"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
The Career Center offers expert advice in educational planning. We can assist you with choosing the best path as well as help you begin the process of furthering your education.
(If you are interested in specific training offered by the State of Arizona you should also visit the Arizona Learning Center website.)
There are many reasons employees consider pursuing an educational program. Some of the more common ones are:
- Increase earning potential
- Increase job security
- Intellectual challenge
- Increase knowledge
- Sense of accomplishment
Additionally, there are many things to contemplate when going back to school as an adult learner. The following are seven steps to consider:
Step 1: Make a commitment to return to school or formalized training. This will be a big commitment and may require a lot of effort from you and your family. Therefore, it is advisable to establish goals and timelines for your return, and discuss these with all the important people in your life.
Step 2: Research your educational options. If you are not sure of your major, it would be prudent to meet with a career consultant before researching degree programs to identify your interests, skills, and aptitude for potential areas of study.
Review the local options and degree programs available. Most colleges have their information online for your review. The websites will provide detailed information about courses, the admission process and contact information. In addition, you can review options for course delivery: online, evenings, weekends, or traditional classroom.
Step 3: Decide on a college or program you are interested in attending.
Step 4: Research your financing options. College or continued education is a financial investment so be sure to consider: tuition costs, books and fees. Research and understand your agency's tuition reimbursement policy and/or consider applying for financial aid through FASFA, a government funded program. You can also schedule a meeting with a school financial aid officer.
Step 5: Write down a list of questions or fears you have about going back to school. Schedule a time to review this list with a career consultant.
Step 6: Identify any skills you may want to strengthen before taking a course. English and math are typically required in any degree program, so you may want to brush up on those subjects before taking a class.
Step 7: Schedule a time to meet with an academic or admissions representative at the school of your choice.
In addition to traditional colleges courses, most colleges accept a number of college credits (anywhere from 0 to 30) through the DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) Program and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP).
The DSST program offers 38 examinations and the CLEP program offers 34 examinations for you to earn college credit for knowledge that you have already acquired through independent study, prior course work, on-the-job training, professional development, etc. More information can be found at the following web addresses:
Once you have chosen a college to attend, contact the admissions office for information concerning their allowance of these exam credits.
Step 8: Apply for admission
Step 9: Enroll in a program
Online Masters Programs
Connecting students to the financial aid information and scholarships to realistically afford college.