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

The DO's and DON'Ts of Emailing Your Mentor About Your Online Courses

Writing effective and professional emails to your mentors is an important part of your education. When studying in an online learning environment, it’s likely that most - if not all - of your interactions with your professor will be through email, further demonstrating the importance of maintaining a respectful and professional tone in your communications.

Aside from tone, it’s important to ensure your emails to your mentors are clear, or that they accurately convey what you’re trying to say. Your mentors are likely grading papers regularly - they won’t want to read an unnecessarily long email. But on the other hand, details matter - especially if you know that emails may be the primary form of communication between you and your mentor.

Topics: Taking Courses, Mentors

What Makes a Good Exam Essay? What Mentors Wish Students Knew

writing an essay on a pad of paper

Most of us are not mind readers. So when it comes to writing essays on a midterm or final exam, it can be hard to know what the grader is looking for. Here are some insider tips to help you know what your mentors want to see when they are grading your work. Next time you are writing an essay for a course exam, use these tips to compose an organized, well-written answer. 

Topics: Taking Courses, Mentors

What Is a Rubric and How Can I Use It to Improve My Grades?


You just began reviewing the syllabus for a new online course. It didn’t take you long to realize there are several graded written assignments along with a final paper scheduled in the course. You are motivated to work hard and submit quality work, but you are uncertain about one major thing—what exactly is the mentor looking for, especially in terms of a particular written assignment?

Topics: Taking Courses, Study Tips, Mentors

5 Resources To Help Students Find Feedback On Mentors


Selecting which courses to take may have been the easy part. Now comes an even harder decision - which mentor do you choose to take the class with? Which one will be the most helpful? Clear? But how are you supposed to figure all that out without interviewing every single one?

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Mentors

What You Can Learn From Your Mentor Outside the Discussion Board

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

More than 250 years later, Benjamin Franklin’s words still ring true when it comes to the academic relationship between student and mentor. It’s a common misconception that a mentor and teacher are one in the same. While both work with students and grade assignments, teachers focus on instruction and presenting information. A mentor’s role is to facilitate your learning and assist you on the path to earning your degree.

But how might they do that? And why? Glad you asked!

Topics: Mentors, Student Success

7 Myths About Online Classes Mentors Don’t Want You to Believe

Even though students have done their research and decided that online classes are the best option for them, they still have tons of misconceptions about course expectations and requirements. We tracked down the most common myths students believe, and asked our mentors (yes, those mentors, the ones assessing your grades) to officially bust them, once and for all. Let the debunking begin…

Topics: Taking Courses, Mentors

Can Your Real World Experience Earn You College Credit?


Prior learning assessment (PLA) is designed to help students gain college credit for knowledge gained through real life experiences. As a mentor for the University, when I consider that, I can't help but gravitate towards the many students that have had success through the music PLA credits they've earned while serving our country in the armed forces in locations throughout the world.

Many adult learners are actively engaged overseas and are at the same time demonstrating for me their music backgrounds and capabilities. I wish that more members of the armed forces bands knew that it is possible to gain college credit for what they already know!

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment, Military and Veterans, Mentors

Why I Enjoy Connecting with Students in an Online Environment

woman typing on computer in live chat


I have been a mentor at Thomas Edison State University for more than 25 years for several reasons. First and foremost, I enjoy the adult, self-motivated students who populate my online courses. They are a pleasure to work with and their diverse backgrounds lead to fascinating assignments and discussion postings.

Connecting with students in an online environment is about creating a positive impact on the student and on the student’s classmates. Mentoring courses on the sociology of the family, as I do, my students have been in all stages of dating, marriage, divorce, remarriage, etc., and their experiences enrich the classes that I mentor. I have learned a lot from my students and, hopefully, they have learned a lot of useful material from me, too!

Topics: Mentors, Student Success