CLEP Program Case Studies & Best Practices

A strong CLEP program depends on the diligent efforts of test center staff, K–12 educators, and higher education professionals in helping all students reach their educational goals. The case studies below highlight best practices for administering CLEP Programs at both the high school and college level. We hope that their stories inspire you to come up with other ways your students can use CLEP to achieve academic and career success.

High School

Colorado Gear Up is a unique program focused on helping low-income and first-generation students graduate from high school and prepare for college. By introducing CLEP exams to students in the program, these students understand the value of college credits and the process of preparing to succeed on a comprehensive exam—all as part of an intensive focus on helping traditionally underrepresented students build the skills and knowledge needed for college readiness.

Orange County Public Schools in Florida used CLEP as another way to help AP students who did not earn scores of 3 or higher on their AP Exams to still receive credit for the AP coursework they completed over the school year. This study highlights the importance to educate students, their families, and their school counselors about what the CLEP opportunity represents in terms of earning credit, saving money once they get to college, and having a head start on their postsecondary plans.

Higher Education

Miami Dade College (MDC) has actively offered students the opportunity to earn credit for prior learning through CLEP for many years. In this study, learn about the success of MDC's CLEP Program due to a robust credit policy, consistent outreach to high schools, and promotion of CLEP to its current students.

Northern Virginia Community College has long emphasized opportunities to take advantage of credit for prior learning to help adult students complete courses and degrees efficiently and affordably. Learn about their strategies for raising awareness for CLEP on campus, including support materials promoting its CLEP credit policy, outreach to student advisers and faculty, as well as specialized training for specific student segments including military, career, and technical education.

Rio Salado College, Maricopa County Community College District offers accessible and convenient testing options, a strong CLEP credit policy, and an innovative academic advising program to help inform students about how they can earn credits and help them determine if available credit options will support their degree and career goals.

Thomas Edison State College—New Jersey (TESC), established in 1972, was launched exclusively for adult learners and serves students wherever they live or work. By including information about CLEP exams and earning credits for prior learning early in the advisory process, TESC helps its adult learner student body achieve their degree goals more quickly and more affordably. More than 4,200 students at Thomas Edison State College used CLEP exams during the 2013-14 academic year to earn credits for prior learning and to satisfy degree requirements.

University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) testing manager Francine Feero uses in-class presentations for local high school students, works with the local organizations, exhibits at local job fairs, and participates in community workshops to help make people in her community aware of CLEP.

University of Maryland University College serves more than 84,000 students in the U.S. and around the world and offers credits for CLEP exams in the natural sciences, the humanities, the social sciences, history, biology, chemistry, economics, English, finance, government, mathematics, and sociology. Many of the college's global locations are in military installations, so military personnel have immediate access to the college’s programs.

University of North Georgia is the result of a consolidation merging the North Georgia College and State University (NGCSU) and Gainesville State College. With Gainesville State College's deep involvement in the Adult Learning Consortium in Georgia and NGCSU's active engagement in the Soldiers to Scholars initiative, a program focused on prior learning assessment, CLEP was a natural fit for the institution in giving students another opportunity to earn credit to reach their college goals. In addition, with the university's rapid growth putting some pressure on course availability, CLEP allowed students to earn credits for the core courses they needed while freeing up room for other students in those courses.

Western Kentucky University—Kentucky (WKU) granted more than 2,000 hours of CLEP credit to students during the 2013-14 academic year. By engaging in outreach to high school counselors, parents of high school students, and incoming freshmen, and by continuously communicating with internal advisers, counselors, faculty, and administrators throughout the university community, WKU helps students receive valuable information about CLEP opportunities and benefits.