Quick Degrees Online – How to Finish College Quickly
Searching for quick degrees online? You CAN finish your degree sooner than you think.
Think 18 months for a Bachelor’s degree.
I’m not even joking. I know that usually it takes 4 years. But I have a plan for you.
I’m going to give you a list of 12 methods you can use today to speed up how long it takes you to complete a college degree. I’ll also walk you through a few examples of JUST how quickly you could get an associate degree or a Bachelor’s degree.
No matter what college you choose to attend, you CAN speed up the time to being done by taking advantage of these tactics.
Quick Degrees Online – 12 Methods to Help You Finish College Quickly
By using a combination of the methods listed below, you can quickly accumulate college credits and fast-track your degree completion.
In some cases (like Method #1), you can earn credit for 2 college classes in just 90 minutes! Or 4 college classes in 3 hours! I skipped an entire semester of college using this method alone and so can you!
- Max out your university’s credit by exam policy
- Turn your life experience into college credits with a Credit for Prior Learning portfolio
- Get college credit for your certifications and licenses
- Take the maximum credits allowed each semester
- Get college credit for your military experience
- Participate in an internship
- Participate in an Alternative Break program for college credit
- Enroll in an Intersession Abroad session
- Take dual credit classes
- Take Advanced Placement (AP) classes
- Participate in an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program
- Take part in a pre-college summer program
Max out your university’s credit by exam policy
Did you know that most universities will give you the option to get credit for a class that you didn’t attend? This is called credit by exam and here’s how it works using Midwestern State University as an example. Most universities will be similar.
- Check out your college’s online handbook to see how many credit by exam credits they will allow. MSU allows 60 credit hours. Most will allow between 15-30 credits. Each school has their own policies on what exams are allowed and how many courses out of your degree can be CBE. Find out your school’s credit by exam policy limit and MAX IT OUT. This is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to get college credits.
- Choose an exam that matches the knowledge and expertise you already have. These exams are administered through the:
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
- Dantes Subject Standardized Tests (DSST)
- Thomas Edison State Credit (TECEP)
- New York University Language Exams
- Excelsior College Exams (ECE)
There are a lot of choices for exams. I’m sure you can find one that will match your knowledge from business, leadership and music.
- Register for the exam online and pay your fee. CLEP is $80, DSST is $80, TECEP is $75, ECE is $110, NYU is $450. Each exam will give you from 3-16 credits.
- Choose a study guide. These will usually be recommended by the site administering the exam. Always go with the official study guide from the site. Not some knockoff version on Ebay. Not worth it.
- Schedule a time to take the exam at either a test center, college or online (TECEP offers the option of writing online).
- Study your butt off! This is not the easy part. You will have to put the work in for this.
- Write your exam.
- Take the night off and binge watch all the Netflix shows you had to put on hold while you studied.
- Yes, you’re not done. Take as many credit by exams as your university will allow.
Turn your life experience into college credits with a Credit for Prior Learning portfolio
You know how people joke they went to the “School of Hardknocks”? Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is what gives you actual college credits for your life experiences. Most universities and colleges will have policies in place to help you earn credit for your past work or life experiences. Saving you a LOT of time in classes.
Some names used for getting credit for life experience are:
- Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
- Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)
- Portfolio Assessment
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
- Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
- Experiential Learning
- Alternative Credit
I’m going to use Ivy Tech Community College as my example just to show this is a real thing. At Ivy Tech they call it a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Portfolio.Here’s how you would go about getting credit for the School of Hardknocks at Ivy Tech.
- Most schools will require that you are enrolled in a degree program to qualify for PLA credit, this is true of Ivy Tech.
- At Ivy Tech, your first step is to meet with your faculty advisor.
- You will determine along with your faculty advisor what courses are the best fit for your pre-existing skills.
- Then you put together your portfolio exactly the way your school wants it done. Attention to detail is key.
Include any of these accomplishments
- Life experiences
- Recreational pursuits
- Describe what competencies you have mastered, your goals for the future and demonstrate how you have already covered the material from the course descriptions.
- Include any documents, awards or letters or recommendations that you have received.
At Ivy Tech, there is a $50 fee for each PLA portfolio that you submit. If you have the right mix of experience, credentials and knowledge you can apply for multiple class credits through PLA. Utilize this! Rack your brain for how you can get credit for everything you’ve already done.
Get college credit for your certifications and licenses
If you have been working as a professional already your certificate or license may qualify you for college credit. Without having to submit a portfolio. That means less work. That is a good thing.
You could get credit for:
- A pilot’s license
- Being a Certified Public Accountant
- Military Service
- Being a Project Management Professional (PMP)
- As a Real Estate Agent
- Working with Ameritech
- Working as an Early Childhood Professional
- Working at IBM
- Being a Manager at Chili’s
- Even working at McDonald’s!
The full list is here. Take a look! You could be sitting on some credit!
The American Council for Education even will give you a list of which institutes accept ACE credit.
Bismarck State College (BSC) provides Credit for prior Industry Training.
Here’s how to get your credit at BSC:
- Search through the list of ACE credit recommendations.
- Match your workplace training with a BSC course.
- Register for the ACE Transcript and have your transcript sent to BSC.
Take the maximum credits allowed each semester
This option translates to put your nose to the grindstone and do nothing but school. We called it the “get ‘er done!” approach. A typical college or university on campus program will allow you to take 18 credit hours in the fall term, 18 credit hours in the spring and then 6 hours in the summer. This would add up to 42 credit hours per year at a traditional campus program.
If you add in taking two online classes at a time you can add an extra 6 credit hours every 8 weeks. Sometimes, if you are really smart, have a good GPA and have your school’s permission you can take up to 9 credit hours online every 8 weeks. I have a friend who at Columbia College used this approach and managed to earn 54 credit hours in a year.
Get college credit for your military experience
Serving in the military requires hardwork and dedication. That can also translate into college credits for your service. The ACE will work together with the Department of Defense to review your military training and experience. Together they can recommend the right college credits for a member of the Armed Force.
The military offers a document called the Joint Services Transcript (JST) which provides proof of a service member’s experience and training. Your JST will also recommend which ACE college credits you qualify for. Of course, each institution, program and degree will vary on what credits they accept. Check it out first. You don’t want to make a plan and then have it fall to pieces. Not fun
Most schools will provide credit for at least some of your military experience. Independence University states that military experience and previous college credits could meet up to 75% of your credit requirement.
Your JST can be as simple to get as:
- Log into the JST website
- Click on “Official Transcript Request”
- Select your school
- Choose to have the transcript delivered electronically or via U.S. Postal Service
Participate in an internship
The thought of an internship often makes us shudder and think of long grueling hours doing grunt work and getting little to no pay.
But on occasion an internship can be more than that. You just have to know how to play it.
Some colleges will award you credit for an internship. You work AND you get credits. That’s a good combo. Like ham and pineapple pizza.
One example is Loyola University Chicago. LUC offers credit for an internship that builds on the knowledge in the classroom, teaches you transferable skills, has defined goals and is supervised by a professional.
Here’s the steps to working and getting credit from LUC at the same time:
- Find a job that is related to your field and matches your school’s criteria for an internship.
- Submit a position description to the Internship director requesting approval to count the job as an internship.
- Enroll in the coordinating course offered by your school, usually a 1-3 credit hour class.
- Complete your internship with flair and style!
- Turn in any course assignments.
- Receive 1 credit for 56 work hours, 2 credits for 85 work hours and 3 credits for 120 work hours.
- Revel in your genius skills of gaining work experience and credits simultaneously.
Just a word of caution. Check everything out before you agree to an internship. Everything.
Make sure that:
- your company will participate in an internship credit program.
- your college will accept internship for credit.
- You cover all the details like how many hours, what paperwork is required and whether you need to pay for the credits.
Participate in an Alternative Break program for college credit
Usually spring break is associated with trips to Florida and wild, crazy parties. But if you are serious about getting your degree quickly you can use your spring break to get…more credits!
But this isn’t a boring stuck in class while everybody else has fun option. You will most likely have an awesome experience! Learn valuable life skills. Immerse yourself in another culture. Make memories for a lifetime AND get college credit.
Ivy Tech Community College offers a 1-week trip to London, England. Um, hello? That sounds super amazing.
You pay $1998 and you get
- 3 credits
- A trip to the heart of London where you explore the history, art, architecture and development of one of the world’s most fascinating cities
- Transportation to the airport, round trip flights and your hotel room.
Enroll in an Intersession Abroad session
Let’s say you tried a “little” trip abroad on your spring break. Now you’re bitten by the travel bug. There’s even bigger opportunities for earning travel abroad.
By the way, being able to say “I spent some time abroad” makes you sound like you belong on the set of Downtown Abbey.
Merrimack College has an opportunity to spend 3 weeks over summer break in San Gimignano, Italy. You get to study Michelangelo, his world-famous sculptures, paintings and architecture. See it all for yourself!
Total cost is $6200 and gives you:
- 8 credits
- Round trip airfare
- Hotel accommodations, meals, transportation and tickets
- Travel insurance
- An amazing unforgettable life experience
There is no way to put a price tag on experiences. Earning credits seems more like a bonus to the experience.
Opportunities for high school students to earn college credit
While you are still in high school you can get a head start on your degree. You are going to school anyways. Most likely you’re living at home.
Just a heads up, life isn’t going to get easier. Now is the best time to get ahead.
While your peers are playing video games and spending time on Snapchat, you could be earning college credits. That would mean in a couple years those friends will be stuck in college classes and crying about exams while up to their necks in student loans.
You could be done your degree, working making money and already successfully adulting.
Take a look at the next 4 opportunities specifically for high school students to get a jump start on earning a college degree quickly. I’ll take examples from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education but most states will have similar programs in place. Just google “College credit in high school” and your state name.
Take dual credit classes
Dual credit classes = taking one class and getting high school AND college credit. Double the credits but the same amount of work. Like dating somebody who is hot and has a great personality!
Common names for this program are Concurrent Enrollment, Dual Credit, Dual Enrollment, College in the Schools, CEP, College Now or College in High School.
How it works in Minnesota:
- Juniors and Seniors with adequate school grades can take FREE college-level courses at their high school.
- You work hard, you learn lots and you pass the class. Just like you’re doing for all your other high school classes.
- Your high school’s partnering college will award you with 3 college credits.
- You can use that college credit towards the degree you want to work towards. Check to make sure you are taking courses that will go towards your degree to save you time and money in the end.
Take Advanced Placement classes
Advanced Placement (AP) classes are like dual credit courses. The major difference is to earn the college credit you must take a AP exam. You must pay for the exam, in Minnesota it is $44-53 per exam.
- Be a high school student with an acceptable GPA.
- Complete the class work, learn as much as you can.
- Check with the college you want to attend on what score you need to be awarded credit. Usually 3 or higher.
- Study hard!
- Take the AP exam, which is a college level exam.
- Get excited (if you have a happy dance, now would be a good time to use it) when your fantastic exam score is submitted to the college of your choice and you earn 3 college credits.
Participate in an International Baccalaureate Diploma program
Do you dream of attending college internationally? The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is ideal as the credits earned are often recognized internationally.
The IB is a 2 year pre-college program geared towards high school students ages 16-19 years. Courses are offered in 6 subject groups: primary language, second language, mathematics, experimental sciences, arts and humanities.
The steps are similar to an AP class again but more intensive:
- Be a high school student with an acceptable GPA.
- Complete the class work in all 6 subjects, learn as much as you can.
- Nose to the books! You are going to have to take all 6 subject exams and earn at least 24 points to get your pre-college diploma
- Take the IB exams, in Minnesota each exam costs $20-80.
- Participate in a community service program.
- Write an essay of 4,000 words
- Complete the Theory of Knowledge course
- Start looking at international colleges and dream of sipping coffee in Venice while attending university.
An IB pre-college diploma gives you an advanced start to attending college. Your credits will often be recognized internationally and your academic performance will be enhanced. Definitely a strong start to college! Like the Superhero of college prep courses.
Take part in a pre-college summer program
You can even take summer college courses in your sophomore, junior or senior years. Cornell University offers high school students the opportunity to take some really interesting classes (veterinary medicine, art, design, fashion, robotics, etc.) over the summer on the Cornell University campus taught by University professors.
The courses vary from 3-6 weeks and you can walk away with 3-8 credits plus the experience of ACTUALLY attending University classes.
You’ll need to:
- Be a sophomore, junior or senior younger than 18 when you graduate high school.
- Be awesome. Just saying. High academic ability, maturity and intellectual curiosity. But the fact that you are looking at this site means you probably have those skills. Don’t underestimate yourself.
- Submit an application and a letter of recommendation. Admission is not based on GPA, that’s something that can help you if your high school marks aren’t high.
How quickly can you get an Associate’s degree?
We’ve covered many different options and opportunities to help you earn your degree quickly. But how quick do you think you could earn an Associate’s degree?
Check out this example and be amazed.
An Associate’s degree is basically just completing the general education requirements. Most colleges will state that you need at least 60 credit hours which typically equals 5 courses a semester, 2 semesters a year and you are done in 2 years.
But what if we tried this approach?
- Enroll at a university that allows you to earn 15 credits (or more) via credit by exam. Most online universities will allow up to 15 credit by exam hours. Take full advantage of this!
- Submit a Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) portfolio. Many universities will set a limit on how many credits you can get from your CPL portfolios. The goal would be to get at least 15 credits for all the work you have already done.
At this point you have already gathered half the credit hours (30 credit hours) you need for your Associate degree without taking a class. The last part will involve some dedicated hard work but it will be fast.
- Register for accelerated online classes. Accelerated online classes typically last 8 weeks.The majority of schools will have 5 or 6 semesters per year for online classes. If you take 2 classes worth 3 credit hours every 8 weeks you will earn 30+ credit hours.
How quickly can you get a Bachelor’s degree?
Staring down the timeline of a Bachelor’s degree can be daunting. Typically it involves 4 years of your life dedicated to classes, courses, assignments, textbooks and not being able to make a full time income. That’s a huge chunk of your life to put into a Bachelor’s degree!
But it doesn’t have to be that bad. Promise. We’ve been there, remember? My husband desperately needed to be done his degree in the quickest time frame possible. We didn’t have the time or money to slog away at 4 years of University.
Here’s the best case scenario for the absolute fastest way to get a Bachelor’s degree.
Usually a Bachelor’s degree consists of 120 credit hours. So let’s say you:
- Enroll with a university that will grant you at least 18-30 credits via credit by exam. Maybe even more.
- Complete and submit a Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) portfolio. Some universities will place a cap on how many CPL credits you can have towards your degree. A good option is a college like Charter Oak State College which has no limit on how many CPL credits you can have. Aim for at least 30 credits.
At this point you will have 60 credit hours completed. That’s halfway there! Time for the mad dash to the finish line.
- Register for accelerated online classes. Accelerated online classes typically last 8 weeks. The majority of schools offer 5 or 6 semesters per year for online classes. If you take 2 classes worth 3 credit hours every 8 weeks (meaning 6 semesters in a year) you will earn 36 credit hours every year.
So you have 60 credit hours from your Credit by Exams and Credit for Prior Learning, you get 36 credits in your first year through online classes and in the next 6 months you continue with online classes earning another 24 credit hours. You’re done! Bachelor’s degree in 18 months.
Add in other scenarios like you already have a few college credits or you qualify for credits via your military experience and you could be done your degree even quicker.
The absolute quickest possibility would be to attend a college like Charter Oak State College. Charter Oak State has NO limits on credit by exam or CPL. You could work like crazy submitting portfolios and taking every exam you possible.
If you stay focused and ace those exams like the hardworking genius you are you could get a Bachelor’s degree in less than 1 year. 1 year. An elephant is pregnant for longer than that. You could have a Bachelor’s degree quicker than an elephant has a baby.
An accelerated online degree allows you to jump start your earning power. Who says no to earning more money? The choices of potential careers offer something for everyone.
With the adoption of distance learning, online classes and quick online degrees by many traditional colleges and private institutions, there are a wealth of choices to make. You could end up with 4-5 different degrees in your career! If you wanted to go all crazy like that.
Planning your path to a degree will show you shortcuts, but there are no substitutes for studying and hard work. Being aware of all your options will help you to make the most informed decisions for your future career and financial stability. Degrees do pay off over time, and earning a quick online degree puts you into the job market faster and with less debt than the traditional on-campus route.
Quick Online Degrees: How and Where to Start
It can be a little confusing, trying to figure out the differences between a certification, a technical diploma, and the degrees classified as associate, baccalaureate and master’s. Very often community colleges (also called junior or two-year colleges) and proprietary educational institutions will offer the first three, and colleges and universities the latter two.
- Certificate: Generally issued for a specific technical or vocational course of study without the educational breadth requirement.
- Technical diploma: More advanced than a certificate and with hands on practical instruction. An example would be a nursing diploma issued by a hospital based nursing school.
- Associate degree: Essentially the lower division courses that could comprise the first two years of a baccalaureate degree, with a focus on technical skills as well as general education requirements. For example, an Associates of Applied Science in Accounting.
- Bachelor’s degree: Sometimes called a four-year degree, this is composed of broad general education requirements followed by upper division courses related to the student’s major area of study.
- Master’s degree: Postgraduate degree indicating a specialized area of study and depth of knowledge.
The decision to further your education with one of the many quick online degrees can take you into an in-demand career with good pay, job security and financial stability. But it is not all easy-peasy. Don’t just jump in.
You will want to consider that while associate degree credits can usually be transferred to a four-year institution, a certificate or technical diploma cannot – unless in very specific circumstances such as a nursing diploma RN entering a BSN program later in her career.
A student in a degree program could chose to pursue a certification in various skills related to their chosen field as a way to enhance their skills and making themselves a more valuable hire. Meaning: Make more money and get more promotions.
Other cases, such as professional certifications, may also intersect with your chosen course of study. For example, a Computer Science major might seek Cisco certifications related to a specific field, such as network architecture.
Likewise, credits from undergraduate studies resulting in a bachelor’s degree may be considered during the admissions process to graduate school programs. There are even accelerated programs for a master’s degree where the student starts to take upper division courses that may also be applied toward the core curriculum requirements of the master’s program.
Such a program is called the 4+1 or blended master’s degree, as the four years of undergraduate work are followed by only one year of graduate school, instead of following the traditional two year timeframe.
Are quick degrees easy?
This is a pretty common question. Online degrees earned at an accelerated pace are just as rigorous as the traditional, on-campus classes. Yes, online degrees offer quick online classes at 5-week, 6-week, or 8-week intervals, but they aren’t any easier than any other college course.
You will still have to do your assigned readings, participate in class discussions, and submit assigned term papers. The primary difference between traditional college courses and online college courses is the lack of face-to-face interaction, the other aspects of the course are the same. You have to do the work to pass the class.
Undergraduate and Graduate School Admissions Tests
Admission to a college program, even when entirely online, generally requires an application and academic records showing a certain grade-point average, and in many cases scores from the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT (American College Testing). However, there are exceptions.
The National Center for Fair and Open Testing lists more than 800 schools who do not require the SAT or the ACT, and under what – if any – conditions. The list includes state universities, well-known private universities, proprietary schools, religious colleges and even some of the “almost Ivy” colleges such as Bates, Bowdoin, Colby, Swarthmore, Tufts and Wesleyan. If getting a good mark on SATs wasn’t your goal in high school you still got hope!
Conditions under which an SAT or ACT scores may be required are:
- For accurate academic advising or class level placement.
- For out of state applicants only.
- When minimum GPA has not been met.
- When applying for certain classes or programs.
In some cases, the SAT or ACT may be waived if other college level exams are specified and submitted as part of your academic records by your school, such as those for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate curriculum or CLEP examinations. Just because a school does not require an SAT or ACT score doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent school, it simply means that the school has other ways of looking at and assessing an applicant’s academic potential.
Graduate schools may require the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), or the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) for entry into an MBA program.
Undergraduate General Education Requirements
Unless you are applying to a strictly technical program at a proprietary school, as an undergraduate you will be required to fulfill a certain number of course hours and pass the minimum requirement before your undergraduate degrees can be issued. This means that you will have to finish your classes and jump through all the hoops. Hand in papers, finish assignments, do a good job, get a passing mark.
These courses represent a higher level of learning from most high school courses, and are considered the foundation of an undergraduate degree, even when you’re going for quick online degrees. These courses are expected to dominate the freshman and sophomore years of a bachelor’s degree, and are as follows:
- Natural Sciences
- Arts and Literature
- Social Sciences
However, there are ways around the requirements that can save time as well as a large amount of money. It’s like a secret spy entrance. I’ll give you the password. It’s CLEP.
The average tuition for a course is about $700 – significantly less in some schools or more in others – why not take an $80 exam that delivers as many as 12 credits in 90 minutes? The College Level Examination Program offers examinations to replace 33 lower division courses and is accepted by thousands of institutions as creditable coursework for the above requirements.
Don’t forget that these are college-level exams. This isn’t your friendly fifth grade homework assignment “write about your summer.” Testers are expected to show command of the course material equivalent to that of a student ending their sophomore year.
Beyond simply saving on tuition, by taking and passing the examinations for courses that require laboratory work, you eliminate the need to commute to those classes. More savings! More free time!
The Value of a Quick Degrees Online
The value of quick online degrees in a rough economy might not be obvious. But there’s the cost of classes, course materials, and the time and effort needed to study and pass.
If you look at the value of a degree – any degree – over time you will see that it all adds up. The National Labor Board’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently conducted research into all full-time workers over the age of 25 across all levels of educational attainment and averaged their pay and unemployment percentages to $827 per week with 6.1 percent unemployment.
Here’s the breakdown of the different earnings between master’s degree and high school diploma levels below:
- High school diploma: Brings home $651 in average weekly earnings, for $176 less than the average per week, or an earnings shortfall of $9,152 per year. The average unemployment rate is given as 7.5 percent.
- Some college, but no degree: Brings home $727 in average weekly earnings, for $100 less than the average per week, or a shortfall of $5,200 per year. The average unemployment rate is given as 7 percent.
- Associate degree: Brings home $777 in average weekly earnings, for $50 less than the average per week, or an earnings shortfall of $2,600 per year. The average unemployment rate is given as 5.4 percent.
- Bachelor’s degree: Brings home $1,108 in average weekly earnings, for $281 above average per week, or earnings $14,612 per year above average. The average unemployment rate is given as 4 percent.
- Master’s degree: Brings home $1,329 average weekly earnings, for $502 above average per week, or $26,104 per year above average. The average unemployment rate is given as 3.4 percent.
Thinking about those earnings across 10 years of a career can make the choice seem obvious:
- High School Diploma: Over 10 years, will see $91,520 less than average in earnings.
- Some college, but no degree: Over 10 years will see $52,000 less than average in earnings.
- Associate degree: Over 10 years, will see $26,000 less than average in earnings.
- Bachelor’s degree: Over 10 years, will see $146,120 in above average earnings.
- Master’s degree: Over 10 years, will see $261,040 in above average earnings.
And these numbers are only average, not accounting for career advancement, raises or periods of unemployment. Salaries also vary by specialty, what would you choose? The possibility of making $146,120 more over 10 years or earning $91,520 less in ten years. I can think of a lot of good uses for $146,120. I bet you could too!
Quick Degree Programs Offer So Many Possibilities
Unless a preferred course of study has significant laboratory requirements, it is possible to attain most degrees online, from wherever the student has an Internet connection.
Some of the many possibilities for quick online degrees include:
- Accounting: Finance Accounting, Forensic Accounting and Accounting Information Systems
- Business: Business Administration, Business Finance and Marketing
- Computer Science: Software Design, Network Management and Web Development
- Fashion and Fashion Management
- Video Game Design and Development
- Healthcare Management
- Criminal Justice
- Public Administration
These are a just a few of the options available for you to complete online, and the only way to find the program you’re looking for is to shop around. Do some online window shopping.
Even if you can’t find everything you want at one school, or in one program, so long as your courses are taken from accredited institutions, those credits should be transferable to another school where you may choose to complete the requirements for your degree.
Accredited Quick Degrees Online – Regional Accreditation vs. National Accreditation
Checking your school’s accreditation and your program’s accrediting bodies is a vital step and should never, ever be skipped for any reason whatsoever. Never. Ever. Promise me you won’t skip this.
Accreditation means the difference between a valuable degree and a meaningless entry on a resume, or possibly losing everything you’ve worked so hard for to an unscrupulous school. Accreditation means a standard quality of instruction and course materials, accountability, and the transferability of credits earned from that coursework to another degree granting institution as needed by the student.
If you earned an Associate of Science in Accounting from a community college and then wanted to continue your education and earn a baccalaureate at a four-year state college. Or if you were at a four-year college and wanted to apply to a master’s program. You would need both of the prospective schools to agree and verify that your coursework and degrees met the standard of their own programs.
If the school was not accredited, or had bought accreditation from an accreditation mill, you would yourself having to start all over again. Then you would cry. I would cry too.
This is where CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation) comes in. CHEA accredits schools and programs at 3,000 degree-granting schools, and 60 institutional and program-related accrediting bodies. Among the accrediting organizations, CHEA recognizes several types:
- Regional Accrediting Organizations: Accrediting a group of schools within a given group of states.
- Faith-Related Accrediting Organizations: Accrediting religious education and theological schools.
- Career-Related Accrediting Organizations: Accrediting distance study programs and proprietary schools.
- Programmatic Accrediting Organizations: Accreditation pertaining to particular majors and career paths.
Checking with CHEA and the Department of Education for accreditation protects you, your investment, and your future potential earnings from fraudulent schools with fraudulent accreditation who would give you what would be at best a worthless degree.
The Future of Degrees
The need of the workforce for highly educated, specialized workers is not going away anytime soon. From nursing to high finance and education to computer science, the degree is becoming as much a qualification for entry-level jobs in growth professions as a high school diploma was in our grandparents’ day.
Programs for quick online degrees can put you into a highly competitive workforce faster. You could be starting with potentially less debt to repay than a more traditional format.
At the same time those with hectic schedules, home life demands, or even those already in the workforce can benefit by choosing classes that fit their schedules, instead of shoehorning classes into an already jam-packed life. Make the most of your time, take steps toward financial and job security, and maximize your potential earning power by starting your search today.
Getting a degree can be necessary to getting a job. But often you lack the time and money that is needed to invest so much of your life to getting a degree. You can’t get ahead because you don’t have the time and money to make it happen.
So you sadly remain stuck.
But instead of being stuck you can be creative. There ARE opportunities available to you to get you a Bachelor’s degree without sacrificing 4 years of your life.
You just need to choose to go for it! I know you can do it. We did. It was hard but now it’s done.
What’s the biggest thing holding you back from going ahead? How would your life be different if you had an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree? Would 18 months of hard work be worth it?