What are ‘accelerated’ courses and the benefits of taking one versus a more traditional degree

Large numbers of people develop the insistent sense that they’re failing to live up to their potential. They feel that the path they’ve found themselves on, either by choice or contingency, isn’t fulfilling them; they have more to offer. But what to do in this predicament? Having a full-time job, financial obligations and family commitments all make it exceedingly difficult to step off the path and become a student again.

Happily, a solution exists. All that’s needed to pursue one’s true vocation or to improve career prospects are the aptitude, the will and the dedication to grasp it: namely, an accelerated degree program.

Whereas the conventional path is for young people to attend an accredited college on a full-time basis to pursue their degree of choice, it’s not the only option. It’s possible to pursue a degree later, because some accredited schools also offer accelerated degree programs that enable people with full adult work responsibilities to achieve a bachelor’s degree in a fraction of the time that a traditional program would take.

For example, Wilkes University, consistently rated by the Princeton Review and the U.S. News and World Report as a top university, offers accelerated nursing programs that attract students from a huge range of fields and educational backgrounds. Nursing, of course, isn’t simply an academic discipline: students need practical, clinical experience, too. The bachelor’s program in nursing (A.B.S.N.) at Wilkes includes guaranteed clinical placements so that all students on the accelerated program will have the requisite 755 hours of practicum/internship required to graduate.

Because it’s also an accredited bricks-and-mortar university with a real campus, students on the accelerated nursing program not only receive teaching and tutorial input from the same experts as students attending the campus, they’ll also get help in finding nursing placements near to them thanks to the college’s placement services team.

Graduates emerge not only with the text-based knowledge so crucial to their future career, but with the hands-on, practical knowledge that comes with direct clinical experience, whether that’s advising patients on healthy diets or helping them through a cancer treatment.

The difference for mature students taking accelerated programs is that they don’t necessarily follow the same time format as young undergraduates on campus. They may, for example, be expected to take their classes throughout the calendar year, not just during semesters and terms. Alternatively, they may need to complete requisite coursework in a shorter period (eight weeks, for example, as opposed to the traditional 16-week semester that conventional undergraduates are accustomed to).

To show that applicants have the aptitude and wherewithal to complete the accelerated program successfully, they’re usually required to meet certain admissions requirements first. This could be an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in another field (accelerated nursing programs often require this) or completing some preliminary nursing courses.

But for those who feel that the career track they’re currently on is really more of a rut, accelerated courses from reputable accredited centers of learning could provide the escape route to a fulfilling and endlessly fascinating new life path.

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

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