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About Thomas Edison State University

Our History

Thomas Edison State University was founded in 1972 by the New Jersey State Board of Higher Education for the purpose of providing diverse and alternative methods of achieving a collegiate education of the highest quality for adult learners. Identified by Forbes magazine as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults, Thomas Edison State University is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The New York Times has stated that Thomas Edison State University is “the college that paved the way for flexibility.” Learn more about the University.

Our Students

Thomas Edison State University is composed of a worldwide community of learners. Our student body represents every state in the U.S. and approximately 60 countries throughout the world. Unlike “traditional” colleges and universities, which are designed to meet the needs of college students who are between 18 and 21 years old, Thomas Edison State University is designed exclusively to serve the needs of adults. The University’s academic programs enable students to plan degree paths and to select learning options that best meet their needs. Course scheduling at Thomas Edison State University enables students to take courses at times convenient to them.

Current Students:

  • Current enrollment: Approximately 17,500
  • Average student age: 36
  • 42 percent of students are New Jersey residents
  • 56 percent of students are out-of-state residents (including all 50 states and students from or studying in more than 60 countries)
  • 55 percent of students are male
  • 45 percent of students are female

Alumni Association

All graduates of Thomas Edison State University are automatically members of the Alumni Association – a worldwide organization of more than 50,000 members.

The Alumni Association supports and connects alumni in ways that provide advocacy and support for the University and its mission, while enhancing the personal and professional development of alumni. The Office of Alumni Affairs welcomes inquiries from prospective and current members of this vibrant organization. The University seeks the collective support of alumni in the initiatives of the University that are structured around service, support and advocacy.

Annual giving is one vital way graduates can support the University and help keep tuition affordable; expand academic programs; and improve the University experience through advanced technology and services. For more information, visit www.tesufoundation.org.

The Alumni Association also encourages its members to take part in as many activities as possible, including the Alumni Ambassador Program, advocacy and networking opportunities. Invention magazine, published quarterly, is designed to provide profiles of alumni in their daily pursuits of life and living.

The Alumni section of the University website provides current news, University Store, online giving information and the opportunity to network with students and alumni. Current news items for publications or updated information for alumni contact information can be submitted to:

Office of Alumni Affairs
Thomas Edison State University
111 W. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
Phone: (609) 633-8592
Fax: (609) 943-3023
alumni@tesu.edu

Awards and Honor Societies

Thomas Edison State University awards academic honors at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Eligibility for all awards and honor societies is determined at graduation automatically. Students do not have to apply to be considered. There are academic awards and honors that are awarded by the University as well as those for which a graduate is determined to be eligible to apply if they wish to apply for membership.  

The following awards and honor society are awarded directly by Thomas Edison State University and the award/honor society is recorded on the permanent Thomas Edison State University academic record/transcript. Graduates do not need to apply for the award or for honor society membership. Recipients are permitted to wear the academic award and honors cords/pins provided by the University at Commencement.

Dr. Arnold Fletcher was the University's first vice president and played an instrumental role developing and leading the institution's academic enterprise. Under his leadership, Thomas Edison developed its first degree programs, appointed its first Academic Council, created its first exam programs and courses and became a pioneer in prior learning assessment. The Arnold Fletcher Award recognizes Thomas Edison State University bachelor’s degree graduates for exceptional achievement in online learning. Award recipients are selected from each graduating class. The following criteria must be met to earn the award:

  • 51% of the credits earned at Thomas Edison State University toward the degree must be earned through Thomas Edison State University's online courses with a minimum of 10 courses necessary to be considered for the award.
  • An overall Thomas Edison State University grade point average of 3.5 or higher

This award is in honor and memory of Regina Sanchez-Porter, PhD, RN, and is given annually to a BSN graduate of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing. Dr. Sanchez-Porter was a member of the Thomas Edison State University Nursing Committee (1986-1991), as well as a clinical examiner for Health Assessment & Teaching Performance Examination, a representative for Thomas Edison State University’s BSN Program, on the Regents College Nursing Faculty Subcommittee for Health Assessment and Teaching Performance Examinations, and an associate professor at Trenton State College's School of Nursing. As a person, she was free-spirited, loveable, kind, competent and always willing to volunteer her services to help others. As an educator and clinical examiner, she was warm and sensitive to individual needs and eager to share her expertise with others. As a practitioner, she was community-oriented and committed to the healthcare needs of culturally diverse populations. As a professional, she was committed to lifelong learning and was always updating her knowledge and skills.

The award is an honorary recognition by the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing to a BSN graduate who has given outstanding service to the profession, and community, combined with high academic achievement. An individual plaque will be presented and the recipient’s name will be placed on a perpetual plaque in the School. A potential award recipient is nominated by Thomas Edison State University mentors, administrators, staff, self and peers. Nominations are due to the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing by August 16th of each year.

For more information, visit Regina Sanchez-Porter Award

Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society was established in 1945 as a means of recognizing academic excellence for nontraditional students. Thomas Edison State University was accepted into membership by the society in 1996, with the establishment of the Lambda Tau Chapter.

For induction into this society, Thomas Edison State University bachelors degree graduates must meet the following requirements:

  • have an overall Thomas Edison State University grade point average of 3.2 or higher
  • have earned from Thomas Edison State University at least 24 graded credits of which 12 credits are in liberal arts/sciences
  • members will be selected only from the top 20 percent of the group of qualified graduates.

Eligibility for membership in the following Honor Societies is determined by the University. The graduate is notified of eligibility who chooses to join the honor society if he/she wishes to do so. Membership in these honor societies is not automatic, nor is it recorded on the permanent Thomas Edison State University academic record/transcript. Only graduates who have chosen to be members are permitted to wear the academic honors cords/pins provided by the University or honor society at Commencement.

Sigma Theta Tau International was founded in 1922. Its vision is to create a global community of nurses who lead in using scholarship, knowledge, service and learning to improve the health of the world's people. The purpose of the society is to recognize superior academic achievement and the development of leadership qualities; to foster high professional standards; to encourage creative work; and to strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of the nursing profession.

For more information, visit Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

Kappa Delta Pi is an honor society recognizing the academic achievements and professional accomplishments of educators worldwide. Kappa Delta Pi is one of the largest and most prestigious educational honor societies in the world. With more than 500 active chapters, Kappa Delta Pi is dedicated to the ideals of Fidelity to Humanity, Service, Science, and Toil. As part of its goal, KDP recognizes scholarship and enhances the professional development of its members. Thomas Edison State University’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi was established in 2010.

For induction into the Alpha Zeta Epsilon chapter of Kappa Delta Pi at Thomas Edison State University, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Matriculation in either the Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership or Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Program
  • Have an overall Thomas Edison State University grade point average of 3.75
  • Have completed at least 24 semester hours of graduate course work in Educational Leadership at Thomas Edison State University.

The John S. Watson School of Public Service and Continuing Studies has been approved as a chapter of the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society. Established in 2010, the Order of the Sword & Shield Honor Society is the first academic and professional honor society dedicated exclusively to the disciplines of homeland security, intelligence, emergency management and protective security. Qualifying students in the School’s Bachelor of Science in Homeland Security and Emergency Management and Master of Science in Homeland Security programs are invited to apply for membership.

Students applying to the Sword & Shield Honor Society must meet the following requirements:

  • Completed 50 percent of the total number of credits required for degree completion in an undergraduate or graduate-level homeland security degree program.
  • Students enrolled in the bachelor’s program must have a cumulative (GPA) of 3.25 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for all credits currently applied to their degree program including transfer credits; or, be in the top 20th percentile of their class.
  • Students enrolled in the master’s program must have a cumulative (GPA) of 3.50 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) for all credits currently applied to their degree program including transfer credits; or, be in the top 20th percentile of their class.

The Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society recognizes scholarship and achievement among students of business, management and administration. The creation of Sigma Beta Delta follows a 200-year tradition of honoring scholastic achievement in higher education. The Thomas Edison State University Chapter was established in 2009.

Students invited into this society at Thomas Edison State University must meet the following requirements:

  • Students must be candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership or Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies.
  • Students must have completed at least 24 letter-graded credits with Thomas Edison State University.
  • Students must have a Thomas Edison State University grade point average of at least 3.5 and rank in the upper 20% of eligible candidates.

Thomas Edison State University’s honor society chapter candidate selection is yearly based on the University’s Commencement graduation cycle (December, March, June and September). If you meet the eligibility criteria for chapter membership the School of Business and Management will notify you.

The Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business recognizes scholarship and achievement among students in business programs. The creation of Delta Mu Delta follows the tradition of honoring business programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP). The Thomas Edison State University Omicron Nu Chapter was established in 2018.

Students invited into the Thomas Edison State University Omicron Nu Chapter must meet the following requirements:

  • Students must be candidates for the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Human Resources Management or Master of Science in Management.
  • Students must have completed at least 24 letter-graded credits with Thomas Edison State University.
  • Bachelor degree students must have a Thomas Edison State University grade point average of at least 3.5 and rank in the upper 20% of eligible candidates.
  • Master degree students must have a Thomas Edison State University grade point average of at least 3.85 and rank in the upper 20% of eligible candidates.

Thomas Edison State University’s honor society chapter candidate selection is yearly based on the University’s Commencement graduation cycles (December, March, June and September). If you meet the eligibility criteria for chapter membership the School of Business and Management will notify you.

Thomas Edison State University does not award Latin honors or calculate class rank.

Colleen Schenk, BA

"I was able to complete my degree and fulfill a dream that I had, while being able to work and care for my family."

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