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CLEP tests offer a quicker route to higher education

Pfc. John Robbart III

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Camp Pendleton’s Joint Education Center offers service members and their families the opportunity to earn months of college credits in just a few hours.

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a series of exams that would allow individuals to receive college credit in almost every subject area at no cost to active duty personnel.

The program is also available to military families and civilians for $120.

The tests measure college-level achievement of general education. There are also specific subject tests such as history, psychology, sociology, and criminal justice.

“Depending on individual colleges’ CLEP policy, a satisfactory score on a CLEP exam can earn you anywhere from three to 12 college credits,” said Janet L. Kaemmerling, education services specialist, Joint Education Center, Camp Pendleton.

Earning several credits by way of CLEP exams can also help service members get through general education credits, allowing them to stay focused on studies directly related to their major.

“(College Level Examination Program) can make college more interesting,” said Kaemmerling. “Individuals can skip general introductory courses and move on to more advanced classes, or explore new and challenging academic areas.”

In addition to making college more interesting for Marines, CLEP can also accommodate those with a heavy deployment schedule.

“Tests can be taken on base or sometimes aboard ship,” said Kaemmerling. “It speeds up the completion time, helping to fill in an education gap for the degree’s subject requirements while on a deployment.”

Study guides are available on base for all of the 12 CLEP exams; however, it is important to ensure the school accepts CLEP credits prior to taking the tests.

For more information on CLEP or advanced education, contact the base Joint Education Center at (760) 725-6414 or (760) 725-6660.

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