Three VECAT exams and Plant Level II proficiency have gone virtual

With the closure of many public and corporate buildings, companies and agencies have instituted new processes and procedures to keep working. Germanna Community College (GCC), VAA, and VDOT have been exploring new ways to keep VECAT moving. While online classes for VECAT MCS have been a popular medium for taking courses, Executive Order 55 closed the testing centers around Virginia used by VECAT to administer exams. Therefore, looking at the testing technology used in other aspects of the education field, GCC proposed remote exams for several of the VECAT courses. Once reviewed and approved by GCC staff, students can take the credentialing exam remotely. Students use a lock-down browser through the Zoom platform. Each exam is recorded for later reviewing.

The move to remote exams was reasonably easy; the move to remote proficiency exams took a little more planning. Because it is relatively quick, a remote option for Asphalt Plant Level I has been available since 2018. However, Plant Level II proficiency has been a one-on-one exam with a VECAT proctor. Students came to FredCAT or VTTI to use the samples and equipment prepared by the proctors. However, travel restrictions and health concerns have halted all Level II proficiencies. Now VECAT has a process for remote Plant Level II proficiency exams. Students will prepare the materials and lab for Zoom-based proficiency. Instead of watching in the lab, the proctor will be observing and asking questions from a remote location. Students will have one attempt at the remote proficiency exam. If successful, they will earn the Plant Level II credential. If unsuccessful, they will have one more opportunity in an actual lab once the buildings are reopened for testing.

To learn more about the remote exams, contact Judith Calvert or Dave Laraway at GCC.