More than half of all students entering community college each year must take one or more developmental courses before enrolling in college level work. Recent research, however, indicates placement systems that rely on a single measure, such as a standardized test score, are referring a substantial number of students to developmental education, even though these students stand a high chance of passing a college-level course. The Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness has partnered with seven community colleges in New York state to test a placement system that incorporates multiple measures of students' academic readiness and compares it to systems that rely solely on placement test scores.
This presentation began with a brief review of prior studies of the use of multiple measures for placement into college-level or developmental coursework. The session then turned to a discussion of CAPR's current study, outlining the process for creating campus-specific placement algorithms. It also looked at some initial data from the study's first semester of enrollment. Finally, this session highlighted emerging themes from interviews and focus groups conducted at each of the partnering colleges, capturing participants' reflections on both the challenges of implementing a multiple measures framework, as well as the opportunities that have resulted.