Local ASVAB testing canceled by shutdown

by W. Winston Skinner

Students in Coweta County - and across the country - take the ASVAB test every year to gain insights into how their gifts and abilities can be used in the workplace.

But not right now. The test given annually is on hold because of the federal government shutdown as Congress and the White House wait each other out on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.

While 'essential services' continue even with a shutdown, some federal government programs are delayed or canceled. Administration of the ASVAB, which tests people for personal traits and abilities and then offers insights into possible career choices, is one that has been experienced locally.

An ASVAB testing session had been scheduled at Newnan High School for this past Tuesday, which is when the shutdown began. The testing was canceled.

The ASVAB situation was discussed Friday at the Career Advisory Council at Central Educational Center.

The Career Advisory Council brings together educators from CEC and higher ed as well as representatives from agencies, businesses and industry. Nora Ann Wood, counselor at CEC, organizes and is the facilitator for the council.

Wood said CEC is planning an administration of ASVAB in late November - and expressed hope the stalemate on federal funding would be over well before then.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is typically offered to U.S. high school students when they are in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. The ASVAB is required for entrance into the branches of the armed services.

Scores on the ASVAB - along with other educational, physical and moral qualifications - are considered when people apply for admission into military service.

First used in 1968, the ASVAB has been used by all military branches since 1976. The test is periodically revised.

Another way the federal government shutdown is impacting students relates to research. 'Many online resources, including websites and databases run by federal agencies, are either unavailable or not being maintained,' said John Shiffert, a Coweta resident who is director of university relations for Clayton State University in Morrow. 

Erin L. Nagel, assessment and marketing librarian at CSU, has published a partial list of affected agencies often used in research, along with a list of alternative print and online sources scholars and researchers can use in the meantime. Both lists are on the Clayton State Library's blog posting: http://claytonstatelibrary. wordpress.com/2013/10/02/ us-federal-government-shutdown- impacting-informationsources/ . 

Nagel noted the list of affected information agencies is an impressive one - including most Library of Congress websites, the National Archives, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Institutes of Health, PubMed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NA SA.

'The list of alternative resources on the library's blog includes those dealing with statistics related to health, population, labor, science, health, medical research, education research, agriculture research and primary sources and archival research,' Shiffert said.

'This list will be updated as more information becomes (un) available,' Nagel said.



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