Taking Courses

At Thomas Edison State College, we deliver courses directly to our students, wherever they live, work or are deployed. Students are not required to visit our campus in Trenton, N.J. Whether they are located on a military base in the United States, Europe or the Middle East, or stationed at sea, courses are delivered to our students.

Course formats include:

Online courses
If you like interacting with your classmates and mentor, online courses may be a good option. Online courses are 12 weeks long and include a detailed schedule that guides students through course assignments, online class discussions and exams. Via the Internet, students participate in group discussions and receive guidance from a mentor. Students and their mentors also use e-mail to send and respond to course assignments.
Blended courses
Blended courses enable students to complete online courses in nine weeks and provide the added benefit of having four sessions in a classroom setting where students can interact with mentors and each other, face-to-face. With non-blended courses, students are required to interact with mentors and other students in an online setting but rarely get the opportunity to meet with mentors and other classmates in person. Currently, blended courses are available at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. For more information about the Thomas Edison State College/McGuire Air Force Base Blended Program, contact the Military & Veteran Education Support Center.
e-Pack® courses
If you like the structure of a 12-week course, but prefer to work independently with no interaction with other learners, e-Pack® courses may be a good option. courses allow students to prepare for a comprehensive final examination by taking a series of chapter quizzes delivered online. This credit-earning option is perfect for self-motivated students who want the freedom of self-paced learning within a semester time frame but would benefit from online chapter quizzes to gauge their readiness for the comprehensive examination. The quizzes break up the subject matter into manageable units and do not count toward the final grade. They also provide simple, easy-to-understand, real-time feedback on each question to which the student has responded. By using the feedback, the student will know which topics need further review. Each course includes a textbook, access to the online chapter quizzes, an opportunity to earn credit on the comprehensive examination and Web site support.
Guided Study courses
These 12-week independent study courses enable students to work on their own to complete course assignments to prepare for examinations. Like our e-Pack® courses, students taking Guided Study courses have no interaction with classmates. Students work on their own with course textbooks and other materials and complete specific lesson assignments, and proctored midterm and final examinations. Students are assigned mentors who are available to answer course-related questions and who grade assignments and examinations.
Prior Learning Assessment courses
This course-based process enables students to demonstrate that they possess college-level knowledge of a subject that has been acquired outside of a traditional classroom setting, such as at work or through volunteer service. Prior Learning Assessment is not credit for “life experience.” Through the process, students document and verify their knowledge by comparing it to specific course descriptions, and submitting evidence and written justification in narrative form. The portfolios are assessed by mentors who are content matter experts in that particular subject area.
Examination Programs
Thomas Edison State College can accept credits earn by successfully passing examination programs, such as the College-level Examination Program (CLEP) and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES). Thomas Edison State College also offers more than 50 examinations under the Thomas Edison State College Examination Program (TECEP®). With these programs, students typically review specific subject matter on their own and then take a proctored examination at their Military Education Service Office. Students who pass the examination are awarded credit based on passing scores recommended by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the College.

Course Engagement
Students attending Thomas Edison State College are expected to participate and fully engage in all academically related activities.  Examples of these activities include making submissions to online discussion boards, communicating within the class lounge forum, dialoguing with mentors within the private mentor forum, submitting assignments, and completing exams and quizzes when due. Students must review course calendars for the timing and types of submissions expected. Note: Merely logging into or viewing your courses does not constitute academic engagement.

The College will periodically review student progress and engagement during each term. Failure to sign into your courses and complete your scheduled course work on time may result in an adjustment or termination of federally sponsored financial support; such as Military Tuition Assistance, Veterans Education Benefits or other Title IV Financial Aid (grants and loans). Such decertification or adjustments may lead to cancelation of benefits or recoupment by the sponsoring agency for any monies paid to students (or to the College on student’s behalf) for enrolling in these courses; including tuition, fees, housing allowance and book stipends. Such cancelation or recoupment does not negate the student’s financial obligation to the College; they may be held responsible for all charges incurred for the courses in which they are enrolled.