Sailors feel effects of suspension of tests
Stars and Stripes March 27, 2008
The suspension of Defense Activities for Non-Traditional Education Services testing at Navy College offices worldwide is forcing some servicemembers to alter their education plans.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jenniffer Rivera is three classes shy of her associate’s degree. She planned to take College Level Examination Program exams that would have fulfilled all testing requirements without actually having to take the classes. But she was told the exams were not an option at this time.
“The Navy College office told me [testing] was suspended until they don’t know when — indefinitely,” Rivera said.
The suspension of DANTES testing remains in effect at Navy College offices worldwide, following the loss of paper exams on several installations and ships.
“Many students were planning on taking these exams to finish their degree within a certain time period, like for graduation in May,” said Lou D’Angelo, a community field representative with the University of Maryland University College in Sigonella, Sicily.
About 45 students at Sigonella have been unable to take the exams since the suspension went into effect March 3, said Giovanna Hansen, an education counselor with the Navy College office in Sigonella.
In Souda Bay, Crete, about 10 students have been unable to take tests, according Navy Lt. June Velez, interim educational services officer.
For students who want to travel outside of affected areas to take exams, the following Web sites provide information on where CLEP exams are offered: www.getcollegecredit.com and http://apps.collegeboard.com/ cbsearch_code/codeSearchSatTest.jsp
“Exams have to be fully proctored in a testing environment,” said Marti Readel, DANTES European adviser. “The only computer-based test center for the European region on a military installation is the Central Texas College facility in Mannheim, Germany, at Coleman Barracks.”
But that won’t help students such as Rivera, who are based in Italy.
“Now I have to use tuition assistance and actually take the classes,” she said. She added she couldn’t afford to wait until the suspension was lifted, since she wants to finish her degree before transferring. “It’s very time-consuming. I’m only on shore duty for another year,” Rivera said.