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Question for Big Three Gads who Went on to Grad School
#1
Some of us come to the "big three" with a ton of credits from previous attempts at college. Personally, I am having to start from scratch. What credits I do have are from an institution that was on a "quarter hour" system instead of "semester hours"; these translate at a steep "discount" and are basically worthless.

Fine. I'll leverage CLEP/DSST/Study.com and whatever else  I can, until I have enough of the right combination of credits to graduate. If I do that, I'll accumulate a ton of ACE/NCCRS credits that will show up as PASS/FAIL on my transcripts. Not a big deal, though a relatively few GPA graded courses will drive my GPA.

If I ask, "can I get into a [real] grad school — for example a state school — with almost entirely ACE/NCCRS credits on my TESU transcript" I'll no doubt hear, "it depends, talk to the grad school you're thinking of attending." Fair enough, but I'm trying to chart the most effective course I can here. I don't yet have a specific grad school in mind yet, and I can hardly call every grad school in the country worthy of the name and ask them their take on the matter — I don't have that kind of time.

My questions are:
  • If you got mostly ACE/NCCRS credits and and graduated from one of the Big Three, what challenges did you have getting into grad school? How did you overcome those challenges?
  • Did any of you get into a State school?
  • Somewhat more generally, what advice would you give someone in my position who expects to go on to grad school eventually?
  • Is there anything you really wish someone would have told you about going from the Big Three to Grad school that never came up anywhere?
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#2
I am hoping to go on to grad (law) school, but I'm not sure how to answer this question because it is so vague. It varies HUGELY by school/program. For me, I'm racking up lots of graded credits because GPA is a big factor for law schools and most won't calculate one unless you earn 60+ graded credits. So I'm gathering those graded credits from various sources (CC, ASU Earned Admission, BYU Independent Study, etc).

I recall one guy on this forum who posted recently about earning a Master's in Statistics from Texas A&M (I think it was A&M - might have been UT). I don't know exactly what credits he had but it seemed like most were alternative. The school wanted graded classes for his two pre-requisites so he just took correspondence courses like the ones I'm taking (he did his through LSU)
Link to all credits earned: Link
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#3
Most grad schools will want all of your transcripts. They will calculate a cumulative GPA based on every school you've attended. Also, if you sent TESU every transcript like you are supposed to, then all of those schools will show up on the TESU transcript regardless of whether the credits from those schools were used toward your degree.

I was accepted to George Mason University, Angelo State University, University of Florida, University of Central Missouri, University of Findlay, and Texas State University.
PhD (in progress)
Masters and Graduate Certificate
AAS, AS, BA, and BS
CLEP
Intro Psych 70, US His I 64, Intro Soc 63, Intro Edu Psych 70, A&I Lit 64, Bio 68, Prin Man 69, Prin Mar 68
DSST
Life Dev Psych 62, Fund Coun 68, Intro Comp 469, Intro Astr 56, Env & Hum 70, HTYH 456, MIS 451, Prin Sup 453, HRM 62, Bus Eth 458
ALEKS
Int Alg, Coll Alg
TEEX
4 credits
TECEP
Fed Inc Tax, Sci of Nutr, Micro, Strat Man, Med Term, Pub Relations
CSU
Sys Analysis & Design, Programming, Cyber
SL
Intro to Comm, Microbio, Acc I
Uexcel
A&P
Davar
Macro, Intro to Fin, Man Acc
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#4
Quote:Most grad schools will want all of your transcripts. They will calculate a cumulative GPA based on every school you've attended.

That's a problem. So, my previous GPA from my previous college was in the 1.95 range. My HS transcripts reflect a very similar 1.9x GPA. I need desperately to counteract this as this isn't a true reflection of my capabilities.
In a nutshell:
  • I have ADHD/dyslexia with an IQ far above average. The ADHD is well managed now, but could not be at the time. Also, absolutely nobody knew what to do with me given that I am what is now called a "twice exceptional."
  • My HS's idea of special education was to treat me as no different than some kid with a low IQ and just lower the bar, pass me, and not really make genuine attempts at helping me actually remediate my issues.
  • This of course did nothing to prepare me for college and untreated ADHD had its effects on other subjects.
  • My college flat out refused to accommodate my dyslexia's impact on my math skills. Yes, it's illegal. Yes, they got away with it because I didn't have the legal resources to push back. It has been 20 years, I can hardly hold them accountable now.
I have no real choice but to own that. I can cry about it or do something about it.

Ideas that have crossed my mind:
  • Compensate by getting three BS degrees, even if they're all ACE/NCCRS credits.
  • Study for the SAT/LSAT as an adult, with the proper accommodations and aim very high.
  • This is perhaps "unicorn country" but, most schools have a policy of accepting the higher GPA when a course is failed. Turn that policy on its ear and go take a GED test as a one-for-one counter to my original HS grades.
I'm open to suggestions here, lots of them.
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#5
(02-05-2019, 07:10 PM)retro Wrote: Some of us come to the "big three" with a ton of credits from previous attempts at college. Personally, I am having to start from scratch. What credits I do have are from an institution that was on a "quarter hour" system instead of "semester hours"; these translate at a steep "discount" and are basically worthless.

Fine. I'll leverage CLEP/DSST/Study.com and whatever else  I can, until I have enough of the right combination of credits to graduate. If I do that, I'll accumulate a ton of ACE/NCCRS credits that will show up as PASS/FAIL on my transcripts. Not a big deal, though a relatively few GPA graded courses will drive my GPA.

If I ask, "can I get into a [real] grad school — for example a state school — with almost entirely ACE/NCCRS credits on my TESU transcript" I'll no doubt hear, "it depends, talk to the grad school you're thinking of attending." Fair enough, but I'm trying to chart the most effective course I can here. I don't yet have a specific grad school in mind yet, and I can hardly call every grad school in the country worthy of the name and ask them their take on the matter — I don't have that kind of time.

My questions are:
  • If you got mostly ACE/NCCRS credits and and graduated from one of the Big Three, what challenges did you have getting into grad school? How did you overcome those challenges?
  • Did any of you get into a State school?
  • Somewhat more generally, what advice would you give someone in my position who expects to go on to grad school eventually?
  • Is there anything you really wish someone would have told you about going from the Big Three to Grad school that never came up anywhere?

I might stand alone, but I don't think taking a total pass/fail degree and in the same breath asking about ABC grad school is making the best use of your resources. I believe you have to be a click smarter- if your question was "can I get into grad school" my answer is "of course" but when you add qualifiers, then that changes the question. You have to be preemptive- if you spend an evening looking at a dozen grad school websites that all say they want GPA of X or a certain number of graded credits, then you really need to change your plan.

When I did my TESU degrees, my AA is all ungraded- I used CLEP and DSST. My BA has a lot of graded credit because I knew I wanted to take classes in my major to assure not only grad school admission, but that I got a chance to do academic writing and research in my major.
I'll muddy it up a bit to tell you that my goals changed several times on my journey, and so did my path. Anyway, long boring story short- I got in everywhere I applied.
Jennifer
10-year member

MS Applied Nutrition, 2014 Canisius College, NY
Premed/Prenursing Sciences, 2011 Ocean County College, NJ
BA Social Science, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, NJ
AA General Studies, 2008 Thomas Edison State University, NJ
AOS Culinary Arts,1990 Culinary Institute of America, NY

Homeschooling for College Credit
Cookderosa & Dfrecore's Degree Planning Masterclass
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#6
(02-05-2019, 08:07 PM)retro Wrote:
Quote:Most grad schools will want all of your transcripts. They will calculate a cumulative GPA based on every school you've attended.

That's a problem. So, my previous GPA from my previous college was in the 1.95 range. My HS transcripts reflect a very similar 1.9x GPA. I need desperately to counteract this as this isn't a true reflection of my capabilities.
In a nutshell:
  • I have ADHD/dyslexia with an IQ far above average. The ADHD is well managed now, but could not be at the time. Also, absolutely nobody knew what to do with me given that I am what is now called a "twice exceptional."
  • My HS's idea of special education was to treat me as no different than some kid with a low IQ and just lower the bar, pass me, and not really make genuine attempts at helping me actually remediate my issues.
  • This of course did nothing to prepare me for college and untreated ADHD had its effects on other subjects.
  • My college flat out refused to accommodate my dyslexia's impact on my math skills. Yes, it's illegal. Yes, they got away with it because I didn't have the legal resources to push back. It has been 20 years, I can hardly hold them accountable now.
I have no real choice but to own that. I can cry about it or do something about it.

Ideas that have crossed my mind:
  • Compensate by getting three BS degrees, even if they're all ACE/NCCRS credits.
  • Study for the SAT/LSAT as an adult, with the proper accommodations and aim very high.
  • This is perhaps "unicorn country" but, most schools have a policy of accepting the higher GPA when a course is failed. Turn that policy on its ear and go take a GED test as a one-for-one counter to my original HS grades.
I'm open to suggestions here, lots of them.

Like you, I grew up with ADHD and a high IQ. I also have Dyscalculia, which makes it hard for me to remember formulas or work with numbers, messes with my time sense, and makes it almost impossible for me to remember people's names. This made things difficult for me in high school and college as well, and is a large factor in why I ended up dropping out of college early. I just recently came back to finish my degree, which I just completed, and am moving onto grad school.

I think most of the tricks you're suggesting are unnecessary.

Colleges won't look at or care about your HS GPA, but they will want to see the grades from all your college courses. If you're applying to a school that wants to see a GPA, they are usually looking at the most recent 60 college credits rather than your lifetime GPA, but that will vary from college to college. Some schools have no GPA requirement at all, or only want to see the GPA that you get from the degree-granting school.

If you want to "undo" your old college grades, the only way to do that is to reach out to the college where you originally took them to see if you can retake those courses now and replace the grades. Some colleges allow this, some will not. Taking those courses at another school will not erase the old ones, you'll just end up with two separate GPAs since both transcripts are required either way.

If grad school is your goal, you really need to figure out what grad school you want to attend and focus on meeting the requirements of that school and degree program rather than waste time getting graded credits only to find out that they don't care, or that you need to have specific courses that you didn't take. Once you know what you need, then you can create a plan that focuses on that.
In Progress: Considering next steps
Up Next: Perhaps an MSCS or a DBA/DM/Ph.D.

Complete:
MBA in IT Management, 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA in Computer Information Systems, 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM in Computer Science, 2019, Thomas Edison State University

B&M CC: 8.68cr, TESU: 3cr, CLEP/DSST: 15cr, Study.com: 57cr, Straighterline: 19cr, ALEKS: 9cr, TEEX: 6cr, The Institutes: 2cr, Sophia: 2cr
(121.68 credits total. 95 credits earned in 10 months, with 45 of those earned in ~3 months)
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#7
Quote:Like you, I grew up with ADHD and a high IQ. I also have Dyscalculia, which makes it hard for me to remember formulas or work with numbers, messes with my time sense, and makes it almost impossible for me to remember people's names. This made things difficult for me in high school and college as well, and is a large factor in why I ended up dropping out of college early. I just recently came back to finish my degree, which I just completed, and am moving onto grad school.
Wow. We're a lot a like then. I was persistently unable to recall my basic math facts as a kid. Since I have an engineer's mind (and an engineer level IT job) I have always tried to treat my learning disability as an engineering problem. Even as a young kid I did crazy stuff to either try to improve my situation or gather data. I just kept telling myself, "your brain is a computer, or something very much like one. It was honed by billions of years of evolution under the watchful eye of God. Like any computer, it has rules you can exploit to make it do things it wasn't really intended to." 
As a consequence I read a great deal about CPU design (easier to come by than books on neuroscience in the pre-Internet days) and use that as a persistent metaphor to conceptualize my own problems.
A long story very short... Recently, I hit pay dirt. I had a long talk with a cognitive neuroscientist. He pointed me towards the book Moon Walking with Einstein. It covers a great number of mnemonic techniques. Some of which I had tried and others I had not. 
In my case I'm able now able to permanently encode my math facts using two techniques.
  • The peg system. This "pegs" every 0-99 integer to a specific image.
  • The loci method. Basically, ever "peg" has a specific location in a room that is nothing more than a mental construct.
The peg system by itself was insufficient for me to encode math tables. The loci method was insufficient, when paired only with numbers, as I would just get the right number pairs in the wrong order. This technique works as an emergent property of both systems taken together.

If this sort of technique interests you, checkout https://artofmemory.com/. I will warn you, these sorts of techniques have a learning curve. But, once you master them you'll be able to encode all kinds of information very rapidly.

You also might like to read:

Mathematics for Dyslexics and Dyscalculics by Chinn and Ashcroft. This book basically validated every observation I had ever made about my own disability. My math tutor (who has a PsyD and keeps begging me to get my IQ retested as an adult) just recommended to me Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnosis of Gifted Children and Adults by James T. Webb et al.

Quote:I think most of the tricks you're suggesting are unnecessary.

Colleges won't look at or care about your HS GPA, but they will want to see the grades from all your college courses. If you're applying to a school that wants to see a GPA, they are usually looking at the most recent 60 college credits rather than your lifetime GPA, but that will vary from college to college. 


Okay, well that's actually really helpful. So, what I might do then is:

  • Get my BS BA quickly for whatever good it will do my career in the short term. The primary purpose of this is to get past HR "filters" and get more job offers. I already do well, but I want this.
  • Get my first 60 credits in something else that I find interesting (psychology or sociology) using a similar approach. Do as you did and take the GPA approach for all of my final 60 credits on my way to a Masters and then a PhD.
  • Getting a PhD is a bucket list item for me, personally. 
I'm very fascinated with evolution's effect on psychology and sociology. How thought and language first evolved, proto religious behavior among animals and how it relates to nearly identical demonstrably religious behaviors of early man, etc. Those kinds of questions.
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#8
Always remember that a grad school application is a package. Your GPA is only one aspect of the package. They will also look at your experience in the field, your GRE score, your personal statement and your references. The way to go at this is to work backwards from the programs you would like to apply to. Find out what minimum GPA and prerequisites are required. That will help you figure out how many graded credits and which courses you might need.
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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#9
Quote:The way to go at this is to work backwards from the programs you would like to apply to. Find out what minimum GPA and prerequisites are required. That hello you figure out how many graded credits and which courses you might need.

This is also useful. Thanks.
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#10
(02-05-2019, 08:07 PM)retro Wrote: [*]Study for the SAT/LSAT as an adult, with the proper accommodations and aim very high.

SAT is for undergrad admissions, not grad school. LSAT is specific to law, but if law school is the goal a great LSAT can be your ticket even with a mediocre GPA (you'd be what's referred to as a "splitter")
Link to all credits earned: Link
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