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 BA in 4 Weeks

Unauthorized reproduction prohibited


Copyright   Lawrie Miller  1997 - 2004











Your forthcoming BA in 4 weeks BSCIS degree guide would be an instant sale if it were available today, but I guess I’ll have to make do without it for the time being.


I am not your typical BS-CIS candidate, since I have no professional experience in the IT industry, nor do I hold any academically recognized certifications. My training consists of programming courses at a technical school and an on-line course with an ACE-certified institution (result: diploma). I do however, possess a broad and in some areas, a deep knowledge of this field after additional years of studying on my own.


I was able to score 47% and 54% on the ICCP Self-Analysis Tests for Core and Procedural Programming , respectively (results like that would not nearly suffice for ICCP’s CCP, but are almost enough to earn their ACP designation) without any preparation. Also, I came close to passing the MCP exam on my first (and only) shot.


Unimpressive credentials for sure – which leads me to my question: Is it feasible for someone with no professional IT experience whatsoever to obtain a BS-CIS via the proficiency exam route, or would some additional college courses down the line be necessary?



As I’ve oft stated, unlike the other degrees in this (BA in Weeks) series, the BS in Computer Information Systems is designed for practicing professionals and really does require a deal of hands on experience, in my view, if the exams are to be negotiated successfully.


Yet . . . though perhaps a mite unconvincing now, your scores in the core mock assessment are encouraging for what they may portend, and while your experience and circumstance do not match the original qualifying description, they may nevertheless have provided you the necessary foundation to competently handle the challenge.


The CIS degree requires 120 semester hours, of which, at least 45 hours must be in CIS. If completing the entire degree via examination, the ICCP exams comprise an essential component of the degree CIS core. Vendor exams Microsoft, Novell, Comp TIA, are only accepted in the applied/professional component. One or two college proficiency exams can be used to fulfill requirements in the core (though you may know all this, other readers may not).



“The good news is that those with a broad (though not necessarily, deep) professional experience/ knowledge base, in the sub disciplines encountered in core, should have little difficulty in passing the ICCP exams. The vendor exams however, do require very specific knowledge, but many, set on completing this degree, will already be CNE and/or MCSE. Those who are not, may want to consider incorporating these certifications into their proposed degree structure in a sort of 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 "force multiplier" approach, comprising college degree, and assorted professional certifications.”



It seems to me you’re an apt candidate relative to the qualifying description comprising the first part of that pontification.








I have several credits from another college. Some of those hours are CLEP, DANTES, Professional Development, Ect. If they are awarded credit at that college will they transfer, or be reevaluated. ie CLEP score is below 50 but i got the credit from that college.

I am thinking about Excelsior



Interesting question.


If the original credit-granting college is regionally accredited - maybe. It may depend upon how that credit is recorded on the transcript, and, of course, when the tests were taken.


Prior to the introduction of CLEP CBT, the pass threshold scores for CLEP paper-based subject exams were nearly all, lower than 50 (standard score). Indeed, and for example, the passing standard score for paper-based CLEP Microeconomics was 41. It should be noted that the level of required competence was the same as today’s but the standard scores number representing a pass, was lower, generally speaking, by two or three points. So, if your scores are a product of your performance in the paper-based CLEP, it may be you passed at the same level of competence now indicated or denoted by a standard score of 50 in the CBT.


The reason I’ve gone on about this is that RA colleges usually follow or exceed ACE recommendations vis-ŕ-vis minimum (passing) scores. That is, they do not normally award credit for scores LESS THAN the minimum ACE recommends.


Given that, the remaining permutations are:



1. If your exam scores merited the award of credit based on ACE recommendations then in force, and that credit was awarded by a regionally accredited institution, you should experience no difficulty transferring it.


2. If your exam scores merited the award of credit based on ACE recommendations then in force, but that credit was NOT awarded by a regionally accredited institution, new credit would nevertheless be awarded, directly on the basis of those passing scores (even though they be less than the number “50” ). The credit awarded by the non-RA college would be ignored, of course.


3. If your exam scores DID NOT merit the award of credit based on ACE recommendations then in force, and the credit accrued was NOT awarded by a regionally accredited institution, no credit would transfer nor would any pass be awarded on the basis of the raw CLEP scores.









Website © Lawrie Miller 2004