Excelsior vs. TESC and COSC?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by dlcurious, Aug 23, 2005.

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  1. dlcurious

    dlcurious Member

    Good afternoon,

    I was wondering if anyone can provide input as to how their Excelsior BS degree was received in the job market, as well as when it came to pursing graduate studies. Also, putting the fact that they're all regionally accredited aside, how does Excelsior compare to TESC and COSC in terms of credibility?

    Thanks,
    dlcurious
     
  2. As an Excelsior grad who is now doing my MBA with Indiana University, I see no difference between Excelsior, COSC and TESC, with one possible exception - if you live in NY, CT or NJ the local option may be better (or worse) received than the others.

    It's what you do with your degree, not the degree itself that really matters.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  3. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Some people hate Excelsior's name.

    Some people dislike the fact that, at COSC, one's degree is in "General Studies," no matter what; and that any sort of "major" or specialization is called a "concentration."

    All three have been lambasted at one time or another for poor customer service/support... though, generally, all three are okay in that area.

    There are people in the world who, despite these institutions' regional accreditation, think of them as being places where all one must do to get a degree is have a pulse... which is ridiculous, of course, but the allegation has been leveled.

    Excelsior's exams -- the ones where you can test-out of courses by taking them -- are generally considered on-par with CLEP and/or DANTES exams and, in fact, there are some exams that Excelsior believes are so superior to the CLEP and/or DANTES equivalent that Excelsior no longer accepts CLEP and/or DANTES exam credit for the particular exams which Excelsior believes theirs is superior. The English Comp general ed exams, as I recall, are an example of this. Many regionally-accredited institutions will accept Excelsior exam results just the same as they accept CLEP and DANTES.

    Look... they don't call them "the big three" in DL and degree completion for nothing. They're all good. There are those here who will tell you that one is better than another for certain specific reasons and/or in certain specific ways... and they may be right about that one thing. But, generally, you wouldn't be shooting yourself in the foot to go with any of the three of them. Fear not.

    EDIT: Off topic... when I first typed, above, the sentence, "Many regionally-accredited institutions will accept Excelsior exam results just the same as they accept CLEP and DANTES," I first typed the word "except" at the first occurance of what should have been the word "accept," and then on the second occurance, I typed the correct word "accept." Obviously, I know it's "accept" and not "except"; and I clearly got it right the second time in the sentence. Of course I edited and correct it. But I wonder what kind of brain wiring or mental process would even allow me to make such a mistake. How odd. But I'm digressing again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2005
  4. 3$bill

    3$bill New Member

    When I heard from my alma mater that she was changing her name to "Excelsior," what popped into my head was James Thurber's illustrations of Longfellow's poem of the same title.

    They can be found at

    http://www.flicklives.com/Glossary/Excelsior/excelsior.htm
     
  5. anthonym

    anthonym New Member

    My degree is from Excelsior, but I have dealt with each of the Big Three. Here's a quick way to separate the three:

    1. Excelsior is great if you have most of the credits you need to graduate before you enroll and you do not need Title IV financial aid (student loands, pell grants etc.). It is also convenient if you plan to test out of much of your coursework.

    2. Thomas Edison is fine if you're starting from scratch and want to take a traditional course load over a four year period and need financial aid. The school offers a reasonable flat rate annual fee that includes 36 semester hours of credit and covers most other fees. There is also a large selection of courses. In short, it offers a selection of majors and courses you might find at your average brick and mortar school.

    3. Charter Oak is the easiest to communicate with and better at managing your paperwork. They also offer financial aid. At the same time, they do not offer as many classes as Thomas Edison and their webpage states that all their degrees are in general studies with concentrations. They also require a degree plan essay.

    There's really no way to show that one of the three is the best. It's a matter of determining which is best suited to your particular situation.
     
  6. Great summary. My only advice to people is to stop worrying about it, because the sooner you start, the sooner you finish. There are people who have pondered and wavered for years - and are no closer to finishing their degree. Others have quietly made their decision and have either finished or made significant progress...
     
  7. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Boy, is that ever true... and good advice, too.
     
  8. marcuscarey

    marcuscarey New Member

    Use them as a stepping stone

    I used my Excelsior degree as a stepping stone for getting a Master of Science. You can test out through Excelsior College and get into many grad schools. It hasn't hurt me yet. It seems like most "Big Three" grads on here pursued higher degrees.

    Good luck!
     
  9. mattchand

    mattchand Member

    Funny...Hopefully there's no truth to the rumor that Excelsior was going to change the school motto to, "Excelsior! You Fathead!"

    Matt
     
  10. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Use them as a stepping stone

    Excellent point. I went on to get my MS from TUI after my BS from COSC. I was also accepted into California State University - DH grad program for Humanities.
     
  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Some people dislike the fact that, at COSC, one's degree is in "General Studies," no matter what; and that any sort of "major" or specialization is called a "concentration."

    That's true. Personally, however, since my concentration was 36 credit-hours, I don't have a problem identifying my degree with Information Systems. I just don't refer to it as being "in" Information Systems. My sig is basically how I do it on my CV.

    All three have been lambasted at one time or another for poor customer service/support... though, generally, all three are okay in that area.

    I think to be fair one must say that in general while each has its supporters and detractors that Charter Oak has by far the best reputation for customer service.

    Excelsior's exams -- the ones where you can test-out of courses by taking them -- are generally considered on-par with CLEP and/or DANTES exams

    To elaborate, there are some Excelsior exams which are accepted as upper-division, but no CLEP or (I believe) DANTES exams are. They're also more expensive.

    and, in fact, there are some exams that Excelsior believes are so superior to the CLEP and/or DANTES equivalent that Excelsior no longer accepts CLEP and/or DANTES exam credit for the particular exams which Excelsior believes theirs is superior. The English Comp general ed exams, as I recall, are an example of this.

    Perhaps, although another analysis is that Excelsior wants to steer people away from competing examinations.

    Look... they don't call them "the big three" in DL and degree completion for nothing.

    Well, they're the Big 3 in degrees by assessment, which isn't quite the same thing as either distance learning (where either Phoenix or UMUC dwarf all three combined) or even degree completion, although in my case COSC was by far the fastest degree I could get. And the cheapest.

    They're all good. There are those here who will tell you that one is better than another for certain specific reasons and/or in certain specific ways... and they may be right about that one thing. But, generally, you wouldn't be shooting yourself in the foot to go with any of the three of them. Fear not.

    While I quibbled a lot on much of what Gregg said, I think this was his overall point and here we agree 100%.

    -=Steve=-
     
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Steve:
    "but no CLEP or (I believe) DANTES exams are."

    Several Dantes are upper. While all are about equal one thing I find curious is the difference beteen COSC and TESC discussion board. Almost no messages at COSC while TESC is filled with questions and complaints.

    I wouldn't hesitate to try any of them if it met your needs.

    Dan
     
  13. 3$bill

    3$bill New Member

    Letters of reference for Big 3 students

    Steve,

    You posted something about your positive experience with letters of reference on another thread:

    http://forums.degreeinfo.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=20927

    In general, how have Big 3 grads dealt with letters of reference if they got their degrees mainly through testing out or courses taken long ago? I would think these might be crucial in some cases where graduate schools or employers need a little reassurance.

    After I got my BA, a friend suggested taking graduate courses at (the real) Trinity College, Hartford, which had a program that accommodated teachers upgrading their certification credentials. References were not an admissions issue, and it worked out very well for me. I took some courses, got to know some teachers, accumulated some recommendations, and went on from there.

    Are there other, more efficient or cheaper, ways for graduates to deal with this problem if they want to go directly to grad school from, say, one of the Big Three? Or would it be worth their while to pony up for a few courses at these schools just for the sake of the references?

    Bill
     

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