Credit-by-Exam testing unavailable this fall

Staff Writer

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Credit-by-Exam testing has been suspended at St. Edward’s University and placement tests have been removed from the services offered by the Academic Success Center because of a lack of staff in the Academic Success Center.

These temporary changes will only last for a semester and Credit-by-Exam testing will resume on St. Edward’s campus for the spring semester.

“We currently have stopped it for this semester because our administrative director for Credit-by-Exam testing took another position on campus…We have to interview and hire and train someone else,” Mary Culkin, coordinator for the Academic Success Center, said.

There are four other locations in Austin that do Credit-by-Exam testing in the Austin area and students are being referred to these locations. These locations include: Austin Community College, The University of Texas at Austin, National American University-Austin and Texas State University in San Marcos.

Credit-by-Exam testing allows students to earn college credits by showing proficiency of material and testing out of courses. The tests are the same regardless of where the student takes it, but depending on the college within a university there are different requirements to test out of college courses.

“The University decides the scores that count and each exam has a different score,” Culkin said.

New College students are the most affected by the lack of testing on St. Edward’s campus, but they do not seem to be too bothered by the temporary suspension, Kathy Jackson, advising specialist for New College, said.

“Many of the New College student take exams elsewhere anyway due to locations closer to their work or home and more flexible times that tests are offered,” Jackson said.

However, according to Natacha Martin, assistant to the dean of the School of Humanities, who is in charge of placement tests for this semester, many traditional students do not seem to know about the suspension and need direction.

“Students have been calling me and asking about the CLEP and modern language placement options this fall. They are looking for suggestions about where else to take the exams,” Martin said.

Placement tests have been transferred to another office. They are now operated within the School of Humanities.

“I am temporarily proctoring the Modern Language Placement Exam since the testing office is closed this fall,” Martin said.

This switch is not as big a change for the placement tests at St. Edward’s since the School of Humanities does these tests during orientations; they also used to operate placement tests a few years ago before it became a service offered by the Academic Success Center. Currently, the Academic Success Center is still in the process of hiring a new employee to proctor these exams.

“We have been interviewing and I hope we have somebody in place in the next two or three weeks… We are moving as fast as we can; I do not like the fact that we are not able to offer this, but we have to do it right,” Culkin said.