How I Graduated College By Only Taking One Class

(Spoiler: That doesn’t mean I didn’t study like mad.)

In December 2015, I’d had enough.

I’m a writer, but most months my writing doesn’t pay the bills. I live in Southeast Asia and, for years, my day job has been teaching English, phonics and reading. When I first came to this part of the world, a college degree wasn’t necessary to get a decent job – what was important was native English-speaking ability, experience, professionalism and training.

Things changed. While many employers were willing to hire me, they couldn’t, because laws had been put into place making it difficult or impossible to obtain a work permit for a prospective employee who did not have a bachelor’s degree.

Rather than work “under the table” (illegally), I decided I was going to finally – somehow – get my degree.

Topics: Taking Courses, Going Back to College

4 Revising Tactics for a Better Paper (And a Better Grade)

If you ask any colleague, friend or classmate to describe the steps of writing a successful paper, they might say that first you plan, then you draft and then you revise. 

But if you watch most people writing a paper, it goes more like this:

They open a document, stare at a blank screen for a few hours, type some things, grab a snack, type some more things, run Spell Check and turn it in. No final read through, no editing and no enhancing. For many people, revising includes Spell Check – and that’s it.
 

Topics: Taking Courses, Going Back to College

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: Transfer Credit, Going Back to College, Advising

7 Essential Steps for Adults Returning to College

I’ve read that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

And when you’re considering returning to college, that first step can feel like an intimidating one. Maybe you picture that step with a giant gapping crevice in the middle, panicked by the multitude of essentials you need to consider before you can even lace up your shoes to begin that journey.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fortunately, these tips will help quell your fears and guide you toward making the right decisions for you, like a degree-pursuit Sherpa. So here’s how you can turn that single step into a running leap and ensure your journey is a successful one.

Topics: Going Back to College

Should I Get an Associate Degree Before a Bachelor’s Degree?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I often hear a version of this theoretical question as it relates to earning a college degree. Of course, prospective applicants to the University ask me if they should earn an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree first, and not my theories on fowl evolution.

When it comes to which college degree to initially start, the most obvious answer is that one takes a shorter amount of time to earn than the other; an associate degree usually requires 60 credits, whereas most bachelor’s degree programs require 120 credits, or four years at traditional institutions. But does that mean you should pursue the shorter degree first? Or, at all?

Topics: Going Back to College

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

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, Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses, Transfer Credit, Credit by Exam, Going Back to College, Mentors, Areas of Study and Degree Programs, Advising, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Applying

Contract Cheating: What It Is and Why You Need to Care

As a college student, there are often times you may feel overwhelmed - whether it's studying for a major exam, researching and editing an engaging discussion forum post or simply balancing school work alongside working a full-time job, raising a family and multiple other responsibilities. It's important to remember that in college - as in life - cheating should never be an option.

In fact, did you know that in New Jersey, submitting a purchased essay, report or other written assignment to fulfill the requirements of a degree or course is punishable by up to a $1,000 penalty?

Topics: Taking Courses, Going Back to College, Motivation

9 Easy Fixes to Your Biggest Time Management Excuses

Whenever the idea of going back to college comes up, do you think to yourself:

  • How am I supposed to balance work and school? 
  • How am I supposed to find the time to study?
  • Will my family be able to handle my new schedule?

The most successful and productive students have mastered one key skill: time management. While their techniques may differ, from accomplishing course-related tasks early on Sunday morning to an hour after the kids are in bed, you can do this if you set up a routine in a structured environment. All you need is careful planning and your best efforts. If you’ve ever made any of these excuses, consider these easy fixes an excuse no more.

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Going Back to College, Time Management, Motivation

10 Ways to Turn Your Work Commute Into a Study Session

 

Every day, you drive 45 minutes to work, and then 45 minutes back. Spending an hour and a half each day - seven and a half hours every week - sitting in traffic. Imagine what you could accomplish in that amount of time. If only you could use those hours where you really need it: for schoolwork!

But what if you could make better use of the time you spend commuting to and from work? What if you could get some studying or course work done at the same time?

Topics: Going Back to College, Work-Life Balance