How much time will I spend working on a degree at TSU?
The flexible nature of TSU programs allows you to work at your own pace, and may apply your life and ministry as partial credit.
The modular system of coursework achieves this flexibility. Each course requires an estimated number of clock hours (approximately 150 for a course of 3 semester credit hours). However, TSU’s nontraditional, modular structure divides these clock hours into several assignment modules. A course with 3 SCH typically consists of the following modules: two required foundational modules, followed by three modules that the student can select from a sizeable list of options.
The optional modules include a wide range of learning experiences, from such practical activities as teaching, preaching, and designing workbooks, to lectures and seminars, research and writing projects, vacation seminars, and a wide range of other possibilities. The TSU modular structure allows you to complete your course requirements in ways that best suit your personality, background, experience, and talents.
As a comparison with a traditional university course, the total clock hours of such a traditional course would include about 48 hours of classroom time (three hours per week for the term or semester), plus time spent outside class for reading, writing assignments and/or papers, and general study and preparation, totaling about 150 hours of work for 3 SCH. Thus, the number of clock hours for traditional and nontraditional courses is similar. However, the TSU modular system not only allows you to study in ways that suit your personality and learning style, but also may apply your life and ministry as partial credit.
How do I get personal assistance remotely from my home or office?
You will have an Academic Advisor, who is only an E-mail or a phone call away. You will also have the same kind of access to the professors who evaluate your coursework.
TSU also offers on-campus lectures, seminars, and symposia where you can interact with faculty members and other students if you wish to travel to Albuquerque. You may apply these activities as modular credit for your coursework. TSU also sponsors various vacation seminars and study tours.
How is the program flexible to meet my needs, and how do you personalize my program?
When you apply for admission, TSU may accept academic transfer credits. TSU may also grant Portfolio Credit for experience in your life, work, and ministry. The amount of credit will depend on applicability to your program.
For each course, you will select optional modules that fit your particular interests and goals. You may even create modules.
You may work at your own pace within reasonable limits that encourage completion of your program.
Can I get credit for life, ministry, and work experience?
TSU recognizes the value of learning by experience in two ways.
If your previous ministry, life and work experience relates to the degree you wish to pursue, this may qualify as Portfolio Credit toward your degree.
Once you are registered, most courses contain optional modules that encourage TSU students to work in their local communities, churches, ministries, etc. In this way, you can practice and apply what you are learning.
What about accreditation?
Trinity Southwest University strives to maintain excellent academic standards and procedures as generally established within the larger academic community. TSU operates as an exempt religious institution, as provided by the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education, as a provision of the Constitution of the State of New Mexico. TSU reports to the Commission annually for the retention of that status, as required by law.
TSU is approved by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) as a provider of continuing education credits in the areas of Biblical Studies, Theology, and Apologetics, and by the New Mexico Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
TSU has chosen to remain non-aligned with respect to accreditation. The requirements of accrediting agencies apply best to a traditional university, whereas our programs are flexible and non-traditional. One must understand that throughout the history of our country, up to and including the present, accreditation by self-appointed or governmentally-appointed agencies has always been optional for educational institutions.
Whereas the concept of accreditation is intended to be a safeguard for quality education, the fact remains that accrediting requirements are most often compatible with traditional education, and carry no objective means of assessing non-traditional institutions like TSU.
Furthermore, it is clear that accreditation does not guarantee the quality of education related to the learning process as a whole. There are excellent accredited and non-accredited schools, and there are accredited schools of poor quality.
It is also our position that many traditional, governmentally approved and controlled accreditation agencies, and the faith/religion-based academic institutions accredited by them, are fundamentally at odds with the principle of church/state separation.
The recognition of these facts has led most colleges, universities, and seminaries to accept credits and degrees from non-accredited institutions on a case-by-case basis (sometimes up to a certain percentage of their admissions as allowed by their accrediting associations).
We are always ready to assist our students who wish to pursue transfer of their TSU credits and/or degrees to other institutions.