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Competency based programs - can you do more than one class at a time?
#1
Hi all - 

I'm still unclear as to how the competency based programs work - can you bounce around and do a little of this class and a little of that class? Sometimes when subjects are tough, I like to bounce around and do something else for a bit and then come back to the difficult thing to tackle it again later. 

Do these programs allow that or do you have to only do one class at a time?
TESU BALS March 2020!
Study.com (24) StraighterLine (33) Sophia (10) SHU and GCU (26) TEEX (6) Coopersmith (12) CSMLearn (3) TESU (6)
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#2
This is a great question.

I completed half of the Walden early childhood administration masters during the free month offer last year. It was a truly free 15 credits. I might eventually finish it for $2200.

The program was set up with three or four competencies per class. I could work on three or four at any one time. A few of the courses ended with a test. More of the courses ended with small papers or long-answer question sets. The majority of the classes had long papers. This meant that it was important to have a mix of courses open at any one time. It took three or four days for long papers to be graded. This meant that I tried to have short answer competencies for the grading days. That way I could maximize the time.

So, the answer to your question that you can bounce a little, but the grading and limits on open courses at any one moment are a barrier to speeding at mach speed through Walden.
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
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#3
On the other hand, WGU generally only allows you to work on a single course at a time. Each course culminates in either an exam or one or more papers/presentations/projects, or a combination of both.

In theory, if you have enough time left in your term you can switch courses if you’re having trouble. But this requires getting your program mentor on board.
In Progress: Researching doctoral degree programs
Up Next: Debating between starting on a doctorate or another master's degree

Complete:
MBA in IT Management, 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA in Computer Information Systems, 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM in Computer Science, 2019, Thomas Edison State University

B&M CC: 8.68cr, TESU: 3cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(121.68 credits total. 95 credits earned in 10 months, with 45 of those earned in ~3 months)
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#4
ok so let me just make sure I'm getting this. Each competency is like a mini chunk of the class? In a typical online class, I have to go along with the order of the class (week 1, week 2, etc) because they mostly build on each other.

Are you guys saying that these classes are in chunks where I can skip from chunk to chunk and bounce around?
TESU BALS March 2020!
Study.com (24) StraighterLine (33) Sophia (10) SHU and GCU (26) TEEX (6) Coopersmith (12) CSMLearn (3) TESU (6)
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#5
In the Walden program that I took, it was possible to take competencies from whatever class you wanted except for the final culminating class. The Walden transcript includes all competencies completed and includes the fractionally completed competencies as part of the overall total. However, the three or four competencies within each class must be completed before it is listed on the transcript as a completed class. I am using these credits for administrative certification, so completed courses were important to me. This might not matter for others.
University of Michigan, 1997, BA Ed.; Teaching Cert.: English/Social Sciences
Marygrove College, 2003, MAT: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
TESU, 2018, BSBA: Accounting/CIS; ASNSM: Math/Comp. Sci.; Certs: Finance, Org. Lead., Ops. Man., Marketing
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2018, Grad. Cert.: Economics Ed.; 18 Grad. Credits - Economics
Harvard University Extension, 2019, Poetry in America Series; 20 Grad. Credits - English
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#6
(01-21-2020, 10:01 AM)suzycupcake Wrote: ok so let me just make sure I'm getting this. Each competency is like a mini chunk of the class?  In a typical online class, I have to go along with the order of the class (week 1, week 2, etc) because they mostly build on each other.

Are you guys saying that these classes are in chunks where I can skip from chunk to chunk and bounce around?

At WGU there are multiple competencies associated with each course, so yes each one is like a chunk of the class. You can learn the material in any order you like (or skip material that you already know). There is a preferred order and they supply a recommended timeline for what to study and how long to plan for it, but you don't have to follow it for most courses.

Depending on the course, there may be a final exam (objective assessment - OA) that will test all the competencies at once or a collection of papers/projects/presentations (performance assessment - PA) that need to be completed to finish the course. In the latter case, each paper/project will usually be associated with one or more competencies and there will typically be 2-4 papers/projects per course. Rarely, a course will have both OA and PA components.

So while you can only work on one course at a time, you can bounce around in the course material as much as you wish while learning. For PA's you can also complete the papers in any order you like. For OA's there is only the single exam so it gets done when you think you're ready to test out of the course.
In Progress: Researching doctoral degree programs
Up Next: Debating between starting on a doctorate or another master's degree

Complete:
MBA in IT Management, 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA in Computer Information Systems, 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM in Computer Science, 2019, Thomas Edison State University

B&M CC: 8.68cr, TESU: 3cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(121.68 credits total. 95 credits earned in 10 months, with 45 of those earned in ~3 months)
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#7
Programs at WGU may vary. I am in the MSCSIA program and I have two courses open RIGHT NOW. One is half way done, and the other I am about 40 percent through the program. May have to do with your mentor. i have had two courses open ever since the beginning of the program, bouncing back and forth based on my motivation that day.

Since I finished my first term in 7 weeks, I have had the mentor bring my next courses into the current term, and OUT OF ORDER. He really tried to convince me to do them in order, but I persuaded him to give me one of the very last courses in the Degree Plan, because I was excited to do the Vulnerability Assessments.
Western Governor's University
MSCSIA - ~50% complete in 11 weeks time.
Thomas Edison State University
B.A.L.S 2019 
ASNSM - Computer Science - 2018 
Pierpont College
Board of Governor's AAS, AOE Information Systems - 2017
WGU Cybersecurity Scholarship Recipient.
40 Credits from Stark State College(B&M), 100 ACE credits (mix of Straighterline, Study.Com, TECEP, etc.), TESU LIB-495 Capstone.
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#8
I have heard it depends on your mentor at WGU.

Capella says that you can have 2 classes going at once.

JFK U and Purdue Global don't seem to say on their website. I may have missed it.
Working on second TESU degree. Graduate in Sept? Dec?
First Masters complete. Working on another?
TESU BSBA (with ASNSM) in March 2018.
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#9
(01-26-2020, 03:25 PM)Ideas Wrote: I have heard it depends on your mentor at WGU.

Capella says that you can have 2 classes going at once.

JFK U and Purdue Global don't seem to say on their website. I may have missed it.

At WGU it definitely depends on your mentor, but the school itself encourages mentors to only allow students to have one class active at a time. They used to be more flexible with this but it changed last year. If you have a good relationship with your mentor and you can show strong academic progress, your mentor is more likely to be willing to bend the rules for you.
In Progress: Researching doctoral degree programs
Up Next: Debating between starting on a doctorate or another master's degree

Complete:
MBA in IT Management, 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA in Computer Information Systems, 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM in Computer Science, 2019, Thomas Edison State University

B&M CC: 8.68cr, TESU: 3cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(121.68 credits total. 95 credits earned in 10 months, with 45 of those earned in ~3 months)
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#10
(01-26-2020, 03:25 PM)Ideas Wrote: I have heard it depends on your mentor at WGU.

Capella says that you can have 2 classes going at once.

JFK U and Purdue Global don't seem to say on their website. I may have missed it.

At WGU is definitely depends on your mentor.  If you want to enroll in and complete multiple classes at the same time you have to tell your mentor immediately when you have the introductory call (and accept nothing less).

Initially, your program mentor at WGU will enroll you in 3 or 4 classes.  As such, initially, you may work on several courses at one time.  As you complete these courses your mentor will add other courses to your degree plan.  If you do not tell them that you plan to accelerate and enroll in multiple courses at once the program mentor will follow WGU's preferred method of adding one course at a time (and will do so only after you have completed all of the other previously enrolled courses).  For both my undergraduate degree and graduate degree at WGU I told my program mentors to enroll me in two new classes for every two classes I complete.  Also, the day following my introductory call with my program mentor I sent them an email listing every single class in the program guide and the order in which I intended to complete the entire degree program.

It is your degree...not theirs.  They might take your money...but it is on you to progress to your degree and you should do it in the manner that suits you best (and only you know how that is).
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