Adults Earn Your Degree

Is a Degree in Your Future?

No matter your age, earning a college degree is an accomplishment that can open employment doors. Many adults have family or job responsibilities that make it impossible and unappealing to sit in a classroom. You might be a great candidate to earn your degree through self-paced studies. It’s an affordable and flexible that appeals to busy or working adults.

  • More than 100 areas of study
  • Completely online options, maximizing your time
  • Regionally Accredited: The most commonly accepted and national recognized accreditation
  • Work at your own pace: Whether 6 months or 6 years – your time and motivation determine your pace
  • Previously earned credits from regionally accredited colleges are accepted
  • Total Cost Est: $7,000 – $10,000* depending on degree choice

Step 1: Set your Course – Choose a degree and college from which to earn that degree from. Don’t randomly take credits without a goal and completion plan. Consider your options:

A). Your local community college. This is a good choice for 2-year vocational degrees. Depending on your degree choice, a majority of these courses will have to be taken on-campus. However, where you can, utilize Step 3.

B). Besides your local colleges, consider one of the three adult degree completion colleges: Thomas Edison State University, Excelsior College or Charter Oak State College.  These are sometimes referred to as the “Big 3”. Why?  They are all regionally accredited, have a limited residency requirement (the number of credits you must earn from them), and accept an unlimited number of CLEP and DSST Credits.  Which college is right for you?  Read about your choices … and from this site as well. These colleges often charge a substantial administrative fee to enroll. It is still cheaper than paying the per-credit cost at most other colleges. If you are completing your degree at one of the Big 3, it can be beneficial to wait until you are within a year a graduation to pay the annual enrollment fee so you only have to pay the annual enrollment fee once. Enrolling provides you access to their academic advisor to help choose courses to complete your remaining degree plan.

C). A fairly new (10 years in the making) type of college program is self-paced, online, competency-based. Check out your options through Western Governors University. Gone away is the standard 15-week class and per credit hour. Instead, students complete one class at a time, at their own pace, and pay an annual fee, no matter the number of courses they complete within that time. Another college to consider is Texas A & M – Commerce.

Step 2: If you already have a significant (20ish) number of college credits, even if they are from days gone by, have them evaluated by one of the Big 3, or a competency-based university. You might be surprised to find out that those credits earned 20 years ago may still be accepted.

Step 3: With degree plan in hand, start earning low cost credits by testing out. Focus on the subjects that you can knock out easily. Several websites are available specifically to help adults study for CLEP and DSST exams. The absolute best is InstantCert Users. Once you register, an online user forum will open up. There you will find valuable information to help with your studies. Another favorite is geared for adults as well. This site will help you identify the order you can take exams to maximize the overlap of content in subjects. For example, study psychology first, then sociology and human development are easy add-ons.

For those subjects that you need more than just a test, another low cost credit option are the self-paced courses available through StraighterLine. They have become a leader in affordable self-paced college courses.

Step 4: Once your general requirements are met, review other testing options that can meet upper-level requirements including DSST, ECE, TECEPs.

Step 5: Finish out your degree by completing courses through your degree college to meet all credit residential requirements.

A great read is Accelerated Distance Learning.  Gary North has also written an excellent 77-page document that will explain how to take advantage of these options in detail.

To your success,
Cheri

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