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Going back to school. Would you repeat a class?

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I started back to school 3 semesters ago. I've only taken one class a semester so far. I met with a school counselor last week and it looks like I only have 5 classes left until I could get an AA. I have 40+ units and some of them in my intended degree are(Psychology). I was going to take Lifespan over the summer but I took it 20+ years ago so I don't need it, the counselor said. I feel like it was so long ago, it wouldn't hurt to get up-to-date. Do I deserve a degree from this college when more than half my units were over 20 years ago elsewhere. Should I even feel bad about that?

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I wouldn't feel bad about the fact that some of your credits are old. I'm sure there are plenty of college students who can't remember large chunks of what they learned just a couple of years ago, and they're not questioning whether they "deserved" their degree. If you feel like you need to update your knowledge, buy a cheap used textbook and read through it, instead of going through the hassle and expense of retaking a course you don't really need.

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Corraleno has a point. Years ago, when I went back I also had credits that were 15 years old. I was quite happy not to have to take music over again.

If you feel you need updated info, there are plenty of less expensive resources out there that you could work on at your own pace. I did take a Lifespan class over the summer and summer classes are a semester's worth packed into 6 weeks. I always felt it was one big cram session and not much retained. I would look at various books, choose one and leisurely study it and enjoy it.

Edited by Liz CA
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There are plenty of people working in the field who’s course work is 20+ years old.  Don’t sweat it.  (Though I do like the idea of brushing up independently if you think you need it.)

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NO, I would not take a class again, I would want to propel forward, not backpedal.   These are gen eds?   What you need to do it get finished with your AA and then get on with what you really want to study.  

(and I am a school counselor FWIW, so there, you have another school counselor's opinion!) 😏

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No, I would not retake unless the content was new.  I walked out of a program I was interested in because the school wanted me to retake things like algebra, which hasn't changed one bit, because I was six years out of college, and they only allowed five years or less for transferring in credits. It told me they didn't teach well enough that their grads knew their content. 

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13 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

No, I would not retake unless the content was new.  I walked out of a program I was interested in because the school wanted me to retake things like algebra, which hasn't changed one bit, because I was six years out of college, and they only allowed five years or less for transferring in credits. It told me they didn't teach well enough that their grads knew their content. 

It tells me that people have a tendency to forget things that they don't use. 

That said, I also think that schools should allow people to fail, as in, if you think you can succeed in a particular class without the prerequisites or with prerequisites taken a long time ago, then you should be allowed to try.  Just don't expect any special treatment from the instructor.

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I would retake only if it was fundamental skills that you need to relearn, or if methods have changed a lot (for example, computer science. I also would consider retaking math or reteaching at home before taking the next class in a sequence). For lifespan, I'd buy a book an edition back, read through it, and you'll be fine. Honestly, only a few sections are likely to have changed in any psych class.

 

And definitely don't feel bad. One of the missions of CC's in my state is to help adults complete degrees and credentials,and we have a special state scholarship for exactly that purpose. They WANT people to finish degrees started 20 years ago and half completed.

Edited by dmmetler
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59 minutes ago, EKS said:

It tells me that people have a tendency to forget things that they don't use. 

That said, I also think that schools should allow people to fail, as in, if you think you can succeed in a particular class without the prerequisites or with prerequisites taken a long time ago, then you should be allowed to try.  Just don't expect any special treatment from the instructor.

 

I wasn't saying people who forget should get a pass.  I am saying that people who do remember -- the A or honors program students -- should have a pathway to demonstrate that they have retained competency, whether that is by test out or acceptance of their professional experience that uses that knowledge.   A blanket 'no' tells me the school isn't even qualified to teach it to mastery.   Of course, I also did due diligence and found out the reasons and advised my dc away from that school. I'm paying for the opportunity to develop mastery in fundamentals and I expect retention just like I do from first grade learning to read. 

Edited by HeighHo

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Will you get credit for it?  In that case, take it if you want it, skip it if you don't.

While I probably would not re-take a class I didn't need, I could see the point if it contains important info that you are not up on any more.  Let's say a technology course - I would consider re-taking it if I couldn't easily teach myself.

Interesting - when I was exploring an education degree so I could teach in disadvantaged schools as a second career, I told them I had done about 2.5 years of an education degree before changing my major years ago.  I asked if credits would transfer.  They said only if the classes were done within the past 6 years.

Edited by SKL
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8 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

I wasn't saying people who forget should get a pass.  I am saying that people who do remember -- the A or honors program students -- should have a pathway to demonstrate that they have retained competency, whether that is by test out or acceptance of their professional experience that uses that knowledge.   A blanket 'no' tells me the school isn't even qualified to teach it to mastery.   Of course, I also did due diligence and found out the reasons and advised my dc away from that school. I'm paying for the opportunity to develop mastery in fundamentals and I expect retention just like I do from first grade learning to read. 

No college ever *teaches* anything to mastery.  Mastery is up to the student.

And I agree that there should be alternative pathways to show competency, or even no pathway--just let people try (and fail if it works out that way).

Edited by EKS
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I don't think you should have to retake a class unless the information has significantly changed or knowledge of that subject would need to be very fresh in order to succeed (and I would hope there would be a way to demonstrate that without having to retake a class.)  I have a BS in Math.  I am working on an associated in a completely different field. Part of the prereqs included English, Speech, a humanities credit and a certain math class.  They took all of these prereqs from 30 years ago just fine.  The math class was specific to their program but since I had a BS, they allowed me to substitute Physics since there is a physics component in their specific class.  However, there was a requirement that the anatomy and physiology classes had to be within the previous 5 years, partially due to some changes in the understanding of physiology and partially because the students in the program need ready familiarity.  

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I would not retake a class unless it was required. Too much money, too much time. Others have mentioned self study to refresh your memory and they had great ideas. Not all learning takes place in a classroom or earns a grade.

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Are you planning to go on to a 4 year school to complete a bachelor's? If so, does your target school have any limitations on how recently a class was taken?

I chose to re-take language development because I figured the knowledge had changed tremendously since the first time I took it due to all the neuroimaging studies. It's a good thing I did because many grad schools have a 5 year time limit on pre-reqs. If I had transferred in the old class then I would've had to retake it in grad school at a much higher tuition.

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If I didn't feel that I had complete mastery of the subject or I might have forgotten quite a bit or the info had changed especially if I didn't feel I could catch up on my own I would consider retaking a class but if it was something where the info hadn't changed or it wasn't terribly important to my degree then I wouldn't bother. 

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1 hour ago, Crimson Wife said:

Are you planning to go on to a 4 year school to complete a bachelor's? If so, does your target school have any limitations on how recently a class was taken?

I chose to re-take language development because I figured the knowledge had changed tremendously since the first time I took it due to all the neuroimaging studies. It's a good thing I did because many grad schools have a 5 year time limit on pre-reqs. If I had transferred in the old class then I would've had to retake it in grad school at a much higher tuition.

The counselor said the 4-year would only look at the first one I took. Of course, I will make sure and get a formal transcript evaluation before I count on graduating.

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16 hours ago, Corraleno said:

I wouldn't feel bad about the fact that some of your credits are old. I'm sure there are plenty of college students who can't remember large chunks of what they learned just a couple of years ago, and they're not questioning whether they "deserved" their degree. If you feel like you need to update your knowledge, buy a cheap used textbook and read through it, instead of going through the hassle and expense of retaking a course you don't really need.

That makes sense and I feel kind of dumb for not thinking of it. 😂

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9 hours ago, EKS said:

It tells me that people have a tendency to forget things that they don't use. 

That said, I also think that schools should allow people to fail, as in, if you think you can succeed in a particular class without the prerequisites or with prerequisites taken a long time ago, then you should be allowed to try.  Just don't expect any special treatment from the instructor.


I don't know if this is still true, but back when I took it, the GRE had math that was easier than the SAT's.   The idea was that the average college graduate forgot more math than they learned.  

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1 hour ago, shawthorne44 said:

I don't know if this is still true, but back when I took it, the GRE had math that was easier than the SAT's.   The idea was that the average college graduate forgot more math than they learned.  

Yes, it is still true.  I just took the GRE last year.  The math is a joke--mostly 8th grade level stuff.  

That said, most college graduates don't learn any math in college, and probably didn't do all that well in math in high school.

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