Each year, students arrive on community college campuses needing developmental coursework prior to beginning their programs of study. Often, the only factor used in assessing students’ college readiness is a placement exam. There is increasing evidence that these exams misplace substantial proportions of students. Incorporating variables related to students’ prior academic achievement and noncognitive traits may aid in placement. This study explored the state of assessment for course placement at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The placement system at the college was analyzed, which relies on the ACCUPLACER exam. Two tests were poor predictors of course success and exhibited disparities among racial and ethnic groups. The predictive validity of high school statistics and the Grit Scale were analyzed. High school GPA proved to be a strong predictor and improved accuracy by reducing severe misplacement. Based on these findings, recommendations were made for the implementation of a multiple measures placement system.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. 2017. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: David Johnson. 1 computer file (PDF); 61 pages.
Multiple Measures Assessment: Improving Course Placement in Two-Year Institutions.
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