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Has anyone successfully used CollegePlus? A friend recommended it to us, but I don’t see how this is much different than studying and taking the test without them. The program is supposed to help students earn their bachelor’s degree for less money and less time. Do colleges really accept these as transfer credits? It was my understanding that anyone could ‘CLEP' out of a class,’ but that no credit would be given. The purpose would be to start at a higher level class.

They recommend then going to Thomas Edison, who not only “accepts a large percentage of credits through transfer.†So does that mean they don’t accept all the Collegeplus credits?

The collegeplus site says it’s not a college or university and therefore not accredited.

Thomas Edison is accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. How can we verify that this is a respected crediting agency?

Thomas Edison almost seems like a diploma mill school, where you can buy a degree. They offer credit for ‘acquired college-level knowledge—without attending college.’ Isn’t that exactly what these diploma mills offer?

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Let me start off by saying that I have a Master's degree from the University of Maryland College Park. I purchased oleo chemicals for P&G as a commodities broker for years. None of my extensive education was ever needed in my career. I could of had a degree in music appreciation and still been hired. I was hired for my skills not my education. I have found (at least in the corporate world) that a college education is very overrated. Corporate America wants you to have a degree but does not necessarily care about the education you received in the process. It is most likely a degree mill however that may not be a bad thing. The most valuable education I received was on the job.

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I agree with ciyates, so I guess it depends on what your child plans to do after getting the degree. Will other colleges accept those credits if the student were to transfer? Another consideration would be if the student wants to go to graduate school. Will the graduate school accept those credits?

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You can earn college credit for passing CLEP tests; that's standard. Many colleges and universities will accept a certain number of CLEP credits.

 

CollegePlus appears to be just what they bill themselves as, a 'coaching' service that guides you through the process of obtaining a degree in less than four years. I'm sure it saves a fair amount of time spent on researching distance colleges, etc - - whether that's worth it would be up to you.

 

Distance learning colleges are a good choice in some situations, particularly when an adult needs that piece of paper to progress in their job. I do think self-motivated students can learn a lot, but I don't think a college education consisting of ONLY online and self-directed courses is the best choice for most young people.

 

The accrediting association does appear valid, wikipedia has an entry on them and I got other google hits. It appears that most of the New Jersey state schools are accredited through them, and you could probably ask them for a list of others, or hunt it out on their site.

 

Thomas Edison is a state college, so I'd say it's not a 'diploma mill' in the sense of unscrupulous people selling you a piece of paper. Beyond that, you would really have to research and evaluate the quality of classes. There's nothing wrong with distance learning and online classes in and of themselves.

 

 

college review site, thomas edison: http://www.studentsreview.com/NJ/TAESC.html

 

epinions, thomas edison:

http://www.epinions.com/reviews/educ-Colleges_and_Universities-All-Thomas_Edison_State_College

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Wow, I just found the cost of CollegePlus! $2,500 to $3,000 for the first year (that's just the tuition paid to them, not cost of taking tests and so forth).

 

I would really need a tremendous amount of hand-holding in order to pay that! That would buy an awful lot of Starbucks to fuel my own research, :D

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My DH was in the Navy for 12 years. He went through Thomas Edison to get a two year degree. They evaluated his training in the Navy and gave him credit for it. He took a few more classes at the local community college to finish the degree. It has definitely helped with obtaining a job. Ya know, you gotta have that piece of paper even if the job has nothing to do with Nuclear Engineering Technology. :D

 

I can't say that it was the best or easiest route, but I am thankful that something like this exists for those who have received training in the military.

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Let me start off by saying that I have a Master's degree from the University of Maryland College Park. I purchased oleo chemicals for P&G as a commodities broker for years. None of my extensive education was ever needed in my career. I could of had a degree in music appreciation and still been hired. I was hired for my skills not my education. I have found (at least in the corporate world) that a college education is very overrated. Corporate America wants you to have a degree but does not necessarily care about the education you received in the process. It is most likely a degree mill however that may not be a bad thing. The most valuable education I received was on the job.

 

I know every experience is different, but when my dh's employer is hiring,they do look at where the candidate went to college. Not every employee is from a top 10 school, but they wouldn't hire from College Plus for professional jobs.

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We have 2 friends who are Thomas Edison graduates. They were homeschooled & are married to each other.

 

The husband has since gone on to get a very good LSAT score & has received a full scholarship to two state law schools this fall.

 

From my perspective, a degree from TEdison can be much like a homeschool diploma. There is a range of quality, and if there is a way to validate the quality (like his great LSAT score) it can open doors to the future.

 

They were able to complete the 4 year degree quickly, with about $3000 investment (they took CLEP and DANTE tests, offered at military bases), and little interruption to their family life & work schedule.

 

The question remains: "What do you want to do with your degree?"

 

Our family has technical degrees, which are not usually "quick" to earn.

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I got my degree through University of the State of NY way back in 1988 before the internet classes - lol! My dh was in the military and though I had 2 years of college I kept losing credits whenever he got transferred. I went to Gettysburg College first for about 1.5 years. Then I got my associates through Canal Zone College in Panama. It was run by the DOD. Then they advised me to go through Univ. of the State of NY. (They have since become private and are now called Excelisor College). I took correspondence courses through Univ of Miss., Univ of Florida, and Univ. of Oklahoma to name a few. Mobil Oil Corp paid for a lot of the courses when I was working there. Anyway, defnitely not a diploma mill, I have had no problem having my degree accepted my employer's and have been accepted to a couple of grad schools, too. Not an easy way to get a degree but defintely doable.

 

Veronica

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my SIL got her degree from Thomas Edison. She had dropped out of Juilliard many years before. A friend of hers who worked in the graduate admissions office at Johns Hopkins told her about Thomas Edison. Her friend said Johns Hopkins regularly recommended Thomas Edison. It is a state college in NJ. SIL did all her coursework by transfer (Julliard), testing out, or correspondence. This was before internet was used for this stuff.

 

At the point SIL got her degree the goal was simply vocational--she could not get promotions or be considered for positions for which she was qualified without a degree. For many jobs the degree is about gatekeeping.

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  • 1 year later...

No, Thomas Edison is not a diploma mill.

And

No one gets a degree from Collage Plus. Collage Plus is nothing more than an alternative college prep program. Some collage prep places prep with lots of APs or whatever. Collage Plus preps with via coaching students through CLEP and distance learning, much of which can be accepted for collage credit and many collages, one of which is TESC, which CP tends to push for.

 

The degree is accredited and valid and hard earned.

 

Whether a degree from TESC is useful to a person, depends on why they are seeking TESC and what they want to do wih the degree.

 

Same as a degree from any other college for that matter.

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Let me start off by saying that I have a Master's degree from the University of Maryland College Park. I purchased oleo chemicals for P&G as a commodities broker for years. None of my extensive education was ever needed in my career. I could of had a degree in music appreciation and still been hired. I was hired for my skills not my education. I have found (at least in the corporate world) that a college education is very overrated. Corporate America wants you to have a degree but does not necessarily care about the education you received in the process.

 

Sorry, but this is a very general statement and for many situations not true. An engineer for instance gets hired because he received the appropriate education, and he will need that specialized education for his career - a music appreciation degree does not get a graduate an aerospace job at Boeing, nor does it enable him to do the job.

The high salaries in engineering fields are paid not for a piece of paper that says college degree, but for the training those people received.

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Ok, this is just what I was told this past Monday night at my homeschool meeting:

 

We broke into groups and I went into the high school group. One mom was so incredibly thrilled with College Plus and her daughter was using it. I know someone mentioned a big fee of somekind. One thing is that you have to go through these study skills classes and speed reading classes. She had the DVD's or computer programs or whatever they were. So they have to take some kind of critical thinking program. ( She had done it a lot with her daughter already.) You have to complete these before you start taking the CLEPs. She had been taking the CLEP tests and there is some kind of counselor that they work with and conference with every so often. She is at the point now where she has finished all the CLEP tests or will have soon and so they have meetings (over the phone) and will be planning out how to finish her degree plan. They come up with where she will take the courses: some at UT Tyler, some online at various colleges and such. I think she did say her degree would probably come from Thomas Edison, though there were a couple of other options she mentioned that I cannot remember now. She was gushing and went on and on about how her daughter would finish high school with her bachelors in political science. ( She started a little early in the program.) So she would get both high school and college done in the same amount of time.

 

Now.. personally I have problems with this on several levels. She said they foster an online community that has been wondeful and gives you the college experience... Well, to me, part of the college experience is being out on your own, away from your parents where YOU are responsible for budgeting your time, making many life decisions-- some of which will be wrong. It is interacting with people that aren't like you and don't always think like you and learning to get along. It is dealing with roomates. And I guess I wonder, how employers will look at a degree like this and then what does an 18 year old do with this degree...go out into the work world??? That seems awfully young. I see college during the ages of 18-21 or so as a time of maturing.

Christine

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@ Christine, well first of all not everybody can afford to go off to college and have the roommate experience. My husband couldn't. He had to live at home, work and go to the local state college. Frankly, I think he matured a lot faster than 95% of the college kids who lived in my dorms and thought college was a chance to party and sleep around!

 

I do think college is often just another way to prolong adolescence. It doesn't necessarily have to do that, but I do think it is a byproduct of the general culture's attitude towards growing up (or rather not growing up).

 

I'm being a bit hypocritical here because I've got my oldest daughter in an out of state college and my oldest son will be going out of state next fall. But I do think there are situations, circumstances, personalities, etc that benefit more from something like Collegeplus than the typical 4 years of high school/4 years of college route. I'm glad the option is out there.

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Sorry, but this is a very general statement and for many situations not true. An engineer for instance gets hired because he received the appropriate education, and he will need that specialized education for his career - a music appreciation degree does not get a graduate an aerospace job at Boeing, nor does it enable him to do the job.

The high salaries in engineering fields are paid not for a piece of paper that says college degree, but for the training those people received.

 

Oh I agree. There are jobs/careers that certainly do require a specific degree AND specific training to attain.

 

This is why a person needs to consider why they want the degree and what they hope to accomplish after they graduate.

 

I do think there are situations, circumstances, personalities, etc that benefit more from something like Collegeplus than the typical 4 years of high school/4 years of college route. I'm glad the option is out there.

 

I agree with you completely.

Tho I think Collage Plus is insane expensive for something the parents can do completely without them.

 

As for "getting the college experience", frankly I could not care less about that. I do not send my kids to any class for the experience of it. I am sending them to attain an education. I am not paying for them to discover themselves, to be social, to learn how to manage their time/own living situation, or to mature. I fully expect them to do that regardless of college and see absolutely zero value to paying inflated prices for the supposed experience of doing so.

 

However, I will note dh and I were engaged at 16 and married at 19 and had our first kid at 21. I don't have much patience for the notion that a late teen or early twenties needs some artificial college experience to learn how to be a productive adult.

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@ Christine, well first of all not everybody can afford to go off to college and have the roommate experience. My husband couldn't. He had to live at home, work and go to the local state college. Frankly, I think he matured a lot faster than 95% of the college kids who lived in my dorms and thought college was a chance to party and sleep around!

 

I do think college is often just another way to prolong adolescence. It doesn't necessarily have to do that, but I do think it is a byproduct of the general culture's attitude towards growing up (or rather not growing up).

 

I'm being a bit hypocritical here because I've got my oldest daughter in an out of state college and my oldest son will be going out of state next fall. But I do think there are situations, circumstances, personalities, etc that benefit more from something like Collegeplus than the typical 4 years of high school/4 years of college route. I'm glad the option is out there.

 

:iagree: Especially with the financial aspects! The whole argument about the 'college experience---dealing with roommates etc.' could be compared to the whole socialization argument used against homeschoolers IMO. My kids will more than likely NOT live in a dorm due to dietary issues---so if they are discriminated against in future job applications because they didn't have that 'college experience' with roommates etc.---I would question the professionalism of a company concerned about this. :glare: Granted, degrees from various institutions vary in rigor etc.----but I would think it depends on what field you are pursuing whether you would 'want' an online degree or not. 'Diploma mill'----so if the school is accredited, doesn't this count for something? I hope so, because my husband used an online school that counted his 15 years of running his professional business as part of his 'schooling' for his degree, that he was required to get in order to upgrade his license.

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Oh Faith,

 

I do agree with you in part. My big problem is this lady with her child that at age 18 will have her bachelor's degree. Then what? I guess I would not think that a typical 18 year old would be ready to go into the business world to work for a company if they had a business degree let us say. I mean my friends all had internships that they did throughout college and it just seems like 18 is quite a bit different in maturity than even 22. Maybe not. Maybe an 18year old homeschooler is just way more mature than a regular public schooler.. I'm just thinking, ok she has a political science degree so she goes to Washington alone?? And did she really get as much education as someone who went to a good school. I'm not talking Harvard or Yale, I mean Baylor or aTm or Texas. Is her degree with college plus really equivilent to that kind of an education??

 

And yes, I think they wait for kids to grow up too long. People are shocked when they learn my son does all the children's laundry, cooks dinner at least once a week, etc. They can't imagine their boys doing that.

 

Christine

@ Christine, well first of all not everybody can afford to go off to college and have the roommate experience. My husband couldn't. He had to live at home, work and go to the local state college. Frankly, I think he matured a lot faster than 95% of the college kids who lived in my dorms and thought college was a chance to party and sleep around!

 

I do think college is often just another way to prolong adolescence. It doesn't necessarily have to do that, but I do think it is a byproduct of the general culture's attitude towards growing up (or rather not growing up).

 

I'm being a bit hypocritical here because I've got my oldest daughter in an out of state college and my oldest son will be going out of state next fall. But I do think there are situations, circumstances, personalities, etc that benefit more from something like Collegeplus than the typical 4 years of high school/4 years of college route. I'm glad the option is out there.

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Thomas Edison is a regionally accredited academic institution as you stated http://www.chea.org/Directories/regional.asp which is what's important, that is, if you want your education to actually matter. Most schools will allow you to tansfer some CLEP exams as transfer credit but even TESC has a limit on how many CLEP credits you can transfer. They are definitely not a diploma mill. They are very liberal in their amount of transfer credit they will allow but like many academic institutions, they require that the transfer credit be from regionally accredited institutions. As far as the "acquired college-level knowledge" goes, it depends on the acquired knowledge and how it was attained. I am a former Soldier that acquired several credits through knowledge gained during my service, so it depends. CollegePlus from what I've gathered, is a program that guides individuals through the process of acquiring a degree at a much faster pace i.e. through CLEP and short duration classes. If I were you or anyone else looking for some really good advice or guidance on affordable online degree programs I would look up Paul Casasus, he's the author of a really good book called Education Online: America's 100 Most Affordable Online Undergraduate Degree Programs. His book has a lot of schools you won't find anywhere else, believe me I've looked. I've e-mailed him and had some really good discussions about online programs and he actually helped me find the program I'm attending now. He's a cool dude, check him out.

 

It appears that Paul Casasus has brought it back to life, Or someone else with the initials pc ...

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  • 4 months later...
Has anyone successfully used CollegePlus? A friend recommended it to us, but I don’t see how this is much different than studying and taking the test without them. The program is supposed to help students earn their bachelor’s degree for less money and less time. Do colleges really accept these as transfer credits? It was my understanding that anyone could ‘CLEP' out of a class,’ but that no credit would be given. The purpose would be to start at a higher level class.

They recommend then going to Thomas Edison, who not only “accepts a large percentage of credits through transfer.†So does that mean they don’t accept all the Collegeplus credits?

The collegeplus site says it’s not a college or university and therefore not accredited.

Thomas Edison is accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. How can we verify that this is a respected crediting agency?

Thomas Edison almost seems like a diploma mill school, where you can buy a degree. They offer credit for ‘acquired college-level knowledge—without attending college.’ Isn’t that exactly what these diploma mills offer?

 

I'm resurrecting this thread because now I'm ready to understand and digest it. If you're using this program would you care to share you thoughts & experiences? Also are there other similar programs (similar in cost and credibility)

 

Thanks!

:lurk5:

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I'm resurrecting this thread because now I'm ready to understand and digest it. If you're using this program would you care to share you thoughts & experiences? Also are there other similar programs (similar in cost and credibility)

 

Thanks!

:lurk5:

 

I wouldn't recommend College Plus because they are charging you a lot of money for something you can do yourself. Degrees through the "Big Three" regionally accredited transfer schools (Thomas Edison State College, Charter Oak State College, Excelsior College) are what you make of them. With good test scores, a young person may be able to get into a paid graduate program (Master's, Law), but may not be able to get much mileage in terms of initial employment. However, I would strongly encourage young people to get their degrees in person. For a working adult, they are a great way to get that all important credential quickly and inexpensively.

 

Full disclosure: I finished my BS through Excelsior after having dropped out to get married when young. I was able to get into a brick and mortar MS/MBA (Biomedical Science/Business Admin) program based on GRE Biology, GMAT, and MCAT scores. In my interviews, admissions officers were very clear that the standardized test scores were the only reason they would consider me. I consider the brick and mortar graduate degree critical to getting my undergraduate degree taken seriously should I try to go back to work at this time.

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My dc have friends who have used or are using College Plus and they have been very successful with it. Doing the CLEP and DANTE tests are something students can do on their own without paying College Plus, but these friends wanted some accountability and like that they have an advisor who phones them and helps them work out a schedule. They still consider it a good deal when comparing to the cost of attending a B&M college. But you can do the same thing on your own, save thousands of dollars in College Plus fees and accomplish the same result.

 

Some of these students went on to take the rest of their courses through Thomas Edison and received their degree from them, and the others plan on doing that when they finish their CLEP tests. A couple will be starting grad school this fall and had no problem being accepted by several grad schools, even though their 4 year degree was Thomas Edison distance learning. One will be getting her teaching credential and I don't remember the grad degree the other is pursuing.

 

So, no, Thomas Edison is not a diploma mill, and College Plus is a valid aid, but not a necessary step if one wants to complete the first couple years of undergrad work via CLEP tests. Not all students will be able to be successful with this educational method because of the independent learning aspect, but it is a viable option, depending on the degree the student wants to get.

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I'm resurrecting this thread because now I'm ready to understand and digest it. If you're using this program would you care to share you thoughts & experiences? Also are there other similar programs (similar in cost and credibility)

 

Thanks!

:lurk5:

 

Pretty sure our dd is going to use CollegePlus! The cost is WELL worth it to me---I am T-I-R-E-D of being planner and counselor of everything!!! I want my dd to have someone else to consult with and help her plan her route. If it cost more---I would pay that too. In fact, dd can work and pay a lot on her own. She really likes this option because it frees her up---she will not be stuck in a classroom, sharing a room with someone she does not know, or stuck in one location to finish up her degree. The CollegePlus! phone interview was SO enlightening. Absolute respect for parents, homeschoolers and the student is a HUMAN and not a number. Yes---I know they are selling their plan. But so is the local state college----and my dd is simply a test score to them. I just really like the plan of CollegePlus! because they really try to hone in on exactly what field the student is interested in with life planning and we love the idea of the speed reading/study skills courses too.

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Pretty sure our dd is going to use CollegePlus! The cost is WELL worth it to me---I am T-I-R-E-D of being planner and counselor of everything!!! I want my dd to have someone else to consult with and help her plan her route. If it cost more---I would pay that too. In fact, dd can work and pay a lot on her own. She really likes this option because it frees her up---she will not be stuck in a classroom, sharing a room with someone she does not know, or stuck in one location to finish up her degree. The CollegePlus! phone interview was SO enlightening. Absolute respect for parents, homeschoolers and the student is a HUMAN and not a number. Yes---I know they are selling their plan. But so is the local state college----and my dd is simply a test score to them. I just really like the plan of CollegePlus! because they really try to hone in on exactly what field the student is interested in with life planning and we love the idea of the speed reading/study skills courses too.

Thank you for this review. Just curious about the curriclum---do you use your own choices or do they have their own or is there a recommendation for a specific curriculum?

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Do you need to take SAT's , ACT's or any other tests before applying to College Plus?

 

Not from what I understood. And once you earn those college credits via CLEP, AP or Dantes tests you don't need to take the SAT or ACT because you've already demonstrated that you can do college work.

 

 

At least that's how I understood what they were saying in the recorded conference spiel. :D

 

There is a required study skills thingy though that teaches speed reading and study habits that I think was required.

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Thank you for this review. Just curious about the curriclum---do you use your own choices or do they have their own or is there a recommendation for a specific curriculum?

 

 

I think during the CLEP and study skills phase, they suggest curriculum or study books that you buy. If she enrolls at TESC, then I assume the curriculum will be what they use for the classes for her major.

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Not from what I understood. And once you earn those college credits via CLEP, AP or Dantes tests you don't need to take the SAT or ACT because you've already demonstrated that you can do college work.

 

 

 

 

Yes, this is correct. No ACT or SAT necessary because you go about collecting a certain number of college credits through CLEP or whatever testing, and then transfer to TESC.

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I know several graduates through CP! and my daughter is currently getting her Bachelor's with it. You CAN get a degree without CP!, but since they've done all the research they will make your journey MUCH easier/shorter/less expensive in the long run. A friend likened it to taking a hike through an Amazon jungle when you've never gone through it before...wouldn't you want a guide?? That it what CP! does. Even with the coaching fee, your degree costs MUCH less than a traditional 4-year program, and you are often done in half the time. You can just pay for one year and not after that...by then you'd have one year of experience and you'd have a schedule of exactly what you'd need to do, but it is still nice to have them calling every other week and encouraging you and answering any questions/telling you exactly what to do next. Plus you can be a member of online forums where students share exactly what books helped them study for the tests, and other really helpful information. Not to mention they are having a special this summer where you get an iPad for signing up, I think! :)

 

Anyone can CLEP, and most colleges accept at least some CLEPs...they vary as to which ones and how many they will take. Thomas Edison is one of the ones that will take a large amount of CLEPs towards your degree.

 

If you didn't want to go through CP! and/or Thomas Edison, you could find out which CLEPS the college you want to attend accepts and just do those.

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My daughter is going to attempt getting the degree on her own through Thomas Edison. She talked with a girl who used Verity Institute for her degree (which is similar to College Plus), and the girl said that if she had to do it all over again, she would have done it on her own. Basically the process seems to be that you look at the Thomas Edison website and tentatively choose a major. Then you test out of as many classes as you can (they are listed on the website). You then enroll as a student at Thomas Edison and either test out of classes (their testing), take them through distance learning, or portfolio them. Maybe someone who has gone through the process can correct me on this.

 

I have a Master's degree, and my husband has a bachelor's degree (all degrees earned traditionally), but we need to go this route because of finanaces.

 

Linda

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