Current Funding Initiatives
Key priorities under the current TESU strategic plan include a focus on strengthening the application of educational technology and implementing innovations in the support of learning. The University’s expertise in pedagogy and instructional design is well-established and has been demonstrated through its long-standing leadership in this area, thereby preparing us to face the challenge of providing a high quality education while keeping costs to the student affordable.
The University has experienced growing demand for new online courses that use the best available technology, and continued funding will strengthen its leadership position in this area. Over the past several years, an increasing number of institutions have been exploring the opportunities found in open educational resources (OER) that can be used by an institution to make education more accessible to students. The University is involved in assessing the utility and effectiveness of all of these new approaches as well as addressing concerns of academic integrity, cost and value to ensure the students are receiving the best quality at a cost that is affordable.
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.
Science, technology, and innovation are key components of a strong American economy and that increasing opportunities for Americans to gain science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills can increase jobs and enhance our national competitiveness.
According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, there is a dramatic need to increase the number of students who receive undergraduate degrees in STEM fields by one million during the next decade, and that key goals in meeting this demand will include identifying and supporting innovation in higher education, and providing educational opportunities and supports for women, veterans, and historically underrepresented minorities.
Through collaboration with and investments by the federal government, corporations, foundations, and other partners in the education community, Thomas Edison State University is uniquely positioned and highly committed to helping our nation achieve this ambitious goal.