DANTES modifies VOLED testing rules; retests will be at servicemember expense
by Ed Barker
GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- In an effort to ensure that service members adequately prepare for college credit examinations, the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) will only provide funding for initial testing for exams taken after May 20, 2010. If a retest is required, it will be at the expense of the service member.
The mission of DANTES is to support the off-duty, voluntary education programs of the Department of Defense (DoD) and conduct special projects and development activities in support of education-related functions of the DoD. DANTES programs include providing various examinations, such as high school equivalency, college admissions and college credit, and an extensive number of certification and licensing exams. Funding for retesting had previously been provided by DANTES.
Effective immediately, DANTES will only fund a service member's initial examination fee for each College Level Entrance Examination Program (CLEP) exam, DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) and Excelsior College Examinations (ECE). Retests will continue to be funded through DANTES for service members who took a test prior to May 20 and take the retest before Dec. 11, 2010.
"The initial pass rates for military on CLEP, DSST and ECE exams are lower than the statistical average and more than half of those who try the same exam again, don't do much better." said Dr. Carol Berry, DANTES director. "With funded retesting, service members may have taken exams with little or no preparation. With the prospect of having to pay for a retest, we anticipate more studying before the tests, and better scores."
"The new retesting rules will not only save the Navy money, but will save the service members quite a bit of time," said Ann Hunter, voluntary education chief for the Chief of Naval Personnel. If you fail a CLEP, DSST or ECE exam, you have to wait 180 calendar days to retake the exam. Ensuring that you're ready for the test and can qualify for college credits immediately after taking the exam gives a service member a head start on their voluntary education goals."
"Service members need to remember that these exams equate to a final course exam and should be treated as such," added Hunter. "Navy College counselors will be advising Sailors who desire to take a CLEP, DSST, ECE exam to prepare first. Group study and preparation sessions will be particularly helpful before attempting the exams. Free exam study sheets are available at the Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) Web site under the learning tab, or on the DANTES Web site."
"This policy goes hand-in-glove with our latest tuition assistance management control that requires new-accession Sailors to be at their first permanent duty station one year before using Tuition Assistance (TA)," continued Hunter. "Although DANTES-funded exams are not under the same one-year restriction as TA, Sailors can use this time to prepare for the DANTES-funded exams.
Additional guidance on the DANTES retesting policy and specific details on retesting procedures and transcript information can be found in a Naval Administrative message to be released in the near future.
For more information about DANTES, visit http://www.dantes.doded.mil.