series is primarily written to benefit mature adults who, for whatever
reason, failed to start or failed to complete an undergraduate BA or BS
degree, and who now seek some method of demonstrating and translating
current competencies into academic credit and thence into an accredited,
and widely recognized college degree.
The Web pages collectively
provide a road map detailing the nuts and bolts of the process of gathering
credit by examination and converting it into a bachelor diploma, and why it
is that you, the motivated intelligent student will likely succeed in that
You may have spent the past
ten or twenty years providing for and caring for your family, or have
subordinated your academic ambitions to finance or otherwise help support
those of your spouse or partner. You may have blown an earlier chance on a
misspent youth and have long regretted the consequences. Whatever the
reason, one way or another you probably feel you have paid your dues
and that now it's your turn.
The title of the series is BA
in 4 weeks. Four weeks is the practical minimum amount of time in
which this process can reasonably be completed. The process includes the
completion of all degree credit requirements. There will probably be an
additional delay while administrative gears whir and turn, before the
actual degree diploma is cranked out.
It's estimated that 15% to
20% of motivated adults could complete the process in under a month if
inclined to do so. I think it entirely likely that fully 60% of motivated
adults taking on this project, could complete degree requirements within
six months. I am as sure as I can be that close to 90% of motivated adults
could complete degree requirements within a year.
Estimated percentage of
motivated, intelligent, adults capable of earning degree by
examination in time t
BA within 1 month
BA within 6 months
BA within 1 year
My opinion is based on the
practical experience of having earned two bachelor degrees largely by
examination, encompassing forty proficiency exams for a total of 190
semester hours credit. I note that 92.6% of all credit hours appearing in
my USNY/Regents/Excelsior college transcripts were awarded for passing
The 15% to 20% passing in four weeks is not an estimate
plucked out of thin air. These exams are "normed" relative to the
performance of a population of young college students. Experienced,
motivated adults, who set themselves the task of completing these tests,
outperform their younger brethren by quite a margin.
The 15% to 20% of students who can consistently score
"A"s in these exams or score in the top 20% of all students, can
likely pass most of the same exams (within the top 50%) with no study at
all. This is not because the exams are a sham, but because these adults
have accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the course of a lifetime that
has direct application in these tests.
If you have less knowledge coming into the process, it
will take you longer to complete it. How much longer depends on your
existing knowledge base, how efficiently you study, and your native wit.
Now clearly, if you spent
your life reading comics or watching TV soap operas, and were never
intellectually curious, you're going to have a harder time of it. However,
most reading this series and intent on completing a degree, are self
selecting for success. To read even this far demonstrates curiosity and
motivation. This series isn't for everyone, but it is for
those who have the motivation to read it through to the end and implement
the suggested strategies.
There is nothing in the
actions proposed in this series that I and others as average adult learners
have not already proved doable, and that you, at least our equal, cannot do
too. This series is not borne of theory and wishful thinking but of
practical experience and demonstrable accomplishment. It is not a prospectus
for the gifted elite, but a usable guide for ordinary men and women who
dare to do something extraordinary.
It should be noted that examinations are
not the only route to college credit. Portfolio assessment is one
alternative. This method requires that you map some demonstrable skill to a
college credit course. For instance, assembly language programming 301 and
(say) microprocessor systems design and peripheral interfacing 457 (from
XYZ university) course requirements might be met and competency
demonstrated by presenting narrative, source code, and schematic, of a Z80
based single board computer you designed in the 1980s (liberal arts credit
- engineering credit would be time limited). You may have written a killer
budget report for financial year 1995/1996 that could be used in evidence
to garner credit in the equivalent Financial Management course FIN3AXD at
UCLA. Alternatively, you may just play the banjo like a banshee and have
sniffed out a college credit course that maps to that demonstrable skill.
The key point is that the competency for which you request credit must have
a corollary in some accredited college course. You choose the course and
the college. Very flexible.
The other main source of credit
is via the traditional route of class, assignment, exam/assessment. Many if
not most adult learners starting out on this journey will already have some
credit, though it be decades old, upon which they can call. Note though,
that for the purposes of this series we assume no prior credit.
Credit can only be awarded or
earned by credit transfer from a regionally accredited institution, from a
foreign institution (once credit has been properly evaluated for
equivalency), for some ACE evaluated certifications, or otherwise earned by
demonstration of competencies.
Competency in a subject can
be demonstrated by sitting and passing a prescribed standardized exam, or
by submission of a portfolio which provides evidence of your proficiency in
a subject that has a corollary in some college level course offered by a
regionally accredited institution.
It is likely that most people
will earn their degree using credit earned in a variety of ways. The game
here is not necessarily to earn all credit via examination, or by way of
portfolio assessment, or even to do it all in a month. The trick is to make
efficient use of your existing credit and native talent to achieve your
goal. This series seeks to provide a template that you can apply in whole
or in part to your particular set of circumstances where and when you think
The title, BA in 4 Weeks,
is used as a vehicle to convey possibilities and to provide a convenient
platform for exposition of methods and techniques. There is no imperative
that the process be wrapped up in a month. The process may be completed in
as little as 4 Weeks but does not have to be completed
in that time frame. Clearly, learners can pace themselves as best suits
their unique abilities and circumstances.
in 4 Weeks describes how legitimate college credit and a fast, economical
associate’s (AA or AS) degree or bachelor degree (BA or BS), may be earned
by way of standardized proficiency exams, comprising CLEP, DANTES (DSST),
ECE (formerly ACT/PEP), GRE subject, and TECEP. Distance learning focused
regionally accredited assessment colleges and universities accepting
100% exam based credit include, Charter Oak State College ( COSC ),
Excelsior College (formerly Regents college of the University of the State
of New York (USNY)), Thomas Edison State College (TESC), and the Board of
Governors (BOG) and Board of Trustees (BOT) BA degree programs offered by
several universities in Illinois.
of science and bachelor of arts degrees are offered in a wide variety of
academic and professional disciplines in the Liberal Arts, in
Accountancy, Business Administration, Computer Information systems,
History, Nursing, Psychology, and on. All can be earned by testing out.
Degrees from Excelsior College offer students using exam-based
credit, the singular opportunity to construct a first class grade point
average (GPA), which may prove useful in submission of academic
transcripts to graduate schools or in application for employment.
accredited master degrees are listed and will be reviewed in-depth.
Graduate degrees covered include MA, MBA, M.Ed., MS, M.Eng., MSc, LLM, and
Ph.D. All graduate programs listed are 100% distance learning degrees, and
the majority are administered entirely online. Many disciplines are
represented, including, master degree offerings in Liberal studies and in the
Sciences, in Accountancy, Business Administration, computer engineering and
computer studies, political science, psychology, teaching, religion, and
the Social Services.
CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION IN BA
IN 4 WEEKS INCLUDE:
1. Legitimacy of the institution
- defined as, state funded, and recognized by the government of the country
as an institution of higher learning, or, in the case of US
institutions, they may be public or private, but they must be regionally
2. Programs must be truly distance
learning programs - There must be no requirement for any visits to the
administering institution or its agents, other than occasional local
excursions for the purposes of writing proctored exams. Note that programs
listed may recommend and offer face to face seminars and other personal
encounters, but none are required.
Click here for
more on inclusion criteria
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colleges and universities listed and featured in the body of work
comprising, BA in 4 Weeks, are either US regionally accredited or the
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Since specific advertisers and advertisements cannot be determined a
priori, filtering occurs after the fact of a first appearance.
for regionally accredited institutions, DETC accredited institutions, and
the foreign equivalent of regionally accredited institutions, may appear on
this website. Rarely, the advertisements of not yet accredited institutions
that are in the author’s view, otherwise legitimate, may also appear.
party vendors are also screened and those whose niche is the promotion of
unaccredited colleges and universities, are removed. The remainder who
promote schools, promote overwhelmingly, accredited schools, but even they
from time to time may deal in material pertaining to unaccredited schools.
Every effort is made to filter the undesirable, but this is not an exact
science and there is no way to predict what others may decide to publish on
ARE URGED TO DO DUE DILIGENCE ON, AND TO CHECK THE ACCREDITATION OF, ANY
SCHOOL BEFORE COMMITTING TO A PROGRAM OF STUDY.