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Copyright Lawrie Miller  1997 - 2004










BA in 4 Weeks Online Degree and Distance Learning Knowledge Base





Today at the local library I saw signs of a company that promise to help you get a degree from Excelsior, when I called, thet say all they do is to sell you the books necessary to get 96 credits ($2250) when I ask about the rest, they said, that is easy you could do your major anywhere...

Here is my question to you, they also said, they help people w/ GED and count that as 24 credits how true is that?



You wouldn’t be awarded 24 semester hours credit for any learning at or below U.S. 12th grade. In the case of states other than New York, it could be that they are looking to use college level credit to “meet or exceed” some or all GED requirements for the award of the General Education Diploma. In that case, they might then look to apply those same credits to a college degree program. Certainly, Excelsior College offers New York residents who did not graduate high school, the opportunity of the award of a New York State equivalency diploma (AKA a GED) once they have completed 24 semester hours at college level. Sort of a two-for–one deal. Those who qualify might do well to grab it. Great bang per buck. Akin to a happy meal with large drink and a toy.

You do not need third party agents to mediate this, however. $2250 for books covering the degree minus the major, seems a trifle excessive in the “BA in 4 Weeks” economy. Cost of books in the Bachelor Degree manual detailed this site, is under $200 for the complete set (some books are used in multiple exams). Many here with pre-existing credit might reasonably expect to complete the WHOLE degree for that sum ($2250 - to include enrollment and exam fees) or not much more than that. It may be that other learners will consider the BA in 4 Weeks two hundred dollar book recommendations a little meager of their needs, and determine they will spend more. Yet none, I think, would be well served by the arrangement you cite.











I completed my AA from TESC a couple of eyars ago, and am looking to finsih the BA off within the next 6 months via 2 GREs and Excelsior. My question is this, however: For my AA English writing requirement, I took the CLEP English w/Essay which Excelsior isn't keen on, but I've wondered whether it may be accepted anyway as it's an already transcripted part of my TESC AA. Any thots on this?



I suspect they will NOT accept it in fulfillment of the Written English Requirement (WER).

However, you can argue that you are transferring, not just credit hours, but an AA degree, which testifies you have met traditional General Ed. requirements to include the written English requirement, of another regionally accredited institution. You may reasonably point to their (Excelsior’s) policy with regard to second bachelor degree applicants. These learners, though they may have exactly the same six credits as do you, from a pass in the CLEP English Composition with Essay exam, WILL have the WER waived. That is, they will not be required to take the ECE English Composition exam.

You can focus on the point that by virtue of their existing bachelor’s degree, Excelsior deems these applicants to be competent in and to have met requirements in written English. Since the only real evidence of this, where they have demonstrated competency, is in the pass they achieved in the relevant CLEP exam, what, objectively, with respect to the WER, differentiates you from them?

If, by virtue of their performance in an exam or exams comprising a general portion of the degree, they are deemed to have demonstrated competency, then, it is necessarily the case that you, having met precisely the same general requirements by way of the same assessments, must have demonstrated the same competencies. If equity is to be preserved and basic standards of fairness met, Excelsior must afford you the same benefit it affords them.

If Excelsior counters that possession of a bachelor’s degree adds some extra qualifying merit, and therefore justifies the waiver in their case but not yours, you may reasonably ask the assessor to delineate what it is about the bachelor’s degree with the exception of the demonstration of competence in the relevant English CLEP tests, that justifies the award of this extra qualifying merit. What objective evidence is there that the bachelor graduate’s competence in written English is superior to yours?

If a graduate earned a bachelor degree by way of objective proficiency exams, there IS no evidence. The only testament to competence resides in the record of their performance in the single written examination to which they were subjected, namely the CLEP “English Composition with Essay”. They have exactly the same record as do you. No better.

Therefore, you respectfully request, nay, insist, that you be given the same consideration in respect of the waiver of the WER.

You could try something like that. Who knows, they may bite. You have nothing to lose.










 Is it possible to earn credits by taking these exams, and then to transfer those credits to the local college, and earn my degree from my local collage?



Yes, it is possible to earn and apply exam credit to a degree offered by your local college or university. If you mean, can you earn the entire degree, or most of the degree at your local college by testing out in proficiency exams, the short answer is, no. Most colleges and universities restrict the amount of credit they award for passing proficiency exams. Some may grant no credit at all, but most will grant some.

The Big Three of COSC, Excelsior, and TESC, allow 100% exam-based credit in fulfillment of degree requirements, of course. The BOG and BOT BA degrees can be earned in large part by testing out, too, as I recall. Links to institutions offering these can be found at the top of the BA in 4 Weeks online and distance learning resources section. The advantage of the BOT/BOG BA is that degrees are awarded by large and well established state universities. They're also cheap, and Fed funds are readily available.

See your local college academic counselor to establish how much credit they will allow in transfer to THEIR degree program, and of that total, how much can comprise exam-based credit. Other point would be, how much new credit may be earned by testing out, once you have enrolled. All in all it will likely not be a significant fraction of required degree credit. That is why I've gone on about the BOT and the BOG. These may prove your best bet, if the main assessment institutions wont do.

Finally, you could look to bank exam-based credit and try to improve its currency that way (but I do not think it works), or you could launder the credit by enrolling in one of the Big Three and applying it to one of their degree programs. When you have enough, you could attempt to transfer it, lock, stock, and barrel, to a degree program at your local college. Might work - up to 90 semester hours.








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