so…it’s the question.
the question that I hate.
I actually don’t hate it, I’d love to sit down and tell you what I’m doing for college.
But, I hate seeing the person you haven’t seen for 5 years in a grocery store and having them ask, “so where are you going to college?” Kind of like it’s a requirement to get out of this place and further my education, and those who don’t, well, you’re weird. But that’s another rant for another day.
But it’s awkward, because anything more than, “I’m going to JMU and majoring in candle-making.” is more than people want to hear.
But what I’m doing, sounds ultra creepy and kind of fake when you give the 3 second answer. (hey, I thought it was creepy too!)
So here’s the long answer, if you care.
I’m going to get a Bachelor’s in International Studies through Thomas Edison State College. (which is accredited, so I don’t care if you’ve never heard of it.)
I’m doing so through a program called CollegePlus.
Now, you don’t have to us CollegePlus to get a degree this way, but they know what they’re doing, have done it zillions of times before, and take a lot of the work off of me.
And people are like, “why aren’t you taking classes, freak?” and I’m like, “I’ll take classes when I want to, GOSH.”
But really, I have taken 2 classes so far, I’m taking a Spanish class this summer, and I’ll be taking more this fall.
But right now I’m focusing on CLEP tests, which are tests that are basically like the final exam of a class, if you score high enough on the CLEP, you get the credits, if you don’t, you fail, lose money, cry in the car, and have to wait 6 months to take it again. But that’s a different story.
And then there’s a different kind of test, which are also written by College Board, and they are DSSTs, which are a bit longer than the CLEPs, and are usually harder and more focused on one particular thing.
I can slam the learning for one class that normally would’ve taken a semester, into 2 weeks and still learn essentially the same material, but get the credits for a lot cheaper and faster. I do have to take actual upper-level classes though, so don’t get all weirded out on me.
So basically, I sit in my room and study a lot. And I’m doing school through the summer, which yes, is weird, and people give me weird looks, but when I have a Bachelor’s degree in 2 years, I won’t really care that I had to write a few sentences in Spanish over the summer, write a few essays, and take a few tests.
In case you’re still scratching your head and thinking I’m a creep, here’s my entire degree plan.
(* are the ones I’ve already completed. I don’t know why people always tell you that at the end, like I want to know what it means while I’m reading, not afterwards…)
General Education-60 credits
Composition 6 credits
College Composition ENC 101/102 CE CLEP 6.0 credits
Humanities 12 credits
Ethics in America PHI 287 DE DSST 3.0 credits
*Spanish I SPA 101 Local College 4.0 credits
SPA 102 | Spanish II | Local College 4.0 credits
Comparative Worldviews HUM 101 CP ACE Course 1.0 credits (I’m splitting the credits with this one)
History and Social Sciences12 credits
Western Civilization I HIS 101 CE CLEP 3.0 credits
Western Civilization II HIS 102 CE CLEP 3.0 credits
World Geography GOG 230 TESC Course 3.0 credits
*Introductory Psychology PSY 101 CE CLEP 3.0 credits
Science and Mathematics 12 credits
Introduction to Computing COS 101 DE DSST 3.0 credits
Biology BIO 111/112 CE CLEP6.0 credits
*Algebra ALEK 0002 ALEKS 3.0 credits
General Education Electives18 credits
*Social Justice from a Biblical Perspective SOS 299 CP ACE Course 3.0 credits
*Analyzing and Interpreting Literature LIT 291/292 CE CLEP 6.0 credits
*Introductory Sociology SOC 101 CE CLEP 3.0 credits
*Introduction to Educational Psychology PSY 230 CE CLEP 3.0 credits
*Human Growth and Development PSY 211 CE CLEP 3.0 credits
II - Area of Study 33 credits
100-200 Level15 credits
Modern Latin America HIS 252 BYU Course3.0 credits
Western Europe Since 1945 HIS 222 DE DSST 3.0 credits
Introduction to the Modern Middle East HIST 309 DE DSST 3.0 credits
Cultural Diversity SOCX 305 Excelsior Exam 3.0 credits
Introduction to Cultural and Social Anthropology ANTH 1003 LSU Course 3.0 credits
300-400 Level 18 credits
Conflict in International Relations POS 420 TESC Course 3.0 credits
International Relations I POS 315 TESC Course 3.0 credits
Liberal Arts Capstone LIB 495 TESC Course 3.0 credits
A History of the Vietnam War HIS 351 DE DSST 3.0 credits
Introduction to World Religions REL 405 DE DSST 3.0 credits
Global Issues and Society TESC Course 3.0 credits
III - Free Electives27 credits
Leadership Theory and Practice COMM 394 CP Course 3.0 credits
*Leadership & Influence IS 240a FEMA Course 1.0 credits
Comparative Worldviews HUM 101 CP ACE Course 2.0 credits (heyy, there’s those extra split credits I was talking about!)
Human/Cultural Geography GOG 120 DE DSST 3.0 credits
*Effective Communication IS 242a FEMA Course 1.0 credits
*Developing and Managing Volunteers IS 244a FEMA Course 1.0 credits
*Decision Making and Problem Solving IS 241a FEMA Course 1.0 credits
Substance Abuse SOS 305 DE DSST
3.0 credits General Anthropology ANT 101 DE DSST 3.0 credits
Social Sciences and History SOS 101/102 CE CLEP 6.0 credits
Criminal Justice AOJ 102 DE DSST 3.0 credits
So yeah. That’s that. Totally legitimate, and a real, worked for degree. Just because someone does something faster or differently than you, doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way, or that they’re cheating.
So to summarize, I am a skeptic, totally thought this whole deal was creepy before I signed on. But I no longer do, obviously. And you can think I’m weird or whatever (nothing new there) but if you do, at least be informed about why I am strange.
p.s. if you have any questions, I’ll gladly attempt to answer them.
p.p.s. If you weren’t counting, which you probably weren’t, I have 32 credits, which makes me a baby sophomore, which I’m pretty pumped about.