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Points of Interest

Expanding Access with Multiple Measures

This Points of Interest shows that by switching to multiple measures of assessment, colleges increase the number of students accessing college-level courses in their first semester.
February 5, 2020
Vilan Odekar
Tags: Measurement and Outcomes, 1. Identify academic direction and supports., New Roles for Student Services, Structuring Equity

Colleges that use a single assessment measure to determine students’ college readiness typically rely on a standardize placement test such as the ACCUPLACER. A cutoff score is generated whereby students above the cutoff score are assigned to college-level (or gatekeeper) math and English courses while students below are relegated to developmental courses. Multiple measures assessment, on the other hand, considers not just the single placement test score, but also other factors such as high school grade point average and student motivation assessment scores. By switching to multiple measures assessment, colleges can expand access to gatekeeper courses for their first-year students.

 

For example, when several community colleges in Minnesota and Wisconsin switched to multiple measures assessment, they observed a 15% increase in the number of students placed into gatekeeper English. A similar increase (17%) was seen in the number of students placed into gatekeeper math. This Points of Interest shows that by switching to multiple measures assessment, colleges increase the number of students accessing college-level courses in their first semester.