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Header-Bachlors Degree Requirements

Admissions Requirements
Minimum Degree Requirements
Overview of the Degree Process










Akamai University is an alternative graduate university, serving the needs of mid-career professionals. As such, we do not offer extensive undergraduate programs. When the occasion merits, however, the University admits well-qualified candidates into an Alternative Bachelor's Program. The degree is pursued entirely through an extensive college equivalency review of the student's academic training and professional achievements. The review is pursued in a formal and rigorous manner to determine if the student has attained requisite levels of knowledge in core areas and if sufficient coursework (and equivalency) have been completed to merit the awarding of the Bachelor's degree. Only mature adult professionals are considered for enrollment in this alternative Bachelor of Science (Arts) in Professional Studies or (Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies).

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

As prerequisites for admittance to the alternative Bachelor's program, applicants should have completed the secondary program, have postsecondary studies and training, and several years of meaningful career experience. Candidates for program admission should submit the following materials:

  • Application for Admission
  • Student’s cover letter
  • Current resume (C.V.) outlining full career achievements and education and training history
  • Transcripts of prior college coursework or formal affidavits of course completion
  • Certificates of completion from non-college training organizations
  • If you are a second language English applicant, you should submit records of TOEFL examination with scores of 500.
  • Statement acknowledging access to a computer, email and the Internet for the full extent of your program.
  • The nonrefundable $50 application fee.

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MINIMUM DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Overview of Bachelor's Requirements
General Education Requirements
The Academic Major
The Academic Minor
Final Examination
Senior Project

Overview of Bachelor's Requirements
If you wish to pursue a program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies (or Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies), you will be asked to participate in a series of studies through which significant scholarly literature is investigated. Within these courses, the academic content is taken to a significant depth and progressively developed and integrated as the basis for advanced study. As an undergraduate student you are expected to acquire a coherent body of knowledge in your chosen discipline, which emphasizes the underlying theories, principles, and practices and associated problem-solving techniques. You will be expected to develop the academic skills and competencies necessary to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of new information and research, and present mature academic arguments through scholarly presentations with referencing from a range of sources. You will also be expected to develop the ability to integrate scholarly learning with knowledge and techniques learned within your career environment.

  • General Education Requirements (Required: 30 credits
  • The Academic Major (Required: 18 credits minimum)
  • The Academic Minor (Required: 12 credits minimum)
  • EXM 480: Final Examination (Required: 6 credits)
  • RES 490: Senior Project (Required: 15 credits)

General Education
Students enrolled in the alternative Bachelor’s Program must demonstrate completion of a total of 30 semester credits in general education competencies, including at least six credits in physical sciences and mathematics, the social sciences, and arts and humanities. The general education requirements assure students develop an understanding and appreciation of the social and culture differences and interdependency of the global community, and build an awareness of themselves as spiritual, social, and biological beings.

Physical Sciences and Mathematics (6 credits minimum)
Through this competency, students build an understanding the physical environment. Courses from the following fields help fulfill this requirement: environmental science, health, nutrition and fitness, and other physical and biological sciences, mathematics, algebra, geometry, accounting, personal finance, computer science, statistics, or financial management.

History and Social Sciences (6 credits minimum)
Through this competency, students build an understanding of human culture. Courses from the following fields help fulfill this requirement: history, government, civilization, political science, human development, economics, business studies, administration, psychology, sociology, education, anthropology and other related subjects.

Arts and Humanities (6 credits minimum)
Through this competency, students build an understanding of effective communication. Courses from the following fields help fulfill this requirement: language studies, composition, literature, creative writing, music, philosophy, creative arts, performing arts, and other arts and humanities.

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The Academic Major
Through the assessment of the student’s college transcripts, non-college training documentation, and professional portfolios, an undergraduate student must demonstrate competency in the core subject matter of a degree concentration (from among those available across the University) comprising a degree major. A minimum of 18 semester credits in any one academic concentration is required for the academic major. These core academic competencies emphasize the theories, principles and practices at the foundation of the discipline, and the philosophical and cultural implications of the field. They also incorporate applied elements of the discipline.

To complete these requirements, students may transfer appropriate coursework completed at outside colleges and training institutions and from college proficiency examinations. Students may apply appropriate college equivalency credits earned through portfolio assessment. Relevant elements from your general education coursework may also apply toward the academic major.

The Academic Minor
Through the assessment of the student’s college transcripts, non-college training documentation, and professional portfolios, an undergraduate student must demonstrate competency in the core subject matter of a degree concentration (from among those available across the University) comprising a degree minor. A minimum of 12 semester credits in any one academic concentration is required for the academic minor.

To complete these requirements, students may transfer appropriate coursework completed at outside colleges and training institutions and from college proficiency examinations. Students may apply appropriate college equivalency credits earned through portfolio assessment. Relevant elements from your general education coursework may also apply toward the academic major.

Final Examination
Once the coursework assessment is satisfactorily completed, the University schedules the Comprehensive Final Examination. The Center Director and an assigned faculty specialist representing the student’s primary academic area conduct the written and oral elements of the final examination.

The written portion is open book style with selected essay questions requiring creative responses that reach for the higher levels of cognition. Your answers are expected to draw from the academic competencies of your program with proper referencing of the scholarly literature. The oral component of the examination is normally completed by telephone conference and is intended to allow detailed investigation of your written responses.

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Senior Project Process
The fifteen-credit Senior Project is undertaken upon successful completion of the final examination. The project is intended to provide the University with a quality review of the student's professional and academic competencies.

Overview of Senior Project
Senior Project Proposal
Manuscript Outline
Referencing the Literature
Manuscript Presentation
Senior Project Review

Overview of Senior Project
The fifteen-credit Senior Project is undertaken upon successful completion of the final examination. The project is intended to provide the University with a quality review of the student's professional and academic competencies.

The process includes a brief proposal stage, data gathering and manuscript preparation stage, and a project review stage. Students are provided an opportunity to investigate an area of special interest in their academic concentration, which has potential for advancing their profession development.

The Senior Project is presented in a formal manuscript approximating 50 double-spaced typewritten pages including attachments with proper referencing and citations of the scholarly literature. The student's project should convey a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. While most projects may take the form of a standard research project, with the mentor's approval, students may pursue another appropriate format such as an audio- or videotape project, a recorded public performance, a business plan, original work of art, detailed case study or another relevant project.

Senior Project Proposal
Before beginning the research of the scholarly literature and data gathering activities and any actual writing of your project manuscript, students prepare and submit a formal proposal for approval. The University provides an approved research proposal format requirements within the online program handbook. Students should be prepared to provide necessary facts and information as needed by the mentor in reviewing the research proposal. Students are also expected to carefully examine the University's manuscript guidelines to conform their documents.

It will prove best for students to begin discussions with their primary mentor concerning the Senior Project topic soon after registration. After sufficient exploration, the expectations of the mentor and the manuscript requirements for the project will become clear. Students should also discuss with their mentor the issues of research protocol related to working with human subjects and the use and care of live animals, if this is to be part of the Senior Project.

Manuscript Outline
The student will be guided in the presentation of a master outline for the proposed manuscript. This will help the student more fully develop the proposal package and clarify the structure of the academic argument. The manuscript outline is intended to bring strength to the scholarly discussion, helping the student organize an effective exploration of the subject matter. The student should carefully review the University's written guidelines for manuscript preparation provided in the online program handbook.

Referencing the Literature
Students pursuing the alternative Bachelor’s Program may be new to the referencing requirements for major academic papers and should discuss these with the primary mentor before beginning the project.

Manuscript Presentation
The Senior Project should closely adhere to the manuscript guideline presented in the University’s online program handbook and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The manuscript should be prepared and bound in an acceptable manner for permanent archival storage. Spiral and press binding are acceptable.

Project Review
Once students have prepared the Senior Project manuscript, they will schedule the formal review process. The primary mentor and the Center Director (or an assigned representative) will conduct both the formal physical review of the manuscript and the oral review of the project.

The physical review of the project manuscript usually takes the review committee two to four weeks. Each reviewer will prepare questions and commentary relative to the underlying review of the literature, the project methodology, the mechanics of the project, and formal presentation of the findings, conclusions and recommendations.

The oral review of the project is conducted under the direction of the primary mentor with the assistance of Center Director (or an assigned representative). The examination is carried out by telephone conference call or another synchronous method and is designed to allow detailed investigation of the project. The faculty reviewers explore issues related to the project including methodology, review of literature and interpretation of the findings.

One outcome of the project review process is a set of final expectations directing the student through the remaining tasks for correcting the project manuscript. Once the final manuscript is approved, the student will arrange suitable binding for the document and later ship the bound project to the University headquarters for permanent archival storage.

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OVERVIEW OF THE DEGREE PROCESS

The process for pursuing the Alternative Bachelor's degree includes the following elements.

Assessment of Minimum Degree Requirements
Final Examination Process
Senior Project Process

Assessment of Minimum Degree Requirements
The alternative route toward the award of the Bachelor's degree includes an extensive equivalency evaluation of the student's career background and educational preparation. The process includes a review of college transcripts and non-college training documentation, and a thorough assessment of the student's professional portfolio.

Review of Prior Education and Training Documentation
Review of Professional Portfolios

Review of Prior Education and Training Documentation
College coursework and college level equivalency training completed at recognized education and training institutions are accepted credit-for-credit, provided the coursework satisfies meaningful elements of your program of studies. As a participant in the alternative undergraduate program, students may have an unlimited number of transfer credits applied toward their degree. Student’s should carefully review the University's guidelines regarding transfer credits and explore these details with their primary mentor.

The University will accept all credits, point-for-point from recognized educational institutions, including training institutions (such as those organizations approved by the American Council of Education and other reputable groups across the global community). Formal transcripts or notarized affidavits must be provided for all awards of transfer credits. All transfer courses are translated to the semester credit system followed by the University.

Review of Professional Portfolios
As a participant in the alternative undergraduate program, students may have an unlimited number of equivalency credits applied toward their degree through assessment of professional portfolios.

Overview of Portfolio Process
Prior Learning Policy
The Portfolio Document
Portfolio Evaluation
General Guidelines for Review Process

The professional portfolio should be developed relative to creditworthy elements of the student's career background for which sufficient credible evidence exists to correlate effectively with college-level learning objectives. The source of prior learning might be advanced employment experience, non-college training, continuing education, seminars and conferences, professional achievements, employment training, language training, technical classes, training leading to special certificates, diplomas and licenses or other advanced level learning obtained from personal and professional achievements.

Duplicative credit may not be awarded. Students are advised to carefully review the University's guidelines covering prior learning assessment and discuss these matters in detail with the primary mentor starting immediately after program registration.

Prior Learning Policy
The University respects the college-level prior learning of its adult students to the extent that such learning is appropriate to the degrees pursued by our students and satisfies the expectations of the University's faculty. The University allows prior learning to be credited toward the Bachelor's degree from transfer courses (by transcript review) and from appropriate career experience and non-college training (by professional portfolio evaluation).

Mid-career adults have creditworthy elements in their backgrounds for which sufficient credible evidence exists of advanced level learning. The source of prior learning might include work experience, non-college training, continuing education, seminars and conferences, career experiences and personal achievements, employment training, language training, technical classes, training leading to special certificates, diplomas and licenses and other advanced level learning obtained from personal and professional achievements.

Under the direction of the University’s primary mentors, and within certain clearly defined guidelines, students may submit and array of professional portfolios for assessment of college equivalency credit in fulfillment of the requirements for the alternative Bachelor’s degree.

The Portfolio Document
The portfolio document must be presented in a manner that allows a detailed formal evaluation to be made of the prior learning. Students are required to attach copies of the necessary documentation, affidavits and certificates that permit an effective comparison of the prior learning experiences to the course objectives. While the portfolio document must include this authentic documentation, an equally important element is the student’s narrative that summarizes and discusses the knowledge, skills and competencies acquired in the professional setting, or through non-college training. Portfolios are allowed in all academic fields and are usually designed to permit the student to demonstrate higher levels of cognition where they have used the subject matter to address real world situations in a creative manner. Permission to submit a portfolio for assessment should be requested by the student at the time the Study Plan is established.

Prior learning assessment courses deemed complete will have the specified semester credits awarded on the student’s permanent record. If a student is unsuccessful at passing the portfolio assessment, the mentor may decide to assign additional text and journal readings and other necessary exploratory activities in order to prepare the student for an additional course assessment (at additional cost to the student). After successfully completing these additional assignments and assessments, course credit will be granted. A standardize attachment to the Study Plan is used to communicate the content of the prior learning assessment to be undertaken.

Portfolio Evaluation
Professional portfolio evaluation is a detailed assessment of a student’s prior learning in a limited and defined area, including the gathering together of authentic documents to validate and demonstrate advanced level learning. The task of the University faculty is to guide the student in structuring a formal written presentation in support of documentation from professional achievements and non-college training. To be awarded credit, all prior learning must clearly fulfill the academic objectives of the course and reflect the appropriate level of complexity in academic learning. The primary faculty advisor shall independently evaluate each course approved for portfolio assessment. Upon completion of each course pursued by prior learning assessment, at the time of submission of the course grade, the portfolio document is transferred by post to the University headquarters for storage in the University archival library.

General Guidelines for the Portfolio Review Process
The following guidelines explain the process whereby Bachelor’s students may progress through the alternative process of the College Equivalency Review.

  • Students wishing to enroll for the alternative Bachelor’s Program and pursue the equivalency review must submit a complete Admission Application including the $100 Admission Fee.
  • The University will assign a qualified primary mentor to assist the student in assembling an effective array of portfolio documents addressing the minimum requirements for the Bachelor’s degree.
  • The University will supply the student with standard portfolio presentation forms to be used in providing materials and information for equivalency review relative to professional achievements, non-college training, proficiency examinations, and prior college coursework.
  • The primary mentor will assist the student in itemizing each element of prior learning for college equivalency credit (1-6 credits per element of the review) and will guide the student in gathering required documentation, transcripts from other schools, and written materials needed for review.
  • The student will submit the entire document in binders with a complete Table of Contents.
  • Photocopies of documentation, letters of support, affidavits and student narratives must be provided as background for items listed on the portfolio forms. A complete set of documents and supporting materials must be included.
  • The tuition fee of $2000 must be included, in advance of the portfolio submission, at the time of formal Registration.
  • An additional $500 tuition fee may be required if the initial review falls short of approval and an additional partial review is required.
  • The assigned mentor will review the student’s portfolio package in its entirety (transcripts and portfolio materials) and determine if the core elements and the required total of 120 semester credits are present. The primary mentor will request advisement from the University administration is consulting with appropriate faculty relative to certain areas of the portfolio review.
  • Should the assigned mentor determine that additional materials, documentation (or further academic work) is required in a subject matter area; the student would be expected to respond accordingly prior to the issuance of the course credit and the degree.

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