Seeking Advice on Online Options

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by MidniteOwl, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. MidniteOwl

    MidniteOwl New Member

    Hello All,

    As the title states, I am hoping to get some advice from you knowledgeable people on how to go about getting my degree.

    Some information about myself:

    I'm married with 2 children, live in the Columbus, OH area and will soon be working about an hour from home. I have a GED, but have been with my company for 12 years and have worked my way up from a floor associate to an Operations Manager (which I was just promoted to). I would like to think that my experience might help me out with my schooling to some degree (no pun intended).

    Based on my last succession planning meeting, higher education was one of the talking points in me moving up to a GM and beyond. I was advised that If I wanted to get to that position, a Bachelors degree would be a good thing for me to have.

    I immediately started looking at Online options as I work a lot of hours and with a wife and kids, committing to going to class even one night a week is a sure fire way for me to flunk out :p . This task turned out to be much more than I anticipated and now my head is about to explode from information uncertainty overload! I have researched several online universities (such as UoP, Keiser, Weldon, etc.) and have noticed that options and most importantly opinions vary greatly. The price ranges seem to be something that should not impact my finances too much, but will deffinitely need to try and find the most affordable.

    I know that I will might need to take some remedial learning before I start working on my associates degree, but I am not sure what those might be. Would anyone be able to provide some guidance on what first steps to take in working towards my Bachelors and potentially some schools that I might be able to look at?

    Any and all information regarding this would be greatly appreciated.

    Sorry for the wall text and thanks in advance!!

  2. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Hi Gene, welcome to Degree Info.

    You may not have to take remedial classes to make it through an online degree. Only basic skills are usually required. Most online degrees require a great deal of reading and a great deal of writing. If you are doing a business degree, the finance and accounting classes will require some basic math skills, but they are not that difficult. I would recommend that you look into Charter Oak Charter Oak State College - Finish Your Degree Online or Excelsior College Excelsior College - as good choices. They are regionally accredited, which is good, and they are geared to people in your situation.
  3. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

  4. MidniteOwl

    MidniteOwl New Member

    Thanks for the great information! I've requested more information from the schools suggested as well as from a couple of the schools listed on OhioLearns.
  5. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Very good. Post questions about any school you are interested on a new thread on Degree Info and you will usually get lots of good information about the school. That's what this board is all about.

    Let me say this too: Online degrees are fairly difficult but that are doable. You can do it if you set your mind to it.

    Also, you can avoid a great deal of cost in undergraduate classes by studying ahead and then taking a CLEP test to test out of the class for college credit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2011
  6. MidniteOwl

    MidniteOwl New Member

    I have read something about that in other posts. I'm unfamiliar with this process, but will do some research. Thanks again!
  7. MidniteOwl

    MidniteOwl New Member

    Also, I have yet to receive word back from Weldon. From what I have seen on their site, it looks to be the same as other Online schools. However, how would Weldon compare to the schools recommended? Am I "Overdoing It" / "Wasting Money" by looking into as school like Weldon or is it another reason?
  8. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    After reading your posts a couple of times, what I think you need to start is a confidence booster. Generally, students in first semester online courses, fare poorly, with 40 - 50% DFWI rate. So you want to avoid that. You also expressed concern about your readiness for college. So how do we go about the confidence factor...

    You live in the Columbus OH area. Can you attend Columbus State Community College? You could take your placement assessment there, get placed in the proper classes, and start with a traditional class first before moving online.

    The other option (which is not exclusive of the first) is to look at CLEP/DSST options. If you could take a couple of tests which you feel strong in, that should help your confidence immensely.

    For adult learners such as yourself, I am a huge proponent of getting the AA/AS along the way. It's a credential that you can show your employer, especially in case life happens and you need to take a break.

    Finally, although I have a doctoral degree from a for-profit, for the associates/bachelors...stay away from them. There are far less expensive options out there, esp. if you go the CLEP/DSST route.

  9. MidniteOwl

    MidniteOwl New Member

    Thanks for the advice Shawn.

    You are right in saying that I do need the confidence to bite the bullet and just "Git 'er Dun". I've heard rumors of a disese regarding this matter and I'm wondering if I may have been infected to a small degree ;) .

    I don't think that the in-class room approach will work for me as my work is very volatile as far as work hours go, so if you could advise on a 100% online option would be I'd greatly appreciate it.

    As far as the CLEP option is concerned, I would deffinitely interested, however my research into the subject has left me with more questions than answers (such is the way of the new student I guess ^^ ).

    Getting my Associates Degree is something that I've been wanting for quite some time, but as you said "Life Happens". TBH, I'm not even sure what the difference is between an AA and an AS. However, I'm more than willing to do what is necessary to get it.

    So far I have noted the following items that I would need in order to get my Bachelors Degree in Business Management:

    - Find a good 100% Online College or University that will accept me with my GED and potentially have the necessary courses to allow me to continue with them in order to get my Bachelors Degree
    - If I am unable to find such a school, find a Community College or the like that would allow 100% Online learning that will allow the most amount of credits to be transfered to a 4 year University.
    - Determine what courses would need to be taken in order for me to qualify for an AA/AS in Business
    - Determine what CLEP tests would need to be taken (and in what order) to reduce the time needed to achieve said Associates Degree and to reduce my schooling costs
    - Find an appropriate Bachelors Degree University that does 100% online learning.

    Unfortuntely for me, I am not entirely sure as to what specific order this list would need to be or if it correct at all! However once I do get these things in line it should not be an issue for me to go out and make it happen.


    Thanks again,

  10. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    What he said!

  11. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator

    Do you mean Walden, rather than "Weldon"? Walden is a very good online school but it's awfully expensive, same with Capella. Excelsior or Charter Oak and and a few others will not be quite as expensive and give you the same degree when all is said and done.

    I don't think you are over analyzing your choice. It's really expensive to get involved in a program, change your mind and then go to another program. I know this personally.
  12. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I agree with all the comments above.

    For your first class or two (or CLEP/DSST exam) pick a subject you are familiar with.
    That way you will be able to acquire knowledge about the on-line learning process.
    Check out Clovis - they offer relatively low cost courses.

    Based on your post #1 above Clovis course 30372 SOC 215 Child, Family/Community might be a good start.

    You can do it - just take your time.
  13. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    Like others have recommended, test out of some classes using CLEP exams. I agree with Shawn, get your degree from a non-profit school at the AA/BS level. Many times community colleges only require 15 credits to be earned with them for an AA or AS degree, that means you can CLEP out of the rest of the program you are interested in if they have the CLEPs available. Look at what your local community college offers in the way of degree, what CLEPs they accept, and how they fit into the program you want and if they remaining classes are offered online by them. You could end up with an AA or AS in as little as a few months depending on how much time you put into it.

    After that, focus on a BA/BS and see what has worked for you for the AA/AS. Who knows - you may decide CLEPs are the way to go and complete the bachelors degree using mostly CLEPs.
  14. Michael

    Michael Member

    I graduated in 1992, before there were online courses. I was 37 when I got that bachelor's degree. I took courses at a community college, and two universities; I took 24 semester hours in CLEP credit, and a few courses by correspondence -- the latter two methods while I was going to on-campus schools. So, I got my credits from all over the place and by different methods. All of which I then consolidated into a bachelor's from Regents College (now excelsior College).

    Now with the online option, getting a degree is even more doable. So, to the OP, hang in there, look at all the different ways to get your credits, and go for it!! Don't give up, you can make it!!
  15. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    After reading everyone' s comments and the OPs background, he should check out Columbus State Community College (in his backyard) 1st.

    1. In state tuition :)

    2. LARGE amount of online courses available:

    Web-based Courses at Columbus State

    3. No limit to CLEP/DSST noted in catalog

    4. If he needs tutoring or support services they are readily available.

    5. Only 1/3 of the credits for a degree need to be earned at Columbus State

    If the OP decides to go the CLEP route for the degree and transfer to one of the Big 3 (Excelsior, Charter Oak, Thomas Edison) - there will be no issue with transferring the credits from Columbus State.

    Good luck!

  16. mark74

    mark74 New Member

    Shawn's advice sounds really perfect. I clicked his link and searched around and Columbus State has an Associate of Applied Science in Business Management available completely online which sounds like a great fit for you.

    Business Management - Plan of Study Associate of Applied Science

    I would echo what most others said about avoiding the online for-profits that you listed in your initial post.
  17. Shawn Ambrose

    Shawn Ambrose New Member

    And after the AAS - transfer to one of the Big 3 would make the most sense due to ease of transfer - and the OP fills in any of the "Gen Ed holes" with the AAS with the appropriate CLEP exam.

  18. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

  19. MidniteOwl

    MidniteOwl New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I've seen many folks say it and I'll say it again, I am so glad I found this message board!

    Shawn's answer deffinitely cleared up several questions in my head regarding the way to go about doing this, so I start working on getting more information from Columbus State.

    Also, I looked at the CLEP study guides and they seem to be very helpfull. Any recomendations or not to get one and if so, which to get?

    I would assume the best way to do this would be to contact a Counselor there? A lot of the web sites say that they will be the best person to guide me in that process.

    Again, thank you all for your help and responses.

  20. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator

    I would look at the passing rate for the military. They track this information. If the rate is high and you know something about the topic, go for it. That is the method I used and finished 50+ credits in 6 weeks and never studied a bit.

    For the exams I did study for, I used REA and Comex study guides.

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