Understanding Methods of Earning Credit

Thomas Edison State College offers you a host of ways to earn credit toward your degree. There is no other college in the world that provides more options, including transferring credits that you have previously earned. That is because your goal is our goal-finishing your college degree.

Choose any option-or any mix of options-that best suits your circumstances and learning style.

Taking Courses - an Overview

Online and guided study courses are two distance learning methods offered by Thomas Edison State College for earning credit. Distance learning courses allow students to work from any location with an Internet connection. These courses are directed by a mentor who will answer your questions, review your assignments and exam, and give you a final grade for the course. Mentors do not provide lectures.

Online Courses
Online courses require the completion of assignments, examinations and some have final projects. The unique characteristic about online courses is the participation in online discussions with other students. The number of assignments varies from course to course. Online courses include all courses with the OL, NU or NG suffix in the course code. Online courses put you in contact with fellow students and mentors using the Internet, allowing participation in public course discussions as well as private collegial discussions. The Moodle course software is easily navigated and provides students with an organized learning platform. A course syllabus is provided online within each course, and all assignments and discussion contributions are posted electronically as well. Learning is asynchronous, which means that you are not necessarily online at the same time as your classmates. Students registering for online courses are expected to have experience and proficiency using a computer, browsing the Web, and sending and receiving Internet mail.
Guided Study Courses
Guided Study (GS) courses allow independent learning in a structured format with the guidance and feedback of a mentor. Designed to be completed in a 12-week semester, each Guided Study course includes a detailed week-by-week calendar or schedule that will guide you through reading, writing and viewing assignments. Guided Study courses, your understanding of the subject matter presented in your course materials will be assessed through the assignments you submit to your mentor and through examinations or final projects. Most Guided Study courses include a midterm and a final examination or final project. Your mentor will assign a grade for the course based on all assignments and the examinations, according to the formula described in the Course Manual. Zero is assigned for each assignment not completed.
e-Pack®
The College's e-Pack® courses are delivered online for students who are interested in a completely independent mode of study. The courses run on a 12-week semester basis and are well-suited for independent learners who prefer a study schedule that does not require assignments or mentor interaction. e-Pack® courses offer ungraded, chapter quizzes throughout the course, with a final examination that ends the course work. Upon receiving a passing score on the final examination, credit is awarded, but no letter grade is assigned.

Each course is designed around a textbook and a series of short online multiple-choice quizzes. After studying a section of the textbook, the student takes an online quiz and receives an immediate score as well as information telling which questions were answered correctly or incorrectly. The quiz scores do NOT count toward the course grade; they are only used to help the student prepare for the final exam. The course results are based on a comprehensive final exam that must be taken by the end of the semester. In order to earn credit, the student must receive a passing score on the proctored final exam, which tests the subject material covered in all of the quizzes.

Earning Credit for What You Already Know: