I’ve been documenting my WGU experience since January and wanted to share my journey, plus some tips and resources.
I’m enrolled in the B.S. Business Admin – IT Management degree program (College of Business), but there are some tips listed below that might help in any program hopefully.
If you haven’t applied yet, sign up here for more info: https://mbsy.co/6hbQWZ (affiliate link)
My background is mostly administrative and customer support/service roles. I’ve worked in tech on the side as a freelancer/contractor. Started as a virtual assistant, WordPress developer, and cloud engineer. I’m self-taught and certified in AWS, Microsoft, and Security+.
I chose this degree because it was the “easiest” to get since there are no certs. (See which IT degree works for you.) I didn’t need any of the certs that were offered in the other programs and plus it takes me 2-3 months to study for one cert. Since I’m trying to graduate in less than 6 months (one term), that was not going to work.
I had some general ed courses from my last school and my Sec+ transferred. Once I knew what was accepted, I joined Sophia.org to get some more courses out of the way.
Transferred 35 credits altogether out of 120. That’s 28 out of 40 courses.
- D078 Business Environment Apps I: Business Structures and Legal Env (comm college)
- C455 English Composition I (comm college)
- C273 Introduction to Sociology (comm college)
- C172 Network and Security – Foundations (Security+ – read how I passed this here)
- C100 Introduction to Humanities (Sophia, Visual Communications)
- C722 Project Management (Sophia)
- D072 Fundamentals for Success in Business (Sophia, Intro to Business)
- D089 Principles of Economics (Sophia, Microeconomics)
- D076 Finance Skills for Managers (Sophia, Principles of Finance)
- C121 Survey of United States History (Sophia, US History I)
- C165 Integrated Physical Sciences (Sophia, Human Biology)
- C957 Applied Algebra (Sophia, College Algebra)
See the courses I have left – IT Management courses
Tips for Sophia – it’s open book, so I would take all the courses you can, especially the equation courses (Algebra, Stats). If a course has touchstones (projects or written assessments), I would skip it and save those for WGU because the evaluators can take up to 7 days to grade papers on Sophia. It took me 2-3 days for each course. And there’s no need for lots of notes. Just read the text to get familiar with the material (skim or use a text to speech extension to speed read). Answer the questions on each challenge (at least 1 in each section if it’s easy, then move on to the next section). When it’s time to take the milestone (exam), open another window and have it side-by-side with the course material so you can CTRL+F the keywords to quickly find the answers.
Applied Jan 3, 2022 and start date was July 1st. There was a popup that waived the $65 application fee. Once you sign up and fill out the form, you’ll have access to your portal to send transcripts and schedule your appointment with your Enrollment Counselor. They will reach out to you to start the process and will work with you until you’re officially enrolled.
Once you send in your transcripts, they’ll let know when to apply for scholarships and financial aid. They’ll probably say to wait until 90 days before your start date, but it took a month to find out if I got any scholarships or grants. You can sign up for Study.com or Sophia if you can in the meantime.
For your intake “interview”, you will answer about 13 questions online about WGU – tech, mentors, course instructors, what’s competency-based learning, and how many study hours you’ll put in every week.
After you’re admitted, you’re now in the enrollment phase. You should know about your financial aid status by that time. If approved, you’ll be cleared to start.
Your next step is orientation and meeting with your program mentor. Orientation took me 2 days because it was too much info, but could be less for you if you skim through it (I didn’t know I could do that). This is where you’ll learn about how everything works and where to find resources. You’ll also have your first performance assessment (paper). Then you have to take a personal learning guide exam to check your reading, math, and writing skills.
You’ll have 2 more calls before your start date with your mentor. First call is the term planning call to go over your degree plan. (Might be a group call.) Next call is to go over the course registration process and finalize the degree plan.
On your first day, you follow the steps to register for your classes and then get started on your first course. FYI: Everything is on Mountain Time, so don’t expect to start until 2-3AM eastern time, not midnight.
Tips & Resources
Join Facebook Groups – WGU Accelerators, WGU College of Business, WGU Procrastinators Non-Anonymous, and more groups here. Then join WGU on Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/WGU/. You’ll use these groups to search for course tips.
For course tips, search in those groups by course name and course code (English Composition II and C456). Also, check YouTube and Quizlet.
Also join WGU Group Hubs. There’s a group for Cybersec students, Women in Tech, parents, plus PRIDE, Black, and Latino student groups.
After you’re enrolled, you can apply for your student ID card so you can use it to show to the proctors during your OAs.
Once you get your student email (it’s a Google/gmail account and I think you get it after your intake interview), you can start signing up for student discounts. Some links won’t work until you’re officially enrolled, so check back a month later.
- The Definitive List of 2021 WGU Perks
- The Ultimate List of Student Discounts and Deals
- Free resources for alumni/current students
Create a separate profile just for WGU from your browser to eliminate distractions. I use Brave so here’s a video on how to set it up.
Install browser extensions – Adblock Plus (no ads while you watch YouTube), Google Dictionary, Grammarly, MyBib: Free Citation Generator (use this for your Performance Assessments), OneTab (group tabs together and name them), Print Friendly & PDF, Read Aloud: Text to Speech Voice Reader, and any Pomodoro timer (or use your phone).
Update resume – After the intake interview, I added this to my resume and moved it to the top, above work experience. Find a template here. Example:
Western Governors University expected Dec 2022
B.S., Business Administration – Information Technology Management
Coursework completed: Project Management, Accounting (this is optional but helpful if the job description is asking for experience in this)
Apply to internships on LinkedIn, Indeed, Handshake, or WayUp.
Some things I’ve asked since I applied back in Jan, plus some learned from other students in FB groups. (Check with your Enrollment Counselor or Program Mentor just in case changes were made)
You can’t transfer any credits once you’re enrolled. The good thing is you’ll have access to all the course material for transferred classes. This will help if you need to review English Comp I, for example, if you haven’t been in school in a while.
If your start date is October 1st, for example, I believe you have until Sept. 22 to make any changes (add transcripts, make a payment, or change start date).
You’ll have to pass the 1st four classes before you can accelerate. They say you should follow the program guidebook, but you can ask your mentor to move things up if you’re familiar with the material.
Accommodations while testing – you can move your lips to read the questions, but not out loud. You can also move around and stretch but stay within the webcam view.
- Hardware and software requirements (TLDR; get the Logitech HD C615 and a tripod from Amazon so it can get to you sooner, and get a whiteboard from Dollar Tree or Walmart)
- Read about assessment policies and how to use Examity & Zoom.
You can’t start on another degree until after your term is over.
The commencement schedule comes out in December. Sign up for updates.