Earning College Credits the Easy Way
Some homeschooling parents find formulating a plan for homeschooling through high school a challenge. Should our focus be on completing a challenging high school curriculum package? What about facing the college recruiters? What about spending money on costly umbrella schools that offer accredited diplomas?
These concerns motivate some parents to plan hours of unnecessary course work that they hope will lead to a diploma. Others choose educational paths that attempt to satisfy nagging doubts about future college entrance requirements. CLEP solved both these concerns for our family by allowing us to chart an independent course that ultimately will show college recruiters that our students are ready for the next step.[subsection] [heading]What Is CLEP?[/heading]
CLEP[superscript]©[/superscript] stands for College-Level Examination Program and is also referred to as “testing out” or “credit by examination.” Simply put, students use independent study to prepare for a specific college course and then go to a local college to take a computerized multiple choice exam. If the student passes, he is issued the appropriate credits for the class as if he had taken the class at a college.[/subsection] [subsection] [heading]How CLEP Exams Can Be Used[/heading] [listitem]Accumulate dual credit, earning credits that will count toward high school requirements and at the same time count toward a college degree.[/listitem] [listitem]Shorten the years of study required to earn a college degree, since the student can start in the teen years.[/listitem] [listitem]Save money, since the cost of taking CLEP exams is much lower than registering for a college class on campus.[/listitem] [listitem]Show [emphasize]any[/emphasize] “brick and mortar” college that your child is capable of performing at a college level, and you’ll have the credits to [emphasize]prove[/emphasize] it![/listitem] [listitem]Avoid having to take “basic skills” classes when entering college by taking CLEP tests to earn credits for college math and freshman English.[/listitem] [listitem]Give your child the chance to delve into the subject being studied, yet move at a comfortable pace for optimum learning.[/listitem] [listitem]Sharpen your child’s independent study skills, which are a must in the college environment.[/listitem] [listitem]Continue to share your worldview with your child when studying controversial topics that are included in many social science classes.[/listitem] [listitem]Tackle tough subjects once and get the credit the first time around. For example, why do high school biology and then retake it for college credit?[/listitem] [/subsection] [subsection] [heading]Free CLEP Help[/heading]
A normal college course includes classroom instruction followed by testing and then the granting of credits earned. Using our free lesson plans, you will be able to take advantage of your child’s independent study skills, thus replacing the need for the instructional phase of the college class with appropriate books and videos we’ve selected as study tools. Your child will prepare for the exam, and the College Board will issue him or her credits for passing the test. These credits can be “banked” with the College Board and then transferred to the college of your choice in the future. Our website is 100% ministry-based.[/subsection] [subsection] [heading]Do All Colleges Accept CLEP Credits?[/heading]
More than 2,900 schools accept CLEP credits. The exams have a ninety-minute, multiple-choice format. There are other widely accepted credit-by-examination programs as well, such as the DANTES program. It’s important to check with the colleges on your “wish list” to see how many credits they allow to be “transferred in” from any one testing source. The colleges we have listed are very “credit by examination” friendly, some even allowing you to “test out” of your entire four-year degree! Remember, too, that colleges have enrollment requirements, such as SAT scores and basic skills tests, and colleges often waive these requirements when a student has already accumulated college credits.[/subsection] [subsection] [heading]”Backing Up” Your Transcript[/heading]
Passing CLEP exams demonstrates to college admission officers not only that your student has mastered high school level work, but also that he or she is already doing college level work. This should be sufficient evidence to demonstrate proficiency.
However, some colleges want to see a portfolio of the student’s completed high school work. This portfolio helps back up your homeschool transcript. Consider including some of the following components in your student’s portfolio:[listitem]Details about any work experiences and internships.[/listitem] [listitem]Samples of the student’s writing ability (passing the CLEP English Composition exam should be enough).[/listitem] [listitem]List of contests won or any honors achieved.[/listitem] [listitem]List of literature read during the high school years (classics, etc.).[/listitem] [listitem]Any other samples of student work that show proficiency.[/listitem] [/subsection] [subsection] [heading]Where Do I Start?[/heading]
The most common question we receive is, “Where do I start?” Here’s some advice that may help you along with some answers to our most frequently asked questions.[numlist type=”normal”] [listitem][emphasize]Focusing on the actual test is a common error.[/emphasize] I want to encourage you to see the value in the entire process, start to finish. By tackling a CLEP exam, your child will:
When our oldest daughter was entering seventh grade, we were blessed to attend a seminar on the topic of distance learning that was led by the Bruce Eagleson family. The seminar was held at the ENOCH convention (New Jersey) and was “perfect timing” for us. We were just beginning to formulate a vision for homeschooling through high school and had the typical questions about diplomas and college entrance. We also were deeply concerned about the potential to encourage compromise of our daughter’s worldview by taking college classes, especially those under the social sciences umbrella.
The knowledge we share on our website is an accumulation of information passed on to us by others who have paved the way, and we are truly grateful for their pioneer spirit. We thank them for their willingness to share their wisdom with us. We also give all the glory to God for always making our path straight during our homeschool journey. CLEP is just one more example of how God has shown us the “way to go” each step of the way.
We hope you are blessed by the information we are sharing. Currently, our eldest daughter (now 18) has close to forty college credits and will be finishing her associate of arts degree this coming year. Our second daughter (age 16) has twelve credits. Only three more students to go, and we look forward to again accessing our own web pages for their success!
After learning all I could about CLEP for my children, I decided to use the same knowledge for my own benefit. Working with Thomas Edison State College, I am now two classes away from graduating myself, using some of my own lesson plans to get my degree!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our family; simply use the buttons provided on the website. We hope our experience is an encouragement to you as you embark on your own journey.[/subsection] [/section]