CLEP exams vs 16 week semester courses

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by saiga, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. bmills072200

    bmills072200 New Member

    Maybe we are talking about 2 different things. How would an employer possibly known the means in which you earned credit to get your degree? I have never had an employer ask to see my transcripts.

    If you are referring to schools and the possiblities of graduate work. I emplore you to question graduates of Excelsior, TESC, and Charter Oak, which are known as the "testing out" schools, and ask them how much trouble their "testing out" degree caused them when applying to graduate programs. I think you will find that there is not much a difference with how graduate programs perceive these degrees or whether or not they care at all how you received credit. Furthermore, I submit that the acceditation of the school that issues your degree is far more important than how you achieved the credits for that school to grant the degree.

    Before deciding on JSU for my MBA, I applied to Texas A&M and Wake Forest, both of which are top-notch programs and because of my GMAT and GPA, I was accepted to both programs. I would have gone to Wake Forest if it did not cost over $60,000.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  2. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    In order for education to be valuable, education has to exist. It needn't happen in one way. People learn in classrooms, on-the-job and through independent study. They learn in-person and by DL. But if they don't learn the material, then it's not happening.

    I'm not sure what you are referring to there. I do think that education has intrinsic value, but it can also have instrumental value. Instrumental value needn't be of secondary importance. For many students it isn't.

    But that's not really the issue here. The question in this thread is how much course-content and actual-learning can be jetisoned in the name of expediency before a degree's credibility starts to suffer.

    If it's really possible to pass many of these exams with little or no studying and with no prior exposure to the subject, then the credibility of the exams becomes a serious issue.

    Even if the exams do have some credibility, shrugging off hearing lectures, participating in class discussions, performing laboraory and practical exercises, writing papers, even reading books for heaven's sake, is going to have some cost. Students who elect to follow that path of academic minimalism are very likely short-changing themselves and missing out on a great deal that universities have to offer.
  3. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    6-12 pages? That's it? I was writing 8-12 page papers for undergrad classes. .>>


    I think we are getting off track.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  4. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    I work in the federal sector. here is one of any number of positions that make this requirement:

    Census Job

    "If you are using education to qualify for a position you MUST submit a copy of your college transcripts or a listing of college courses showing course number, title, grade, type (semester/quarter), and number of credit hours earned. Applicants selected for the position will be required to supply original transcripts."

    It can get even tighter for other types of positions. I know not all employers are as stringent.

    Once again, my point is one of competition for a position. It doesn't matter to me how an individual obtains a legitimate degree. The individual is competing against other individuals for what may become a life changing (or even livelihood) position. To assume that the employer just wants a box checked is naive. Would a box be checked in the instance above with a degree completed via testing? Keeping in mind the folks looking at these transcripts won't be as saavy as you folks and would most likely look at a degree done in a year and say "No Way!" and the application would go no further. Moreover, the applicant might never know why since all the agency is required to provide is "you weren't in the group most qualified".

    Here again, just one example.
  5. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck


    There is a large difference between an MA English and an MFA. An MFA is considered a terminal degree in many schools.

    Here's one:

    something to consider. Best wishes for your studies.
  6. bmills072200

    bmills072200 New Member

    Fair enough...there are some employers that want to see the transcripts of a degree. However, you still have failed to prove that there is any sort of bias from employers that might see CLEP exams on a transcript. I just think you are making a huge assumption that employers would even care. I have never spoken to any HR person that even knows about CLEP let alone would discriminate if they saw credit given for CLEP exams
  7. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    I will come back to this discussion when I have time but in the interim ponder this: Why is it only three RA schools in the US exist that allow a degree by testing? Why is it without fail the remaining schools limit the amount of credit by examination, portfolio etc...? the bias seems to exist within academic community that grants and legitimizes the degree by testing. In addition, the completed and awarded degree is entry to graduate school. Should you fail to complete the degree via testing good luck trying to transfer in the 90, 100, 110, 199, whatever credits by examination to any but the schools in this discussion. Why would that be the case?
  8. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I think it's because all the other schools want as much as your money as possible. Every class you transfer in is less $$$ they get from you. Tuition rising every year faster than inflation isn't because it's more expensive to teach classes each year.
  9. sampson

    sampson New Member

    This is completely incorrect. State universities get funding and donations from grants and alumni. They are not for-profit universities like UofP or other online schools. Several state universities have actually gone down in tuition costs. Institutions have this thing called a budget in order to keep costs down for students. Most universities allow quite a few credits to be transferred in(around 30 credit hours for most schools). I think that's more than fair considering how easy it is to test out. These institutions are actual places of higher learning and they don't just hand you a degree by testing out. They make you earn it.

    PS...with pell grants and other scholarships, there's no reason why a person should even pay a dime out of their own pockets. Pell grants are more than enough to cover in state tuition prices at most state universities.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  10. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I haven't done studies so I can't really argue too much. Here is an article from the NYT in 2007. Maybe tuition has come down since then but I doubt it.

    "College Costs Rising at Double the Inflation Rate"

    "Tuition and fees at public and private colleges and universities rose at more than double the rate of inflation, the College Board said in reports released this morning. One report found that while the pace of increase has held steady at four-year private institutions, it has picked up at public ones."

    I'm sure there are schools where tuition has come down but I wouldn't say that makes my statement "completely incorrect".

    They maybe non-profit, but this is where some of the money goes to in a 4-yr state university:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  11. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I just wanted to add that maybe my statement about wanting to make as much money as possible is wrong but that is an opinion. My experience with colleges charging $1800 a class with 150 students where the professor never shows up and sends a TA to teach has me a little opinionated about them wanting to make money. I didn't get the feeling that education was foremost on their mind when I took classes like the above.
  12. sampson

    sampson New Member

    $1800 a class?? Good Lord!

    When I was doing my undergrad it cost around $3000 to take 15 hours(5 classes).
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Dude, you're showing tour age! :D
  14. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    Ooops, sorry, I lied. It's $1500 a class. I was looking at graduate tuition.

    If you are full time, it is around $6000 a semester for 15 credits.

    That still works out to $400 a credit. Tuition is definitely going up since you went to school.
  15. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    You might want to contact the person listed and let us know why the CC provides this caution. There are more with the same opinion. Feel free to do some additional research.

    "Acceptability by employers also represents a range of possibilities. Most employers recognize APL credits without hesitation, and many support the concept strongly. Some employers do not. Again, it is the responsibility of the student to verify an employer's policy and practice regarding APL credits."

    We were asked for opinions, I provided mine and provided some cursory support for my opinion.
  16. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Perhaps. But they are still going to have to master the material. So they will need to have had some prior exposure to it, or else they are going to have to study it. If a course doesn't have any content, then it isn't a credible course.

    A bachelors degree is the basic foundation of an entire discipline. It introduces students to the subject and to its various methods, problems and subdisciplines. It provides the background that's necessary before people can undertake more advanced work. Perhaps most important, it teaches students how to think like an engineer, scientist, philosopher or historian, or whatever it happens to be.

    Recall that back in the 19'th century, many high schools still required students to learn ancient Greek and Latin. A high-school diploma meant something and was the indicator of an educated person.

    Today, bachelors degrees have kind of taken over that function. Most of the general-ed classes at my own undergraduate school were serious classes and certainly weren't fluff. Some of them still influence me, years later.

    I suppose that people might succeed in persuading themselves to avoid all that stuff, but to suggest that a bachelors degree is nothing but time-killing and seat-warming is absolutely mistaken.
  17. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    Georgia CPA acceptance of CLEP as qualifying---NO

    "After a discussion on clarification of Advancement Placement Hours (AP), College Level Examination Preparation (CLEP), and Competency Units for examination and licensure, Mr. Maddocks made a motion to accept AP and Competency Units as qualifying credits if the hours are shown on the applicant’s transcripts from an accredited four year college or university.
    CLEP hours are not acceptable. Mr. Nichols seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously."

    reinforced in this follow on:

    "After reviewing correspondence concerning acceptance of CLEP hours
    to satisfy educational requirements, the Board reviewed and reaffirmed past policy as adopted on
    October 25, 2006."
  18. Griffin

    Griffin Crazy About Psychology

    (thought discussion was still going on, and I don't want to drag it out anymore).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2009
  19. As one who ripped a page from the "BA in 4 Weeks" program, I took something like 36 exams via CLEP, DANTES, ECE and TECEP and completed a whole undergrad business degree. It took me just over a year (complete with some time off).

    While I admit to some "brain dumping", I also took a lot of exams in subject areas where I had prior knowledge and interest - for example, History of the Vietnam War.

    Other exams, such as Principles of Supervision, Principles of Management, etc are obvious to anyone who has some basic supervisory experience, which many college undergrads don't have - in other words, life experience plays a big role here.

    I don't expect a huge utility with my undergrad degree, but it was a very satisfactory "tick in the box" that I completed it. I did, however, use it as a stepping stone to my MBA program, which is completed primarily online and decidedly NOT via CLEP. My Biz school is top 20 and I was brutally honest on the application - even EMPHASIZING the fact that I tested out. What mattered was my GPA and my GMAT.

    If someone tested out of a degree (or much of a degree) expecting to learn in-depth specific knowledge they have a surprise coming. On the other hand, many 100-level electives in college, such as the proverbial basket weaving course or music appreciation, also aren't exactly scholarly.

    Personally, I'm not in favor of 18 year olds cramming CLEPs, as they should benefit from all of the pluses of the college experience. However, if a person is already established in a career and wants to expedite their undergrad I recommend those who don't mind testing to take as many as their program will allow.
  20. Lauradglas

    Lauradglas New Member

    Sure, MY university b4 I decided to CLEP, DANTES, & Excelsior out of a year and a half of course work was California State University. For the record, I showed up for what was a renowned difficult class in Sociology, for the first day, the midterm, and the final. That was it. I got a B. I don't know what colleges you're going to, but the ones I have attended (2 community colleges and CSU San Bernardino) rarely have required attendance. In fact, my instructors never even took roll unless it was a participatory class (interpersonal communication for example). I try not to let my schooling interfere with my education. It's been awhile since I've been here on the boards, but I can assure you that most of the folks here feel the same way. I DO know how to write papers in both MLA and APA style. Sitting in a class for 4 months didn't teach me that. I DO have an understanding, as well as experience, in the commitment that 16 weeks of school require. While it has taught me many things, I rarely learned anything in class that I couldn't learn alone with a good book and other information resources available to me. I didn't take the "easy" way out. I did decide to choose to get credit for what I already knew. I think that to imply that my education is somehow less relevant, adequate, or well rounded as someone who attends a B&M school is pretentious as well as unfounded. IME non-traditional learners have an understanding of HOW to think not just WHAT to think. They are self starters, well grounded, and most of the time have nothing against a B&M class if it is a class that would best serve them in that format. I think the important phrase-ology in that is "best serve them". Independent learners tend to be interested in what is going to best serve their needs. It's a different paradigm than most students have when seeking out resources for their education.

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