How Zach Finally Found a School that Worked for Him

After several attempts at a college degree, Salt Lake City resident Zachary Cummings discovered that brick-and-mortar schools did not fit his learning style.

He felt stuck and unsure of his future. After dropping out of school, Zach began working for his father's company as a bookkeeper, a job he enjoyed. As he learned the ropes of what it takes to own a business, Zach knew he would need an education to further his career.

Through a family member, Zach learned of WGU's competency-based learning model and knew it was the type of education he could excel in. "I'm the type of person that wants to take out what I put into things," he said. A full-time job filled his days, but attending a school that's "open" 24/7 made it possible for Zach to fit studies into his schedule.

Zach attributes much of his academic success to his faculty mentors, who kept him on track, providing the tools he needed to learn the subject matter and complete his courses. A steady intake of caffeine and creating a solid goal-based program with his mentor helped Zach stay focused on his schoolwork.

WGU's courses and assessments were straightforward for Zach. They pulled from real-life experiences that were applicable to his current work situation and were of value to him. With prior knowledge of the material he was studying and taking advantage of the competency-based model at WGU, Zach was able to complete his B.S. Accounting degree quickly and affordably.

With an overall goal of working his way up the corporate ladder, Zach was pleased to find a job almost double his previous salary upon graduation. With a growing family in mind, he has begun working on his MBA—IT Management at WGU and looks to the future with optimism as the doors of opportunity continue to open.

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