Pierpont is a technical college that will give you a Board of Governors (BOG) Associate's degree for "free". There are, however, a few things you need to know:
- This degree is available only to US citizens and green-card holders.
- You must have graduated HS two or more years before your application to Pierpont. Current HS students should check out TEL Learning for an option to get an Associate's degree but there are also other options available.
- You need to already have 60 credits that you can transfer to Pierpont.
- 12 of those credits must come from a regionally accredited school. The rest can come from alternate sources.
- There is a requirement for a number of "graded credits" that is separate from the requirement for RA credits. You need at least 1 graded credit. TECEPs are both exams, which do not count, and not graded (they are pass/fail) so they will not work for this particular requirement. Suggestions for meeting the graded credit requirement include the free Clackamas CC credit, TEL Learning, ONU, or ASU's self-paced 1-credit tech support course for $25.
- You cannot have already earned an Associate's degree or higher (Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate) .
This can be a good stepping-stone for people who might need some encouragement or who need a degree for work but who won't be able to complete their Bachelor's for some time. If you have 15 credit hours in a particular field, you can also have an area of emphasis added to your transcript.
This degree is reported to be bureaucratically complicated to obtain, so it's not going to be for everyone.
Areas of Emphasis
If you have 15 credits or more in a given area, you are allowed to add an area of emphasis (known as a concentration at other colleges/universities). While there is no master list of what is available, and you must ask the program coordinator what is available based on the credits that you have transferred in, forum user raekwon has reported what is required for an area of emphasis at Pierpont. In addition to the 15 credits, Pierpont must offer at least one class in the subject and that subject must have a unique subject code. Prospective students may view Pierpont's catalog to see what is available. Based on this information, bilingual students could theoretically receive an AoE in Spanish after taking an ACTFL exam or students could get an AoE in History by utilizing credits from Sophia, Study.com, and/or Olivet Nazarene University
Reported areas of emphasis include:
- Information Systems - Possibly the easiest due to Pierpont granting the full 12 credits for the Google IT Support Professional certificate available from Coursera.
- Health occupations
Assuming that a student already has the RA credits necessary, obtaining the BOG degree is going to be relatively quick when compared to other colleges/universities. However, the process cannot be completed "overnight" nor is it completely straightforward. In order for things to run as smoothly as possible, the following steps are suggested:
- Obtain 12 (or more) RA credits from anywhere. They need not be in any particular area so long as they are RA. If you do not currently have 12 RA credits, check local community colleges, Olivet Nazarene University, or TEL Learning for options. It is recommended that you choose courses that will assist you with a future Bachelor's degree.
- Complete at least 39 credits of Sophia.org that do not overlap with your RA credits. See below for recommendations for core courses.
- Complete the Google IT Support Professional certificate if you want an area of emphasis in Information Systems. This is not required otherwise.
- Fill out the online application. As of the writing of this guide, the application process is a bit confusing. If you reach what seems to be a dead-end without actually filling out an application, return to the link above and choose to sign in instead of creating a new account.
- Send your transcript(s) to ESprocessing@pierpont.edu (this is reported to be faster than emailing email@example.com) as soon as possible. They may also want your HS diploma/transcripts or GED. An unofficial/personal GED PDF is accepted. (HS transcript/GED requirement may not apply if you have 15 hours or more prior RA credit before applying.)
- Wait. You should get an email about your application but you will be unable to proceed further until you get a paper letter in the mail. It may take anywhere from 1-3 weeks for your letter to arrive. This letter from Pierpont will contain your initial login instructions. You will need to be able to sign in to your "My Pierpont" student account to continue with the process. - Update: As of May, 2022, current acceptance letter may no longer contain login information. Students may need to contact school directly for assistance.
- During the initial login process, you will be asked to set up security information, including confirming your email. However, multiple students have reported that the email confirmation may never come, no matter what email you enter. If you are unable to confirm your email, you can skip this by clicking on the next step and confirming a phone number instead.
- Once you are logged into your student account, check Outlook. It has been reported that there should no longer be a secondary paper application that must be printed out and filled in, but it's a good idea to check your account for emails anyway.
- From your student account, click on "ROAR". This is where your transcripts and other student information is kept. You may be greeted with what looks like a login form instead of ROAR. If this happens, hit refresh and you should see the Main Menu. Click on Student -> Student Records -> Unofficial Academic Transcript -> Submit button. This will show you what, if anything, has already been processed. Your RA credits will likely be processed almost immediately while it may take a month for your ACE credits to be evaluated.
- When you see that everything has been processed, use your Pierpont email to contact the Program Director (currently Nancy Parks) to confirm that you have met all of the requirements. You will then be instructed to fill out the application for graduation.
- Sit back and wait some more for your diploma to arrive.
Note: Graduation terms for Pierpont are in May, August, and December. However, you will need to apply for graduation by April, July, or November in order to meet graduation deadlines. Due to possible delays in mail and in transcript processing, anticipate receiving your diploma the term after you apply and not the current term. For instance, if you apply in May or June, your actual graduation date may be in December and not August. Information regarding receipt of your diploma, as well as graduation application deadlines, can be found on this page.
Pierpont & UMPI
UMPI has a number of competency-based degrees that are available as part of their YourPace program. These cover a number of subjects with listed degrees being Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, and Bachelor of Liberal Studies. However, there is also a fourth "hidden" degree type. Students who apply to UMPI with a prior AAS, such as Pierpont's AAS, are able to opt for a Bachelor of Applied Sciences instead of a Bachelor of Liberal Studies, if they so choose. This is a completely optional choice. These students are free to choose to pursue whatever YourPace degree they desire. Students who do not have an AAS cannot access the BAS.
While it has been suggested that it is not worth the additional work of getting the Pierpont BOG AAS just to be able to access UMPI's BAS, some students may feel strongly that they would prefer the BAS degree above all else. To make this process as easy as possible, a potential degree plan has been created.
Sophia.org is a good way to fill out your General Education requirements for Pierpont. The BOG degree requires 3 credits in communications, 6 credits in math/science, 3 credits in social sciences, and 3 credits in computer literacy for a total of 15 credits. Any courses not listed below are brought into Pierpont as "Free Electives"; they fulfill the 60-credit requirement but may or may not fulfill the specific GE requirements.
- Communication at Work - Reported to work for this requirement
- English Composition I - ENGL 1104 Written English I
- English Composition II - Believed to come in as ENGL 1107 or 1108; needs confirmation
- Public Speaking - May come in as a COMM class; needs confirmation
- Visual Communication - Although this gets listed as an elective on your transcript, it can count as a core course towards graduation.
- College Algebra - MTH 1212 College Algebra
- Introduction to Human Biology - Although this gets listed as an elective on your transcript, it should also count as a core course towards graduation.
- Environmental Science - Although this gets listed as an elective on your transcript, it should also count as a core course towards graduation.
- CSM Learn - Not a Sophia course, but a good option for students who wish to avoid math for various reasons.
The Sophia course Introduction to College Mathematics does not count for a Pierpont degree. It is considered to be a 0-credit remedial-type course.
- Macroeconomics - ECON 2201 Economic Principles & Probs (ECON 2200 is listed as a requirement for the BOG degree; this may not count)
- Introduction to Psychology - PSYG 1101 Introduction to Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology - SCY 1101 Introduction to Sociology
- U.S. History I - HST 1101 United States History I
- U.S. History II - HST 1102 United States History II
Introduction to Information Technology has been reported to work. Study.com's "Library Science 101: Information Literacy" is also known to meet this requirement.
These are courses that have direct equivalencies but that may or may not count towards degree requirements.
- Accounting - ACCT 2201 Principles of Accounting I
- Introduction to Business - BSN 1102 Introduction to Business
Saylor may also work for filling out general education requirements for Pierpont. None of this has been confirmed, as of yet, but Pierpont does have wide acceptance of ACE credits. If these courses are on an ACE/Credly transcript, they should be accepted. NCCRS Saylor courses may not be accepted.
- BUS210: Corporate Communication
- CUST105: Customer Service - According to the course's description, a good portion of the course focuses on communications. So this one may or may not work.
- COMM001: Principles of Human Communication - This is definitely a communications class and is almost guaranteed to work
- CS402: Computer Communications and Networks - Probably will not work for this requirement, but it also might because "Visual Communications" from Sophia works.
- BUS204: Business Statistics
- MA005: Calculus I
- MA121: Introduction to Statistics
- PHYS101: Introduction to Mechanics
- PHYS102: Introduction to Electromagnetism
- BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology
- SOC101: Introduction to Sociology
- PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology
- POLSC101: Introduction to Political Science
- POLSC201: Introduction to Western Political Thought
- POLSC221 Introduction to Comparative Politics
- ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice, and World Views
- PHIL103: Moral & Political Philosophy
- ECON102: Principles of Macroeconomics
- ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics
- GEOG101: World Regional Geography
Some/all of these could also be used toward an Area of Emphasis in Information Systems.
- CS101: Introduction to Computer Science I
- CS102: Introduction to Computer Science II
- CS107: C++ Programming
- CS302: Software Engineering
- CS402: Computer Communications and Networks
- BUS206: Management Information Systems
- BUS303: Strategic Information Technology
Saylor has sufficient courses to be able to get an Area of Emphasis in Business, if such is desired.
- BUS105: Managerial Accounting
- BUS103: Introduction to Financial Accounting
- BUS205: Business Law
- BUS204: Business Statistics
- BUS210: Corporate Communication
- CUST105: Customer Service
- BUS101: Introduction to Business
- BUS206: Management Information Systems
- BUS300: Operations Management
- BUS209: Organizational Behavior
- BUS202: Principles of Finance
- BUS208: Principles of Management
- BUS203: Principles of Marketing
- BUS402: Project Management