5 Reasons to Consider an Accelerated Degree Program

While the idea of spending four fabulous years of freedom to be on your own immersed in study, is certainly appealing, there are a number of reasons why the traditional college experience might not work for students. Today's students are less naive about student loans understanding that the reality, is most of us can’t afford to wrack up tens of thousands of dollars in loans before entering the workforce.

As a result, more and more, people are looking at alternatives like starting college in high school with programs like College Now, testing out of classes,or taking accelerated degree programs. Such programs are a potential solution for individuals who don’t have the luxury of spending several years out of the workforce. I’ve shared several posts on the first two options. Accelerated degree programs deserve a closer look.

Here are five reasons why accelerated degree programs might be the right option for your students.

#1: Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the main draws of such program because the classes are tailored toward individuals that are working and cannot afford to take days off. These classes are generally held in the afternoon, night, or weekends.

The classes are also held multiple times throughout the year so there isn’t a time at which you'd miss a semester and need to wait until the following one to finally complete the work (this choice in the matter also greatly cuts down on the costs since you can choose your pace). There are also many locations in which to take these courses, which alleviates travel time.

#2: Speed

When your career plans require a specific degree but you need to work full-time while earning that degree, a traditional associates or bachelors will be difficult to attain. The benefit of accelerated degrees is that what takes, on average, 15 weeks per semester would be just 6 – 10 weeks instead. Accelerated classes are done multiple times a year so this allows you to complete your degree in nearly half the time.

#3: Credit without classes

You may be qualified to receive credit from other experiences, which means you will not need to take or retake unnecessary courses. Credits can be earned via work experience or life experience.

Each college will determine whether these can be applied but there is a good chance you can remove few classes this way.

#4: Intimate atmosphere

Large classes, like those seen in the big lecture halls of universities, can be intimidating and difficult when it comes to learning the topic because you generally do not get to interact with the professor or class since there are so many others in attendance.

With accelerated programs, you are paired into smaller class sizes, which allow you to maximize your time with the educator and your peers. This small class size can greatly help your ability to stay focused, find aid when having trouble, and meet others that inspire you to do your best.

#5: Options

Though accelerated programs offer a less diverse selection of degrees you would find at a major state university, they still provide you with an ample amount of options tailored to the individual working full-time.

For example – available accelerated degrees include majors such as:

· Business administration

· Nursing

· Educational leadership

· Educational administration

· Special education

Accelerated degree programs do require you to put as much effort into your studies and dedication as traditional programs. The short time-frame of the classes means you cannot afford to miss classes or you will quickly fall behind. That makes this an accelerated degree a great option for those dedicated and ready to finish their college education while also holding down a job and tending to other life responsibilities.

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.