SUPPLEMENTARY COURSES AND RESOURCES
The Family is made up of many nationalities residing in countries all around the world, so it has not proven practical or effective to attempt to have everyone use standardized textbooks or exactly the same teaching materials in all subjects, especially those not easily supported by Family-produced reference material. Though the Lord has blessed us with many wonderful publications, as a Family we have not produced our own textbooks for a number of subjects. For this reason we must rely on suitable supplementary sources.
Following is a listing of various courses, textbooks, reference books, videos, computer programs, cassette tapes, teaching materials and resources that some have found useful. It is beyond the scope or ability of this publication to touch on more than a few of the many useful educational materials and opportunities available on the market today. As our Family discovers more materials and other programs, we hope to update this section with more complete listings of various helpful audio and visual materials, sources of free and inexpensive materials, counsel on the educational use of personal computers, compact discs (CDs) and multimedia products, and the very rapidly developing educational uses being made of the Internet and the World Wide Web.
The materials we have listed here generally appear to be useful; however, we must point out that all non-Family materials may contain certain teachings, attitudes or views that we do not agree with. Please let us know of any items that contain significant errors or material that may need to be removed or have cautionary notes given concerning some aspect of their content or presentation. Also, since educational materials are continually being created, improved or replaced, we would very much appreciate receiving notice of any discontinuation or difficulty in obtaining any of the items listed here.
Though we believe you will find the different materials on this list helpful, we'd also like to encourage you to seek out other suitable materials locally. Consult with your CVC Course Supervisor or correspond with your CVC Instruction Coordinator to help you locate any needed teaching/learning materials. And if you do find suitable materials, please inform your CVC Instruction Coordinator of educational programs or materials that could be recommended to other students in your area or for the whole Family.
REFERENCE BOOKS AND OTHER RECOMMENDED MATERIALS
It is difficult to recommend any single source of reference material to our worldwide Family. Books are expensive and heavy items to ship internationally, plus they go out of print or out of stock very quickly in today's rapidly changing and very competitive book market. "Life expectancy" of much of the educational software is probably even shorter, as computers and programming change so rapidly. Also, material that is good for one country might not be so useful or informative for students in another country. Often students would benefit more from locally-produced books that address local needs, conditions and concerns.
One interesting development in our electronic age is that increasingly, books, magazines and other reading material are being "digitized" so they can be used by computers. Electronic reference books (on CD) may provide part of the solution to the problem of providing our far-flung Family with good material.
We have recommended some textbooks and reference books here, but only a scattering of titles and not a comprehensive or complete listing. CVC students are advised to seek out locally available sources of textbooks and reference books from schools, institutions, corporations, companies, embassies and libraries to supplement the study areas they are most interested in. Your Area CVC Instruction Coordinator will also try to assist Family members in finding the books and material they require for their CVC studies.
NEW MATERIALS AND YOUR LOCAL FED RESOURCE CENTER
As we discover new books and useful educational materials good for the whole Family, we will advise your local Family and Education Department (FED) about them so they can consider if they want to include them in their Resource Centers. CVC students who want to donate useful but no-longer-needed textbooks, educational software, or reference materials, or who have access to supplies of materials they think would be useful and good to make available to other CVC students in their area, should contact their CVC Instruction Coordinator or the overseer of their local Family and Education Department.
WORKBOOKS, COURSES AND STUDY UNITS
You will notice that for many of the courses, classes or study items listed below we have assigned a CVC course number and CVC credit value for your use and convenience. You will likely discover that there are other helpful training courses available locally or from sources not listed here. Your CVC Course Supervisor will help you assign a course number and credit value to any lengthy courses you take. To get a new course and credit value approved, the Course Supervisor should send the "New Course Approval" form (CVC Form NCA-001) to their CVC Instruction Coordinator, along with a photocopy of some of the resource material, or the table of contents, or a summary of the resource material.
Christian Light Education materials should be ordered through our Family distributor at this address:
15106A FREDERICK ROAD #274
ROCKVILLE, MD 20850-1162
TAPES AND VIDEOS
The availability of educational videos and educational television programs will vary significantly from country to country. Students in countries with access to cable TV or satellite hook-up may find several educational training programs available to them, ranging from teaching academic basics to advanced university level courses. Many educational programs are also being marketed on audio and video cassettes.
Note: Credits for extensive video courses should be agreed upon with your CVC Course Supervisor. Course Supervisors should apply for approval for video courses and credits, as mentioned above.
COMMENTS ON COMPUTER ASSISTED EDUCATION
One rapidly developing and changing area of education is the use of computers to assist learning. Education is going increasingly electronic. Educational software is currently a booming industry with many new products appearing on the market every month. Some items are very appealing and quite ideal for home-centered instruction. In time, we hope to provide students with a more complete list of recommended educational software and CD titles. For the moment we offer a few cautions about the educational use of computers:
(1) Computer educational programs and games can take away from other activities and consume more time than they are worth, so they need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. They can get one off track, especially if they lure one into the time-wasting world of non-educational computer games, many of which are openly violent and demonic.
(2) Computer users who venture into the forest of "cyberspace" through the Internet and the World Wide Web, face even more dangers, pitfalls, trips-offs and time-wasters. Also, there are bad people and bad "neighborhoods" in cyberspace that God's children must diligently stay away from, just as surely as they would not go into certain parts of a city at night. (To CVC Course Supervisors: We would strongly suggest that your students' access to the Internet be closely monitored and supervised, with specific guidelines as to what they should and should not acess. Further counsel and guidelines on the use of the Internet for educational purposes will be coming to you in future CVC updates.)
(3) Computers can become a source of vulnerability, a breach in privacy and personal security for those using them, especially when using the Internet.
The good news is that computers can supply quality information, training and fun if closely monitored and used wisely. Compact disks (CDs) can house what amounts to an entire set of encyclopedias on a single disk. Of course, different educational programs (software) can only be used if one has the right kind of computer equipment (hardware). It is our hope that CVC students will be able to secure access to computers at some time in their studies.
What computer system would we recommend?
For the sake of standardization in the Family, the CVC program uses and recommends the use of IBM compatible computers (486 or Pentium processors preferred) that have Microsoft Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 (or the latest upgrade) installed. The Windows system replaces the older DOS system. Windows can still run some of the older DOS programs, but more and more software companies are gearing their products for Windows. Most software that we will be recommending in the foreseeable future will be Windows compatible.
What kind of computer should one get?
With technology changing so rapidly, it is difficult for anyone to keep up. One popular computer magazine geared to the computer needs of the average small family offers the following advice as to what computer hardware basics you should aim for and expect to get for a $2000-$2500 (US) investment into a home computer setup. (Note: Hopefully you would be able to get much of this equipment donated.)
Color Monitor: 15-inch (The larger the screen, the easier it is to read. You get 15% more viewing area with a 15-inch screen as compared to a 14-inch screen.) When buying a monitor, look for a service warranty. The screen should be able to support 800 by 600 and 1024 by 768 pixels in non-interlaced mode. Look for a refresh rate, of at least 72 Hz (76 Hz is better). The higher the refresh rate the less flicker and the more stable the picture will appear. Controls should be on the front where you can get to them easily, and you should be able to easily reset the settings to the factory setting in case someone messes them up. The dot pitch, which is the distance between the pixel elements that make up the picture, should be no more than a 0.28-mm dot pitch. The smaller the dot pitch, the better and sharper picture you will get. Cheap monitors with dot pitches of 0.31-mm, 0.38-mm, or even 0.42-mm are not suitable.
CD-ROM Drives: Quad-speed CD-ROM drives transfer 600 kbps. This speed is becoming increasingly important if you plan to use multimedia CD materials, which you most likely will. (You can get by with dual-speed for now, if that's what you have, but faster speeds are needed for more sophisticated graphics.)
Hard Drive: 1 gigabyte (1024 MB). Prices are falling, so these large storage drives are now more affordable.
Sound: 16-bit sound card with wave-table MIDI synthesis. The "Sound Blaster" sound system is now often built into the motherboard. Many computer packages come with speakers.
Processor: 75-MHz Pentium. (This is the slowest Pentium processor now available. The Pentium 60 and 66 MHz processors have been discontinued.) This midrange processor can handle most family computer applications, though it is slower than the 100 MHz.
RAM: A minimum 8 MB of random access memory (RAM) are needed to run Windows 95 with not too many applications open. Try to get 16 MB (or more) if you can afford it, especially if you're running Windows 95 which itself uses a lot of memory.
Modem: A 14.4-kbps modem is sufficient for most Family communications, including connection to online services and casual connection to the Internet. Serious "communicators" in countries with very good phone lines (like the U.S.) may want to move up to the 28.8-kbps modem, which is becoming more common. (Note: The quality of phone service varies greatly from country to country, and you should inquire locally what modem and baud speeds work best on your phone lines. Of course, if the modem is a donation to you and you have the choice, there is no harm in having a modem with high speed capacity in a country that cannot support such a high speed, as it simply will run at whatever speed is available.)
Note: The system configuration listed above is fairly advanced, and you will be able to run much of the current educational software on a much cheaper system. It's good to shoot for the best if you can afford it or provision it, because with computer technology advancing so rapidly, the "latest" today may be quite "backward" in a year or two. However, a cheaper computer configuration will be sufficient if that is what you have or can obtain easily or very cheaply. Following are the minimum recommended computer requirements for running most educational (and other) software:
Processor: 486, running at 33 or 50 MHz
Hard drive: 320 MB
CD-ROM Drive: Dual-speed (but you should try to get a quad-speed. Multimedia programs using video and sound clips will often not run properly on a dual-speed.)
Monitor: 14" color
Sound: 16-bit sound card
RAM: 8 MB
Modem: 9600 bps
HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS AND COLLEGE ENTRANCE TESTS
In actual practice, a CVC Vocational or General High School Diploma will be sufficient for most demands for a high school diploma. However, should a Family young person decide they want to take a university course for credit from a college or university, they may be required to present a more recognized diploma, or perhaps be asked to pass a set of college entrance exams. There are also correspondence courses, cable television courses, video tape courses, courses offered over your computer via the Internet, courses offered in local schools and colleges, etc.
The GED Exam -- Fast Track to a High School Equivalency Diploma
Each of the 50 states in the USA offer a high school equivalency examination, which is sometimes called the GED (General Education Development) test. Although each state's procedures differ, in general this examination takes three to five hours and covers the full range of high school subjects. For most purposes, passing the test is the equivalent of receiving a high school diploma. For details about the test offered by any given state, contact that state's Department of Education in the state capital. There are often similar qualifying tests available in other countries.
Some North American (or fluent English-speaking) Family young people desiring a high school equivalency diploma have opted to take the GED exams. The GED test is usually a battery of five comprehensive examinations in the areas of grammar, social studies, science, literature, and mathematics. These tests were first developed after World War I for young soldiers who had missed out on their high school education because of the war. Since that time, these tests have been made available to everyone, though often one has to be over a certain age. Specific requirements vary from state to state. Those Family young people who have taken this test generally were surprised at how easy it was to pass. Most sections contain the answers to the questions right in the text that is provided, so one important tip is to be able to read well and understand what one reads. In other words, you don't necessarily have to know a lot of, say, American history to pass, but you just have to be able to read and understand what you read. The math section proved to be challenging for some, but usually their scores in other areas were high enough to average out well and cover for a lower score in math.
Several books are available on the market today to prepare students for this test. They make these books very thick and impressive -- which has unfortunately had the effect of scaring many young people away! If you decide to take this test, you may or may not need to review the material in one of these books. Some Family young people have not reviewed the material, but have taken the test by faith and passed, while others "brushed up" on their scholastics first by looking over one of these books.
You can take the GED tests at one of more than 3,000 official GED Testing Centers in the United States and Canada, and arrangements have also been made in other countries, such as Brazil, to administer the GED test to English-speaking, non-American students who want proof of an American education. Each year, about one-half million people earn their GED diplomas. The GED program provides an opportunity for adults to continue their education. Ninety-three percent of U.S. colleges and universities accept GED graduates who meet their other qualifications for admission. Approximately 96 percent of U.S. employers accept the GED diploma as equivalent to a traditional high school diploma. For information about GED tests or to obtain an official GED Practice Test developed by the American Council on Education, you could contact any of the state adult education programs, or the United States Department of Education -- Office of Vocational and Adult Education, or write the following address.
To order the official GED Practice Tests, send your order with a check or money order to:
The Learning Line
P.O. Box 81826
Lincoln, NE 68501 - 1826
Your order should include the following information:
* Please send me the Official GED Practice Test form CC (U.S. edition) -- $10.00.
* Please send me the Official GED Practice Test form AA (Canadian edition) -- $11.00 U.S. Dollars.
* Please send me the Official GED Practice Test form AA (Spanish-language edition) -- $11.00.
City, State or Province/Zip or Postal code
Enclosed is my money order for $
WHERE TO CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GED
Internet URL: gopher://www.gsa.gov/00/staff/pa/cic/employ/ged.txt
Alabama (800) 392-8086 or (205) 242-8182
Alaska (907) 465-4685
Arizona (800) 352-4558
Arkansas (501) 682-1978
California (916) 657-3346
Colorado (303) 866-6613
Connecticut (203) 638-4027
Delaware (800) 464-4357
District of Columbia (202) 576-6308
Florida (800) 237-5113 or (904) 487-1619
Georgia (404) 656-6632
Hawaii (808) 395-9451
Idaho (208) 334-2165
Illinois (800) 321-951
Indiana (800) 624-7585 or (317) 232-0522
Iowa (515) 281-3636
Kansas (913) 296-3192
Kentucky (800) 228-3382 or (502) 564-5117
Louisiana (504) 342-3510
Maine (800) 322-5455
Maryland (410) 333-2280
Massachusetts (800) 447-8844
Michigan (517) 373-8439
Minnesota (800) 222-1990 or (612) 645-3723
Mississippi (601) 982-6338 or (601) 359-3464
Missouri (314) 751-3504
Montana (406) 444-4438
Nebraska (402) 471-2475
Nevada (702) 687-3133
New Hampshire (603) 271-2249
New Jersey (609) 777-1050
New Mexico (505) 827-6616
New York (518) 474-5906
North Carolina (919) 733-7051, ext. 302
North Dakota (800) 544-8898 or (701) 224-2393
Ohio (800) 334-6679
Oklahoma (405) 521-3321
Oregon (503) 378-4325 or (503) 378-8585
Pennsylvania (717) 787-6747
Rhode Island (800) 443-1771
South Carolina (803) 734-8347 or (800) 922-1109
South Dakota (605) 773-4463
Tennessee (800) 531-1515 or (615) 741-7054
Texas (512) 463-9292
Utah (800) 451-9500 or (801) 538-7726
Vermont (800) 322-4004 or (802) 828-3131
Virginia (800) 237-0178
Washington (206) 753-6748
West Virginia (800) 642-2670
Wisconsin (608) 267-9448
Wyoming (307) 777-6220
U.S. TERRITORIES AND OTHERS
American Samoa (684) 633-5772
Guam (671) 734-4311, ext. 419
Mariana Islands (670) 234-5224
Marshall Islands (692) 625-3862
Micronesia (691) 320-2647
Panama (507) 52-3107
Puerto Rico (809) 754-7660
Virgin Islands (809) 774-0100, ext. 3060
St. Thomas; (809) 773-5488 St. Croix
Alberta (403) 427-0010
British Columbia (604) 356-7269
Manitoba (800) 465-9915
New Brunswick (506) 453-8251 [English]
New Brunswick (506) 453-8238 [French]
Newfoundland (709) 729-2405
Northwest Territories (403) 920-6218
Nova Scotia (902) 424-5805
Prince Edward Island (902) 368-4693
Saskatchewan (306) 787-5597
Yukon (403) 668-8740
USING AMERICAN SCHOOLS OUTSIDE THE USA
Students living outside North America who want to take the GED or SAT-I (another university entrance test), or other US tests locally might contact a local US-accredited or American-style school. Some of these schools have Internet access and e-mail. Perhaps one of them will issue you their accredited high school diploma if you take certain general tests and perhaps a few courses from their school. Two reference books that you might ask your local U.S. Embassy library if they have or if they could please make available are:
[ ] The ISS Directory of Overseas Schools 1995-96
This contains current, accurate information on more than 550 American-style elementary and secondary schools in over 152 countries, including 41 newly listed schools and 10 additional countries not listed in the previous edition. Includes e-mail addresses. (ISBN 0-913663-12-3, 531 pages, $34.95, pb.)
[ ] Peterson's Guide to Private Secondary Schools 1996-97
Covers more than 1,400 US-accredited schools worldwide. Includes extensive school descriptions plus expert guidance on how to make school selections, deal with admissions, finances, and more. (ISBN 1-56079-586-7, 1,370 pages, $29.95, 17th edition.) For information about this book call USA 800-338-3282, ext. 660 (English), ext. 462 (Spanish).
INDEPENDENT STUDY COURSES AND PROGRAMS
The US National University Continuing Education Association's 400 members offer over 10,000 correspondence courses in 40 broad fields (representing 584 specific areas of study) at high school and college levels. Work is typically done on a one-on-one basis, with faculty who design your instructional materials and guide your study. (If you have access to Internet/WEB, for more information go to: Peterson's Education Center and look at the Peterson's Online Catalog on Independent Study. http://www.petersons.com
Three quite expensive private schools that award high school diplomas or equivalency certificates through correspondence study are: American School (850 E. 58th St., Chicago, IL 60637, USA); Home Study International (6940 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912, USA); International Correspondence Schools (Scranton, PA 18515, USA).
The Independent Study High School of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The UNL (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) Independent Study High School correspondence program is an accredited program. They provide students with course plans, textbooks, and workbooks, as well as supplies for things like science experiments. They charge about $100 (US) per semester course. Foreign students applying for acceptance will likely be given a general achievement test (probably an Iowa Achievement test). If you have already earned a CVC High School diploma you could write and ask them what you would need to do, if anything further, to qualify for one of their high school diplomas. For a fee, they will probably arrange to give you a general set of achievement tests and then assign you a few of their high school courses. For more information about the University of Nebraska's home study program, telephone them at their USA number: (402) 472-4321. Or, you could inquire about gaining admission directly to their continuing education program and take one of the 75 courses offered, some of which are on-line. (University of Nebraska, 269 Nebraska Center for Continuing Education, 33rd and Holdrege, Lincoln, NE 68583. Phone: (402) 472-1926. If you are on the Internet you can also get most of the information you want by going to their home page: http://www.unl.edu/conted/
The Electronic High School (This is an example of one developing on-line academic high school program. We do not recommend this school since it does not provide recognized diplomas or certificates; but we include it here to illustrate the point to CVC students that independent at-home education is becoming increasingly popular and available.)
This is a new kind of high school in that their complete high school curriculum is offered on the Internet, hence it is called the "Electronic High School." The Grand County School District's School Board has accepted the curriculum and allows the Electronic High School to grant high school credit through Grand County High School, which is an accredited high school. However, there are a few catches. Only students living in Grand County, Utah, get full credits; students living outside the country (which in the case of Internet could be anywhere in the world that offers Internet access) are only awarded high school completion certificates, and it is up to the student to get these recognized by their local school officials.
The courses they offer at present are very traditional and do not take advantage of all the multimedia abilities of the Internet. It is simply a somewhat on-line version of the curriculum being used in their alternative high school, textbook-based learning -- read the chapter and answer the questions. They require English 9-12 (four quarters), one geography, one world history, one US history, two applied math, one biology, one physical science, .5 year health, .5 year computer literacy, 1.5 year physical education, 1.5 year fine arts. They require some vocational studies and let the student chose others. They are presently working on making better use of all the Internet resources, which the CVC program is also in the process of doing. One possibility is to register for certain courses. [Note: The overall value of the certificate awarded by them to an Internet student would be about the same as a CVC General High School diploma.]
Registration: Jolene M. Morris, phone: 801-259-8421, e-mail address: morrisTechnology Director
Grand Country School District
264 South 400 East
Moab, Utah 84532
Cyber High School (This is an example of a private, on-line, college preparation school operated totally over the Internet. Again we do not recommend this high school to CVC students, but include it here to provide our students with another example of an increasing number of innovative independent learning programs being created. Also it illustrates how very inexpensive the CVC program is by comparison to this unaccredited and unrecognized secular high school service. )
This school has been operating since September, 1995. To become a student you must pass some tests and pay them $4200 per year tuition. (Ouch!) By using the many free resources available on the Internet, plus scheduling one-to-one communication time or group discussions by e-mail and IRC (Internet Relay Chat), this school is able to operate. They do not offer an accredited diploma, so there is no advantage in a CVC student paying all that money for what they can essentially do for themselves in the CVC program. For example, a CVC student can just as easily go to one of many free electronic book sites on the Internet and find the complete works of Shakespeare:
or read Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice:
or read the Bible: http://www.gospelcom.net/bible
or look through the Oxford text archives for themselves: ftp://ota.ox.ac.uk/pub/ota/textarchive.list
and get high school credits through the CVC program. What is interesting is seeing how rapidly education is going "electronic" and "on-line."
CORRESPONDENCE COLLEGE-LEVEL STUDY
If you are inclined to go to college or university, you no longer have to leave the mission field to do so. You can stay on the mission field and take university courses right where you are. Bringing such outside classes into your Home via the Internet, or deciding to spend a fair amount of your time on outside correspondence courses is equivalent to attending outside schools or engaging in outside classes, and should have the agreement of a two-thirds majority of your Home, as mentioned in the Charter, pg. 132, point 9 J.
Distance Learning -- Electronic Universities, learning the "Electronic Way"
The National University Continuing Education Association's members also offer over 700 for-credit courses and degree programs through electronic means, including television, computers, and videocassettes. More than 300,000 people are engaged in distance learning offered by these universities, with 30,000 enrolled in full degree programs. If you have access to the Internet/WEB go to: Peterson's Education Center and look at the Peterson's Online Catalog on Independent Study: http://www.petersons.com/
Correspondence courses vary greatly in cost, so it pays to shop around. A typical correspondence course will have from 5 to 25 lessons, each one requiring a short written paper or answering a set of questions. There is always a supervised final exam that can be taken anywhere in the world, providing you find someone like a high school or college teacher to supervise the taking of the exam. Some schools limit how fast a student can complete courses. The shortest time is generally 2 or 3 weeks, while the longest time allowed is from 3 months to two years.
Many schools and colleges, especially in the USA, now offer on-line courses and welcome students from outside the USA. You will find a list of these colleges in John Bear's book, College Degrees by Mail. A few examples are:
Arizona State University Correspondence Study Office, ASB 112, Temple, AZ 85287. Phone: (USA) (602) 965-6563. (90 courses offered).
Brigham Young University Independent Study, 206 Harmon Continuing Education Building, Provo, UT 84604. Phone: (USA) (801) 378-2868. (280 courses offered.) They offer an accredited adult high school diploma program as well.
Home Study International, 6940 Carroll Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912 USA. Phone: (USA) (202) 722-6572. (70 courses offered.)
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701 USA. Although it may not be on-line yet, does also offer through their Division of Continuing Education, an External High School Diploma program for those wanting a high school diploma through correspondence.
Note: High school diplomas issued from the above universities are equivalent to diplomas issued elsewhere, and are accepted everywhere in the USA.
Books that are available on this subject are:
The Electronic University: A Guide to Distance Learning Programs
Provides a complete listing of degree programs and certificates delivered to home or workplace via television, computer, or videocassette. (ISBN 1-56079-139-X, 194 pages, $16.95 pb.)
The Independent Study Catalog: A Guide to Over 10,000 Continuing Education Correspondence Courses
This book is published by Peterson's Guides, Inc., and describes over 10,000 high school, college, and graduate courses that can be taken exclusively by mail. (ISBN 1-56079-460-7, 288 pages, $16.95 pb.) Phone USA (800) 334-3282.
College Degrees by Mail: 100 Accredited Schools that Offer Bachelor's and Law Degrees by Home Study.
This book by John and Mariah Bear is published by Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California 94707, USA.
Also available from US junior colleges and universities are what are called Associate's Degrees. These are two-year college degrees, many of which are available through correspondence. Many will take into account CVC experience portfolios and grant advanced credits. For example, if you speak a foreign language and have lived and traveled abroad as a missionary, you may be able to get many advanced placement credits towards this degree. One reference book that lists more than 2000 associate degree programs found in all 50 states in the USA is:
A Directory of US College and University Degrees for Part-Time Students
This book is produced by the National University Extension Association (One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 360, Washington, DC 20036, USA).
COLLEGE CREDIT AND COLLEGE ENTRANCE TESTS
Students who do not care to go to college or university, but who want to work their way through college by independent study, can do so partly by writing special tests.
Those who want to physically attend a college or university may have to take certain admissions test. We are providing some testing information below, but it is not practical or possible to more than generally advise college-bound students, since each student's situation will differ and each institution will have its own set of rules and requirements.
College admission testing programs are run by private agencies like The College Entrance Examination Board (45 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10023-6992, USA). They produce tests like the SAT-I (Scholastic Aptitude Test).
There are any number of special tests that one can take in all sorts of areas.
In the USA, college-bound students often pay a fee and write qualifying exams in order to enter some of the better colleges. The hidden bottom line is that testing in the USA has become big business. For example, those who produce the ACT (American College Testing Program, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, IA 52243-0168), a completely private organization, have a budget of $60 million and a staff of 900 employees. About two and a half million American students take either the SAT-I or the ACT test each year. Many worried students take both, and often more than one time, in order to try to have a good score. These tests often contain trick or trap questions in which the answer looks obvious, but is really something else. Students have to be wary of "distractor answers." Students have to know how to budget their time and not over- analyze or agonize. Actually, many students going to college skip these tests. According to a recent survey by FairTest, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, there are 236 colleges and universities in the USA that do not require either the SAT or the ACT for admissions. A full listing of those that do not can be obtained from FairTest at (USA) (617) 864-4810. Some schools ask students to take the test for general placement purposes and not as an admission requirement.
SAT-I (Scholastic Aptitude Test)
This test is the standard proving ground for students wanting to go to an Ivy League school. It has been renamed from SAT to SAT-I and restructured. This test contains 78 questions testing verbal skills (you have about 75 minutes to answer these, so don't take longer than a minute per question or you are in trouble), 60 math problems (75 minutes), and about 30 minutes of pre-testing activities. You can use a calculator during the math test, which covers questions from basic math to trigonometry and algebra. There are four longer reading sections that test reading skills. Some find the SAT questions harder than the ACT questions, except in science. For more information about tests contact the Educational Testing Service at (USA) (609) 771-7600. Here is the URL where one can get study help for the SAT test: http://www.testprep.com/wwmain.sat.html
ACT (American College Testing)
Universities in twenty-eight states throughout the Southeast, Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions of the USA use this test. One is allowed 175 minutes to complete this test which comes in four parts: English (75 questions), mathematics (60 questions), reading (40 questions), and science reasoning (40 questions). For more information about this test phone The American College Testing Program at (USA) (319) 337-1270.
MLA Foreign Language Proficiency Tests
This test comes in two parts. Part A takes about half a day, and tests students' proficiency in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing a foreign language. If you pass part "A," it is worth 24 semester hours of credit at the University of the State of New York. (That is almost half of the semester hours of schooling you would need for an associate college degree!) Part B covers linguistics, civilization and culture, and language-teaching techniques. It also takes about half a day and is worth about nine more semester hours if you pass. Three schools supervise this exam, but sometimes other arrangements can be made:
The University of the State of New York
Thomas Edison State College of New Jersey
Charter Oaks College in Connecticut
DANTES (The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support)
DANTES (send mail c/o Educational Testing Services, Mail Stop 3/X, Princeton, NJ 08541 USA) used to only be available to people in the military, but now DANTES tests are available to all fee-paying customers. Passing these tests can mean advanced placement in a university. The underlying idea is, "Why go to university when you can just take a few tests and get your degree?" Some tests available through DANTES include: Beginning German I and II, Beginning Italian I, Beginning Spanish I and II, Introduction to World Religions, Introduction to College Algebra, Physical Geography, Principles of Physical Science I, etc. You may be able to arrange to take one of these exams at an American military base.
You may also be able to arrange to take CLEP and PEP (Proficiency Examination Program) exams from DANTES through the education officer at a military base as well. (See CLEP comment below.) The URL for DANTES is: http://voled.doded.mil/dantes/
Advanced Placement Examinations
The College Board Advanced Placement Program (888 7th Ave., New York, NY 10106 USA) offers exams specifically for high school students who wish to earn college credits while they are still in high school. Exams are available in 13 subject areas.
CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)
CLEP exams are offered by the College-Level Entrance Examination Board ("The College Board"). They are located at CN 6600, Princeton, NJ 08541-6600 USA. CLEP offers about 30 subject area exams. Each test takes about 90 minutes and contains mainly multiple-choice questions, though some tests may ask for an essay. It cost about $30 a test. Each college sets its own standard as to minimum scores allowed on these tests and how many advanced placement credits they will give to a student who has passed various CLEP exams. Study helps for these tests are often available commercially.
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Christian Vocational College