It is possible to earn college credit while on active duty several different ways. One of the easiest and most accessible is college credit available via testing. Called College level examinations program, or CLEP for short, exams are made available to any military personnel who seeks to take them. It is a convenient way to earn credits while being on active duty. The Defense Activity for non-traditional Education support, or DANTES is one of the prime sponsors and funds CLEP exams for military Servicemembers who are eligible to take the test, as well as select civilians who are also eligible.
So, who specifically are eligible for CLEP exams paid for by the Military?
-Eligible employees who are civilians but also spouses of Coast Guard and Reserve Personnel.
-Military Personnel –Reserve or Active duty from any of the five branches of U.S. Forces.
-DoD Acquisition Personnel –Limited exam types.
There are many CLEP tests, which are administered, in the good old Pencil and Paper format. These include: History of the U.S. 1865 to the Present, Intro to Psychology, History Of US. Early Colonies to 1877, Freshman English Composition, Humanities, College Math, Principals of Management, Introduction to Sociology, College Algebra, English Composition, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and History, and Interpreting American Literature.
Some of these courses are also administered optionally via computer. Courses that are offered by computer can be scored immediately except in courses requiring essay portions. Written Pen and Pencil exams, and courses with Essay components have the scores mailed with three weeks of completion. Tests that are taken at local colleges sometimes have a fee, tests that are administered to Military personnel, especially ones given on military property do not have any required fees to take CLEP tests.
Military Servicemembers who wish to take the test must bring their individual “Common Access” identification card and a secondary form of Identification to the test. Other types of ID that work are drivers license, birth certificate (original form, no photocopies) and a passport. Transcripts for military personnel can be ordered for computer exams by sending in a form and a money order, or certified check in the amount of twenty dollars.
A Military requested transcript for CLEP testing will include all scores for computer delivered as well as paper administered tests that are taken by Servicemembers. The CLEP tests allow a lot of flexibility, as well as an advantage toward an eventual degree.