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Points of Interest

Use of Multiple Measures Placement

This Points of Interest shows that over half of community colleges now use multiple measures to assess students’ college readiness in math.
December 18, 2019
Vilan Odekar
Tags: Measurement and Outcomes, 1. Identify academic direction and supports., 6. Use data effectively., New Roles for Student Services

Students entering a community college typically take a college assessment exam for placement into math and English courses. Students above a cut-off score are placed into college-level courses, while those below it are placed into developmental education courses. This practice was the norm at most colleges for many years. In recent years, the accuracy of standardized tests as the sole measure of college readiness has been questioned, which resulted in colleges exploring other measures.

A 2016 survey of more than 1,000 two-year and four-year colleges shows that a majority of the community colleges use two or more measures to determine students’ college readiness in math. According to the study, this is “a dramatic growth since the last national survey in 2011.” The multiple measures identified in the study include not only standardized tests, but also a student’s high school grade point average (GPA), their planned course of study, and noncognitive assessments. This Points of Interest shows that over half of community colleges now use multiple measures to assess students’ college readiness in math.