Presentation on theme: "Building better students by building better college procedures: How community colleges could better convey incentives for school effort Prof. James E."— Presentation transcript:
Building better students by building better college procedures: How community colleges could better convey incentives for school effort Prof. James E. Rosenbaum, Pam Schuetz, Ph.D. and Amy Foran Northwestern University
12/10/2010 2 Note. From Community college: The unfinished revolution, by Rosenbaum, Redline & Stephan, 2007, Issues in Science and Technology, 23, p. 50.
The Zen-question If colleges give a test, and students dont see any reason to do well, have students really taken a test? Consider Emma. Did she take a test? A tests validity depends on more than merely its test items. Validity is also a function of the social context of testing. 12/10/2010 3
Community Colleges and Placement Tests Students placed in lowest remedial levels of reading and math have less than a 33% and 17% chance respectively of completing the remedial sequence (Bailey, Jeong, & Cho, 2010). About 75% of students report not preparing for a placement test, yet almost 3/4 of those students would advise others to do so (Rosenbaum, Shuetz, & Foran, 2010). 2/3 of community college students do not realize their remedial courses do not count for credit (Rosenbaum, Deil-Amen, & Person, 2006). 12/10/2010 4
What do community colleges tell incoming students about placement tests? Community Colleges and Placement Tests 12/10/2010 5
Methods and Sample 9 public community colleges (4 in Illinois and 5 in California) Websites are the major source of information 12/10/2010 6
Findings 1. The Test: What is the placement test? –Community college websites do not advertise placement tests. –Several colleges barely mention the test. –Many colleges bury information deep within their sites. 12/10/2010 7
2. Incentives: Why is the test important? – Community college websites do not inform students of placement tests impact on degree timetables. – Colleges often avoid giving discouraging information and provide vague, reassuring descriptions of the test instead. Findings 12/10/2010 8
3. Preparation: How can students get a better score? –Summer gap –Community colleges do not recommend preparing for placement tests. Some discourage it. –Preparation materials are limited. Findings 12/10/2010 9
4. Timing and Retest: When should students take the test? – Advice on when to take the test and retesting is largely unavailable. – Advantages to testing early: Fresh content Allows time for practice and retesting Findings 12/10/2010 10
5. Use: How to use test results? –Provide students with information to devise successful plans within timetable; –Indicate students level of preparation; –Forecast additional time needed for remedial; –Advise students in choosing first career goal. Findings 12/10/2010 11
Conclusion Community college webpages provide little information about existence and importance of placement tests. Social context undermines the tests validity as an indicator of students college readiness. Community colleges lack of clarity on placement tests likely hurts remedial results, regardless of students achievement. 12/10/2010 12
What can community colleges do? Standardize and organize the community college admissions process - emulate that of selective colleges admissions and testing –Admissions test –National Decision Day –Early Registration –College Board and ACT procedures Improve advice given on websites - the main source of information about community colleges 12/10/2010 13
References Bailey, T., Jeong, D. W., & Cho, S. (2010). Referral, enrollment, and completion in developmental education sequences in community colleges. Economics of Education Review, 29, 255-270. Rosenbaum, J., Deil-Amen, R., & Person, A. (2006). After admission: From college access to college success. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Rosenbaum, J., Redline, J., & Stephan, J. (2007). Community college: The unfinished revolution. Issues in Science and Technology, 23(4), 49-56. Rosenbaum, J., Schuetz, P. & Foran, A. How students make college plans and ways schools and colleges could help. (working paper, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, July 15, 2010). 12/10/2010 14
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