Monday, April 22, 2013

The dreaded college question


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.

Okay? Okay.

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.


El fin.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nothing weird in using the brain God has blessed you with to give thought to what you aim to achieve, research the practicalities, work out the best plan to make these aims achievable, then put that achievable plan into action!! Skeptic or not it's terrific that you have such surety of aim that you are already set on the right steps to achieve this ... go for it!
As you walk with God, taking such positive steps to reach your goals:
may you be greatly blessed Bekah
kind regards
Nerida Grewal (Sydney Australia)