WESTERN GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY
US Naval Community College
Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
WGU’s program is competency-based, which means it measures skills and learning rather than time spent in a classroom. With WGU, you move through the courses as quickly as you can master the material. As soon as you prove competence by passing an assessment, you can move forward, rather than advancing only when the semester or term ends. This allows you to accelerate your coursework by using your knowledge and experience to your advantage. In general, active-duty students complete one course every 37 days. WGU pioneered the Competency Based Education model and has the most experience in delivering this model of all academic institutions today.
USNCC students at WGU set a schedule that works around operational tempos and Service requirements.
WGU’s program includes six CompTIA certificates(A+, Network+, Security+, CYSA+, Secure Infrastructure Specialist, and Security Analytics Professional) and a Professional Certificate in “Network and Cyber Defense Foundations”.
Each student is assigned an enrollment advisor, and the student experience is enhanced with three types of faculty at WGU: Program Mentors, Instructors, and Evaluators. Mentors and instructors interface with students by phone or by web to provide tailored instruction and support in their areas of experience, while evaluators provide feedback and perspective on student assessments. This "division of labor" enables each type of faculty member to deliver top-notch, student-focused support. In addition to one-on-one guidance, WGU also offers a variety of resources to enhance academic support such as the Writing Center, Learning Communities, Center for Student Success, and WellConnect. To learn more about these programs, click here.
Progress through a WGU program is governed by students’ ability to complete courses in addition to demonstrating completion of competencies as they complete required WGU courses, rather than by the amount of time they spend in WGU classes. Students are also expected to complete the USNCC Naval Studies Certificate, therefore progress and completion times may vary.
The focus of WGU’s programs is a student’s personalized Degree Plan, which is otherwise known as the USNCC Academic Degree Program Plan. The Degree Plan is a detailed blueprint of the courses needed to complete the degree. The Degree Plan also lays out the accompanying learning resources and assessments that compose the program. The list of courses in the Degree Plan is often referred to as the “standard path”, which is also referred to as the USNCC course sequence. The program mentor and course instructors will help assess strengths and development needs to establish a study plan. Students vary widely in the specific skills and information they need to learn. Some individuals may be able to devote as little as 15–20 hours per week to the program, while others may need to devote more time. For this reason, pre-assessments help program mentors form a profile of students’ prior knowledge to create a personalized Degree Plan.
As students proceed through their Degree Plan, they have direct contact with multiple faculty members. These communications can take a variety of forms, including participation in one-on- one discussions, chats in the learning communities, and live cohort and webinar opportunities. Students have access to a personal MyWGU Student Portal, which provides a gateway to courses of study, learning resources, and learning communities where they can interact with faculty and other students. The learning resources in each course are specifically designed to support students as they develop competencies in preparation for assessments. These learning resources may include reading materials, videos, tutorials, cohort opportunities, community discussions, and live discussions that are guided by course instructors who are experts in their field. Students access their program community during orientation to network with peers who are enrolled in your program and to receive continued support through professional enrichment and program- specific chats, blogs, and discussions. WGU also provides Student Services associates to help students and their program mentors solve any special problems that may arise.
Because WGU is competency based, courses do not have syllabi. Rather, WGU programs have a set standard path through which students progress. The standard path is a detailed blueprint for a program that outlines degree requirements (the courses of study and assessments), the order in which requirements should be completed and the associated competency units by term. Courses at WGU contain a set of clearly defined competencies (course-level outcomes) of which each student must demonstrate their mastery through objective tests, papers, projects, and a capstone.
All WGU terms start at the beginning of the month on the first day of the month. USNCC students can begin a new course at any time within the term after successful completion of the prior course as long as they remain within USNCC policy. USNCC students are able to begin subsequent WGU terms with USNCC guidance.
Students are enrolled in six-month terms.
During USNCC/WGU students’ initial, pre-matriculation transcript review, both academic credit and military training will be reviewed and evaluated. Students and USNCC will be notified of credit transfer prior to the start of the first course.
Academic credit from higher education institutions listed on the servicemembers Joint Service Transcript (JST):
- Academic credit from higher education institutions listed on the servicemembers JST will be evaluated according to WGU policy for transfer of credit. Servicemembers do not need to send official transcripts to WGU for academic credit listed on the JST.
- USNCC will send JSTs to WGU during the admission process and students will receive notification of credit transferred prior to the start of their first course.
Academic credit from higher education institutions NOT listed on the servicemembers JST:
- USNCC/WGU program participants will follow the traditional procedures for transfer credit for coursework taken that is NOT listed on the service members JST. Instructions are listed below.
*NOTE: FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS ON TIME MIGHT RESULT IN DELAY IN YOUR PROGRAM START DATE.*
General Transfer Requirements for Courses Accepted for Transfer:
- Official transcripts from each individual issuing institution are required. WGU will not accept transfer credit awarded and/or listed on another institution credential.
- Must be college-level from, and the courses must be completed at, a school that is recognized by an Institutional according to the United States Department of Education.
- Must have been awarded a grade of C- or better. Note: Some programs have alternate minimum grade requirements. Please refer to the official transfer guidelines for your program.
- May not be used to fulfill more than one course of study.
- Must meet the competency unit (semester credit) and content requirements.
- May not be used to fulfill requirements listed as Non-Transferable.
For more detailed information, please see: Enrolling at WGU: How to Request Official Transcripts and Credentials.
Credit for Military training and education listed on the JST:
Servicemembers military service records and credits-by-exam will be considered when determining the quantity and quality of applicable competencies in concert with federal, state and local laws, as well as affiliate accrediting body standards such that the maximum competency units (per WGU’s transfer policy) may be granted to USNCC students.
Credit for CLEP, DANTES, AP, and IB Examinations:
Students with college credit earned via college exam credit (CLEP, DANTES, AP, and/or IB) that they choose to include in the WGU Transfer Credit Evaluation, must follow guidelines at Transfer Credit for CLEP, DANTES, AP, and IB Examinations.
*NOTE: FAILURE TO SUBMIT YOUR OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS FOR COLLEGE EXAM CREDIT ON TIME MIGHT RESULT IN DELAY OF YOUR PROGRAM START DATE.*
While the USNCC Staff will transmit each student’s JST to WGU as part of the admissions process, USNCC students admitted into the USNCC/WGU program must submit any relevant official academic transcripts to WGU as soon as possible. All prior official academic transcripts should be submitted by the students and processed by WGU at least four weeks prior to the start of the student’s first course. After the start of their first class in the program, students will not be able to submit any additional official academic credit (credits from external higher education institutions). However, after a student begins courses, USNCC/WGU students’ military training and earned professional certifications will be reviewed and evaluated for transfer credit according to WGU policy for transfer. Students will use the WGU appeals process to request credit for military training and any certifications they might have earned after matriculation.
Academic credit for military training, education, and experience:
- Once you start taking your first course, you may still be eligible to receive credit for future military training and experience.
- A student’s JST shall be reviewed upon request by the student or by the USNCC for additional ACE recommended credit based on the successful completion of service schools/training programs, completion of degree related credentials/certificate programs, or additional credits based on the service members advancement/promotion to the next higher pay grade. Any credits related to the degree program enrolled shall be applied where possible and an updated personalized academic plan shall be sent to the student within 30 days.
- WGU will evaluate and apply any additional credits (earned through training, courses, and professional certifications) to your academic degree plan via WGU appeals process.
- To initiate the appeals process, contact your WGU program mentor. You do not need to wait for the credit to be applied to your JST to begin this process.
- A copy of the updated academic degree plan will be sent to the student.
Residency requirements are courses that you must complete with WGU. According to WGU’s agreement with USNCC, the following are the maximum transfer credit allowed and requirements for residency for the program.
TRANSFER CREDIT ALLOWED: 45 CUs max (including the USNCC 15 CUs)
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT: Credits that must be earned at degree granting institution (WGU): (16 CUs)
Of the 20 CUs for the Certificate, a minimum of 5 CUs must be completed with WGU.
The USNCC funds up to five courses per year by supporting the costs of tuition, mandatory course fees, and required course materials (NOT including computers, calculators, or other electronic devices). You may briefly see a bill on your portal for USNCC funded courses as the system processes the credit from USNCC, however, you should *never* pay a bill at WGU for USNCC-funded courses.
WGU hosts a number of graduation ceremonies in various cities throughout the United States as well as virtual graduation ceremonies. There are no fees associated with the processing and/or mailing of WGU diplomas for USNCC students. USNCC students also receive one complimentary electronic official transcript at graduation. There are modest fees for additional official transcripts.
Students who want to participate in an in-person graduation ceremony are responsible for their own travel expenses and must pay for their regalia (approximately $45.00 including shipping).
WGU graduates who are veterans or active-duty military will be provided with a military honor cord at no cost. For virtual ceremonies, cords will be shipped to the address provided on the student’s RSVP. For in-person ceremonies, cords will be picked up at graduation check-in.