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  1. #1
    Umberto is offline Registered User
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    Oh, where to begin? Please help.

    Hi all,

    *Forgive me in advance if this post is repetitive or seems uninformed.

    In short, I'm 27 and have been out of college for 6 years now. When in a bricks and mortar school, I essentially flunked out after freshman year for reasons I wish not to disclose. I have no credits to be transferred, so I am now starting from scratch.

    I've decided to "test out" for my degree. I'm anxious to have this done fairly soon, and I'm more than willing to dedicate myself completely. I've researched my options and the various tests I must take, but I find that because this is a bit new to me, it is all a little overwhelming and a tad confusing.

    My question(s): Where do I begin? Must I enroll/be accepted to a college before I take the Cleps, Dantes, etc? How will I know which exams to take? I have no preference for what the degree will be... I assume a BA or BS in liberal arts will be easiest. That would be great.

    Please help? Where do I begin?


    Thanks so much in advance. I genuinely appreciate your help.

  2. #2
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Hi all,

    *Forgive me in advance if this post is repetitive or seems uninformed.

    In short, I'm 27 and have been out of college for 6 years now. When in a bricks and mortar school, I essentially flunked out after freshman year for reasons I wish not to disclose. I have no credits to be transferred, so I am now starting from scratch.
    I started from scratch too, many people do.

    I've decided to "test out" for my degree. I'm anxious to have this done fairly soon, and I'm more than willing to dedicate myself completely. I've researched my options and the various tests I must take, but I find that because this is a bit new to me, it is all a little overwhelming and a tad confusing.

    My question(s): Where do I begin? Must I enroll/be accepted to a college before I take the Cleps, Dantes, etc? How will I know which exams to take? I have no preference for what the degree will be... I assume a BA or BS in liberal arts will be easiest. That would be great.
    Are you sure you have no preference? You can test out of 100% gen eds for any degree, and the "in major" requirements amount to 12 courses, there are no less than 2 test-out options up to almost 12 depending. In other words, you're not looking at a significantly longer process for one degree vs another when testing. True, there are some degrees which you'd have to consider alternative credit sources (be more creative) but I guess at the end of the day, I'd put any degree from any of the big 3 all within 6 months of each other time-wise. That said, I think you should at least narrow it down to a few that could help you personally or professionally. No offense, but the "any degree" position sounds uninvested to me.


    Please help? Where do I begin?
    You are here! Keep reading. Also, google instantcert forum for the "other" board <cough> that is a little more test-centric than this one. This one is more distance-learning centric :) Spend a month here, save 3 years.


    Thanks so much in advance. I genuinely appreciate your help.
    You're welcome. In my case, I tested out of my gen eds and free electives. I took my major as classes, and started with zero credits. I finished in under 2 years. I could have gone faster, but I homeschool 4 children, work part time and volunteer, so my time and $ was limited.
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  3. #3
    rebel100 is offline Registered User
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    It makes little sense to matriculate at any of the Big 3 until your nearly done (unless financial aid is an issue). Thomas Edison State College, Charter Oak State College, or Excelsior make up the "big 3 " and are friendly to testing out.

    You would be wise to start with lower level general education courses that match up to the CLEP and DSST exams. Go ahead and start taking those exams and knocking down credit.

    I think you should reconsider your degree path. Liberal Arts is perhaps the easiest to test out of, but starting from scratch you can direct your studies anywhere. A business degree or professional course of study might be just as easy for you. What do you hope to accomplish with the degree? Will a specific degree give you greater utility than a broad course of study? Can you afford to do it all right now? Do you need financial aid?

    LOL....Cook! You beat me to it! :)
    MBA at Western Governors University
    BS Charter Oak State College
    AS EMS Valencia Community College

  4. #4
    Umberto is offline Registered User
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    Thank you all so very much! Greatly appreciate your replies.

    Cook, first, congrats on finishing in under 2 years with so much on your plate. I think that's fantastic. I'm hoping to be done in a years time or so. And please do not misconstrue my post, I am (will be) as invested as they come, but I guess a slump in my career and the overwhelming reality of other personal failures has me anxious to "just get it over with". I guess I should have stated that I absolutely love art and psychology , and know quite a bit about both (particularly the former.) I'm not sure if Art History degrees are available this way, but I will continue to do my research.

    Rebel - financial aid would be great, as I can't afford to do this all, say, next week. I have to look up my options there! Sigh, I've got my work cut out for me, but I feel it will all be worth it. I'm excited. And if you don't mind my asking, did you obtain your BA/BS by testing out completely, too?

    I bookmarked the site you guys recommended (and the forum). Gonna snoop around, see what info I can gather.

  5. #5
    jam937 is offline Registered User
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    First, I would suggest you choose Thomas Edison or Excelsior as that's your fastest way to a degree. While you start on the next steps you can be researching what degree you want and a degree plan.

    I would do a bunch of the FEMA courses/exams to get electives out of the way. The FEMA courses and credits are FREE. Search this site and Google for more info on FEMA courses. These were easy. Download reading material, download test, search reading material for answers and submit answers. Open book, open internet and searchable reading material makes them easy. I did like 17 credits through FEMA.

    I suggest you sign up for an online study guide like InstantCert ($20/month) and start taking as many CLEP and DSST exams as you can. You are going to need humanities, science, math, general ed, etc. I was full time dedicated and taking 1-3 exams per week. With the InstantCert forums people post study guides, tell you what to study and tell you which ones are easiest. I took 7 CLEP and 8 DSST which is 45 credits in 3 months. Since an online study guide costs money I would keep doing these until you don't need any more then cancel study guide.

    Open an ACE transcript account. Its free until you need to send your transcript to your school.

    When you are ready for your math, I would use Aleks.com ($20/month). I did College Algebra in 10 days, Introduction to Statistics in 3 long days and a couple others. Again, do all the math you need, transfer credit to ACE and then cancel account.

    Lastly I would use Straighterline to fill in any general ed's left. It's $100 per month and then $39 per class. I took Business Communications which was easy and I finished in a week. Calculus II was tough and took me a month. I have taken several others there as well. Again, do what you need, transfer credit to ACE and then cancel account.

    I also took some Microsoft Certifications in my area of expertise to earn both the certs and credit. I passed the virtualization exam for $150 and got 2 upper level computer science credits. I have taken several more exams.

    I am now taking my last 4 classes at Thomas Edison. All in it will have taken me 11-12 months and around $10k to get a BA in Computer Science . Keep in mind that my times and number of courses were based on me being full time, dedicating every last second of every day so I probably went faster than most. But it can be done.


    I know this is a long post. Hope it helps

  6. #6
    Umberto is offline Registered User
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    Jam, you are a godsend! Thank you SO MUCH! Wow.

  7. #7
    Umberto is offline Registered User
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    Weird, I replied to Rebel and Cook's post earlier, but it doesn't show on here? Perhaps it's awaiting approval or something? Either way, guys don't think you have gone unappreciated. Thank you again so much. You've greatly helped.

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  9. #8
    rebel100 is offline Registered User
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    I would stick with TESC and COSC as the FEMA are free there....excelsior makes you run the credit through another school for credit. If your not using FEMA EC gets competative again.....are you a US citizen? FEMA are only available to US citizens.
    Last edited by rebel100; 03-28-2012 at 05:29 PM.
    MBA at Western Governors University
    BS Charter Oak State College
    AS EMS Valencia Community College

  10. #9
    Umberto is offline Registered User
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    Rebel, luckily for me, those were the two I was truly considering. From what I've read, people seem to have slightly better experiences at Charter Oak and TE. Weird that Excelsior makes you run the credit through another school. Oh well.

    I am a US citizen (born and raised in Wash, DC!), so all should be good. I'm ordering some study/prep materials this weekend... this is oddly exciting.

  11. #10
    Delta is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookderosa View Post
    I started from scratch too, many people do.
    Words of wisdom coming from a "Resident Chef" who cooks, prepares and creates things from scratch.......... including self!
    Last edited by Delta; 03-31-2012 at 09:43 AM.

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