The recent budget cuts to community colleges can make completing educational goals more difficult for students. For some, signing up and paying for mandatory classes is not only nearly impossible, but a waste of time, especially if they are already knowledgeable in that area.
The California Level Examination Program, or CLEP, makes obtaining college credit for certain classes as simple as taking a 90-minute assessment exam.
Glendale offers these exams in various subjects, such as history, social sciences, mathematics, science, composition and literature, as well as business.
Students who are confident with their knowledge in these subjects can take the test, and if they pass with a satisfactory score, they are given credit for the class without having to complete the course.
“It’s a good way if you have that knowledge base to move forward,” said outreach and assessment manager Alen Andriassian.
Students believe CLEP testing offers both good and bad reasons for their education.
Mass communications major Albert Galdamez, 23, sees the downsides CLEP has to offer, and said that the exams lower the quality of the overall education.
“While CLEP might be a quick way to gain credit for classes, an assessment test lacks the qualities a class offers. A class offers support from instructors and a way for students to expand their network of people,” he said.
Student assessment lab assistant Nikkie Adamonis said the test has a fee of $105 per test students have to pay for.
Galdamez said, “One of the considerations a student will take into account is the matter of fees. If the exam has a fee, students are less likely to take a CLEP test due to the mandatory contribution, particularly since money is difficult to come by during these times.”
However, psychology and social behavior student Connor McGuire, 22, said he doesn’t see anything wrong with CLEP being offered.
“If a student can fully demonstrate that he or she understands the information necessary to be considered sufficiently knowledgeable in a subject, then why not give them credit?” McGuire said.
“By denying credit to the students, all the administration would do is force knowledgeable students to take a class, wasting a valuable class seat which could have been filled by another far more deserving student.” he said.
There are requirements for testing.
Only GCC students who have completed 12 units or more may take the test. Students who decide to take it must fill out a petition and must be approved by counseling and admissions.
Glendale CLEP testing results may not always be accounted for in other universities.
Students may need to check with other institutions that qualify for the exam’s transferable units.
If students would like more information on CLEP, they can visit the assessment center in SF 112 or call (818) 240-1000 ext. 5329.
Additional information can be found on the CLEP website: http://www.clep.collegeboard.org.