Author Topic: Finishing my bachelor's degree  (Read 1395 times)

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Offline pianodwarf

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Finishing my bachelor's degree
« on: June 11, 2013, 02:47:45 PM »
As some of you already know, for various reasons, I did not complete my bachelor's degree (there's a story behind the whole thing, which a few of us discussed a bit in a thread in the Atheist Corner a while back).  This has been hanging over my head for some time, and I'm finally starting to take action on it.

There are a number of online colleges that offer very liberal credit transfer policies, and I've applied to three of them.  I should be hearing back from each of them in three or four weeks to get more details about how many credits they'll accept, how many more I'll need, and so on.  My employer will also be giving me some financial assistance with this.

My major was philosophy, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to get a BA in Philosophy -- two of the three institutions I'm applying to do offer one.  If I were to go with the third, I would have to settle for a BA in Liberal Arts, which would not be the end of the world or anything like that, but it wouldn't be my first choice, either.  I'll probably go with that school only if there turn out to be compelling reasons to choose that one over one of the other two.

Wish me luck!
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline neopagan

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 02:56:11 PM »
Best of luck to you, PD.

Pick the online college with the best bars on campus!   ;)
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Quesi

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 03:49:49 PM »
Good luck to you, and congratulations on such a bold decision.  I am a strong believer in a good liberal arts education.

If you are completely satisfied with the online schools that you have selected, please ignore my advice.  But there are other options for professional adults pursuing a degree in philosophy and the such.  Are you familiar with any of the strong, non-traditional liberal arts schools that offer a "low residency" or "limited residency" program?  Basically, you spend a week or two there once or twice a year, and work closely with an advisor on specific projects.  It might suit your style. 

Here is a list of potential options:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-residency_program

And I'm partial to:
http://goddard.edu/


Offline magicmiles

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 04:19:12 PM »
Tell them you've read the bible cover to cover, you'll get credit for persistence if nothing else.

And good luck.
The 2010 world cup was ruined for me by that slippery bastard Paul.

Offline Traveler

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 06:18:45 PM »
Best of luck, pianodwarf!!!  :)
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline Nick

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2013, 07:15:45 PM »
I'll pray for you.



Just kidding.  Congrats man.  A very smart move.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline Jag

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2013, 07:25:56 PM »
Good luck pianodwarf!
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Offline Nam

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 10:44:03 PM »
You know you can print any school online to a fake degree. Plus, the library or online is cheaper. I mean if you are going to use (for a job) that's one thing but I've always felt self-education is better.

I could be biased though.

;)

-Nam
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Offline kin hell

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 12:06:50 AM »
yeah well done and good luck bloke
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

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Offline Fiji

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2013, 01:00:58 AM »
Noodles of strength, pianodwarf!
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 11:36:23 AM »
Thanks to all for the kudos and support.  :-)  I'm really looking forward to having this albatross off my neck.  It almost feels like being in an abusive marriage for twenty years and finally working up the courage to file for divorce.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 01:58:04 PM »
My wife has a good philosophy degree from a good uni; I'll ask her if she'll sell it to you. It'll be a lot easier - all you need is a change of name. : )
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2013, 02:20:59 PM »
My wife has a good philosophy degree from a good uni; I'll ask her if she'll sell it to you. It'll be a lot easier - all you need is a change of name. : )

Why didn't you say something sooner?  Hee...
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Fiji

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2013, 12:32:00 AM »
Thanks to all for the kudos and support.  :-)  I'm really looking forward to having this albatross off my neck.  It almost feels like being in an abusive marriage for twenty years and finally working up the courage to file for divorce.

Sinks down like lead into the sea then down in falls comes the raaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7zk4as9kzA

Sorry, I get that way when there's the slightests Maiden reference
We need a headbanger smiley
\m/
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2013, 11:40:20 AM »
Some developments:  I've heard back from two of the three colleges that I've applied to, Charter Oak and Excelsior.  Excelsior is off the table as they would cost far too much and take far too long, but Charter Oak was much more generous with accepting my transferred credits.  I'm still waiting to hear back from Thomas Edison, but unless they have a big surprise for me, Charter Oak is probably going to be the one I'll be going with.

Charter Oak would be expecting me to finish either 24 or 27 credits (I would need to clarify that with my admissions counselor), and I will most likely be able to finish my degree there by the end of next year.  I've already got my tentative course load selected for October.

Despite their generosity with transfer credits, I do find it a little amusing at what some of my prerequisites are going to be.  Like "English Composition 101", which I need about as much as Hatter23 needs a course in logical fallacies.   ;D  Obviously I'd rather not have to deal with such prerequisites at all, but taking courses I can sleep thru is still preferable to taking courses that will require me to bust my butt.  At least, at this stage in my life it is.  Back when I actually was college age, being challenged in this department was preferable and enjoyable, but now I'm doing this mainly for the piece of paper, not because I feel like there's much more for me to learn in my field of study (philosophy), so keeping effort to a minimum is mainly an issue of pragmatism, what with all the other stuff I already have on my plate.

It feels so, so good to be getting on top of this...
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline William

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2013, 11:52:27 AM »
^^ All completely good news and sensible  :)  And there's bound to be something a bit challenging or at least titillating back in that environment  ;D
Git mit uns

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2013, 12:05:48 PM »
You go, guy!

Hey, finishing something that you've already put a lot of energy into is great. You'll feel good, be better looking and probably get a starring role in an action flick. Well, one out of three ain't bad. But get 'er done and be proud of yourself. I wish you well.
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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2013, 12:09:10 PM »
Woohoo!!!  ;D
If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited by intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.

Offline neopagan

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2013, 12:23:18 PM »
think of the young coeds who will flock to you for your linguistic brilliance in comp 101. 
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2013, 12:33:26 PM »
think of the young coeds who will flock to you for your linguistic brilliance in comp 101.

I was a writing tutor for my work/study when I was in college full-time.  Didn't work back then.  But who knows.  :-)

But get 'er done and be proud of yourself. I wish you well.

Thanks!

If Charter Oak does turn out to be the one I go with, as seems likely, it will probably cost about $10,000 and go from October 2013 thru December 2014.  I've already spoken to my employer about this, and they've told me that they'll be able to cover $6,000 of that, so that will ease the pain quite a bit.  Fortunately, I'm at a stage in my life now where $4,000 is not a tremendous amount of money (and yes, I'm very much aware of how fortunate that makes me -- I think about that often and hope I never forget it).
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Nick

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2013, 01:10:50 PM »
Very nice.  It may just be a piece of paper but an important piece.  Congrats, many don't go back after taking a break.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2013, 02:46:16 PM »
I'm almost done getting all of my transcripts and everything evaluated and should have a better idea probably somewhere in the early to middle part of August which school I'll be going to.  It's a toss-up between Charter Oak State College and Thomas Edison State College, and the decision is going to depend largely on cost and timeframe.  The number of credits I'll need to finish at either one is going to be nearly the same, so I won't be able to decide until they've both evaluated my last transcript and I have an exact number for each.

One big thing, apart from cost and length of time needed to finish, is that a degree from Thomas Edison would actually say "Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy" -- a degree from Charter Oak would say "Bachelor of Arts in General Studies", and it would say "Concentration in Philosophy" on my transcript.  As most of the regulars here can probably understand, being able to say "I have a bachelor's degree in philosophy" is a pretty serious deal for me, even though it might sound like a tempest in a teapot to most.  I may need to decided how many Benjamins worth of "serious" it is.  Especially since, if I take more than one calendar year to finish, Thomas Edison will be quite a bit more expensive than Charter Oak.  There are some other minor things, too, such as my birthday being in the middle of the Summer... so if I could finish this by the end of next June, it would mean getting my degree before hanging another year on the line.  Which would be nice, although not strictly necessary.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline rev45

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2013, 03:27:08 PM »
How confident are you in finding a job after finishing your degree?  A few articles I've read on Yahoo seem to think there are not a lot of positions in your field.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2013, 04:23:13 PM »
How confident are you in finding a job after finishing your degree?  A few articles I've read on Yahoo seem to think there are not a lot of positions in your field.

I work in Information Technology, and I've never lacked for work.  I live in the Metro DC area, for one thing, and this area is fairly recession-proof.  For another, I have a skillset that is both rare and in high demand, and I have a good professional reputation, so I get calls from recruiters all the time asking me if I'm looking for work.

I make no secret of the fact that I do not have a degree, but that has never harmed my job prospects -- and it is not likely to improve my prospects or otherwise enhance my career much once I do get the degree.  I'm doing this entirely for personal reasons.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2013, 03:19:01 PM »
Update:  I am now enrolled at Thomas Edison State College.  It was a very close choice between them and Charter Oak, but TESC offered an arrangement that was a bit better in a few ways, so that's the way I went.

I need eight courses to graduate.  Two of them should be covered by classes that I took at another university (transcript currently being evaluated) and two more of them can be achieved with credit-by-exam, leaving four actual classes that I'll need to take.

Much to my wry amusement, TESC says that I have met all the requirements for a philosophy major save one: "Philosophy 101, Introduction to Philosophy".  I am therefore currently studying for an exam that Excelsior College offers that will meet the TESC requirement for this.  It's a bit tedious in that, as you'd probably expect, I'm mostly just reviewing stuff that I already know, but I guess a bit of a brush up can't hurt.  The exam is on September 7th.

After that, I'm registered for three courses running from October 1st thru December 22nd, then I'll be doing the other credit-by-exam probably in January, then taking the last course in the February semester.  If all goes according to plan, I should be getting my degree in May.  The graduation ceremony will be in September of 2014 in Trenton, New Jersey.

It is such a relief to finally be doing something about this.  I feel like I've been married to the world's biggest bitch for twenty years and am finally filing for divorce.  Well, actually, it feels more positive than that, I guess.  But you know what I mean.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2013, 03:38:53 PM »
So are wel all invited to the graduation party? That's the important part!

Funny how you need an intro class to graduate. Methinks that means you're doing it backwards  ;D

But go get 'em, pianodwarf. You may not need the degree professionally, but you obviously want it personally. And there are far worse things to aspire to.

It took me 14 years from the time I graduated from high school until I finally got around to finishing college. I've never used my degree, but by golly, I've got it. I'm happy, and you will be too.

Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Nick

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2013, 03:46:01 PM »
And with that paper in hand you can start to get letters from your school asking alumni for money.  Enjoy. :)

Psych 101 ?   Oh, shit, he will be analyzing us now.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2013, 03:47:36 PM by Nick »
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2013, 04:26:39 PM »
So are wel all invited to the graduation party? That's the important part!

I actually am wondering what I want to do to celebrate.  This is probably going to be the biggest milestone of my entire life (since I'm highly unlikely to ever get married, and there's no way in hell I'm ever having kids, and I probably won't be going to grad school, although that's less certain).  So I do want to do it right.

Quote
Funny how you need an intro class to graduate. Methinks that means you're doing it backwards  ;D

It's not me, it's them.  And yes, it's pretty weird, but apparently, somehow, despite all the philosophy courses I've taken, none of them counts as a Phil 101, so there it is, I guess.

Quote
I'm happy, and you will be too.

Oh, I know I will be.  I'm pretty psyched just having done this much, I can only imagine how I'll feel when I have my diploma.

And with that paper in hand you can start to get letters from your school asking alumni for money.  Enjoy. :)

My alma mater has already been doing that for many years.

Quote
Psych 101 ?   Oh, shit, he will be analyzing us now.

Eh, I'm only taking Psych 101 on a pass/fail basis.  I'm doing that for a few reasons: it takes out some of the stress, since I don't have to worry about working like crazy to get an A, and psychology isn't one of my stronger suits, so it's less risky.  Even with my friend Janine helping me (bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology), I'm not super confident about how well I'd do if I were getting a letter grade in the course.  Also -- if you'll pardon my immodesty -- my GPA is already so high that pretty much the only thing I can do is either sustain it or lower it, so the pass/fail option is pretty much a no-brainer.

The other two courses I'm taking in October are SOS 110, "Living in the Information Age", and SOC 291, "Criminology".  SOS 110 is not likely to be very challenging, considering what I do for a living, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if I do learn some new things... it's surprisingly common for me to encounter stuff I've never seen before, even in areas where I would consider myself fairly expert.  And I'm really excited about the criminology class.  I think criminology is very interesting, so I'm psyched to be learning more about it.

The only course that really concerns me is the very last one I have to take, "Lib 495: Liberal Arts Capstone".  It has a shitload of writing and research, and that's likely to be a pretty serious challenge.  Of course, the flip side of that coin is that defeating the course is going to taste pretty sweet.  :-)
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline Jag

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Re: Finishing my bachelor's degree
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2013, 11:26:49 AM »
Good for you pianodwarf, I'm excited on your behalf!
My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.