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CLEP: College-level exams offered free on base for members

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The 123rd Airlift Wing Education and Training Office is now offering College Level Examination Program, or CLEP, exams free of charge to service members interested in advancing their military and civilian educations.

The exams allow members to save time and money by earning credit for knowledge acquired through independent study, prior course work, job training or life experience. By passing a test to prove a knowledge base in one of 52 subjects, members may be eligible to satisfy proficiency requirements and gain college credit.

"Normally, this is something that is offered at active-duty military bases," said Senior Master Sgt. Brenda Stroud, wing education and training manager. "The tests can make a major difference for people pursuing their degrees, and we hope many of our members are going to take advantage of this opportunity."

According the Sergeant Stroud, the exams offer Wing members the easiest path toward completing the five general education classes they need to finish their Community College of the Air Force associate's degrees. The CCAF degrees help members advance professionally in their military careers and pursue advanced degrees through civilian institutions.

"This is really a good deal for our members, the wing and the state," said Lt. Col. Dallas Kratzer, director of personnel for the Kentucky Air National Guard. "In addition to helping members achieve their goals, it's going to save the state money on tuition. It's a great way to get recognition of what you've already accomplished."

The idea for providing the tests on base was the project of Senior Master Sergeant Willis Blackwell, the former education and training manager.

Interested participants are encouraged to contact the education and training office. Tests must be ordered in advance. Once exams are ordered, members can schedule a time to complete their tests Monday through Friday at 1 p.m. Tests will not be offered during drill weekends. More information on CLEP examinations is available on the Wing Community of Practice site. To schedule a test, contact Sergeant Stroud at brenda.stroud@ang.af.mil or at (502) 413-4421.

Veterans and retirees are eligible for reimbursement for CLEP exams and other national tests through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Visit www.gibill.va.gov for more information. On-base tests are only offered to active, Reserve or National Guard members.