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Competency-Based Model, Coaching and Job Placement

by Mitsu Frazier, senior vice president of the WGU College of Business
with Dr. Victor Aluise, vice president and dean of the WGU College of Business, regarding
Forbes ranking WGU’s online management degree as one of the best in the United States.

Mitsu: Victor, with respect to Forbes ranking WGU's online management program as one of the best, what does it mean to you and the College of Business to be recognized in this way?

Victor: Well, it is terrific to be recognized by Forbes as one of the best online management degree of 2023. To me, it means a recognition of our competency-based model that provides students with high-quality education in high-demand fields. We are affordable and offer a great return on investment, with a high placement rate of students in high-growth careers.

Mitsu: Provide more details about the significance of WGU’s competency-based model and how it ties into the management degree and opportunities for students.

Victor: All degrees at WGU are grounded in a competency-based model where students are at the center of the learning and can control the pace of their education. They can take courses and assessments on their own schedule, which is a major advantage for working adults with family and job responsibilities. When students demonstrate competency, they move on to the next set of courses.

This model, along with personalized coaching and instruction, creates a unique learning experience that is convenient and tailored to each student's needs. So, it truly is learning at your own pace. The learner experience that can happen anytime, anywhere, which I think is a beauty of a degree from WGU.

Another key aspect is that most students finish in under four years. The majority of students finish in in three years, some faster, depending on their knowledge of the management degree field, and previous and current work experience.

Mitsu: What are the top three distinguishing factors of WGU's online management degree?

Victor: The top three distinguishing factors of our online management degree are:

  1. Competency-based model: Students can start programs on the first of any month and learn at their own pace, taking assessments to demonstrate their mastery and moving forward as they succeed.
  2. Personalized coaching and instruction: Students receive one-on-one support from our community of care, including instructors and mentors, who help them manage their coursework and balance it with their job responsibilities. WGU provides a full community of care that supports the student and that consists of an instructor and a mentor who works for students across the program in terms of their daily and weekly study schedule, and their plan of attack for managing and balancing coursework with their job and/or personal responsibilities. Many students greatly appreciate having that kind of support.
  3. High job placement results: Almost 90% of surveyed employers report that WGU business graduates are well-prepared for their jobs and would hire them again. This is a really good signal. Our graduates have a high success rate in finding employment and making an impact in their chosen field. I think that speaks volumes that employers are really happy and satisfied with the talent that is completing at WGU and the College of Business.

Mitsu: What else should people to know about what WGU offers and the type of students who attend the university?

Victor: People should realize that WGU designs its programs in collaboration with employers and the job sector. We focus on in-demand job skills and design our programs to meet those needs. We also have valuable partnerships with industry leaders, such as Google and the American Management Association, providing students with additional opportunities to engage with industry experts and gain practical skills.

For alumni and potential students, WGU offers a vast network of over 300,000 student alumni, providing mentoring and career support. Our constant contact with alumni keeps them updated on new trends and opportunities for upskilling and reskilling in their fields. The WGU name is widely known by employers across the United States because of the success we have in placing students in jobs and the success our students are having as they hit the ground running in new professions.

Mitsu: What opportunities are available for alumni to remain engaged and expand their potential earnings?

Victor: Every WGU graduate retains their WGU email account for life, ensuring constant communication and updates on industry trends and upskilling opportunities. We provide a lifelong learning continuum, allowing alumni to stay connected and on the forefront of their discipline. This engagement is valuable for those who want to maximize their career opportunities and earnings potential.

Mitsu: What about opportunities for only taking micro credentials that are stackable? How does that fit into the opportunity for a potential student or an alum?

Victor: This year we will launch new micro credentials in business, leadership, digital business transformation, marketing, and human resource management. These are opportunities for students to quickly upskill and position themselves for career advancement or transition. Micro credentials stack to WGU degrees, so that students can enroll in degree programs with earned credit.

Mitsu: What else can students discover in the coming year to advance their career?

Victor: We have several exciting new programs that just launched as well many in the works, focusing on the intersection of business, digital transformation, and social impact. We just launched new programs in digital marketing, marketing analytics, finance, and supply chain and operations management, and will offer a master’s degree in human resource management with specializations in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Human Resource technologies, and People Analytics in the fall.

We are also enhancing our online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in management and leadership, as well as introducing micro credentials in various business disciplines such as leadership and innovation. These programs aim to equip learners with the skills needed to navigate change and working effectively within organizations.


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