by Doug Peacock – Academic Services Officer II at Wayne State University
Like a pizza, college can be delivered in many different ways. Traditional, cohort, online, extension centers, accelerated, university centers, and hybrids (my favorite). Am I missing any? The expanded formats can be good options for some to complete their degree after transferring. Here is what you should know about college delivery methods:
Does my college offer the program I want in the format I want? You may have been admitted to your traditional school. But, if are you working full time or have other responsibilities. Is it reasonable to think you can manage a traditional format and additional responsibilities (drive time, day classes, group meetings, etc). Will this format work with everything else you have going on? Is there another format that another school offers that will work better for you? Often the answer is “YES.” But, you may need to be flexible on where you get your degree from. As always, do your research, ask for help.
How long will this format take me to graduate vs. a traditional method? Some programs promote that a degree can be done completely in this format or location. As a transfer student, you will want to see how your transfer credits are being applied, what you have to take and how long it will to take them at that location. I would want to see when each course I need is offered at that location. Also, keep an eye on enrollment in those courses. If they have low enrollment in that course they may cancel the course and offer it online or a different more popular location. You may end up driving!
Can I combine formats? Most schools this is OK. If you can finish the program by switching formats. This is a question you will want answered up front. For example. You need a class to graduate. That course is not offered for another 2 semesters at that location. But, main campus is offering it now.
Is this format worth the increased cost? You may be paying more for this format. For example you want this degree but you work full time and have to go online. So, you decide to go to an online school. What will the cost difference be? It could be a lot. In another blog I will talk about the difference between online schools and schools that offer online classes. I can’t wait!
Recommendation: Ask your community college advisor about for their recommendation for where your classes will transfer and how it is delivered at your next school. Do your research. Just because you see an extension center right by your house does not mean that your program is being taught there. Most science courses are offered where the labs are. Which is usually at the main campus. Same with general education courses. The schools website should list what degrees are offered and at what location.