Charter Oak vs. Thomas Edison State College

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by sillyluc, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. sillyluc

    sillyluc New Member

    Can anyone give me a run down on the differences? I have been comparing the two sites and they both look pretty much the same. I'm having a little trouble figuring out the costs, though, too. It looks like a part time degree though TESC is about 5K. I see Charter Oak is 375ish per class (or credit hour? I can't figure that out). Any other differences? I started the application process to Charter Oak, but maybe TESC is better?

    I have an AA in Psychology from my local community college and am currently a psych major at my local 4 year college. I have been thinking of changing my major to Organizational Leadership, which sounds really appealing to me as well. Is one program at one of these two colleges better than the other?

  2. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I have to think that TESC is the better choice because it has more specific degree programs. You can earn a BA in Psychology or Organizational Leadership at TESC. COSC has concentrations, not majors, so you degree is one in general studies or something similar. This may or may not matter to you but it might be easier to sell to a prospective graduate school or employer.
    There is a lot of information online on degree completion at these two schools. Do a google search and you will find forums dedicated to these two schools.
    Start the app process at TESC and get a degree eval. The nice thing about TESC's site is that once your initial eval is completed, you can do your own online just by choosing the degree in question from a drop down. So you can determine immediately where you stand on completing a degree in general business, for example. Its a really nice feature and was one of my favorite things to do when I was bored ;)
    "Let me see how close I am to a degree in biology" for example.

    I am a graduate of TESC's BSBA Computer Information Systems and am currently completing a second bachelors in Natural Science/Math. I'll finish up Friday night with my last exam.

    I have taken CLEP, DSST, ALEKs, StraighterLine, Penn Foster, Microsoft and CompTIA certification, existing university credit, TESC TECEP tests, a Learning Tree course provided at my employer 10 years ago, and some online TESC courses to get the credits necessary to complete these degrees.
  3. sillyluc

    sillyluc New Member

    I didn't think about degrees vs. concentrations. Hm. I did a quick google search and came up with some stuff. It seemed to be old information and I didn't see anything more current than 2006. But I haven't had a chance to spend a lot of time searching, though.
  4. 03310151

    03310151 Active Member

    If you get a BA degree from TESC, it will not list your concentration/major on your diploma. It will only state major/concentration on your transcript. I'm not sure about TESC 's other degrees like the BSBA or technical degrees, just for the BA. Some people really want the major listed on the diploma.

    I've never attended COSC so I'm not sure how they do things. Randell graduated from COSC perhaps he can provide feedback on how they handle their major/concentraion areas.
  5. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    My take on the 'concentration' v 'major' is that this is sooooo overblown. My daughter earned an AA in General Studiesat COSC using CLEP/DSST and some CC courses. Her transfer university, Southern Virginia University didn't care that she had a General Studies degree; and she was awarded one of the most prestigious scholarships to the University.

    My advice is that you need to apply to both TESC and COSC, get an official evaluation of credits, and then decide how you want to approach earning the Bachelor's Degree (i.e. online classes at either school, CLEP/DSST, etc.)

    Good luck!

  6. sillyluc

    sillyluc New Member

    My AA says "Associate in Arts degree with a major in liberal arts and a specialization in psychology". I haven't had a job in ten years (I've been a Stay at home mom) so maybe I'm out of the loop. Does the wording on the degree matter to anyone more than myself? Do people look at it?
  7. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    TESC doesn't require a capstone course, which could decrease your overall costs. They also allow you to complete multiple degrees in one enrollment period, which means that, for people like me who aim for two degrees, it is significantly less expensive to get two Bachelor's degrees from TESC than it is to get two Bachelor's degrees from COSC.

    Another difference is that COSC still accepts GRE scores for credit. In fact, if you are a diligent student, you can study for multiple GREs to quickly and inexpensively finish a COSC degree.

    Lastly, I have heard that the customer service with COSC is much better than TESC, for whatever that is worth. So far, I have had no issues with TESC, but many others seem to have some horror stories.

    In the end, there is no "bad" choice between the two. If either one of them will suit your need, then it all comes down to what you prefer.
  8. sillyluc

    sillyluc New Member

    Ahhh... good advice. Thank you! :)
  9. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    It shouldn't matter, really. I think it's one of those things that students are more paranoid about than they need to be. I wondered the same thing a while back and started a few threads on the subject, but so far I have not come across a single situation where it would make a difference (of course, there may exist one, but I am still ignorant of it even after wondering about it for quite some time). If the wording is very awkward, like yours or mine ("Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts") it's always possible to list it on your resume in such a way that is both accurate and makes it look neat.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2011
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I'm another Charter Oak graduate, and I'm on the Board of the Alumni Association. I earned my BS studying Information Systems, and this has never been an issue for me, not once. I don't even know why people bring it up. I suppose since we spend so much effort learning what we're supposed to do to earn a degree that we figure everyone else will care about the nuances too, at least a little. But the truth seems to be that employers won't even look at it beyond checking the box that you have a Bachelor's degree, and even graduate schools will usually be more concerned about your GPA than anything else. (For example, I got into George Washington University for my MA.)

    As far as actual differences between the two, Charter Oak has earned a reputation for excellent customer service, you'll get useful complete responses from the time you first inquire through your whole experience with them. TESC's reputation here is not as good. However, I believe that TESC will allow more credit from two-year schools to be applied to a four-year degree, so if you already have a lot of credit from community colleges, that could be a reason to prefer them. I think that TESC has a more seamless process for accepting FEMA credits, if you plan to use those. But Charter Oak is the last of the assessment colleges that will award credit for GRE Subject Exams, and that can be a lot of credit. So it all depends on your exact situation.
  11. sillyluc

    sillyluc New Member

    Thanks. I intuitively felt that the exact wording on the degree wouldn't really matter. It was the same way with my grades. I was magna cum laude on my AA degree but my grades didn't actually transfer to the 4 yr college, only the degree, and not the status I graduated with that degree. So I figured it was the same with my degree wording as well.

    I don't know what GRE credits are, so I will have to look that up. I do wish my degree would transfer to TESC or Charter Oak like it did to the college I am currently attending. But both colleges only transfer credits only. It's a pain, but not enough that I would consider not attending.

    I would love to get two degrees (perhaps in Psych and Organizational Leadership) but I don't see that happening. I am mainly switching to an online college because I feel I am wasting time driving back and forth to the college and I can spend that time studying and helping my children in their own schooling. I am short on time as it is. But two degrees.... now I wonder.... heh
  12. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Looks like all the information has been shared. I enjoyed COSC and the customer service was top-notch. I called so many times they recognized my voice and answered every question in detail regarding what credits will work where...any that was before I enrolled, filled out the application, or gave them a nickel! TESC, while it has it's advantages, always seemed to act like they were doing me a favor when they answered the phone.

    I never really cared about the concentration/major difference. I earned a BS in Individualized Studies and it is noted on the transcript. With my BS I was accepted to CSU-DH graduate program (humanities), UF's certificate program (healthcate risk management) and later the graduate program (MS in Pharmacy/Risk Management), and UWF graduate program (MSA). No one really cared when my major or concentration was as long as I met the pre-req's for the program.
  13. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    I disagree about the customer service at TESC and have no idea what people expect from customer service at a college to begin with. I have never had any issues getting someone on the phone or an email back quickly. Anyway, a plus for TESC is that they are a New Jersey State school but I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Pick the one that is the least expensive to get you to your goal.
  14. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    It is very common to only list the degree on the diploma. For example, I graduated from Bellevue University with a major in Behavioral Science. My diploma only states Bachelor of Science. My transcript lists my major.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2011
  15. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    I believe that the situation is different with associate degrees vs. bachelor degree. It's quite common to have a general associates degree (e.g. liberal arts, general studies, etc.), whereas with a bachelors degree, people may look at you funny when you tell them your major is in liberal arts. Of course, this won't always be the case, and many people (including prospective employers) won't care if your major is in liberal arts or underwater basket weaving, as long as you can check the degree box.
  16. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist


    While I agree that having a concentration rather than a major will not be a factor when applying to many graduate programs, in some cases it will be a make or break situation. For example, competitive graduate programs in psychology, where having an undergraduate degree with a major in the same discipline is an absolute requirement.
  17. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    This is a change made at some point within the past few years, but the Charter Oak website now frequently uses the usage "Concentration (major)."
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That's good, although others have reported that's not always their experience at TESC. I think it's a reasonable expectation for distance learning students because we're not in a position to go to someone's office and make sure we get what we need from them if they're unresponsive.

    Charter Oak is a Connecticut state school, so they have the same advantage there. I agree, though, it's reasonable to go for the least expensive and/or fastest route to completion.
  19. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    So far, TESC have answered all of my questions quickly and once even sent me a smiley face :)
  20. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    Wow! Really? In that case, where do I sign up?! :)

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