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BA from vocational school?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by kristieb1, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. kristieb1

    kristieb1 Starting Over
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    Hi,

    I searched and searched the threads for topics on this but didn't quite find what I was looking for...

    I attend a private for-profit vocational college that offers Associate of Applied Science up to Master's Degrees in varying fields, mostly health care related with Business and Computer Science in the mix.

    I am majoring there in Health Care Administration. This is a year round accelerated school (I know accelerated doesn't exactly mean better). I will have completed my BA in about 2.5 years on schedule (less than a year left). I want to take my science/math pre-reqs at the local community college (they are not offered at my vocational school). It costs less than a four year school and they offer evening and many online lecture classes. The 4 year state school nearby does not have evening classes or many online lectures to pick from. (I will probably be working during the days so this is important).

    Assume by the time I finish all my classes I will have above average ECs and MCAT scores. Right now I have a 3.75 GPA. I don't think I will have a problem with the science courses because they interest me immensely. (My dumb accounting classes bore me and dropped my GPA unfortunately, dumb tax laws lol).

    Is it possible to get into med school with a degree from a private vocational school? It's regionally accredited by some agency but I don't know if that means anything. My credits won't transfer to another undergrad instituion. Has anyone done this?

    I have reasons for why I ended up going there. Mostly because I didn't think I could get back into the swing of college, so I enrolled in their medical assisting program. But I was doing so well I switched into the bachelors program which had most of the same classes plus a year and a half more. Now I have self confidence and motivation and have proved to myself that I can achieve the goals I set for myself. I want to follow through with that dream of becoming a doctor. What do you think? I'm still young, only 23, but also married. If I accomplished this and was admitted I'd be starting school at about age 26 which is an additional reason as to why I posted in the non-traditional student forum.
     
    #1 kristieb1, Dec 12, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
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  3. NTF

    NTF PGY-6
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    Honestly, your best bet is to set up an appointment with the Admissions Office of your local med school (or ask for a phone consultation if you don't live near one) and go over your credentials with them. Any advice you get here will have a certain amount of speculation.

    Now for the speculation. When you say "regionally accredited", I wonder whether med schools will recognized the degree if it's not from a 4 year nationally accredited college or university. Secondly, if your degree is from dubiously accredited sources I highly suggest you take your prereqs at a 4 year college to demonstrate to adcoms that you can handle rigorous science coursework. (This would also go along way to reassure yourself that you could handle a med school curriculum.)
     
  4. kristieb1

    kristieb1 Starting Over
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    Here is what I found about my school (I took out the name of the school and put *College*):

    It says its a national organization but is it well known? I don't know what it says about my school.
     
  5. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
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    The accreditation process for higher education in the United States is a complex and confusing system. In this case, you want to attend a school that is regionally accredited by one of the associations recognized by the US Dept of Education. Although it is not an absolute requirement, being accredited by one of the regionally accredited bodies is what medical school admissions are looking for when they state an applicant must "successfully complete undergraduate college work leading to a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college of arts and sciences in the United States or Canada" (from NYMC's website)

    The regionally accrediting bodies are
    Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
    New England Association of Schools and Colleges
    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
    Northwest Commision on Colleges and Universities
    Western Association of Schools and Colleges
    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

    The reason why your vocational school credits cannot transfer over is due to lack of accrediation by one of these regionally accrediting body. If you look into your local colleges and universities, you will see that they are accredited by one of the above listed regionally accredited body.

    Your current school, as you stated, is a for-profit vocational school accredited by ACCSCT. While the ACCSCT is recognized as a valid national accrediting body by the US Dept of Education, for purposes of academics (and medical school admissions), that accreditation is not sufficient.

    For example
    In Massachusetts, schools accredited by the New England Association of School and Colleges include Harvard, Tufts, Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis University.
    Schools accredited by the ACCSCT include Hallmart Institute of Photography, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Massachusetts School of Barbering, New England Hair Academy, etc

    Nothing wrong with either accrediting bodies or the schools - they just serve different purposes. Medical schools in the US must be accredited by either the LCME or AOA. Law schools in the US must be accredited by the ABA. Each accreditation body serves its own purpose.

    Here's some useful links to find out more
    US Dept of Ed. on accreditation
    http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html

    Wiki entry on Regional accreditation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_accreditation

    Elearners.com link on the differences (actual differences as well as historical) between regional and national accreditation)
    http://www.elearners.com/guide-to-online-education/regional-and-national-accreditation.asp
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    I agree with nontradfogie's suggestion to make an appointment to talk to somebody. But my gut reaction is that you probably can (and should) avoid most hurdles if you finish up your BA and THEN take the prereqs in a postbac or at a university.
     
  7. kristieb1

    kristieb1 Starting Over
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    Thanks for all of your information. I was really naive when I started attending this school. The bachelor's degree I receive will be good enough to get me a job requiring a bachelor's degree and that is what I was initially worried about. Now that I am broadening my future plans it seems this school was not the best option.

    I'll still take some classes that I need at the CC (lower math classes, one bio class) but I may save the major classes, like General Chem, O Chem, Physics, Calc I for the 4 year school.

    If I did that would I have a chance? :D I was actually thinking about getting an AS degree in Chem at the CC since I was taking all those science classes there but that might just be a waste of time.
     
  8. meatbone1

    meatbone1 Female Member
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    as long as your institution is 'regionally' accredited then you're fine. I'll admit it, I go to a private-for profit school and it's name is DEVRY. So point in hiding it. I should be fine. Now here's the 'tricky' part. If you took your core sciences at your college, it might not count (granted you'd have to ask the ADCOM for clarification). However since I originally started my college courses at a 'regular' college, what I intend on doing is going back to that 'regular' college and retaking my med school science courses as an informal post-bac student.
    Lastly, when in doubt, just ask the school's ADCOM you're intersted in and verify. again I think as long as it's 'regionally' accredited, you'll be fine. Good Luck!
     
  9. kristieb1

    kristieb1 Starting Over
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    I doubt many people have even heard of my school. It's not as well known as DeVry. We don't get to pick our classes at my school, they are assigned to us each module by our program administrators. Traditional science classes with labs aren't even offered at this school. So I have to take them somewhere else. I guess I will just split my classes between the local CC and the local 4 year state school.

    I want to think the fact that my major is in Health Care Administration is in my favor at least. I'm learning the ins and outs of how it all works.

    Thank you everyone for your advice.
     
  10. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    No major is favored over any other major. An English major who outperformed you academically would be favored over your Healthcare Administration major. If you don't have the pre-med prereqs with labs, you are going to need to pick them up at another institution (preferably a nationally accredited four-year college or university). With your bachelors coming from a for-profit vocational school, you need to avoid the community college coursework unless your community college is of very high quality (the Californias/Ohios/VirginiasMinnesotas). Needless to say, your Medical College Admissions Test score needs to be competitive.
     
  11. kristieb1

    kristieb1 Starting Over
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    No no, they aren't offered AT ALL haha. I don't mean they offer lectures only. They don't even offer that!

    Well in my ideal world I would have taken the science classes at Salt Lake Community College and prayed to get into the University of Utah. That would be my first choice. Otherwise I would take the science classes at Weber State University which is also in Utah. Weber is actually closer to where I live than the CC. They just have less flexibility in scheduling your classes than the CC.
     
  12. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
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    One thing to keep in mind

    Medical school admission process is not a checklist. While it may feel like that at times (takes these classes, take MCAT, volunteer, etc) ... the process is highly competitve and you will be competing against thousands of applicants who will also have good grades, healthcare experience, good MCAT scores, and interesting life stories. When it comes time to apply, you want to put your best foot forward, and convince admission committee members why they should pick you to interview (and accept) instead of the thousands of other applicants.

    To be honest, completing your bachelor at a non-regionally accredited school (where credits don't transfer) and taking your premed classes at a local community colleges may save you money, but it may put you at a disadvantage compare to other applicants when it comes to applying for medical school admission.
     
  13. dragonfly99

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    Agree with grouptheory.
    Given that you are already far into your degree @your current school, it might make sense to just complete the degree so that you have it. However, med schools may not accept any of those credits.

    I recommend taking your required courses at the nearby state U, even if you have to rearrange your work schedule (or get an afternoon or evening job) in order to do that. This is particularly true if, after talking with the admissions office at U of Utah (which you say is your first choice) they recommend the 4 year school over the community college. Also, try to find out if there is a premed advising office @the local 4 year university you were talking about...if so, they might be able to help you with course selection and also tell you the rate of acceptance of their students to U of Utah's medical program.
     
  14. RRTtoMD

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    In all honesty it would be better for you to completely drop the nationally accreditted vocational school and completely switch over to the community college, or better yet a university if your intention is to go to medical school. Their degrees are basically worthless unless you intend to get specific training for a job.

    I got my associates degree in respiratory therapy from a nationally accreditted school and I passed the same two credentialling exams that the graduates of BA programs from regionally accreditted schools have trouble passing. When I decided to go complete my BA in respiratory therapy and take the pre req's for med school I found that only 10 of my 76 credit hours transferred. I actually laughed at the director of the respiratory therapy program at IUPUI becouse she suggested i restart a respiratory therapy degree from scratch, including unpaid clinical rotations, after I have already worked over 8000 paid hours in 4 years. It is hard to goto classes that you are probably as qualified to teach as the professor.

    Moral of the story, if you would like to advance to medical school drop the technical school becouse it simply wont get you there.
     
  15. gman33

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    Completing your current degree is probably a good idea, but it won't help much for med school. You will most likely need to start from scratch and get a bachelor's degree. With that in mind, it is best to do this at a 4 year school if at all possible.
     

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