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WGU and Canadians
#1
Since I applied to WGU well before they decided to change their policy I decided to try my way into it, unfortunately, that did not work, I think the details she gave me made sense, basically, their issue with Canadians is that a higher percentages were not finishing the programs.

Here is the official response I got:

At the present time, Western Governors University is not accepting applications from persons living outside the United States (unless you are an active-duty U.S. serviceperson or spouse of a serviceperson stationed at an overseas U.S. installation).
Reaching this decision was not easy. It derives from WGU's commitment to provide superior service to all students. Unfortunately, differences in time zones, problems locating secured, proctored testing centers, and difficulty providing high-quality mentoring create barriers to delivering adequate service to international students.
As the University grows, our ability to address these challenges will improve and the issue will be revisited.
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#2
(02-14-2019, 02:41 PM)posabsolute Wrote: Since I applied to WGU well before they decided to change their policy I decided to try my way into it, unfortunately, that did not work, I think the details she gave me made sense, basically, their issue with Canadians is that a higher percentages were not finishing the programs.

Here is the official response I got:

At the present time, Western Governors University is not accepting applications from persons living outside the United States (unless you are an active-duty U.S. serviceperson or spouse of a serviceperson stationed at an overseas U.S. installation).
Reaching this decision was not easy. It derives from WGU's commitment to provide superior service to all students. Unfortunately, differences in time zones, problems locating secured, proctored testing centers, and difficulty providing high-quality mentoring create barriers to delivering adequate service to international students.
As the University grows, our ability to address these challenges will improve and the issue will be revisited.

It's really a shame that they're going this route at WGU and I have a different theory on the reasoning behind this decision. I don't really see it being any of the items they said it was, as they don't hold much water.

1) Differences in time zones - This seems odd, as the only timezone difference that doesn't overlap is on the Eastern Coast of Canada, being between 60 - 90 minutes ahead. This is roughly the same problem in Alaska, let alone Hawaii (see map). Overall, I don't see this being accurate.

2) Problems locating secured, proctored testing centers. - Again, another not-really-true one. According to their own website, WGU utilizes ProctorU. So, no issues at Straighterline, no issues at TESU, Saylor, etc... for Canadians. So again, this doesn't really hold water. If they're talking about physical facilities and they don't want to include Canadian Universities as sites to proctor at, I'd figure the easiest inclusive option would be adding verbiage to the tune of - "Physical exams to be written in the US at approved locations, all others online with ProctorU".

3) Difficulty providing high-quality mentoring - This doesn't really say anything. It really reads "Problem providing high-quality mentoring", but unlike the other two, it doesn't say what that problem is. It's not like it's someone from Eastern Europe and there's a barrier to language, culture, travel, identity, payments, etc... The US and Canada are pretty heavily ingrained in each others culture and commerce, so I'm not sure what the problem is they're trying to make out here. Even then, for the number of computer science based classes that leverage common third-party certifications, you'd think that these should be the easiest to provide mentoring for.

Additionally - "As the University grows, our ability to address these challenges will improve and the issue with be revisited". I don't think this is genuine or accurate, as we still don't know the real reason why as I've shown above. According to the old internet wayback machine, last years policy read "At the present time, WGU is accepting applications only from individuals living in the United States and select geographical areas of Canada.", so really, as the University grew, the ability/desire to address these challenges was reduced.

Lastly, "higher percentages were not finishing the programs". This might be closer to the truth. So, knowing that WGU is self-paced and online, the argument for class size or 'Semester/Year Progression' isn't really a thing. The only thing that I can think of is that this decision is based on money. Grants and Tax Refunds don't play nice with borders. If Canadians have to pay out of pocket for the school without access to US grants or scholarships and still don't receive a tax refund for their own education, they're probably not applying in droves. There's still some, yes, but maybe not enough to warrant whatever the overhead cost is at WGU for keeping it open to Canadians.


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#3
I think the difference in time zones explanation is for their general policy against accepting international students.

But, at least WGU cares about graduation rates, a lot of online schools don't.
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#4
I'm pretty sure that the issue is related to receiving federal funding. It most likely requires that all the money be spent towards supporting U.S. students and citizens. Given that WGU operates on thin margins, and they cannot use federal funding for it, they probably cannot afford to spend extra money on supporting international students without secondary funding. This is one reason why for-profit schools tend to be more supportive of international students.

That is my guess, but it is based on an article I read last year.
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#5
I agree that none of their excuses makes any sense whatsoever - they can all be applied to US students (time zone, mentoring) or are moot (proctoring).

I think it all comes down to money. Which is fine - they get to decide if a certain business model is profitable or not, and if it isn't, then they SHOULD get rid of it. That's how ALL companies work, BTW - if it's not making money, then it's a hobby or charity, not a business.
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#6
Are there any viable alternatives to WGU for Canadians?

I am assuming for anything related to certification for teaching/education there would need to be a field placement? So that seems like it would not really be feasible.
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#7
zzzz24 Wrote:Are there any viable alternatives to WGU for Canadians?

I am assuming for anything related to certification for teaching/education there would need to be a field placement? So that seems like it would not really be feasible.

WGU only caters to 4 categories of degrees, Business, Nursing, IT, Teaching. There are a few private/non profit or state schools that have competency based degree education offerings and then there are the for-profits in this arena as well. Since you're going for the BALS, and you've taken UL courses in Humanities/Social Sciences, a probable or logical move would be a MAOL at Brandman MyPath (Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership) - this is not a business degree, it's similar to Charter Oak State College's MSOEL but at a much more affordable price of $3500 each term of 6 months. If you can finish this degree in 6 months, that's all you pay as the application fee is FREE.

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#8
(03-02-2019, 11:23 AM)zzzz24 Wrote: Are there any viable alternatives to WGU for Canadians?

I am assuming for anything related to certification for teaching/education there would need to be a field placement? So that seems like it would not really be feasible.

Teaching & Nursing are not going to work (I'm guessing) since the requirements in each country are probably different, and the hands-on portion would be hard to manage.

That leaves a business degree, and something IT-related.  So if those are the only things WGU offers that you (as a Canadian) could use, then you're really narrowing down what you could get anyway.

Here's a list of programs similar to WGU (they're the ones I know of at least).  No idea on costs for all, but there's a lot more variety than WGU offers.

Competency-Based programs:
APU's Momentum
Capella's Flexpath
Brandman's MyPath
U of Wisconsin Flex
Northern Arizona University
John F Kennedy University's FlexCourse
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#9
If we are talking about a master degree, I think the 2 that compare the most are:

* NAU - Master of computer information technology (4 emphasis: project management, information assurance, application development, analytics)
* Brandman's MA in organizational leadership

both are 6 months for 3, 3.5k.

The main issue is, we know for a fact that you can complete WGU masters in 1 term which is not the case for most of those programs. At least with NAU it's not happening, because most core courses are divided into multiple (3 to 5) competencies that require each 2 papers. Some courses at WGU requires only 1 exam or 1 or 2 papers.

WGU also has communities that charted the programs beforehand, won't get that with those programs, so it's definitively harder. Also, keep in mind, in both cases, they are a bit "diluted" degrees, MA in organizational leadership is not really a business degree, MCIT is not a master with a strong specialization.

There is also the JFK MBA which is a bit more expensive, I think someone posted at some point about completing this degree.
TESU BACS, Expected 2019, 117/120.
----
UPenn MCIT (Accepted in 2018, see story here).
NAU MCIT (Accepted in 2018, not pursuing)
TESU BSBA, 2018.
TESU ASNSM in Computer Science, 2018.
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