Alabama Community College System announces new testing partnership

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Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Chancellor Jimmy Baker on Tuesday joined Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission (APOSTC)  Executive Secretary Chief R. Alan Benefield to sign a resolution that makes the ACT WorkKeys assessment the official testing requirement for admission into APOSTC academies to become a Law Enforcement Officer or a State Correctional Officer.

The WorkKeys assessment is currently offered at all of Alabama’s community colleges for workforce development program testing, and will now be the exclusive testing centers for APOSTC’s Basic Ability Test, or BAT. The assessments help measure workplace skills that can affect job performance. Unlike other assessments, they don’t simply give an indication of reading and writing competency. Instead, they measure a range of hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, at any level, and across industries. Additionally, successful completion of WorkKeys assessments can lead to earning an National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC®) — a credential that verifies foundational workplace skills.

“It is an honor for the Alabama Community College System to partner with APOSTC and the men and women in uniform who do so much to protect us each and every day” said Baker. “This partnership will allow law enforcement agencies across the state to easily schedule assessments at our local community colleges, and will provide them with better qualified officers who have the basic skills they need to succeed.”

In 2014, APOSTC adopted the BAT as an additional educational requirement for Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer academy applicants to better determine educational aptitude which had become more difficult due to the increase in different types of high school diplomas. After several years of research into best practices in other states, APOSTC determined that the ACT WorkKeys assessment through Alabama’s community colleges was the easiest and most cost-effective method to establish a minimum educational base line that would demonstrate an applicant’s ability to successfully complete the law enforcement and correctional training academies.

“The Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission extends our thanks and gratitude to Chancellor Baker and the many individuals within ACCS that made this agreement possible” added Benefield. “This partnership allows applicants to take his or her BAT at any of the 24 community colleges across Alabama, which are conveniently located to all law enforcement agencies in the state.”

The ACT WorkKeys assessment is comprised of three skill areas: Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents (understanding memos, notices, policies, and other written text). While WorkKeys testing schedules may vary from college to college, pricing will be standard among all colleges: $45 for all three skill area sections or $15 for each individual section.

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