Best path to AA at Big 3 then to BA/BS?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Countertenor, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    I'm looking for advice to help a friend. I personally had a traditional path to my AA, BAs and Master Degree at brick and mortar schools. I have a friend who has almost all of his credits for his AA and just isn't into finishing up at his brick and mortar school and is looking for an alternative. I've talked with him about just forgoing the AA and transferring somewhere else, whether locally, or online. He learns quickly and it seems to me that many of the various test out options would have been the better option than actually trying to sit in classes a semester/quarter at a time. I think they're just too slow for him.

    I know there are many degree plans laid out for a bachelor's degree but has anyone done a plan for an AA at TESU or the other 2 big three? I've asked him for a print out of his transcripts so I can compare them to their course distribution. I also know he's heavy in science and math and is wanting to go on to do a BA/BS is mathematics or related field, or would the best option simply be to have him apply at TESU, etc and see how things transfer and go from there. Knowing he only needs 2 or 3 classes to finish where he is, I wish he would just do that, but I feel like if he could gain the credits in an alternative format and then transfer them into TESU or other, he'd have a better chance of finish.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  2. Vicki

    Vicki Active Member

  3. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Seconding Pierpont. Aside from the cost of the courses, the Pierpont degree is 100% free.

    If he wants to get an Associate's and a Bachelor's from TESU at the exact same time (not one and then the other), there are a number of "free" add-on degrees that he could do. These are Associate degrees that don't have a capstone so that the only cost is the courses that make up the degree. The "free" options include AAS Criminal Justice (maybe), AS Business Administration, ASNSM Biology, ASNSM Comp Sci, and ASNSM Mathematics.

    If he wanted to get an Associate's degree from TESU (or any of the Big 3, really) first and then come back in a year or so for a Bachelor's degree, that's prohibitively expensive compared to just going straight for the Bachelor's degree. If he wants a BA Math, probably the cheapest way to go about that is through TESU. I've got a degree plan for that. Tell him to come here and get the information first hand. :)
    SteveFoerster and Countertenor like this.
  4. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    Thanks for the responses. Most appreciated.
  5. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Forgot to mention it but, assuming he doesn't already have 60 credits for the Pierpont degree, they readily accept courses for the BOG degree. Even for the core requirements.
  6. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    Thanks. He's on a quarter system and I believe he was like 2 classes from finishing, but has an excess of credits, so that's what I was really wondering. I think it may be two core requirements, and I think he would be more successful opting for courses or something like that. I think he should contact Pierpont and just go ahead and pay for them to assess his credits. He might be good to go already.
  7. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Hey everyone. If you came to see this thread within the last 15 minutes or so and couldn't find it, it's because I accidentally deleted it and had to dig through some menus to bring it back. Sorry for the inconvenience :emoji_confounded:
    Dustin likes this.
  8. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    I think the MA Math might be his best option, I think he's just been stuck on the idea that he needs to finish the AA (maybe just for closure or so he can say "hey look Mom, I finished." So doing the "ASNSM" as an add-on might be a good option. Also the Pierpont my be all he's looking to do at this point. He vacillates and has recently found a good paying remote job and may just want to stick with that and not finish out the BA.
  9. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    No problem.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Unless there is an articulation agreement between the two schools--the one awarding the AA and the one you're transferring to--you're likely subject to credit-by-credit determinations as to what is and is not transferrable.

    Unlike other degrees, the AA is really just a part of the bachelor's degree. It isn't a prerequisite for entering a bachelor's program, and holding one doesn't automatically enter you into a bachelor's at the junior--or 60-credit--level. It's part of why I tend to reject the AA's status as a "degree." It can be a stand-alone product, but not for matriculation purposes. (Again, unless there is an articulation agreement between the two schools to admit associate's holders as upperclassmen.)

    Finally, most schools will let you transfer up to 90 of the 120 credits typically required. Often, more than 60 transferrable credits can be obtained at community colleges, so why stop at the AA? Or, why wait for the AA? Just get as many credits as you can transfer, then go. The AA is really immaterial once you hold a bachelor's degree.
    Rachel83az and Maniac Craniac like this.
  11. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    Yes, to everything you've stated. I've been trying to explain that to him as well and I've been a college/uni instructor and he still seems to really want the AA, that's why I think it has more to do with being able to say he has something, making his reason more emotional than logical. So it would be great if he went with an option to just finish off the BA and forgo the AA but I'm pretty sure he's looking to be able to feel like he's finished something. I can give him the info but he's got to make the choice.
  12. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I can understand where he's coming from. I decided to get my AA, even though it's in Liberal Arts and was always going to be made moot by my BA. It served its purpose for a brief time and I was relieved to finally have a degree after sitting on stray credits for so many years. It was a really good feeling to be able to list something completed on the education section of my resume, and to be able to check that box off on applications and forms.

    I was way more excited when I finished the AA, which felt like a dream come true, than I did when I finished the BA. The BA felt great, but was more of a foregone conclusion. It will always have a special place in my heart, even though it no longer has any place at all on my resume.

    I disagree with Rich. An associate's degree is called an associate's degree because it is an associate's... (wait for it)... degree! That's just my opinion, though. And everyone else's :D
    SteveFoerster and Dustin like this.
  13. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Not everyone wants to go straight to the BA, many others like to take "baby steps" and ladder from one AA to a BA, it's more like an ego boost and momentum place holder... some people like little achievements and rewards on the way to the bigger finish. I also recommend the Pierpont BOG AAS, you can then decide on a COSC or UMPI Bachelors. You mainly need 30 RA credits for either institution. If you're going UMPI, you can take all the you can handle up to 90+ credits and take the final 30 through them, for COSC, you transfer in 24 RA credits, the remaining will be from ACE sources, and their cornerstone/capstone combo to finish.
    Rachel83az and Maniac Craniac like this.
  14. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    I think what you mention here is exactly where he it.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  15. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    Good information.
  16. Countertenor

    Countertenor New Member

    I just wanted to say thanks again for all your responses. This gives me some good info to pass along and maybe I can get him to get his own account to follow up with other questions he may have.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is technically a degree. But it fails as a degree in many different ways. First, it is the only degree that is actually part of another degree. The master's is sometimes part of a PhD, but it is much more widely known as a stand-alone graduate degree. Most schools make clear distinctions between master's-level and doctoral-level courses.

    Second, the associate's is superfluous for those pursuing the bachelor's. It is not an integral part of of the journey. One does not have to earn an associate's in order to earn a bachelor's. This is also true of some master's degrees within PhD programs, but we know how most PhD programs are separate from master's degrees.

    Third, the associate's is never a prerequisite for a higher degree. The master's almost always requires the bachelor's, and the master's is almost always the prerequisite degree to pursue a doctorate.

    Fourth, the associate's degree is almost uniquely American. It is almost completely unknown in the rest of the world of higher education.

    Finally, when someone "get's their degree," they're not normally talking about the associate's, and when we refer to someone as a "college graduate," we're also not talking about the associate's.

    Is it a degree? If it is, it is the IBM PCjr of degrees. I know. I have two of them.
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  18. smartdegree

    smartdegree Active Member

    Here in Ontario we call them "Diplomas". Those qualifications can stand on their own though. People can get good paying jobs with just a diploma, with some diploma programs being a pipeline to certain companies/industries. While many diploma grads transfer/upgrade to a bachelors, it isn't really expected. The community college diploma system is a win-win for everyone in Ontario as it provides people the education to start their careers (at low cost) and leaves more open spots/resources for people who actually want an academic (bachelors) qualification from a university.
  19. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I did my 2-year Social Service Worker (SSW, evaluated as equivalent to a US Associates by WES) and worked alongside numerous other SSW and similar diploma holders in southern-Ontario. Later I transferred to Athabasca University (AU) with my block credit. Our diplomas being more vocational is a plus to use them right away but a minus when it comes to transfer credit as AU was the only school to give me 60 credits. Most universities in Ontario would give me 30 credits. University of Toronto offered 9.
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  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    They're Associate degrees in B.C. and Alberta but not elsewhere in Canada. Associate degrees also found throughout the West Indies and in Australia. And they were first used in the UK, although there they now have Foundation degrees there (Associate degrees in all but name). It's simply untrue to suggest they're a U.S.-only phenomenon (although even if they were I would still find it odd to insist they're not degrees).
    Countertenor likes this.

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