Testing centers at four Pacific bases offer instant credits after college exams
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — “CLEP-ing out” of paying pricey college tuition got easier on four military bases in Japan this month.
Now Defense Department personnel can take the College Level Examination Program tests in 34 subjects, get instant results, and — if they’re active duty — pay nothing through the University of Maryland University College’s Asia National Testing Center program.
CLEP gives prospective college students the opportunity to earn up to 12 college credits by demonstrating their knowledge on a test instead of taking — and paying for — the actual course.
“It’s absolutely awesome,” Commander, Naval Forces Japan Rear Adm. Jamie Kelly said Wednesday at the official opening of Yokosuka Naval Base’s testing center. “Building your future starts with education.”
UMUC testing centers opened at Yokosuka, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sasebo Naval Base and Misawa Air Base this month, said UMUC Japan Director Paul Brewer. These are pilot programs, he said.
Bases on Okinawa and in South Korea soon will follow, with four to six locations opening by January, Brewer said.
Computer-based CLEP-ing disposes of the two- to three-month waiting time for scores. A printout shows scores at the end of the 90-minute testing period, Brewer said.
Immediate results also can benefit people who fail the CLEP because the mandatory six-month waiting period before the test can be retaken starts that day, said UMUC academic adviser Eldon Johnson.
Going paperless also means testing is available in more subjects — there now are 34 tests, ranging from accounting to “Western Civilization II” — compared with 14 choices previously.
“Spanish is the single most popular test we have, and now we can offer it,” Brewer said.
And online CLEP tests are cheaper for both the student and the Navy, Johnson said.
“College classes can run up to $600, plus books,” Johnson said. “The test is free for servicemembers and the Navy saves by not having to pay for the class.”
DOD civilians, including dependents, must pay $60 plus a $20 administrative fee — a total price half of what it used to be with the paper version, Johnson said.
About 30 people — “mostly uniforms” — have taken CLEP tests since Yokosuka’s testing center opened Oct. 2, said Yokosuka’s Navy College Office Director Bill McCormick.
“I think we’re going to have a lot of customers,” Johnson said. “If they think they can pass, I’m going to tell people to take it.”
The curriculum …
Subjects for which CLEP tests are available:
Composition and Literature
American literatureAnalyzing and interpreting literatureEnglish compositionEnglish literatureFreshman college compositionHumanities
French language (Levels 1 and 2)German language (Levels 1 and 2)Spanish language (Levels 1 and 2)
History and Social Sciences
American governmentHuman growth and developmentIntroduction to educational psychologyIntroductory psychologyIntroductory sociologyPrinciples of macroeconomicsPrinciples of microeconomicsSocial sciences and historyU.S. history I: early colonizations to 1877U.S. history II: 1865 to the presentWestern Civilization I: ancientNear East to 1648Western Civilization II: 1648 to the present
Science and Mathematics
BiologyCalculusChemistryCollege algebraCollege mathematicsNatural sciencesPre-calculus
Financial accounting (new in 2007)Introductory business lawInformation systems and computer applicationsPrinciples of accounting (After June 30, 2007, replaced by financial accounting)Principles of managementPrinciples of marketing
Source: The College Board
— Stars and Stripes