The lyrics of the classic Queen song could be mistaken as an anthem for an age and society that wants everything yesterday. A culture that has embraced solutions that bring results yesterday (“Make $1,000,000 in 90 Days!”) will likely have little tolerance for the time and effort required to earn a college degree in the normal four to six years.
Take heart impatient one, we have a solution for you. What if someone told you that you could earn that coveted bachelors degree, not in four years, but in four weeks?
Lawrie Miller has pointed the way with a website titled “BA in 4 Weeks”, a guide for Generations X and Y who may lack the patience to earn a degree in the conventional manner. Miller’s website comprehensively documents the exact steps needed to earn a fully accredited college degree from several well-known institutions in a period as short as one month. Contrary to what might seem obvious to most, this isn’t even one of those “life experience” degrees where a resume and some cash is exchanged for a degree from a college nobody has ever heard of.
Miller summarizes the plan here:
BA in 4 Weeks describes how legitimate college credit and a fast, economical associate’s (AA or AS) degree or bachelor degree (BA or BS), may be earned by way of standardized proficiency exams, comprising CLEP, DANTES (DSST), ECE (formerly ACT/PEP), GRE subject, and TECEP. Distance learning focused regionally accredited assessment colleges and universities accepting 100% exam based credit include, Charter Oak State College ( COSC ), Excelsior College (formerly Regents college of the University of the State of New York (USNY)), Thomas Edison State College (TESC), and the Board of Governors (BOG) and Board of Trustees (BOT) BA degree programs offered by several universities in Illinois.
The concept requires two key components: enrollment in one of three institutions, either Charter Oak State College, Excelsior College or Thomas Edison State College; and the ability to take tests well.
First, let’s go over these three colleges. All three are state-sponsored colleges, which provides the critical regional accredidation required for what most people would consider to be a legitimate degree (we’ll cover accredidation in a future article). In the world of online learning, these colleges are known as “The Big Three”, mainly because they play such a critical role in the learning plans of many non-traditional learners. Each college allows a student to earn 100% of the required credits from proficiency exams, such as GRE, DANTES or CLEP exams. That’s the key piece of this strategy.
Enrolling in one of these institutions allows a student to transfer any and all credit from regionally accredited universities (and other accredited schools, each school has different policies though each of the “Big Three” is known for being fairly generous) and apply them towards a degree. Then, whatever credits are required to earn your degree can be earned through testing.
As a further practical example, Miller writes:
Given the need for some revision, nine or ten exams per week spread over three consecutive days of four consecutive days, is practical and sensible. Note that at least some of the exams will have to be ECE to meet upper division (UD) requirements.
Since the first five exams should be the CLEP general exams, each worth six credit hours, the freshman year can be completed before the second day’s testing has ended. Yes, that’s right, a year’s worth of college credit in less that 48 hours. By the end of the second day of the second week, the sophomore year will be in the bag. This leaves seven days testing over the next two and a half weeks to complete the junior and senior years. Plenty of time for revision and altogether a walk in the park. :-)
There’s little in life that can be completed in such a short span of time, but a respected and fully-accredited degree is one thing that can.