October 19, 2016 | Kelsie Cleboski
University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Testing Center received certification from the National College Testing Association in August, making it the only testing facility in the greater Houston area to currently hold that recognition.
The certification confirms that UHCL’s Testing Center meets all NCTA standards, including criteria regarding testing facilities, confidentiality, integrity, training and management.
Director of the UHCL Testing Center Jamila S. Maxie, who joined the university in 2013 to prepare the Testing Center to launch in 2014, said the center’s primary goals are to offer a professional testing atmosphere, excellent service and convenient resources.
“Being recognized as a NCTA certified testing center is a notification to the UHCL and Clear Lake communities that we meet the highest college testing center standards. We take what we do very seriously,” she said.
UHCL’s Testing Center provides important services, including high-stakes graduate and professional school tests, placement exams, credit by examination tests and licensure exams.
Maxie said the certification can also instill confidence in both test takers and test vendors.
“When they send their candidates here, the vendors are assured their tests are going to be administered to their specifications and their students are going to be treated fairly and with the utmost respect,” she said.
Maxie said the convenience of a certified testing center in the Clear Lake area is an important asset, as the next closest NCTA-certified center is in Huntsville, TX. For some candidates taking specialized tests, the alternatives can be even more extreme – Maxie recalls administering a test to someone who would have otherwise been forced to take the exam in California or Spain.
“That’s the type of impact we have - we are a professional-level testing center that’s a convenient drive,” she said.
Maxie credited the UHCL community, and particularly Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Yvette Bendeck and the Division for Enrollment Management, for supporting the Testing Center and its continued success.
“We are still in the growth phase, but our goal is to maintain the level of excellent service we provide and continue to meet the testing needs of the communities that we serve,” Maxie said.
With more than 13 years of higher education experience and over six years of testing experience, she’s seen a major shift from computer-based testing to internet-based testing. The next big thing? Device-based testing, using tools such as tablets to deliver exams.
“It’s crucial that we stay abreast of current testing and technology trends,” she said. “Collegiate testing has changed over the past decade and it is important to understand how these changes affect our campus in an effort to capitalize on the testing advancements. You can’t stand still or else you will find yourself behind the curve.”