Learn About Life Experience Degrees
In its purest form, Life Experience Degrees are earned by equating experience to college credit. Lately, however, this has not been the case. Part of the purpose of this website is to spotlight those schools that get close to the pure form of Life Experience Degrees, and to help you decide which school (if any) might be best for your particular situation.
Experiential learning is nothing new. For hundreds of years, universities have touted the benefits of life long learning. Learning comes in many formats, but the most useful form of experiential learning is OTJ - On The Job training.
Most for-profit universities that offer life experience credits equate one year of employment to one year of education. Therefore, someone who has been employed in his or her field of expertise for four years has the equivalent of a bachelor degree. The reality of this, however, is far from the truth. Certainly, four years of employment could equate to a four year degree however many people find themselves doing repetitive tasks at work. If someone has been through three months of training to perform their job and has been doing the same thing for the last four years, then he or she actually only has three or four months of college equivalent training.
In order to qualify for a life experience degree in its purest form, you will need to have an equivalent number of years of successive and progressive learning and training on the job or otherwise. It is rare that a person would have enough qualification from one job -- even if that job lasted 20 years. Most people that have a significant amount of life experience credits have earned these credits through multiple jobs with multiple corporations learning multiple processes.
Fortunately for you, none of the schools on this website stick to the pure form of Life Experience Degrees. If you were to enroll at Ohio State University, for example, you could get credits for your experience. However, the documentation required by Ohio State University is so cumbersome and complex that you are essentially writing a dissertation for each course that you are receiving experiential credit for.
The likelihood of being able to get a full 120 credits and a degree strictly based on life experience is virtually impossible. Given the fact that all state universities require general education core courses, what are the chances that you have earned enough credits through lifelong learning to satisfy biology, algebra, economics, humanities, world history, and communications? Few of us, regardless of how long we have worked, have worked in all the facets of the basic core curricula of a university.
Many of the schools listed on this website will give you a one to one credit. In other words, one year work will equate to one year of college. If you've worked more than four years, the schools on this website will issue your four-year degree. There are however some notable exceptions:
On the basic end, some schools have absolutely no criteria whatsoever except that you have the money to pay. They do not care if you are 12 years old as long as you have money in your PayPal account, you can get a doctorate degree from them. They even issue doctorate degrees in nursing.
The Suffield group does a true one-to-one equate. Four years of work equals four years of education. They actually do look at your qualifications so if you are truly an adult with true experience you could get a degree from them. The master degree requires six years of work and the doctorate, eight.
Almeda University has a slightly different take. They will offer a one-to-one equivalency for prior education, however, they require one and a half years of work for each four year degree. In other words, you will need six years of work experience to get a four-year Almeda at degree. Additionally, they offer online courses to make up for deficiencies. Almeda University does not offer doctorate degrees by simply showing work experience. Of all the schools listed within this website, Almeda is the only one that requires a dissertation to receive a doctorate level degree.
When it comes to employer acceptance, however, these schools are generally accepted equally. The services you receive after making payment is what separates them. You can look at the chart to determine which school is right for you based on the services they offer. The fees charged by each school only differ by a few hundred dollars from the highest to the lowest. I know this is a difficult economy, however, you may want to make your decision based on factors other than monetary. After all, if you were deciding whether to go to Dartmouth or Yale, would you make a decision based on a difference of $200.00?
Not one of the schools listed on this website are regionally accredited. Not one of them! Do not expect to be treated as if you were holding a fully accredited accepted degree. Understand that there are limitations. However, the limitations are minor compared to the difficulty in working adults achieving a four year degree while trying to hold down a job and maintain a healthy family dynamic. There is an excellent website that offers excellent information about how to represent your Life Experience Degree. Please see http://www.aboutlifeexperiencedegrees.com
If the above website does not give you all the information that you need and you still have additional questions, drop me an email. I've got other ideas and thoughts to help you achieve success with your Life Experience Degree. I may or may not respond depending on my personal workload, however, I read every e-mail and I am considering posting questions and answers on this website directy.