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Confused Uni Admissions Counselor Needing Guidance about TESU Transfers
#1
Hello everyone, I'm probably not going be the average poster, but I would really appreciate any help you can provide. I have a TL;DR at the end, and thank you either way.

I'm a U.S. citizen currently serving as a college admissions counselor in Beijing, guiding students toward universities abroad. I also assist low-income students across the USA through a volunteer counseling program. This has provided me a strong professional background in higher education, but even with my experience, degree programs through universities such as TESU, Excelsior, etc. remain a fresh challenge. I am even completing post-grad college access certificate programs through both Columbia and Rice University, and I have never been exposed to such options. I intend to pursue a second MS in Higher Ed with a focus on college access in the near future, as I could not find much literature on the topic and it seems to open up doors for so many people. I've been reading FAQs and blogs linked from this forum, and now I'm here to ask the real experts, because I've been inspired by how supportive everyone has shown themselves to be.

Before bringing up any options with my own students, I've decided to use myself as a guinea pig. I completed a brick-and-mortar BS degree a decade ago and an online MS more recently. I understand that most people here may be "building forward" through bringing in CLEP, CC, and other sources of online credits, but I am kind of "building backward" by trying to transfer in my previous degrees. Still, just to see how the process plays out (and maybe even pick up an extra BA), I was curious about what I'd find, because my assumption is that having a BS/MS should result in a smooth transfer process.

Specifically, I was looking at the requirements for the TESU BA in History. I know that I could pay the $75 fee to get an accurate transfer evaluation, but just by scouring TESU's own course equivalency database for my two degree transcripts, I already encountered some preliminary questions:
  • I only found ~40 credit hours that exactly matched courses from my transcript. This seems remarkably low, as I actually graduated with 140 undergraduate credits, many of which were honors or graduate-level courses due to a MS-transfer program. Plus, one of my minors was in History, but within this discipline, I only see equivalencies for my high school AP U.S. History! This experience leads me to believe that, even with a BS that spanned across History to the point of accidentally picking up a minor, TESU credit acceptance policies aren't necessarily as liberal as I had read. Would the actual evaluation process likely reveal that these other history courses--ranging from freshman Medieval Europe to graduate-level work in Brazilian history and even an honors thesis on immigration--transfer as part of core study History requirements at TESU?
  • In terms of languages, I found the first two introductory Spanish options were transferable, but Intermediate Spanish was not. However, I see a Spanish III course (SPA-103) in the TESU catalog. Would this course likely be marked as equivalent to the apparently higher-level Intermediate Spanish that I already completed?
  • Would other languages transfer as either electives or humanities? I also completed Portuguese, Japanese, and Mayan courses, living or working in the countries for years and speaking at least the first two on a daily basis. I only found basic Portuguese in the TESU catalog, but many of my students are bi- or trilingual in East Asian languages.
  • Does TESU transfer lab sciences for credit? Another one of my minors was in Evolutionary Biology, but I was not able to find equivalencies for the Biology labwork beyond basic Cell Bio.
  • If I see a course like AST-101 (Introductory Astronomy) or STA-201 (Principles of Statistics) while I have coursework called Descriptive Astronomy or Statistics I which don't appear in the database, would they likely transfer? Essentially, just how strict is TESU regarding transfers?
  • Much of the remaining 100+ credit hours from the BS are in archaeological work or Brazilian History, but I don't know how/if they would transfer. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
I understand that my students would typically not have college coursework beyond ~5-8 AP exams, but my assumption was that my own degrees would reveal a lot more clear transfer options in my test case. My MS degree focuses on a lot of the content of some other courses that I found (grant-writing, educational administration, management, research, program evaluation, etc.) but none of those specific courses seem to transfer either. Would presenting a work portfolio help people like me/some of my students who have relevant experiences? For example, I've begun a statewide initiative to advocate for obesity in low-income children in my home state, mentored research projects and developed a high school research conference among Beijing students, uncovered a Mayan skeleton during a field school dig... aside from that last one, I was surprised to find so few direct equivalents at TESU even with relevant credit-based coursework. Even with two summa cum laude degrees behind me, according to their database, a basic course like ENC-102 (English Composition II) doesn't seem to transfer, and I earned 5's on all my AP coursework years ago and churned out hundreds of pages in a thesis. I'm concerned my students may not find the process worthwhile either if I recommend options like TESU to them, and they are much more capable than I was at their age, with much stronger life experiences. They're just eager to learn, too.

TL;DR: I apologize for the length, and I recognize that I may not be the typical poster working on bettering their own life, but I am very interested in expanding access to students from all backgrounds and with all levels of life experiences. I want to share these options with my own students, but I was struck by my preliminary findings regarding my anticipated amount of course transfers at TESU, even with my BS/MS degrees. Am I just missing a lot here? Thank you for any guidance you can provide this counselor, and I hope you all keep up the great work.

Senior college admissions counselor in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane University '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden University '19 (3.90)
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice University '19
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia University '19
Other TOEFL/IELTS Trainer; Alumni/Company Interviewer; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19!)

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#2
So when TESU does an eval for you, your courses don't have to match theirs to come in. They just have their own courses listed as courses available to take. This does not mean that others won't work.

So, since this would be your 2nd BA degree, your GE would be waived. You only need 24 new credits in the area of study/major, including the capstone. Since the History degree has 33cr that are required, you could use courses you've already taken to fulfill some of those requirements, if you had them (like US History, Western Civ, World History, etc.

Archaeology won't work in the history major, but it would certainly work in the GE area. Which you don't need.

Brazilian history will work in the major (it's a non-US History per their description on the website), as well as history electives. I'd use it to fulfill all of the UL requirements (15cr) and any other degree requirements, and then take your 24 new credits in LL courses.

I'm not 100% certain if the cornerstone would apply at all - it's a GE requirement, so it might be waived as well; it's just not clear on any of the documentation they have on their website.

For people getting their first degrees, they aren't "strict" about transfers, they just want to make sure that courses fit properly and you've covering all of the right areas. So, let's say STA-201 Principles of Statistics is required; they will take just about any Statistics course in that area (so Statistics I would certainly count). Descriptive Astronomy would work in the NatSci area.
TESU BSBA/HR 2018 - WVNCC BOG AAS 2017 - GGU Cert in Mgmt 2000
EXAMS: TECEP Tech Wrtg, Comp II, LA Math, PR, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int & Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
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  • PrettyFlyforaChiGuy
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#3
Thank you very much for the information. I can't believe I didn't disregard the Gen Ed requirements in my own case. I imagine it would be much more straightforward for students coming in with more standardized CLEP/AP/online credit options. This helps me be more open toward these programs as options for eager high-school-aged, uni-bound students, and maybe even for myself.

Is the cornerstone the SOS-110 course that I've seen people posting about (often negatively)? 

I saw that 90 credits are transferable at a maximum from a single source. If the Gen Ed courses are simply waived, and not  necessary fulfilled by the previous BS, does that mean I could transfer more credit hours to the History area of study? Basically, Gen Ed is 60 credits, and I see 27 credits are needed as electives, which is already 87 of that maximum of 90. However, if Gen Ed is waived completely, would that mean I could transfer in 27 credits as electives and still have 63 to distribute as part of the area of study? I would have to complete 24 credits through TESU anyway, right?

Technically, I'm seeing that I had the History minor with 15 credits in it, along with a totally separate Brazilian Studies minor that included a lot of upper-level Brazilian history courses which weren't double-counted as part of the History minor. Just to see if I understand correctly, do you think all these 30+ credits would be likely to count toward the TESU History area of study?

Lastly, I was already in the process of taking online courses like the CSM, TEEX Cybers, the two Sophia single-credit options just because they seemed interesting. However, if I only need to complete some History coursework due to Gen Ed and elective requirements being completed already, it seems like these courses should not be my priority if I really decide to complete another BA degree, since they would conceivably transfer as electives and non-history area content. Would you recommend just taking history courses on onlinedegree.com or elsewhere? I am familiar with CLEP, but since I am based in mainland China, the exams are inaccessible. The Onlinedegree history course I checked into doesn't seem to have an accelerated testing option that I could find, and ideally I'd rather just test out of courses if possible, because the course content is relatively basic (though presented well).

Thank you again for your rapid reply! I was considering earning an MS in Higher Ed Admin on-site in the USA, but I will be based in Beijing for a couple more years. I think I may like to go through the online learning process in the meantime to have personal reflections that I could provide to students, as we're not in the hectic admissions season until Fall.

Senior college admissions counselor in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane University '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden University '19 (3.90)
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice University '19
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia University '19
Other TOEFL/IELTS Trainer; Alumni/Company Interviewer; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19!)

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#4
This is the relevant portion of the e-mail response I received from TESU Admissions:

"The course equivalency page you looked at is not 100% accurate. There are various history electives that can be counted toward the degree. The courses we list in this area is a guide. Other history courses may be appropriate.

In your situation, being a student who already holds a bachelor’s degree, you will need to complete a minimum of 24 credits including the required capstone for the degree. These credits must be in the area of study and/or core of the degree. Additionally, students must complete all other degree requirements. These can be completed through transfer credits. Both the capstone and SOS-110 need to be completed with TESU."

I guess I'm just curious now about how my minors would transfer over to help fulfill those 24 major credits. All but my AP credits were UL courses, so that sums to around 24 credits already. That sounds like it would just leave the capstone within the major. I also don't know what "all other degree requirements" refers to specifically, since the Gen Ed should be waived, unless if it's just the basic SOS-110 course. Sorry, but can anyone help clarify these final questions? Thanks for any help.

Senior college admissions counselor in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane University '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden University '19 (3.90)
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice University '19
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia University '19
Other TOEFL/IELTS Trainer; Alumni/Company Interviewer; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19!)

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#5
(05-21-2019, 09:36 AM)PrettyFlyforaChiGuy Wrote: "In your situation, being a student who already holds a bachelor’s degree, you will need to complete a minimum of 24 credits including the required capstone for the degree. These credits must be in the area of study and/or core of the degree. Additionally, students must complete all other degree requirements. These can be completed through transfer credits. Both the capstone and SOS-110 need to be completed with TESU."

I guess I'm just curious now about how my minors would transfer over to help fulfill those 24 major credits. All but my AP credits were UL courses, so that sums to around 24 credits already. That sounds like it would just leave the capstone within the major.

They mean that you'll need to newly complete a minimum of 24 major credits, earned subsequent to your first bachelor's.
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#6
The Big3 are among the most generous with transfer credit. You should go ahead, apply and send your transcripts. Then you'll see.

My understanding, reinforced by the response ("Additionally, students must complete all other degree requirements") from TESU, is that the GenEds are NOT waived. The 90 credit limit isn't going to be much of a problem for you as you have to take 24 new credits anyway, and picking up 6 more by our methods isn't a big deal.
NanoDegree: Intro to Self-Driving Cars (2019)
Coursera: Stanford Machine Learning (2019)
TESU: BA in Comp Sci (2016)
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:Anthro, Pers Fin, Astronomy (2014); CLEP:Intro to Soc (2014); Saylor.org:Intro to Computers (2014); CC: 69 units (1980-88)

PLA Tips Thread - TESU: What is in a Portfolio? - InstantCert Credit
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#7
(05-21-2019, 11:31 AM)davewill Wrote: The Big3 are among the most generous with transfer credit.  You should go ahead, apply and send your transcripts. Then you'll see.

My understanding, reinforced by the response ("Additionally, students must complete all other degree requirements") from TESU, is that the GenEds are NOT waived. The 90 credit limit isn't going to be much of a problem for you as you have to take 24 new credits anyway, and picking up 6 more by our methods isn't a big deal.

Gen Eds are definitely waived.  What that " " means is that if there are any pre-reqs, those must be met.  So, for a BSBA, you have to have College Algebra and Stats completed; they are part of the Gen Eds and not in the major, but they are still required for the degree.  The remainder of the GE's are waived.

I've actually seen multiple 2nd degree evals, so I know this to be the case.

The only thing I haven't seen is the SOS-110 requirement and whether or not that's waived, since it's new.
TESU BSBA/HR 2018 - WVNCC BOG AAS 2017 - GGU Cert in Mgmt 2000
EXAMS: TECEP Tech Wrtg, Comp II, LA Math, PR, Computers  DSST Computers, Pers Fin  CLEP Mgmt, Mktg
COURSES: TESU Capstone  Study.com Pers Fin, Microecon, Stats  Ed4Credit Acct 2  PF Fin Mgmt  ALEKS Int & Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
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#8
(05-21-2019, 10:39 AM)Jonathan Whatley Wrote:
(05-21-2019, 09:36 AM)PrettyFlyforaChiGuy Wrote: "In your situation, being a student who already holds a bachelor’s degree, you will need to complete a minimum of 24 credits including the required capstone for the degree. These credits must be in the area of study and/or core of the degree.

They mean that you'll need to newly complete a minimum of 24 major credits, earned subsequent to your first bachelor's.

Oh, I was hoping that the 30 history credits from my two history minors would transfer over to fulfill much of the degree, especially since most of them are upper-level.

(05-21-2019, 11:37 AM)dfrecore Wrote: The only thing I haven't seen is the SOS-110 requirement and whether or not that's waived, since it's new.

According to the e-mail from the Admissions Office, SOS-110 is still required, even with a prior B.S.

I mean, I'll admit that it comes off as misguided busywork considering my academic and professional experience, but it is what it is. I'm just trying to be more of a guinea pig here to learn the process for students who are started out anyway.

Senior college admissions counselor in Beijing with research interest in higher ed college access. Reverts to PADI Divemaster when near a coast.

BS Anthropology | Tulane University '08 (3.90, summa cum laude
MS Early Childhood Studies: Administration, Management, & Leadership | Walden University '19 (3.90)
Certificate College Access Counseling | Rice University '19
Certificate Teachers College College Advising Program | Columbia University '19
Other TOEFL/IELTS Trainer; Alumni/Company Interviewer; National Resume Writers' Association (completed coursework!)
Goals: A) 2nd MS in Higher Ed; B) 51/195 Countries; C) Find good hamburger in Beijing (accomplished June '19!)

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