Caldwell College: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Caldwell College

External Degree Program

Caldwell, New Jersey


Caldwell College pioneered the external degree concept in 1979, becoming the first higher education institution in the state of New Jersey to offer students the option of completing their degrees without attending on-campus classes. Caldwell designed the program especially for busy adults whose work or family commitments make it difficult to follow a weekly on-campus academic schedule. Traditional course work is presented in a flexible and convenient format. External Degree students are required to be on campus only for External Degree Saturday at the beginning of each semester. Students pursuing their bachelor's degrees through the External Degree Program use the same textbooks and complete the same course work as their on-campus counterparts.


Students learn with the guidance of an academic mentor and through interaction with the faculty via phone, personal conferences, e-mail, mailing or faxing of assignments, audiocassette, videocassette, and computer technologies.


The External Degree Program offers twenty-eight majors. Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in accounting, business administration, computer information systems, international business, marketing, and management. Bachelor of Arts degrees are offered in art (some on-campus work is required for art majors), communication arts, criminal justice, English, history, political science, psychology, religious studies, sociology, social studies, and eleven majors in multidisciplinary studies.

Eligibility for a degree requires completion of 120 credits and a GPA of at least 2.0 (C). This includes completing 57 liberal arts and science core curriculum credits, requirements specific to the student's major, and open electives. Students must also complete major courses with a minimum grade of C and satisfy all other departmental requirements. Overall, a minimum of 45 credits must be taken at Caldwell College, with the last 30 credits of the 120-credit requirement completed at the College before a degree is awarded. Transfer students must complete at least half the total number of credits for a given major at Caldwell College.

Students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate distance education programs at other institutions are permitted to enroll as visiting (nonmatriculated) students in the Caldwell College External Degree Program. Course registration opens three weeks prior to the beginning of each semester. Permission to enroll as a visiting student is granted by the Associate Dean through the Center for Continuing Education. Visiting students are required to attend new-student orientation and mandatory meetings with instructors on External Degree Saturday to receive course materials. In order to participate in this program, students must submit a completed External Degree Visiting Student Application form with a $10 processing fee to the Center for Continuing Education. Visiting students may register for two courses per semester (four courses per year) and have access to the Caldwell College Library. Tuition costs are the same as those for all other External Degree Program students and are payable at the time of registration.

Caldwell College is a Catholic, coeducational, four-year liberal arts institution committed to intellectual rigor, individual attention, and the ethical values of the Judeo-Christian academic tradition. Founded in 1939 by the Sisters of St. Dominic, the College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities, chartered by the State of New Jersey, and registered with the Regents of the University of the State of New York. Located on a 70-acre wooded campus in a quiet suburban community 20 miles from New York City, Caldwell provides a serene and secure environment conducive to study and learning.

Caldwell College offers a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, small classes, and individual attention. Professors know their students by name, challenge them to strive for excellence, and provide the support needed to achieve it. This close relationship between faculty members and students also leads to a spirit of friendship throughout the campus community. Approximately half of the 2,200 men and women enrolled at the College are adults pursuing degrees both full-time and part-time or obtaining new skills to compete in the changing marketplace. Through the College's Center for Continuing Education, these adults seek personal growth, professional enrichment, and career advancement. All students find the staff ready to provide the personalized academic planning that can help them succeed in their studies and careers.


Students majoring in business administration, English, or psychology who have earned at least 60 prior college credits in courses applicable to their major may apply for Accelerated Degree Completion through the External Degree Program. Students admitted to the Accelerated Degree Completion Program can complete their degrees within two years by taking approximately 27 credits per year (9 credits per term) or an equivalent combination of course credits and College Level Examination Program, Prior Learning Assessment, internships, and/or cooperative education credits. Each student is expected to work closely with an academic adviser in developing and following a specific course of study.


All of the following services are available to External Degree students. The Jennings Library and the Academic Computing Center are open on evenings and weekends. Students have the ability to access the library's vast database from their home computers. The library's home page also provides links to the Internet and other databases and informational resources. The Career Development Center, Campus Minister, Counseling Office, and Academic Support Center are also available during the evening by appointment. The college bookstore is open evenings and during External Degree Saturday. The Academic Support Center assists students in academic skill development for all majors through tutoring.


Credit is given for courses completed at an accredited college or university with a grade of C or above, provided it is appropriate to the curriculum chosen at Caldwell College. Students may transfer no more than 75 credits from a baccalaureate institution or 60 credits from a junior college. Students may earn credits by examination through standardized testing (CLEP, DANTES, OHIO, and TECEP). Credit is also awarded for noncollegiate military or corporate training courses accredited by the American Council on Education. Credits may be earned through the Prior Learning Assessment portfolio development process.


Students who are 23 years of age or older and who possess a high school diploma or a GED certificate may matriculate as an External Degree student upon acceptance to the College. Those students with fewer than 12 college credits must complete the following courses to be eligible for the External Degree Program: EN/101Basic Composition, EN/111 Literary Types and Themes, PS/111 Re-entry Seminar for Adults, and one liberal arts core course.


Tuition for all students is $408 per credit. The additional cost for books is the responsibility of the student.


External Degree students are eligible for several of the federal financial aid programs available to full-time students, including Pell Grants and various loans. Approximately 10 percent of External Degree students receive Pell Grants, 70 percent Stafford Loans, 10 percent Caldwell College Grants, and 2 percent Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Tuition Aid Grants are available for full-time External Degree students. Academic advisers of the Center for Continuing Education and the staff of the Financial Aid Office also inform students of special privately funded scholarship opportunities for which they may qualify.


Students wishing to pursue a degree through the External Degree Program must submit the following to the Office of Corporate Education and Adult Undergraduate Admissions: a completed application for adult undergraduate admission; a nonrefundable application fee of $40 made payable to Caldwell College (the student's Social Security number should be included on the memo line); official transcripts from high schools, career schools, or colleges previously attended (GED certification may be submitted in place of a high school transcript); and a photocopy of the student's Social Security card. There is no testing for adults. All application material must be received by the Office of Adult Undergraduate Admissions by the deadline date of each semester, approximately one month prior to the beginning of classes.


Jack Albalah, Director
Corporate and Adult Undergraduate Admissions
Caldwell College
9 Ryerson Avenue
Caldwell, New Jersey 07006
Telephone: 973-618-3285 888-864-9518 (toll-free)
Fax: 973-618-3660
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

Students in the External Degree Program may enroll for a minimum of one and a maximum of five courses per semester, depending on their personal schedules and abilities. The program offers three semesters: fall, spring, and summer. Students are required to be on campus only for the External Degree Saturday at the beginning of each semester. New students attend an orientation program and participate in workshops designed to enhance their college experience. On External Degree Saturday, students meet with their faculty mentor and receive an overview of the course material, faculty evaluation criteria, and dates that assignments are due. Students also attend department meetings and learn about recent developments and career options in their chosen fields of study. Prior to each semester, students consult with their academic advisers for guidance in selecting courses. Academic counseling is available through the semester as a supportive, ongoing service.

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Caldwell College: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Caldwell College: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth