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CLEP tests no longer administered

26 March 2014 By Aaron Isrin, Staff Writer No Comments

Towson University will no longer be a testing site for College-Level Examination Program tests, which provide students opportunities to gain course credits without completing the class.

On March 6, the Registrars Office announced that Towson would no longer be providing students with the CLEP test.

Associate Director of Records and Registration for the Registrars Office Susan Hyman said that although the test is important, the Registrars Office can not continue being a CLEP testing site for students.

“Towson would like to accommodate the test for students, but we’re just not able to do it right now,” she said.

Hyman said that Towson will still be accepting test scores that the university has approved from other testing sites.

For many years, the CLEP test has been an aid for students to help them meet their graduation deadlines. It also grants students, who have experience outside of a university through the military or other employments, to turn that experience into course credits.

The College Board, the organization that manages the CLEP test, SAT, ACT and other tests, announced last fall that they have reorganized the test to an “internet-based testing” format.  The test is now being held and scored online.

The reorganization would require Towson to provide additional staff, training for the staff and additional supervisors for the testing center in order to remain a testing site. Additions, Hyman said, that the Registrar’s Office would not be able to provide.

“We don’t have the available staff and we don’t have enough security to meet these new changes,” she said.

According to the College Board’s website, to use the new testing software would also require the university to remove the testing computer’s desktop firewalls and modify their network firewalls.  Hyman said that Office of Technology Services would not allow any changes to the network firewall.

Hyman said that she has contacted College Board in an attempt to negotiate the testing requirements, but has not received a response from the organization.

According to the Registrars office, the university has given 313 tests over the last three years and has accepted 35 test scores from other sites. Jean Foley, the program management specialist for the Registrars Office, said many of the students that take the CLEP test are accounting majors.

“Accounting students take the tests so that they can meet the 150 credit requirement to take the Certified Public Accountant Exam,” she said.

Junior student and President of the Towson University Society of Student Accountancy Marta Niguse said that she has been aware of the discontinuation for a while and has directed students to other testing sites such as Baltimore City Community College.

“We have students that come in and we just direct them to the college to get their testing done,” she said.

Niguse said that the commute would be an inconvenience for students but as long as the credits are transferable it wouldn’t be an issue.
A list of available sites can be found on the College Board website.  Hyman said the University will still be providing Departmental Exam and Assessments, tests similar to the CLEP but with fewer course options, to students.

The College Board’s Communications department acknowledged, through email, that the testing procedure has been changed but did not comment on the University’s situation.

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