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  1. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #1

    Post Student Experiences at Western Governors University (WGU)

    This thread is intended for students to write about their experiences at Western Governors University.

    Please keep it civil, and do not spend your time bashing the school, and its policies. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but if you have a problem you need to take it up with your professor or mentor. Please no Flaming on this thread.

    You can ask for help with a referral (used to avoid paying the application fee) on the following thread: WGU Refer-A-Friend (Thread for those seeking a referral)
    Last edited by veritas_libertas; 11-09-2011 at 07:07 PM. Reason: Removed opening comments...
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  3. cisco noob fly351's Avatar
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    #2
    My experience so far has been good, other than the enrollment counselor being pretty much clueless.. I actually knew more than him, last time I spoke with him I told him he was wrong (in a nice way lol) and finally he put me on hold to find out if I was right. And I was.
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  4. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #3
    Well since starting at WGU in March, I have already completed four classes:

    • Education Without Boundaries: A class to introduce you to how WGU's classes function, and how to use the WGU online portal.
    • IT Fundamentals I: Based on the CIW Foundations certification
    • IT Fundamentals II & III: Based on the A+ certification
    I now have the two language classes to do, and I just added the Operating Systems class (based on the MS 70-680 certification.) If everything happens right I should be able to finish seven classes during this first semester. If I am able to finish seven classes this semester I will have seventeen left to complete. I intend to graduate at the end 2011 which means I will have to be doing at least five classes per semester to get there. I honestly don't see this as being a problem.

    WGU has enabled me to have the freedom to move as quickly or slowly as I need to with my Bachelor degree program. I'm newly married and I also work full time. For those reasons my life is busy as it is, and I don't need it to get any busier.
    Last edited by veritas_libertas; 05-16-2011 at 04:58 PM.
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  5. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by fly351 View Post
    My experience so far has been good, other than the enrollment counselor being pretty much clueless..
    I have been thinking about that problem lately. I actually think the same kind of problem happens at every college and university. I can't even tell you how many times I had problems with community college, and don't even get me going about trying to enroll at the University of South Carolina. I think in the next couple of years WGU will start sanding down more of the rough edges.
    Last edited by veritas_libertas; 05-03-2011 at 02:34 PM.
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  6. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #5
    There are good ones and bad ones. I'm including the mentors in there too. My mentor has been extremely helpful and is rarely just wrong about something, she just has to look things up sometimes
    I think they put the "new guys" in as enrollment counselors, which is why so many are clueless. Mine was.
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  7. Senior Member chmorin's Avatar
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    #6
    My enrollment councilor is nice, but I'd have to agree with the clueless part. 3/4 the time I am answering my own questions, and 1/4 the time he is fumbling over his words. I sent him emails with specific questions and he sent back generic emails that look like they could be sent to everyone. The email didn't even answer the question I asked.

    Hopefully the college experience increases once I get a mentor. So far, the concept seems to be perfect for myself. I'll be at good head start with my transfer credits and certifications. I have to go get my CIW Associates at the start, I'm kind of looking forward to that (even though they consider it lesser than the A+, but a certification is a certification!) and it is part of the tuition so it is a win/win.

    I'll keep you guys updated with my experience with them. I'll be enrolling in the following months.
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  8. cisco noob fly351's Avatar
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    #7
    I agree veritas, I think they are working on smoothing things over still. IMO they are trying to keep costs of running the university low since they are non-profit.

    And same here, married and work full time. I plan on working as hard as I can but I don't intend to attempt 30 hours like some of the people say they have done

    Quote Originally Posted by earweed View Post
    There are good ones and bad ones. I'm including the mentors in there too. My mentor has been extremely helpful and is rarely just wrong about something, she just has to look things up sometimes
    Can you go into some more detail on the mentors? Such as:

    How do you communicate with them? I've read that you keep in touch with them on like a weekly basis but how? email? WGU chat program? phone? video conference?

    Are the mentors truly knowledgeable? Or are they just googling an answer for you?
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  9. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #8
    Weekly phone calls (They call you at a scheduled time) After you're settled in they may make it bi-weekly. You have your mentors phone no. and they keep regular hours if you have something you just can't wait for an email response.
    They, at least mine, answers email questions pretty quickly. The questions you should have for the mentor shouldn't be something you could google, but something about your program. My mentor is pretty knowledgable and if she doesn't know she'll tell me and find the answer.
    As far as the mentors knowing everything, no. Mine didn't know about the March 1 changes until the middle of Feb.
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  10. Senior Member
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    #9
    Mine is actually pretty good. He's really knowledgeable and very easy to get in touch with. He has given me his personal cell # and has a private facebook group setup for his students.
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    #10
    I have some "cluelessness" from my mentor, but not bad. He admits when he isnt sure and finds an answer quickly so thats all I can ask, really.

    I completed EWB which, while I thought it was annoying, it serves a purpose in getting people acquainted with where everything is. Think of it as a tour of WGU.

    I feel like they should have waived IT 1 as well, considering they let you transfer in up to 70% of the degree. It wont take long to knock out though, so no real worries.

    For somebody like me, that hates traditional college processes and methods, WGU is a godsend. It's cheap(er) and, as veritas said, you generally can go as fast or slow as you need.
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    #11
    So far it has been awesome.

    I started on January 1st. The counselors were ok and the mentor is ok too.
    I got some transfers since I had some certifications already.

    Currently enrolled in the general IT track but definitely considering to move either to the Security or the Network Design and Managmeent.

    I completed EWOB, LAC1, WFV1, and TSV1.
    On tuesday, I accepted to do LAE1 and ABV1.

    I took the Win7 pre-assessment and got spanked so I guess I'll need to study more.
    Definitely not as easy as the Vista exam was. This early taste of exam was hard.

    WGU fits quite well for my needs. I am employed, have a side business and have a family.
    I am able to do all of this on my own terms and still learn what I need.
    I would not consider traditional classroom education anymore.
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  13. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #12
    Since this is about experiences at WGU I should mention that we used to have Measure up as a Learning Resource when I first started. Now it's just used for pre assesments. Now when you get pretty well finished with a course your mentor signs you up for the exam force practice tests. When you complete 3 passes on exam force you email results to your mentor and get referred for your assesment.
    From my experiences with exam force it isn't as good as measure up (Took exam force with Proj+,Net+,Sec+, and JavaScript). The exam force for Javascript was a joke, there were only 165 questions in the test bank and several were repeated.
    As for the CBT's WGU provides most are pretty good. For the A+ and Net+ you have Mike Meyers video and a different Comptia guy for the Sec+.
    The CBT for the Prog 1 class, JavaScript Fundamentals is not really necessary unless you just want to learn JavaScript programming. The test,and the text, have not been upgraded since 2003. Your best bet when doing that course is to read the book twice, be farmiliar with syntax, and (if you're like me) type in your lab programs after having looked at the completed lab file to give you an idea of what to do.
    I'm studying for my 70-640 exam now and had to purchase the Labsim CBT as I found the IT Academy learning resource to be unsatisfactory. My mentor and the course mentor say they are going to recommend the Labsim for these courses to the program coordinators. IT Academy is geared more towards an audience of people with more experience with Server 2k8 than I have, one lab in particular you had to write, off the top of your head, a script for server core installation ( I had to take 2 tries, cheat and print instructions and do it again). I've since practiced this on my VM and still needed the book to know how to write the script.
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  14. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by qwertyiop View Post
    Mine is actually pretty good. He's really knowledgeable and very easy to get in touch with. He has given me his personal cell # and has a private facebook group setup for his students.
    That is pretty cool...
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by veritas_libertas View Post
    I think in the next couple of years WGU will start sanding down more of the rough edges.
    From my observation, they've been doing that pretty well. In fact, given my observations over the last few months (e.g. my experience with them, reading student forums) I'm glad I didn't hop on board when I originally heard about them a few years back. That would have been REALLY frustrating.
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  16. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #15
    I started 2 years back and my program has changed several times. A lot has changed. Courses have been changed, deleted entirely, etc.
    The Java Programming course did get you the Sun Associate cert then they changed the course to performance assesment and then deleted it from the program entirely.
    They were slow in changing from the XP client system to where Vista was only offered for a few months before WGU switched to Windows 7.
    The database and web design class have been deleted. Some classes which used to be objective assesments are now performance and the list goes on and on.
    All in all I'd say my experiences here have been very good though. As far as WGU deleting Java, web design, and database I was given the option to go ahead and take them if I wanted to but I decided to not take them.
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  17. Senior Member
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by earweed View Post
    From my experiences with exam force it isn't as good as measure up (Took exam force with Proj+,Net+,Sec+, and JavaScript). The exam force for Javascript was a joke, there were only 165 questions in the test bank and several were repeated.
    As for the CBT's WGU provides most are pretty good. For the A+ and Net+ you have Mike Meyers video and a different Comptia guy for the Sec+.
    Heaven help ExamForce if their products for WGU are as glitchy as their MCSA exams. If I sign up with WGU (as appears likely) and I have the same problems with the CIW/etc. from ExamForce. . . I'll be bugging WGU to prod ExamForce for fixes, as ExamForce doesn't pay much attention to individual users.
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    #17
    I'm a few months into my first term as a grad student in the MS Info. Security & Assurance program so I'm really only just getting my feet wet with everything and will certainly provide updates on my thoughts as things progress.

    Speaking to my relationship with my mentor, it's fairly minimal thus far - really hasn't been much in depth conversation needed thus far since things have been going fairly smooth. He is a pretty laid back, but still aware of looming deadlines approaching and does have a sense of motivation in his discussions but ultimately he hasn't tried to press me hard or lecture me, just has offered helpful suggestions and gave me the space to choose to use it or not. I've been running into struggles thus far in my program after completing the first class (Network Security I, which entailed the Network+ cert). The remaining two courses are Wireless Security I (CWSP cert - PW0-204) and Leadership and Professionalism. Since finishing the Network+ factors in my life outside of school and work have been taking a significant toll on my motivation and drive to succeed (divorce pending). That being said, my mentor has been understanding and providing suggestions and motivation but ultimately it's my rear that needs to just suck it up and deal with the tasks at hand.

    Course related I'm honestly up in the air on this one so far but giving it time and keeping an open mind. Now I am in a graduate program, and as a result of that I would expect graduate level work. WGU obviously bases many of their courses on a pass/fail setup based on the students ability to pass a particular certification exam. While I knew this going into the program, now that I am into it I suppose I would expect more research and writing papers to really deep dive into particular topics. Studying for a certification, even if it's a more difficult one, to me doesn't quite equal what I would expect of a graduate level class. The Network Security I course was a prime example, passing the Network+ exam. That, in my opinion, is far too easy for any graduate program and something I would consider prerequisite knowledge going into a graduate program such as this. Some of the other technical courses do lead away from certifications and seem to require research and paper writing so I'll see how things go.

    That's about all I can provide so far as to my thoughts. Like I said though, as I continue to make progress while I get my head back into the game - I will post updates.
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  19. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #18
    Done with LAC1, and on to studying for the 70-680 (Windows 7). I also have a paper that I need to finish for LAE1!
    Currently working on: Resting
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  20. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #19
    Studying for the MCTS: 70-640. I'm kind of glad that I went a little deeper than required while studying for my Sec+. The COS for the class had us use the sybex book Security Administrator: Street Smarts to do labbing. It was through doing this that I learned everything I know about Server 2003, which is helping me as I'm learning Server 2008.
    If you don't feel just studying for the cert gives you enough out of the class, put a little extra into it. Sometimes the Course of Study will guide you down a more beneficial learning path.
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  21. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #20
    Thanks for the advice.
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  22. cisco noob fly351's Avatar
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    #21
    I think I read some where that there are few people here on TE that have graduated from WGU. Can you share your experience in terms of after graduation?

    1. What degree did you graduate with (BS/MS in X)?
    2. Do you think that the degree has proven to be worthwhile?
    3. Has it improved your salary?
    4. Has it landed you a better position?

    Thanks
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    #22
    Hello all. I am new to this forum and I would like to thank all of you for the great info.

    I am interested in signing up at WGU (Applied last night). I was just curious at how many of my credits will be waived. I have completed my associates degree 3 years ago and since I have earned A+ and N+ certifications. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  24. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by wayers22 View Post
    Hello all. I am new to this forum and I would like to thank all of you for the great info.

    I am interested in signing up at WGU (Applied last night). I was just curious at how many of my credits will be waived. I have completed my associates degree 3 years ago and since I have earned A+ and N+ certifications. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Let me point you to the right thread for that: Western Governors University Questions and Answers / Threads related to WGU

    By the way, welcome to TE!

    Oh, and just noticed you are from South Carolina!
    Last edited by veritas_libertas; 04-14-2010 at 04:03 PM.
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    #24
    Just a friendly tip.

    Be sure that EVERY topic covered in the degree is one you feel comfortable with covering on your own and learning on your own before starting.

    I am terrible at Math and underestimated the levels of math that WGU goes to. While im making considerable progress, its throwing off my predicted timeline by quite a bit. WGU has fairly good resources (free tutoring, conference calls, decent math learning lab, etc) to help, but some people just have a hard time with subjects without a body there to help them understand it.

    WGU is definitely a test of your own desire and self motivation to complete a diverse set of tasks, don't take it too lightly.
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  26. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Hyper-Me View Post
    Just a friendly tip.

    Be sure that EVERY topic covered in the degree is one you feel comfortable with covering on your own and learning on your own before starting.

    I am terrible at Math and underestimated the levels of math that WGU goes to. While im making considerable progress, its throwing off my predicted timeline by quite a bit. WGU has fairly good resources (free tutoring, conference calls, decent math learning lab, etc) to help, but some people just have a hard time with subjects without a body there to help them understand it.

    WGU is definitely a test of your own desire and self motivation to complete a diverse set of tasks, don't take it too lightly.
    +1, Very good advice! I would also advise you to do the primary certification of your major. I really wish I had! If you are planning on getting into Cisco or Microsoft than do the CCNA or MCITP:EA first. It will save you time and frustration.
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