Step by Step
1. Arrange official copies of all your prior transcripts to be sent to Saratoga Springs Admissions office. Any paper with the word “credit” is a transcript. Also to be sent: proof of military service or police training, Series 7 license, real estate license, insurance license, WES-evaluated foreign transcripts.
2. Choose your degree concentration. These strategies may help:
a. Set a Goal. Where would you like to be 5 years from now? What kind job do you see yourself doing? What kind of degree will help you achieve this goal? Food for thought: NY state licensed occupations. More about Accounting: State of New York Accounting Education and Career Guide .
b. Take advice. Interview successful friends, other students, co-workers and your boss about their educational experiences, types of degrees and courses that they found to be most useful while they were in college.
c. Follow the money. Research what kind of jobs earn highest and the lowest salaries. Use Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) . Research occupations by skill at O*Net Online. What kind of degree will help you get the desired job?
d. Grad school. If you are planning to go to graduate school, research what kind of degrees they prefer you have. Grad schools ranked by price: Top 40 Ranked Best Buys in Online MBAs.
e. Follow the leaders. Research degrees at other schools. What disciplines do Ivy League and top business school student study? You can create a similar degree program at ESC. Links to some of the degree programs at other schools:
- NYU school of continuing education
- Wharton School concentrations
- Foster School of Business
- Carey Business School
3. View general degree requirements, common titles for gen ed courses and ESC undergrad degrees. There are several possible Areas of Study including Management and Economics (BME). Numerous concentrations can be designed within each area of study. Most common BME concentration titles are below. You can create your own unique title, e.g. Business Communications, Managing in a Technical Environment.
- AOS general guidelines – for all degrees including BME
- Business Administration
- Human Resource Management
- Accounting and Accounting Certification Disclaimer
- Information Systems
- Public Administration
- International Business
- Labor Relations
- Youtube video: How to read the guidelines– tips
- Info on how to enroll in ESC MBA program during your last 32 undergrad credits
4. Explore DP Planner tool under myESC. Log into your DP draft, click on the “gen ed doc” link, see names of gen eds you have already covered. Notice how many advanced credits you already have. All Bachelors degrees require: 128cr total, 45 advanced credits (24 in concentration), at least 7 gen eds fulfilled, 4cr of Educ Planning. Educ Planning options: 4cr with your mentor, or 2cr with your mentor and 2cr from Educ Planning course list (select Educ Planning from the pull down menu). On your DP draft “+” means ‘advanced’, “*” means ’liberal’ credits.
5. Learn the purpose and the process of degree planning at ESC.
- Take a look at sample degree programs.
- Student Degree Planning Guide – “the DP bible”, lots of info, read it slo-o-owly
- A Student Guide to Academic and Degree Planning – Power Point
6. Consider taking tests in basic subjects to earn credits.
- CLEP: www.collegeboard.com/clep earn 3-6 credits per subject, intro-level; Human Development is adv level; Spanish earns 16cr
- DANTES: www.getcollegecredit.com
- DANTES in 38 subjects offered in Saratoga
- Excelsior: www.excelsior.edu
- NYU language tests
- TECEP: www.tesc.edu/students/tecep
- FEMA courses and how to convert them into credits at ESC by first getting a transcript from Frederick CC.
7. Consider applying for Credits by Evaluation (CBE) aka Prior Learning Assessment (PLA).
A CBE essay (4-5 pages) is a way to demonstrate college-level knowledge gained outside the classroom. The essay should describe main concepts and skills learned, related training and how you used these skills at work or in other settings. Your supporting documents may include a job verification letter, a certificate of training, an example of your own work, etc. CBE requests will be submitted electronically for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) with your draft degree plan at the end of the Degree Planning study with your mentor.
- Guides for the most frequently requested CBE subjects
- Tutorials on developing CBEs: Assessing Learning.
- “Writing a Prior Learning Assessment Essay,” tips from mentor Joyce Howland
Here are samples of my students’ essays, each earned 4 credits:
- Administrative Services
- Bank Branch Operations and Consumer Financial Products
- Business Ethics
- Copyediting and Proofreading
- Compensation and Benefits
- Community participation and leadership
- Computer Applications
- Conflict resolution
- Contract Management
- Customer Service Management
- Diversity in the Workplace
- Grant Writing and Grant Administration
- Human Resource Management
- Internship in Event Planning, Management, and Promotion
- Interpersonal and Small Group Communication
- Journalism: News Writing
- Managing Individuals and Teams
- Nonprofit Management
- Payroll Administration
- Port and Facility Security Management
- Practicum in Financial Services Back Office Operations
- Project Management
- Public Speaking
- Sales Management
8. Write your Degree Program Rationale essay.
- Questions for writing the rationale essay – BS degree outline
- BME rationale example with comments, BS degree
- Writing Your Degree Program Rationale booklet with cartoons
- A sample rationale essay – doc file, BS degree
- A sample of associate degree rationale essay – doc
9. Submit your portfolio for assessment. Assessment process takes 2-5 months depending on the number of requested CBEs. A complete portfolio includes:
- Online Degree Plan created in DP Planner
- Degree Rationale essay
- when applicable: Credit by evaluation essays, created in PLA Planner, each with supporting paper(s)
10. For advanced-level students only: Mini-project.
For this project, you have 2 options:
A. Careers and Labor Market. Write a 5-7 page essay on career opportunities and the labor market for graduates with degrees similar to yours. Answer the following questions:
1) What types of jobs do people with your degree get most often? What’s the difference between these job titles in terms of work responsibilities and skills? How high are salaries? Is there a growing demand for graduates with your type of degree? Can jobs in your field be outsourced? How do technology and the state of the economy affect jobs in your filed? Resources:
- Careers by major– education-portal.com
- Occupational handbook – fastest growing, highest paying jobs
- My next move -career database by job characteristics
- Learn how to become – career resources
- Search internships – at usajobs.gov
- Internships through SUNY – ‘internshop’ initiative
- Career Services – ESC career services, internship opportunities
2) Given your research results, describe your dream job and skills you expect to acquire in order to succeed.
B. Learn a New Business Subject. Choose a new business subject and learn it by watching educational videos at Education-Portal. Your final project will be to come up with a set of questions and answers, 1-2 per video, addressing the main idea(s) of each video. For example, a management video may discuss the main responsibilities of a manager; in that case your question would be “What are the main responsibilities of a manager?”
- Project management – free course
- Learning support at ESC – Smarthinking, math, writing
- Fountain House – support for people with mental illness
- National Urban League – jobs for minority students
- List of available scholarships for students at ESC
- How to study effectively in college – video
- Informal job market – networking skills matter
- Free classes in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and other at Henry St ATTAIN Lab
- Paper formatting and style guide
- ESL resources for foreign students
- ESC online writing center
- SUNY gen ed dashboard – which classes fulfill gen eds