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  #1  
Old 01-31-2018, 09:52 AM
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Default Going Back to School

So I've been mulling the idea of going back to school and get my associates in ECE. The reason is for when I "retire" I will be able to a degree to still work in the field but outside of my home. Just doing some research, I'm finding most ECE jobs are requiring a degree. Then I worry I will do all this but be unhirable due to my age by that time. I've worked in home for 20.5 years so this is a big step and I'm trying to look at it from all angles.

The classes are at night but start before I get off which I guess happens to a lot of people in these classes and you just need to explain this to the instructors and hope you don't miss to much class time.

To complete this degree in two years, classes are four nights a week-5:00-9:00 with each term being 15-17 credits. This is where I'm stuck. I don't know about going four nights a week. I could do less but it means it taking longer to get my degree done (three to four years) and being that much older when I graduate. Taking four classes though means being gone four nights a week for two years, so missing lots of family things and not being able to get that back. Also, I'm not sure about the homework-I won't be able to get it done during the day with working 10.5 hours so that would more than likely mean weekends would be homework time, plus getting everything ready for the next week for childcare which takes a ton of time as it is now. I would also be going from 6:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night those four nights.

Then there is the cost, not wanting to take on student loans at my age and be trying to pay off during my retirement years.

So has anyone gone back to school and done it this way or have you taken your time and took a little longer. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:05 AM
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I am in a similar situation. Currently working on my degree (I am already an ECE) and it is taking me a long time. I do one course a semester. I canít handle anymore than that and the university I go to doesnít offer any distance education. I have now found a great university that has everything online so I have been thinking about transferring my credits. I can get it done faster if I donít have to be on campus.

Is doing it online an option? I think youíd have a much better chance of getting it done faster. Also I think having your ECE will benefit you greatly in terms of jobs or even restructuring your current home daycare to a preschool. For me I am not sure a degree is worth it and I just do it mostly to keep my brain active.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:15 AM
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The only online I know about would be through our local Union. The schooling would be free as long as I pay the $35 a month Union fee. I'm not sure about online though as I know I do better in a classroom structure, especially for questions and such.

I'm mainly doing it to have in case I ever work outside the home. I already have a preschool set up and I've always done preschool activities ever since I opened.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:16 AM
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Four nights a week is a lot to me! Have you looked into your local community college? The local community college in my area offers a ton of ECE classes online. You could also consider a college a bit away from you with a large offering of online classes....

For my life right now I like online classes - I am able to do classwork / homework during nap time and after work without it impacting my life too much.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I am in a similar situation. Currently working on my degree (I am already an ECE) and it is taking me a long time. I do one course a semester. I canít handle anymore than that and the university I go to doesnít offer any distance education. I have now found a great university that has everything online so I have been thinking about transferring my credits. I can get it done faster if I donít have to be on campus.

Is doing it online an option? I think youíd have a much better chance of getting it done faster. Also I think having your ECE will benefit you greatly in terms of jobs or even restructuring your current home daycare to a preschool. For me I am not sure a degree is worth it and I just do it mostly to keep my brain active.
What are you working on a degree toward? I starting taking an online class this winter semester (just because I needed some adult interaction and subject matter)
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:19 AM
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Four nights a week is a lot to me! Have you looked into your local community college? The local community college in my area offers a ton of ECE classes online. You could also consider a college a bit away from you with a large offering of online classes....

For my life right now I like online classes - I am able to do classwork / homework during nap time and after work without it impacting my life too much.
This is through my local community college and none are offered online.

I always have one-three kiddo's that do not sleep during naptime so I'm unable to get anything done during that time. So I would still be having to do it in the evenings.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:50 AM
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I completed my AS ECE degree mostly online. I only attended 8 classes for 60 AS degree hours + 12 CDA hours. My classes were in the evening that I attended. I took two classes at a time even in the summer. It took over 5 years to complete but I did it. I then transferred to a four year college for my BS but there is not any offered online, and it is almost two hours away with no night classes that I need so I stopped with my AS. I have re-enrolled for Fall 2018 at the community college again, however to take another ECE class for renewal of my CDA. I love taking classes. The AS ECE required the math/sciences/etc which was a challenge but I LOVED the challenge. The AAS ECE is mostly ECE classes. You could meet with a local College ECE advisor to learn your options. Also to be accepted into the four year college I had to pass the PRAXIS which I did and that was a doozy.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:01 AM
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My classes started before I closed, too, and my mentor told me the same thing they told you. That the professor would work with you. The problem was the school has their own policy and I was not told until after I paid. Mine was 2 absences and a fail, door locked at the beginning of class, no exceptions.

Be sure to email the professor first. I wish I had.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
My classes started before I closed, too, and my mentor told me the same thing they told you. That the professor would work with you. The problem was the school has their own policy and I was not told until after I paid. Mine was 2 absences and a fail, door locked at the beginning of class, no exceptions.

Be sure to email the professor first. I wish I had.
My ECE class professors worked with providers like this but the other classes would not.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:10 AM
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My ECE class professors worked with providers like this but the other classes would not.
Where were you able to take classes online? I would 100% do that bachelors pathway if I could do it online. I just can't give up 3-4 nights a week, out of the house, anymore.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:11 AM
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What are you working on a degree toward? I starting taking an online class this winter semester (just because I needed some adult interaction and subject matter)
Currently a child studies degree but am thinking about transferring to an applied science in early education. I am in Canada though! The online program only started last year so I am pretty excited about it. They only accept you if you have an honours degree in ECE which I have so it looks like a good option for me. It would take me two years.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:15 AM
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Where were you able to take classes online? I would 100% do that bachelors pathway if I could do it online. I just can't give up 3-4 nights a week, out of the house, anymore.
The four year college I transferred to does not offer what I needed online. It is also a 2+2 program with the community college but nothing offered that I needed close to home. Kind of made me angry after I worked so hard on that praxis test. THere is just no four year colleges compatible for me to drive to nightly around here. All my exams were proctored from my online classes but getting away for one day was better than being gone several days from child care. I graduated in 2012. Like you, I would jump at the chance if I could get my BS online.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:18 AM
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I completed my degree entirely on-line.
I'd look for a college that offers distance learning.

Most don't require you to ever physically step foot on campus.

As for costs, does your QRIS program and/or your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency offer any type of grants for professional development?

My local CCR&R has a TEACH grant that pays for a large portion of tuition, books, travel and substitute costs for providers working towards their associates and/or Bachelor's degree. I recommend checking with them to see.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:20 AM
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I completed my degree entirely on-line.
I'd look for a college that offers distance learning.

Most don't require you to ever physically step foot on campus.

As for costs, does your QRIS program and/or your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency offer any type of grants for professional development?

My local CCR&R has a TEACH grant that pays for a large portion of tuition, books, travel and substitute costs for providers working towards their associates and/or Bachelor's degree. I recommend checking with them to see.
There is education assistance help here but they dictate which college can be used.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:24 AM
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Thank you, Annalee. Maybe they will get on that soon.

BC, our TEACH grants are only for center workers right now. Those with State Pre-k's inside. I never even got the tuition reimbursement I "qualified" for the first go round, or the $500 cash fitness/health policy bonus I "won". Where did you get yours, online?

I am wary of some of the colleges that advertise on TV.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:25 AM
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I completed my degree entirely on-line.
I'd look for a college that offers distance learning.

Most don't require you to ever physically step foot on campus.

As for costs, does your QRIS program and/or your local Child Care Resource and Referral agency offer any type of grants for professional development?

My local CCR&R has a TEACH grant that pays for a large portion of tuition, books, travel and substitute costs for providers working towards their associates and/or Bachelor's degree. I recommend checking with them to see.
The one that they offer, I'm to high up on the registry for. They offer I guess to those who are just starting up their education (have no previous college)? The books would be paid for though if I take the classes at our local community college.

I could go for free to on online college that is in Ohio but I have to join our Union and then pay $35 dollars a month to the Union. I'm just not sure of joining the Union in order to do that.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:26 AM
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There is also six practicum classes I would have to take and I'm not sure how I would do that since I work all day in my own childcare?
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Thank you, Annalee. Maybe they will get on that soon.

BC, our TEACH grants are only for center workers right now. Those with State Pre-k's inside. I never even got the tuition reimbursement I "qualified" for the first go round, or the $500 cash fitness/health policy bonus I "won". Where did you get yours, online?

I am wary of some of the colleges that advertise on TV.
The local community college here. We have state assistance set up at multiple colleges across the state. I chose the one closest to me. I am going to research the distance learning BC mentioned and see how costly it is because the original assistance I used will only go to specific colleges. I will have to pay the BS distance learning online on my own unless I hire a worker for me to attend class at an approved college and I can't do that!!!! or better yet I don't want to do that!
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:52 AM
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There is also six practicum classes I would have to take and I'm not sure how I would do that since I work all day in my own childcare?
I was allowed to do all my practicums except the Administrators and Kindergarten ones in my own center with my DCK. It made it MUCH easier! My local Tech has an accelerated program so I went to school Thursdays from 6-10pm and 8-4 one Saturday per month. The rest of the work was outside of class.
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:16 PM
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I started school in fall 2014 and am just now taking my last class for my associates. I did all But one class online. I took one class, then 2, then did 3 at a time. 3 was way too much (I have 3 young kids at home) and I was up until midnight almost every night with schoolwork.

Once I finish with my associates, I will
Transfer to another school And do in person classes and probably just do one at a time.

The online classes were about 6-7 hours of work a week (that included reading, discussion boards, etc). It wasnít that much if I did a little bit each night
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:24 PM
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CK I messaged you some info
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:27 PM
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Thank you all so much for info and advice! Lots to think about and mull over.

It will be my last kiddo at home junior and senior year if I do this and I don't want to miss out on those last two years with him.

I'll keep everyone updated on what I decide
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Old 01-31-2018, 12:47 PM
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There is education assistance help here but they dictate which college can be used.
Aw, that's a bummer. Ours didn't dictate where we could go...just that it was accredited and accepted by our state.

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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
Thank you, Annalee. Maybe they will get on that soon.

BC, our TEACH grants are only for center workers right now. Those with State Pre-k's inside. I never even got the tuition reimbursement I "qualified" for the first go round, or the $500 cash fitness/health policy bonus I "won". Where did you get yours, online?

I am wary of some of the colleges that advertise on TV.
Yeah, I'd be wary of some of those on TV colleges as well. They seem like any other "As Seen on TV" gloats....if they are so great why are they only on TV?

I completed mine via a MN State University that offered (still does) a distance learning program called 2+2. You did 2 yrs (for the AAS) and 2 yrs for the Bachelors'. IIRC, there are something like 23 community colleges and universities that you can sign up to take courses through but ALL credits end up on one degree even though the classes were offered via multiple colleges....make sense?

For ex one semester I had 5 classes. ALL 5 of them were through a different community college but I just logged onto one site and did all coursework there. At the end of the semester the college I took the course through sent my completion record/grades/transcript etc to the college I named as my "Home Campus". After completing the required number of credits, my degree is from my Home Campus....which I've never stepped foot in.

https://electmn.com/
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:27 PM
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I completed mine via a MN State University that offered (still does) a distance learning program called 2+2. You did 2 yrs (for the AAS) and 2 yrs for the Bachelors'. IIRC, there are something like 23 community colleges and universities that you can sign up to take courses through but ALL credits end up on one degree even though the classes were offered via multiple colleges....make sense?

For ex one semester I had 5 classes. ALL 5 of them were through a different community college but I just logged onto one site and did all coursework there. At the end of the semester the college I took the course through sent my completion record/grades/transcript etc to the college I named as my "Home Campus". After completing the required number of credits, my degree is from my Home Campus....which I've never stepped foot in.

https://electmn.com/
That sounds awesome! I will check it out. Thanks
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:37 PM
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I typed the name of your program into my browser and then added my state name. I got a hit! I was excited, then saw "The annual list price to attend _____ is $43,470 for all students regardless of their residency"

Plus technology fees.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:54 PM
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Strike that, they have already canceled that program, too.
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Old 01-31-2018, 01:54 PM
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I typed the name of your program into my browser and then added my state name. I got a hit! I was excited, then saw "The annual list price to attend _____ is $43,470 for all students regardless of their residency"

Plus technology fees.
Holy Buckets!

I got a T.E.A.C.H. grant, assistance from our local ECE and some financial aide. The out of pocket expenses were less than $10,000 total for me.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:11 PM
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Strike that, they have already canceled that program, too.
https://www.brenau.edu/news/brenau-u...us-campuses-2/

How about this one?
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:27 PM
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That's the one. When you get past the sticker shock and into the actual program it is no longer online. https://www.brenau.edu/online/online-degrees/ then https://www.brenau.edu/admissions/ags/bse-ece/
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:34 PM
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Thank you for looking for me, though. Two sets of eyes are always better than one.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:56 PM
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Thank you for looking for me, though. Two sets of eyes are always better than one.
This is interesting....http://www.gcsu.edu/education
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:47 PM
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This is interesting....http://www.gcsu.edu/education
It is. 3 hours away, though. I also did not see an online option, did you?. http://catalog.gcsu.edu/en/2017-2018...d-Education-BS

http://www.gcsu.edu/education/teached/pre-education

Just the first pre-req course alone: "This course will include at least 10 hours of field experience._
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:57 PM
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https://www.wgu.edu/online-teaching-...s-program.html

I was considering this one. I know of people IRL who have taken the health care programs. It is not ECE, though. It is straight up Elementary education. Not sure how that can actually be all online. Will keep reading.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:00 PM
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There is also six practicum classes I would have to take and I'm not sure how I would do that since I work all day in my own childcare?
Some will allow you do count some of your time in your program toward the practicum - so I would check that.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
https://www.wgu.edu/online-teaching-...s-program.html

I was considering this one. I know of people IRL who have taken the health care programs. It is not ECE, though. It is straight up Elementary education. Not sure how that can actually be all online. Will keep reading.
I know of people who now teach who used this one.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:26 PM
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There is also six practicum classes I would have to take and I'm not sure how I would do that since I work all day in my own childcare?
You may get exempt from these because of experience. You may not get exempt from all of them but some at least. You also may be able to defer it until you are done with your daycare. Maybe call or email about options for people working full time.

I was going to do a college diploma in behavioral therapy for children with autism but the practicum was obviously non negotiable and I just can’t do it right now.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:18 PM
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I started in August of 2014 and graduated in December of 2017 (3.5 years). because I get no financial aid and pay out of pocket (er... my Mom's pocket) and because I still worked, I was mostly part time: 6 to 9 hours per semester, starting out at 6 and increasing after I quit my job.
most of my ECE classes were offered either online or at night, and the latter was not an option, so I took them online. turned out easier than I thought, and I had more self-discipline than I expected out of myself.
gen. ed. classes I took mostly offline, but they were offered during the day (humanities, public speaking, English, math, and all that).
my college required only 1 practicum class, which I have completed in my daughter's daycare... which is where I now work.
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:36 PM
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I met with my advisor today at the local community college....I am four classes from having an Associates for K-5....this program collaborates with a four year college and I could continue to get my bachelors at the community college for their current rates without paying the four year college tuition and use the funding available for continuing education through the state....not sure what I will do but I know my options now and have enrolled for Fall 2018. If I complete these four classes I will have a double Associates degree?? But the Bachelors seems much more attainable now, just through another route.
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