One Step Closer

At the beginning of this semester, I had four requirements for graduation. First, three classes of 4000 level Psychology classes, as I'd finished the psychology sub-requirements over the summer and one historical perspectives course.

Those of you who have been following along are wondering about that second one, aren't you? The Spanish 3 class I opted to take this semester is an elective. Honestly, the fourth class this semester was always planned to be an elective, something fun in my final semester.

How will graduate without enrolling in a class that is required?

Easy. All along, I had planned to take a CLEP exam. For just under $100.00 and three hours of reviewing material that was familiar to me, I took History of the United States II (1865 to present). My University, as suggested by the College Board and Educational Testing Services, grants 3 credits for American history to any student who scores 50 or better on this 90 minute, multiple choice exam.

I scored a 58. In College Board parlance, that is the equivalent to a B-without spending 15 weeks in a classroom, without the lectures, the term paper and tests. For less than the price of the textbook for the class, I now have fulfilled the last requirement for graduation.

If you've contemplated going back to school and are intimidated by how long it'd take to get all the classes done, the CLEP is a good option for those who have practical experience and/or like to do independent study.

Back in 1992, when I was recovering from wrist reconstruction surgery, I studied for two CLEP exams and earned full credit. (Marketing, with a 78/80 and Management, with a 70/80) Thanks to earning the credit for those courses, the stage was set all along for me to utilize this resource again.

While I could have taken a psychology class or two via CLEPs, I wanted the classroom experience. The American history exam was right up my alley, thanks to being a NPR junkie for many years. I figured 30 plus years of being on top of current events and politics might make a segment of the exam much easier. It did.

The official results will not be submitted to USF for another 4 to 6 weeks, which is okay. The graduation ceremony is held before graduates are certified in mid-January.

Honestly, now that this is done and out of the way, the next six weeks will a cake walk. The psychology classes? They're all interrelated and enjoyable. The spanish class? Challenging and fascinating.

Exactly what classes in the semester should be.

Thanks, CLEP, for providing a way for me to not stress this last semester.
Thanks NPR, for Morning Addiction and All Things Considered to keep me in the know.


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