Degree Status: One Course Down, Six To Go

Today I passed my American Government CLEP, so I figured this was a good opportunity to share what the rest of my degree plan looks like.

What is this about?

As I shared in a previous post, I decided to finish my Bachelor’s in Computer Science since I was only 21 credits away from graduation.

When I took a break from my studies before landing a State IT job, I had only 9 credits to go. In that timeframe, Thomas Edison State University (TESU) (formerly TESC, but upgraded to a University this past December) changed its general ed requirements around, and when I reapplied I found many of my transferred credits no longer applied.

The Bright Side of The Situation

Interestingly, my computer science credits were fine; all of the additional credits were in general education areas.  A small breakdown of my 21 credits:

  • General Education – 12 credits
  • Computer Science – 6 credits
  • Liberal Arts Capstone – 3 credits

All 12 general ed credits and one of the computer science courses can be covered using CLEP or DSST exams, which saves a ton of money and time versus taking full courses.

DSST and CLEP exams cost roughly $100 per three-credit exam, while in-state tuition to TESU runs about $550 for a three credit course. Multiply that by five; I’m saving a good $2250 using this method.

The plan moving forward

I have two full courses left to take at TESU, one in Computer Architecture and the Capstone, and courses start monthly which makes planning convenient.

The plan is to take the computer course in February while studying for the other “test-out” exams, and then finish up with the capstone starting in April. All going according to plan, I would graduate in July or August.

The only course that worries me is the Public Speaking exam. It’s not because of public speaking; I don’t mind it so long as I’m comfortable with the material I’m presenting. The trick is that the second half is a recorded speech you have only 15 minutes to prepare for, and for a topic you won’t know until it’s given during the exam. That will require me to flex mental muscles I haven’t used in quite a while.

It won’t leave much time for coding practice at home, but I’ve learned that if I don’t prioritize and just finish this degree, it’ll never get done.

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