Bringing convenience to testing

By Shawnda Schelinder

More flexible testing services at a Minnesota college help students get ahead on their own time.

Taking the Acculplacer or certification exams is easier now for those living in Pine Technical & Community College’s (PTCC) service area. The Minnesota college has expanded its testing center to provide more opportunities to community members who are looking to advance their careers through certification exams, as well as potential and current students who need Accuplacer, make-up exams or accommodated testing. PTCC has been able to boost the testing services by bringing their current testing center on to the main campus and nearly tripling the number of testing stations.

“We identified a need to provide expanded testing services for working adults in our region, as well as our current students,” said PTCC President Joe Mulford. “The expanded testing center provides a number of certification exams that help our regional workforce advance their careers. It’s unique in the region. Our community members used to travel to the metro or Duluth for the same certification exams. Now, they can take their exam without the hassle of a long commute and a full day off of work.”

Originally established in the Pine Innovation Center, the PTCC Testing Center was launched to provide professional certification testing – such as CISCO, Microsoft, CompTIA and more – for regional IT employees and graduates from PTCC’s IT programs. The center has now grown to include professional certifications beyond IT.

Additionally, there was limited space on campus for students who needed make up tests and accommodated testing facilities. Students seeking the Accuplacer exam are now able to schedule an assessment at a time that’s convenient for them.

“Due to increasing enrollments, we needed to provide more flexibility with our testing services for our current students,” Mulford said. “Many of our students are working adults with families. The Testing Center is open Monday through Friday and provides our students with more options.”

The Rural Information Technology Alliance grant helped to fund the expansion, which included computer work stations, privacy carrels, noise canceling headphones and video monitoring equipment.

This story was originally posted at PTCC’s website. Read it here.

Shawnda Schelinder

Shawnda Schelinder is director of marketing and enrollment at Pine Technical & Community College.