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  1. 1. 1 To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS The decision to go back to school can be daunting. An adult considering a return to college is juggling multiple responsibilities and must consider carefully how this decision will impact career decisions, family time and personal obligations. Howmuchwillschoolcost?Howlongwillittaketocomplete a degree? How much time and money can be saved with past college credits and work experience? How much time away – from work, family and social responsibilities – will be needed for college classes and school work? With so many options to choose from, how does someone pick a school, a program, a degree path? This Path to College is the first in Regis University’s Working Answersseriesdesignedtohelpadultsnavigatethecomplex and prolific world of higher education. The path to college For Adults Returning to School
  2. 2. PAVING YOUR OWN PATH TO COLLEGE The world of education is in the midst of transformation. In 2005 the U.S. Department of Education reported that adult enrollments in higher education nationally were projected to grow by almost two million students between 2000 and 2014. Universities paid attention and those that weren’t already offering adult education began exploring how to meet this demand. This is good news for the adult student. Universities with a long tradition of educational excellence are now designing programs specifically for adult students, taking into account that they are returning to school in the midst of living a busy life overflowing with responsibilities and obligations. Professional experience is valued and leveraged, formats are flexible and accelerated and the online classroom is better than ever. With all the options available, selecting a program that is a good fit can feel as overwhelming as the decision to go back to school in the first place. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. Selecting a Program of Study What sort of career path are you looking for? Are you hoping to move up within your current field or are you looking for a career switch? By researching the job you think you want, whether it’s in your current field or an entirely new industry, you can begin to understand what type of education you’ll need, how much the job pays, and even what kind of schedule you can expect to work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook (http://www.bls.gov/ooh/) is a great online tool that can help you research jobs. Use this website to look up jobs by industry or by specific job title and learn about the projected growth as well as the income potential and educational requirements needed. Narrow your search down to three or four desirable positions that you can investigate further. Do some real market research about positions you’ve narrowed down. Look for openings in your area using job search websites such as Indeed.com, CareerBuilder.com, SimplyHired.com, and LinkedIn.com. This will help you understand what hiring companies in your area are looking for, including education, skills and experience requirements. Some will include the salary for that position, providing insight into your income potential. By now you should begin to have a good idea about what program of study you will need to accomplish your goals. Now you can identify the schools that offer that offer those programs of study and begin the school selection process. 2 To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS TIP: There are hundreds of ways to name a program. If a school doesn’t offer the program you are looking for, do they have something similar? For example: Entrepreneurship • B.S. in Business • MBA in Strategic Management Graduate Computer Science Degree No code writing • M.S. Information Technology Management Degree Code writing • M.S. in Systems Engineering or Software Engineering International Business • Emerging Markets (if Spanish speaking) • Business degree with a Flexible Specialization Management • Bachelor of Arts in Organization Development • B.S. in Business with a management specialization Graduate Human Resources • M.S. in Organizational Leadership with a specialization in Human Resource Management and Leadership Public Administration • Master of Nonprofit Management • Master of Arts with a specialization in social and global issues
  3. 3. Selecting a School University accreditation is important. Accreditation is an external review process to ensure educational institutions are meeting standards for quality education and services. It may also be a requisition for the career you seek, so it’s important to confirm which university offers your desired accreditation. The six regional accreditation agencies are: Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Higher Education) New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Commission on Technical and Career Institutions and Commission on Institutions of Higher Education) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (The Higher Learning Commission) Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Colleges) Western Association of Schools and Colleges (Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities) National vs. Regional Accreditation______________________________________________________ Some schools have national accreditation. Unlike regional accreditation, national accreditation isn’t based on a school’s location but the type of school. Traditionally, this has included technical, career and online schools. Because of the specialized nature of the degree earned and the curriculum at these institutions, it is hard to compare with traditional degree programs. Regionally-accredited schools often do not accept credit from nationally-accredited schools; however, nationally-accredited schools will accept credits from schools that are regionally or nationally accredited. For example, if you have a bachelor’s degree that is nationally accredited, a regionally-accredited institution may not recognize your credits for transfer or application. 3To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS
  4. 4. Comparing Schools Using a table like the one here could help you compare schools. 4 To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS BENEFITS University 1 University 2 University 3 Program of study Delivery (online , in person, both) Accrediting body (in good standing?) Tuition and fees Number of allowable transfer credits Testing for experience? (CLEP, DSST, etc.) Duration of program (are classes offered in accelerated options?) Paying for School Solid data-driven evidence shows going back to school to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree results in a positive investment in one’s career and overall personal development. There are numerous options available to you that can reduce the time needed to complete your degree and assist in the tuition investment you pay. Remember: university enrollment counselors are available to guide you through this process and answer your questions along the way. 1. Earn credit for experience. Cash in on your real- life experience and knowledge. Many colleges and universities allow experienced students to trade in their career experience and other skills for college credits through prior learning assessments. You also can save money and earn college credits by passing inexpensive College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and DSST tests. 2. Maximize any past college experience or military training. If you have attended college in the past, find out if those credits can transfer in. Also, some schools offer credit for military training. Leveraging all of your past experiences can help cut down on the number of classes you’ll have to pay for and attend. 3. Apply for financial aid. Don’t assume you make too much money at this stage of your life to qualify for financial assistance. Scholarships are also available for adult students. It’s important to note the deadlines for financial aid and apply as early as possible. Fastweb.com is an online scholarship-matching service with a database of over 1.5 million scholarships. You simply enter in your information, and Fastweb searches its database for scholarships that you may qualify for. 4. Plan ahead and set up a 529 plan. A 529 plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. Parents, aunts, brothers and sisters can contribute to their adult relative’s college savings account. Ask for funding for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions. 5. Ask for tuition assistance from your employer. Many employers will cover at least some portion of their workers’ educational costs and up to $5,250 of the tuition assistance money you get is tax-free. 6. Pursue higher education wherever you can. Do you work for a large company that offers a “Corporate U” or a similar workforce training program? Many of these classes are accredited by the American Council on Education (ACE) and could later translate as college credit at some universities. 7. Becautiousoftuitionversusfees.Someuniversities mayleadwithlowcosttuition,butwilladdon numerousfees, drivingupthetotalcostoftuition.Other schoolsmay havehighertuition,butwillacceptmoreof yourtransfer creditsorperhapsoffermorescholarships. Lookatthe fullpicturewhencalculatingyourcosts; includinghow manycreditsyoucantransferin,what typeoftestingis availableforlifeexperience,andany feesthatmaynotbe includedintuitioncosts. $39,094 $43,804 $53,705 $56,671 Source: Report on Initial Earnings - Colorado Department of Higher Education SchoolofMines RegisUniversity CU-Denver UniversityofDenver MetroState CU-Boulder CSU-Pueblo CU-ColoradoSpr ColoMesaUnivers CSU ColoChristian
  5. 5. 5To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS The Theory of Margin The Theory of Margin can be a helpful tool. Howard Y. McClusky introduced the Theory of Margin in 1959 as a way to explain the need to balance the stresses and demands (load) on a person with his or her coping resources (power). By load, we mean the demands made on a person by self and society. By power, we mean the resources, i.e. abilities, possessions, position, allies, etc., which a person can command in coping with load. Margin may be decreased by increasing load and/or reducing power. We can control both by modifying either our power or load. When our load continually matches or exceeds our power and if both are fixed and/or out of control or irreversible, the situation becomes difficult to sustain. If, however, load and power can be controlled, and better yet, if a person is able to lay hold of a reserve (margin) of power, he/she is better equipped to meet unforeseen emergencies, is better positioned to take risks, can engage in exploratory, creative activities, and is more likely to learn, etc., i.e. do those things that enable him/her to live above a plateau of mere self-subsistence (p. 83). The Theory of Margin can be used as a tool to evaluate many scenarios in life, including the decision to go back to school. There will be times when you have no margin and times when you are running a deficit. With any luck, you will also have times in your life when things slow down and you have some margin. Many people found themselves with a lot of margin when they lost jobs after the recession of 2007. Also, those who have found themselves under-employed may have more margin than they are used to as well. Identifying your margin is the first step in creating some extra space in your life for school. Once you’ve thought about and identified your margin, what adjustments can you make to increase your power (resources) and/or decrease your load? For some people this may mean getting help with the kids one night a week. Someone else might enlist the help of their spouse in picking up some extra chores on the weekends. Each person’s situation is going to be unique. McClusky, H. Y. (1970a). An approach to a differential psychology of adult potential. In S .M. Grabowski (Ed.), Adult Learning Instruction (pp. 80-95). Syracuse: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Education and Adult Education Association of the USA. Finding the Time and Making it Work Onceyouhavecompletedyourresearchandmadeadecisionaboutwhichschoolisgoingtobethebestchoice,thequestion becomeshowtomakeithappen.Asanadultwithnumerousresponsibilities,findingthetimetogobacktoschoolcanbetricky. Butdon’tgiveupandrememberthatthousandsofadultsgobacktoschooleveryyearandmakeitwork. The key is figuring out how to rearrange the life you have so that you can get the life you want.
  6. 6. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS The Big Picture and the Not-So-Small Details The financial investment is only one consideration when making a decision to get your degree. For adults with full- time jobs, families and social responsibilities, it’s not just about understanding why college is a worthy choice. It’s also about figuring out how furthering your education will weave into your current life. Remember that success is a family effort. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your family and friends about the idea of going back to school. Have conversations about how important it is to you and discuss what going back to school might look like. Your friends and family can be your biggest advocates and might have ideas that you haven’t thought of. Get the education you deserve. The world of higher education has changed and most well respected universities offer some level of degree programs that cater to adult learners. In these programs, adult students can receive the same caliber of education the university is known for, in accelerated formats that fit their busy schedules. These programs will be attended by other working adults like you who are balancing work, life and school. Most importantly, don’t underestimate yourself. You’ve worked hard to be where you’re at today, and along the way you’ve overcome numerous barriers. You have the experience and know-how to get things done, and you’ve already proven to yourself that you can see things through. Now, apply those skills and that knowledge to going back to school and create the future you want. APPLY TODAY! Enrollment Counselors are here to help you determine your best path to college. 303.458.4300 |800.967.3237 |Regis.edu North Denver (Lowell) Campus 3333 Regis Blvd. Denver, CO 80221 Loveland Campus 1605 Foxtrail Drive Loveland, CO 80538 Denver Tech Center Campus 6380 S. Fiddlers Green Circle, Suite 200 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Colorado Springs Campus 7450 Campus Drive, Suite 100 Colorado Springs, CO 80920 Thornton Dual Language Campus 500 E. 84th Ave. Thornton, CO 80229 Campus locations 11.20.2013 6 To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS Need a Photo of one of our ACs on the phone.
  7. 7. A Path to College The Journey of Rebecca Smith Rebecca Smith isn’t a real person, but her story is true for many adults who decide to return to school. This is the story of someone who realized a college degree was the next step in their career advancement. This is the story of someone who mapped out their path to college and leveraged their workforce training and professional experience to get through school faster, and more affordably. This could be your story. B.S. in Marketing, Regis University’s College for Professional Studies, 2013 • Market research • $18,699 tuition cost, analyst at a local bank after scholarships and $60,570 annual salary* employer discounts Rebecca’s Story Rebecca started working as a bank teller after high school and over the years worked her way up to assistant branch manager. She soon realized that in order to be promoted further, she would need a college degree. Rebecca was already juggling a full-time job and raising a family, but she also knew that getting a degree would open doors for her. So, she enlisted the help of friends and family to support her and started taking classes at her local community college. Once she completed her core classes and some of the foundational classes needed for her bachelor’s degree, Rebecca transferred to Regis University. Because of the accelerated format, Rebecca was able to graduate with her bachelor’s degree two years later.** Degree in hand, Rebecca applied for a higher paying job within her company and is now a market research analyst. In addition to making almost twice as much, Rebecca now has a sense of confidence and accomplishment that she never had before. Cost Tuition, 36 credit hours at Regis $15,990 Tuition, 78 credit hours at Community College† $8,963 CLEP testing (credit for life experience), 9 credit hours $345 American Council on Education (ACE) credits for workforce training, 6 credit hours $0 Total cost $25,298 Minus scholarships ($5,000) Minus employer discount ($1,599) Final tuition cost for a bachelor’s degree from Regis University $18,699 *Median earnings of a market research analyst according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 **Plan early with the help of a Regis University advisor for best results †Based on Colorado Community College Tuition Cost Breakdown WiththehelpofaRegis advisorwhowasinvolved earlyintheprocess,Rebecca wasabletosaveover $37,000intuitioncosts. Didyouknowthatyoucantransferupto 98creditstowardsyourRegisdegree? 7To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS
  8. 8. 8To learn more, call 800.944.7667 or visit Regis.edu/CPS A Closer Look Credit by Exam When Rebecca was promoted to assistant manager, she received training through her employer that later translated to college credit. Then she received college credit by exam. This allowed her to complete her degree faster, and it was more affordable. Credit through the American Council on Education (ACE) for the following classes: • Accounting I • Accounting II Total Credit Hours: 6 Total Cost for Rebecca: None College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests for the following classes: • BA 381: Legal Environment of Business • EC 320: Principles of Microeconomics • EC 330: Principles of Macroeconomics Total Credit Hours: 9 Total Cost for Rebecca: $345 Classes taken at Community College Undergraduate Core and Foundational Classes • Oral Communication. . . . . . . COM 115 (Public Speaking) • English Comp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ENG 121 and ENG 122 • Lit/Humanities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BUS 217 • Global Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HUM 118 and HUM 200 • Social Sciences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HUM 115 and PSY 105 • Math. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MAT 120 • Natural Science. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BIO 105 • Philosophy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PHI 111 and PHI 112 • Religious Studies. . . . . . . . . . . . . GEO 105 and PHI 114 • Marketing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .MAR 216 and MAR 240 Foundational to Marketing Major Classes • Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MAN 226 • Business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BUS 226 • + 7 elective classes (21 credit hours) 77 credit hours, 25 classes, $8,963 in community college tuition Classes taken at Regis University • Leading Lives that Matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HU 366 • Business Systems in a Sustainable Society. BA 300 • + 10 Upper Division Marketing Major Classes 36 credit hours, 12 classes, $15,990 in university tuition Financial Snapshot Total tuition for both institutions, and test fees $25,298 Community College Scholarship ($5,000) Employer discount: 10% off Regis tuition through Alliance partnership ($1,599) Total savings on tuition $6,599 Final total cost $18,699 Did you know? Regis University is the top private transfer destination for Colorado community college students transferring to a four-year university. Source: Colorado Department of Higher Education 2013 Transfer Report, fall 2010 to fall 2011 Please note: Each student’s specific situationisunique.Thiscasestudyis meant to be an example of ways you can reduce the cost of your degree.