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Thomas Edison State College

Thomas Edison State College
Established 1972[1]
Type Public
President George A. Pruitt
Undergraduates 19,596
Postgraduates 1,281
Location Trenton, New Jersey, US
Campus Urban
Colors Burgundy and beige
Affiliations New Jersey State Library, University of South Africa, National Institute on the Assessment of Adult Learning in cooperation with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning[2]
Website .edutesc
Trenton, New Jersey, Skyline

Thomas Edison State College is a public institution of higher education located in Trenton, New Jersey. One of New Jersey's 11 public universities and colleges,[3] Thomas Edison State College offers degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level.[4] Thomas Edison State College was approved by the New Jersey Board of Education in December 1971, and established on July 1, 1972. The college was named in honor of Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor who lived in New Jersey for the bulk of his adult life and gained encyclopedic knowledge of many subject areas through self-directed learning.[5]


  • Mission and purpose 1
    • Mission 1.1
    • Purpose 1.2
  • Campus 2
    • Artwork on campus 2.1
  • Academics 3
    • Schools 3.1
    • Degree Programs 3.2
      • Associate Degrees 3.2.1
      • Bachelor's Degrees 3.2.2
      • Graduate Degrees 3.2.3
      • Undergraduate Certificates 3.2.4
      • Graduate Certificates 3.2.5
    • Obtaining credit at Thomas Edison State College 3.3
    • Accreditation 3.4
      • Current Accreditation 3.4.1
  • Reviews and achievements 4
  • Alumni 5
    • Notable alumni 5.1
  • President 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Mission and purpose


Thomas Edison State College provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults.[6]


Thomas Edison State College was established by the state of New Jersey and chartered by the New Jersey Board of Higher Education in 1972. The College was founded for the purpose of providing diverse and alternative methods of achieving a collegiate education of the highest quality for mature adults.[6]


Thomas Edison State College moved into downtown Trenton in September 1979, at a time when other institutions were leaving cities. The 7-year-old college, which had spent three years at the Forrestal Center outside of Princeton, needed room for growth. At the same time, the state was looking for an appropriate tenant for the landmark Kelsey Building located adjacent to New Jersey's State House complex and the State House historic district, while the city sought to preserve the building's historic use as a school. Behind the Kelsey Building and Townhouses is Petty's Run (now being excavated as part of a state-funded project), which flows to the Delaware River. In the early 1730s, Petty's Run powered a plating mill, and by midcentury drove a steel furnace.[7]

Built in 1911 by A. Henry Cooper Kelsey, the Kelsey Building is one of the architectural landmarks of the city.[8] It housed three other schools before serving as the headquarters for Thomas Edison State College. The architecture of the Kelsey Building is modeled after a Florentine palace, the Palazzo Strozzi. The main structure was designed in 1910 by world-renowned architect Cass Gilbert (designer of New York City's Woolworth Building).[9] In 2011, the Kelsey Building celebrated its 100th Anniversary.[10]

The college's campus has expanded over the years and currently includes the Kelsey Building, the Townhouse Complex, the Center for Learning and Technology, and Kuser Mansion, all on West State Street. The Academic Center and Canal Banks Building are located on West Hanover Street.

Thomas Edison State College has been active in restoring several historic buildings of downtown Trenton, preserving the essence of the city's legendary past and stimulating economic development.[11] In 2013, TESC announced the completion of a new nursing simulation lab (funded by Bristol Myers Squibb)[12] and its plans to construct a major new nursing school next door to the Kuser Mansion.[13]

Artwork on campus

TESC houses a number of pieces of art including a N.C. Wyeth painting,[14] the Quantum Ring sculpture,[15] a bronze map of Trenton, and plaques in tribute to Thomas Edison,[16] along with two collections.

Inside the Kelsey Building, a lavishly decorated room was built as a special tribute to Prudence Townsend Kelsey.[8] The Prudence Townsend Kelsey Memorial Room is a permanent exhibit space for the porcelain and art she and her husband, A. Henry Cooper Kelsey, collected on their annual trips to Europe."[17] Paintings, porcelains and bronzes on display in the Memorial Room. The majority of the collections consists of souvenirs and mementos purchased by the Kelsey's on their annual trips abroad. Some of the items housed in the room include an asparagus shaped porcelain vial, a jewel Demitasse cup and saucer by Coalport, charms, vases and several pieces of porcelain and crystal from Austria, England, Germany, France and Ireland.

The Bradshaw Collection by George A. Bradshaw is displayed in the Kelsey Building's Prudence Hall. The college often hosts tours of these collections which are also viewable by appointment. In addition to being displayed at Thomas Edison State College, Bradshaw's etchings are in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Vanderpoel Gallery in Chicago, Newark Museum, the University of Nebraska and many private collections.[18]

The college often hosts tours of these collections and is viewable by appointment.[19]


The college offers associate, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 100 areas of study[20] to its more than 28,000 students who reside in every state in the United States and more than 60 countries around the world. These programs are based in Thomas Edison State College's five schools.


The Heavin School of Arts and Sciences provides an interdisciplinary approach to lifelong learning for adult learners interested in exploring values inherent in the liberal arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as well as rigorous degree programs in the human services.

The School of Applied Science and Technology provides students with innovative degree programs to gain expertise in the fields of the applied sciences that benefit from technical currency, practical knowledge and applied skills.

The School of Business and Management provides relevant, rigorous and career-focused degree programs that prepare leaders to add value to their firms and organizations in the dynamic global marketplace

The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing provides students with innovative degree programs that meet the educational and career needs of licensed registered nurses who want an alternative to campus-based instruction.

The John S. Watson School of Public Service and Continuing Studies offers degree programs and advanced certificate programs that cover domestic and international issues, including public policy studies, nonprofit management, financial management, public policy analysis, regional planning, early childhood education, environmental policy/environmental justice and health policy and management.

Degree Programs

Thomas Edison State College offers degrees at the undergraduate level, including six associate degrees and 10 bachelor's degrees in more than 100 major areas of study. The college also offers nine graduate degrees as well as undergraduate, graduate and noncredit certificates.[21]

Associate Degrees

  • Associate in Applied Science
  • Associate in Arts
  • Associate in Arts in Human Services
  • Associate in Science in Applied Science and Technology
  • Associate in Science in Business Administration
  • Associate in Science in Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN/MSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership

Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Arts in Educational Leadership*
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology and Online Learning
  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Service Leadership
  • Master of Science in Applied Science and Technology
  • Master of Science in Homeland Security
  • Master of Science in Human Resources Management
  • Master of Science in Management
  • Master of Science in Management – Public Service Careers
  • Master of Science in Nursing*

Undergraduate Certificates

Undergraduate certificates generally require 18 credits of study. Gas distribution requires 15 credits.

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Computer-Aided Design
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Information Systems
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Computer Science
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Dental Assistant
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Electronics
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Finance
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Fitness and Wellness Services
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Gas Distribution*
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Global Leadership
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Human Resources Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Labor Studies
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Marketing
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Operations Management
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Polysomnography
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Public Administration

Graduate Certificates

  • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Trials Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Nursing Administration
  • Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education
  • Graduate Certificate in Nursing Informatics
  • Graduate Certificate in Online Learning and Teaching
  • Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate in Professional Communications
  • Graduate Certificate in Project Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Public Service Leadership

Obtaining credit at Thomas Edison State College

  • Online courses are delivered via the Internet. Students in online courses communicate with mentors and fellow students using email and submit assignments to mentors through myEdison®, the College's online course management system.
  • E-Pack® courses are suitable for independent distance learners who want the structure of a semester-based course, but do not require mentor guidance and do not wish to complete written assignments. Students take a series of quizzes to prepare for a final exam. These courses are "pass" or "fail" only and do not result in a traditional letter grade.
  • Examination programs including our TECEP® tests, enable students to demonstrate the college-level knowledge they have gained through work, personal interests or independent study by taking a single examination. Examinations are "pass" or "fail" only and do not result in a traditional letter grade.[22]
  • Portfolio Assessment provides students with the opportunity to work with a mentor to demonstrate that they possess college-level knowledge in a subject and earn credit toward their degree. Portfolio Assessment is a rewarding way to earn college credit because it acknowledges and validates the learning a student has acquired outside of a traditional classroom setting.[23]
  • Guided Study courses are designed for highly independent learners and are structured around weekly readings, DVD/video and/or audio tapes and written assignments. Students work on their own, using texts, study guides and other course materials. Specific lessons and assignments must be completed and the learning is evaluated by proctored midterm and final exams.
  • Licenses and Certifications may be the basis for college credit.[24] Professional training is evaluated by the College's Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning, National College Credit Recommendation Service (CCRS) of the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, or by the American Council on Education's CREDIT program.[25]
    • Health-Related
    • Aviation
    • Business
    • Other Licenses and Certifications
    • Office for Assessment of Professional and Workplace Learning
    • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Transfer credit will be accepted for courses completed at colleges and universities accredited by the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Credit may also be awarded for military training as evaluated by the Office on Educational Credit and Credentials of the American Council on Education (ACE) as well as select military schools that have undergone institutional reviews in order to award additional credits not recommended by ACE.
  • Others get credits by submitting a portfolio of their work or passing standardized exams like the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), administered by the College Board. Many complete online college courses from Thomas Edison State College or "open courseware" sources like the Saylor Foundation. Many bring transcripts from the American Council on Education's credit recommendation program, certifying their nontraditional programs.[26]


Current Accreditation

Thomas Edison State College's accreditations are as follows:[27][28]

  • The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing programs at Thomas Edison State College are approved by the New Jersey Board of Nursing, the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).[29]
  • The Thomas Edison State College bachelor's degree in Nuclear Energy Engineering Technology is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET. ABET is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).[32]
  • Thomas Edison State College's associate degree program and undergraduate certificate in Polysomnography was awarded initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The initial accreditation status is valid from March 16, 2012 until March 31, 2017.[33]

Reviews and achievements

Forbes magazine identified Thomas Edison State College in 1997 as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults[34] and, as an early adopter of online education and administration, the college's computer network was cited in 1994 as "one of the brighter stars of higher learning" by The New York Times.[35] In 2013, the New York Times called Thomas Edison State College the "College that paved the way for adults."[36] The college's Bachelor of Arts degree programs in psychology, social sciences and sociology were ranked among the top "Best Buys" in the country for online accredited degree programs in those fields,[37] while the college's Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree was named one of the top five "Best Buys" in the country for an online accredited business degree, both by[38]

In 2011, Thomas Edison State College was selected by the National University Technology Network (NUTN) to receive its Distance Education Innovation Award for the development of the FlashTrack® course delivery system, which delivers entire courses to students via a flash drive and does not require a constant Internet connection.[39]

In 2013, TESC graduates had among the highest pass rate on the exam for certified public accountants in New Jersey, in the national accounting-boards report[26] and the school was named a top school for military students and veterans.[40] It was also announced by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez that Thomas Edison State College is receiving a $320,000 grant from the Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to create a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for 19 densely populated municipalities in North and Central New Jersey.[41]


The College has nearly 50,000 alumni worldwide.[42]

Notable alumni


Dr. George A. Pruitt, PhD, has served as the president of Thomas Edison State College since 1982. Dr. Pruitt has served in an advisory capacity to three secretaries of education.[55] Dr. Pruitt serves as chairman, board of directors, Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (SEEDCO), New York City;[56] chairman, board of directors, Capital City Partnership, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey;[57] chair, Middle States Commission on Higher Education;[58] vice chair, National Commission on Higher Education Attainment, Washington, D.C.;[59] member, Council for Higher Education Accreditation board of directors;[60] and member, New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (ASCU), Trenton, New Jersey.[61]

He is past chairman and a member of the MIDJersey Chamber of Commerce board of directors, Trenton, New Jersey.[62] Dr. Pruitt has served as a member of the board of directors of Sun National Bank, and as a member of the board of directors of Peoples Bancorp Inc., and its subsidiary Trenton Savings Bank FSB. He has served on the Board of Trustees of Rider University, Lawrenceville, N.J., and the Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio. In a study of presidential leadership funded by the Exxon Education Foundation, Dr. Pruitt was identified as one of the most effective college presidents in the United States. He is the recipient of five honorary degrees in addition to numerous awards, honors, and commendations.[63] He was recently honored by African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey.[64]


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  64. ^ "The AACCNJ invites you to the Second Annual Circle of Achievement Awards Gala" Politicker NJ. Retrieved March 7, 2014.

External links

  • Thomas Edison State College – official website
  • NJ Commission on Higher Education – 2007 Institutional Profiles

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