Info and opinions wanted and requested

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by stb, Mar 4, 2001.

  1. stb

    stb New Member

    I am new here so please don't flame me for stupid questions.

    By circumstances I was forced to drop out of a state university in my third semester. That was 25 years ago.

    I spent my first 8 working years as a chemical salesman which evolved into environmental consulting. I have spent the last 17 years as a private investigator and security consultant.

    I am a voracious reader and I have read over 2,000 books ranging from Art, Cosmology, History and Zoology.

    I now wish to get a degree. I feel I am qualified for a Bachelor Degree in General Studies or an Assciate Degree in Criminal Justice or Security Science.

    My questions are:

    1) Are there any accredited schools that will issue credit hours based on life experience?

    2) Are there any non-accredited schools that will not be an embarrassment on a resume if I were to get a Degree from them?

    I will need to do distance learning and cost is a consideration.

    I have contacted several non-traditional and non-accredited schools. Some just wanted me to send money for a degree and some required some study.

    An example is Columbus University which would grant me thirty hours for life experience and then require I complete thirty hours of distance learning for an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Management. The required courses were 6 hours in Business Administration and 24 hours in Criminal Justice studies. This school is Accredited by the WAUC.

    I will use any degree to enhance my career including appying for government jobs. (local, county, or state but not the federal government)

    I thank everyone in advance for any help or suggestions.
  2. levicoff

    levicoff Guest

    There are no stupid questions, only stupid people. And no, you are not necesdsarily one of them; you had the smarts to post your questions in the first place.

    Good boy. Now go to my home page when you get a chance and read the three articles on Thomas Edison State College. They will describe the portfolio process to you in detail. And then you will begin to understand that raw knowledge means nothing in terms of getting a degree; you have to be able to translate that raw knowledge into college-level credit. It's not really difficult, but you'll see that there is, well, a process to the process.

    No, you are not qualified to get a degree. You are a culturally literate guy who was smart enough to read things other than comic books over a 25-year period, and now have the opportunity to demonstrate that knowledge in a process in which you can earn a degree.

    Yes, and you will want to choose one that will allow you to use your knowledge and experience to the maximum. "The usual suspects" (meaning the best of the bunch in this area) are: Thomas Edison State College (, Charter Oak State College (, and Excelsior College (formerly Regents College,

    Yes, but if you want to get a degree in your field, there is only one: Executive Security International in Colorado ( They only offer an associate's degree in security studies, but in the P.I. field it has an outstanding reputation.

    Nonetheless, in light of your goals (stated below), I would recommend that you stick with an accredited program. The ESI program is only good if you want to remain a P.I., bodyguard, or skip tracer, adn even then, it will not even qualify you for certain credentials in licensure-based states.

    Golly gee, that oughta tell you something, huh?

    Columbus University is a degree mill. Hell it's more than that, it's a joke. And so is WAUC.

    Then stay accredited - it's that simple.

    No problem. One final suggestion from someone who has been involved in this field: Anyone with half a sense knows how to spot bullshit, especially when it comes to degree mills. Keep your credentials as clean as possible when it comes to your degree, because if you ever have to testify at trial as a P.I., your credentials will be examined by the opposition with a fine-tooth comb. (That's one of the best ways we blow the credibility of so-called "expert" witnesses.)

    - Steve Levicoff, the Academic
    (not Warren Levicoff, the P.I.,
    who is at
  3. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Hi, and welcome to degreeinfo.

    We do everything possible to avoid flames here, so feel free to ask whatever questions you need to help you make a wise decision.

    Steve has given you some excellent advice, and I'd like to expand on a few points.

    In my opinion, there is generally *no* credible reason to even *consider* an unaccredited degree at the undergrad level. Between the excellent offerings of Edison, Charter Oak, and Excelsior/Regents (all of which are state-affiliated schools), one who has considerable knowledge and experience can expect to convert that into a degree, based on exams and portfolio credits, often in a year or less. And usually for the same or less money than the unaccrediteds. There are dozens of other excellent accredited DL programs out there as well with just about every major and subject you would want to find.

    Columbus is a complete joke. The "campus" of the school is located inside a martial arts dojo. There is no faculty, no academic standards, and everything about the place is simply a fraud. I would go further and say that about 99% of the schools with distance-only offerings (i.e., no residental programs) that happen to be located in Louisiana*, Hawaii, South Dakota*, Wyoming, New Mexico, Iowa, Montana, Alabama, and a few other places are equally worthless. This is because these states don't give a damn about the fact that they are havens for mills due to lax or nonexistent standards. So one of the quickest ways to eliminate schools from your list is to ignore schools in those states that don't have campus-based programs. And under no circumstances should you consider an unaccredited program in one of those states.

    Read Steve's info on his site. You might consider getting a copy of Bears' Guide, the most complete distance learning reference out there, which will explain the process, list just about every school out there (good and bad), and help you get a complete understanding of your options.

    And, of course, there are lots of folks here that are happy to help... many of whom, like Steve, have earned more than one degree through distance learning.

    Best of luck!

  4. Frangop

    Frangop New Member

    Steve, I must admit,that is some pretty impressive advice that you've just ginen.

    Well done.

  5. stb

    stb New Member

    Thanks for the advice.

    I would like to apply for a job with the stste as a special investigator and it requires at least an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, Law Enforcement or other related field.

    There is an age cut off and the time is ticking for me.

    Does anyone a school that meets my needs? I would be willing to work and study as much as it takes but I need to get the degree in a year or less.

  6. stb

    stb New Member

  7. Roger Habeck

    Roger Habeck New Member

    Notwithstanding the excellent advice you have already received, it sounds like you could use the method I did to get your degree by examination. I tested out an entire degree at Charter Oak State College, (BS with a concentration in Business) in ten months at a cost well under $3,000.00.
  8. Roger Habeck

    Roger Habeck New Member

    Sorry for the break---
    There is a brief narritive on how I did it at (the site affiliated with John Bear) If you have the capacity, it is just about as easy to get an accredited degree from a respectable school as from a questionable one. I would be happy to answer questions if you wish [email protected]
  9. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

    Yes, this is possible. You need to now take the plunge and follow the recommendations Dr. Levicoff recommended. Review the programs, contact the Colleges, and make a decison as to which regionally accredited program can meet your requirements in terms of qualification and cost. The staff at these institutions can typically recommend resources available to you to gain the credit you need.

    Once you contact these schools the next step will be to complete an assessment of your prior learning. The outcome of the assessment will range from being pleasantly surprised that you may already qualify for the degree (in which case the cost is very minimal) or else you may have some additional work to do through classes, exams, or other legit credit granting opportunities. The costs here too you will find is affordable.

    Good luck.


    John R. Wetsch, Ph.D.
  10. You've gotten a lot of good advice already.

    If you need more info, I've got links to sites with info on credit by exam, portfolio assessment (including Steve's unofficial guide to TESC portfolios) at

    See for links to criminal justice programs. Also, check community colleges in your state; many offer a good mix of distance learning and day/weekend/evening courses at reasonable tuition rates.

    Definitely stick with a school that has recognized accreditation for an undergraduate degree.

    Kristin Evenson Hirst
    [email protected]
  11. Dan Snelson

    Dan Snelson New Member

    Hi STB,

    You said you dropped out after 3 semesters, that should give you up to 45 semester credits (at 15 per semseter)My guess is these should transfer without problems (presuming Regionally acredited school)I transfersd in 87 credits from the late 60's to Charter Oak State College.

    I have the latest newsletter around here somewhere that says COSC is introducing a new Criminal Justice concentration.

    Dan Snelson
    COSC Class of about July 2002
  12. stb

    stb New Member

    I was told by the records department at the University of Missouri at Kansas City that my credits were to old to transfer or be accepted anywhere. This was about 10 years ago.

    Also can I transfer only certain credits. I made the mistake of taking Calc I during the 8 week summer term and only received a D and I do not wish it transferred as it would impact my overall GPA

    I have been to the COSC site a couple of times and did not find any reference to Charter Oak offering anything with a Criminal Justice concentration.

    Please e-mail me with any info you have

    [email protected]
  13. Dan Snelson

    Dan Snelson New Member

    The fact that one school will not accept them does not mean others won't either. My grades are older than your grades and COSC has accepted mine.

    Page 5 of the january 2001 Connections (COSC newletter for students and alumni)Says they have developed a new concentration in Criminal Justice. It was approved byy the Academic Council at it's Spring meeting and is now available to students.

    Criminal Justice is listed in their Summary of Concentration Requirements. I think you need to download the Adobe reader and it may be in the ENROLLED students area I will take a look and see if I can send you the file.(If I saved it to disk)

    Not all classes you try to transfer may fit into a specific concentration (I had a "less than Wonderfull" class or two that I did not need and they did not insist I include! [​IMG] )

    COSC has specific courses for the first 60 units that you need to complete, math English etc. They look at what you have and fit tjhem in.

    1.General Education

    2. Liberal Arts (60 for BS and 90 for BA)

    3. The Concentration

    4. Electives.

    I found COSC the most responsive and least expensive to begin my program. (Thomas Edison was a bit more to begin and Excelsior used COSC for their Portofolio assessments)

    i don't think we have mentioned CLEP and DANTES exams yet either. This is a method of nailing those pesky requirement courses and pump up on the needed Liberal Arts credits.

    Hope this helps,

    Dan Snelson

    COSC student with a Concentration in Prosthetics/Orthics and Business Administration
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

  15. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    You've been given excellent advice, the only thing I can think to add is a warning about bogus accreditation. This was what Kristina (IIRC) was referring to when she said to make sure the accreditting agency was well known. The links that have already been pointed out to you should explain it.

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