NAU - Northern Arizona University - Personalized Learning Degree

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Thatch, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Pelican

    Pelican Member

    Thanks for the help! Your details are really useful.

    I'm quite interested in trying the program, but doubt I would be successful. First, I work best with deadlines from teachers. I can't see anything in the program describing deadlines.

    Also, I tend to do poorly in multiple-choice exam questions. When reading the textbooks, I often seem to focus on details that I think are personally relevant, but often overlook information that the teachers felt needed to go on the tests. Are the exams multiple-choice and true-false or do they have significant essay portions? Can the post-tests be retaken anytime you like to?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
  2. Thatch

    Thatch New Member

    Well good news and bad news then....

    The bad news is, you are right, there are no deadlines with this program. The only thing that comes close is that you must complete 12 credit hours in 6 months IF you are using financial aid, or you will lose it. Outside of that, any deadline is self imposed.

    The good news is I can count on one hand the number of multiple choice questions I've had on any of these tests. The pre-tests typically are 20 questions, the first question being a short essay and the remainder being short answer. Even the math courses are more often fill in the blank than multiple choice. For me that was a bit of let down as I am really good at eliminating the impossible and improbable to find the right answer and can typically pass multiple choice tests about things I have very little knowledge on. These are not like that. You actually have to know a thing or two, be able to put together a coherent account of that knowledge and finish it all with the time allotted.

    The post test can be taken anytime you like, as many times as you like. But, it does take the instructors some time to grade the tests. Typically 24-48 hours but I did have one go about 5 days without it being graded. (they don't work on the weekends so it might have just been bad timing on when I submitted it).
  3. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    Have some questions that occurred to me.

    Are there any proctored exams? (Through proctor U or something)
    Or is everything 'open' book testing ?

    And say you do a pre-testing and pass the whole set, which means you can move onto the next competency set.
    Does the courses that you passed through pre-testing show up on your transcript with a GPA ? Or how does that work when you wish to transfer to another school ?
    Eg, If you stared with NAU, earned 30 credits on file (but all 30 credits was just by you passing all the pre-test without doing any/much work.) and you want to transfer into another school later on.
    How will the transcripts reflect on the 30 credits earned ? just a "pass" ?

    Thanks :)
  4. TMW2009

    TMW2009 New Member

    Thank you for the information on this. This in an option that my wife may be interested in. She's currently muddling through her AA at Excelsior, but her time to work on her coursework in the 'standard format' with discussions/responses & essays has been kind impacted by being a stay-at-home mom with my overly energetic little boy; my erratic teaching schedule doesn't help either. This option may be perfect for her.

    What really has us interested is
    As she's gone through to complete as much credit for 'free' (TEEX, NFA) or Low cost (ALEKS) via ACE credits as possible. She's gotten about 1/2 of her associates knocked out between the ACE stuff (she hasn't taken any CLEP or DSST yet) and some classes she's taken through EC. I wonder how much (if any) they'll take as transfer. We may have to put in an application and see where she stands. Thanks again, Thatch!
  5. Thatch

    Thatch New Member

    there are no proctored exams. It is all done solely online. I don't know if they run scripts to check if you are looking at other webpages or the like but the disclaimer at the beginning of the test requires you to check a 'I'm not using any outside sources' agreement. Post tests are a bit different and allow for some course material to be used as they are more involved tests.

    Competencies are sections of courses. They can exist in multiple courses at the same time, but only make up a part of any course. Passing a competency test gives you a 'B', however, for transfer purposes you only earn a 'B' when all the competencies in a given course are completed. (usually 5-7 competencies). You can earn an 'A' by completing the mastery assignment in at least half of the competencies in any given course, again, only if you have completed the entire group of competencies will that course be complete and able to be transferred to another university. If you transfer before all the competencies in a given class are completed that work is effectively lost. I hope that cleared it up for you.
  6. damooster

    damooster New Member

    I just want to say thank you for telling us about this school. I looked it up and requested info. It really sounds intriguing.
  7. Thatch

    Thatch New Member

    No problem, glad to help. I spent a lot of time on this site lurking to learn about these sort of programs. I didn't learn about NAU here, but I formed my internal wish list for an online program through the information here and that allowed me to know what I wanted in a program. I've been looking for the right program for years, and while NAU might not be the right program for all, it was the right one for me.
  8. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    I was so ready to apply then I found out my current college has a policy that I can't take another degree outside while in my current degree program.
    I must transfer out.

    Guess I can only take it once I'm done with my current program.
  9. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Slightly off topic

    But I hope you have a chance to explore Flagstaff and environs during your program. Arizona is an amazing state and Flag is one of its crown jewels.
  10. Thatch

    Thatch New Member

    I've heard that as well Nos, but since I live in Germany that is unlikely to happen in the immediate future. They are working on some Masters level programs as well so it's possible I may continue beyond this program as well. Either way I will give attending the graduation ceremony some serious thought.
  11. famtam

    famtam New Member

    I love the set cost (2500) for 6 months instead of per credit tuition. Does anyone know of any other online degrees/schools that are using this type of tuition system.
    It would seem you could really blow through courses and save a small fortune if you had the time and talent to really buckle down.
  12. taylor

    taylor New Member

    I was considering getting a 2nd Bachelors through NAU competency based program but after speaking with a rep from NAU he suggested that I go the traditional route with NAU for a 2nd Bachelors. He told me through the competency based program you can only transfer in 64 units but if I go the traditional online route that I could transfer in 90 credits and that way I'd graduate faster. For him to suggest the traditional route over the competency base kind of gives me the impression that it would be almost impossible to finish a degree in 1 year through the competency based program. Thatch? Any current student at NAU like to throw in their 2 cents?
  13. OOScottysays

    OOScottysays New Member

    I am In the process of enrollment, into the NAU PL Program. Thank you for all of the details about the program and its process. I haven't found answers about the specifics anywhere online! The admissions/counselors are not very specific about how the program works and the videos they offer are kind of vague as you may know.
    Here is my question: In the Online Dashboard (or whatever they call it) where it has the graphics of all of the Competencies, Areas, And lessons, can you browse through any of them at any time? Or, are they unlocked as you progress? Second and more importantly, if you can access all of the lessons for your degree/pretests, have you taken the time to browse through all of them and counted up how many tests, in total, it is going to take for you to recieve your degree? I have 78 units to complete, I am transferring-in 45 units.
    I read through your previous posts and saw the variations in math.. so the number of total tests required would be difficult to approximate based on .1-3.0 units per test with an average of .3-.6 units.
  14. Thatch

    Thatch New Member

    Scott, thanks for the private message. I don't get over here often lately so it helped to let me know there was a question posted.

    I'll do my best to answer your questions. If I don't give you what you need, just let me know and I'll clarify as best as I can. As for the dashboard, if I'm understanding your question correctly, yes you can browse through the competencies at any time .... sort of. You can look at the major areas (foundation, major requirements, minor requirements, liberal studies, science) then dig into those to see what the actual courses are. Each course however is made up of a collection of competencies. Take Planetology in the science section, It has 2 competency areas, planet formation and planet properties. These two competencies are what you would enroll into and what you would take a test on (either a pretest or the post test if you didn't pass the pretest) I can also click into one of these competencies before enrolling and view more about it. In Planet Formation there are 3 topic areas, Solar Systems, Nebular Theory, and Formation Steps. I can't really go into this competencies any further without 'enrolling'. Once you enroll you can't see any of the lesson content until you have taken the pre-test (you have the option of just submitting the pretest without attempting it). What I tend to do is to note what all the areas are that are covered in a particular competency and do some refresher study on those areas before I take the pretest (assuming I know something about the content already) Once you are through the pretest the entire content of the course is open to you. There are a number of assignments in each course, and they are graded (if you submit them) but they aren't required so you can do all, some or none of them, as you feel you need to learn the materials. Ultimately only the post test is needed to pass any particular competency.

    You can view all the needed competencies in your degree fairly easily. The interface doesn't add them up for you but in the 'Transcript Tracker' portion of the dashboard it will show you all the classes you need in a more typical transcript view, but divided into pieces according to how many competencies each course has. Now it seems to me that they've already given you the number of tests you have to complete. As you are talking units, not credit, you have 78 units to complete and each competency is a unit, so you have 78 tests to take. Of course if the numbers you are talking about aren't the same NAU units, I'd need more clarification to get you the correct answer.

    Hope that helps at least a bit.
  15. OOScottysays

    OOScottysays New Member

    Thatch, 78 Units Transcript Units Equals approximately....

    I have 78 Actual units left to complete, towards my 120 units to receive my bachelors. If a "pretest/posttest" for a particular enrolled course/subject or whatever NAU calls them can gets you the equivalent of as little as .1 units to has high as completing an entire course with the equivalent of 3 units on the transcript according to your earlier post, I was trying to figure out how many tests I can expect to be on the roster for the entire program. Of course, the courses i'm trying to show competency for are different than the courses you have on your personalized plan... so i guess my question is to you, 1. how many units did you transfer-in/ how many units(actual traditional transcript units) do you have left to complete? 2. how many total courses/pretests do you have in total, if you were to add all of them up, to complete your program? (i'm trying to get an idea of a ratio of the number of pre/post tests to transcript-equivalent credits.

    for example, lets just say you are attempting to get your B.S. in Computer science and you are transferring-in 60 units and you have 60 units left, to obtain your 120 for your degree. lets say these 60 units are comprised of 20 3 unit classes at a traditional school. NAU shows you the courses that you will be getting credit for after you complete the competency exams... and as i understand it, you could pass 1 pretest(or post-test) and it sometimes fulfills a portion of credit from numerous areas in your plan.

    Thanks again and sorry for all of the specific questions!
  16. ezeq

    ezeq New Member

    Hello Thatch

    I was thinking about enrolling at Excelsior BT IT , since i have 70 credits from my current U. But i found NAU PL on google and after reading your thread seems to be very interesting.

    since you are an international student as i am, can you please tell me a little bit more about the admission process?

    Do you recomend this university for a person that has good IT/Programming skills but doesnt have enough time? i already passed General requierement in my local university buy im still working in the core requierements.

  17. nyvrem

    nyvrem Active Member

    You can have a look at this as well. It's also somewhat like NAU's program

    Degree Completion Programs - UW Flexible Option
  18. shy123

    shy123 New Member

    Thach!! I am anxious to know how it all went

    Hi Thanks for all the good info, I figure you must be getting close to being done by now? How is it going how was graduation and how to employers look at the degree?
  19. madicakes

    madicakes New Member


    I am glad I came across this thread, as it has been difficult to locate any information regarding NAU's PL program. Has anyone who responded to this thread completed this program yet? I am seriously considering NAU over WGU.
  20. maheshtripati

    maheshtripati New Member

    Hello, I am trying to take courses at NAU university, can you please help me with following questions?

    1) How many number of words should we write for "Essay" in pretest?
    2) How soon can we get our grading?
    3) In mastery tests, how many words should each paper have?
    4) Can we use references and their text in essays or papers (to avoid plagiarism issue)?
    5) Can we refer to the content before giving pretest?

    Thank you

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