Degree Planning

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 . Dept of Defense career guide for veterans.

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:

3. View general degree requirements 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.

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.  On your DP draft “+” means ‘advanced’, “*” means ’liberal’ credits.

5.  Consider taking standardized exams in basic subjects to earn credits, or take low cost courses to transfer credits, check if your professional learning has been evaluated.

6.  Apply for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)  credits. 

A PLA essay (4-5 pages) is a way to demonstrate college-level knowledge gained outside the classroom. The essay should describe the knowledge & skills you gained, 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.  Here are some guides and samples (each earned 4 credits).

7.  Write your Degree Program Rationale essay.

8. 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)

9. 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:

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?”



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