How Does a Degree Completion Program Work?



A degree completion program is aimed at students who had to drop out of their undergraduate education for any number of reasons. A bachelor degree completion program allows a student to pick up where they left off and resume their education in a fashion that suits them best. Programs also exist for students who have earned an associate degree and are looking to earn their bachelors but don’t qualify for a transfer program.

What is a Degree Completion Program?

Something to keep in mind when looking into what is a bachelor degree completion program are the advantages that come with earning your bachelor’s in the form of increased income and better career choices.

Once you’ve decided to enter into a degree completion program, you need to take your educational needs into consideration against what the school offers. One issue that you’ll come across with bachelor degree programs is the fact they tend to offer general degrees that are currently in demand from students. You’re more likely to find programs that offer liberal arts, finance, management, and business as course offerings than other areas of career education. However, there are schools out there that offer more than the most popular degrees, and you may be able to find a degree completion program that aligns with your needs. 

You also need to find out if your credits are transferable before you decide to enter into a bachelors degree completion program. Some credits may not transfer even though the concept behind the degree completion program is to accommodate previously earned credits. Chances are good that you’ll be able to transfer most or all of your credits, but it’s always a good idea to look into their transferability before applying. 

How Can I Finish My Bachelors Degree Online?

Online degree completion programs are offered through many colleges and universities. Higher education recognizes the fact that not all students are free to attend classes on campus and offer accredited educational programs online as an alternative. Finishing your bachelors degree online comes down to finding a school that fits your needs in terms of educational opportunities, sets an educational pace that you’re able to work with, and has scheduling flexibility that accommodates your daily schedule. 

An online degree completion program functions in the same way as a regular online degree program in that you’re required to attend or view classes by a certain deadline, take quizzes and exams, and complete schoolwork as required by the teacher. Online degree program students attend classes that are offered to the general student body, and aren’t segregated as students in a special degree program. This enables all students to work with each other regardless of their educational goals and help each other with their coursework. 

How Fast Can I Complete My Degree?

How fast you can complete your degree depends on different factors and program options. Degree completion programs are designed to be flexible when it comes to enabling a student to get their bachelors degree, but not all programs are made the same. An accelerated bachelors degree program may feature shorter semesters in the form of 10-week sessions, or it may offer the classes needed for degree completion throughout all three annual semesters. Many schools offer credit for work experience which can also allow a student to spend less time on classwork to complete their degree. Last, but not least, a student can take College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams that enable them to earn credits without the need to attend classes. The CLEP exams are another credit earning opportunity for students with life or work experience. 

Is it Worth it For Me to Complete My Degree?

Yes, it is worth it to complete your degree even though you may have a good job now. Income data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2018 shows that a  bachelors degree holder earns $1,173 on average each week compared to $712 for someone with a high school diploma. Someone who graduates with a bachelors degree is well-positioned to earn more money after graduation than someone who starts their career with a high school diploma. In the event you went to college only to drop out before earning a bachelor degree, you’ll still earn more than someone with a high school diploma. However, you’ll find it difficult to advance your career and your earnings potential. 

Degree completion programs offer you the opportunity to earn your degree while allowing you to maintain your career or on other major focuses in your life. You can attend school even if you’re not currently in the workforce for various reasons. An employer won’t know when you started your degree, only when you finished. In turn, you get to reap the rewards of your education as soon as you graduate. 

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