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

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

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

Beginner’s Guide: 6 Essential Ways to Transfer College Credits

If you could finish your degree in half the time – without sacrificing work and family commitments - would you be interested?  

The secret? Transferring in previously earned college credit, which can help you finish your degree on time, or even earlier than expected.

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

7 Ways to Earn College Credit for What You Already Know

Remember when you were that fresh-faced teen who just graduated from high school with no experience or understanding of the world? 

Today, things are probably much different for you as an adult. Maybe you run your own business, supervise employees or manage corporate finances. Perhaps you’ve dedicated your career to law enforcement or child care. Maybe you are an accomplished musician or have a background in computer programming.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Transferring College Credit, Military and Veterans, Credit by Exam, Going Back to College

Portfolio Assessment: How to Find Your Ideal Match

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What’s the most important aspect of portfolio assessment? Is it earning credit for the college-level knowledge you already possess? Is it the ability to articulate that knowledge?  Or, is it your ability to strengthen your portfolio with convincing evidence of prior learning?

To be honest, every one of those are important. However, the entire portfolio assessment process starts with the identification and selection of a course title and description that truly matches and describes the knowledge you claim to have. If you’re able to do this, writing your portfolio becomes much easier when you discuss what you already know.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio

10 Signs You Have More College-Level Knowledge Than You Think

Are you consulted as an expert in your industry? Are you respected in a specific field? Or is your resume just full of skills, expertise and experiences? If so, you may be able to translate that knowledge into college credit.

All too often, students think that only the courses they take sitting in a classroom will transfer as college credit. However, transfer credit can include professional licenses and certifications, military training and professional training. You can also earn credit through exams and portfolio assessment. Explore your transfer credit options so you do not have to put your life and career on hold by taking a course that, chances are, you already know everything about (and could probably teach!) Your goal is our goal – to finish your college degree – and the more options you have, the quicker you’ll get there.

Here are 10 signs that you probably already have more college-level knowledge than you think. If at any point you stop and say, “hey, that’s me!” – read on to learn how you can get those credits ASAP.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Transferring College Credit, Military and Veterans, Credit by Exam, Going Back to College

Want to Earn PLA Credit for a Communications Course? Read This First

By the time most adults are in their 30’s, they have probably spent a good amount of time actively engaged in interpersonal communications. This could include:

  • Personal interactions with teachers, clergy, family members
  • Negotiating with real estate brokers, auto dealers and service technicians, insurance agents and customer service reps
  • Participating in decision-making with co-workers, colleagues or members of community has made them adept communicators

So, does experiencing these interactions mean that most adult students should be awarded prior learning assessment (PLA) credit for the University’s General Education course, Interpersonal Communications (COM-330)?

Quite honestly, no.

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Taking Courses

What is in a PLA Portfolio?

Documenting everything you know on a subject or topic seems… an overwhelming task, right?

Wrong.

The truth is, prior learning assessment (PLA) is one of the most rewarding ways to earn credits because it acknowledges and validates the knowledge you have already gained in your lifetime. This is knowledge you already have – whether through work, the military, hobbies, or some kind of training – so there is no textbook or studying required. 

Topics: Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio, Taking Courses