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Reading High School Students Earn College Credits with CLEP Testing

May 4, 2017

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - During early April, 63 Reading High School students got a head start on college by excelling in the College Board's College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) in Spanish I and Spanish II. Reading Area Community College tested 36 students, while Kutztown University tested 27 students. All 63 students passed the CLEP test in Spanish; of those, 62 students scored advanced and one student scored proficient. Students who scored advanced, 63 to 80 points, are eligible for 12 transcripted college credits, while the student who scored proficient, between 50 and 62 points, is eligible for six transcripted college credits. Overall, Reading High School students scored an average of 71 out of 80 total points on the test.

Students completing the exam can carry CLEP credits into a college degree program at either school. CLEP has been the most widely trusted credit-by-examination program for more than 40 years, accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities and administered in more than 1,800 test centers. Both RACC and KU serve as CLEP testing centers open to the public.

"The success of this program goes beyond academics and college readiness," said Waldo Alvarado, Reading School District's director of diversity and equity. "There are also financial and cultural affirmation advantages. For our families and students, it saves them time and money in their college journey. In addition, our students maintain a sense of cultural pride and confidence as multilingual individuals as they continue their education."

Reading School District invested slightly more than $5,000 to purchase the tests for each student and to transport them to the testing centers at the colleges. The Reading School District's investment in its students paid off: the total successful CLEP credits that can be used toward their college education hold a potential market value of $130,000.

"Reading School District expresses its gratitude to its partners, Reading Area Community College and Kutztown University. These institutions waived the test proctoring fee and also provided campus tours and admission orientation sessions for our students," said Alvarado.

According to the College Board:

Financial aid recipients earning Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit had dramatically higher bachelor's degree completion rates (72%) than their non-PLA counterparts (16%).

More than 50% of PLA students earned a degree in seven years, compared to 21% of non-PLA students.

Hispanic PLA students earned bachelor's degrees at a rate that was almost eight times higher than that of Hispanic non-PLA students.

91% of CLEP test takers said CLEP made a difference in helping them to complete their degrees.

For more information on the College Board visit https://clep.collegeboard.org/about-clep.