WGU Academy FAQ.
Q: What is the relationship between WGU and WGU Academy?
A: WGU created WGU Academy to provide a simpler, lower-risk approach to early college success. While we deeply believe 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. Consequently, not everyone has been admitted.
WGU Academy solves this dilemma by offering a lower-cost approach that dramatically increases the likelihood of eventual success in a degree program at WGU. Students enjoy a flexible and pragmatic opportunity to demonstrate they are motivated, confident, and academically prepared.
WGU Academy has been set up as a separate entity that’s deeply integrated with but independent of the main university. Academy can thus 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.
There are other differences that relate to courses, coaching versus mentoring, assessments, and other operational aspects, but everything we do at WGU Academy is designed to prepare you for your future academic and career success.
Q: What do you mean by "guaranteed admission" to WGU?
A: Your WGU Academy program has been designed to meet the academic requirements for admission to WGU for aligned degree programs. (Some WGU programs are not currently covered by Academy’s offering.) Once you complete the required minimum number of transferable courses—generally 2 to 3, depending upon the WGU 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. You will need to complete WGU's application steps (possibly including the Readiness Assessment) if you haven't done so already. The remaining requirements may include such things as sending in all transcripts from prior colleges you've attended, if any, and special pre-enrollment steps for certain programs, etc. See the course requirements in each section or talk to an Academy Enrollment Counselor for more details.
Q: What is the Program for Academic and Career Advancement (PACA)?
A: PACA is based on an award-winning course at WGU that includes online lessons, group sessions, and personalized coaching. The PACA course helps students develop vital skills for academic success that can also translate to achievement in their career. Focusing on building self-reflective awareness, students examine how their own behaviors and mindsets influence their ability to attain their goals. Utilizing the skills and strategies learned over multiple online sessions, students will create a plan of action that will help them to move forward on their student journey with confidence and persistence
Q: What is Personalized Coaching?
A: As a student in the PACA course, you will be assigned a Success Coach. This supportive WGU Academy faculty member will facilitate your live group sessions and meet with you in one-to-one personal coaching sessions. WGU Academy Success Coaches will serve as your advocate, your accountability partner, and your sounding board available to guide you toward your goals. Like a talented "navigator," your Success Coach is your guide, but you are in the driver's seat.
While personalized coaching often costs a great deal in other settings, your coaching experience here at WGU Academy is included in your tuition.
Q: Do I get credit for my PACA course?
A: The PACA course is relatively short and does not carry academic credit. However, it is designed to dramatically increase the likelihood of long-term success in your college and professional experience, and it is required for guaranteed admission into WGU.
Q: Are WGU Academy courses considered “remedial” courses?
A: No. The term “remedial course” refers to a course covering the fundamentals of a subject area that does not usually carry college credit and generally cannot be transferred to clear a regular college course requirement. By contrast, academic courses at WGU Academy are regular college-level courses designed to be transferable into WGU degree programs (or transferable into many other colleges). Students may need some supplemental help on the fundamentals of a subject area, but the extra support is available on an as-needed basis as part of the regular college-level course.
Q: How fast can I complete each course?
A: Generally speaking, you set the pace for your academic Academy courses. You can tackle the assessments (tests, assignments, etc.) whenever you are ready. This is essentially the same competency-based approach WGU is known for. You’ll mostly study on your own, but you’ll also have access to specialized course tutors when you need personalized help.
The key to faster success is a simple formula: more effort = faster pace. We strongly encourage a steady, consistent effort following a regular study schedule. It pays off. 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. And you’ll save on tuition because tuition is billed monthly. A double win.
Q: Why does WGU Academy use "credits" when WGU uses "competency units?"
A: WGU uses “competency units” because it emphasizes learning instead of only seat time to reflect the scope of each course. WGU Academy uses “credits” because more students are likely to transfer their courses to schools that are more familiar with credits. In many ways the two are equivalent. Because there’s a seamless integration between WGU and WGU Academy, there’s an easy path to transfer Academy credits into WGU competency units; students can send their Academy transcript to WGU with little more than a click of a button. Sending Academy transcripts to other institutions is, frankly, a bit more complicated but not burdensome.
Q: Is WGU Academy accredited?
A: Only colleges or universities can be accredited. Although WGU created WGU Academy, it is not itself accredited, but is an approved course provider to WGU. As mentioned above, the academic courses are designed for full transferability into WGU programs. (This approach is not rare; there are many other course providers—including the U.S. military—that are not accredited but whose courses are transferable for college credit.)
By being separate from the main university, WGU Academy can develop new approaches more flexibly, offer different tuition, and even work with other institutions to expand access to higher education for literally hundreds of thousands of individuals in ways WGU could not easily do.
Q: Why is tuition at WGU Academy different from tuition at WGU?
A: The simple answer: to lower the cost and risk for Academy students. WGU’s flat-rate tuition covers a full 6-month term. Academy’s is month to month. And the tuition is amazingly low. We want to make it possible for new students to start their experience with minimal risk, complete a couple of challenging courses, develop into confident learners, and then transfer into regular WGU degree programs.
Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Regular federal financial aid is not available to WGU Academy students, although those who go on to WGU are likely to be aid eligible. (Federal financial aid includes grants, as well as deferrable loans.) Academy does try to make paying the low monthly tuition as affordable as possible. Speak to an Academy Enrollment Counselor if you have questions about aid.
Q: How quickly can I finish and enroll in a regular WGU program?
A: Perhaps very quickly! It depends on how hard you’re willing to study. It’s possible to finish your required Academy courses in as little as a month, but you should probably plan on 3 to 4 months. Your Academy transcript can then be sent immediately to WGU. You may have non-academic requirements to complete at WGU—such as financial aid—but we encourage you to finish your Academy program in the shortest time possible.
Q: Can I complete all my general education requirements at Academy?
A: No. Academy offers only a limited number of courses. Most students will be better served by transferring into a regular WGU degree program as soon as they complete their brief time at WGU Academy.
Q: Will my Academy courses transfer to other schools?
A: Yes, in many cases. Through our partnership with course provider StraighterLine, most Academy courses have been reviewed by the ACE Credit Recommendation Service. ACE CREDIT’s College and University Network is a group of more than 2,000 higher education institutions that consider ACE credit recommendations for transfer to degree programs. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and CompTIA certification courses for the WGU IT school receive credit in transfer to WGU, but are not yet currently eligible for the ACE network or an ACE transcript. Which courses are transferable is ultimately determined by the receiving school and any articulation agreements it has with other course providers. Because WGU Academy is primarily set up to articulate with WGU, if your primary goal is to attend some other school, make sure the courses will transfer. An Academy Enrollment Counselor may be able to help, but we can’t make specific promises about other schools’ transfer policies.