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Part of Western Governors University

An alternative starting point for a WGU degree.

A degree from WGU can make all the difference in your life’s trajectory. Just ask the over 130,000 WGU graduates. They consistently report how their WGU degrees have helped them advance their careers, earn more money, and realize their dreams. 

But not everyone is ready for a regular WGU degree program. That’s why WGU created WGU Academy. Low cost and low risk, WGU Academy is an alternative launching pad for eventual success at WGU. 

By completing the appropriate program at WGU Academy, you will be guaranteed regular admission to WGU with fully transferable courses. Just as important, the Academy program is designed to strengthen your confidence, develop your learning skills, and establish the foundation for eventual success and graduation from WGU.

WGU Academy logo

Interested? Ready to learn more?

WGU Academy

How is WGU Academy different?

WGU created WGU Academy to provide a different, low-risk approach to early college success. While everyone can succeed in college under the right circumstances, over the years WGU learned that not everyone who wants to go to WGU is ready for a full course load and a six-month tuition plan. Some, in fact, don’t meet the admission requirements and are consequently not admitted.

WGU Academy solves the dilemma nicely. The Academy offers a low-cost approach that can dramatically increase the likelihood of eventual success in a regular WGU program. Students enjoy a flexible and pragmatic opportunity to prove—to themselves and to WGU—that they are motivated, confident, and academically prepared. And they are guaranteed admission into WGU upon completing their Academy program.

Some important differences about Academy:

  • WGU Academy has been set up as a separate entity that’s deeply integrated with but independent of the main university. 
  • Academy can offer a more flexible tuition plan and different kinds of support.
  • Academy itself is not accredited (only colleges or universities can be accredited), but the academic courses at Academy are designed for full transferability into WGU programs and were selected with direct input from WGU faculty.
  • Academy students also take a special course, the Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA), that strengthens their confidence, tenacity, and learning skills. (Read more about the PACA course.)

There are other differences that relate to courses, the coaching approach, assessments and grading, and other operational aspects, but everything we do at WGU Academy is designed to prepare you for your future academic and career success.

Completing a WGU Academy program offers powerful advantages.

The perfect onramp to a WGU degree and your career goals, your WGU Academy program will meet the academic requirements for admission to WGU. Once you complete a specified minimum number of transferable courses—generally 2 to 3, depending upon the degree program you plan to enter—plus complete the Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA), you will only need to clear any remaining non-academic enrollment requirements to enroll at WGU.

The enrollment requirements include completing the admissions application process (and, possibly, the Readiness Assessment) if you have not already done so. The remaining requirements may include such things as sending in all transcripts from any prior colleges you attended, if any, and special pre-enrollment steps for certain programs, etc. A WGU enrollment counselor or WGU Academy enrollment counselor can help clarify the additional enrollment steps.

We want to make WGU Academy as affordable as possible. Tuition is $150 a month and charged monthly. Our goal is to provide you with a low-cost and low-risk way to meet WGU admission requirements, develop your academic aptitude and habits, and prepare you for a full course load at WGU.

If you’re prepared to focus, study, and put in the needed hours, you can expect to complete courses at WGU Academy that are fully transferable to WGU and clear requirements in your degree program. The courses are not considered "remedial," although you will have resources available to provide extra assistance if needed. (Note: The Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA) is required but is not a transferable course.)

College-level coursework isn’t easy. Drawing on WGU’s award-winning expertise, WGU Academy has developed a coaching and peer support approach that will strengthen your academic skills, build your confidence, and reinforce your determination to succeed. The Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA) is at the heart of our approach, coupled with personalized one-to-one support from an assigned coach. There’s nothing quite like it in all of higher education, and it really works!

You set your own pace, although we strongly encourage a steady, consistent effort. As soon as you enroll, you can begin work on the first course in your Academy program. For almost all courses you’ll study on your own, but you’ll also have access to specialized course tutors when you need personalized help. And you decide when you’re ready to tackle the assessments (tests, papers, etc.) based upon your study experience and readiness. This is essentially the same competency-based approach that WGU is known for. It means you can be very efficient—the faster you complete each course, the faster you will finish your Academy program and be eligible for enrollment into WGU. It’s really a simple formula: More effort = faster pace.

The required textbooks and other learning resources needed for each course are FREE and incorporated into the courses, saving you hundreds of dollars on costly textbooks! (If we ever have a situation where we must include a supplemental resource fee, we will be very clear and upfront about the cost. No surprises!)

Based on an award-winning course at WGU, PACA will strengthen your confidence and resolve, develop your self-directed learning skills, and provide a foundation for both academic and career success. As a part of your PACA experience you will be assigned a personal coach. Many of the most successful people in the world are supported by coaches – such as sports coaches, life coaches, and executive coaches. Effective coaching focuses on learning, developing skills, and creating an environment that supports and sustains your commitment. While personalized coaching often costs a great deal in other settings, your coaching experience here at WGU Academy is included in your tuition.

Who should consider WGU Academy?

Enrolling at Academy may be better if…

  • You have no prior college experience
  • You have been denied admission to WGU
  • You want to test yourself before starting a regular full-time degree program
  • You want to develop core competences like writing and math in a low-risk environment

Enrolling at WGU may be better if…

  • You already have experienced some college success
  • You are ready for a regular course load and 6-month term
  • You already possess experience in your field of study
  • You are confident in your core academic skills
PACA logo

Not your ordinary college course.

More about the Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA)

WGU Academy exists to make students successful. Yet the path toward a college degree can include real challenges, roadblocks, and hurdles. The Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA) is designed to help you develop the positive mindset, confidence, tenacity, and planning and study habits that dramatically increase your odds of finishing your program and fulfilling your dreams. Drawing on a WGU award-winning course that has served over 20,000 students, the content of the PACA course has been described as “transformative” by many students, and is certain to strengthen your resolve and confidence.

The power of coaching

College-level coursework isn’t easy. Even the most successful students benefit from various kinds of support during their college experience. Drawing on WGU’s award-winning expertise, WGU Academy has developed a coaching and peer-support approach that will strengthen your academic skills, build your confidence, and reinforce your determination to succeed. The Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA) is at the heart of our approach, coupled with personalized one-to-one support from an assigned coach. There’s nothing quite like it in all of higher education, and it really works!

The basic Academy approach

For guaranteed admission into a WGU degree program, you must complete the Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA) and at least two courses that align with your intended program at WGU.

One course, English Composition I, is required unless you have already successfully completed it at another college. (Because writing skills are critical for both academic and career success, you need to develop and prove your core writing abilities. It's worth it.)

For your second course, you may select from a list of transferable courses that align with you’re the WGU degree you plan to pursue.

You should plan on up to 3-4 months to complete PACA and two courses. However, you can complete them at your own pace, potentially saving time and money. Additional courses may be added later if you choose, but they are not required for full admission into WGU. (Click on each course to learn more.)

Visit the WGU Academy program area that fits your degree interest.