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How Colleges Can Accurately Place Students in Eng & Math courses

By Dr. Laurie Scolari and Dr. Mina Dadgar
by

Dr. Laurie Scolari

on 8 March 2016

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Transcript of How Colleges Can Accurately Place Students in Eng & Math courses

Alternative placement:
Transfer-level Placement Rates

F2012 Promise Pathways 1-year vs. F2006 6-year rates of achievement

Source: Bailey, Jeong, & Cho (2008). Data from Achieving the Dream Colleges.

Assignment to Remedial Courses by Race



Why are students saying this?

The placement exam is a poor indicator of student success in college. It is a good indicator of how well students take tests.

Classroom performance predicts classroom performance. (Hets, J. LBCC, 2012)

Tests are not aligned with what students are learning in high school.

Graphic of student with teacher in HS “Here learn this and you will do great in college!”

Graphic of student taking college test: “Wait - I didn’t learn this in high school?”




A Student’s Nightmare


Highlight findings from current studies regarding the current state of assessment

Discuss specific examples of states and individual colleges’ work in implementing multiple measures

Engage participants in examining a spectrum of possibilities to consider implementing at their campus



Policy change

CCSF changed policy to shorten time to re-take tests to 2 weeks rather than 3 months

Results:
57% of tests resulted in higher placement in English
40% of tests resulted in higher placement in Math

San Francisco
Promising Practices from other colleges

Current Standardized Assessments
Inexpensive to purchase and grade- consistent measure

Inaccurately place a third to a fourth of students (mostly placed too low) Scott-Calyton, Crosta & Belfield 2012

Using GPA can substantially improve placement accuracy
e.g. cut sever error rate by half (Crosta & Belfield 2012)


Outlining the problem:
Assignment to Developmental Education


Nationally (and in CA) about two enroll in one or more developmental education course
(Federal BPS data from 2009 indicate that 68 percent of students beginning at public two-year colleges took one or more remedial courses in the 6 years after their initial entry. )


Only 33% of students referred to math remediation and 46% referred to English remediation finish their remedial sequence.
(Bailey, Jeong & Cho 2008)

Assignment to remediation may be hurting students more than helping them
(Dadgar 2012; Martorell Scott-Clayton & Rodriguez 2012)

Many assigned to remediation would have succeeded in college level courses if directly placed.
(Scott Clayton, Crosta, and Belfield 2012)


Outlining the Problem

Pix of student: “I got my test results and I cried. It was going to take me years to get through math alone.  I thought to myself - Will I ever graduate from community college?”

Pix of student: “I got my placement test results and I thought….how come I placed in this class?  I was placed in math 840, I felt like I learned it in Kindergarten.”

Pix of student: “I got placed in the wrong class, it was too easy for me.”

Pix of student: “They did a poor job of preparing students for placement tests in general.”

A Student’s Nightmare

Mina Dadgar, PhD
Director of Research, Career Ladders Project

Laurie Scolari, Ed.D.
Director
California Community College Linked Learning Initiative
Career Ladders Project

Practical Steps and Extraordinary Measures: How Colleges Can Accurately Place Students in English and Math Courses


Highlight findings from current studies on the state of assessment

Discuss specific examples of states and individual colleges’ work in implementing multiple measures

Engage participants in examining a spectrum of possibilities to consider implementing at their campus


Objectives for today’s discussion

Regular meetings that include K-12 and college faculty and staff (math and English teams)

Input from counseling, matriculation

Examine historical data to understand accuracy of placement and remediation outcomes

Include Institutional research staff in meetings

Close collaboration with K-12 around data sharing

Pilot a change, present data, then policy change


Tips for how to make it happen on your college
In groups, work through each of the problems presented:

A: You are a faculty member, charged with leading the effort to pilot an alternative to the placement exam but your
Math department chair
is against this effort. She prefers to keep the placement exam because she to maintain the integrity and rigor of her math department. How will you move it forward?

B: You are the dean of counseling at your college. Your
counselors
are aware of multiple measures but prefer to stick to the standard way of creating education plans for students based on their placement test results. It’s the easiest way and they’ve done it that way for many years. They only have 20 min appointments with each student and looking up their GPA, etc, is too many extra steps. What strategies will you implement to move past this barrier?

C: Your college has succeeded in implementing a plan for alternative measures and although 270 students were identified as eligible to be placed into a college level course, only 25 students were placed in college level courses because they were
not informed
of this option. What can the high school and college do in the future to prevent this from happening again?

How to implement alternative measures – Removing Barriers
Statewide multiple measures policy - 2015

Students with GPA of 2.6 or higher are exempted from remediation

Applies to all students who have graduated from an NC high school within five years

If students do not meet the GPA threshold, then SAT/ACT is used, and after that a diagnostic test is given to students

2010 - statewide faculty convening




Promising Practices from other states:
North Carolina
Students Support Systems - Critical

SFUSD were given priority registration dates to access Math/English courses

SFUSD counselor outreach –importance of taking the placement test seriously

Matriculation process was brought into the high schools

Frisco day – final steps of matriculation process completed

Math/English faculty meet to discuss aligning instructional approaches


Promising Practices from other colleges: San Francisco
Policy change

“Stop pointing the fingers dinners”

English and Math Bump Up:
English: GPA 2.7 or higher in English, Junior year CST (California Standards Test) rating of Proficient, overall GPA 2.5
Math: GPA of 2.7 or higher in math, Junior year of CST, (California Standards Test) rating of Proficient, attendance rate of 90% or higher

Survey– Students who participated in the bump up:
English - 60% of students indicated their class was easier than expected
Math – 67% of students indicated their class was too easy

Promising Practices from other colleges: San Francisco
In dyads:

How familiar are you with this issue on your college or district?

Have there been efforts to examine or address this issue on your college?

How can you get engaged to help address the issue?

Outlining the Problem
Title 5 requires the use of multiple measures (MALDEF)

Student success act requiring common assessment;multiple measures working group:
common assessment will be developed in next several years
validating multiple measures

Academic senate’s resolution supporting the use of multiple measures:

“ Using placement exam scores as the sole determinant of college access simply for the sake of consistence and efficiency may not be justified”

California Policy Context Supporting Multiple Measures
Inexpensive to purchase and grade- consistent measure.

Inaccurately place a third to a fourth of students (mostly placed too low) Scott-Calyton, Crosta & Belfield 2012

Using GPA can substantially improve placement accuracy e.g. cut sever error rate by half (Crosta & Belfield 2012)

5 to 6 times as many students are severely underplaced

How accurately are we placing students?
Nationally (and in CA) about two thirds of community college students enroll in one or more developmental education course (Federal BPS data from 2009 indicate that 68 percent of students beginning at public two-year colleges took one or more remedial courses in the 6 years after their initial entry.)

Only 33% of students referred to math remediation and 46% referred to English remediation finish their remedial sequence.(Bailey, Jeong & Cho 2008)

Many assigned to remediation would have succeeded in college level courses if directly placed.(Scott Clayton, Crosta, and Belfield 2012)

A National Problem
The Student Perspective
Questions & Thank you!

Contact Information:
Mina Dadgar, Ph.D.
Director of Research, Career Ladders Project
Email: mdadgar@careerladdersproject.org

Laurie Scolari, Ed.D.
Director of California Community College Linked Learning Initiative
Career Ladders Project
Email: lscolari@careerladdersproject.org

Website: careerladdersproject.org

Practical Steps and Extraordinary Measures: How Colleges Can Accurately Place Students in English and Math Courses



Policy change

CCSF changed policy to shorten time to re-take tests to 2 weeks rather than 3 months

Results:
-57% resulted in higher placement in English
-40% resulted in higher placement in Math

Up to 93% of SFUSD graduates who attend City College of San Francisco were placed into remedial math or English based on CCSF’s placement exam.
Promising Practices from other colleges: San Francisco
Why are students saying this?
Promising Practices from other colleges: San Francisco
Questions so far?
Questions?
Questions?
Assignment to Remedial Courses - An Equity Issue
“Washington's public four-year universities and community colleges have agreed to place students who score a 3 or higher on the Smarter Balanced Assessment into college-level math and English courses.

That means they won't have to take placement tests as other new college students have had to do every fall before starting classes.”
Promising Practices from other states:
Washington
Full transcript