The “Bump Zone”
The common practice of using a single standardized test to place students into remedial or college-level courses is changing. More and more colleges are turning to multiple measures placement as the accuracy of single placement tests is being questioned. Multiple measures placement uses two or more measures to place a student into college-level (or gatekeeper) English and math courses. The measures include cognitive (placement tests, high school grade point average) and non-cognitive (evaluation of student motivation) factors.
A recent study of several community colleges in Minnesota and Wisconsin found that students who were placed into gatekeeper courses with multiple measures were more successful at completing those courses than the control group. The students in the program group (or “bump up” zone) were 28% more likely to complete gatekeeper English and 12% more likely to complete gatekeeper math by the end of their first semester. This Points of Interest shows that students who are placed into gatekeeper courses with multiple measures are more likely to complete those courses than their counterparts.