Current Funding Initiatives
The Thomas Edison State University Foundation awarded $100,000 to acquire technology needed to develop and deliver new competency-based education programs.
Competency-Based Education (CBE) is a rapidly growing movement that allows students to move ahead based on what they can demonstrate that they know and have mastered rather than just on the time they spend in classes.
CBE programs are designed to provide a self-directed environment that allows students to demonstrate mastery of a specific subject matter. With a more flexible structure, CBE programs offer learners high levels of customization. CBE programs can focus on the competencies that are essential for particular fields of work. Ideally, there is strong alignment between the programs and the real-time needs of employees.
Thomas Edison State University is uniquely positioned to offer CBE programs because it has always been dedicated to providing students with flexible programs that consider their prior learning.
The W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing is developing a state-of-the-science Virtual Clinical Simulation Program (VCS), which will be a critical component of each student’s program of study and an important enhancement to the high-quality education offered to all nursing students enrolled in the School’s RN-BSN, the RN-BSN/MSN, and the Accelerated Second Degree BSN programs.
Through the VCS Program, the School will create numerous 3-D Studio Max avatars – digital patient representations throughout the entire lifecycle – integrate the avatars into appropriate courses throughout the curriculum, and create challenging healthcare scenarios that will help students learn and practice vital assessment, diagnostic, and clinical skills in an innovative, distance-learning environment.
The VCS program will also enable students to develop optimum critical thinking, decision-making, and teamwork abilities in a highly interactive, safe, and controlled environment without fear of doing harm to real patients.
Recently developed by the University’s Office of Military and Veteran Education, the Military and Veteran Portal (MVP Program) makes use of an innovative web-based system, the Military Community Education and Career Compass), to comprehensively serve the virtual academic counseling and career advisement needs of active-duty military personnel and veterans.
It begins the process of helping military and veteran students earn credit for what they already know through examination programs, transfer of credits from other regionally accredited colleges and universities, relevant professional and/or military training, professional licenses and certificates, and prior learning assessments.
The MVP Program is both timely and essential because in a still recovering civilian job market, labor reports indicated that employers are hiring workers with more education, including those with associate and bachelor degrees, to work in jobs traditionally filled by individuals with only high school degrees. In addition, studies have determined that students who earned credit for what they already know have higher graduation rates and finished college much faster than those who did not earn such credits.
The New Jersey Cultural Competency and English Language Learners Institute and Mentoring Program Trenton School District Initiative - a transformational initiative of the Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children at the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy - responds to a critical problem that has been identified both nationwide and in the New Jersey urban public school districts. That is, teacher preparation programs seldom prepare teachers to work with diverse children and families from various cultures and languages. As a result, teachers often do not know where to start to infuse the children’s home languages and cultures into the curriculum in meaningful ways. When teachers receive preparation and mentoring in increasing their cultural consciousness, they can adjust learning environments and utilize culture and language as anchors for their students’ positive development and academic success. Instructional practices greatly improve as teachers learn new strategies to aid English-language learners.
The Program is an 11-year, evidence-based, professional development model that transforms the thinking and practices of Pre-K to fifth grade teachers while helping them improve their interactions and instruction of the English-language learning students in their classrooms. In 2018, the Program will continue its exclusive partnership with the Trenton Public Schools. Teachers will participate in an intensive three-day Learning Institute followed by nine months of hands-on mentoring by experienced cultural education coaches. In addition, Trenton School District administrators and supervisors will also participate in a two-day Leadership Institute that will enable them to fully understand the Program’s best practices and educational impacts so that they can continue to support their teachers once the Program has ended. In 2018 alone, the Program will impact 25 classrooms in Trenton’s Martin Luther King, Jr, School, more than 60 teachers and school administrators/supervisors, and over 700 students.
Support for this program was received from the Princeton Area Community Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, PNC Foundation and the Wells Fargo Foundation.