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Overview

Some of the terms and acronyms used on the DegreeForums can be confusing. Here is a list of those that are commonly used, but it is not exhaustive. Don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you're not familiar.

Terms

  • Accreditation: Certification of competency in education. Understanding accreditation is critical to deciding your future degree path.
  • ACE: American Council on Education
  • ALEKS: Provides math courses via adaptable AI engine. A source of math credits for the Big 3.
  • AP: Advanced Placement test. Available to anyone, not just high schoolers!
  • Big 3: Thomas Edison State University, Excelsior College, and Charter Oak State College
  • CLEP: College Level Examination Program, a type of course equivalency test
  • COSC: Charter Oak State College
  • DANTES: Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education (See DSST).
  • DEAC: (formerly DETC) Distance Education Accrediting Commission (née Distance Education and Training Council), a type of National Accreditation
  • DSST: DANTES Standardized Subject Test, a type of course equivalency test
  • EC: Excelsior College
  • ECE: (Now known as UExcel) Excelsior College Exam, Excelsior College's credit by exam/course equivalency test
  • FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can get some credit at the Big 3 by taking free online FEMA courses. Really!
  • IC InstantCert - Many of the forum members use IC flashcards to study for CLEP, Dante, & Excelsior exams.
  • LL: Lower-level credit - Courses/exams accepted at the 100-200 (freshman/sophomore) level
  • NA: National Accreditation. Generally speaking you should avoid NA schools.
  • NCCRS: National College Credit Recommendation Service
  • NFA: National Fire Academy, provides three free ACE-approved courses for college credit
  • PF: Penn Foster, a regionally accredited, non-degree-granting school that provides some transferrable courses. Your mileage may vary.
  • PLA: Prior Learning Assessment - Some schools (and all of the Big 3) offer college credit by an evaluation of the knowledge a student has gained in prior learning, careers, employer training programs, military service, independent study. Credit is usually evaluated by a submission and review of a portfolio.
  • RA: Regional Accreditation. Generally speaking, you should favor RA schools.
  • SL: Straighterline. Provides some courses for a fee. A source of some credits for the Big 3.
  • TECEP: Thomas Edison Credit by Exam Program, TESU's credit by exam/course equivalency test
  • TEEX - Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, offers three ACE-approved courses
  • TESU: (formerly TESC) Thomas Edison State University (previously Thomas Edison State College)
  • "The Big 3": Thomas Edison State University, Excelsior College, and Charter Oak State College
  • UExcel: (formerly ECE/Excelsior College Exam), Excelsior College's credit by exam/course equivalency test
  • UL: Upper-level credit - Courses/exams accepted at the 300-400 (junior/senior) level

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