University of Southern California

USC Student Affairs and Campus Life

USC Center for Testing and Assessment Earns NCTA Certification

By Cristy Lytal Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The USC Center for Testing and Assessment is now certified by the National College Testing Association.Photo by Nathan CarterThe USC Center for Testing and Assessment is now certified by the National College Testing Association.

The USC Center for Testing and Assessment deserves top marks. And that’s exactly what it received when the National College Testing Association (NCTA) bestowed it with its official Test Center Certification.

“It just validates that we’ve got a pretty nifty center,” said Janice Schafrik, director of the Center for Testing and Assessment, part of the Center for Academic Support in the Division of Student Affairs. “We’re set up well in terms of the facilities that we have, the proctors that we have and the supervision of exams that we provide. And it’s not just recognition for us as a little department, but for USC Student Affairs in general.”

One of the few test centers in the United States and Canada to complete the intensive certification process, the USC Center for Testing and Assessment maintains high standards in serving students and community members alike.

The center provides assessment, testing services and accommodations for students, faculty and staff including placement tests in math, chemistry and foreign languages; national exams such as the SAT and GRE; disability services testing; the International Student English Placement Exam; and more.

The certification process involved everything from measuring the square footage of testing rooms to taking photographs of the facilities to providing detailed rundowns of procedures.

“I’m very proud that Juliana Calhoun, Janice Schafrik and Najib Al-Samarrai in the Center for Testing and Assessment were able to work on this,” said Pat Tobey, associate dean of students overseeing the Center for Academic Support and associate professor of clinical education in the Rossier School of Education. “Especially, I give great thanks to Juliana Calhoun. She was very persistent on this.”

In recognition of her efforts, Calhoun, testing and assessment coordinator, was invited to serve on a panel of presenters at the August NCTA conference, where she shared her experience with the certification process.

“It was really cool to get to go to the conference, meet a lot of people from other testing agencies and present on that panel,” she said. “I feel like it helped out other people who were thinking about the process. The important thing was just to reassure people: yes, it is a long process, it does take a lot of time, but if you just sit down, make a to-do list and get it done, you will be rewarded in the end.”

The prestigious Test Center Certification will remain in place for five years and can be renewed by demonstrating continued compliance to NCTA’s Professional Standards and Guidelines.

NCTA, a nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of professionalism and high-quality service in the administration of testing programs, offers certification to college and university test centers that demonstrate exemplary practices. NCTA members include more than 1,750 testing professionals from 615 colleges and universities as well as 42 test companies and organizations.

For more information, contact the USC Center for Testing and Assessment at (213) 740-7166 or visit sait.usc.edu/academicsupport/cta.

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