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Union Members: Free Associate's Degree
#31
(10-14-2019, 11:18 AM)wow Wrote:
Quote:dharmastudios
(09-20-2019, 03:12 PM)wow Wrote:
(09-20-2019, 01:16 PM)dharmastudios Wrote: Checking up on this again - me and my husband are union members, and he's looking to get a business degree. What is the class structure like?

...

I'm hoping to start my first class Oct. 14 if my local OKs it, so I can let you know more then.

Definately please do, my husband is looking to start this, if it's as good as it says, in January. I was trying to get him to jump in to the October classes, but he's got a lot going on right now and doesn't think he's got the focus to do it. I'm wondering if it means you're taking 3 classes at a time, compacted into 8 week spans. If so, that's not so bad, that's what ECPI does, which is where I'm attending now. They do 2 at a time, in 5 week compacted courses. I haven't had an issue, and love the flexible arrangement. Let me know how intensive it is, I'll look back with you in a few weeks. Hope it goes well for you!



Just started my first day of classes. I am taking Earth Science and Statistics (Math128), as well as the one-credit "succeeding in college" course that's required of all students. These are all 8-week courses; EGCC also offers 16-week courses that go at the regular semester pace. Most of the 8 week courses are 3-4 credits, so you are basically doing two weeks of work (from a normal semester) each week.

You can take several classes at once, or just one class at a time. You can also take semesters off if you need to under the Free College benefit. They really aren't picky.

My Earth Science class looks like it will consist of weekly readings from a free online textbook, lecture slides by the prof (without an audio lecture ... all the text is in the slides themselves), online discussions, online labs (which I'm happy about, especially after my advisor told me none of the science classes have labs), some writing assignments and some quizzes.
Statistics is just reading assignments from the free online OpenStax Statistics textbook (or you can buy a hardcopy for about $30) and then problem sets, as far as I can tell, with some discussions and tests down the line. So I imagine this one will be harder if the textbook isn't clear—sort of like taking math courses from Saylor.org. I may be leaning on videos from Khan Academy or Statistics courses on EdX (they have some that are very friendly toward folks who don't do a lot of math) to supplement.
In the orientation video for the online learning software, Psychology 101 is used as the example course. That course includes videos among the learning resources, so it looks like teaching methods vary a lot among classes.
The profs *are* available to answer questions by email. Some may also make themselves available by phone. No lecture or set office hours are scheduled during the week—you have to make sure to schedule your study time yourself.

So I would say these classes probably work best if the student is self-motivated and good at scheduling. Depending on the course, they aren't ideal for auditory learners. At least for my courses, most of the learning material is written.

I should add that EGCC has some good online tutoring resources, especially in math.


This format / structure feels like the "Every Community College" approach to distance learning. Love it or hate it - it's the norm. But, the price is right Wink
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#32
if they extend it to anything else, I might jump in and pick up another degree to add to my slowly forming collection. For right now, though, i don't want a business degree. Might look at that information systems a bit heavier though.
-----
Testing through BA In Mathematics via TESU - Graduation planned in 2020
Attending ECPI Online for Mechanical Engineering Technology - Bachelors - Graduation planned in 2020
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#33
I have finished by first 8-week term at EGCC through the free college program, so thought I'd post about it here.

I took Earth Science (4 credits), Succeeding in College (1 credit), and Statistics (3 credits).

Earth Science was really fun. There were no lectures, but the professor (Kuzma) was very responsive to questions and posted powerpoint slides for each unit that were helpful in studying. Some of the topics had videos to watch, others were heavy on readings. We had some virtual labs—not every week, but maybe about half of the units. The course was much more writing intensive than I would have expected in an intro science course. It was a semester in 8 weeks, two units per week, and some units had two short essays (250 words) and a longer one (500 words), which meant 5 papers some weeks. Plus there were one or two discussion questions to answer on the online class board. I made a study buddy in the class, which probably made the experience more enjoyable.

Statistics had very little interaction. No lectures or slides from the professor, just the textbook readings and some YouTube videos that gave walkthroughs on how to solve certain problems using Excel spreadsheets. These were nuts-and-bolts rather than focused on explaining concepts, so when I didn't understand the concepts from the readings, I turned to Khan Academy tutorials and that helped. The professor was responsive to emails, and EGCC has an online tutoring service I used a couple times.

Succeeding in College was like it says on the tin. Some of the assignments were annoying since I've already been in college, but the course also offered a lot of practical information like how to access the EGCC online library, so I would recommend taking it in your first term. It will help you with your other classes—without Succeeding in College, I might not have known how to access the tutoring services that I ended up needing in Statistics, for example.

EGCC doesn't give you any way to pick your professor, but from what I understand, the syllabus and course materials for any give course are almost identical regardless of the professor.

I am in the Associate of Arts degree plan, but some unions will pay for an Associate of Independent Studies degree, where you can earn credit for work and non-traditional educational experiences. To qualify for this, you need to do a special application after you've been accepted into EGCC, and you cannot have previously earned any type of college degree (associates, bachelors, etc). The AIS is geared toward people who need to get a college degree to keep their job or qualify for promotions/raises.

If you are doing the Free College program to earn your AA and transfer to a 4-year college, be aware that EGCC does not offer lab credit for any of its online science courses. Even with the 4-credit courses, all credits are counted as lecture, NOT 3 lecture/1 lab. So you may need to take a lab course after you transfer or try another option for economically priced lab courses, like NMJC or study.com.

This next semester I'll be taking Evolutionary Biology and Pathophysiology. I haven't seen the syllabuses yet, but I'm crossing my fingers that they will be fun.
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