How to Create a Degree Plan Strategy in 3 Steps

Have you ever played Tetris?

In this classic video game, geometric shapes comprised of four square blocks fall at random while each piece must fit into a corresponding open slot to eliminate a row.

Creating a degree plan works in a similar way. 

Instead of falling shapes, you will use transfer credits, exams and other prior learning assessment (PLA) methods to fill as many slots as possible to complete the requirements of your degree.

Then, you will take online courses to fill in the rest of the slots.

This is what’s known as a degree plan strategy. At traditional schools, students typically only identify the courses that they hope to register for in the next semester. As an adult learner with credits already earned and knowledge you can leverage for credit, you can plan more long range than the upcoming term and identify any number of methods, opportunities or courses to take in the future for earning those remaining credits.

Topics: Transferring College Credit, Going Back to College, Advising

7 Expert Tips to Nail the Job Interview

You’ve done your research, emailed your cover letter and resume, and waited (patiently?) to hear back.

And now, you get the call for an interview. Congratulations!

But the job is not yours yet. The interview is a big step, and it is time to prepare.

You need to be as prepared as possible for the day of your interview. Nothing can hurt your job prospects more than scrambling at the last minute, getting to the interview late and appearing disorganized. Here are seven tips to prepare for your interview so you project the confidence and readiness necessary to get the job done.

Topics: Career

5 Alternative College Credit Options That Can Fast-Track Your Degree

Years ago, the only way you could earn college credit was by sitting in a classroom for a set number of hours each week, carting around a stack of heavy textbooks as you shuffled from room to room, building to building or, even worse, campus to campus. In the cold. In the rain. No excuses.

Since then, a lot has changed.

Instead, your textbooks can be carried on a sleek and slim tablet while the hours you spend “in class” are entirely at your discretion. And your learning can happen anywhere, whether your classroom today is your dining room or some exotic locale.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

Meet CaptureSpace: Create and Edit Videos for Your Online Courses

Online learning is as engaging as ever – just visit any online classroom and you can see how learning is moving beyond the textbook.

For example, back in 2016, the University launched a set of tools that is changing the way students connect, collaborate and engage in the online classroom; we are also beginning to incorporate video content into courses, so no matter which industry you work in or degree program you are studying, learning about and using this kind of relevant technology is vital for any discipline

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses

7 Essential Steps for Adults Returning to College

I’ve read that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

And when you’re considering returning to college, that first step can feel like an intimidating one. Maybe you picture that step with a giant gapping crevice in the middle, panicked by the multitude of essentials you need to consider before you can even lace up your shoes to begin that journey.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately, these tips will help quell your fears and guide you toward making the right decisions for you, like a degree-pursuit Sherpa. So here’s how you can turn that single step into a running leap and ensure your journey is a successful one.

Topics: Going Back to College

Speak a Foreign Language? These 6 Exam Programs Can Help You Earn College Credit for It

According to the Ethnologue, the official catalogue of world languages, there are currently an estimated 7,099 living languages worldwide. How many can you speak?

Whether you know a second language or you’re the world’s greatest living linguist (the world record is 42), studies have shown that knowing another language provides many rewards in the form of increased cognitive capacity and broadened knowledge, let alone the ability to bridge social barriers.

It also gives you the ability to earn college credit. Depending on your linguistic skill level, there are a variety of exams that allow you to earn credit toward your degree by testing your foreign language proficiency. Some of these credit-by-exam programs focus on the oral/speaking aspects of a language, while others test your writing, translating and listening abilities. In fact, if you already speak another language fluently, a single exam can earn you upwards of 12 credits!

Topics: Credit by Exam

Should I Get an Associate Degree Before a Bachelor’s Degree?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I often hear a version of this theoretical question as it relates to earning a college degree. Of course, prospective applicants to the University ask me if they should earn an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree first, and not my theories on fowl evolution.

When it comes to which college degree to initially start, the most obvious answer is that one takes a shorter amount of time to earn than the other; an associate degree usually requires 60 credits, whereas most bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credits, or four years at traditional institutions. But does that mean you should pursue the shorter degree first? Or, at all?

Topics: Going Back to College

3 Types of Assessment You’ll Take in College (And How to Approach Each One)

I’m 99.9 percent sure that most people do not like exams.

While that .1 percent is another story, there’s no way around it: throughout your time as a student, you will be tested on the knowledge and skills learned in your college courses. This requires hard work, but it also ensures you possess the expertise that your degree says you have. It confirms that after you graduate, the diploma hanging on your wall means something - to your employer, to your colleagues, to any educational institutions that you might attend in the future and, most importantly, to you. 

Topics: Taking Courses, Study Tips

Does Postsecondary Education Pay Off? [Infographic]

Stocks can go up and down. The real estate bubble can burst. Companies can file for bankruptcy. However, there’s only one investment that historically yields greater earning potential year after year.

A college degree.

Not only do degrees matter to employers looking for skilled workers, the national data shows they impact workers in all aspects of their lives, both personally and professionally, while contributing to a stronger, more robust economy. And as workplace demands and expectations shift over time, those without advanced degrees may get left behind.

Topics: Going Back to College

How to Conduct a Job Search (The Right Way)

I once interviewed a candidate for a job that seemed perfect on paper. His resume was impressive, and his cover letter was interesting. So I invited him to interview.

But I didn’t offer him the job because of a mistake that could have been avoided, and one that I couldn’t overlook. 

So, why?

Topics: Career