rn the best life experience degrees?
There are many ways in which students with experience through work, hobbies, or military service can gain credit for that experience in order to earn the best life experience degrees.
Students who have been in the military may have received ACE (American Council on Education) military credits. These credits can be applied toward the college degree of their choice. Boot camp and basic training are worth free elective credits in various topics, including first aid, physical education, and marksmanship.
ACE publishes a comprehensive 4-volume set on getting university degree credits for military training and occupational specialties. It can be accessed online and explains all the courses military personnel can get credit for due to their training and experience.
ACE credits can also be earned by employees who have taken corporate training courses on everything from management skills to computer programming. ACE evaluates corporate training programs to be certain they are using the correct texts and methods and teaching the right kind of material to qualify for college credit.
Additional Points to Consider
• Limits on Credit for Life, Work and Career Experience
Many regionally accredited online and on-campus colleges limit the number of challenge exam credits (such as CLEP and DSST) they will accept to 30 credits (one year of college). This is also the case for professional portfolio or ACE credits. In addition, typically the last 30 semester credits (senior year) of any regionally accredited bachelor’s degree must be taken directly from your degree-granting college. There are some exceptions to this general rule, however. If you do your research, you might find a college that will provide you with as many credits as your experience will bear.
• Special Distance Learning Assessment Colleges
There are some special, regionally accredited distance learning colleges that have different standards than most schools and operate primarily as assessment colleges. These colleges allow students to earn entire undergraduate degrees through credit for life and work experience options. Some formal college courses may be required as well, but students will find that the majority of the work is simply identifying and documenting prior life experience, making these types of institutions some of the best life experience degree-granting colleges.
• As life experience degrees become more and more popular, more schools are getting into the business of granting these kinds of degrees, and now even some top schools are offering some of the best life experience degrees. One such school is the University of Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin Flex program allows students to take exams and build professional portfolios for degree credit and many local students are taking the opportunity to gain the credit that their life experience has qualified them for, and finishing degrees they started previously, even decades before.
Caution: Check Fees
Experience programs are generally less costly than attending a traditional college and paying regular tuition. However, challenge exams, professional portfolio building classes, and other best life experience degrees are rarely completely free. There is generally at least a small fee. CLEP tests are usually $70 to $80 and testing centers may charge additional fees for the exams they proctor.
Colleges who offer credit for experience usually charge assessment fees per course or per credit hour when they provide challenge exams or evaluate professional portfolios. A few schools charge just as much for assessment services as they would for regular course enrollment.
While getting credit through these kinds of credit for life experience options can be considerably less expensive and time-consuming than taking the traditional route, but students must be careful to research their options carefully when making choices in order to not be taken advantage of.