Here are some of the questions we've anticipated you may ask about the three-year-to-completion program, and how we would answer them.
If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org to ask us.
Is it expected that all TMC students will be completing their undergraduate degrees in 3 years?
No. We expect that the majority of students will still plan to take four years to complete their bachelor's degree work at TMC. However, this provides a very cost effective option for those who are clear on their career goals, and would like to more toward their degree as quickly and cost efficiently as possible.
What if I decide I need to change my major when I am part way through?
There is no problem with you being able to change your major after you begin your program at TMC. You need to constantly be considering where God is leading you vocationally, and it always helps to be in an area of study that you can get excited about. HOWEVER, depending on when you change majors, it could affect your ability to complete your program in your original goal of three years. Your academic advisor will be the best person to help you evaluate these options.
Can I use advanced placement (AP) credit in this approach to finishing my degree at TMC?
Absolutely. Both AP credit and concurrent high school/college credit courses can be transferred in to TMC to help meet graduation requirements. Depending on how they match up with the TMC general education requirements, they can help lighten your summer TMC Online course loads, and/or free up your fall spring semester schedules to take fewer courses or other elective courses that you are interested in.
Can't I accomplish the same goal by taking most of my General Education (GE) requirements at a community college?
Yes and no. If all you want is to stockpile units and "get through" your GE coursework, then you may be able to take those courses at a local community college depending on how impacted their enrollment is. But by taking most of your GE courses at a secular institution, you'll be missing out on what we consider to be the greatest strength of a TMC education.
At Master's, the education you receive is built on a foundation of biblical truth. It flows out of a biblical worldview and is taught by professors who love the Lord and who have made it their life's work to help Christian young men and women like you glorify Christ with their lives.
Can you pursue a portion of your education somewhere else? Yes. But what will you be learning? More important, what will you miss?
Why don't I just stay at home, finish my AA at a community college and then start at TMC as a junior?
The response to FAQ #4 above partially addresses this question. In addition to being taught from a completely secular worldview, there are two other factors you should consider.
First, at least in California, the current economy has resulted in community colleges (and four-year public California universities) seriously cutting their course offerings. It may take you five or more semesters to get enough units to earn your AA degree.
Second, if you attempt to complete all of your GE courses before you begin at TMC, you will need to wait until your arrive at TMC to begin your major/emphasis coursework. It is likely to take you at least two additional two years (4 semesters) if not more to complete all of the major requirements and earn the necessary credits to meet the 122 unit minimum for graduation.
Starting at TMC as a freshman and taking TMC Online courses during the summers allows you to integrate your GE and major coursework across all three years of your program.
Does it make any difference whether I begin at a community college or at TMC as far as my financial aid is concerned?
If you are a California resident, and would potentially qualify for Cal grant award, you should speak to the Financial Aid office at The Master's College. Depending on your family's income and asset levels, and whether you qualify for Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B, going to a community college could make you ineligible for Cal grant when you transfer to a private institution.
Why should I take TMC Online instead of community college courses to fulfill General Education requirements?
This is partially answered in FAQs #4 and #5, but to briefly restate the key points:
Worldview: TMC Online courses are taught from a solidly biblical worldview that is integrated into every course and every subject area. Community college courses are typically taught from a secular humanist worldview by non-believing faculty.
Availability: With recent course schedule cuts in the California community colleges, you may have a hard time getting into the right classes to meet TMC GE requirements.
Scheduling Convenience: TMC Online courses are designed to allow you to study during the time windows you have available on a week to week basis. Yes, there are weekly deadlines, but you won't have to build your work schedule around a 3:30 TTH class like you might at the community college.
Is financial aid available for TMC Online courses?
Technically speaking, no. But in a way, you might say the financial aid is built into the program. We already offer TMC Online courses at a discounted tuition that meets or beats what is available at almost any other accredited, private Christian college around.
Can TMC Online courses be counted toward high school graduation?
That depends on the policy at the school you attend. Many high schools are becoming more supportive of their students taking courses that can be counted toward concurrent high-school and college credit. You should talk with the high school that you are attending to obtain more information. The Master's College would be glad to supply support information about course coverage and rigor to assist you in obtaining concurrent credit.
How hard is it to take TMC Online courses and work a summer job at the same time?
That depends on your ability, focus, and the demands of the job. However, TMC Online courses are designed to fit neatly around the time windows available to you on a week-to-week basis. For a typical three-unit TMC Online course, you should plan on spending approximately 12-15 hours per week in viewing lectures, studying and completing assignments.
Is there a difference between the three-year and the four-year degree program?
The unit and course requirements for each major/emphasis program are identical whether you take three or four years to complete the program. The only difference is the pace at which you are taking courses each semester, and how much you make use of TMC Online to accelerate your schedule.
What if I can't keep up the pace required to complete the program in three years?
From an academic perspective there are absolutely no negative consequences for slowing down to the normal completion rate for most college students. Of course there are financial implications with additional semesters of coursework.
Suppose it takes you seven semesters to finish instead of six. You are still a semester ahead of the normal four-year completion schedule.
Even taking eight or even nine semesters will probably allow you to graduate more quickly than you would be able to at a California public university.
How would this affect my ability to take a semester at IBEX or at one of the CCCU cooperative programs?
It depends on the major program and on the workload level you feel comfortable handling.
For some of the majors, all of the IBEX and/or CCCU cooperative program courses fit right into the major requirements. In those cases, it wouldn't slow you down at all toward a three-years-to-completion program.
In other cases, some but not all of the classes can be counted toward your major. In those situations, you may need to plan on a seventh semester to complete your B.A. degree.
How do I apply for the 3-yr. to Bachelors degree program?
You complete the same application forms and steps for either the 3 or 4 year to completion programs. There are no separate forms to complete.
You will want to let the enrollment counselor and your academic advisor know as early as possible that you are interested in the 3 year to completion option so they can give you help as soon as possible in selecting courses that will keep you on track for an early completion.
Do I have to fill out the TMC Online application AND the traditional application?
Once you complete the traditional program application process and are admitted, you are automatically eligible to enroll in TMC Online courses.
However, if you begin taking TMC Online courses just by applying to that program, you will need to apply to the traditional undergraduate program before you begin your actual on-campus semester work.
How will I pay for TMC Online courses?
If you enroll in TMC Online courses one at a time, you will need to pay the tuition for the class at the time you register.
You might want to consider purchasing a block of TMC Online course units that you can use over a three year period. Each block purchase option includes a discounted per unit tuition rate, and the larger block purchases can be financed over time.
Can I start an online course at any time or are there specific times?
There are six 8-week TMC Online terms offered through each academic year (Fall, Winter, Spring, & Summer). Registration occurs in the 2-4 weeks preceding the beginning of each term. You should check the TMC Online pages of the College website for more details.
Who do I contact for enrollment support/academic support/TMC Online support?
Here are the key offices and e-mail addresses that you should use to get additional information about admission and enrollment in our traditional and TMC Online undergraduate programs:
Office Contact Person Phone (ext) E-mail Address Enrollment Hollie Gorsh 800-568-6248 admissions@ masters.edu TMC Online Caitlin da Silva 661-362-2690 email@example.com Academic Records Don Gilmore 661-259-3540 x 3689 dgilmore@ masters.edu Financial Aid Gary Edwards 661-259-3540 x 3394 finaid@ masters.edu