MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
(Editor's note: The mention of the educational institution Wiregrass Georgia Technical College does not constitute endorsement or affiliation by Moody Air Force Base or the U.S. Air Force.)
Moody 5/6 and Wiregrass Georgia Technical College hosted a free marathon-themed testing event at the annual CLEP-A-Thon, July 23-26, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., where they pursued their higher educational and self-improvement goals.
More than 200 Airmen took as many Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams as they could during the four-day period, with each passing score earning them college credit.
“The CLEP-A-Thon is designed to draw people in to see how easy it is to do college testing and take classes,” said Darryl Gagne, 23d Force Support Squadron (FSS) education specialist. “It gets their foot in the door, and once they start taking those baby steps, they start saying ‘I can do this.’”
In addition to giving Airmen educational confidence, these exams can help them expedite the time it takes to earn their Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) or applicable degree.
“The exams are both college level testing, which means it’s equivalent to if you attended actual class,” said Tracy Wilmer, 23d FSS education technician. “But instead of taking a class for eight or 16 weeks, you’re taking a CLEP, so it combines everything into that one exam.”
Unlike the time-constraints of taking classes, the opportunity for Airmen to continue their education through CLEP and DANTES exams is available year-round. According to Gagne, one of the driving forces behind these exams is to help build better leaders.
“We’re always preaching to our Airmen to grow, but how can I tell them to do something if I’ve never experienced it myself or know about it,” said Tech. Sgt. Forris Phillips, NCO in charge of base honor guard, who is nearly done obtaining his bachelor’s degree in mathematics. “I get a lot of junior Airmen, and they’ll have questions about these exams. With me taking a CLEP, I can show them I did it and how easy it is; and now I can really answer their questions better because I have that experience as well. Knowledge is power, and the more you have of it, the more it can help you.”
Senior Airman Emily Kearnely, 23d Security Forces Squadron standardizations evaluator, understands firsthand how pursuing higher education and attending the event impacted her growth as a leader.
“(Pursuing education) can help make me a better leader all around,” said Kearnely, who also is nearly done obtaining her CCAF degree. “What I’m able to learn, I will utilize back in my squadron and encourage my fellow Airmen to do the same. Taking time to do this shows you can take time out of your day to pursue your personal goals and be a good example as well.”
Additional benefits of CLEP and DANTES exams include that they save time, are free for active-duty, personnel can take a test whenever they’re ready and they’re available for spouses and dependents to take at $85 an exam.
Those interested in more information about how to register for CLEP and DANTES exams may contact the Information Learning Center at 229-257-3150.