Credit-Awarding Schools

Help Students Save Time and Money

Navigating through the college admission process can be intimidating for anyone — especially adult learners returning to school after a long period of time. They depend on you to get them going and to get them through. Why not tell them about prior-learning assessment (PLA) programs like DSST? Affordable and flexible, the DSST Credit-By-Exam Program doesn’t require a major investment of time or money. Give your students the opportunity to get credit for what they already know.

Save Time

DSST Exams can help students achieve their educational goals even faster. Prior-learning credits earned by successfully passing a DSST exam affords  students the opportunity to earn their degree in substantially less time than if they were to pursue their degree with only traditional and online classes. Each exam takes less than 90 minutes to complete, compared to classes that require a semester-long attendance.  And, for those learners who aren’t sure if they have the right knowledge level to pass the test, exam outlines are available for every DSST title. All of the tests are offered online and scored in real time, so students know immediately if they passed, freeing them up to address other educational requirements.

Save Money

Many learners, whether returning to school after a long break or starting for the first time, struggle with the financial implications of going back to school. Reducing the number of courses a student takes lowers the cost of their education. In the U.S., the average cost for a college course starts at around $750. DSST exams are reasonably priced at $100 per exam, significantly less costly than taking a semester long course in the subject.

Credit by Exam Programs

Offering prior-learning exams like DSST and CLEP to your students gives them a broader path toward degree completion. While both DSST and CLEP exams award college credit, the subject areas little overlap which provides students with more options.

DSST Exams closely correlate with many course titles at most colleges and universities. For example:

  • The Personal Finance exam can be taken by students seeking to earn a business degree.
  • Most college or university Social Science programs offer courses that closely mirror content from the Fundamentals of Counseling exam.
  • Seniors who have elective credits to fill in order to graduate could take an Introduction to World Religions or Ethics in America exam to get the credit instead.

Whether your students are new to school, late in returning or eager to graduate, DSST offers a flexible alternative to earning credit.

Give Them Credit

Any advantage you can give your students, as their advisor, would be valued and appreciated. They’re trusting you to guide them through the degree process to the end. With the DSST credit by exam program, you can get them there more quickly and more cost-effectively.

Leverage Skills They Already Have

DSST exams don’t require additional learning; credit is awarded for pre-existing knowledge gained through experience. Many adult learners have been in the workforce for years. Similarly, many college seniors have held internships or other jobs. Since DSST exams are offered in more than 30 subjects, it is likely that any type of learner has enough life experience or on-the-job knowledge to identify with at least one topic area — and get college credit for passing that exam.

DSST Testimonial

The DSST exams have shortened my length of time in college by approximately 1 year. I will have acquired a total of 30 elective hours after I take my final DSST exam. These test saved me a bundle as compared to what the actual classes would have cost. The bottom line is it saved me time and money. It was truly a win-win situation.

James Jones
Student, University of Memphis

Benefits for Students

The low cost ($100/exam) of the DSST makes it easier for financially challenged students to return to school and to complete their degree programs.

Students who receive credit for passing a DSST exam are free to:

      • Move to higher level coursework
      • Focus on their major
      • Take a wider array of elective thus broadening their educational experience.

Students overcome financial and time constraints that would otherwise prevent them from attending college and completing their degrees

Benefits for Your Institution

  • The DSST program helps fight student attrition by keeping the goal of graduation within financial reach
  • Adult students are more likely to enroll—and more likely to complete their degree programs—when academic institutions provide time-sensitive programs
  • By graduating more students, your institution builds its alumni base
  • DSST exams can assist in placing students into appropriate-level studies
  • When students “test out” of lower level courses based on prior learning, faculty are freed to focus on the remaining students, who need their help

A Prior Learning Assessment Program that Benefits Adult Learners AND Your Institution

In today’s competitive college environment, adult learners make up a large and growing segment of the population. Many of these students have special needs, including time constraints, limited budgets, and often demanding professional workloads. The DSST Credit by Exam Program gives institutions like yours an academically valid means to appeal to this influential group of students while upholding your high academic standards.

Recognized by The Council For Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL – as a source of prior learning assessment, DSST exams evaluate the knowledge of college-academic subjects through proctored exams that provide a score equivalent to a C grade (B-grade equivalents are also available).

Attract More Adult Learners

Today’s students are attracted by options that provide them with flexibility and alternative ways to do “traditional” things. Just look at the rise in popularity and growth of “online” courses. Increasingly, adult learners rely on prior learning assessment as an accelerated path to college degrees—and as a result are attracted to those institutions that provide them with flexibility and options. Institutions that use the DSST program to offer academic credit for prior learning are more likely to attract adult learners.

Attract Students. Control Attrition. Build Loyalty.

By offering academic credit for passing grades on DSST exams, your college gains an upper hand in recruiting and retaining adult students. And since many adult learners struggle to overcome financial or time constraints, DSST exams are perceived as real value-add for students. Institutions that honor credit by examination are perceived as being flexible and willing to work with students. This can be a substantial differentiator for your institution, because—given the choice—adult learners will choose the option that offers them flexibility, every time. Whether your students are new to school, or late in returning, or eager to graduate, DSST provides the flexibility they will appreciate.

Exams Aligned with Course Content

The DSST program is simple to understand. The 30+ exam titles are organized by discipline, so advisors and learners can easily map exams to equivalent college courses. The DSST exam series covers six college subject areas, including Social Sciences, Math, Applied Technology, Business, Physical Sciences and Humanities. Each exam is comparable to the final or end-of-course examinations in similar undergraduate courses.

Exam Delivery

The DSST program is easy for institutions to administer and readily accessible for students. Exams may be delivered on paper or through a user-friendly internet technology. Students who take their tests online receive their scores immediately, for instant reinforcement and personal validation. The program is simple for students, easy to administer, and available at hundreds of test centers, worldwide.

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