Thomas Edison State University

Recent Posts

How to Create a Degree Plan Strategy in 3 Steps

Have you ever played Tetris?

In this classic video game, geometric shapes comprised of four square blocks fall at random while each piece must fit into a corresponding open slot to eliminate a row.

Creating a degree plan works in a similar way. 

Instead of falling shapes, you will use transfer credits, exams and other prior learning assessment (PLA) methods to fill as many slots as possible to complete the requirements of your degree.

Then, you will take online courses to fill in the rest of the slots.

This is what’s known as a degree plan strategy. At traditional schools, students typically only identify the courses that they hope to register for in the next semester. As an adult learner with credits already earned and knowledge you can leverage for credit, you can plan more long range than the upcoming term and identify any number of methods, opportunities or courses to take in the future for earning those remaining credits.

Topics: Transferring College Credit, Going Back to College, Advising

5 Alternative College Credit Options That Can Fast-Track Your Degree

Years ago, the only way you could earn college credit was by sitting in a classroom for a set number of hours each week, carting around a stack of heavy textbooks as you shuffled from room to room, building to building or, even worse, campus to campus. In the cold. In the rain. No excuses.

Since then, a lot has changed.

Instead, your textbooks can be carried on a sleek and slim tablet while the hours you spend “in class” are entirely at your discretion. And your learning can happen anywhere, whether your classroom today is your dining room or some exotic locale.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Taking Courses, Credit by Exam

Does Postsecondary Education Pay Off? [Infographic]

Stocks can go up and down. The real estate bubble can burst. Companies can file for bankruptcy. However, there’s only one investment that historically yields greater earning potential year after year.

A college degree.

Not only do degrees matter to employers looking for skilled workers, the national data shows they impact workers in all aspects of their lives, both personally and professionally, while contributing to a stronger, more robust economy. And as workplace demands and expectations shift over time, those without advanced degrees may get left behind.

Topics: Going Back to College

7 Ways to Earn College Credit That Don’t Include Traditional Online Courses

Did you know that in just last year alone, TESU students received 273,753 credits toward their degrees that didn’t involve a single traditional online course?

That’s more than enough credits for a lifetime, for 1,000 lifetimes. Suddenly, fulfilling 120 credits for a bachelor's degree seems doable.

The truth is, almost 85 percent of the TESU student body is 25 or older, and so it makes sense that you may have acquired college-level knowledge outside of the classroom that might be worth college credit.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Transferring College Credit, Credit by Exam

17 Common Questions Everyone Has About PLA, Answered

Thousands of students have earned tens of thousands of college credits through prior learning assessment (PLA) by demonstrating college-level knowledge acquired outside the classroom.

So, why not you? As an adult, you may likely have knowledge of one or more subjects for which you wish you could earn college credit toward your degree.

You just have no idea how to do it.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio

3 Job Options for RNs Tired of Working the Floor

In a 2011 survey by the American Nurses Association, three out of four nurses cited stress and overwork as a top health concern.

Any nurse knows there is risk of burning out, but how do you know when you’re ready to try something besides direct patient care?

Whenever you reach the point of exhaustion, you remember that you became a nurse because you wanted to help people. You don’t see yourself doing anything else. So if you’re still passionate about nursing, what can you do? Is it possible to remain in the nursing field but still get some sort of reprieve from the fatigue and stress?

Topics: Career, Nursing

Where to Find Free Nursing Research Articles and Resources

If you could pick a short phrase that describes the field of nursing, what would it be?

A true calling? Lifelong learning? Or, what did you get yourself into?

Whatever phrase you thought of, chances are ‘guessing game’ is definitely not one of them.

As a professional nurse, you read, interpret and evaluate information every day before you make a single decision or take any step. Whether you do that in a split second or spend hours in collaboration with other health team members, you know it’s because quality patient care is only as good as the existing evidence it comes from. Your role, then, is to identify the best evidence available and use your critical-thinking skills and clinical judgment to direct your practice. Simply put, the more reliable the information you get, the better the patient’s outcome.

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses, Nursing

7 Smart Strategies to Actually Get Homework Done During the Holidays

While most people consider the holidays “the most wonderful time of the year,” for some students, not so much. With families to care for, holiday parties to prepare for and gift shopping to finish in between, finding time to complete schoolwork may seem down right impossible. For students, the mounting stress of the holidays can result in late assignments, or, even worse, assignments never submitted at all.

Topics: Taking Courses, Study Tips

How to 'Demilitarize:' 5 Tips for Service Members and Veterans Transitioning to Civilian Life

It may not be now, or in the near future, but that day will come. One day, you will leave the military. And when you separate, you’ll take the invaluable training, experience and confidence that the military instilled in you.

But will it be enough to transition into a competitive civilian job market?

Topics: Military and Veterans

The Ultimate TESU Glossary: 97 Common Terms Explained for Students

Have you ever been confused by a term used at the University? Whether you are finishing your degree or coming to college for the first time, it may feel overwhelming when you don’t understand what is being communicated. After all, terms that may mean one thing at your first college may mean something different at Thomas Edison. 

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses, Transferring College Credit, Credit by Exam, Going Back to College, Mentors, Areas of Study and Degree Programs, Advising, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Applying