Charter Oak State College

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New Britain, Connecticut

Charter Oak State College, one of America's leading distance learning colleges for adults, was established in 1973 by the Connecticut Legislature to provide an alternate way for adults to earn a college degree. Recognized as the College that offers "degrees without boundaries," Charter Oak responds to the degree-completion needs of adult learners. The College, which is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is a Servicemembers Opportunity College, awards bachelor's and associate degrees.

Charter Oak's flexible degree programs are designed to assist adult learners in achieving their educational objectives as they continue to meet career, family, and financial obligations.

Students can combine, toward their Charter Oak degrees, credits earned–no matter how long ago—from regionally accredited colleges and universities, including Charter Oak, and from noncollegiate-sponsored instruction, standardized testing such as CLEP and Dantes, work or military experience, contract learning, and portfolio assessment.

Individualized professional advisement is a hallmark of Charter Oak State College. Each student benefits from one-on-one support from an academic counselor who specializes in the student's chosen field of study. Counselors, who are accessible via telephone, fax, e-mail, and the U.S. mail, work closely with each student to develop a plan of study.

Distance Learning Program

Charter Oak State College provides all of its services using distance technology. The College offers more than 130 online and video-based courses. Courses are fifteen, eight, and five weeks in duration. Students can elect to take Charter Oak courses or earn credits in other ways. Textbooks may be purchased electronically from a designated bookstore, and videotapes are rented through a mail-order service.

Programs of Study

Charter Oak State College offers four degrees in general studies: Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Science. To earn an associate degree, a student must complete at least 60 credits; a bachelor's degree requires at least 120 credits. The College accepts up to 90 community college credits toward a bachelor's degree.

A Charter Oak degree is more than an accumulation of the required number of credits. At least one half of the credits toward a degree must be earned in subjects traditionally included in the liberal arts and sciences—humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences. Achievement in these areas demonstrates breadth of learning. To demonstrate depth of learning, students who pursue a baccalaureate degree must complete a concentration consisting of at least 36 credits.

A concentration plan, accompanied by an essay, must be submitted to the faculty for approval. Concentrations may be constructed in many areas, including applied arts, art history, the behavioral sciences, business, child study, communication, computer science, engineering studies, fire service administration, health-care administration, human services, individualized studies, languages, liberal studies, literature, music history, the natural sciences, organizational management and leadership, public safety administration, religious studies, the social sciences, and technology studies. As a graduation requirement, students must also submit an academic autobiography that provides them the opportunity to reflect on their educational experiences and demonstrate their writing ability and understanding of their degree program.

Special Programs

The College has evaluated a number of noncollegiate courses and programs for which it awards credit toward Charter Oak degree programs. Many health-care specialties from hospital-based programs are included, such as medical laboratory technician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, radiologic technologist, registered nurse, and respiratory therapist or technician. Other evaluations include the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential; the FAA Airman Certificate; Famous Artists School in Westport, Connecticut; Institute of Children's Literature in West Redding, Connecticut; the National Opticianry Competency Examination; the Contact Lens Registry Examination; and several fire certifications, including Fire Marshal, Deputy Fire Marshal, Fire Inspector, Fire Fighter III, Fire Officer I or II, and Fire Service Instructor I or II.

Credit Options

Students can transfer credits from other regionally accredited colleges and universities. Age of credits is not a factor in most concentrations. There is no limit to the number of credits that can be earned using standardized examinations, prior learning—including ACE-evaluated military credits and ACE- and PONSI-evaluated noncollegiate learn-ing—and portfolio assessment


Full-time faculty members, from public and independent institutions of higher education in Connecticut, serve as consulting examiners at Charter Oak. Distance learning faculty members come from all over the United States and possess appropriate degrees and/or experience.


Admission is open to any person 16 years or older, regardless of level of formal education, who is able to demonstrate college-level achievement. To be admitted, a student must have earned 9 college-level credits from acceptable sources of credit.

Tuition and Fees

All students pay a $60 application fee. Connecticut residents pay a first-year matriculation fee of $655 for an associate degree or $955 for a bachelor's degree. Nonresidents pay a first-year matriculation fee of $925 for an associate degree or $1245 for a bachelor's degree. Active-duty service members and their spouses pay in-state resident's rates for all Charter Oak fees and services. All students pay a graduation fee of $175. Tuition for video-based courses is $160 per credit for Connecticut residents and $227 per credit for nonresidents. There is a $30 registration fee for all students.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to eligible Charter Oak students from several sources, including federal, state, and institutional grants and loans. All students who wish to apply for aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be completed online and can be accessed at Charter Oak's forms can be accessed online at The Charter Oak State College school code is 032343.


Charter Oak reviews applications on a rolling basis; students may matriculate at anytime during the year.


Admissions Office
Charter Oak State College
55 Paul Manafort Drive
New Britain, Connecticut 06053-2150
Phone: 860-832-3855
Fax: 860-832-3999
Web site:

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Charter Oak State College

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