accreditation. Thanks for the great info on your program...I know many people reading your post will benefit. Good luck with the MBA.
  9. Brewster

    Brewster New Member

    Well, I hope the info helps. Anyone needing info or advice on WGU can feel free to contact me at [email protected] anytime. It really helps to know exactly what to expect before you make a committment that big. I actually was able to make contact with a WGU student on this discussion board before I decided to enroll....all of his comments were positive and I do think that he influenced my decision by the info that he provided.

    I don't know what your program goals are in the near future, but it's a great time to enroll in WGU....I tend to think that the rediculously low tuition won't last forever. I hope I'm wrong about that, though!
  10. spmoran

    spmoran Member

    Would like some advice on WGU myself

    Brewster and others with WGU experience:

    I am considering WGU for an MBA. I have no traditional business education (accounting, finance, economics and such) so I am considering studying these topics on my own and CLEP’ing them prior to enrollment in WGU. I am trying to keep the number of semesters I’ll need to pay for to a minimum. Anyway, it seems ridiculous to me to enter an MBA program without a sound understanding of undergraduate business topics.

    I’d like feedback on this plan. Do you think getting this education on the cheap through examinations will put me in a better spot when I do enroll in WGU? I surely want to run the most efficient program possible. Any other thoughts you have would be welcome. Thanks!
  11. Deviant

    Deviant New Member

    WGU Students....

    Is it feasble that I can complete these classes in 6 months?

    EWOB Education Without Boundaries

    CIT1 CIS IT Management

    LP01 Leadership and Professionalism

    RPTU Reasoning & Problem Solving in the Context of the Humanities

    PTFU Portfolio Requirement

    CAPU Capstone

    Can you work on the course concurrently, or do you have to complete the prior courses before you work on the capstone?


    Can you tell me what was involved with the BIT course?

    I'd imagine that the format would be similar.


  12. Brewster

    Brewster New Member

    It is possible, but it would be very, very difficult. Education without Boundaries will take up the first month of your program....you can't speed it up. So, if you were to enroll, you'd have 5 months to complete everything instead of six, because you have to finish EWB first, before you can take anything else.

    After that, assuming that you take some classes, you have to wait until they are offered. My experience is that there is always a class available to take just before I'm finishing up another, but I don't think they offer them all at once for you to take whenever. Assuming that you can test out of some of them, you could keep yourself busy knocking those out of the way while you were waiting on a class to begin.

    Another thing that you have to remember is that WGU isn't as easy as you might think. Let's say you have a lot of experience in a particular area....you still have to complete the case studies involved, and sometimes that is 15-20 single spaced pages of writing essays. That takes time, even if you're Superman. Writing those essays are a pain, but I can honestly say that I have learned so much by doing them that I can understand why they require it.

    As far as the Capstone, I have no clue about that. The Capstone examples I have seen have been in the neighborhood of 30-40 pages long, plus you have an oral denfense. I don't know how long that takes, but I can only assume that putting out a quality product takes time.

    I don't know if you are able to devote all of your time to your studies or if you work also. I would be inclined to say that there is a remote chance that you could do it in six months, but if I were you I would plan on a year. You would probably find it much less stressful to go at that pace, and you have a lesser chance of having your work kicked back for revision because you weren't able to devote much time to it due to the super-aggressive pace you've set for yourself.

    One reality that I've discovered about myself is that before I enroll in school, I always feel like I can tackle the program with no problem at super-human speed. Once I get going and reality kicks in, I have always found myself going slower so I had a life too. I will finish the MBA program in 18 months instead of two years, which is okay for me. I thought about doing it in a year, but there would be no way I could do it and have a job too.

    Like I said, WGU is a great school, but no cakewalk. Some people have made it sound like you can just test out of everything and then you're done. It is true that you can finish faster by having experience in an area, but by all means, you will really have to earn this degree the hard way, regardless of how smart or experienced you are.

    I certainly wish you the absolute best with this...please let me know if I can help in any way! :D
  13. spmoran

    spmoran Member

    Ain't it the truth

    Agreed. One of the nice things about my Bellevue experience was that it was writing intensive. I never had an "exam", open book or not. All assignments were writing assignments, and they really did allow me to learn in a way that traditional didactic settings never could. I'm sure it was more work for the professor to grade, and I'm glad they did it that way.
  14. Deviant

    Deviant New Member

    EWOB Education Without Boundaries

    You say this takes a physical month to do?

    Are there time delays or?

    I'm just asking, because when I talked to the enrollment counselor. He stated that one of the students/counselors there completed it in 8-10 hours straight on a saturday.

    Just trying to find out if there is any truth to it.

    As for the capstone, I'm not overly concerned about that.

    I've been doing most of what is in the degree for the last 11 years or so. From what the enrollment counselor told me, I can just write about one of the projects I've done here at work.

    As for the revisions, I'll have one of the techincal writers verify that I have all my I's dotted and T's crossed.

    Mainly just looking to verify that everything I was sold on, is actually true.

    Also, still looking for Info on the CIT. I've looked at the domains, it looks like it could be a little involved.

    BTW, how many questions was the BIT exam?


  15. Brewster

    Brewster New Member

    EWB took three weeks for me, then I had two weeks off before my first real class started. I am unaware if they have a faster way to finish it...if they did offer it on a Saturday, I would jump all over that. I have to admit that I did not enjoy having a course as simple as EWB stretched out over a month...I wanted to run full speed out of the starting gate. However, if the enrollment counselor gave you this information, chances are that it's correct.

    I wish I could assist you on the other questions, but I'm afraid that my program hasn't afforded me with the experience necessary to be a help you in those areas.
  16. Maria

    Maria New Member

    BIT1 was a 75 question multiple choice test. There is a 2 hour time limit and a passing score is >54%. I passed the test w/o taking any additional classes or courses to prepare. (I have about 10 years of computer networking and PC support experience and have held a CNE certification for 7 years. So with your experience, you can probably test out.)

    The topics and distibution/values are:
    Database Administration Fundamental 14%
    Foundations of Information Technology 10%
    Information Technology Project Management 33%
    Networking Fundamentals 12%
    Operating Systems Fundamentals 9%
    Programming Fundamentals 5%
    Systems Analysis Fundamentals 17%

    As for your other questions: You can take classes/tests concurrently. I've been enrolled since 1 July 2005 and have completed:

    EWOB-(I think that you can work ahead, I didn't)

    This term ends on December 31, 2005. Based on what you have listed, I think that you could finish your degree within your first term but it would be tight especially if you work full-time.

    Hope this helps.
  17. Deviant

    Deviant New Member

    Per WGU Email

    EWOB is designed to be completed in a month, most people do take that amount of time (to allow for the nature of life, I suppose).
    My co-worker did complete it in about 7 hours.

    CIT1 is an assessment that you can schedule and take.
    LP01 is an assessment that you can schedule and take.
    RPTU is an online course that is designed to take 10 weeks. There are specific start times. You may wish to see about scheduling this first, so you can start at the earliest possible time.
    PTFU must be approved by the mentor team before completing this.
    CAPU must be approved by the mentor team before completing this.

    We do not currently charge a graduation fee. There is discussion of doing so in the future, however.

    Each assessment/project is designed to be completed as soon as you show the required competencies. Only RPTU has a designed start and completion time frame. Even though you are allowed to complete this as soon as you can, many people take the ten weeks for this course.

    The only time related issue that I can see for you is the CAPU and PTFU projects. These are contingent upon how well you can complete a passing written defense. There may be some issue with CIT1 due to the broad categories that are being tested, but your experience should minimize the time to study for this assessment.

    The only restrictions to scheduling is that you must complete the EWOB course before you schedule any of the other assessments or courses. You must also schedule any proctored assessments two weeks in advance, to allow sufficient time to prepare the testing site for you.

    Does any of the above differ from the current students/alumini's experiences with WGU?

    Thanks in advance.

  18. Brewster

    Brewster New Member

    Sounds right on to me.
  19. Maria

    Maria New Member

    This looks right to me too.
  20. Deviant

    Deviant New Member

    Cool deal.

    If I can get management to sign off on the school. I should be submiting my application and transcripts soon.

    I'll follow up with how my transcript Eval and experiences turn out.

    Thanks for the verification.

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