What is College Start?
- College Start programs are online pathways to college for learners with little to no higher education experience.
- Learners have nine to 10 months to complete one mini-introductory course and four college-level courses worth up to 13 credits (not guaranteed and varies depending on the academic provider).
- These programs require on average two to five hours per week of effort.
- There are nine College Start programs to choose from that allow learners to explore a degree path of interest.
Our College Start providers offer self-paced, pass/fail online courses that give learners the flexibility to earn college credit while balancing work, life, and school. Learn anytime and anywhere on your computer, tablet, or smartphone plus no books are required!
Benefits of College Start
Gain credit, get online experience, and work at your own pace!
- Students who don’t have much experience with online learning can get started in a lower-risk environment.
Note: College Start credits don't count towards a grade point average (GPA) and failed courses don't appear on a transcript.
- Credits earned in College Start may transfer to the following Guild partner universities:
- Bellevue University
- Purdue University Global
- Southern New Hampshire University
- University of Massachusetts Global
- Wilmington University
- Excelsior University
- Johnson & Wales University
- There are no books associated with College Start and all materials are available on the learning platform.
- You aren’t responsible for paying back anything if you don’t pass a course or the program — speak with your Guild Student Success Coach about your options and next steps.
Who’s a good fit?
- Someone who wants to try a flexible, self-paced option before enrolling in a more structured degree program
- Someone who feels comfortable managing their own time and creating their own deadlines within a nine to 10 month time-frame
- Someone who wants to earn a degree through Guild, but hasn't taken college courses before and wants to earn credits/build confidence in a lower risk environment
If you have little to no prior college experience but are seeking an experience that more closely resembles that of a degree program (i.e., more weekly structure, individualized guidance from instructors, etc.), chat with one of our Education Coaches to learn more about some other options that may meet your needs. Depending on your goals, a Career Launch certificate or an open-access university may be right for you — contact a coach for more information.
Courses offered in College Start programs
Courses offered are 100-level General Education classes. Learners can choose between nine different program bundles to help test the waters in a potential degree path. Available College Start programs are listed below, and you can read this article on College Program pathways to learn more!
College Start programs available
College Start: Business
College Start: Health Administration
College Start: IT & Business
College Start: Human Resources
College Start: Healthcare Practice
College Start: Information Technology (IT)
College Start: Hospitality
College Start: Health Science
Do I have a professor?
College Start is a self-directed program — you won’t have a professor guiding you through coursework. You will have access to tutors and academic support if you encounter challenges with your courses.
Can I add more courses to my program?
The College Start program is a four-course pathway program. Students aren’t allowed to add additional courses. After you complete these courses, we recommend that you take a look at associate’s and bachelor’s degrees at https://guildeducation.com/ to continue your education.
Can I use my phone to do coursework?
The learning platform is mobile friendly. Exams may require you to use your computer - check with your learning provider to confirm.
Do I have any group work or discussion boards?
No, all the work is done individually. If you’d like to connect with fellow Guild students, join our Facebook group!
Do I have to be online at a certain time each day/week for the courses?
Each of the courses are self-paced, meaning there are no deadlines other than the program access end date, nine to 10 months after your initial enrollment. All course materials are available to you as soon as you open the course, and it is up to you to move through it at your own pace.
What happens if I don't finish a course within the program access window?
You won’t earn credits for any incomplete courses. Any courses you do complete within the nine to 10 month window can be eligible for credit transfer towards your education goals. You’ll still be able to advance to your next educational step and submit any credits you have earned along the way to be evaluated by the university.
What do I do if I notice errors in the content or have feedback for a course?
How do I apply?
There are monthly start dates for all College Start programs. Visit www.guildeducation.com and create an account to view your employer benefits and to start your application!
Can I change my College Start program after I have applied?
If you haven’t yet enrolled in your program, you may submit a new College Start application and confirm with Guild which program you want to pursue. If you have already started the program, you may not switch.
How can I obtain proof of enrollment for my boss, landlord, military purposes, etc.?
You can send the request and any form to your Guild Student Success Coach — they’ll share it with the Learning Provider to have it completed. This can take between three to five business days.
Note: Guild can’t verify enrollment until after you complete the introductory mini-course course and fully enter the program.
What happens if I no longer work for my employer?
Once you've fully entered the College Start program by passing the introductory mini-course with a 70% or better, you can continue the College Start program and still work with your Guild Coach even if you’re no longer with your employer. However, after the College Start program, you won’t be able to apply to any future programs through the Guild catalog/your employer's benefit if you’re no longer eligible.