The January edition of Research & Practice focuses on how testing scores and modifications affect student placement. Students can move directly into college-level courses based on new Accuplacer and exemption scores.
From 2010 to 2012, there has been less than a 3% change in percent placed into developmental math courses. Five years ago, nearly 41% of new students were placed into a developmental math course. Last fall, less than one-third of students new to the College placed into these developmental math courses.
In contrast, the number of students requiring placement in a developmental English course has dropped over 30% from 2008 to 2012.
Students may also be exempted from placement testing based on their scores on other tests or if they have credentials from other institutions of higher learning. Examples of these tests include: SAT, ACT, Keystone (high school exams), CLEP tests, etc. In addition, if a student has earned an Associate’s degree, or higher, or can provide evidence on their college transcripts that shows course equivalent competency, these individuals are also exempted from placement testing.
Currently, placement is based on a single test score and little attention is given to a student’s high school curriculum. A holistic placement assessment is being explored by faculty which will include the evaluation of the high school transcript as a means for demonstrating academic competency. This evaluation will include the cumulative GPA, level of difficulty of the curriculum (honors and/or AP), and the length of time in the honors curriculum. This new approach will allow advisors the opportunity to gather a more holistic and complete picture of a student’s academic background and use multiple measures as a means for a more accurate and appropriate placement.
~ by Whitney Etter