Superintendent’s Memo #123-15

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 15, 2015

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Announcing Statewide Pilot Testing for the College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The Virginia Department of Education, in collaboration with the College Board, is pleased to announce a statewide pilot program at selected schools.  The College Board’s College Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a nationally recognized credit-by-examination program that provides high school students an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of college-level materials in introductory subjects and earn college credit.  During the 2015-2016 school year, students who are enrolled in the Marketing Management class in a selected number of high schools may volunteer to participate in the CLEP pilot testing.

Benefits to Students

CLEP is recognized by 48 postsecondary institutions in Virginia and by 2,900 across the United States that award credit for passing scores on the examinations.  A passing score on particular tests allows students to earn between 3 and 12 credits of college-level coursework before leaving high school, depending on the guidelines of the specific postsecondary institutions.  The College Board’s CLEP Principles of Marketing Examination is on the Board of Education’s approved list of industry certifications, occupational competency assessments, and licenses.  Virginia’s high school course competencies for Marketing Management have been aligned to the CLEP test blueprints for the Principles of Marketing exam and instructional support and resources, including pretests, are available.  Testing is offered year-round, but the ideal time would be when the student successfully completes the high school course. There is no penalty for not passing a CLEP exam so this is a “win-win” opportunity for students.

There will be no cost during the 2015-2016 school year to the school division for students who volunteer to participate in the CLEP pilot testing for the Marketing Management course.  Additionally, it should be noted that students not participating in the statewide pilot but who successfully complete an appropriate high school course are eligible to take the CLEP exams listed on the Board’s approved list. The school division may claim reimbursement (approximately $80-125 for the cost of test prep materials and exam per student) through state or federal funding allocations for Virginia’s Pathway to Credentials Initiative.

School divisions offering the Marketing Management course that would like to volunteer as a 2015-2016 CLEP pilot site for instruction and testing should contact Sharon Acuff, specialist, Marketing and Related Clusters, Office of Career and Technical Education Services, at or by phone at 804-225-3119 by June 26, 2015.