Help w/Undergraduate Degree Plan

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by threedogs, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    I've been mostly a lurker here for what seems like forever - and have been attending my local community college for that long. In fact, they're sort of kicking me out (used too many credits not applying to my degree).

    After two semesters of their mistakes preventing me from attending (I even changed my major from Liberal Arts to a Web Design Certificate - since I already had quite a few classes towards the cert. - that was a requirement of my appeal to take classes) I decided not to try to attend this school any more. Hurray, no more being too chicken to move on!!

    OK, I haven't used any of my fin aid this past yr, so I want to attend a summer session, if I can. So far, I'm applying to COSC and UMass Amherst's University Without Walls (this would be for the Fall session, tho). I live in MA, and UMass Amherst has a good rep - don't know about the UWW program. Also considering Excelsior - right now, it will all depend on which schools will accept my application fee waiver forms, as I have no money at all for applying.

    I'm disabled and just turned 57, so I'm not really career centered. Hoping to work on my talents, do what I love, and keep learning. Of course, I would also like to fit these classes that I've already taken into some sort of degree, but I'm stuck. I'll see what UMass says when I apply (if they even want me, lol), but I don't even know what major to put down on the COSC application. If I do COSC, I'd like to get through it asap, and go on to my Masters (have a few ideas for that, but I'm not there yet).

    Can't remember - is it OK to list my credits already earned on the forum? I'll list them if it's OK.

    I'm suffering from a bit of lack of sleep - brain isn't working too well right now. Trying to get all this done fast.. I have a weird combination of credits - hoping it can all fit into a degree (bachelors).
  2. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Go ahead and list them; we can then suggest degree options for you.
  3. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Thanks, Ian.

    3 credit classes:
    BUS 100 Intro to Business
    CMP 101 Composition 1
    CMP 104 Intro to Literature
    CMP 190 Creative Writing
    SPN 101 Elem Spanish I
    ALH 150 Dynamics of Health Care
    HUS 101 Human Service Worker
    HUS 501 Careers in Human Service
    IDS 154 Literature of the Holocaust
    CRJ 101 Intro to Criminal Justice
    CRJ 116 Computers in Criminal Justice
    PSY 102 Intro (GEN) Psych
    PSY 118 Human Growth Development
    PSY 206 Social Psychology
    SOC 106 Intro to Sociology
    SOC 126 Race, Gender & Class
    SSC 101 College Success Seminar
    CPS 100 Fundamentals of Computer Concepts
    CPS 140 HTML
    CPS 142 Web Graphics and Multimedia
    CPS 158 Dreamweaver
    CPS 174 Intro to Flash
    DAR 173 History of Am Cinema

    1 credit classes:
    PER 110 Career/Life Planning
    PER 120 Stress Management
    PER 132 Returning to School
    EDU 129 Writing Grant Proposals (Pima)
    4 classes = 4 credits

    Incomplete classes:
    3 credits each
    These grades were incompletes that have now turned
    to F's – in process of completing make-up work for grades.

    LIT 216 Literature of American People 2: Latin America
    GRA 130 Intro to Digital Photography
    CPS 148 XML
    CPS 160 Advanced Dreamweaver

    I was doing great until my pain level increased, along with financial problems, family, yadda yadda - you know, good ol' Murphy's law. I even got on the National Dean's List and was accepted to Phi Theta Kappa! Then my GPA took a nose dive...

    I appreciate any ideas. Boy, my brain is fried...

  4. threedogs

    threedogs New Member


    Ian Anderson emailed me w/some great ideas about Excelsior (thanks again, Ian), but wondering if anyone else has any more suggestions?

    I looked at the application at the UMass UWW program - they ask whether you've been on academic or financial aid probation (I went from being a straight A student to incompletes that turned to F's) - and took too many classes for my degree, so yeah, both applies to me. :( I might still apply, but that makes it all the more less likely I'd be able to attend. Excelsior looks better every day...

    Also - I need to enroll in order to get financial aid (most likely will take out a student loan to cover the cost of any testing I might choose to do). COSC told me that they would wait for their fees to come out of Financial Aid - plan to call Excelsior to see if they'll do the same (that would be a big deciding factor).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2010
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    It looks like you might be ready for a degree in Social Science- a concentration Charter Oak has.

    There is an interesting interdiciplinary-type major from University of Wyoming (VERY inexpensive). Just for clarification, the UofWy degree is interdiciplinary, but is not called "interdiciplinary" if that worries you, its a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science.

    If you are simply looking to get A degree, many members here have started off with Excelsior's Bachelor os Science in Liberal Studies, which is about the quickest most flexible degree you can find.

    One more thing, SUNY, Empire State College has a Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services (you can self-design your concentration), a degree of which it seems many of your credits would fall into.
  6. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    FYI, most 4-year colleges have a cap of how many community college credits they will accept (60 is the general rule).

    Also, I should have clarified why Social Science is good for you. Simple, really! Criminal Justice, Sociology and Psychology all are social sciences and you have a wealth of credit in these areas.
  7. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Cool! Thanks so much - I didn't even realize that.

    See - I had a plan all along while I was attending CC.

  8. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    I checked out the UofWy website - am I missing something? Seems they don't offer an online degree, and non-residents tuition is $376 (that's close to UMass tuition for residents here in MA, which would be much more recognized on my C.V., as I intend to stay in the area).

    I know. That's why I was excited to find the UMass UWW site - they accept up to 76 credits. But I've been put off because my record nose-dived, and I don't know if I'd get accepted. Still, nothing ventured, yadda yadda...

    My goal is to get my Bachelor's - if getting an Associate's along the way is feasible, then so-be-it, but I'm not going out of my way for it. That said - I'm also applying to Pima Community College. I lived in AZ for a couple of yrs & started out there - so I already have some credits w/them (usually colleges need a minimum amt of credits w/their school). Going to call today & see if they have received my transcripts - will be interesting to see how many more credit's I'd need for an A.A. (would be in General Studies, with me choosing a major).

    I've been looking at Empire State - but was a bit overwhelmed with the information. I will look into this degree more.

    Thanks so much for your extensive help - I love this site!!
  9. TechGolfer

    TechGolfer New Member

  10. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Social Science Degree - Outreach Credit Programs - Continuing education

    Tuition for online students is the same as in-state students, a bit less than $100/credit.

    They accept that many transfer credits, yes, but they still might limit you to 60 credits from a community college. Many schools will accept up to 90 credits, but with the same community college limit.
    It will cost money, but there are 3 schools that you can transfer your entire degree to: Thomas Edison State College, Charter Oak State College and Excelsior College. With your previous credits, I expect that you would only need to pay the enrollment and graduation fees to get an AA from them (it may be a few weeks while they evaluate your accademic history.)
    Yeah, I found it confusing too, but eventually figured out what it all meant.
  11. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Criminal justice is regarded as a professional course by many educational institutions.
  12. threedogs

    threedogs New Member


    I checked out the links directly to the University of Wyoming's outreach program. The cost is VERY attractive - as I understand it, looks like it's $94 plus $40 in fees for each credit. Seems to be the least expensive I've seen.

    Now my head's spinning...
  13. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I had the same feeling. It may be wise to take some time to sort it all out before the confusion leads you awry. It has been 7 months since I started my distance AA, and am only now close to sorting out how I will finish my BA (I have actually spent significantly more time researching degree programs than I have studying). This is actually good news- for both of us!!! It means that there are SO MANY options and opportunities out there that as long as the will is there, the way is there. Hopefully you are a lot more decisive than I am. :D
  14. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Let's see now - I started researching the Big Three when I was attending Pima Community College when I lived in AZ - that had to be before 2004 (that's when I moved back to MA). Decided to attend my local CC in MA in 2005. Big deciding factor? I could walk there. :)

    So I've been taking classes there since the fall of 2005 - and they are finally kicking me out because I've taken WAY too many classes (avoided the classes that scared me - Bio & Math - and the ones that I knew had too few decent instructors, if any - History) and still don't have enough credits for my degree there... stayed that long because I couldn't figure out where I should go...

    I only hope YOU are more decisive than I am!!

  15. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Haha. Well, at least you were racking up credits at the time. My first credits were obtained in 2002, and did not get a single credit for anything else until this past November. In fact, I haven't even done anything else since and STILL expect my AA by this summer :eek: You and I are on just about the same boat... including our interest in the social sciences (note my signature- I look to double major in Psych, Soc... at least I am sure about that, if anything!!!!) :D

    Keep us posted on what you decide!
  16. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    A double major is good. At least, that's what my daughter just told me (as in, "I should have done a double major in college"). She seems stuck in a job she hates...

    Well, I'll take your first credits that you got in 2002, and raise you - receiving a Technical Writing Certificate at the Women's Technical Institute in Boston. It's now gone. Fini. Kaput. Packed their bags and said adios, folks.

    Just did some research online, and discovered that MA destroyed all of those records in 2005.


    Of course, I was careful to choose THAT school, because I had attended the Art Institute of Boston before it was accredited, before it became associated w/Lesley College - oops, it's a University now, my bad - so I have no credits from the Art Institute of Boston OR from the Women's Institute of Boston.

    Someone remind me to try to research the financial stability of any college I apply to before I decide to attend...

  17. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Just heard from Excelsior - they won't waive the application fee. $75 is beyond my budget (ha - like there's any money left over to budget).

    There's another deciding factor, too. I've been considering Harvard Extension (I live north of Boston/Cambridge). They require that one take three classes before being admitted to a degree program. If I can go to a college that has Phi Theta Kappa - and get my grades back up where they used to be - then I can take those classes on a PTK scholarship.

    This would bring me back to a community college - so I need to find out about Pima Community College (used to go there) - if there is any way I can finish my associates there online in a reasonable amt of time.

    Yep, my brain's gonna explode....

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 29, 2010
  18. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    Pima has online courses and tuition for non-residents is $87 per unit with a $15 fee per course (at least for Biology).
    Pima offers associates degrees but I did not determine if one could be earned by distance learning students (suggest send them an email enquiry)..
    Pima Community College : Distance Learning

    Clovis CC has online courses and tuition is only $134 total for up to 7 units (what a deal).
    Clovis also offers asociate degrees but again but I did not determine if one could be earned by distance learning students (suggest send them an email enquiry).

    Note: all above tuition were for Summer 2010 sessions - tuition may be different for other sessions
  19. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I'm not an accountant but it appears to me that you may be eligible for a refundable tax credit for educational expenses this year.
    American Opportunity Credit: Questions and Answers
    I would check with your local IRS office or your congresspersons local office.
  20. threedogs

    threedogs New Member

    Wow - the tuition at Clovis is incredible. I'm also totally jealous - the campus has child care AND an extensive physical fitness program (including a swimming pool!!) This puts my CC (North Shore Community College) to shame. But after having attended Pima, I knew that already.

    I'm going to begin my application process.

    Of course, I now have an additional dilemma. Clovis charges (a whopping) $125 for 7 credits (I had to see it myself to believe it). There is also a $50 per class fee charge for online classes - which is peanuts, compared to MA fees! But I need to take 15 credits there to get my AA degree, while I've already taken classes at Pima. I just found out that I need to send another form to request that Pima reviews my transfer credits (oy veh!) Then again, I don't even know what either school will accept yet.

    I'm leaning towards Clovis. The idea that I can stop taking out loans is a huge burden off my shoulder. Going to apply right away!

    A side note to everyone: if you are considering any Massachusetts college/university, make sure you understand that the tuition is usually kept low - it's the fees that are unbelievably high. (Which is really rotten for senior citizens - we get "free tuition" when we reach either 60 or 62, but that doesn't help much).

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