Package credits into actual graduate degree?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ReDeux, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. ReDeux

    ReDeux New Member

    Newbie here. Loved the Washout thread, among others. I have scoured the forums for guidance but have not found an answer to my concern. Hoping you all may be able to help. Like many here, I have loads of graduate credit, just no degree. I would love to find some place that would take a reasonable amount of it as transfer credit toward a (RA) Masters. I am running into barriers because most of it is quite old. Here is what I have:
    15 in Sociology
    @ 9 Business/accounting
    @ 9 in Education
    Side note: I have a RA, B&M Bachelors degree with @ 3.45 GPA.
    Grades are good - mostly A's and B's. They were from B&M programs. My job transferred me while in the Sociology Masters and I was not able to finished. Still heart-broken. Biz was just credits...didn't much care for it. Was exploring Education for career change but realized that, where I was, there were tons of out of work educators due to over-supply so decided not to pursue.
    I had planned on doing the MALS at Excelsior but they shut it down right after I applied and would not allow me to pursue it. So disappointing! I have asked if they will bring it back. They have said they have no plans to. (Anyone have inside scoop on what happened?)
    I have also looked at: the Individualized Studies programs and Liberty; Sociology Masters at APU. Neither will take the transfer credit.
    I just contacted at WMNU and Bellevue for more info.
    I am not really interested in starting over on a new degree. I just have a "life goal" of "finishing" my Masters.
    1) Anyone have other suggestions on possibilities on schools?
    2) Anyone know what is the deal on not taking transfer credit? Is this accrediter driven? Custom?
    Thank you!
  2. copper

    copper Active Member

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
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  3. copper

    copper Active Member

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  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    The biggest part of your problem is that a lot of your credits will be irrelevant to any given program. For example, if you apply to an MBA program your Sociology and Education credits are worthless. They're irrelevant to the study of Business in an MBA. Similarly, if you decide to get a Masters in Sociology, the Business credits are irrelevant. There are a few grad programs around that will take up to 12 grad credits in transfer if the are relevant to the degree curriculum but that's pretty much the upper limit. Most grad programs will top out at 6-9 transfer credits.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    For better or worse, there aren't any Master's degree programs that will accept all those in transfer. There are some options that are more flexible than others, but you are guaranteed to have to take several courses to finish a degree even if they accept some of your old credits.

    Do any of your old schools offer graduate certificates in those subject areas? And is there any chance at all they will allow you to use the old credits towards the certificate?

    Amberton University has an MA in Professional Development that is very flexible with what types of courses you can transfer in, and has a max of 12 credits allowed in transfer. No acceptance of your previous credit is guaranteed, but they're probably one of your better options.
  6. ReDeux

    ReDeux New Member

    Regrettably, my credits are too old for either TESC or FHSU. But thanks for the suggestions.

    To be clear, I don't expect a program to take ALL of them. I am looking for some mix of 12 or 15. I figure it will either be a liberal arts path where they take the Sociology credits OR some sort of management path where they maybe take the business credits. Maybe some fit as electives depending on program structure. I'd kind of prefer the liberal arts path but I am flexible on that.

    I have gone back to the Sociology school to see if they would let me complete the Sociology degree or apply the credits toward a newer offering in Liberal Arts. They won't. Due to age. Which is disappointing.

    I have spoken with Bellevue and they were encouraging but non-commital. I have reached out to Amberton - not super excited about their course offering but we'll see. And to WMNU - their program seems more interesting.

    Both Liberty and APU mentioned "portfolio assessment" even though they won't take my transfer credit. Why they'd rather do that than take transfer credit is beyond me.... but has anyone done that? Can you speak to the process?

    Appreciate the suggestions. Thanks much.
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I think that if you use the little "search forums" widget in the upper left you'll find that there have been one or two discussions on this topic in the past.
  8. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm, this is a hard one. TLDR - forget the old credits, think about finishing with another competency based institution.

    Taking X amount of time to find a degree provider that will take your 10/15+ year or older credits that may be out of date with what was taught back then, and also paying an arm/leg toward that future school just for them to allow you to "re-use" your credits.... So, let's say University A, if they do take your credits, say 15 of those Sociology towards a Masters in Liberal Arts that's 30 credits. But they charge you $1000/credit and you can only do 1 course each semester, that's $15K for a Masters that will take 2 years (5 semesters at least).

    Or, you can "forget the older credits", and start fresh with a competency degree program. Any one of the non-profit or for-profit degree providers will do, each term ranges from $3-$4K/6 month term. If you finish in 1 year, it'll only be $6-8k, 1.5 years will be $9-12k. So take a look at Brandman MSOL/WGU MSML, or Capella/Walden offerings to name a few, or start fresh with a traditional university.

    My recommendation - Don't dwell on the thought of salvaging those old credits and waste time trying to get those credits back, look past that and forward... it would be much more fulfilling and rewarding knowing you FINISHED the Masters at a FRACTION of the energy/money/time you spend on thinking of transferring those credits to a traditional degree, reap the recognition, rewards and satisfaction knowing you finished!
  9. ReDeux

    ReDeux New Member

    Kizmet: I have searched. Tough finding much. I'll keep puttering around.

    AsianStew: You may have a point in terms of efficiency. But the thing is.... 1) would I start on a new degree if I weren't "in progress"? No. Not likely. and 2) the only competency based degrees I can find are technical or business oriented and I haven't found anything that aligns well with my interests. I look at them and I am just not inspired. But I will give this some more thought. I am not familiar with Brandman. I will look at their offerings. Thanks much for these suggestions.
  10. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    Interesting. If TESU won't accept your credit because it is too old, it is unlikely you will have much luck elsewhere and you are effectively no longer "in progress." TESU is usually very generous beyond "normal" schools on what they will transfer in but everyone gets much more strict at the graduate level. The timeline is unfortunate but at this point you must decide if you want to hold onto the idea of the old course work or if you want to complete a graduate degree. Are you willing to start over and if so what kind of course work does inspire you?

    The school would prefer PLA because they usually get paid for that at a similar price to normal course work per credit and for transfer credit they don't get any money.
  11. ReDeux

    ReDeux New Member

    TESU said 7 years which doesn't seem extraordinarily generous to me (of course).

    Ah... getting paid... I think Liberty said they charge $100 ... not sure if that was per credit or per course. APU had not mentioned a price. Seems like if getting paid were the issue, they could just charge a less-than-tuition fee for transfer credits.

    I don't think Excelsior's MALS program had an expiration date. SO sad that it is gone....

    I will share updates if any of these programs seem willing to accept my credits. It may be useful to others. I know I must not be the only one in this "boat" ... which makes me a bit surprised that some schools do not pop up to serve the many of us so situated....

    Present inspiration: I am doing a lot of advocacy work and might try to figure out a way to build something interdisciplinary around that theme. Also History. Love it. Might be inspired to pursue it as a single topic or somehow combine it in Liberal Arts type degree....maybe with the Sociology where I did a fair amount of Ethnography. A bit concerned that feeling straight-jacketed into coursework might be a kill-joy. But, hey, I could take a course or two and washout if it's not working, right? ;)

  12. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    You might want to also check out Charter Oak's Masters OEL, it's similar to Brandman's MSOL and WGU's MSML, but it's a traditional format, not competency based. Then there's also California Southern, also a traditional format. So, the cost is a bit hefty if you go that route, but they may take transfers older than 7-10 or more years...

    You wowed me with TESU asking for 7 years or newer for your Masters courses. I recall people having older than 20+ years and their credits came in, but that may have been at the undergraduate level. Rules change at every college/university, check on the few I mentioned by calling/emailing them, you might be lucky with these above...
  13. ReDeux

    ReDeux New Member

    Yes, my sense is that the time constraints are much more... constrained for Masters vs undergrad programs.

    By way of sharing..... Here is what Charter Oaks says in their OE&L info:
    Applicants may transfer in up to 6 graduate-level credits from other regionally accredited institutions if the credits are equivalent to the content offered in one of the required courses of the program. Transfer credits must be no more than 10 years old and the student must have earned a “B” or better.
    Students may also be able to earn credit through an assessment of their prior learning and evaluation of credentials earned.

    I'll give that some thought. Seems rather rigid. I wonder how much credit they award for "prior learning" and what the process is. I have searched the forums to see if participants have commented on this process at any schools. Haven't found anything useful yet. Sometimes I stumble upon info even if a systematic search fails.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    If having the degree is the most important thing, buy one. Or go to some unaccredited school that will issue you one without a lot of new work.

    Or, if having done a cogent master's degree matters, don't worry so much about transfer credit and take the degree that will make you happy.

    You're trying to add post hoc focus to an unfocused track record.
  15. ReDeux

    ReDeux New Member

    Don't agree. The Sociology certainly is not unfocused. And I don't actually think that the theme around advocacy is either, though it is post hoc to the extent that it has emerged after the Sociology work. Committed to sticking with RA.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    My last piece of advice - Regarding your old credits, your choices are limited. Don't waste a lot of time searching endlessly for the perfect place in order to squeeze in one more transfer course. Spending months putting together a portfolio just to get a few more credits isn't worth it. Decide which degree you want, then what school offers it, then make a committed decision and GO.
    SteveFoerster and Maniac Craniac like this.
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Good luck!
  18. Paul333

    Paul333 New Member

    The Open University in the UK offers an MA/MSc Open which allows you to include credits from several areas of study. Maximum transfer credit permitted is 120 of 180 credits. I believe transfer credit must have been earned in the last 10 years, but not certain.
  19. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    As mentioned before, Amberton seems to be generous and a little more open ended as far as their “Professional Development” degree program. In all of my own personal searches for a kind of “customized” graduate degree, I’ve not seen anything else as flexible as he Amberton offering. At least “on paper” - you never know what an institution might do until you engage with them. Best of luck!
  20. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    The Open U has had some troubles in recent years and so they are a motivated seller. I believe it continues to have a good reputation, especially across Europe.

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