Just as people gather to begin the first steps of a marathon, hundreds of Airmen from Ramstein Air Base flocked to the National Testing Center to earn 1,671 college credits during the CLEP-a-thon Feb. 9 to 13.
The weeklong event gave Airmen the opportunity to test for college credits that go toward their Community College of the Air Force degree or any upper-level degree an individual might be working on.
“I had never taken a CLEP before this week, and now I’ve completed 28 college credits,” said Airman 1st Class Jasmine Hunt, 693rd Intelligence Support Squadron cyber system operator.
In order to earn their CCAF degree, Airmen must complete 64 credit hours. Although the journey may seem long to some, the CLEP-a-thon allowed Airmen to complete as many credit hours as they wanted and helped Airmen sprint to their CCAF goal instead of slowly strolling.
College Level Examination Programs and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests are based on the premise that some individuals enrolling in college have already learned part of what is taught there. These programs allow individuals to demonstrate their college level learning by taking examinations that assess the knowledge and skills taught in college courses.
“By taking and passing a CLEP or DSST exam, students can earn their degree much faster,” said Michael Jones, 86th Force Support Squadron education services specialist. “A great example of this is Airman Hunt. During this last CLEP-a-thon, she earned over 25 college credits. This is just about the equivalent of one year of college, and she did it in one week.”
To add a little competitive edge to the CLEP-a-thon, the Ramstein Education Office had Airmen write their name on a bulletin board every time they passed a test to see which squadron could have the most Airmen earn credits. After five days of testing, the results are in. The 86th Security Forces Squadron had the most Airmen participate, and they passed a total of 40 tests.
“There were more than 700 tests given throughout the week, and it was great seeing so many people participate,” Jones said. “While the CLEP-a-thon may be over, anyone can still sign up to take a test. As long as they are command-sponsored, it does not matter what branch of military they fall under.”
Though the CLEP-a-thon has ended, unlike a marathon, the race to seek knowledge and better oneself never ends. Airmen are still able to schedule test dates for any course they wish to earn credits for by contacting their on-base education center.