Excelsior College: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Learning Services
Albany, New York

Distance Learning Program

Excelsior College programs are designed to help busy adults pursue their degree at a distance through whatever combination of courses, exams, and training fits their situation. The College accepts credits from Excelsior College distance courses and Excelsior College Examinations®; classroom and distance courses from other regionally accredited colleges and universities; other college-level proficiency examinations, such as CLEP and DANTES; and military and corporate training recognized for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials, National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (PONSI), or training evaluated for college credit by Excelsior College.

Currently, the College has more than 27,000 students enrolled in its associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree programs.

Programs of Study

Excelsior College offers thirty-four degree programs through distinct schools in three major areas.

In the School of Business and Technology, twelve undergraduate business programs lead to degrees in such fields as accounting, finance, global business, management information systems, management of human resources, marketing, operations management, and risk management and insurance. In spring 2005, the College is scheduled to introduce a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program. A dozen undergraduate technology degree programs educate students in fields such as computer information systems, computer technology, electronics engineering technology, electronics technology, nuclear engineering technology, and nuclear technology. The College awards college credit for approved industry training in several fields, including fossil fuel plant technology, information technology, and nuclear power.

Students in the School of Liberal Arts can earn associate or baccalaureate degrees in majors that include biology, chemistry, communication, criminal justice, economics, geography, geology, history, literature, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, or world language and literature. In addition, a liberal studies option provides flexibility for students to pursue a range of interests while focusing on a particular discipline. The School offers two associate and two baccalaureate degrees as well as a Master of Arts in liberal studies that can be earned entirely online. Master's students can now focus studies to match their interests and career goals by choosing one of four new tracks: Issues in Today's Society, Global Strategies, Educational Leadership, and Self-Design. The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) are not required.

As a private institution with no residency requirement, Excelsior College—a recognized leader in distance education—has devoted itself to making college degrees more accessible to busy, working adults. The College accepts credits from a broad array of sources, including Excelsior College distance courses and Excelsior College Exams. As a result, many students find that most or all of their prior college-level credits transfer into their Excelsior College degree program.

Excelsior College offers undergraduate and graduate-level programs in liberal arts, business, and nursing and undergraduate degrees in technology. The College's self-paced degree programs are accessible worldwide, allowing students to complete their degrees from any location.

Since 1977—six years after its founding—Excelsior College has been accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Associations of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104; telephone: 215-662-5606. All of the College's academic programs are approved by the New York State Education Department, and its examinations are recognized by the American Council on Education, Center for Adult Learning and Educational Credentials, for the award of college-level credit.

The associate, baccalaureate, and master's degree programs in nursing are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), 61 Broadway, New York, New York 10006; telephone 800-669-1656 (toll-free). The NLNAC is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The baccalaureate degree programs in electronics engineering technology and nuclear engineering technology are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission (TAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) 111 Market Place, Baltimore, Maryland 21202; telephone: 410-347-7700. The TAC of ABET is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

The School of Nursing is one of the largest distance education nursing programs in the world. The nursing components of associate and bachelor's degree programs are made up of guided independent study and nationally recognized Excelsior College Examinations. Students can earn credit for General Education requirements through of wide variety of sources. In January 2005, important curriculum changes allow RNs to receive 30 credits in nursing toward the Bachelor of Science in nursing for an associate degree or diploma program education validated by successful completion of the NCLEXRN. An undergraduate level Certificate in Nursing Management is scheduled to be offered in March 2005. Excelsior College online offers a Master of Science degree in nursing with a major in clinical systems management, an RN-M.S. in nursing program, and a program leading to an online graduate-level certificate in health-care informatics.

Special Programs

Through its Office of Military Education, Excelsior College has addressed educational needs of the members of the U.S. armed forces. The College awards credit for military training recognized for college credit by the American Council on Education. Four programs, including associate degrees in aviation, technical studies, and administrative/management studies, are specially designed to meet the needs of military personnel. DANTES-funded Excelsior College examinations are free to all in active duty military, National Guard, and Reserve Component personnel. Special discounted fees and tuition are available to military personnel, military family members, veterans, and DoD civilians. Special partnerships allow active duty personnel to take Excelsior College distance courses that may be 100 percent covered by military tuition assistance. A college military deployment policy holds the status of deployed students without extension or penalty fees until their return.

Student Services

Excelsior College students draw on a team of experienced academic advisers who assist in the development of individualized degree completion plans.

Enrolled students can use Excelsior College Distance Learn®, a searchable database of distance courses and examinations, to find credit opportunities across the U.S. and abroad. Distance-Learn is the most comprehensive database of such offerings available today. For research, the Excelsior College Virtual Library gives students online access to millions of the world's most current and authoritative resources. The Electronic Peer Network (EPN) provides a Web-based community where students can join online study groups and buy and sell textbooks, among other things. For those who seek help as they study for Excelsior College exams, the Online Writing and Online Tutoring Services connect students to experienced tutors.

Tuition and Fees

Undergraduate tuition for Excelsior College distance courses is $240 per credit hour. Excelsior College charges an $875 (associate programs) or $995 (baccalaureate programs) fee at enrollment, which covers a student's initial evaluation, academic advisement and program planning services for one year; a $430 (associate) or $495 (baccalaureate) annual fee for each year after, which covers the ongoing evaluation of academic records submitted by a student; and a $455 to $485 (associate) or $495 (baccalaureate) fee for a final evaluation and verification of all academic records prior to program completion and graduation. (Different fees and fee structures apply to military students, to students in the RN-M.S. in nursing, and graduate programs, and to students who choose to pay their Excelsior College enrollment and annual service expenses through a Payment Plan

Financial Aid

Excelsior College offers more than fifteen options for financing a degree, including ten scholarship and five private loan programs. Veterans Affairs educational benefits and New York State financial aid programs are also available. Excelsior College offers several flexible payment plan options that allow students to spread the cost of fees and tuition over several installments.


For the liberal arts and business and technology programs, students may submit an undergraduate application of admission. An Excelsior College admissions counselor then advises them how many prior credits can transfer and how many they still have to earn. Then they can enroll in the program with support from admissions counselors if necessary.


Admissions Office
Excelsior College
7 Columbia Circle
Albany, New York 12212
Phone: 518-464-8500 (press 2-7 at the prompt)
888-647-2388 (toll-free)
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.excelsior.edu

Nursing students must first apply to the Excelsior College School of Nursing and, once accepted, can enroll in Excelsior College. The School of Nursing is open primarily to individuals with clinical experience, such as licensed practical nurses and registered nurses.

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Excelsior College: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth