Need help deciphering my Excelsior College degree plan

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by TCord1964, May 29, 2011.

  1. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    Excelsior College has updated my degree plan (Bachelor of Science in Communications).

    Here is what they say I need to complete:

    Arts and Sciences Lower Level Total: 6 credits
    Arts and Sciences Upper Level Total: 21 credits

    Any Academic Area Lower Level Total: 10 credits

    Social Sciences/History Distribution: 6 credits
    Natural Sciences/Math Distribution: 4 credits
    Quantitative Requirement: 2 credits
    Information Literacy: 1 credit

    Depth Requirement in the Arts and Sciences (Depth 1):
    Upper Level Depth 1: 3 credits
    Lower Level Depth 1: 9 credits

    Depth Requirement in Any Academic Area (Depth 2):
    Upper Level Depth 2: 3 credits
    Lower Level Depth 2: 9 credits

    Total Lower Level Communications Credits: 15 credits
    Total Upper Level Communications Credits: 18 credits

    Total Hours to Include the Following Requirements:
    Introduction to Communication
    Interpersonal Communications
    Public Speaking and the Art of Persuasion
    Ethics and Communication
    Social Science Research Methods
    A Fundamentals Course from Any Concentration

    12 Semester Hours from three different areas of specialization:
    Organizational Communication
    Public Relations
    Media Studies
    Strategic Communication

    Communication Studies Capstone (I assume this is an EC course)

    I have several communications/journalism/media courses from my Navy SMART transcript, but they were counted as "applied professional" credits. I have a total of 83 credits.

    My questions are:

    How many credits do I have left to complete? The way they have everything broken down, I'm just not sure.

    I'd like to knock out as much of this with CLEP/Dantes and Straighterline as possible. Any suggestions on getting the "biggest bang for my buck" with the tests?

    I guess with some of the upper division communications courses, I'm going to have to find some online courses. I'm still hunting for those. Empire State College seems to have quite a few. Any others that anyone is aware of offhand?

  2. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Brigham Young University independent study has two UL comm courses. They are $150 per credit.

    Sorry for not posting the link- I'm writing this on my not-so-smart phone.
  3. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    Bumping back to the top of the list.

    Any Excelsior grads or students have any input?
  4. joel66

    joel66 New Member

    You should print out page 18 of the Liberal Arts Catalog: March 2011 edition because it will make it easier to follow what courses you have left and the rest of my reply. It would be a good idea to go over that with your academic advisor over the phone.

    From review of page 18, the BS in Liberal Arts, concentration in Communications is broken down into 60 units for Arts and Sciences and 60 units other requirements. You can use a pencil and update this as you move along with your studies.

    I don't know which of the three options you selected for your GE Distribution area. Either way, under the 24 credit min area for GE, it says you need 6 credits for Social Science / History, 4 credits Natural Science / Math. I don't see humanities listed, so I assume you have satisfied that part. You didn't mention Written English (3 units), so I assume you completed that.

    Again, looking at page 18 on left side of the chart, it says 60 credits are from (3) Written English, (24) General Education, and (30) Additional Arts & Science electives, and (3) Capstone. On that side, you need about 27 credits.

    On the right side of the page, you can choose either Liberal Studies Option or Major Options. You will want to cross off the LS option, as you are working on your Communications major. I am assuming it is the BS in Liberal Arts with major in Communication Studies Generalist, because there are seven different ones. On that side, you need 33 credits. (15 lower / 18 upper) from within those 33 credits, is where you have to satisfy Depth 1 and Depth 2.

    I know this sounds confusing at first, but after you print out page 18 and go over this with your advisor, and start updating what classes you have left, and as you complete your courses, you will knock them out pretty quick. Back to your credits, I interpret the amount of credits below.

    27 Units left for Arts & Sciences (Top left of page 18)
    33 units left for Communications major (Top right of page 18).
    10 units left under Other Requirements (Bottom left)
    1 unit Information Literacy
    3 units Capstone
    74 Units to complete your degree

    Check your local community college, and all community colleges in your state that offer online classes. Especially in California, there are quite a few classes you can take and the tuition is from 0 to 36 dollars per unit. Also, from the Excelsior webpage, click on "Credit by Exam" then on the left side of the page, click on "Other Exam and Assessment options" You will see a link that you can down the PDF called, "A Student Guide to Credit by Examination at Excelsior College." This is very useful because it shows what exams you can take and what requirement it will satisfy. Also, make sure once you know what exams you plan to take, that you let your academic advisor know, so they can make note of this.
  5. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback.

    Based upon what I think Excelsior is looking for, and I will double-check this with my advisor, here is my plan for knocking out the rest of the credits I need. I should be able to test out of a good chunk of it, but I will need to actually take some online courses at LSU, BYU, the University of North Dakota and UMass. If anyone can spot any flaws in my plan, or know of any cheaper alternatives, let me know!

    27 units in the Arts & Sciences
    6 lower level credits
    21 upper level credits

    General Education Requirements – (13 units needed)

    CLEP – Social Science & History – 6 units
    ALEKS – College Algebra – 3 units
    Straighterline – Introductory Biology – 3 units
    Penn Foster College – Information Literacy – 1 unit
    This should satisfy the remaining 13 Gen Ed credits I need

    Total Applied Professional or Additional Arts and Sciences (10 lower level units needed)

    Andrew Jackson University – Ethical Decision Making – 3 units
    CLEP – Principles of Microeconomics – 3 units
    CLEP – Introductory Psychology – 3 units
    CLEP – American Government – 3 units
    This should satisfy the 10 units needed here

    Depth Requirement in the Arts & Sciences (12 units, at least 3 at the upper level)
    DSST – The Civil War and Reconstruction – 3 units UL
    DSST – Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union – 3 units UL
    CLEP – US History 1 – 3 units
    CLEP – US History 2 – 3 units

    Depth Requirement in any academic area (12 Units, at least 3 at the upper level)
    DSST – Principles of Finance – 3 units UL
    DSST – Money and Banking – 3 units UL
    DSST – Personal Finance – 3 units
    CLEP – Principles of Macroeconomics – 3 units

    I also plan to take:

    DSST – Introduction to World Religions – 3 units UL
    DSST – Here’s to Your Health – 3 units UL
    DSST – Substance Abuse – 3 units UL
    This is more than 12 units, but should help satisfy the 21 upper level units I need in the Arts and Sciences area.

    Communications Generalist Studies Major (18 upper level, 15 lower level units)
    Andrew Jackson University – Survey of Communications – 3 units
    DSST – Principles of Public Speaking – 3 units
    LSU – CMST 2010 – Interpersonal Communication – 3 units
    BYU – COMMS 101 – Mass Communication and Society – 3 units
    BYU – COMMS 230 – Introduction to Advertising – 3 units
    BYU – COMMS 300 – Media Ethics – 3 units UL (I am assuming a 300-level course is UL)
    UND – PSYC303 – Research Methods in Psychology - 3 units UL
    UND – COMM401 – Organizational Communication – 3 units UL
    UMass – JOURNAL 397 – Introduction to Online Journalism – 3 UL
    UMass – JOURNAL 392 – Writing for Public Relations – 3 UL
    UMass – JOURNAL 395 – Public Relations for Government and Non-Profit Organizations – 3 UL

    Excelsior – Communications Studies Capstone - 3 units
  6. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    In looking over the Excelsior catalog, it looks like the major will also satisfy on one of the depth requirements. In that case, I would likely ditch all the finance courses, if it means I don't need them to satisfy all the upper-level requirements in arts & sciences.

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