2/5/17 – Sunday Progress Update

I didn’t make the rapid progress I made earlier on because of all the time it took to research and write papers for English Comp. Luckily, I just submitted my final paper, so I can go right back to flying through other courses. Still, I’m proud of knocking out what equates to the first year of a bachelor’s degree in 36 days. Here’s where I’m at so far in terms of credits and dollars:

Completed courses

3.0 Digital Marketing & Advertising – Study.com – Free

3.0 English Composition – Straighterline – $79

3.0 College Algebra – ALEKS – $19.95

3.0 Intro to Sociology – Straighterline – $49 + $31.31 Textbook

2.0 Ethics – The Institutes – Free

3.0 American Government – Straighterline – $49 + $109.56 Textbook

3.0 Intro to Religions – Straighterline – $49 + $87.71 Textbook

3.0 Intermediate Algebra – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Trigonometry – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Principles of Management – Saylor – $25

0.0 Beginning Algebra – ALEKS – Free

0.0 Personal Finance – Study.com – Free

Courses in Progress

3.0 Microeconomics – Straighterline – Progress 33%

2.0 Cybersecurity 101 – TEEX – Progress 33%

Additional Subscriptions/Fees – $74

$25 ProctorU Fee

$49 Monthly Straighterline Fee – January

29.0 Credits Complete, 5 Credits in Progress, $573.53 Spent

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1/29/17 – Sunday Progress Update

I figured it would be nice to do a weekly progress update. Hopefully this will make it easier follow my progress. Here’s where I’m at so far in terms of credits and dollars:

Completed courses – 23.0 Credits, $420.53

3.0 College Algebra – ALEKS – $19.95

3.0 Intro to Sociology – Straighterline – $49 + $31.31 Textbook

2.0 Ethics – The Institutes – Free

3.0 American Government – Straighterline – $49 + $109.56 Textbook

3.0 Intro to Religions – Straighterline – $49 + $87.71 Textbook

3.0 Intermediate Algebra – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Trigonometry – ALEKS – Free

3.0 Principles of Management – Saylor – $25

0.0 Beginning Algebra – ALEKS – Free

0.0 Personal Finance – Study.com – Free

Courses in Progress

3.0 English Composition – Straighterline – Progress 79.2%

3.0 Microeconomics – Straighterline – Progress 26.9%

2.0 Cybersecurity 101 – TEEX – Progress 33%

Additional Subscriptions/Fees – $74

$25 ProctorU Fee

$49 Monthly Straighterline Fee – January

 

23.0 Credits Complete, 8 Credits in Progress, $494.53 Spent

 

My plan for the upcoming week is to complete English Comp & Microeconomics, transfer them to ACE and cancel Straighterline for the time being. Then I’ll start knocking out my 2 Study.com courses for the month.

1/22/17 English Comp

I logged into Straighterline this morning and my last 2 Sociology papers had been graded, which bumped me up to an 86.13% for the final grade. I submitted it to ACE for my transcript.

In English Comp, I’m on the summary exercise. I researched and wrote over 500 words on a research topic of my choice. I chose NAFTA, specifically GDP per capita in both Mexico and the US since NAFTA was signed. 

It took me a super long time. I had to find a scholarly post in a periodical, develop a thesis and write 500 words. It felt like a lot of work for 20 points out of a total 1000 for the course. 

Anyone have any experience with this? Since all of the writing submissions combine for a total of only 400 of 1000, I feel like I could just power through them as quickly as possible without worrying about failing the overall course. 

Since it will appear as pass/fail at TESU and not count towards my GPA, I’m going to just get to 800 asap and move on. 

If I’m to get a bachelor’s degree in under a year, I’d rather slow down and learn business classes than composition. 

Now for some playoff football…

 

1/15/17 – Intro to Sociology

To satisfy my diversity requirement, I signed up for Introduction to Sociology at Straighterline. The course was $49 and the ebook was $31.31 for a total of $80.31. I’ve run out of working promo codes, so I had to pay full price.

I can’t tell if I can also use this for Knowledge of Human Cultures or if it’s an either-or type thing. I will have to look into that.

I took all the quizzes, the midterm, and submitted three of the five discussion papers before lunch. After lunch, I scheduled the final with 22 minutes notice and saved $8.75 again thanks to Take it Now with ProctorU. Prior to the final, I was averaging just under 90% on the quizzes and midterm.

This was the first closed-book final I’ve taken with Straighterline. I was pretty nervous as I was sitting there waiting for it to begin. I completed 60 questions in 23 minutes and managed a 77% on the final. The final is worth a potential 250 of 1000 total points for the class. Not too bad for a subject I knew almost nothing about 24 hours ago.

By the time I went back to look at my overall grade, my first three discussions had been graded 20 out of 20 each making my overall grade 85.55%. I polished off the remaining two discussion papers in about 30 more minutes and submitted them.

Done. Now I’m just waiting on the grades for the two last papers so I can request to add this course to my ACE transcript.

On a side-note, I have to say that I had always heard of people’s general dislike for sociology and I would have to agree. This will probably go down as one of my least-favorite subjects that I had to study. No offense to any sociology-likers out there, but I don’t understand the need to come up with so many vocab words and names for things that are so easily understood by everybody. OK, done complaining.

Tomorrow I will either work on another English Comp paper or start a new course. As for tonight, I’m going to take the rest of the evening off and watch some playoff football.

 

1/9/17 – Straighterline – Intro to Religion

The UCard continues to pay off. I saved another $8.75 on ProctorU scheduling my Intro to Religion final exam with only 50 minutes notice.

I passed the final exam with a 92% giving me a 94% for the entire class.

My first impression of Straighterline was very good compared to Saylor. I like the format, the ebook, and breezed through Intro to Religion (in fairness, this is a topic I know a lot about already).

I signed up for American Government and found another coupon code, albeit a smaller one. $158.56 for the class and ebook for this one. (Not complaining – probably cheaper than even the textbook for a brick and mortar college, also it includes the cost of proctoring the final exam).

More on that and continued progress on TEEX tomorrow.

1/3/17 – Saylor, ProctorU, and Principles of Management

So my plan was to take another ALEKS assessment, but the other two are still showing “Pending Organization Review” in ACE. I decided to hold off from taking another assessment until those are showing complete.

In the meantime, I decided to take an exam through Saylor Academy. They offer all of their content for free, the only thing you need to pay for is to have an exam proctored for credit. ($25 per exam)

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Since I’m currently in management, I decided to go for Principles of Management. The reading for this class is so voluminous I can’t imagine how long it would take someone to read it all. If it wasn’t on a topic I was already comfortable with, I’m not sure I would have gone forward with it, and might have selected another exam.

To prepare, I took the quizzes at the end of each section, took the practice exam (72%) and then decided to take the proctored exam right away while it was fresh in my mind.

To take the proctored exam, you need to go to ProctorU. Again, I was able to sign up in a few minutes on my phone, but it might be easier from a desktop or laptop.

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I splurged for the additional $25 “fast track” since I plan to take a bunch of exams there and have a very busy schedule. I created a “Ucard” in a few minutes to make life easier and scheduled my exam for 8:30pm. I was done by 9:10pm. I would say that I nailed the theory of the content, but didn’t know some of the management pioneers by name as well as some of the acronyms.

I scored a 71%. Made it, barely, but 3 more credits down for $50 and maybe 3-4 hours. Hopefully more ALEKS tomorrow.

 

1/2/17 – Ethics 312, The Institutes

Since I am ahem, frugal, I wanted to stick with free or nearly free sources of credit as long as possible. It would be nice to knock out a semester’s worth of credit spending only $19.95.

The Institutes provides a free learning module on Ethics and the CPCU (Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter) Code of Professional Conduct. There are two options – I chose the free one, as I am not looking for CE (Continuing Education) credit.

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It is a ton of information and not exactly a breeze, but I was able to get through it in about four to five hours and pass with 42 of 50 correct answers (84%). There isn’t much of a way around it other than to read through all the modules and take the test at the end.

When you’re finished, don’t forget to head back over to ACE and request credit for the test.

Two days & three exams down and I’ve only spent $19.95. Tomorrow – more ALEKS.