Western Governors University BS-IT

Absolutely free, alumni referral to Western Governors University (WGU).

For years now since I started and subsequently graduated from Western Governors University I’ve been referring my friends family and colleagues to enroll in the university. I have done this due to how much I enjoyed my experience as well as how much I feel that I have actually gained from the completion of my degrees. While I have attended two ground-based colleges and three different online colleges, both before and after my degrees with Western Governors University; Western Governors University is the only one who really rises to the top and deserves my undivided recommendation.

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Clarke Moyer – WGU Educational Journey

Bachelors of Science in Information Technology

(BS-IT)

How I Found out about Western Governors University

My experiences with Western Governors University were for the most part very positive. I was first referred to the University by an Air Force sergeant who I worked with in the 607th ACOMS at Osan airbase South Korea. By this time I had already had a large number of credits from my prior college experience before the Army and the online education that I had done since I had gotten out. What I did not have was a degree. After getting out of the Army I have decided to focus primarily on certifications in the information technology sector. When I started taking a number of CompTIA certifications to meet DOD 8570 requirements my colleague stated that with her University she was able to get college credits in conjunction with many of the CompTIA exams. She also told me that Western Governors University’s bachelors of science in information technology program (BS-IT) was a direct partner with all of the certification agencies including Microsoft and CompTIA certification vendors I was already pursuing. This was the biggest selling point for me that got me to apply. Once I was in the University this is what I truly started to understand exactly how different WGU was from my previous educational experiences.

The Benefit of Knowing Someone Who’s Been There

One benefit of knowing and alumni to the University was her ability to help me define my expectations with course transfers from my prior universities. While the vast majority of my core credits transferred in no problem (the sciences, maths, writings, history) some of my prior major subject classes from the fact that I had previously attempted at many different majors did not transfer as smoothly. At first I was concerned about “losing” these credits that she was able to remind me that the purpose of the credits was to complete a degree program and that with WGU’s acceleration capabilities from asynchronous education and self-paced learning with a competency model I would be able to make up the ground faster and with less headaches than completing the degree with the online University I was with. In short if I had not known an actual direct referral to the University I may not have believed these claims and never gone through the process of getting started.

Why WGU Worked for Me

For those that know me I tend to work in large bursts. When I was focused on education I would do a lot of education. When I was focused on certifications I did certification training nonstop. When is trying to learn a new skill I would read countless items to try and understand what I need to know. One of the largest problems that I have had with University study is I would get into a groove writing a project or studying one of my course materials and books and I would have to stop immediately because our class was not yet on that chapter or that assignment. I generally read well beyond where the class was at the given textbook but by the time the class caught up I would have to reread the material so that I could cite and source the specific things that I remembered. This resulted in a very long and tedious process of reworking everything time and time again because I could not work at my own pace and had to work at the pace of the slowest class member.

Competency Based Learning through Asynchronous Education (Doing Things on Your Time)

With WGU the syllabuses are designed on a 12 week cycle just like a traditional University however if you can complete the objectives to the standard faster than 12 weeks then you have met the standard. WGU is not a time-based educational experience it is a competency-based educational experience. In a single weekend I was able to get several weeks of college done. This is particularly true for the courses in which Artie had previous experience. When I was in the course for networking was derived from the CompTIA network + exam I was able to quickly meet the objectives because a large component of my employment related to networking. In a traditional university I would have to wait the full 12 weeks to sit for the final exam, with WGU as soon as I did the pretests to confirm my competency I was able to sit for the official CompTIA network + exam the following week.

This efficiency did not just transcend to the courses that I was already proficient in. In many of the core classes where writing was the primary deliverable I was able to effectively draft papers scheduled for weeks’ worth of conventional college again in a single concentrated weekend of 10 hours a day.

Linear Course Progress (One Course at a Time Not Three Courses All at Once)

Another factor that people forget about with conventional education is the conflicting focuses forced on students when they take different classes, in different disciplines, from different professors, on different days, with different times when the assignments will all be due. Trying to focus on a math class at the same time is an English class at the same time as an IT class with three totally different types of people defining what they want and not communicating with themselves to ensure that assignments due dates do not conflict with the assignment due dates and other professors student is often in a position more of forced time management and hurry up and wait mentality as the slinky effect of inefficiency takes its toll.

WGU does not have any implicit due dates for course assignments just that you complete a minimum amount of whole courses per semester to meet full-time or part-time enrollment.     So although you’re required to be enrolled in three separate classes just like a conventional university for full-time credit you not actually have to work on all three classes simultaneously unless you want to. I chose to do intense focus on one class, one subject, one instructor, until complete and then moved on to the next class. The power of working on just one topic at a time is often lost in our world of “multitasking”. While study after study produced by the very same universities that employee traditional practices of force multitasking have shown that human beings are not effective multitaskers WGU was the first to embrace the one topic single scope focus of truly delving into the information of a single course without the distractions of the others.

Given the immense efficiency of integrating prior experiences and personal motivation I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree in just two terms of six months.

Again I cannot express exactly how critical self-paced education was in me getting out of the rut of three classes at a time with a conventional online University. Western Governors University focused my attention in the perfect way to ensure that I could quickly completed my degree and started earning the benefits of being a college graduate.