Need Help with Degree Completion Strategy

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mr.wonderful, Apr 23, 2016.

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  1. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It might be new but in the past you could get two emphasis (or concentrations) that include mathematics, CIS, Engineering, etc. My wife completed French and Management Studies. The degree by they way does not indicate Liberal Arts in the diploma, you only get a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts. The Transcript indicates the emphasis (e.g. Management Studies).
    I haven't checked the new calendar but I would be surprised if they changed it to make it very restrictive as you explained.
     
  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Obviously, you can't compare across majors. You also can't compare a BS in Technology Studies to a BA in Computer Science. Those are two totally different degrees. You can't even compare it to a BS in IT since IT programs also have specific requirements. Excelsior's BS in Technology Studies is more like the BSAST in Technical Studies at TESU, which also allows for a very broad mix of computer and other technical courses.

    I'm making a direct comparison of doing a BSBA at Excelsior, Charter Oak, or TESU from scratch. TESU is cheaper. Excelsior's capstone adds a lot to the total cost. If you stay enrolled more than one year, you have to pay $400. At TESU, there is no annual fee, as I already explained. Plus, you get to test out of the capstone for $114. Their graduation fee is also cheaper. At COSC, the savings comes from the FEMA courses. Otherwise, you're paying over $300 per credit hour for 6 credits because they require a cornerstone and capstone. They also charge a $220 or $240 semester fee, and you might have to attend for two semesters.

    I have not done a comparison between the Big 3's liberal arts degrees, but since you can cheaply test out of the capstone at TESU, the BSBA at TESU is cheaper than any other bachelor's degree at the Big 3. I could understand if one did not want to take a bunch of business courses wanting to avoid the BSBA, but for someone who is interested in business, it makes sense to go for the cheapest degree.

    Assuming that one transfers in everything, this a fee comparison at Excelsior and TESU for their business programs (Excelsior offers an MIS concentration and TESU offers a CIS concentration). TESU is not as liberal as Excelsior and COSC for awarding credits for certifications, but they do award credits for any certification that has been evaluated by either ACE or NCCRS, such as the Microsoft certifications.

    Excelsior

    Application Fee: $100
    Enrollment Fee: $1,065
    Graduation Fee: $495
    Capstone: $1530 ($510 per credit hour)
    Total: $3,190

    Note: If you stay a second year, that's another $495.

    TESU
    Application Fee: $75
    Residency Waiver: $2,000
    Graduation Fee $323
    TECEP for Strategic Management Capstone: $114
    1-credit cornerstone: $300
    Total: $2,812

    It's common for schools to not list the major on the diploma. At TESU, there is no liberal arts on the transcript because they don't offer a liberal arts or liberal studies degree with a concentration. It simply does not exist. They only offer a plain liberal studies degree. The rest of the BA degrees say Bachelor of Arts in XXX.

    The catalog states what I said, which is not much different from what you said. Two depths are required. Each depth requires at least 3 UL credits. You need a minimum of 12 credits in each depth. This applies to students who do not choose the professional and technical writing concentration, which is the only official concentration. Everyone else has depths.
    https://my.excelsior.edu/documents/78666/102207/Liberal_Arts_Catalog.pdf/b559591a-1fde-4135-a958-e29c855b7826
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2016
  3. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I see, the difference is minimal and the comparison is under the assumption that both schools accept the same credits. In my experience, this is not the case as you have few variables such as age of credits, certifications that are transferable, credits given for certification, flexibility of the program, etc.

    Both Excelsior and TESC are RA and non ranked unknown schools. As the OP is in IT, this industry does not differentiate much in terms of where you got your degree but experience and technical knowledge is often more valuable.



    Regardless of the options TESC or Excelsior, $3K is really cheap as I paid this much for a 3 days seminar. I often go for courses and many times have paid 5K for a week seminar.

    To the OP, the best thing again is to shop around apply to the big 3 and select the one with the best deal.
    I also applied to few DEAC schools with my certifications and they came back with offers that were way more expensive than the big 3 but they offered a Masters degree in IT instead. I think is more useful a RA BS than a DEAC Masters in IT but again some people might prefer the MAsters in IT.

    There is also the option to go overseas, many British schools can take you as a Masters student without a bachelor. The University of Liverpool has a MAsters in IT that can take you with experience and certifications.

    In the UK, you can also get a diploma from the British computer society and then complete a degree at a British school at distance.

    There is also the University of the People BS in CS that is tuition free.
     
  4. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    What Excelsior offers in the BS in LA are areas of focus, you can complete up to two areas of focus that include engineering, CIS, Psychology, management, etc. These are different from depth areas that are not mentioned in your transcript.

    The areas of focus are included in your transcript so someone could get a BS in LA with an area of focus in CIS and list it as BSLA, Computer Information Systems in a CV.
     
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Sanatone,
    Thanks for the valuable information about TESC. I noticed that you have completed two Bachelors degrees and completing an associates in Biology at TESC. What is the value of two bachelors degree and two Associates for a PhD graduate? I kind of did the same thing as you, I completed a DBA and after this two MS degrees in Financial Management and other in Operations and now a BS in Tech. People tells me that my CV looks silly with degrees that are going backwards and getting degrees at lower level makes no sense. What is your opinion about this? I completed the degrees mainly because I profit from my employers professional development fund that is about 3K a year but I wonder of the value of additional degrees at lower levels.
     
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    To add to the Excelsior vs TESC debate, the link below compares both schools, both schools look pretty good to me in terms of average starting salaries that are quite similar.
    Thomas Edison State College vs Excelsior College - Colleges Comparison
     
  7. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I don't dislike Excelsior; and, unlike so many people, I don't think their name is all that goofy. I'm just annoyed by people giving cookie cutter advice by always recommending them and the BS in Liberal Arts. They work for some people and not for others. Some people have found them to be the best option for the credits they have. I applied to all three schools, Excelsior accepted the least number of credits, and they require the payment of the enrollment fee to get a full, official evaluation. Yes, all of the Big 3 are unranked schools. One isn't more prestigious than the other.

    Much of the difference in cost and flexibility for the business degrees comes from completing the required business credits due to TESU being very liberal about what they will award UL credits for and requiring less UL credits overall. We crunched the price for the whole BSBA from scratch, and that turned out to be just under $5,000.

    I recommended the BSBA in CIS to kill three birds with one stone: it's a business degree that will be helpful for real estate and entrepreneurship, it has a CIS concentration that will be applicable to IT work, and it is cheap and very friendly to alternative sources of credit. COSC does not yet have a concentration for its BSBA that is related to IT/IS. Excelsior has a BSBA in MIS, but it's not friendly to cheap, alternative sources of credit. But, I was hoping that the OP would post his or her credits to see what would be a better fit.

    I'm finishing the business degree for personal fulfillment. I already had a lot of business credits and some CS/IT credits because I was once a business and computer science major. I'm completing the ASNSM in Biology because it's not that expensive, and I just enjoy the subject. I really wanted the BA in Natural Science and Mathematics at TESU, but they don't award third bachelor's degrees. If I wanted to find some utility in those degrees, which I really don't, taking those courses and studying for those tests will help me have a better understanding of white collar crime, cybercrime, biological theories of criminology, and the biological causes of addiction (I'm currently a substance abuse counselor).

    University of the People is a little cheaper than the Big 3. They might be "tuition free," but they charge $100 per course for an end-of-course exam. The total cost of the degree is $4,050 with the application fee. I, personally, would rather pay $1,000-2,000 more for a degree from a regionally accredited school, especially if I were considering graduate school.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2016
  8. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I feel the same way.
     
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It wasn't "cookie cutter." It was appropriate and relevant. If you disagree, fine. We disagree. No need to draw such a rude assessment.

    The OP wanted a fast degree to qualify for entry into a particular master's. You seem to be loading that person up with a whole lot of other information. Okay, fine, but why put down someone else's post?

    You seem to want to be right no matter what. Okay, you're right. Great job.
     
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Assuming such a degree would do the trick. As we know, many RA universities will not accept degrees from NA schools for admission.
     
  11. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Many won't, but plenty will. Further, top University of The People grads are accepted to Berkeley:

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/berkeley-accept-university-people-graduates

    With Berkely's 14.8% admission rate, most grads of regionally accredited schools won't ever get in to Berkeley.
     
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I feel silly getting further involved in this because in reality it's a non-issue. However, I have to ask, what is "plenty?" The fact is that no one knows the real number, we're all just guessing. I'm going to say that the vast majority of RA schools will not accept those credits. But if you're applying to grad school, all you need is 1 school to accept you. That is plenty.
     
  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

  14. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    You feel silly getting into a valid discussion? Hmmm.

    What is "many"?

    There have been at times over the years pretty detailed lists of what schools will accept them, and of course there was HETA. I don't see those lists circulating anymore, HETA is gone, and maybe that's something to consider, but with that being said, if it were even 50 schools I'd consider that "plenty", especially with the thinking of:

    Or undergrad.

    What do the latest survey totals show us about this? You may be right, or not. How can we be certain without recent data?
     
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I know this question wasn't directed at me but I felt that I should jump in.

    My thought is that you should stop putting the year of your graduation on your resume. This is frequently used to discriminate on the basis of age and resumes routinely come in without this information.

    The only time when a graduation date is necessary is when it is an anticipated graduation date as omitting that information would be unethical as it might imply that the degree was already earned. Other than that, I do not list a single graduation on my resume and encourage others to do the same.

    Were I to list my degrees you would see that I also went "backward" with my second bachelor's from TESU which was earned two years after I finished my MSM.

    Second undergrad degrees can add an interesting dimension to the resume of some employees. There is a line. There are people who seem to compulsively add degrees to their wall. I once had an applicant with four associate's degrees try to convince me that his education was "equivalent" to a bachelor's for meeting the requirement of a job posting.

    Thing is, he spent more than enough time in school and should have just knocked out the degree.

    There are situations where the second bachelor's degree just makes sense. A person with a B.A., who goes back to school to earn the necessary credits to sit for the CPA exam, for example might easily flip those credits over to become a second bachelor's at minimal expense and with no additional effort. So why not add the credential rather than relying on a certificate? It may be cheaper to do this at the undergrad level than going for an M.S. Accounting or an MBA. It may also be faster.

    I will also add that second bachelor's degrees are fairly uncommon. But we are seeing a major surge in master's degrees. With so many 4+1 programs, an over abundance of MBA programs and relaxed admissions standards there are a lot of people with a graduate degree on the market. So it shouldn't be surprising when a hiring manager actually takes interest in someone with a second bachelor's even over a candidate with a relevant masters. It does happen. I can't say it's a trend. But when people are sifting through stacks of resumes being "different" can be a good thing (within reason).
     
  16. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Well, of course, because they're only accepting their top grads. But there are top grads from regionally accredited schools that still won't get in at all. I think the main takeaway is that Berkeley is making a bridge to give top UotP grads a rare opportunity. I think that says a lot for a school that hasn't been around long, but seems to have the people in place to make some really strong partnerships with high-level people and organizations.
     
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's a great thing for U of the People. But it isn't a very practical option for someone who intends to pursue a career where an RA bachelor's degree would be most useful.

    You enroll in the program and hopefully make the grade to be considered for a spot at Berkeley.

    It's true that many RA graduates will not get into Berkeley. But guess what? They will have their pick of countless other schools of varying reputations instead. UofPeople grads will not. If I earn a degree from TESU I can hop right to an MBA program at Penn State, Drexel, Rutgers and numerous other high quality schools that seem to have a fairly "open" admissions policy for their DL degrees. If I earn an associate's from UPeople I have one shot at moving to a school with some prestige (Berkeley). And Berkeley isn't going to even consider a B.S. from UPeople for admission to their graduate programs.

    So, yeah, it's a good program and it will surely benefit a few. But to try to paint it as a viable alternative to other RA schools because you may have a shot at getting accepted into an undergrad program at Berkeley is a bit silly. At a minimum, if that is your goal, you should probably just apply to Berkeley directly and see if you can get in and just start there from scratch.

    Life hacks are great. But sometimes the "traditional" way is preferable.
     
  18. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    There is no need to paint. It is what it is. If you're a top grad from UotP, you get in. If you're not, you don't.
     
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Thanks, this makes sense. Second or third Bachelor's degree are cheaper to get than a Masters degree, at least this is the case at Excelsior College or TESC. If all you need is additional knowledge, the second BS makes more sense.

    To be quite honest, there is not much difference between some of the professional Masters degrees and BS programs. Many of the MAsters degrees in Business and IT are meant for non business and IT graduates and cover the same basics but in a more accelerated format.

    In my case, I had many IT certifications and wanted to cash them as a degree. IT certifications lose relevancy and value over time, so getting them as a more time resistant degree makes sense to me.
     
  20. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    It's a bit like saying that going on Hell's Kitchen is a path to getting a top job at a high end restaurant.

    Yeah, if you win the tournament you get top prize. But there the traditional way (i.e. getting a job at that restaurant and working your way up over a period of years) is probably preferable.

    If nothing else the traditional route allows for degrees of success rather than a binary "pass/fail" situation.

    *The "Head Chef" job advertised as the first prize on Hell's Kitchen, according to my reading, is actually a farce.
     

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