Developing Your Degree Program

As a student at Empire State College you participate directly in the design of your degree program. Through this exciting and challenging process, you work with your mentor to plan and create an individualized program that meets your goals and needs. In addition to working directly with your mentor, you will take a four to eight credit study called educational planning. This is the only required course that all students take. In educational planning you:

  • look at what you have learned so far in life
  • decide what your goals are
  • work out what you will need to study to reach your goals.

1. What You Bring with You: Prior Learning
Empire State College is committed to the idea that people deserve credit for college-level learning no matter how it was acquired. Many people have developed learning outside of the traditional classroom and this knowledge is as valuable as knowledge gained through more formal learning situations. Advanced standing credit is granted for verifiable learning, but not for the experience itself. This learning can be identified and assessed in a variety of ways to determine if college credit should be awarded. 

2. Where You Are Going: Degree Goal
The next step is to identify the personal and professional goals that have motivated you to study at Empire State College. You may have decided to earn a degree for a variety of reasons, which may include:

  • intellectual curiosity
  • career advancement
  • preparation for graduate school
  • personal fulfillment

With your mentor's guidance you explore, research and identify your educational goals.

3. How You Get There: Degree Design and Portfolio Development
You and your mentor carefully select the prior learning topics and the sequence of Empire State College studies that, together, make up an academically sound degree program that best help you achieve your goals. You create a portfolio that supports the advanced standing and the degree program you have designed. The portfolio is submitted for review and approval by the faculty. The approved degree program becomes a part of your transcript.

In addition to the consideration of your goals, your degree program will need to meet:

You have now created the roadmap for your studies at Empire State College.