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Accelerated Degrees & Formal Education

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College and university courses are based on a credit system. In order to complete your program, you must obtain all the course credits required by your institution. The number of credits though, is dependent on your school. Some colleges may require a fewer number of credits, while others require a significant amount. Before you enter into a college, it is important that you know how the credit system actually works.

The credit system can be likened to an awards system. Every time you complete a requirement, you are awarded a predetermined amount of credits. In college, the requirements can range from passing a course to successfully completing an internship. Each institution is unique, in that they each may have a different curriculum for similar degrees.

Within the curriculum, every subject may be divided into smaller components. Coursework may be broken down into theory, lab time, projects, practical experience, exams, or anything else your university deems necessary. If you are able to complete all of the required components to the satisfaction of your university, you will earn the full credit offered for the course. If you fail any component, you may need to re-register for the subject or component you were unable to complete. This too, is dictated independently by your chosen college or university.

How can you save years of college hours?

After passing all course components and earning all the required credits, you will be awarded a bachelor’s degree. Dependent on your university and major, a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to obtain, though this process can be slowed by one major factor. Some colleges may not offer all courses year round, meaning you may have to wait several years to take a certain class. This could be a major disruption and push your expected graduation date back months, even years. One way to avoid this is by obtaining your degree through an accelerated program. There are online resources like My Degree Guide that are available to help you locate the best option to get credits quickly.

What are accelerated programs?

When students pursue a bachelor’s degree program, they typically take the traditional route.
This traditional route is made up of eight semesters that take place over an average of four years. This is ideal for some students, as you are able to have more freedom over your course load and can study at a slower pace. If, however, you want to fast track your education in hopes of entering the workforce sooner, an accelerated degree may be for you.

There are many ways you can accelerate your degree process and receive all the required credits. One of the popular ways is the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). This program has been in place for over 50 years, and is accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities. The main goal of this program is to allow students to earn college credits through a single exam.

There are a few considerations to look over if you want to opt for this kind of program:

1. Enhanced Performance

The CLEP program requires that the student work at a fast pace in order to complete all the required work. Unlike a traditional bachelor’s degree program, the student has to complete the course in an average span of 18 months to obtain a degree. You must be able to perform at this accelerated pace to be successful in this type of program. For this reason, only the students that are willing to put in the work join the program.

2. Money Efficient

An accelerated degree not only saves you time, but money as well. The less time it takes you to complete your degree, the more money you are able to save. On average, you can save nearly $5000 for every 15 CLEP credits earned. This is because you are able to save on living expenses, as well as tuition. Thus, opting for CLEP would help you save money as you accelerate through your degree’s course.

3. Time Management

Another important consideration for CLEP is time management. Since the credits are earned through a single exam, the student does not have to attend an entire semester to get credits. This allows the student to finish the course in nearly half the allotted time.

For more topics on all things related to college, check out the other blogs at College Basics.