Meeting General Education Requirements Using College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Tests

AS-2978-10/APEP/AA (Rev)


RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) make explicit its support for the use of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests in meeting California State University General Education requirements.  The CLEP exams can be used for both complete certification and area-only certification at both the California State University (CSU) and at the California Community Colleges (CCC); and be it further,

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU encourage public higher education testing centers to evaluate becoming CLEP testing sites; and be it further,

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to

  • Intersegmental Committee of Academic Senates
  • California State University
    • Executive Vice Chancellor Smith
    • Educational Policies Committee of the CSU Board of Trustees
    • Campus Senates
    • Campus Provosts
    • Raul Ramirez, Test Center Director, Cal Poly Pomona
  • California Community Colleges
    • Chancellor Scott
  • California Intersegmental Articulation Council (via listserv)
  • College Board
    • Pamela Kerouac, CLEP Senior Policy Analyst
    • Marc Singer, Associate Director, CLEP Academic Initiatives

RATIONALE: CSU Coded Memorandum AA-2010-09 (Systemwide Credit for External Examinations) and ASCSU Resolution AS-2942-10/AA (Rev) (Use of College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Tests to Meet General Education (GE) Requirements) explicitly support the use of CLEP exams to meet university-level unit credits and various specified areas of General Education.   The purpose of this resolution is explicitly to encourage that students use the CLEP exam or other testing-based pathways to demonstrate competency as a means of receiving credit for existing knowledge. Some CCCs have indicated uncertainty about the application of CLEP in certifying the completion of a CSU GE area as pass-through to the CSU for transfer students. Although it is noted that some CSU campuses have different GE requirements, CCCs have the ability to certify completion of a CSU GE area without requiring certification of the entire CSU GE package.  The use of CLEP as a means of achieving GE certification is an efficiency that the College Board is attempting to have more wide-spread adoption of within California.

Further, as identified in AS-2942-10/AA (Rev), it is believed that the use of the CLEP test process will be particularly advantageous in facilitating graduation for students who are current or former military personnel and others who would benefit from the ability to “test out” to show competency in various subject areas.  CLEP exams can be used to illustrate knowledge attainment independent of the usual route of formal academic credit attainment.

It is recognized that for some areas the availability of local testing opportunities is limited.  There are efforts underway to increase the availability of testing centers.  Such an increase in the availability of CLEP testing centers could yield benefits to students.

Approved Unanimously – November 4-5, 2010

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