All About Accelerated Degrees


For adult students holding down jobs and trying to finish up their college degree, accelerated degree programs are an alluring opportunity that many take advantage of. If you are not an adult student or do not possess any special circumstances that would prevent you from going the traditional route, you too can still take advantage of accelerated degree programs and get that degree over and done with it.

Accelerated degree programs typically allow you to take one or two classes at a time. Each class lasts anywhere from 5 to 8 weeks, allowing you to take a full course load in a year without having to juggle 5 classes at a time. These can be accelerated in-person, traditional courses, or they can be online.

Now, if you recall from my little bio last month, in my last year of college I switched to an online degree program. This program also happened to be accelerated. I usually took 2 classes at a time, but there was a semester or two when I took 3 so I would get done in a year. My classes lasted 5 weeks each. Typical of accelerated classes, my classes were often very intense. There was absolutely no room to fall behind.

Other nice features of accelerated degree programs are that you typically get to know a group of people very well. Often times, accelerated programs group students together in cohorts. You all start with the same classes and move on to the next, finishing up together as well. The upside is if you have some cool classmates you get to hang out with them for awhile. The downside is, if there are annoying classmates, you’re pretty much stuck with them. And believe me, you will come across these annoying ones.

Because accelerated classes are over and donw with in such a short period of time, you don’t have the option of falling behind. If you miss a class, you’re likely missing 20% of the entire course! And because the assignments are so heavy and concentrated, you won’t want to have to try to make anything up (if they give you the option to even do that).

I liked the idea of accelerated classes because since I switched my major so late in the game, it gave me the opportunity to finish up my degree in the same amount of time.  Another reason I really liked accelerated classes is I get bored with a class really easily.  5 weeks is short enough to keep my attention, and intense enough to keep me from slacking off.  Anything beyond 9 weeks and I’m usually bored out of my skull.

Like online degrees, accelerated classes aren’t for everyone.  If you need more time than that to soak up information, you might want to stick with traditional classes.

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