University needs CLAST awareness

Imagine you are about to graduate next semester. You have your job and new apartment lined up, and you think all you have to do is walk across the stage into a brand new life. But when you are about register for your last semester, you have a registration hold.

Dumfounded, you wonder, “What hold could I have?” Then it is revealed: the College-Level Academic Skills Test. You wonder why weren’t you told about this earlier.

Many students at Florida A&M University are facing this CLAST problem, and it seems as though the university is not making this issue a priority. Some students and faculty members are unaware of the seriousness of this issue.

Point blank, if you don’t pass the CLAST, you will not be able to receive your degree.

In order to be exempt from taking the CLAST, you must have passed both of your English and math classes with a 2.5 or better in each subject. This means you cannot make two Cs in both classes.

For example, if you took English 1101 and passed that with a C, when you take English 1102 the grade has to be a B or higher.If not, you have to take the CLAST.

And the same goes for two of your required math classes. You would think the university would take this issue seriously and have more workshops on how to pass the CLAST, but they don’t.

They have one professor, Roy Tucker, who is available to assist with any questions for the math portion. This is better than nothing, but what happens when there are 10 or more students who need help at one time?

I think FAMU needs to have a class for students that focuses on the CLAST. A CLAST office employee said, you should’ve known about the CLAST because it’s in the student handbook.

But let’s be for real; who really reads that handbook? We rely on our advisers. It’s sad, but that’s the truth.

The university needs to inform students of this issue as soon as they finish both of their math and English requirements – not when that student is about to graduate.

There needs to be a program where, at the end of a student’s freshman year, he or she has a choice to retake the failed course or take the CLAST.

Florida State University has a system where you can take the test every 31 days for $30 until you pass it.

Why doesn’t FAMU have a CLAST system like that? It would benefit FAMU and make up for the tutoring costs.

It would give FAMU students less things to worry about, like paying for parking and trying to find parking at FSU.

The CLAST office needs public relations help because students are not aware of test sites, test times and deadlines to register.

Angela Pitts is a senior public relations student from Miami. She can be reached at