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So I just dropped out of a college with nothing gained How to get started again?

  1. Jun 17, 2008 #1


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    I've wasted so many years, and so much money, and all I have now is a terrible transcript. I don't think it was because I couldn't do it, though it's mostly my fault, but I'm not going to go into the details.

    Now I'm stuck. I can't transfer to a good school as they'll look at my transcript, there's no where to go... And no I don't have access to community colleges. I'll be leaving the US soon and now I'm thinking about distance learning.

    Is there any place that accepts, uh, anybody? An accredited program in something like electrical engineering or computer science? Or physics? I just want something to get me back up and combined with good GRE scores, hopefully, I'll be able to get into a good graduate school... At least that's the plan.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2008 #2
    Your best bet would be to start over again at a community college. If that is not realistic now, you could try an regionally accredited online university, but there is a big difference in money ($15 a credit hour for a community college versus $250 for most good online universities). You could try community college classes online.
  4. Jun 17, 2008 #3


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    I can't find any electrical engineering programs at distance learning schools, though there are ones for master's degrees... I'm honestly not sure how one can do something like EE entirely online. I suppose computer science would be the second option but again, all the good schools are graduate ones that require good credentials to get in. I don't even have a BS degree, let alone a good one.
  5. Jun 17, 2008 #4
    A community college will take you. Do well there and transfer to a good university. That is, if time and money aren't too big an issue
  6. Jun 17, 2008 #5
    Yup. Community college. I did it because I did horrible in high school. Then I joined the navy and "squared" myself away, but I had to go to a community college. But I did end up getting my bachelors from a good University.
  7. Jun 17, 2008 #6


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    Well I'm leaving the US so I can't get into a community college...

    I searched again for engineering programs in distance learning and they all seem to be for master's degrees except one from north dakota university, but it requires on-campus labs. I'm not sure how the other programs do it without labs, though maybe they do require labs and I just don't know about it.

    Even the north dakota university wanted a 2.0 GPA, and mine is below that. Yeah. For this last semester I stopped attending half way through and didn't even take the finals. I'm not going to go into this, but again it's not because I couldn't. The only times I actually sat down and did something I aced the material and scored high grades easily.

    The only route now to me is to spend a year and half or maybe two getting a computer information and systems degree. A freakin' IT degree. Not even computer science. :(

    The place I plan to go to is a branch of the UK open university, so it's accredited by it. I'm not sure how good that is, if there's anything to call good here.

    It's the one in Kuwait by the way. There are some new fancy schools there, like the american university of kuwait which has a computer science programs, but it and the other fancy new schools won't take people like me.

    Anyway, what can I do after I get that degree? I plan to study some physics/math/engineering/computer science on my own during that time and might be able to take the subject GREs for math, physics, and computer science along with the general one. Still, can I take those and step up to a better degree? I don't know if a graduate school would accept an application for a master's degree with a resume like that, but it's still a degree.... which I'm not sure qualifies as a BS. Maybe get a real BS after that one and then apply for a graduate school.

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  8. Jun 17, 2008 #7
    Screw the IT degree. Year of calculus, year of physics, a couple composition / writing courses, stuff like that. You'll have to take it even after you get things sorted out and yourself on the road to what you want.
  9. Jun 17, 2008 #8


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    Asphodel: I'm not sure I understand your post. So I should forget the IT degree and take basic courses somewhere else? The problem is that I can't get somewhere else. :p

    Even so, taking those courses alone without a plan isn't something I'd be comfortable with. The point is moot anyway, I've already took physics 1 and 2 for engineers, calculus 1/2/3 and differential equations and passed all of them within those years I wasted. I would think any place I transfer to would count those courses. Heh, it's something.
  10. Jun 17, 2008 #9
    Well, that's good at least.

    You might look for other ways to build on that other than settling for something on the side that you don't want and don't seem to respect. That's not a very good way to go if you want to be happy with the results.
  11. Jun 18, 2008 #10
    Why do you have to leave the US?
  12. Jun 18, 2008 #11
    Creditors. Also men with large shotguns complaining about their daughters. Who knows? :uhh:

    Other countries have schools too, FWIW. No clue how that would work out.
  13. Jun 18, 2008 #12
    I don't know how you get away with these vicious lies.
  14. Jun 18, 2008 #13
    Other than maybe computer science, you are not going to be able to do a science or engineering degree online from a regionally accredited school (at least, I hope not, but who knows until you look?).

    Your best bet would be, if community college is unavailable, get a AS from a regionally accredited online school. Regional accreditation is very important, do not settle for national accreditation, as it may be difficult or impossible to transfer most of your credit. Then, you can use that degree to transfer to a four year university.

    But cost-wise, it would be best to start over at community college, then transfer to a four year university. California makes it very easy; I do not know about other states.
  15. Jun 18, 2008 #14
    Yeah. In France you don't even need a high school diploma. You can do a one-year "bac equivalent" transition course and go to university after.
    You're not going to get into the Lycée Louis le Grand but it'll certainly let you study at any normal university. I imagine it is the same in many countries.
  16. Jun 18, 2008 #15
    I think you need to say what country you're going to and most importantly whether you speak the language there before anyone can help you.
  17. Jun 18, 2008 #16
    Because I'm just so damn charming. o:)
  18. Jun 28, 2008 #17


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    Re: So I just dropped out of a college with nothing gained... How to get started agai

    I don't understand this... Do community colleges give degrees or are they just for credit? I suppose it goes like this: community college ----> 4 year college ----> graduate school. The thing is, I already finished a good amount of basic classes. So the idea of going to a community college for calculus and first year of engineering physics then transferring to a 4 year school with an engineering program wouldn't work with me. I'm assuming community colleges don't have many engineering classes, maybe just the first few that are taken in 4 year schools.

    Maybe I can take the FE exam, I just found out the general engineering part is just the stuff all engineering students take and that you can choose electrical engineering for the second part. Previously I thought the entire thing was a general engineering test. I actually wondered who took the exam as I thought whoever did take it would need several engineering degrees... :p

    Of course that would require a lot of self study, which I can do, but I don't know at what pace I'll be learning. Definitely faster than a regular semester's pace, but enough to take the test in a couple of years? Considering I'll be working towards that information technology degree, I don't know.

    That said, regardless of how much material I'll be covering, I'll still be studying engineering on my own. Some other subjects too: math, physics, and computer science.

    Maybe I can take the GRE for those? That'll certainly make the lame degree I'll have look better... It's not easy though. I know I can take the general GRE but I wonder if that alone would do anything. I'm not sure what I'm looking for here either. An IT degree and a good GRE score... how would that get me into a graduate school for engineering for example? It's a BS but I'm not sure if it qualifies as a 4 year school that's required from graduate schools as I won't be taking signals and systems there. I'll also be finishing in a year and a half or two years... now this is because I finished some subjects, but there aren't many classes to take really. I'm not sure how this open university thing works... The degree is a BS but is it really like any other 4 year school BS? Huh.

    Maybe I could apply for another BS? Is that possible? I can't imagine a college would admit somebody who already had his chance and wasted years, then got an information technology and computing degree after he dropped from a real college and did well on a GRE, or several ones... That's not much, and I'm already 24 too.

    I'm just rambling now, lol. I'm not even sure if I'm scared anymore. I still worry a lot, but I guess I'm becoming numb to all of this.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  19. Jun 28, 2008 #18
    Re: So I just dropped out of a college with nothing gained... How to get started agai

    Community colleges give two-year Associate's Degrees. But they are perhaps more importantly a cheap source of transfer credit.

    I don't see the point in taking the FE exam. Without a four year engineering degree, I don't think you can be licensed as an engineer anyway.

    I can't really comment on your IT degree... it's better than nothing in any case.

    You could certainly apply for another BS. Forget about the top tier schools, of course, but I'm sure you could be admitted somewhere. You'll have to convince them that things have changed for you though... whatever went wrong before won't go wrong again, and you've matured.

    I wouldn't worry that 24 is too old... in 20 years, you'll be amazed at how young it is! Besides, there are a lot of students that age who are working on BS degrees.
  20. Jun 28, 2008 #19


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    Re: So I just dropped out of a college with nothing gained... How to get started agai

    What I meant by taking the FE exam was to help getting in a graduate engineering program. Taking it would prove that I know the material covered in a 4 year undergraduate engineering program or something like that.

    Anyway, I'm just going to take that IT degree and study some stuff on my own, hopefully enough to take some subject GREs in addition to the general one... After that, who knows. I'll apply for anything from another BS to a graduate degree and try as many schools as I can. *sigh*
  21. Jun 28, 2008 #20
    Re: So I just dropped out of a college with nothing gained... How to get started agai

    A lot of schools have some sort of "screwup forgiveness" program if you have been out of school for X years and you want to more or less 'start over'. They assume maybe you have grown up, you're more focused, etc.

    When I worked in an admissions department, I researched this for a few people. I think if you were out five or more years from your last college class, you could apply for admission and apply for a "transcript waiver" or some such thing. Basically, you were on probation for several semesters, and if you did well enough they would wipe the slate clean for your current degree program.
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