Bridging the Educational Gap Through Credit by Examination
11/26/12 11:33 AM
By Alicia Jacobs, Excelsior Life News Staff
According to the Lumina Foundation, there are 36.2 million Americans ages 25 to 64 years with some college, but no degree.
With educating these individuals essential to developing a more college educated workforce by 2025, educational institutions throughout the country are searching for ways to bridge this gap. Excelsior College meanwhile is continuing to focus on one of its core pathways: Excelsior College Examinations (ECE).
Excelsior Life recently sat down with Dr. Patrick Jones, vice provost at Excelsior, to discuss credit by examination and why exams may hold the key for alleviating the cost burden of degree attainment for many adult learners. Jones is a psychometric expert, trained in assessing individuals or groups based on knowledge, skills, and abilities for accountability purposes. He also has extensive experience in testing competency levels.
“Taking an Excelsior College Examination is efficient in both time and money for new or returning students since they don’t have to repeat a course,” said Jones. “Excelsior College Examinations provide an alternative pathway for someone who wants to take a test their knowledge, skills, and competency equivalent to a traditional college-level course.”
“A good exam will have outcomes that will match to the curriculum requirements of the content that is being measured. The outcomes should also map directly to the format of test questions and difficulty level.”
For example, for an undergraduate course in statistics, one would expect the test questions and their format would be comparable to the syllabus.
Excelsior College offers forty exams in a variety of subject areas. Students can earn between three and six credits depending on the exam.
Exams allow students to pursue independent study, are administered worldwide at more than 4,500 testing centers, and accepted by more than 1,500 college and universities.
In addition, Excelsior has recently matched Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered through MIT, Notre Dame, and other institutions to 31 of its exams.