Open Course Option for ASBA
at Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University
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+1 (888) 442-8372

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About the Degree

The Open Course Option is a degree pathway created with Thomas Edison State University that allows students to complete TESU’s Associate in Science in Business Administration degree by taking online courses from Saylor Academy that are aligned with the TESU’s prior learning assessment program.

The focus of this degree pathway is enabling students to earn their business degree at low cost, online, and completely on their own schedule.

Students take self-paced, free, online Saylor Academy courses and then earn credit through a combination of Saylor Academy’s Direct Credit exams, Thomas Edison State University’s TECEP® exams, portfolio assessment, and (optionally) College-Level Exam Program (CLEP®) exams.


Milestones toward completion

Although you can progress through this degree pathway in many possible ways, there are a few “milestones” that you need to accomplish in a specific order:


MILESTONE 1: Enroll in this Program at Saylor Academy, and Apply to Thomas Edison State University

Enroll in the Open Course Option at Saylor Academy
When you have decided to pursue this program, you should enroll yourself in this pathway at Saylor Academy. Note that this does not enroll you at Thomas Edison State University; your enrollment helps us to gauge student interest, better keep you informed of any updates, and help you track your progress in your quest for this degree — you will have access to these milestones and the degree map below right from your Saylor Academy student dashboard.


(Not yet a Saylor Academy student? Register for free here.)

Apply to Thomas Edison State University
At some point in the degree process, you will also need to apply to Thomas Edison State University. This will grant you access to University advisors and mentors, and is a required step prior to enrolling in one required course that is only available at TESU (Milestone 3 below). It will also allow you to participate in portfolio assessment if needed (Milestone 2) and earn your degree. If you do intend to pursue this whole program, apply just some Saylor earned credit towards a TESU degree, or to take a single TECEP exam as a matriculated TESU student, then we would encourage you to apply to TESU right away, and to choose the Per Credit Tuition Plan, so that you can take advantage of the benefits of being a TESU student early on.


MILESTONE 2: Prove Mastery of English Composition & Complete PLA100/200 Course.

This milestone is only required as a pre-requisite if you intend to make use of Thomas Edison’s Portfolio Assessment option to receive credit for some of your course work.

If this is the case, and you are not able to satisfy requirements for English 101 and 102 via transfer credit from elsewhere, then you must complete the TECEP exams for ENC101 English Composition I and ENC102 English Composition II prior to your submission of any Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) portfolios.

You can prepare for these exams by taking the corresponding Saylor Academy courses (ENGL001: English Composition I and ENGL002: English Composition II). If you feel prepared already, you can also take the TECEP exams right away (note that these exams are Pass/Fail). If you do not intend to use the Portfolio Assessment option, then you may complete the English Composition requirements at any point during your studies (although you are encouraged to complete them early on, as they provide fundamental skills that will be valuable as you attempt to complete other courses).

If you do intend to use a portfolio review as your assessment method for any courses, then you will also need to take Thomas Edison’s PLA-100/200 courses, which review the concept and methods of prior learning assessment and will show you how to document and articulate your prior learning through the creation of portfolios for assessment. Versions of these PLA courses are now openly licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC-BY 4.0), and can be freely accessed here (PLA-100) (PLA-200). Note that you will not receive credit towards your degree for working through the open version of these courses.


MILESTONE 3: Complete Thomas Edison’s Information Literacy Requirement

The only Thomas Edison State University ASBA degree requirement that does not have a Saylor Direct Credit Exam, TECEP, or Portfolio assessment option, is Information Literacy.

If you are not able to satisfy this requirement via transfer credit from elsewhere, you will need to complete a course with TESU. Review TESU’s list of General Education courses to find one that fulfills this requirement.


MILESTONE 4: Complete the Remaining Requirements

In order to earn your ASBA degree, you must complete the remaining requirements listed on the degree map below.

With the exception of Information Literacy and Oral Communication, each required course has at least one tuition-free Saylor Academy course that can be used to prepare for your assessment. However, we realize that many students pursuing this degree will have already completed coursework from TESU or other institutions that fulfills some of the requirements below. If you have already earned college credit, you are encouraged to speak with a TESU advisor to see how that credit might be applied to this program.

Note: Students who enrolled in the Open ASBA degree program before the July 2015  or July 2016 semesters and continue to remain enrolled are grandfathered in to the requirements for this degree as they were at that time. If you are one of those students and have a question about those previous requirements, please contact your TESU advisor.

Degree Map: Associates of Science in Business Administration

TESU Courses Saylor Academy Equivalent Method of Earning Credit TESU Credit
I. General Education Requirements show 39
A. Intellectual and Practical Skills (15 credits)
Written Communication (6 credits)
ENC-101 English Composition I ENGL001: English Composition I TECEP
ENC-102 English Composition II ENGL002: English Composition II TECEP
Oral Communication (3 credits) – Choose 1 Course
COM-209 Public Speaking COMM101: Public Speaking Complete COM-209 Online Course
ENG-202 Technical Communication No Saylor Academy Equivalent (parts of ENGL210: Technical Writing do overlap)  TECEP
Quantitative Literacy (3 credits)
MAT-121 College Algebra MA001: College Algebra Saylor Direct Credit or TECEP
Information Literacy (3 credits) – Choose 1 Course
SOS-101 Living in the Information Age or any other course fulfilling requirement from TESU No Saylor Academy Equivalent Complete SOS-101 Online Course (Or other TESU course that fulfills requirement)
B. Understanding the Physical and Natural World (3 Credits) – Choose 1 Course
CHE-111 General Chemistry I CHEM101: General Chemistry I Saylor Direct Credit
BIO-101 Introductory Biology BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology Saylor Direct Credit
C. Knowledge of Human Cultures (9 Credits)
ECO-112 Microeconomics ECON101: Principles of Microeconomics Saylor Direct Credit, TECEP, or CLEP
ECO-111 Macroeconomics ECON102: Principles of Macroeconomics Saylor Direct Credit, Portfolio, or CLEP
POS-101 Introduction to Political Science POLSC101: Introduction to Political Science Saylor Direct Credit, TECEP, or Portfolio
D. Civic and Global Learning (9 Credits)
Ethics Course (3 credits) – Choose 1 Course
PHI-286 Contemporary Ethics PHIL103: Moral and Political Philosophy Saylor Direct Credit or Portfolio
ETH-210 Environmental Ethics ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice, and World Views Saylor Direct Credit or TECEP
Diversity Course (3 Credits)
HIS-126 World History from 1600-Present HIST103: World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras TECEP
Civic Engagement (3 Credits)
POS-282 Introduction to Comparative Politics POLSC221: Introduction to Comparative Politics Saylor Direct Credit or TECEP
E. Mathematics (3 Credits)
STA-201 Introduction to Statistics MA121: Introduction to Statistics Saylor Direct Credit or TECEP
II. Management Core show 18
ACC-101 Principles of Financial Accounting BUS103: Introduction to Financial Accounting Saylor Direct Credit or TECEP
ACC-102 Principles of Managerial Accounting BUS105: Managerial Accounting Saylor Direct Credit or TECEP
LAW-201 Business Law BUS205: Business Law and Ethics Saylor Direct Credit or Portfolio
MAN-301 Principles of Management BUS208: Principles of Management Saylor Direct Credit or Portfolio
MAR-301 Principles of Marketing BUS203: Principles of Marketing Saylor Direct Credit or Portfolio
COS-101 Introduction to Computers/CIS CS101: Introduction to Computer Science I Saylor Direct Credit or Portfolio
III. Free Electives (Pick 1) show 3
OPM-351 Business Statistics BUS204: Business Statistics Saylor Direct Credit
COM-373 Managerial Communications BUS210: Corporate Communication Saylor Direct Credit
MAN-432 Small Business Management BUS305: Small Business Management Portfolio
NEG-401 Negotiations and Conflict Management BUS403: Negotiations and Conflict Management TECEP
MAN-435 Project Management BUS402: Project Management Portfolio
CMP-354 Network Technology CS402: Computer Communication and Networks Saylor Direct Credit or TECEP
POS-299 POLSC201: Introduction to Western Political Thought Saylor Direct Credit
Total 60

Sample Pathway

Aside from the specific milestones, the rest of your academic journey is up to you. You are free to take the courses in whichever order you chose, and to select whichever form of assessment you prefer (based on the options listed on the Degree Map above).

For student who would like more structure, we have identified a sample pathway below that incorporates each of the milestones and accounts for all of the degree requirements:

  • Enroll in the program via Saylor Academy using the “Enroll me in this Course” link located on the Degree Program page.
  • Apply to Thomas Edison State University.
  • Begin your coursework by taking Saylor’s ENGL001: English Composition I and ENGL002: English Composition II.
  • Register for the ENC101 and ENC102 TECEP exams at Thomas Edison State University.
  • Enroll in and complete Saylor Academy’s MA001: College Algebra course and it’s matching credit exam.
  • Complete TESU’s ENG-202-TE Technical Communication TECEP exam.
  • Enroll in and complete one of TESU’s online courses that fulfills the Information Literacy requirement.
  • Complete either Saylor Academy’s CHEM101: General Chemistry I or BIO101: Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology and their matching credit exams.
  • Complete the three Saylor Academy courses needed to fulfill the Knowledge of Human Cultures requirement, and pass the matching assessment options.
  • Enroll in and complete Saylor Academy’s ENVS203: Environmental Ethics, Justice, and World Views; HIST103: World History in the Early Modern and Modern Eras; POLSC221: Introduction to Comparative Politics; and MA121: Introduction to Statistics and complete their matching credit exams.
  • Complete the six Saylor Academy courses and assessments needed to fulfill the Management Core requirements.
  • Choose and complete 1 free elective, such as Saylor Academy’s BUS204: Business Statistics course.
  • Transfer your credits to TESU. Congratulations, you have earned your Associate in Science in Business Administration degree!

Tuition & Fees

The cost of earning the Associate in Science in Business Administration at Thomas Edison State University through the Open Course option varies depending on several factors, which include whether you are a New Jersey resident who qualifies for in-state tuition, how many credits you are able to transfer to your degree program, how many credits you have to complete to earn the degree, which assessments you use to earn credit and how long it takes you to complete your degree.The chart below lists a summary of the tuition and fees associated with the Open Course option.

Tuition and Fees In-State Out-of-State
TECEP Exams $117 $117
CLEP Exams $80 + fees $80 + fees
Saylor Direct Credit Exam* $25 $25
TESU Cornerstone Course $300 $300
TESU 3 Credit Course Tuition** $1,188 $1,497
Application Fee $75 $75
Residency Requirement Waiver Fee*** $1,500 $1,500
Graduation Fee $332 $332

* The $25 fee for Saylor Direct Credit exams comes from using the online proctoring service, ProctorU. If you use your own qualified proctor, this fee is waived. Portfolio Assessment is a little different. These assessments can be grouped together in order to attain credit for more than one course, and their cost structure is built around how many credits you earn. For the first 12 credits you earn through portfolio assessment, you pay $379. For each group of 6 credits after the first 12, you pay an additional $215. These prices are consistent in and out of state.

**Based on based on Thomas Edison’s Per Credit Tuition Plan.

***To be paid by students if they do not intend to meet the academic residency requirements of the University (16 credits completed via Thomas Edison State University Online (OL), Guided Study (GS) or e-Pack® (EP) courses); this fee does not apply to students enrolled under the Comprehensive Tuition Plan. Note: The price indicated above is a special rate available to eligible Saylor Academy students. To be eligible for this special rate, students must complete and earn credit for six (6) of Saylor’s Direct Credit offerings, all of which must be courses used towards the fulfillment of the ASBA Degree outlined on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

For questions and answers about the Open Course Option for ASBA, see the FAQ in our help center.