The American Council of Education (ACE), a coordinating association of higher education institutions in the United States, has renewed its recommendation to award college credits to those who pass the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) credentialing examinations. The ICCP certification program, which presently covers IT topics ranging from data management and programming to security and Web development, has received this approbation from ACE since 1987.
“The American Council of Education evaluates examination,” ICCP Executive Director Kewal Dhariwal said. “The accreditation by examination department of the American Council of Education assesses all kinds of exams from across the country in all kinds of organization to determine if they are equivalent to an award at the university undergraduate level. When we went and applied for our original exam to be accredited by ACE, it was because we were quite extensively linked to colleges and universities throughout the world. Most of our exams are delivered through those venues. Consequently, college students have an interest in trying to earn credits and achieve their degrees through credit by examination.”
ACE reviews are followed by thousands of colleges and universities, as well as employers that follow ACE recommendations to gauge the ICCP examinations’ ability to verify IT professionals’ skills and knowledge. Typically, an ICCP holder will gain four university undergraduate course requirements by passing the three ICCP examinations, Dhariwal said. Some colleges even allow their entire degree to be attained by a person completing between 10-15 ICCP examinations.
“Most colleges and universities have a high individual preference for determining what counts as credit and doesn’t count as credit,” he said. “I categorize (accreditation by ICCP examination) as upper-division and lower-division credits within a four-year degree. For example, the core information technology skills examination counts as seven credits. Typically, a course at the undergraduate level is three credits, so you’re looking at our main exam that everyone has to take counting as just over two courses, which is of quite significant value in both monetary and time-saving terms.”
The ACE endorsement allows both the individuals and the colleges and universities they attend to use an objective measure of Prior Learning Assessment Review (PLAR). This evaluation system is especially ideal for older students who might have already worked in the industry for awhile or recently left the armed forces. “I would characterize it as a non-traditional type of credit,” Dhariwal said. “It’s more student-driven than academic- or college-driven. When we have adults in the workplace who might not have gotten traditional degrees and now are looking to get traditional degrees or have their background assessed, that’s where the most value for our exams comes.”
For more information, see http://www.iccp.org.