EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The 412th Test Wing, in conjunction with the University of Phoenix, officially opened the National Test Center following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Education and Training Center on Edwards Air Force Base, California, Nov. 20.
“The NTC located on Edwards allows Air Force members to take their DANTES/CLEPS on location, on base. This saves the Airmen time and money as they don’t have to travel to accomplish the testing,” said Gregory Head, Education and Training Office Chief. “Airmen can now schedule a test in between shifts or after work, as the Test Center is now up and running. Airman can complete their Regionally Accredited Community College of the Air Force Degree without taking a class, as they can now test out of all general education requirements.”
The NTC offers a variety of classes in both DSST (DANTES Subject Standardized Test) and CLEP (College Level Examination Program). Subjects covered include business ethics, criminal justice, biology and many more.
Head believes that higher education is key to personal and professional growth and development. He said it allows the Air Force to “remain ever agile, ever vigilant, and always ready.”
Command Chief Master Sgt. Ian Eishen, the 412th Test Wing Command Chief, stressed the importance of a college-level education and shed light on his own education journey.
“I did not start my degree program until I was a master sergeant, until I realized that college was a thing that was not unattainable for me. I thought it was this thing that only smart people do and there was no way I could get it done,” Eishen said. “So I started working on it and realized it was actually attainable and something I could do, and a big part of that was our CLEP center.”
Besides the NTC, the Education Office offers a full service facility allowing continued education regardless of the member’s location, Head said.
“We are the servicing agency for all of Southern California. We offer a variety of services from beginner to experienced student,” he said. “The Education Team is here to assist in removing all obstacles that an Airman may face.”
True to Edwards and Air Force Test Center fashion, the Education Office first conducted tests on the NTC. After a successful test run and soft opening, the NTC was deemed ready.
“We conducted a Beta test on November 6 for two Airmen. After the Beta test were deemed successful, additional testing sessions were scheduled,” Head said. “To date since our November 6th Beta test, we have successfully tested 20 Airmen with no issues. We will continue to grow the test schedule as needed to increase participation in the future with added dates and testing sessions.”
CLEP and DANTES examinations are offered every first and third Wednesday of the month, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The NTC’s DSST and CLEP testing programs are available to active-duty Airmen and DoD civilians at no cost, although retakes will incur fees. Test review materials is available at the base library.
Eishen encourages Edwards Airmen and civilians to take advantage of the new capability now at their disposal.
“It’s a huge capability for our Airmen, whether they want to stay in the Air Force, if they do then that’s awesome, we’ll have a well-educated Airman, and if they don’t, then they’re ready to transition to the civilian world and do well on the outside and take care of themselves and their families,” Eishen said. “It’s a win-win really for everybody.”
For more information about scheduling test dates or a list of subjects covered, call (661) 802-4015 or (661) 277-2713.