Thomas Edison State College

Thomas Edison State College is one of New Jersey's 11 senior public institutions of higher education and one of the first schools in the country designed specifically for adults. Competency-based education began at Thomas Edison State College more than four decades ago. Since its founding, the college has emphasized the direct assessment of a student’s learning and has disassociated seat time from academic recognition. The college serves a diverse student population, and that tradition will continue as the college implements competency-based programs.

Thomas Edison State College began to develop two pilot degree programs, one undergraduate (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology) and one at the graduate level (Master of Business Administration) in fall 2013, while simultaneously crafting an effective operations model. These programs were chosen because of the feasibility of their implementation and high student demand. Both are practitioner-oriented programs, grounded in the student’s mastery of discrete skills, abilities, and knowledge bases. For Thomas Edison State College, competencies mark empirical performance and documented execution -- in other words, the demonstration of discrete knowledge that is grounded in application. Future competency-based education programs include Criminal Justice and Information Technology.

The college’s competency-based education program was developed with its unique, nontraditional students in mind and emphasized fostering success through diagnostics, flexibility, and student support.