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What is an Accelerated College Program?

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An accelerated college program is an academic module which allows adult and community learners to achieve credits in rapid time. Instead of spending a semester on a given subject (e.g. accounting), the accelerated learner can race through the material in as little as a third of a semester. Your program may even allow you to opt in and opt out of classes based on your past experience and current schedule.

Many colleges and universities offer accelerated programs. But if you are looking to transfer ?independent? accelerated credits, contact the colleges and universities where you are considering matriculating, and enquire about the flexibility of those credits. There is no gold standard among colleges and universities as to what outside credits get accepted.

One word of warning — if you opt for an accelerated method of learning, you will have to do plenty of work outside the classroom. Budget at least 15 hours (or more) per week to catch up on reading and do outside homework. Most colleges and universities which offer accelerated classes expect vigorous attendance.

If you miss even one or two classes, you may not be able to catch up effectively to participate well. This rule is especially true when it comes to accelerated language classes. After all, if you miss crucial lessons on grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, you’ll be at a tremendous disadvantage in future classes.

You can take accelerated summer programs to make up for missed classes, preemptively opt out of classes during the regular school year, or simply speed up your time to graduation (and thus limit the amount of tuition you need to pay).

When applying to an accelerated college program associated with colleges and universities, ask whether previous credits from other schools might transfer and whether financial aid may be applied to your courses. You might be able to take certain classes without actually enrolling in a school. Check with your institution about its policy.

Some programs allow you to substitute or supplement your coursework with online work. You also might be able to leverage your past work activities and accolades to skip certain rudimentary requirements.

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