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 BA in 4 Weeks

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited


Copyright   Lawrie Miller  1997 - 2004









I completed a General Motors apprenticeship program and have over 80 college credits with many in the construction field. The problem is that was 35 years ago and perhaps the credits would not be accepted.

My question has to do with my unique life experience. I have served as Vice President or President of Corporations for the past 23 years. I studied and got my insurance license, my real estate agent license, my real estate broker’s license, and my federal securities license. I have taken a half dozen companies public (got them trading on the stock market) and raised millions of dollars for them. I have developed about a quarter billion dollars of real estate. I have 2 published novels, one more in editing, am writing a biography and since I teach fiction writing, I have a new E-book for writers. I will stop here; you get the idea. In my circumstance, would you recommend presenting a portfolio for credits? The results being, perhaps, I would only need to take a few tests. I will respect your expertise.





Well, you seem to be a slam-dunk for either examination or portfolio.


I think examination is the quicker, easier, and cheaper route, but certainly, there may be ample documentary evidence of sufficiency there, that you could portfolio an entire degree, twice over.

Firstly, take inventory of your antique academic credit. It may be arthritic flotsam, but it is ALL useable as liberal arts credit. If you chose to earn a liberal arts degree, it would probably prove to be the fastest most convenient route. You could chose to do a major or graduate BA or BS in Liberal Studies, then get on with the MBA. Alternatively, you could do a Business degree. That might seem the logical choice. It may be that in that case, because of the degree’s structure and specialized requirements, there would be less opportunity to make use of all of your existing credit.

However, after inventory of your Paleolithic credit, look to trying the practice exams to determine how you might fair in any given subject. Perhaps in particular, given your background, you should have a go at the ECE Business exams. Try them all. Give yourself 30 minutes or less to complete each, then have your wife score them (you want to re-use the resource, so don’t look at the answers directly). If you score say 60% or above in all the mock tests, go for the Business degree. Schedule the real exams via Excelsior and Prometric, will take about an hour to book ‘em, if you pay by credit card – you don’t need to be enrolled in any college. Sit the exams, you will pass if you meet the performance level I’ve indicated (in the mocks).


You can book up to three exams per day. Each is three hours in length. Expect to finish most in about one hour to 90 minutes. You could complete the Business major by the end of the week. Then it’s a case of what you get for your relics (pre-existing credit), and how much of the general Ed. part of the degree they fulfill. Fill in any remaining deficiencies.


You may not have macro and micro economics. If you do, fine. The are designated “liberal arts” credit and thus have no expiration date. You will also need one Ethics course. Take the ECE exam, Ethics: Theory and Practice. See my book recommendations in the book section and comments in the Businesses degree manual.


You will have to write that capstone exam, “Business Policy and Strategy”. It may be **you** would require zero revision for this. It is in my opinion the most difficult 3-credit ECE exam. This view seemed to be shared by the Excelsior College staff I contacted. See my book recommendations and views articulated in the degree manual. As I recall, study time was two or three days, mainly because I was too cheap to buy the needed text before then.

We haven’t covered portfolio, I know. It is certainly an option. I just do not see how it would be that you are going to need it. If it were quicker or easier . . . While not as burdensome as many believe, it isn’t as cheap or quick or as convenient as testing out. Remember that the object of portfolio and testing out is the same. It is to demonstrate competence.


One other point to add on your licensure. It should be that these certifications have been ACE evaluated and likely have currency vis-à-vis the Business degree program in that they are less than twenty years old. Credit derived from these would, if think, be directly applicable to the Business degree core.

















In order to be accepted by any TCMD program(Traditional Chinese Medicine/Acupuncture) I need at least 60 College Credits(many of which should be Bio-Sciences) or a B.A

Here is my point of confusion. Most of these programs state that they will only accept 30 credits via CLEP.

I spoke with an Excelsior College Rep. and asked if my credit for a subject would indicate on my transcript whether I had gained the subject credit via CLEP or just a letter grade/GPA. The Rep. told me that in the transcript it would indeed indicate that the credit awarded originated from a CLEP exam.

Faced with this set of facts that I can only acquire 30 credits from CLEP(or am I perhaps misinformed regarding this?)and the rest of my credits via online or physical location(class room) instruction, what would you suggest as the most expedient approach?



 Yes, most all serious degrees and sub-degree certifications in the hard and the squishy sciences will require coursework with a lab component. In fact off hand, I cannot think of any exception. This rule applies to Excelsior degrees, too, of course. See page on the GRE subject exam and the 2nd degree primer in BA in 4 Weeks for notes on the relevant degrees.

It is also true that most colleges restrict the number of credits they will accept that have been earned by way of standardized exams. Indeed, it is in no small part because of that restriction, that COSC, Excelsior, and TESC, thrive. This is their niche - but I digress . . .

I’m wondering how many regionally accredited schools offer undergraduate degrees or diplomas in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Have you thought of completing a traditional bachelor of science in the Sciences at Excelsior (or COSC or TESC) and **then** committing yourself to study in oriental medicine? Yes, you will require labs, but perhaps as few as two. You may be able to complete the bulk of the major using a single GRE subject exam. The issue of having used proficiency exams to earn the bulk of your degree credit, will be rendered moot. You will be the holder of a degree conferred by a US regionally accredited institution, and I would be surprised if you encountered more than token resistance, if that.

In the course of research for, “Accelerated Master’s Degrees by Distance Learning”, I’ve applied for admission to a range of graduate programs, in disparate disciplines, offered by institutions on three continents. My transcripts are festooned with references to CLEP, DANTES (DSST), RCE/ECE, and GRE. You can’t miss ‘em. Admissions officers can’t miss ‘em. It is a record of the most rank proficiency exam opportunism. I seek to hide nothing in any application. I offer no mitigation. These are the degrees I have, and this is how they were earned. Clearly, I have no shame.

Apparently, neither do the (many) universities to which I have applied, for all have accepted me as a graduate student into their degree programs.




More I think about it, more it seems to me your best approach may be to target a bachelor’s degree in a traditional hard or squishy science, then tackle oriental medicine/acupuncture.

While you’re waiting to do the labs, you could concentrate on the remainder of the general ed. portion of the degree. After that, the labs, and the necessary study to pass the relevant subject GRE exam.







Website © Lawrie Miller 2004