Depending on your pace, you could finish up the BS degree this month. For those who were questioning how it could be possible to complete a undergraduate bachelor's degree in 6 months time. Most of the skeptics were finally sold on this accelerated degree plan back when the associates was completed. But now is not the time to take a break. Taking short breaks (a few days or a week) is okay. Taking long  breaks actually tends to hinder progress. That's why schools such as CTUonline and AIUonline have gone to accelerated degree plans themselves. The traditional, take-the-summer-off approach, allows those "idle hands" more time to do things perhaps they shouldn't. Little did they know that they could have been testing out of some of their degree requirements!

Actually, when I started writing up this mock degree plan, I didn't intend for the degree requirements to be completed so quickly. It was supposed to be evenly distributed thoughout the 6 months. Surprisingly, it actually works out better this way because for those that fall behind, you still have time to catch up.

And now, Senior classmate, let's see what's up for this month.

Month 5

- TECEP Intro to Operations Management
- ECE or TECEP Business Policy and Strategy* (ECE $280, TECEP $400)
- ECE Organizational Behavior
- ECE Human Resources Mgmt
- DSST Management Information Systems
- DSST Criminal Justice**
- DSST Intro to Law Enforcement**
- DSST Here's to your Health**
- Apply for BS graduation


* The ECE version will expire on Sept 30, 2004. The TECEP version is an alternative that can be taken. Always check with your school's advisor to ensure that the exams or courses will meet degree requirements.

**These last 9 credits represent 9 of 15 credits that are FREE electives (the other 6 were already done, but were not required to for any core requirement). This means you can use any collegiate-level course or exam to satisfy. For military, this could be your boot camp, rate/mos/tech credits, and credits you earn as you advance in paygrade or attend other schools. Obviously to provide a complete roadmap, I chose the 3 easiest, cheapest exams that would not duplicate exams already taken.

Week 17

TECEP Intro to Operations Management

This one I highly recommend Stevenson's Operations Management. Most of your questions on the test will come directly from this book. A lot of the higher-level math formulas you won't need to know. Any computation that requires a chart, you won't need to know. Concentrate on matching up the content outline with the content in the book. Easier said than done, I know. I actually took this test twice; the first time by simply studying another book that bain4weeks recommended, and I failed by 5 points (TECEPs you must get a 60 out of 100 to pass). I was mad at myself for a) not studying adequately, and b) having to shell out another $360 to re-take the exam! As of this writing, the military does NOT fund TECEP exams. Please pass the first time, for your wallet's sake :). Some more interesting test info:

- Know the many different optimization models and how they work. Concentrate on the PERT, linear programming, transportation, simulation, queueing/waiting line theory, and time series/regressions (including the different moving averages/smoothings). Know which ones would best apply to various situations.
- Have an understanding of decision-making/decision trees and forecasting models.
- Know the linear programming equations. Know how constraints relate to the maximization/minimization equation.
- Know the learning curve theory. The equation may be helpful.
- Know Process vs Product layouts
- Know attribute vs variable (statistical quality control)
- Know fixed quantity, fixed interval, etc.
- Know the economic order quantity equation. (inventory mgmt)
- Know what is and how to set up the PERT chart. (calcuate critical path, slack, ES, EF, LS, LF)
- Know the difference between activity on arrow (AOA) and (AON) activity on node PERT.
- Know what a Type I vs Type II error is. Know what producers risk (Alpha) vs consumer risk (Beta).
- Know main contributers to management theories such as Maslow, Herzberg, Fredrick Taylor, etc.
- Know how computers integrate into manufacturing (CAD, CAM, etc).

Again, ignore any formulas in the book that require "Z" scores or pre-determinted calculations from a chart or overly sophisticated formulas. NO Z score charts or any other values which you could not determine on your own are provided on the test. Therefore, neither are problems that would be require these be on the test.

Some of the questions on the TECEP version could NOT be successfully answered without reading the textbook. So make sure you grab a copy. BTW, I scored a 74 on my second time up.

Week 18

ECE/TECEP Business Policy and Strategy

This is the so-called "capstone" course for the business degree. This was not hard at all, but I'm referring to the Excelsior version, which will phase out very shortly. The TECEP exam may be taken as a replacement. Whatever you do, for the essay portion, please write down something! If you don't write down anything, you get NO credit. If you at least have something there, it's potential partial credit. I barely studied for the ECE version; just briefly skimmed over Wheeler's Concepts in Strategic Management and used my previous management experience and was able to bluff my way to a "B". The good news about the TECEP version is that it is pass/fail credit. The bad news is it may be harder to pass, because you must get over half right to pass 60/100 or 3/5s instead of only half. But their content guide says to buy the Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases by Strickland.

The TECEP Productions/Operations Mgmt and Business Policy exams fulfill core requirements and have hard-to-find substitutes (exam-wise). Not to mention they are $400 a pop, each time you take it (if you fail). Make sure you are adequately prepared (i.e. study)!

Week 19

ECE Organizational Behavior

The instantcert DSST Organizational Behavior guide is perfect for this one as well. I took both versions the same day, but Excelsior will only accept one (they duplicate each other). Since the ECE version was upper level, it counted towards the 12 credits of upper level business electives*** I got an "A" on the ECE version, and a 59 (A) on the DSST version.


***Note: Even though there is an ethics and organizational behavior core requirement for the business degree, if they are upper level, they can still count towards the upper-level business electives requirement. These are the 2 exceptions. Remember, if you read the business catalog, a core requirement normally cannot double as an elective.

ECE Human Resources Management

Very general concepts covered. This was probably the second easiest upper-level credit I've ever earned. You don't even need to study for this exam. After taking all the other exams that you've taken up to this point, you should be aware of what Human Resources is all about. Just remember to usually choose the answer that will benefit the most amount of people, not necessarily make the company more profits. I did buy the recommended textbook (before instantcert came out with their guide). I briefly skimmed over the first 70 pages or so.

DSST Management Information Systems

The MIS exam is probably the easiest upper-level undergrad credit you'll ever earn.
I cut a 62 on the exam. Nuff said. Actually, the CLEP information systems instantcert guide covered more of what will be on the test than the DSST MIS.**** So study both. Take both versions if you wish, but it is duplicate credit (only one will count). The CLEP version is lower-level, so for obvious reasons, make sure you pass the DSST version.


**** For instantcert study guides, you can use one guide to study for a related test or a different 'brand name' of the same test.

Week 20

DSST Criminal Justice

Study for both the Criminal Justice and the Law Enforcement exams and take them both the same day. I scored a 62 on this exam! Instantcert covers all the basics. But again, study for both exams and take them both the same day.

DSST Intro to Law Enforcement

I never got a chance to take the exam for this one. (already fulfilled degree requirements and I was on deployment). It couldn't be any more difficult than Criminal Justice. Perhaps you have to memorize a few more court cases and a few more laws. I strongly advise you take these both the same day. Even if you only take one, study both exam study guides.

DSST Here's to your Health

I took this one before I found out about instantcert. Very basic nutrition and human anatomy related questions. Nothing that cannot be learned quickly from the study guide.

Apply for BS graduation

Congratulations ladies and gentlemen: You have just completed all course requirements for your Baccalaureate of Science degree in General Business! Of course, this is subject to Excelsior's receipt of all official score reports (2-4 weeks from the date that you take the exam). The good thing about taking ECE exams is that, if you are enrolled, the scores automatically appear on your Excelsior transcript. Ditto for TECEPs on the TESC transcript. Remeber that TECEP exams do not automatically send score reports; you must request an official transcript from Thomas Edison. Because you must pay for each transcript, it may be wise to just request one transcript after you have completed testing all of the TECEPs. For those in the military option, you can choose to switch back to the no-residency option (higher enrollment/graduation fees), or complete your 12-credit residency  in order to graduate with the reduced fees. Again, you must decide what is best for you.

Total credits this month: 9 s.h., lower level, 15 s.h. upper level = 21 credits! 

Overview of core requirements completed, weeks 1-4:
- Written English Requirement, WER 3 credits satisfied
- 6 additional credits credits in humanities
- 6 additional credits in social sciences/history
- 3 credits in math precalculus or above
- 12 additional arts/science credits

Weeks 5-8
- 3 credits Macroeconomics and 3 credits in Microeconomics
- 3 credits in Statistics
*** Arts and Science component (33 credits minimum) completed! ***
- 3 credits in computers
- 3 additional business credits (intro to biz)

Weeks 9-12
- 3 credits Financial and 3 credits Managerial accounting
- 3 credits Business Law
- 3 credits Principles of Management
- 3 credits Principles of Marketing
*** Business Component (21 credits minimum) completed!***
- 1 credit Information Literacy
***Additional credit component (7 credits minimum) completed!***
- 6 credits additional liberal arts. (2 clep psychologies)
- 3 credits business (supervision)

Week 13-16
- 12 credits for humanities (liberal arts); Ethics component satisfied
- 9 credits in social sciences (liberal arts)
- 3 credits in business (personal finance)
- 3 credits in Financial Management
- 3 credits in Upper Level Business

Week 17-20
- 3 credits Operations Management
- 3 credits Business Policy
- 9 credits Upper business electives, 3 of those satisfy organizational behavior requirement
***Business component core (minimum 45 credits) satisfied***
- 9 credits free electives
*** Additional credit component (minimum 15 credits) satisfied ****

Total BS in General Business credits: 121 s.h.

Recommended Booklist
- Organizational Behavior, Human Resources Mgmt, Management Info Systems, Computer Apps and Info Systems, Criminal Justice, Intro to Law Enforcement, Here's to your Health Instantcert study guides. $20/month.
- Operation's Management, Stevenson, $70 Amazon.com | Barnes and Noble
- Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases, Thompson and Strickland, $70  Amazon.com | Barnes and Noble
*****- Concepts of Strategic Management, Wheeler/Hunger, $70  Amazon.com | Barnes and Noble

***** This book is not necessary, if you purchase the other one, so it will not be included in the expenses total.

[update January 17, 2005]

- Official Clep Study Guide 16th ed. ISBN 0874477093 Amazon.com | Barnes&Noble (note:  not included in the current total of costs).

[update January 17, 2005]

- Master booklist and study guides for all exams now available > >

Total Month 1 Expenses = $1595.00
Total applicable military discounts: up to $1305 depending on enrollment option and where you take exams.

Total Month 2 Expenses = $780
Total military discounts available: $660 for exams and information literacy.

Total Month 3 Expenses = $1120
Total military discounts available = Up to $900 depending on enrollment.

Total Month 4 Expenses = $1995
Total military discounts available: up to $1625 depending on enrollment option.

Month 5 Expenses
- instantcert - $20
- recommended textbooks - $140
- 4 DSST x $75 + 2 ECE x $180 + 2 TECEP x $400 = $1460
- Graduation Fee, BS General Business: $495 or $150 for military option.
- travel/misc expenses - $100


Total Month 5 Expenses = $2215
Total military discounts available: up to $1005****** depending on enrollment option.


******Currently, the military does NOT fund TECEP exams. Think twice before trying to cram for one of these.

Total so far =  Month 1 + Month 2 + Month 3 + Month 4 + Month 5 = $7705
Total applicable military discounts to date: up to $5495 depending on enrollment option.



But wait, there's still a few more items that need to be reviewed before we're completely done....
Caution: As close as you are to your degree, now is NOT the time to relax or slack off! Do not underestimate the fact that you could still fail an exam, delaying your graduation and increasing the total cost. Hang in there for 1 more month and you'll be there :))
Study for the exams:
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