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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Just say no to working for free...CLEP

Right after reading Duchesse's post on the important issue of "precarity" in employment, I check my work email (from home) to find ANOTHER missive from CLEP, part of the massive money-making testing industry in the USA. Last time I got one of these, I replied that responders should be paid for their time. I guess they didn't get the message.

They've got to be kidding. My children took two tests from the industry last year--totaling about $400. I would do the survey for a test coupon my kids could use. What do you think Sterling Bland gets paid?

Dear Colleague,

I am writing to you today in my capacity as Chair of the CLEP Humanities Committee. As you may know, CLEP is the College-Level Examination Program, sponsored by the College Board and designed to allow students to earn credit for college courses by demonstrating their mastery of relevant subject matter. Exams are offered in more than 30 different subjects. Students who place at or above the recommended cut-score for a particular exam can earn credit for the corresponding course(s) at participating schools. For the CLEP Humanities exam, this is generally a two-semester survey course in Humanities or in literature, art, music, or the performing arts.

In recent years, the CLEP Humanities Committee (composed of faculty from a variety of institutions throughout the United States) has been working diligently to revise and update the exam to ensure that it reflects the significant, and ongoing, changes in our field. To enable us to continue improving the exam, we need the help of our fellow teachers and scholars. Specifically, we need to learn more about how a relevant survey course or courses are being taught at your institution. If you teach one or both semesters of a relevant course (or have taught it in the last three years), we would be extremely grateful if you would take the time to complete the online curriculum survey at:

The information gathered in this survey will enable us to make important decisions about what to include on the exam, about the kinds of skills that should be tested, and about whether modifications should be made to the overall test specifications.
We ask that you complete this survey by May 9, 2014. Please note that you do not need to teach at a participating CLEP school in order to complete the survey. If you do not teach a relevant survey course (or its equivalent), we would appreciate your forwarding this e-mail to a colleague who does.
Finally, survey participants may request a free copy of the survey results. I strongly encourage you to do so, as one of the more rewarding aspects of my work on the CLEP Humanities Committee during the past several years has been having the opportunity to broaden my own understanding of the work being done in the classroom at colleges and universities throughout the country.
Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.
Sterling L. Bland
Rutgers University at Newark
249 University Ave


SewingLibrarian said...

I agree. My husband and I won't even answer telephone surveys for this reason. If companies want our input, they can pay us for it. Information is valuable.

Janice Riggs said...

Lots of survey companies and market research organizations DO pay for your time - certainly, if you attend a focus group, you are compensated. Why should doing the work from our homes be any different?

Frugal Scholar said...

@SL--I'm a teeny bit inconsistent here--b/c my father wrote surveys for a living and I worked conducting surveys in hs and college. My father paid me and my friends as much as he paid "grown up" workers. So I always feel for the poor callers and try to help out.

@JR--I was in a focus group once! Great pay. I wonder if anyone wants my opinion now? I have many opinions...

Duchesse said...

There are plenty of good cases out there to whom we can give our time- our limited time on earth. This would, for me, not be one of them.