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How long did it take you?

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  • How long did it take you?

    I have seen newcomers talk about how old there courses are and how long it is taking them to finish. I would like to let them know it is never too late and some of us have taken decades. Just so they know once they start those things don't matter.

    I walked into my first college course in September 1972 ( yes I'm an old bag). I attended a total of 3 CC's over the years and had 43 credits when I applied to TESC in Oct. 2006. I earned my AA in 2008 and my BA in 2010. So my road to degree took almost 4 decades. I had 3 children 2 marriages and lots of jobs in those years but at least I finally did it.

    I have not done a whole lot with my degree, although it does allow me to substitute in SC where I spend my winters. The reason I have not used it more is because my circumstances changed and I don't need to work.

    If I had it to do over again I would have tried to do it faster, but hind sight is 20/20. Even at my age and considering I don't use it much I am glad I finally did it and recommend earning that paper even if it is only so you can look at it once in a while and say I really finally did it.

    So tell us how long it took you, you don't have to give the years you attended, but I think seeing how long it took some of us and that we still were able to do it might encourage some of the newbies that they CAN do it too.

    Start by doing what is necessary: then do the possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible St Francis of Assisi
    Now a mostly retired substitute Teacher in NY, & SC

    AA Liberal Studies TESC '08
    BA in Natural Science/Mathematics TESC Sept '10
    AAS Environmental safety and Security Technology TESC Dec '12

  • #2
    I started CC in 1980 and spent 8 years trying to get my degree part time. Decided to try again two years ago and just graduated in June. So it took me just about as long as it did you. Wish I had done it sooner, but it's still been very useful to me.
    Accepted to Georgia Tech's Online MSCS program for Fall 2016.
    TESU BA Comp Sci completed. 51 units completed in 20 months.
    TECEP:Env Ethics (2015); TESU PLA:Software Eng, Computer Arch, C++, Advanced C++, Data Struct (2015); TESU Courses:Capstone, Database Mngmnt Sys, Op Sys, Artificial Intel, Discrete Math, Intro to Portfolio Dev, Intro PLA (2014-16); DSST:Intro to Anthro, Pers Fin, Intro Astronomy (2014); CLEP:Intro to Soc (2014); to Computers (2014); CC: 69 units (1980-88)
    PLA Tips Thread - TESU: What is in a Portfolio?


    • #3
      I earned my culinary degree right out of high school, I graduated when I was 20 and went to work. Fast forward, from the time I took my first CLEP until my first graduation (AA) was 15 months, my second graduation was my BA 3 months later. Just for clarity, I didn't complete my BA in 3 months, rather my AA was held up while I tried to figure out how to get my science credit, so my BA was almost finished when I finally finished biology- at the time you couldn't get both degrees in 1 graduation quarter (not sure how it is now) so I did the AA and then the BA 1 quarter apart.
      10-year member

      MS Nutrition, 2014 Canisius College, Buffalo, NY
      BA Social Science, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, Trenton, NJ
      AA General Studies, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, Trenton, NJ
      AOS Culinary Arts,1990 Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY

      Homeschooling for College Credit (blog)
      Homeschooling for College Credit (book)


      • #4
        I graduated from HS in 1976...from an LPN nursing program in 1985. At the age of 50 I decided it was now or never, I wanted to get my degree before my grandkids headed for college. It took me 7 years of clepping, on line classing, self-teaching and following the invaluable advice on this site, but I finally got my BA from COSC in 2015. I still walk a little taller when I remember that I DID IT!

        You can too.
        "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize!" Clairee in "Steel Magnolias"
        BA General Studies COSC 5/31/15
        COSC Cornerstone A 10/2013, Capstone A 11/2014
        UExel- Social Psych A, Psych of A and A- A, Research Methods/Psych B, Pathophysiology A.
        FEMA- 27, NFA-Q118, Q 534, Q137 and Q318
        Clep- 2008 Humanities 75, 2009 Intro Sociology 67, US History I 69, US History II 61, American Lit. 71, Analyze & Int. Lit. 75, 2011 Western Civ. ll 58, Social Science 67
        DSST-2010 HTYH 463, Ethics in America 433, Sub. Abuse 444, 2011 Art of the Western World 67, Civil War and Recon. 58, Org. Behavior 64, 2010 Env. and Humanity 68, Hist. of the Vietnam War 76, 2011 Intro World Religions 451, 2013 Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union 62, Technical Writing 60, Business Ethics and Society 449.
        TEEX- 2013 Cyber Security classes x 3
        DACC and IU: Speech, Psych, Rhetoric, Creative Writing


        • #5
          OMG!!! September 1972 was my first college course too! I finished my LVN in 1977, AA in 1989, my BS in 2014, and now I'm doing a MBA and another AA

          ADN/ASN Excelsior College - LVN to RN - In Progress

          MBA Healthcare - Patten University - In progress
          BS Liberal Arts - Depths in Healthcare and Psychology, Excelsior College 2014
          AS Licensed Vocational Nursing, Mesa College 1989
          Certificate Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN), Mesa College 1977


          • #6
            @ goodyellowdogs We may be in our "golden Years" but only we can make them golden, I toyed with the idea of MTA but I got my AAS instead thinking I'd go back into that field.

            I don't HAVE to work anymore but I know if our finances change or I change my mind I will be able to make enough to keep me afloat because I have that degree.

            PS: My first year was for Nursing school too

            Start by doing what is necessary: then do the possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible St Francis of Assisi
            Now a mostly retired substitute Teacher in NY, & SC

            AA Liberal Studies TESC '08
            BA in Natural Science/Mathematics TESC Sept '10
            AAS Environmental safety and Security Technology TESC Dec '12


            • #7
              I love this thread! It's so neat to read about people's educational journeys, especially when the stories show determination and long-term dedication!

              I started 24 years ago and just graduated with my AA. In-between were years of parenting and health issues. Hopefully in the next year or so I will finish a BA... but for now I am just thrilled to be this far
              BA.SS: TESU '17
              AA.LS, with Honors: CC '16
              CHW Certification: CC '15
              ΦΘΚ, Alumna Member

              "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop."― Confucius

              B&M University: '92-'95
              CC: '95-'16
              CLEP: A&I Lit; '08
              DSST: HTYH; '08
              FEMA: unusable at TESU
              IIA: Ethics & CPCU; '15
              Kaplan: PLA course; '14,
              NFA: 2 CR; '15
              SOPHIA: Intro Soc; '15
              Straighterline: US History II, Intro Religion, Bus. Ethics, Prin. Mgmt, Cult. Anthro, Org Behavior, American Gov't, Bus. Comm; '15
     Social Psych, Hist of Vietnam, Abnorm Psych, Research Methods in Psych, Classroom Mgmt, Ed Psych; '16
              TECEP: Psych of Women, Tech Writing, Med Term, Nutrition, Eng Comp I; '16
              TESU: BA.SS Capstone course; '16

              Ended with a total of 170 undergrad credits (plus lots of CEUs). My "I'm finally done" thread.


              • #8
                I started with my first clep in 2007. Life really caught up to me in 2008 and my focus went in a different direction. In 2012, I found out about Straighterline and ended up knocking out around 30 credits, then I finally came back to it in Dec 2015 and completed around 60 credits in 5 months to qualify for the Sept 16th Graduation. It was a long hard frustrating journey but well worth it. I earned the BSBA with a concentration in general management.

                I've been noticing since putting my degree credential on my resume, I've had retail places call me back for Management Trainee positions and even blue collar jobs at very good organizations have been calling. I feel getting this degree combined with my experience really will give me liberty to switch companies very soon. I've had multiple job offers and I've turned most of them down. I do have an interview this Thursday with a very well run private company that actually empowers their employees. This is why I'm very interested more so than the paycheck. They have experienced rapid growth as well and get around 50-60 applicants for every job opening, so competitive as well. I'm going to prepare really well for this interview and knock it out of the park. It might be harder to get my foot in the door since I don't know anyone currently at the company, but I've always been great at interviews and they seem to really value my experience.

                So yes, is pursuing your degree worth it? In my opinion it is, cause you might need it down the road for future promotions or to make a career move.

                Good Luck.


                • #9
                  ***Relatively Short Timer in comparison***

                  I graduated high school in 2008 and had the opportunity to take 5 engineering courses while there. I went to a local brink and mortar university and due to uncertainty I ended up having 5 different majors in 6 years.

                  Life got hectic and I was offered a fulltime IT job if I could get a low level certificate. I dropped the courses I was enrolled in and studied non stop for two weeks and passed the exam. Having liked the self study I just experienced I looked into more advanced certifications that would advance my career and my happenstance allow me to test out of courses for school. In June 2014 I started looking into CLEP/DSST exams and stumbled upon this forum and by September I had 27 credits from various alternate forms. At the end of that summer COSC also announced their Cybersecurity program and the timing felt right so I applied and started chipping away at the program.

                  Fast forward to now and (assuming no surprises pop up), I will have my BS awarded August 31.
                  Working On: MS CSIA From WGU

                  B.S. Cybersecurity - COSC - August 2016
                  A.S. - COSC - May 2015


                  • #10
                    It doesn't matter if it took 2 weeks or 42 years, I just find it interesting and encouraging to hear these stories. I am going to make my son read them when I see him for Labor day. Maybe someone else story will light the fire in him.

                    Start by doing what is necessary: then do the possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible St Francis of Assisi
                    Now a mostly retired substitute Teacher in NY, & SC

                    AA Liberal Studies TESC '08
                    BA in Natural Science/Mathematics TESC Sept '10
                    AAS Environmental safety and Security Technology TESC Dec '12


                    • #11
                      Well, my fellow-junior high classmates were NOT prescient. I was voted Most Likely to Succeed. Both my educational and career progression have been more like the balls in a pinball machine in that I bounced around, rather than directed by my "supposed" intellect. I took a community college course in the late 1970s, and enrolled in a brick in mortar school in the late 70s. After one year, I stopped and left school. Periodically, I would take courses over the next five or so years. When I left the Army in the late 1980s on terminal leave, I wandered into a local military post. In a day or two, I took (and passed) all of the Gen. Ed. CLEPs without studying. Woo-hoo, right? Well, not so much. Although I'd read Bear's/Beare's book on distance learning, I didn't grasp the concept. After taking and stopping courses over the next decades, I found this site. (I don't know if it was through bain4weeks or free clep prep.)

                      The Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz (the movie) always wanted a brain. As soon as he was given a diploma, he became smart. I didn't have a degree, and I wasn't the type of person who could spin (and I mean that in a non-pejorative sense) my experiences to be anything special. After all, I was just doing my job. If I could do it, anyone could. Right? I found this site, and started taking tests and courses. Many have moved more quickly than I. One year ago, however, I received my college degree from TESU (TESC). Did it bring about a big change in my life? No. Same job. I've applied for other jobs, and I think that the degree has helped me get through the screening process, but I've not done well in the interviews.

                      Above my seat at work is a label from a Coke bottle from last year. (Coke has been putting on labels about sharing your drink.) My label, which I've cut off of the bottle, has Share a Coke with the Class of 2015 on it. It was about 34 years after I would have gotten a degree had I followed a more traditional path. Do I wish I'd followed the more traditional path? Sure do. Am I sorry that I got the degree? Heck no. Even if it never helps me advance, I got it. It's MINE.

                      I could retire tomorrow with a pension, but I want to have a job. Thoughts about what I should do next are banging around in my head. What other degree or certs would help? I don't know, but I've still got the degree in my back pocket. And a reminder on my cube wall.
                      TESU BSBA - GM, September 2015

                      "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." -- Earl Nightingale, radio personality and motivational speaker