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Crippling self doubt! (aka starting college at 40!)
#1
Hi all, 

First, I want to say THANK YOU! I don't think I'd have gone through with this if it hadn't been for the ability to read other people's experiences and what they're all going through. So thank you! I kept getting the "your post is too long" error so I had to cut out most of my intro. 

1) Basic info about yourself: Hi! I'm 39 years old and I'm starting college for the first time ever. I'm working on an associates degree and ultimately want to end up with a Masters. I work full time in my field and am generally deployed to various parts of the US and territories throughout the year. When I'm home, I'm surrounded by CLEP testing centers and am hoping to be able to CLEP out of the majority of my General Education requirements (and as much of the degree as possible to be honest!). I'm still not 100% certain what CLEPs would translate to which course since they don't always have the same names. 

Have you read the Beginner’s Guide?  - Yes
Have you read the Wiki? - Working on it! 
Do you have any certificates? Credits from previous studies? None that would transfer easily. I also have a ton of FEMA IS courses that I've completed, but that's generally for "fun" as I do them when I have nothing else to do and am out of books to read during a deployment! I also had my private pilots license. I had seen some schools will give you credit for ground school. I'm just not sure how to get a transcript from flight school, or if it is worth it. 

2) Answer the following questions, so I can better gauge which of the 3 you're looking at - cheap, easy, or fast.

A) Are you close to a testing site for CLEP? Yes. From what I've seen, there are several within 10 minutes of my house.  

B) Do you have time to study and test at a site or would you rather do everything online for a little extra in price?  I do have time to study but I don't mind paying a little extra. I recently took the ACCUPLACER test at my local community college and did not enjoy sitting in a room with other people. The kid next to me was actually whimpering during the test and started crying during the math section. I felt badly for him but it was very distracting.

C) What is your price range you're looking at for the degree and time you want to set to complete the degree? Obviously, the less expensive the better but I understand that you get what you pay for. I'd like to get through the Associates degree (especially the general ed stuff) and Bachelors as quickly as possible because I would like to get into the part of my education that I'm actually interested in. 

D) Are you leaning towards cheap, easy, fast or a combo of them all? Rank them in priority.  
1) Fast 2) Easy 3) Cheap.  
I do work full time and have a very intense job. However, when I'm not deployed, I have a tremendous amount of down time to make up for how high intensity my job is. 

3) Have you applied to the school of choice, are you currently enrolled (taking a course)? I'm currently enrolled at Montgomery College (my county's community college). I have not registered for classes though but I have taken the "ACCUPLACER". I have to enroll in classes in the next week or two but I wanted to sort out what I should do to prevent making any mistakes that will cost me time and money later on.  

Do you have an academic evaluation? No. I'm starting from scratch so I don't have anything to evaluate as far as credits from other schools. 

4) What exactly are you looking for help with or advice on?  

I need help with the following:

  1. I need help building a spreadsheet to plan which alternatives I should use for the credits that I need. I'd love help from someone who understands what I need and how I can get it. I know that there are tons of options like Aleks.com, Study.com, Saylor.org and so on. I know a lot of them limit you to two classes a month, or basically two CLEPs a month. I don't want to be held back by someone else limitation and I'd really like to truly work at my own pace. With the list of credits and where I should get them, I really feel like I can start knocking them out. Advise from someone who has actually done this before would be fantastic.  
I've read a lot of the blogs from people who have done a "bachelors in a year" and blogged about it but the resources they've posted tend to be out of date or aren't working anymore. Everyone has referenced a "spreadsheet" that they've made but when I go to click on it, it isn't there. Even if I could download that spreadsheet, I still need help translating which CLEPs or alternative sources of credit would be best to fulfill that requirement. 

What I would love to end up with is basically a spreadsheet that lists out what I need to do, the best sources for the credits (or just where I should get them), and the order it should be done: 

College Course, Education Source (study.com, MC, saylor, etc), Credit Hours, Cost, Credit Type, Completed (Y/N), Date

This is the link to the degree at my local community college. Montgomery College Associate of Science Emergency Preparedness 
By going to MC, I am guaranteed to be able to matriculate into almost any school in Maryland. In addition, if I decide that I just "can't" do it because of time or money or whatever, I'll at least have an Associates degree at the end of it. The "Suggested Course Sequence" shows the typical two year course schedule that they have. They also offer a "Certificate" which is just the Emergency Management courses that says it could be completed in two semesters (or less). I don't see why I can't fulfill the general education requirements via alternative sources, transfer them in, and then get the Associates and graduate in significantly less time than 4 semesters. 

Big 3 "Equivalents": 
TESU: BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management
COSC: BS in Public Safety Administration
[/url]Excelsior: [url=https://www.excelsior.edu/programs/public-service/homeland-security-and-emergency-management-open-emphasis]BS In Homeland Security And Emergency Management (Open Emphasis)

These are "similar" but not really as closely aligned with what I'd like to spend my time studying. Similar to the AS, which is oddly named "Emergency Preparedness Management" but I've seen that they've changed the name of it twice in the last few years. Judging from the syllabus/curriculum, it's a solid start, although fairly remedial given my expertise in the field. I was starting with the Associates so that if it turned out that I couldn't handle the workload of the degree, in addition to working full time, I'd at least have "something" to show for it. 

My plan was to ultimately end up getting my Masters in Emergency & Crisis Management at University of Central Florida (UCF) but UCF recently added BA and BS options when they originally only had graduate degrees. One of my colleagues is a professor at UCF and said he'd be thrilled if I came to study with him, which is what I'm hoping to do. 

I'm not sure what the difference is between a Bachelors of Arts and a Bachelors of Science. If anyone could explain that, I would appreciate it. My first assumption is that it's simply based on the classes that you choose to fulfill your credits. Perhaps more math & science classes for a BS instead of a BA? There are tons of random questions that I've got about college in general! 

This got super long and I'm feeling like I totally forgot stuff that I needed to post. I did read the other posts where people got similar help so I'm really hopeful that some one out there would be able to help me! 

Thank you all! 

Short cut: 
Associates Degree Advising Worksheet (displays the requirements for the degree)
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#2
First of all, you can lose the self-doubt. I've got more than 10 years on you, and when I started this process to go back to get my degree, I only had 13 quarter-hour credits from a community college that I earned when I was 17. That is basically the same as starting from scratch. My first disappointment was discovering that quarter-hour credits convert to semester-hour credits at a big discount (2/3). So at 8.67 credits, I didn't have enough credits to officially enroll at my first choice of college (this was COSC). But that was easily remedied after passing a handful of CLEP and DSST exams.

Shortly thereafter I ended up having to take a break for a few years due to a cross-country move and having our first kid, but when I came back I decided I wanted to pursue a different degree and determined that TESU was a better choice than COSC. At that point, I immersed myself in research, built myself a new plan, and started to execute on it. I earned more than 90 credits in about 10 months, and I could have gone quicker had I needed to (I goofed off a bit and took a lot of breaks; I earned half those credits in the last 3 months). I'm now finishing up the final project for my capstone and am set to graduate in March. Like you, I also intend to move into a masters degree, though I'm also considering a Ph.D. since I think I'd enjoy the research and teaching opportunities.

While I'm not in the military and we may have different time constraints, I'm pretty busy during the work week and I have a 3-year old that requires constant attention when she's awake. I do most of my studying in the evening after my daughter and wife go to bed, and also try to squeeze time in now and then when time permits during the day. I generally aim to put in 4-6 hours a day, though some days it is more or less. I usually live on 4-5 hours of sleep except when I'm sick or traveling.

In any case, since you're starting from scratch, the sky's the limit. You really just need to figure out what kind of degree you're interested in and then make a decision of where to get it. I'm sure most folks here will suggest the TESU BA in Liberal Studies (BALS) as the fastest and easiest degree, followed by the TESU BS in Business Administration (BSBA).

I don't know how test-out friendly those Homeland Security/Emergency Management/Public Safety Administration degrees are, or if there are better alternatives, but I'm sure someone here will know.

If you have any skill or interest in cybersecurity or IT, you might also want to consider WGU, which can be as fast, or even faster, as well as cheaper than alt. education options through TESU, depending on how dedicated you are and how quickly you push through the material. Had I realized that when I came back, I might have gone down that path. If so I'd probably be done with a BSSD or BSCS degree by now.

Since you have a specific masters degree program in mind, you might want to look at the requirements for that program and use that to help inform your decisions on courses to plan into your bachelor's degree, particularly if you go with a BALS. It may require that you take certain prerequisite courses at the bachelor's level, for example.

Good luck! If I can do it, you should be able to too. Smile
Working On: Strategic Management/BSBA Capstone (BUS421-OL010 @ TESU) [Nov '18 term]
Up Next: MBA ITM @ WGU; also considering OMSCS @ GA Tech or PhD @ EBS Heriot-Watt

BSBA in Computer Information Systems @ TESU (118.68 of 120 SH done, graduate March 2019)
ASNSM in Computer Science @ TESU (complete, graduate March 2019)

B&M CC: 8.68cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(Earned 92 credits over 10 months, Jan-Oct '18)
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#3
I am an international student- only a few years younger than you. I started my journey in September 2018, and have earned 60 credits so far. I am enrolled with TESU, and hope to graduate in September 2019. I too aim for a Ph.D ultimately. So, drop the self doubt, and welcome to the club! It is never too late.
TESU BA-Psychology (Started Sept. 15, 2018): 61 Cr.

TEEX(6): Cybersecurity 101/201/301
The Institutes(2): Ethics
Sophia(2): Essentials of Managing Conflict, Dev. Effective Teams
NFA(1): Community Safety Education
GED(10): NAS-131, SOC-273, MAT-121, HUM-101 (1)
Study.com(33): Intro to Psych., Soc. Psych.-1, Growth & Dev. Psych., Personality Psych., History & Systems of Psych., Org. Theory, Library Science, Comm. at Workplace, Intro to World Religion, I/O Psychology, Ethics in Social Sciences. 
Saylor (6): Intro. to Molecular & Cellular Biology, Comparative Politics. 
TESU (1): Cornerstone
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#4
"I know that there are tons of options like Aleks.com, Study.com, Saylor.org and so on. I know a lot of them limit you to two classes a month"

I'm not aware of any alternative credit provider that limits you to two classes a month. Study.com's college accelerator is $200 a month for 2 courses, but you can pay $70 each for additional exams.

You can do this. A lot of us here are much older than you and also work full time. Good luck!
Myself:Pierpont BOG (May 2018), TESU BALA
CC: 34cr 1979-95
SL: Bus Ethics, Rel, Nutrition
Shmoop: E-commerce, Prof Writing
SC: Per Finance, Intro Biology, Basic Genetics, Prin Health, Hist Vietnam War, Pres Skills, Human Dev, Nat Sciences, Soc Psy, Comp Literacy, Special ED Hist & Law
Sophia: Managing Conflict, Dev Eff Teams
My son: Started 3/2017 TESU ASNSM in CS (June 2018) & TESU BA Learner-Designed (Software Dev/Web Design Heart )
CSU Global: Basic Prog CBE, Programming I & II
Hodges: HW Support Essentials, HW & Op Systems, Computer Applications, Eng Comp I, Web Design & Dev, Web Applications
SL: Bus Ethics, Intro Business, Religion, Cultural Anthropology, Intro Psy,
SC: Prin Mgmt, Info Systems & Comp Apps, Org Behavior, Intro to Computing, Prin Supervision, Earth Sc, Physical Geog, Hist VN War, College Alg, College Math, Pre Calc, Quantitative Lit, Am Gov
TEEX: Cyber Everyone, Cyber Bus. Prof
Sophia: Managing Conflict, Visual Com, Effective Teams, Project Mgmt
CLEP: Comp Modular, An & Inter Lit(Yuck-did not pass)
ED4Credit: Eng Comp II
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#5
(01-13-2019, 06:38 AM)Merlin Wrote: First of all, you can lose the self-doubt.

I'm working on it! That's why I'm here! Smile

Quote:I earned more than 90 credits in about 10 months, and I could have gone quicker had I needed to (I goofed off a bit and took a lot of breaks; I earned half those credits in the last 3 months).

That's amazing. I'm trying to figure out how I can do that too. Judging from your signature, the majority of your credits were from Study.com. I've been doing a lot of research and trying to figure out how I can take as many credits as possible. It gets a little confusing keeping track of each site and what the limitations are. I had seen that several of the sites that allow you to "work at your own pace" also have limitations on how many tests you can take. Straighterline for example limits you to 2 courses/tests a month so the max you can get through them would be for the 2 courses per month. I'd basically love it if someone could help me figure out the courses I need to fulfill my credits and where to get them. That's something I'd happily pay for!

Quote:While I'm not in the military and we may have different time constraints

Oh, I'm not in the military. I deploy for my job though. I work in disaster recovery ad manage the national program for 3 international church groups. It's pretty complicated to explain the dynamics but in natural disaster response or recovery, you either work for the government or for a church. I'm a mom as well, but my daughter is going to be starting college this summer at 16! I am used to working 7 days a week 15-20 hours a day when things are hectic but it's currently off season. I have unlimited free time when I'm at home so I could focus on this 100% of the time.

Quote:In any case, since you're starting from scratch, the sky's the limit. You really just need to figure out what kind of degree you're interested in and then make a decision of where to get it. I'm sure most folks here will suggest the TESU BA in Liberal Studies (BALS) as the fastest and easiest degree, followed by the TESU BS in Business Administration (BSBA).

I want a degree in emergency & crisis management. My original post has all of the links in it directly for each school, as well as the school that I'm currently enrolled in and to the one that I'll attend for my masters. I also included the link to the degree advising document that says all the credit hours that are needed.

Quote:I don't know how test-out friendly those Homeland Security/Emergency Management/Public Safety Administration degrees are, or if there are better alternatives, but I'm sure someone here will know.

The only thing you can't necessarily test out of would be the actual major courses. For the associates, the school I'm enrolled in accepts 45 credits and you have to take 15 there but that works out anyway because that''s how many there are in the core classes for the concentration.

Quote:If you have any skill or interest in cybersecurity or IT, you might also want to consider WGU, which can be as fast, or even faster, as well as cheaper than alt. education options through TESU, depending on how dedicated you are and how quickly you push through the material. Had I realized that when I came back, I might have gone down that path. If so I'd probably be done with a BSSD or BSCS degree by now.

I own a tech company, which I've owned since the mid 90s. I've basically been "retired" from it for some time which is what allowed me to pursue the disaster work that I do. I did the TEEX IT courses last week and it was so easy. It took me about 3 hours to do them all and that was because of how long it took to click through everything. I knew all the cyber ethics and law stuff because I'd been in a trademark/copyright infringement lawsuit before and my company has been online since the mid 90's so I'm totally familiar with the 2257 laws. I thought that was pretty funny! I don't know if I'd be interested or if it could hold my attention long enough to graduate or work through it. I really do want to do the educational parts of the degree that pertain to my field because I love what I do and I love learning about it.

Quote:Since you have a specific masters degree program in mind, you might want to look at the requirements for that program and use that to help inform your decisions on courses to plan into your bachelor's degree, particularly if you go with a BALS. It may require that you take certain prerequisite courses at the bachelor's level, for example.

BALS? That stands for Bachelor of Arts Liberal Studies, correct? I'm just wondering why I would do that instead of a bachelors in my field?

(01-13-2019, 09:15 AM)mudball Wrote: "I know that there are tons of options like Aleks.com, Study.com, Saylor.org and so on. I know a lot of them limit you to two classes a month"

I'm not aware of any alternative credit provider that limits you to two classes a month. Study.com's college accelerator is $200 a month for 2 courses, but you can pay $70 each for additional exams.

You can do this. A lot of us here are much older than you and also work full time. Good luck!

I'm trying to remember which site I had read it on. Like I had mentioned, it gets kind of complicated to keep everything straight. Maybe it was straighterline? I had read though that you can take two courses at a time and then test for them but that it had a monthly cap. It makes more sense now though that you may be able to pay additionally to bypass any restrictions.

So for study.com, when you say you can pay $70 each for additional exams, does that give you access to the study materials so that you can prepare for the exam?
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#6
Mil0, ma'am, don't stress out, you can do it! BTW, Welcome to the board!
There are no restrictions on the amount of exams/courses you can take with each provider.
For TESU, they will only take up to 90 credits from one ACE source, such as Study.com or StraighterLine.

You should take the bulk of your credits with CLEP/MS, Onlinedegree.com, Study.com, and Cornerstone/Capstone with TESU obviously. My suggestion is, if you want to do the TESU Homeland Security & Emergency Management, you can and you're right, the only part you need to take at TESU are the required courses!

My suggestion is to get your 90+ credits from the 3 sources mentioned above before applying for this degree. I will create a spreadsheet map for you. Since you're so busy, do you think you can finish at least 8 TESU courses in a years time? That's 2 courses per 12 week term, this way, you just pay the comprehensive tuition and you won't need to pay the residency waiver/capstone fee.

Now, as mentioned to you earlier, the BALS/BSBA are the easiest fully test-out-able degree available to you. If you decide to take the easier route, you can always switch from your degree to one of these as the 90 credits will apply to either of these evenly. I'll create a template with the BALS/BSBA along with the degree map so you can compare the required courses for each degree.
Done: TESU ASNSM Biology, ASBA/BSBA (ACBSP Accredited in 2017)
Working on: TESU BA Computer Science (June 2019 graduation...)
Deferred: **Deciding on several Masters/PHD programs**

2018 BALS and BSBA Spreadsheet using mainly SL/Study.com (post# 27,28)
The Basic Approach | DegreeForum Community Supported Wiki
~Review Beginners Guide sticky for info on TESU BALS/BSBA in 4 months (post #16)~
~Note: Read Wiki guide links for TESU equivalency - CLEP/DSST/SL/Study.com, etc~
[-] The following 1 user Likes bjcheung77's post:
  • Mil0
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#7
(01-13-2019, 12:28 PM)bjcheung77 Wrote: Mil0, ma'am, don't stress out, you can do it!  BTW, Welcome to the board!
There are no restrictions on the amount of exams/courses you can take with each provider.
For TESU, they will only take up to 90 credits from one ACE source, such as Study.com or StraighterLine.

That is awesome. I had misunderstood then! I thought that you could only take and complete a maximum of 2 courses per month with the online education sites like study.com etc. 

Quote:You should take the bulk of your credits with CLEP/MS, Onlinedegree.com, Study.com, and Cornerstone/Capstone with TESU obviously.  My suggestion is, if you want to do the TESU Homeland Security & Emergency Management, you can and you're right, the only part you need to take at TESU are the required courses!  

Is there a benefit to one credit source over the other? For the CLEPs, I've taken the practice tests from free-clep-prep.com and passed them with about an 80% on subjects I have no idea or experience in other than high school 20 years ago. The only one I got a 50% on was algebra. I already knew I wasn't going to remember how to do all of the tedious algebra stuff that I haven't had to use in my day to day life. 

Montgomery College required that I take the ACCUPLACER exam. I aced the reading/English sections on the but I didn't do well in Math. I was a few points shy of placing directly into Math 117 or Math 120 and have to take a supporting math class. I told them that I already had a math credit and they said that was fine. I don't, but I figured since I was planning on earning it outside of their school, it didn't matter.

The only problem is that I don't think I'd actually do well on a real CLEP. I tend to get very bored during exams and I don't think I test well in that kind of environment. Meanwhile, I'm fine at home. I know some of the sites do online proctoring so you don't even have to go to an exam facility.. Is that correct?

Quote:My suggestion is to get your 90+ credits from the 3 sources mentioned above before applying for this degree.  I will create a spreadsheet map for you.  Since you're so busy, do you think you can finish at least 8 TESU courses in a years time?  That's 2 courses per 12 week term, this way, you just pay the comprehensive tuition and you won't need to pay the residency waiver/capstone fee.

Oh my!! That is amazing. That will let me hit the ground running because I'm literally spinning my wheels letting the self doubt get to me because I "don't know how college works". I'm sure you saw the link but this is the advising worksheet for the EM AS degree. 

Montgomery College AS Emergency Management Advising Worksheet

I currently have an ACE account set up, I put the TEEx.org credits in there. I was bored and did it last week, since I've been working online since the early 90s. I didn't have to read any of the materials, I just clicked through and took the tests and passed easily. It's kind of like all of my FEMA IS courses. I just take the tests since I know the material front and back. The only questions I usually get wrong are when I misread the "NOT" questions. How does it work for "collecting" all of your credits? Does it make sense to send them to one source like ACE and then have the transcript sent from there to my school?

Quote:Since you're so busy, do you think you can finish at least 8 TESU courses in a years time?  That's 2 courses per 12 week term, this way, you just pay the comprehensive tuition and you won't need to pay the residency waiver/capstone fee.

When I'm deployed, it will definitely slow down what I can do, but disaster season is June-November, so those are the times when I pull 20 hour days weeks on end. I'm getting deployed next week but it's not an active disaster/emergency response so that's just regular 10 hour days 4/5 days a week, it's pretty much like a vacation to me compared to the normal work environment. I'll have plenty of time to work on school, I just won't be able to dedicate my entire week to it. 

As I mentioned with the TEEX, that took me a few hours to do all 3 of the Cyber 101. Are the Study.com/SL etc classes similar? I don't have anything to compare the classes to, other than having done about 15-20 FEMA IS courses and the TEEX Cyber courses. 

Quote:Now, as mentioned to you earlier, the BALS/BSBA are the easiest fully test-out-able degree available to you.  If you decide to take the easier route, you can always switch from your degree to one of these as the 90 credits will apply to either of these evenly.  I'll create a template with the BALS/BSBA along with the degree map so you can compare the required courses for each degree.

If one could dedicate their full time to the BALS/BSBA route, how long does it typically take?

I had originally planned to take the EM associates degree at my local community college and go the Associates > Bachelors > Masters route in case anything came up that prevented me from working as hard as I want. That way I would still have a degree. For example, I deployed to the USVI in October of 2017 and ended up being there for a year. We didn't have power or running water for 6+ months. Cell phone service was non existent and even today it's a pile of garbage. I know that life happens and I want to be realistic about that so I don't set myself up for failure. 

Is that inefficient or is there something that I'm not seeing that would be a big negative for doing that?

Is a degree from TESU truly as "valuable" as from a brick & mortar school with a well known reputation in DC (I live 15 minutes outside of DC). I've read the spiel from the big 3 about how their degrees are the same but I don't know how that compares to real life.

I am planning on getting this paper so that I can move into Public Policy as well as consulting with the large recovery consultants. Most of them require a bachelors or a masters. The entire industry needs an overhaul and I'm tired of watching people suffer because of how poorly everything has been designed. I'd like to be in a position where I can make serious change. Right now, with the national program that I run, we're helping survivors but it's hundreds of families at a time and I want to be in a position where we don't have to rely on non-profits to pick up the slack. 

A little bit of unnecessary info, I'm a disaster survivor as well. I lost my home, everything I owned, and my neighborhood to 24' of water. Thankfully my daughter, my dog, and I got out of the neighborhood alive which was the most important part. I organized my neighborhood and managed 500+ volunteers a day for weeks until we'd mucked & gutted all the flooded houses and then established a non profit to help survivors outside of my own neighborhood and we took on families from across the entire state. I was on every single advisory board I could get on and advocated for those that couldn't do so for themselves. That's how I got noticed by the groups that came together to form the program that I run now. That's why I'm so passionate about emergency management and long-term recovery. It became my life 5 years ago and it really means a lot to me.
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#8
Mil0

Is a degree from TESU truly as "valuable" as from a brick & mortar school with a well known reputation in DC (I live 15 minutes outside of DC). I've read the spiel from the big 3 about how their degrees are the same but I don't know how that compares to real life. 

----------------

Go to LinkedIn under TESU, Excelsior College and COSC and click "alumni" and search Emergency Management.  See what their alumni do in the real world with their degrees.  You will learn a lot.
Non-Traditional Undergraduate College Credits (634 SH): *FTCC Noncourse Credits (156 SH) *DSST (78 SH) *CPL (64 SH) *JST Military/ACE (48 SH) *CBA (44 SH) *CLEP (42 SH) *FEMA IS (40 SH) *FEMA EM (38 SH) *ECE/UExcel (30 SH) *PLA Portfolio (28 SH) *EMI/ACE (19 SH) *TEEX/ACE (16 SH) *CWE (11 SH) *NFA/ACE (10 SH) *Kaplan/ACE (3 SH) *CPC (2 SH) *AICP/ACE (2 SH) *Sophia/ACE (2 SH) and *FRTI-UM/ACE (1 SH).
Non-Traditional Graduate College Credits (14 SH): AMU (6 SH); NFHS (5 SH); and JSU (3 SH).
 





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#9
(01-13-2019, 09:26 AM)Mil0 Wrote:
Quote:In any case, since you're starting from scratch, the sky's the limit. You really just need to figure out what kind of degree you're interested in and then make a decision of where to get it. I'm sure most folks here will suggest the TESU BA in Liberal Studies (BALS) as the fastest and easiest degree, followed by the TESU BS in Business Administration (BSBA).

I want a degree in emergency & crisis management. My original post has all of the links in it directly for each school, as well as the school that I'm currently enrolled in and to the one that I'll attend for my masters. I also included the link to the degree advising document that says all the credit hours that are needed.

That is what you want for your masters, but it doesn't have to be what you take to get there. If your ultimate goal is a masters degree, your best plan is to pursue a fast bachelor's program that will get you to the point where you can start the master's program. It doesn't have to be the same or even a similar degree. In fact, with a BALS you can take courses that are supportive of your master's plan but are still test-out friendly.

If you have need for a bachelors credential in the same area for work, or because its a requirement for the masters program, then obviously you need to focus on that, but it will mean it takes longer.

(01-13-2019, 09:26 AM)Mil0 Wrote:
Quote:I don't know how test-out friendly those Homeland Security/Emergency Management/Public Safety Administration degrees are, or if there are better alternatives, but I'm sure someone here will know.

The only thing you can't necessarily test out of would be the actual major courses. For the associates, the school I'm enrolled in accepts 45 credits and you have to take 15 there but that works out anyway because that''s how many there are in the core classes for the concentration.

I'd recommend you drop the AA plan and jump directly into an accelerated bachelor's program, unless there is a compelling reason why you need the AA. Even if you can transfer in 45 of the 60 credits necessary for your AA, the balance of courses is going to be the slowest part. Plus you'll then have to wait for the degree to be conferred. In the time that takes you could probably be finished with the entire bachelor's degree, depending on the courses you take and how much prior knowledge you can use towards them.

Its possible to complete a bachelor's degree from scratch in under 6 months from WGU and in less than a year (maybe less than 9 months–though that would be pushing it) from TESU. The longest delays for TESU is the capstone, which takes 3 months no matter what, and waiting until the next degree conferral, which only happens quarterly (and you have to apply at least 3 months in advance).

(01-13-2019, 09:26 AM)Mil0 Wrote: So for study.com, when you say you can pay $70 each for additional exams, does that give you access to the study materials so that you can prepare for the exam?

You pay $199 per month for a Study.com (aka SDC) subscription which gives you unlimited access to study materials for one month and includes two free exams. You can take as long as you like to finish the courses, but it is in your best interest to finish at least two per month so you don't miss out on any of the free final exams. Any additional exams cost $70 each and there is no limit to the number of additional exams you can take per month.

So you have the full picture, I'll describe StraighterLine (aka SL) as well since it is also a subscription service, but works differently.

For SL, you pay $99/month for the subscription. While your subscription is active you can take as many courses as you like, but there is a one-time fee to register for each course which varies (most run between $59 and $99). Once the fee is paid, you get access to the textbook and lessons and you can take as long as you like to finish the course, assuming your subscription is up to date. If you fail the course, you just have to pay the registration fee again to re-take the course.

For both providers, the final exams are proctored using your home PC and a webcam. The quizzes are not proctored. Some of the courses also require essays or project-based assignments in addition to quizzes and a final exam.
Working On: Strategic Management/BSBA Capstone (BUS421-OL010 @ TESU) [Nov '18 term]
Up Next: MBA ITM @ WGU; also considering OMSCS @ GA Tech or PhD @ EBS Heriot-Watt

BSBA in Computer Information Systems @ TESU (118.68 of 120 SH done, graduate March 2019)
ASNSM in Computer Science @ TESU (complete, graduate March 2019)

B&M CC: 8.68cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(Earned 92 credits over 10 months, Jan-Oct '18)
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#10
I did not read through every word of every post because it's all too long (limited on time) but wanted to say this:

1) you asked about transferring courses to your local CC which has a degree that you want. You need to check with them to see if you can use alternative credits to get your degree there. If not, there's not a lot we can help you with here for that.

2) If you opt to go straight for a BA/BS at one of the Big 3, like getting a BALS at TESU, we can help you get that quickly/inexpensively - around $7500 or less, depending on which providers you use. THEN, you could opt for the MA that you're looking for. The entire process might actually be faster/cheaper than a BA through traditional means.

3) You can also choose to get the BA/BS through TESU, but I don't think it's what you actually want.
TESU BSBA in HR, 2018
WVNCC BOG AAS,
 2017
GGU Cert in Management, 2000

EXAMS: TECEP Tech Writg, Engl Comp 2, LA Math, Public Rel, 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 Alg, Coll Alg  Sophia Proj Mgmt The Institutes - Ins Ethics  Kaplan PLA
B&M COURSESPalomar CollMission Coll, Golden Gate Univ, San Jose State Univ
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