HOUSEKEEPING The core of the material in these articles I originally posted in AED in 1997, 1998 and 1999. Access to archives is now confined to the last few months historical data. I get a limited but regular trickle of requests for the original articles. This partially revised and expanded version will permit those interested, to access the posts directly and not have to wait for me to remember to gather and email 'em. Note that prices have gone up since the articles were first posted or last revised. I've gone through the texts and made adjustments where discrepancies caught my eye. It was not an exhaustive search and a few numbers may still be off a bit. Shouldn't be by too much though. I have had complaints that embedded www hot links are causing whole posts to become filled with html code junk, so I've removed all hot links to documents and referenced sites. I had complaints that parts of long posts were completely missing in the archive, so I've tried to keep individual posts as brief as possible. I had complaints that posts dealing with this subject were mot well identified in the title and were not easily retrievable in the archive. I've tried to rectify that problem by re-titling. I've had complaints that achieving a degree by this method is next to impossible without monumental effort, and is only for the gifted few. I've added more of my exam history, including grades and final degree GPAs, to help demonstrate that indolent slackers and the mediocre (like moi), can do this too. At the urging of some readers, I've added a copyright notice and a legal disclaimer to the bottom of the introduction. Lawrie Miller April 2001 HOW TO EARN AN ACCREDITED BS IN GENERAL BUSINESS IN UNDER A MONTH (BA in 4 weeks series) A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS - INTRODUCTION This series is primarily written to benefit mature adults who, for whatever reason, failed to start or failed to complete an undergraduate BA or BS degree, and who now seek some method of demonstrating and translating current competencies into academic credit and thence into an accredited, and widely recognized college degree. The series of posts collectively provide a road map detailing the nuts and bolts of the process of gathering credit by examination and converting the credit into a bachelor's diploma, and why it is that you, the motivated intelligent student will likely succeed in that endeavor. You may have spent the past ten or twenty years providing for and caring for your family, or have subordinated your academic ambitions to finance or otherwise help support those of your spouse or partner. You may have blown an earlier chance on a mis-spent youth and have long regretted the consequences. Whatever the reason, one way or another you probably feel you have paid your dues and that now it's your turn again. The title of the series is "BA in 4 weeks". Four weeks is the practical minimum amount of time in which this process can reasonably be completed. The process includes the completion of all degree credit requirements. There will probably be an additional delay while administrative gears whir and turn, before the actual degree diploma is cranked out. It's estimated that 15% to 20% of motivated adults could complete the process in under a month if inclined to do so. I think it entirely likely that fully 60% of motivated adults taking on this project, could complete degree requirements within six months. I am as sure as I can be that close to 90% of motivated adults could complete degree requirements within a year. My opinion is based on the practical experience of having earned two bachelor's degrees largely by examination, encompassing forty proficiency exams for a total of 190 semester hours credit. I note that 92.6% of all credit hours appearing in my Regents/Excelsior college transcripts were awarded for passing proficiency exams. The 15% to 20% passing in four weeks is not an estimate plucked out of the air. Although I sat eleven exams with no study, that was only because I was looking for a score in every exam, above the 90th percentile. Had I required a bare pass, I could have passed over thirty of the exams with no study. This is not because I am a remarkable human being, as much as I'd like that to be the case. It is because these exams are "normed" relative to the performance of a population of young college students. It is my experience that many a mature, motivated adult, who sets himself the task of completing these exams, can constantly outperform his younger brethren by quite a margin. The 15% to 20% of students who can consistently score "A"s in these exams or score in the top 20% of all students, can likely pass most of the same exams (within the top 50%) with no study at all. This is not because the exams are a sham, but because these adults have accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the course of a lifetime that has direct application in these tests. If you have less knowledge coming into the process, it will take you longer to complete it. How much longer depends on your existing knowledge base, how efficiently you study, and your native wit. I think it a slam-dunk that fully 60% of adult learners could successfully negotiate this process in six months if they chose to do so. 90% of mature, motivated learners could do it within a year. Now clearly, if you spent your life reading Batman comics and watching "Days of our Lives", and were never intellectually curious, you're going to have a harder time of it. However, most reading this series, and intent on completing a degree, are self selecting for success. To read even this far demonstrates curiosity and motivation. This series isn't for everyone, but it IS for everyone who has the motivation to read it through to the end and implement the suggestions contained herein. There is nothing in the actions proposed in this series that I and others as average adult learners have not already proved doable, and that you, at least our equal, cannot do too. This series is not borne of theory and wishful thinking but of practical experience and demonstrable accomplishment. It is not a prospectus for the gifted elite, but a usable guide for ordinary men and women who dare to do something extraordinary. PORTFOLIO CREDIT It should be noted that examinations are not the only route to college credit. Portfolio assessment is one alternative. This method requires that you map some demonstrable skill to a college credit course. For instance, assembly language programming 301 and (say) microprocessor systems design and peripheral interfacing 457 (from XYZ university) course requirements might be met and competency demonstrated by presenting narrative, source code, and schematic, of a Z80 based single board computer *you* designed in the 1980s (liberal arts credit - engineering credit would be time limited). You may have written a killer budget report for financial year 1995/1996 that could be used in evidence to garner credit in the equivalent Financial Management course FIN3AXD at UCLA. Alternatively, you may just play the banjo like a banshee and have sniffed out a collegecredit course that maps to that demonstrable skill. The key point is that the competency for which you request credit must have a corollary in some accredited college course. You choose the course and the college. Very flexible. TRADITIONAL CREDIT The other main source of credit is via the traditional route of class, assignment, exam/assessment. Many if not most adult learners starting out on this journey will already have some credit, though it be decades old, upon which they can call. Note though, that for the purposes of this series we assume no prior credit. BE ECLECTIC It is likely that most people will earn their degree using credit earned in a variety of ways. The game here is not necessarily to earn all credit via examination, or by way of portfolio assessment, or even to do it all in a month. The trick is to make efficient use of your existing credit and native talent to achieve your goal. "BA in 4 weeks" seeks to provide a template that you can apply in whole or in part to your particular set of circumstances where and when you think it appropriate. COPYRIGHT The works comprising "BA in 4 Weeks", "Earn a 2nd BA in 3 hours", and "A BUSINESS DEGREE IN 4 WEEKS", are the copyright of Lawrie Miller 1997 - 2001 DISCLAIMER The advice and information contained in this series is not endorsed by any education institution or agency. The opinions expressed are those of the author alone. Information contained in this series should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as the sole source of information relating to its content. Additional sources of information may be listed herein. No warranty, either express or implied, is made with respect to the information contained herein. The author is not responsible for any loss, inconvenience, damage (whether special or consequential) or claims arising out of the use of the information contained on this series. You are encouraged to do your own research and obtain your information from as many sources as possible. No one source can provide you with all of the information you may need. Note: All references to colleges and universities are to regionally accredited institutions. "[A]ccredited" where it appears means regionally accredited.