TW and Education, degrees (long)

Subject: TW and Education, degrees (long)
From: Kevin Montgomery <kmontgomery -at- LOGICON -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 15:49:39 PST

The relatively-nonproductive discussions of the value of degrees and
the need for certification have rolled back around in their eternal
cycles.

Everyone agrees, I believe, that hiring managers want some way to
winnow applicants prior to an interview. Right or wrong, smart or
stupid, most will make the first cut based on the applicant's degree
status. The competent many without degrees may protest, but that won't
change the way the system works.

What we need is a system to certify that a person who has not
completed college has become, through whatever means, just as
knowledgeable as a college graduate. We need a system to objectively
measure college-level knowledge, and we need a fancy piece of paper to
attest to its presence.

Well, we have the system and we have the paper. The system is provided
by several private colleges; the paper is an accredited BS or BA
degree granted by those colleges.

The colleges I speak of are called credit banks. They perform two
functions. First, they combine college credits earned from classes at
other institutions into one degree program, essentially eliminating
residency requirements. Second, they objectively measure knowledge
through standardized testing and by portfolio review. Standardized
testing consists of GRE (Graduate Record Exam) and CLEP (College Level
Examination Program) examinations. Portfolio review involves
demonstrating the knowledge you possess by writing papers on specific
subjects and by supporting those papers with evidence of the
experience you have had that led you to obtain that knowledge. Both
methods yield college credit that applies to your degree. These
colleges do not teach conventional classes, and do not require you to
visit their sites.

I finally got tired of fighting the battle of the undegreed. I was
losing in the first cut to wet-behind-the-ears children with papers
attesting to four years of seat warming. So, I aced a few tests
(thanks to a lifetime of constant learning), cashed in my old college
credits, and got a shiny new BS degree. The degree was directly and
indirectly responsible for an income increase of several thousand
dollars in just a few months, and I am feeling much more secure about
finding positions should I move on from here. I know I can squash
those bepapered kids in the actual interview!

I used Regents College for my degree (518 464-8500). Also consider
Charter Oak College (203 677-0076) and Thomas Edison State College
(609 984-1150). You may write me directly with specific questions.

-Kevin Montgomery
kmontgomery -at- logicon -dot- com


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