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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default My Version of the WGU Story....

    Just wanted to start a thread to document my adventure with WGU, in case it may help someone else in the future.

    Short intro: I was laid off on 3/13/2017, and found myself in the job market. I have 20+ years experience in IT, with the last 5 exclusively in Information Security and Compliance. The job market makes it pretty clear that certifications and/or a degree are a pretty common prerequisite, and I didn't have either that were applicable. My goal is to complete my BSITSec degree in 1 term.

    Starting point certs. All were taken 10+ years ago.
    MCSE 2003: Security
    MCSE 2003: Messaging
    MCDBA
    MCTS: SQL Server 2005
    MCITP: SQL Server 2005

    I had been aware of WGU as an idea, but had not actively pursued it. With the change... that changed. I started the application process with WGU on 3/15/2017. I was initially planning to enroll on 5/1, but have since pushed it back to 6/1, in order to knock out some certs and exams ahead of time. On 3/30, I received my transcript evaluation from a few aborted attempts at college 20 years ago. I received credit for 3 classes:

    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction)
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych)
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology)

    I submitted an appeal with regards to the Biology class, as it had included a lab, which I had not received credit for. The appeal was granted.

    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction)
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych)
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology)
    Natural Science Lab - Complete (General Biology Lab)

    On 4/4, I signed up for my Security+ certification. Given the number of DoD jobs in my area, it was an easy decision, and it also gives credit at WGU. I took the test on 4/5, and passed with a 781. A subsequent evaluation gave credit for two additional classes, as a result of the Sec+.


    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction)
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych)
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology)
    Natural Science Lab - Complete (General Biology Lab)
    Network and Security - Foundations - Complete (Security+)
    Network and Security - Applications - Complete (Security+)

    On 4/5, I signed up for Aleks, to knock out some General Education credits. Between 4/5 and 4/16, I completed Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra and Introduction to Statistics for ACE credit. As an aside, completing College Algebra will not grant credit for Intermediate Algebra. I had to go back, but was able to pass on the initial assessment for credit.

    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction)
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych)
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology)
    Natural Science Lab - Complete (General Biology Lab)
    Network and Security - Foundations - Complete (Security+)
    Network and Security - Applications - Complete (Security+)
    Intermediate Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit)
    College Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit)
    Introduction to Statistics - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit)

    On 4/17, I signed up for a CLEP test for College Composition (Essay, not modular). I took the test this morning (4/1, and I am feeling good. Will update here once I get the score back. Right now, I am doing some review to knock out my A+ either late this week, or early next week. I am also planning to knock out some other General Education credits using StraighterLine.

    Any questions, let me know. Will keep this updated to document my progress.
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Progress update...

    On Wednesday, I decided to sit for exam 98-364 (MTA: Database Fundamentals). I haven't really touched databases in several years, but it really was common sense driven. Passing that class knocked out Data Management - Foundations.

    I also started Introduction to Communications at Straighterline. I have completed the introductory speech, and have completed through the first graded exam. I will be pushing through this week, but do have the first exam for the A+ scheduled for Friday.

    Completed:
    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction) - 3 credits
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych) - 3 credits
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology) - 3 credits
    Natural Science Lab - Complete (General Biology Lab) - 2 credits
    Network and Security - Foundations - Complete (Security+) - 3 credits
    Network and Security - Applications - Complete (Security+) - 4 credits
    Intermediate Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    College Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 4 credits
    Introduction to Statistics - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    Data Management - Foundations - Complete (MS 98-364 MTA: Database Fundamentals) - 3 credits

    Pending:
    College Composition I - Awaiting results (CLEP) - 3 credits
    College Composition II - Awaiting Results (CLEP) - 3 credits
    Introduction to Communications - In Progress (StraighterLine) - 3 credits

    Completed: 31
    In Progress: 9
    Remaining: 83
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  4. user.Status = "Learning";
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    #3
    Sorry to hear about the unemployment. Wise move on pushing back the start date, in my opinion. Best to start with as little course workload as possible. At the moment you can pick and choose what exams to take for course credit...once you start the program you get locked it you may be stuck waiting for a certain course/exam to come around in you degree plan. I almost pushed my BSIT-Sec program back a month when I started because I had passed my CCDA, but it was after the cut off date for credit. WGU took some courses from my freshman semester back in 2000, but not as many as I would have liked.

    The one-term goal is absolutely possible. For inspiration, there's a guy on here somewhere who did the whole program in two-terms, and he only started with the A+ I think and no other course credit.
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  5. Senior Member devilbones's Avatar
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    #4
    You are doing great. Keep it up.
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  6. The ceiling is glass. PJ_Sneakers's Avatar
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    #5
    Absolutely possible to pull off in one term, especially if you transfer in credit. I transferred in A+, N+, S+, Proj+, MTA (DB fundamentals), and an MCSA with some prior college. I was able to do 11 classes and the capstone in one term.

    Looking back, I'm not sure how I did that. lol
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  7. Member
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    #6
    Why would you be taking all of these courses outside of wgu? I could understand the maths and stuff maybe but security+ and A+ you are paying for out of pocket when WGU would be giving you the vouchers for free. So in essence your paying more money for no reason.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jrisbrook View Post
    Why would you be taking all of these courses outside of wgu? I could understand the maths and stuff maybe but security+ and A+ you are paying for out of pocket when WGU would be giving you the vouchers for free. So in essence your paying more money for no reason.
    I am trying to reduce the number of terms that I need to attend, while also keeping it realistic, as to course load. It is a combination of time and money, as well as some real world needs. For example, we have a lot of DoD jobs in this area. A Security+ is a virtual requirement. That it also gave credit was a plus.

    The Aleks classes were also about time and money. Assuming I test high in each during pre-assessment, I still have to schedule the final assessment and that will take some measure of time. With Aleks, I was able to walk through it, refresh some areas and be done with it. Intermediate was done after the initial assessment. Total cost was $19.95, because there was a deal for the first month.

    CLEP was simple practicality. I write well, but don't enjoy it. One test, with multiple choice and two essays, versus two classes with certainly more writing? It was an easy decision. Total cost was $80.

    MTA: Database Fundamentals was $127. I already have my MCDBA, as well as MCTS and MCITP in SQL Server. I had no desire to do anymore with databases than I already have to.

    Straighterline has a $99 subscription per month, plus a variable fixed fee per course. For Introduction to Communications, the fee was $84. I have already finished the first video, two exams and the midterm. It will likely be done by Saturday, and I will move on to the next class. I will likely knock out Chemistry, Organizational Behavior and Programming in C++ during this month as well.

    Financially, I have spent right around $450, for 29 credits. That works out to roughly $15.50/credit. Now compare the WGU route. Assuming one term @ $3035.00. Then assume I could knock out all 112 credits during that one term. That boils down to roughly $27.10 per credit. Slip into a second term and it becomes $54.20/credit. If I hit all of the transfers that I want to bring in, I am looking at 11 courses plus capstone in one term. And, I will have spent less than $26/credit. If I can realistically knock that down, it will make one term even more likely.

    Then there is the reality that I may not be able to swing the cost for WGU in June. It all depends on the job front. These are all credits that I can carry somewhere else if absolutely necessary. I can take them to the local community college. That isn't necessarily true if I take it all through WGU.

    Lastly, I got laid off. I have a lot of time and nothing to do. Why NOT knock out 50 or so credits for college? Especially if it keep me sane.
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  9. Senior Member
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    #8
    Quick update.

    For the Introduction to Communication class on StraighterLine, I have completed all of the graded exams, except for the proctored final. I have also completed two of the three presentations. I am just waiting for the second presentation to be graded, before I submit the last one, and then schedule the final exam.

    This morning, I also sat for the first of the two A+ exams (220-901), which I passed. I was surprised at the amount of overlap between the A+ and the Security+. That knocks out IT Foundations, with 220-902 knocking out IT Applications.

    Completed:
    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction) - 3 credits
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych) - 3 credits
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology) - 3 credits
    Natural Science Lab - Complete (General Biology Lab) - 2 credits
    Network and Security - Foundations - Complete (Security+) - 3 credits
    Network and Security - Applications - Complete (Security+) - 4 credits
    Intermediate Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    College Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 4 credits
    Introduction to Statistics - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    Data Management - Foundations - Complete (MS 98-364 MTA: Database Fundamentals) - 3 credits
    IT Foundations - Complete (A+ Exam 220-901) - 4 credits

    Pending:
    College Composition I - Awaiting results (CLEP) - 3 credits
    College Composition II - Awaiting Results (CLEP) - 3 credits
    Introduction to Communications - In Progress (StraighterLine) - 3 credits

    Completed: 35
    In Progress: 9
    Remaining: 79

    Alsop, as an FYI. WGU is in the process of revamping some of the certifications that qualify on some of the courses. Right now, Installing and Configuring Windows 10 (MS Exam 70-69 does not qualify to replace Operating Systems I or Operating Systems II. That is in the process of changing, and I was told I can go ahead and take that exam for transfer. For anyone else looking to test out pre-enrollment, that offers another option other than the Linux+ or the MCSA.
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  10. The ceiling is glass. PJ_Sneakers's Avatar
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    #9
    Not sure if this will help you, but have you looked into ACE credit through Saylor Academy?

    https://www.saylor.org/credit/#available-courses

    Each exam is $25 and proctored via ProctorU.
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PJ_Sneakers View Post
    Not sure if this will help you, but have you looked into ACE credit through Saylor Academy?

    https://www.saylor.org/credit/#available-courses

    Each exam is $25 and proctored via ProctorU.
    I have. But, I am starting to bump into a wall with most of my general education completed. On the GenEd side of things, I am down to:

    Technical Communication
    Integrated Physical Sciences (no lab)
    Critical Thinking and Logic
    Organizational Behavior

    StraighterLine has options for physical sciences and org behavior. I can also take the Technical Writing DSST. I haven't found a good option for Critical Thinking and Logic.

    Once those are done, I am out of CLEP/ACE/Aleks/StraighterLine/Saylor/Study.com options.
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  12. The ceiling is glass. PJ_Sneakers's Avatar
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    #11
    Ah, nice.

    Don't even worry about the Critical Thinking class. I passed it in less than a week of studying.
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    I am not too stressed about it. Same with Intro to IT, Business of IT Applications, Business of IT - Project Management. I think I can get through them quickly. But, I would rather be spending that time studying for the CCNA parts.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    A few people have reached out asking for more details on my process, so I will just update the thread with each piece.

    Since I am waiting for the second presentation to get graded for Introduction to Communications to get graded, I am pretty much at a stand still.

    I decided to sign up for the next class, Organizational Behavior. Cost is $59, and I am still well within my month subscription. Best part is that I found a promotion code for Straighterline, that knocked $50 off of the price. Total for Organizational Behavior: $9.

    Once I get through this class, I will update on whether the code is reusable.
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  15. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #14
    Looking forward to following your progress.
    Goals for 2017:
    RHCSA, RHCE, LFCS: Ubuntu | Project+ | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer | Learn Docker, Kubernetes, Prometheus, Golang | Improve Python Programming
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  16. Senior Member
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    #15
    Quick status update.

    I am at a conference in Nashville this week, but I have made some progress.

    Introduction to Communication - Second video was finally graded, and all of the non-proctored exams have been completed. At this point, I need to schedule the final, and submit the third video. I am hoping to submit the video on Wednesday evening, as well as schedule the exam for Wednesday evening.

    Organizational Behavior - All exams are completed, except the proctored final. Hoping to get that scheduled in the next two days.

    I would like to take two more classes through SL, in order to get the tuition rebate a WGU. A physical science is one option, and I am looking for one more. Hopefully, I will have an update on all of the above while I am still in Nashville!
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  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    I couldn't sleep, so I went ahead and knocked out the last presentation for Introduction to Communication.

    All I have left is a proctored final for each class, and then I move on!
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  18. There is no spoon. p@r0tuXus's Avatar
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    #17
    Intently watching this thread so I thought I'd contribute... Great job so far, btw.
    Found this page on the official site: http://www.straighterline.com/landing/coupons-and-promotion-codes/

    Promo Code: BGS310
    Buy 1 course and save $49 on your 2nd course.
    Discount is applied to the total cart value, cart must include a membership subscription, and purchase of at least 2 courses. This promotion is for new students only.


    Promo Code: EZSAVE
    Take $20 off any course.
    Discount is applied to the total cart value for current and new students. This promotion can only be used once per customer.


    Promo Code: PSAFCF
    Save $49 on any course.
    Discount is applied to the total cart value, cart must include a membership subscription. This promotion is for new students only.
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by p@r0tuXus View Post
    Intently watching this thread so I thought I'd contribute... Great job so far, btw.
    Found this page on the official site: http://www.straighterline.com/landing/coupons-and-promotion-codes/

    Promo Code: BGS310
    Buy 1 course and save $49 on your 2nd course.
    Discount is applied to the total cart value, cart must include a membership subscription, and purchase of at least 2 courses. This promotion is for new students only.


    Promo Code: EZSAVE
    Take $20 off any course.
    Discount is applied to the total cart value for current and new students. This promotion can only be used once per customer.


    Promo Code: PSAFCF
    Save $49 on any course.
    Discount is applied to the total cart value, cart must include a membership subscription. This promotion is for new students only.
    There is also a one time use code for $50 off. HOMESCHOOL50
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  20. Senior Member
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    #19
    Proctored final done for Introduction to Communication. Just waiting for the third video to be graded. With a zero for the third video, I am at 73%, so it is just semantics at this point.

    I also went ahead and signed up for Into to Programming in C++ as my third class at StraighterLine. It fulfills Programming and Scripting - Fundamentals.

    Off to schedule the final for Org Behavior.
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  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    Both proctored finals completed. That finishes Org Behavior, and I am only waiting on the final presentation for Communication. Since I have enough points that I can't fail, moving it to the Completed section. Already started on my third SL class, Intro to Programming C++.

    Completed:
    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction) - 3 credits
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych) - 3 credits
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology) - 3 credits
    Natural Science Lab - Complete (General Biology Lab) - 2 credits
    Network and Security - Foundations - Complete (Security+) - 3 credits
    Network and Security - Applications - Complete (Security+) - 4 credits
    Intermediate Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    College Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 4 credits
    Introduction to Statistics - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    Data Management - Foundations - Complete (MS 98-364 MTA: Database Fundamentals) - 3 credits
    IT Foundations - Complete (A+ Exam 220-901) - 4 credits
    Organizational Behavior - Complete (StraighterLine) - 3 credits
    Introduction to Communication - Complete (StraighterLine) - 3 credits

    Pending:
    College Composition I - Awaiting results (CLEP) - 3 credits
    College Composition II - Awaiting Results (CLEP) - 3 credits
    Scripting and Programming Foundations - In Progress (SL Intro to Programming C++) - 3 credits

    Completed: 41
    In Progress: 9
    Remaining: 73
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  22. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #21
    Hi jibtech, sorry to hear about your unemploying.
    I am in a very similar situation. Just got layoff recently after being with the same employer for a long time.I don't have a degree and my certs are all expired. I recently found CLEP Forum - CLEP Study - CLEP Testing - Study Guide and Strategies. People there can help you craft a faster and cheaper path to a degree and there are other options on schools as well.

    Good luck!
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  23. Senior Member jdancer's Avatar
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    #22
    DSST is running by 2 get 1 free exam deal expires June 30, must take by October 31 http://getcollegecredit.com/assets/p...ee_for_Two.pdf DSST | Get College Credit

    More info on credit by exam at CLEP Forum - CLEP Study - CLEP Testing - Study Guide and Strategies
    Last edited by jdancer; 05-05-2017 at 03:41 PM.
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  24. Senior Member
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    #23
    Sorry for the lack of follow up recently. I ended up with a tooth abscess and had to get that addressed this week. Still studying, but not dong much else.

    Intro to Programming C++ is nearly complete. Just need to schedule the final. I have also started Intro to Chemistry through Straighterline. All I can say is that Chemistry is a lot different than 25 years ago. Far more interspersed with Physics as well as having quantum theory fundamentals.

    rqtek, I am actually a member over there as well. TE is better for tech oriented details and WGU, whereas the other forum is great for general education and details around the big 3.

    jdancer, thanks for the heads up on the DSST promotion. That may well be what decides my next steps!
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  25. Senior Member
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    #24
    Got some news on the credit front, so thought I would post a full update. Came home about 15 minutes ago to find my CLEP results in the mail for the College Comp with Exam test. Required score was 50. I passed with a 61. Glad to finally have those results, and those 6 credits done.

    On other updated news, I learned about the Workforce Credential Grant here in Virginia. As part of their workforce development efforts, local community colleges provide classes around various certifications. Some certifications qualify for a grant that will pay 2/3 of the cost, including the test voucher. One of those certifications is the CISSP. So I am applying to take the class in July, with a total cost around $500 for the class and the certification. I hadn't planned on sitting for it this year, but that grant makes it too attractive, and the CISSP can only help on the job front.

    Speaking of which, I am also getting some traction with interviews. Fingers crossed.

    On the credit side of things, I will be scheduling the final for Straighterline C++ next week. In the meantime, I am continuing to plug away at the Chemistry course through Straighterline. I am also going to start including cost per credit, as well as identifying the target. I can only transfer in 75% of the credits to WGU, so I am limited at 92. Below is where everything currently stands:

    Completed:
    Intro to Humanities - Complete (Short Fiction) - 3 credits
    Intro to Geography - Complete (Intro to Psych) - 3 credits
    Intro to Biology - Complete (General Biology) - 3 credits
    Natural Science Lab - Complete (General Biology Lab) - 2 credits
    Network and Security - Foundations - Complete (Security+) - 3 credits
    Network and Security - Applications - Complete (Security+) - 4 credits
    Intermediate Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    College Algebra - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 4 credits
    Introduction to Statistics - Complete (Aleks ACE Credit) - 3 credits
    Data Management - Foundations - Complete (MS 98-364 MTA: Database Fundamentals) - 3 credits
    IT Foundations - Complete (A+ Exam 220-901) - 4 credits
    Organizational Behavior - Complete (StraighterLine) - 3 credits
    Introduction to Communication - Complete (StraighterLine) - 3 credits
    College Composition I - Complete (CLEP) - 3 credits
    College Composition II - Complete (CLEP) - 3 credits

    Pending:
    Scripting and Programming Foundations - In Progress (SL Intro to Programming C++) - 3 credits
    Integrated Physical Sciences - In Progress (SL Introduction to Chemistry) - 3 credits

    Transferable to WGU: 92/123
    Completed: 47/92
    In Progress: 6/92
    Remaining: 39/92

    Updated cost per credit: $18.86
    Last edited by jibtech; 05-06-2017 at 07:36 PM.
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  26. Senior Member shimasensei's Avatar
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    #25
    Great progress, you can finish in less than a year, or term!
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