Assessment Center helps students continue education and careers with testing, evaluation and licensing.
By Maritza Ramirez
The Assessment Center at this college is promoting an exam that allows students to get credit for introductory classes without taking them.
Eligible students can test out of such a class by passing the College Level Examination Program, or CLEP.
The test is “recognized by the state for earning credit hours at SAC,” said Oscar C. San Miguel, associate director of the Assessment Center, which also offers evaluation testing and occupational testing for licensing.
“Spanish is the most popular test,” he said of the CLEP. “Most students that come in are Hispanic, and you don’t want to take a Spanish class if you already know the language.”
Other CLEP tests provide credit for courses including ENGL 1301, Composition 1; GOVT 2305, Federal Government; History 1301, U.S. History 1; Math 1314, College Algebra; and Biology 1406, Biology for Science Majors 1.
The CLEP is offered several times a month. Registration begins today for March 9 CLEP testing, one of five dates remaining this month. Students must register in person at the Assessment Center, Room 112 of Fletcher Administration Center.
“We are trying to promote the CLEP for the benefit of the student,” San Miguel said.
The registration fee is $100.
San Miguel said the average passing grade is a 50 for credit, and the maximum grade is a 75.
Once the student passes a CLEP course, paperwork is generated, sent to admissions and credit hours are earned, he said. All introductory classes are available for testing, and those who have skills in those areas should consider testing out of those classes. CLEP is beneficial to students because they can earn credit hours and graduate earlier.
Dates and times for CLEP testing are updated every month online. For more information, students can visit http://alamo.edu/sac/assessment/clep-test.aspx and click on “CLEP Information and Testing Schedule.”
In addition to the CLEP, the center also helps new students find their place at this college.
For new students’ Texas Success Initiative status, the center reviews test scores from the SAT, ACT or STAR and transcripts to identify skill levels of reading, writing and math, said Oscar C. San Miguel, associate director of the Assessment Center.
Students who need to be evaluated and assessed are first-time-in-college students, returning students and transfer students.
Testing hours for TSI are 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-noon and 2:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday.
“The law says students need to be assessed of how well prepared they are for college,” San Miguel said.
“There are certain threshold scores that need to be assessed,” he said.
“Once we look at their test scores, we can see the level of where they are at,” San Miguel said.
San Miguel said college graduates, those who have an associate degree and military may be exempt.
For exemptions from remedial courses, students must have received a satisfactory score on the SAT, ACT and STAR. San Miguel said scores are evaluated by the assessment center. TAKS and Accuplacer scores are still acceptable within five years for skill level evaluation, San Miguel said.
San Miguel said for example, if someone enrolled in English and withdrew from a course, any test scores, course completion and course enrollment are used for assessment.
If students meet the TSI requirement, “We will appropriately place the student at the right level where they are at, San Miguel said. “If not they must enroll in remedial classes.”
At that point, advisers take over to help students sign up for classes.
San Miguel said students can take the TSI exam any time of the year. Students will start in the beginning of fall or spring depending when they take the TSI, he said. Typically, there will be more students testing for TSI about a month before the semester starts, San Miguel said.
Other than the TSI, there are a few more tests taken at the testing center: the Test of Essential Academic Skills, Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, correspondence exams, Test of English Proficiency and College Level Examination Program. The Assessment Center proctors those exams, San Miguel said.
The TEAS is required for nursing program candidates at this college and other institutions, San Miguel said. The examination is done through the TEAS worksite. When the test is going to be taken, the student will select which nursing school they want their scores to be sent, he said.
“Our only role is to proctor the test,” San Miguel said.
After the test the student receives the test score, but the score is not interpreted through the testing center, San Miguel said.
The TCEQ is an exam proctored for environmental occupations in waste and water/ground water fields, he said. There are 25 tests that are all environmentally related. There are other testing centers around the state, but the state needed an agency in San Antonio to proctor the licensing exams, he said. Some working professional companies for the city or county government will pay for examination depending on arrangements, San Miguel said.
“The company can pay directly or it can get reimbursed; it all depends,” he said.
“Correspondence exam is for taking exams for online classes,” San Miguel said.
That exam is for students taking online classes at any college or university that needs the student to have their test proctored, San Miguel said. Even Stanford and Harvard universities have had students come in for their examination, he said. The student takes the examination at a testing center where they live, he said. The test is sent to the testing center through mail or email sent with a password, he said. San Miguel said the test can be on paper or computer based.
According to this college’s Assessment Center webpage, the instructor sends all the test requirements and test materials for the correspondence exam to be proctored for the student. The student usually contacts the center to schedule the examination, he said.
The TEP for American Sign Language and interpreting majors is required before the student moves on for sign language interpretation. The test is sent to the assessment center in the mail, San Miguel said. Students take the test through the department of health and human services prior to graduation at the Assessment Center, he said. This test must be taken before the state certificate examination, San Miguel said.
Students with questions can visit the Assessment Center in Room 112 of Fletcher Administration Center. Office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday; 9:45 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month.
For more information, call 210-486-0446, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 210-486-9883.
This college’s Assessment Center encourages students to consider taking the College Level Examination Program to test out of classes in which they already have proficiency. Classes include:
Business and computer science: COSC 1301, Introducing to Computing; BUSI 2301, Business Law 1; MRKG 1311, Principles of Marketing
Composition and literature: ENGL 2327 and 2328, ENGL 1301 and 1302, Composition 1 and 2; ENGL 2322 and 2323, British Literature 1 and 2; and HUMA 1301, Introduction to the Humanities 1
Foreign Languages: FREN 1411 and 1412, Elementary French 1 and 2; FREN 2311 and 2312; GERM 1411 and 1412; Elementary German 1 and 2; SPAN 1411 and 1412, Elementary Spanish 1 and 2; SPAN 2311 and 2312, Intermediate Spanish 1 and 2
History and Social Sciences: GOVT 2305, Federal Government; HIST 1301 and 1302, U.S. History 1 and 2; PSYC-2301, General Psychology; SOCI 1301, Introductory Sociology; ECON 2301 and 2302, Principles of Macroeconomics and Principles of Microeconomics; HIST 2311, Western Civilization
Science and Mathematics: BIOL 1406 and 1407, Biology for Science Majors 1 and 2; MATH 1314, College Algebra; MATH 2412 and 2413, Precalculus and Calculus 1; CHEM 1411 and 1412, General Chemistry 1 and 2