Athabasca U - BGS (Guinea Pigs Wanted)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AsianStew, Jul 18, 2023.

  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    So you have an RA associates degree, or some foreign credits, and looking to ladder that up to the Bachelors level as a 'check the box' for future education, employment, or other personal reasons such as immigration. Athabasca U has a 3 year BGS (General Studies) that will take RA/foreign credits (evaluated by NACES members USA, ACES members Canada). Total costs: $129 Application fee + $127 Evaluation fee (plus transcripts/foreign evaluation)

    English writing skills requirement
    Students must meet the following English writing skills requirement:

    hold credit in ENGL 255 (Students are strongly encouraged to register in ENGL 255 early in their program.);
    or have a grade of B- (70 per cent) or better in an Athabasca University English course above the preparatory (100) level;
    or receive credit for an English course in which a grade of B- or better was achieved.

    Minimum credits required
    Credits in the area of designation 45
    Senior (300 or 400) level credits in the area of designation 30
    Total senior-level credits (including above 30) 45

    Humanities area of study* 6
    Social Science area of study 6
    Science area of study 6
    *The 100-level ENGL courses will not satisfy the Humanities area of study requirement in this program.
    These courses may, however, count as part of the total number of credits required for the degree.

    Maximum credits allowed
    At the preparatory (100) level 6
    At the junior (200) level in any one discipline 15

    Arts and Science designation
    To satisfy the 90-credit requirement to complete the BGS degree, students must complete 45 credits in courses with an Arts (Humanities and/or Social Science) or Science designation (30 of these credits must be taken at the senior (300 or 400) level). Refer to Minimum Credits Required above.

    Applied Studies designation
    The Applied Studies designation includes courses in Business and Administrative Studies. Transfer courses in engineering, education, physical education, etc. are also applicable to the Applied Studies designation.

    To satisfy the 90-credit requirement to complete the BGS degree, students must complete 45 credits in courses with an Applied Studies designation (30 of these credits must be taken at the senior (300 or 400) level). Refer to Minimum Credits Required above.

    Students in the Applied Studies designation in the Bachelor of General Studies degree must also complete ADMN 233 or ENGL 255. ADMN 233 will partially satisfy the Applied Studies area of study requirement in this program.

    Bachelor of General Studies (3 year):
    Social Sciences:
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  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    This 3-year degree has been a "product of Athabasca" for a lot of its 50+ year history. I believe it is the only degree the school offers that does not require any courses to be taken at Athabasca, assuming that a student has acceptable alternate credits for some courses that satisfy the university's specific requirements - e.g. ENGL255. Somebody told me in a forum some years ago that there was a requirement that had to be taken at Athabasca - but I don't see it now, unless it's ADMN233, required in the "applied" stream. (And I don't think it is - but that's me.)

    If you have a 3-year BA, schools may be VERY picky about admitting you to a Master's - they'll require courses at 4th year level, and / or probationary admission or what-not. British and European schools will be less picky as their bachelor's programs are usually 3 years. Using the degree for US employment isn't a slam-dunk. Some Americans - employers and others - feel that a 3 year bachelor's um... isn't.

    All in all, Athabasca has the reputation of being a good, but expensive school. I found the following explanation somewhere on the net - I think a Quora discussion. It was explained as follows.

    "Students outside of the province of Alberta do pay more for tuition. Unfortunately, current government funding models only provide funding for students within the province..which means AU only gets funding for Alberta students, which is only about 30% of their student population."

    @Dustin is an Athabasca alumnus. Maybe he has something to add - or a couple of dozen corrections, possibly.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2023
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  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I should have said "...isn't QUITE a slam dunk, despite its RA Status. Lot of suspicion of 3 year degrees in a country where the standard is 4 years. Ingrained. "Yessiree, it's accredited - as a THREE year degree. It needs to be FOUR, like I had, and my son Jimmy-Joe, etc."
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's true. For grad school, this would be a real hurdle.

    At least in the private sector, 90%+ of employers won't have the faintest idea. "Canada? [shrug] Must be good."
  5. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    My Athabasca degree has not gotten a second look (in a negative way) in my time in the US. It's seen as a Canadian Bachelor's degree without a second thought.

    The Athabasca courses are very well laid out. You have access to the whole course on day 1, and courses are laid out identically (e.g. each week involves Learning Outcomes, Reading, Lecture, Key Terms, Assignments, etc.) so that you can understand what's expected of you in every course once you've done one. I really enjoyed my time there. I did the degree completion program and earned a Bachelor of Professional Arts.

    Edit: I transferred my 2-year diploma for 60 credits, plus some credits from my terrible semester at Trent and my Durham College certificate in Business Fundamentals, so I ended up needing to take 15 courses to get my Bachelor's. $694 x 15 = $10,410.

    At that time, my tuition as an Ontario student was $694 per course, and I was exempt from future price increases, except for my final courses which I completed after I moved to the US.

    Right now an Ontario student would pay $1016.25 per 3-credit course, while an international student would pay nearly double that, an eye-watering $1979.25 per 3-credit course. I know Athabasca was close to insolvency a few years ago so the price increases were necessary but it is frustrating that the funding model can't be fixed to provide Athabasca money for those students studying in other provinces.
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Similarly ridiculous pricing is why I didn't consider their EdD in Distance Learning.

    I mean, you can do a Bachelor's degree stem to stern through Southern Utah University for nine grand. At this point I'd say any program that costs more than that needs to justify why.
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