By Daniel Taylor
YOKOSUKA, Japan – Members of Yokosuka’s Navy College Office and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) partnered with University of Maryland University College Asia (UMUC) to host a CLEP-A-THON on Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka from May 24 to May 28.
The CLEP-A-THON event was designed to encourage Sailors to utilize College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams and DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs) to shorten their path to a college degree while saving on tuition costs.
During the competition, the first ever held at Yokosuka, UMUC kept their National Test Center open for five consecutive days to give participants the opportunity to test out of college courses by taking an unlimited number of CLEP exams and DSSTs without the need for appointments.
“The event made its debut in Atsugi in April, and has been offered throughout different UMUC Europe locations since 2014,” said Patricia Leone, UMUC’s Advanced Field Representative for Yokosuka, Negishi and Camp Fuji.
If earning a degree quicker and cheaper via CLEP and DDSTs was not enough incentive, in the spirit of fostering friendly competition, VFW (Post 1054) offered prizes to the command and the individual who passed the most exams.
“The VFW is providing the trophies as well as raffling off two steak dinners at the Canteen and a 50% discount off of the first year membership dues to the VFW,” said Leone.
First place in the command category went to Commander, Submarine Group Seven (CSG-7), with a total of 17 passed exams among the 14 commands that participated in the challenge. First place in the individual category was awarded to Interior Communication Electrician 2nd Class Hiroyo Kokubo who successfully completed eight CLEP exams. Kokubo is assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG-89) which took second place in the command category.
Almost 200 exams were administered by the Yokosuka’s National Test Center during the competition said Leone. She said it was a significant boost considering the testing center normally averages around eight CLEP exams per month.
Leone added that the surge in administered exams and an approximate $35,000 in tuition saved from the number of exams passed, helped make the CLEP-A-THON a success and something for UMUC to build off of for future events.
“We are hoping to have the event annually,” added Leone. “With the next event scheduled to be in January 2017.”
CLEP, DSST, and Pearson Vue exams are available weekly at the Yokosuka NTC. It is not required to be a UMUC student. Contact UMUC for more detail at YokosukaLab-Asia@umuc.edu or DSN: 241-4216
CFAY provides, maintains, and operates base facilities and services in support of 7th Fleet’s Forward-Deployed Naval Forces, 83 tenant commands, and 24,000 Military and civilian personnel.