Thomas Edison State College Blog

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

February 18, 2014

All too often, students think that only the courses taken sitting in a classroom will transfer as college credit. However, credit can be so much more than a list of courses on a transcript. Transfer credit can include professional licenses and certifications, military training and professional training. You can also earn credit through exams and portfolio assessment.

With so many options to earn transfer credit, students should really explore what works for them so they do not have to put their lives and careers on hold by taking courses that, chances are, they already know everything about. 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!” – just follow the links to learn how you can get earn those credits ASAP.

1. You brag about your professional license or certification.

You’ve already studied, taken a test and passed. If you possess a current and valid license and certification in one of more than 60 fields ranging from aviation to healthcare, law enforcement to business, you could earn college credit. The College’s Office for Assessment of Professional Workplace Learning, the American Council on Education (ACE) and the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS)
have already evaluated and approved several licenses and certifications for college credit. You can find them organized by topic, here.


2. You show off what you learned after completing a training program for your profession.

If you participated in any apprenticeships and courses taken at your workplace, be it through a corporation, government agency, professional association or union, or any specialized training program, your professional license and certification may have already been evaluated for college credit. You can create a transcript of your training, with appropriate documentation, to send to the Registrar for review.


3. You’ve become the “in-house expert” at your organization on something.

Are you the person who trains new recruits? Or are you always the go-to person whenever a colleague has a question? It can be anything, from project planning to editing, or budget balancing to problem solving. Obviously, your colleagues already recognize your extensive knowledge, and you can too by documenting and equating what you know with a college-level course through portfolio assessment.


4. You have military experience or attended a military service school.

If you have military experience, depending on the military training documented in the Joint Service Transcripts (JST), transcripts from the Community College of the Air Force and the Coast Guard Institute or, you are a service member who left the military before 1886, you may be able earn additional college credit. Learn how you can submit official transcripts and receive credit, here.


5. You have taught college-level courses, for college credit, at a regionally accredited college or university.

Were you the primary instructor? Or the person responsible for determining and submitting course grades? There are instances where a regionally accredited college or university may employ a faculty instructor who is without a completed baccalaureate degree. There is a certain level of expertise in teaching such courses, and you can earn Credit for Courses Taught.


6. You practically have a second job volunteering in your community.

Do you volunteer beyond the occasional bake sale? Does your community service work read like a resume? Your extensive real-world expertise in a specific subject or content area can equate to what you would learn in a college course. If this sounds like you, then you may be a good candidate for portfolio assessment.


7. You are passionate about a subject and can’t stop reading (or talking) about it.

Whether you are a Civil War buff, or you have read every how-to book on leadership ever published, the knowledge you developed from your independent study could help you pass an exam for credit instead of taking the course. Look through the College’s TECEP® offerings, its own credit-by exam program, and other exam programs, to find out if your passion can earn you college credit by simply taking a final exam.


8. You live for your art (or just really, really enjoy it).

If you are a writer, painter, actor, musician, photographer, performer, artisan, sculptor, dancer - essentially, the creative type - you probably have a portfolio of work that demonstrates your talent or skill. Your achievements, whether they are on CDs or DVDs, printed in playbills, painted on canvas or written as online reviews, are an excellent source that demonstrates your knowledge. Your latest project could be your ticket to earning college credit through portfolio assessment.


9. You are much sought-after master in your hobby field.

Are you a respected hobbyist in a specific field? Have you written published articles about your interests? If your recreational activities and knowledge have placed you in an esteemed position, or your peers are looking to learn from you, you probably already know what would be taught in a college course. The expertise and skills developed through your hobby are perfect for portfolio assessment.


10. You have trouble fitting all your experience, skills, knowledge and work into a 1- or 2-page resume.

Your extensive background is filled with significant responsibilities and accomplishments that may not fit into 1 or 2 pages, but will work great in a multi-page portfolio assessment. Identify your learning and experiences that best equate to a college course by utilizing the College’s PLA Course Description Database to earn credit for what you already know.


College-level knowledge doesn’t only come from a classroom. And neither does credit. Find out more ways you can earn college credit for what you already know, here.
 

Tags: Academic Credit , ACE , CLEP , credit-by-exam , DSST , Going Back to College , PLA , portfolio assessment , prior learning assessment , Prior Learning Assessment and Portfolio , Registrar , Studying at Thomas Edison State College , TECEP , tips and advice

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Stark Notes: Now That You Have Applied, What’s Next?

June 18, 2013

Jennifer L. Stark, Assistant Director of Academic Records and Registration

Jennifer L. Stark, Assistant Director of Academic Records and Registration

By Jennifer L. Stark
Assistant Director of Academic Records and Registration

Once you have submitted your Application for Admission and arranged to have your official transcripts sent to the College or are newly enrolled, you may need some guidance on the next stages. Just getting started can be the toughest part, but the Thomas Edison State College staff are here every step of the way to offer the support and flexibility you need to complete your degree program.

Once you have applied or enrolled, here’s what to expect next:

  • After completing your College Application and submitting your transcripts, an academic evaluation is performed by the College to determine how many credits you need to complete your degree requirements. Many students think that the evaluation process begins from the time their transcripts arrive in the Office of the Registrar, though this is an important step, the evaluation process actually begins after our receipt of your College Application.
  • The College’s benchmark for completion of your Academic Evaluation is within 20 business days. Once your evaluation is completed, you will receive an e-mail from our office directing you to review this document through your Online Student Services (OSS) account.
  • While you are waiting for your Academic Evaluation, we recommend that you apply for employer tuition assistance, relevant scholarships and financial aid, if applicable. You can also arrange your Annual Enrollment Fee payment with the Office of the Bursar or use the time to familiarize yourself with the enrollment requirements of your degree program.
  • Once you receive your Academic Evaluation, review it thoroughly to see where your previous credits have been applied and what remaining credits you will need to take to complete your degree.
  • If you need guidance in selecting courses that will fulfill your remaining credits, contact the Office of Advisement. In order to keep your advisement consultations as productive as possible, it’s best to make this appointment after you have had a chance to review your Academic Evaluation.
  • To make an appointment with our advising staff, visit the College’s homepage at tesc.edu and click on “Current Students” and choose “Advisement” from the dropdown menu. You may also schedule an appointment through myEdison® once you have officially enrolled by clicking the “Help” icon at the top of the page, the “Submit a Ticket” link on the resulting page and choosing “Academic Advisement” from the departmental drop down menu. You and your academic advisor can then begin selecting courses that best suit your program plan.
  • You can view the College’s various course formats by visiting the College’s homepage at tesc.edu, clicking on “Academics” and “Taking Courses.” Keep in mind when reviewing the online course syllabus that some requirements may change once your course is officially underway.

Once you have selected your courses, you can register for them anytime via Online Student Services, by phone: (609) 633-9242 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. EST or via fax: (609) 292-1657. The staff at Thomas Edison State College strives to put our students first. We focus our programs, procedures and academic mission on the needs of self-directed adults like you and we are here to provide as much assistance as you need to successfully attain your educational goals.

 

Tags: Academic Credit , Academic Program Review , admissions , application deadline , Applying , assessments , prior learning assessment , Registrar , Registration , Thomas Edison State College

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Many students think that the evaluation process begins from the time their transcripts arrive in the Office of the Registrar, though this is an important step, the evaluation process actually begins after our receipt of your College Application. and i think like this too , but i understand after reading this blog.
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