Syllabus for TES-100



Cornerstone: Lifelong Learning Strategies is a one-credit, self-directed course focusing on the learning process, University policies, and academic strategies needed to guide students along the path of obtaining a degree from Thomas Edison State University. This self-directed course provides a core foundation of the institution’s procedures and resources to help students navigate not only the online learning environment but also the process toward earning a degree. This course imparts practical tips and strategies for lifelong learning, helping students succeed regardless of where they are in their educational journey.

The one credit earned by completing the TES-100 course can be utilized toward an elective requirement in any degree program. TES-100 terms are 12 weeks in duration; however, the course is self-paced so you have the option to complete the course in a shorter timeline.



After completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Summarize the importance and process of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), including portfolio assessment, credit-by-exam, and review of credential or training programs.

  1. Explain how learning outcomes can help you achieve your educational goals.

  1. Examine significant University-wide and undergraduate academic policies to help you make appropriate decisions related to your education.

  1. Identify what constitutes plagiarism and learn how to avoid it.

  1. Understand the role and responsibility of high-level academic citizenship at Thomas Edison State University.

  1. Learn the processes and procedures to managing the administrative functions associated with completing your degree.

  1. Evaluate a multitude of practical online strategies for academic success.

  1. Discover where and how to find educational and testing resources.


You do not need a textbook or any other sources for this course; required readings, video content, and direct links to access all learning material are provided within the course.


Cornerstone: Lifelong Learning Strategies is a one-credit, self-directed course consisting of six lessons and one online exam. Lessons include relevant reading material, essential video content, and associated online questions. You may structure your study and progress through the self-directed course at any pace you would like during the semester. Listed below are the exam and lesson titles in the order in which they appear in the course.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to progress through each of the six lessons, answer a series of associated online questions pertaining to the content of each lesson, and take a Readiness Exam.

The Readiness Exam

You are required to take a Readiness Exam called the ETS Proficiency Profile. The test is administered in an unproctored, online format. You cannot earn credit for the course without taking the exam and submitting the exam questionnaire. Your individual score will not be recorded, but by taking the exam and submitting a brief questionnaire about your exam experience you will receive a grade of 100 that will count toward your completion of the Cornerstone: Lifelong Learning Strategies course. Please refer to the course website for further information about taking The Readiness Exam.


You are required to complete six lessons and answer the associated online questions located within each of the lessons. Questions are derived directly from the content presented in each lesson including various links to reading material and videos. A response is required for each of the questions found in the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

Credit/No Credit results are based on the following percentages:







To receive credit for the course, you must take the Readiness Exam and submit the exam questionnaire; this will result in a grade of 100 that will count toward your completion of the course. Additionally, you must complete all six required lessons and answer the associated online questions located within each lesson with a score of 60% or higher.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying the passage as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that the requirement to provide identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism. Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify both the student and the appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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