1. Can you really go at your own pace? For instance, could a highly-motivated 19 year old with plenty of time and 1 year of transferable credits complete the rest of her degree in 2 full years?
Absolutely. You can do as many credits as you can pass in a term (and you pay per term vs. per credit which is sweet) The trick is they initially enroll you for 12-14 credits, if you finish those you can keep tacking on more until you hit the 4.5 month mark (terms are 6 months) Sometimes they will tack on a class later but only if it is a test based class in which you pass the preassessment. Dh got some last minute credits this term that way.
2. How much do they really transfer? Are they difficult with transfer credits?
They are fairly good about it as far as I can see. My AAS is in photography so there wasn't a ton of credits that were applicable but the gen. ed credits did all transfer.
3. How picky are they with standards and grading? Do they make it nearly impossible to be creative, for instance, with projects because creativity might go beyond meeting some nitpicky standard?
See dh's answer
They are picky as hell with making sure you meet competency. You do have to meet all the criteria of the rubric with a B or better but they give you a lot of freedom in how you get there. There is a lot of writing involved. There are two different ways they do things. The objective assessment classes give you all the resources you need to study for the test which you have to pass in order to get a pass in the class. The performance assessment classes go through taskstream and involve a LOT of writing. It is mostly essay work with some projects (for my life science class I had to make a model of a pair of lungs, take pics and submit)
It is a really good, and really thorough school. I was pissed about Chem II but it was my fault for waiting so late into the term to take the test. You have 3 attempts on the test before you have to pay extra, and in order to take the test you have to pass the preassessment or if you can't you get the joy of going through a guided study plan with the mentor. Each student is assigned a mentor and they call weekly or every two weeks depending. Their job is to keep you motivated and on task. There are also course mentors if you are having trouble in a particular class. Resources include the library, conference calls, course compass, thinkwell, text books, etc. Science classes that require it have lab packs they send you (my chem pack was freaking cool)
2 years in. 2.5 years to go for me (including student teaching which they contract through local schools. I am also still required to take the praxis, cpr, fingerprinting, etc for the teaching)