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ERIC Number: ED563573
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 131
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-5695-1
College Readiness Policy Implementation in the Massachusetts Public Higher Education System from Policy to Practice: An Analysis of the Implementation of the State College Placement Testing (CPT) Policies at the Four Year Public Institutions
Solomon, Jibril
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Lesley University
In 1998, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, with assistance from the Developmental Assessment and Placement Advisory Committee, adopted an assessment policy that set standards for college placement testing at Massachusetts public colleges and universities. The purposes of the policy were to place students more adequately suited for college remedial coursework at the state colleges and to ensure compatibility and comparability of implementation across all the public campuses. Limited research exists on the accuracy of the implementation of college placement assessments. Prior research focused on the ethical dilemmas associated with mandatory placement. This research investigated how the Massachusetts public four-year institutions implement the college placement testing policies. This study addresses the "knowledge-building" about implementation by asking the following questions: What is being implemented, why, for whom and how do campus histories, cultures, demographics and practitioner buy-in shape what gets implemented? The role of college readiness assessment and placement is high-stakes because placement in remedial courses serves as gatekeepers to students' abilities to access college credit-bearing coursework. Remedial courses do not count towards graduation, are not transferrable, and charge same tuition rates as credit-bearing ones. Students placed in remedial education programs experience higher college dropout rates than their counterparts. A mixed methods design this study surveyed college assessment administrators, and found that while seventy-three percent of the colleges implement the state's policy, there is a plethora of incongruities in the ways implementation occurs (i.e., in mathematics, fifty-four percent used different elementary algebra cut-off scores; in English, sixty-nine percent test writing differently). Results from the survey showed that current assessment experiences and outcomes of first-time first-year students are inconsistent. Students entering different Massachusetts public four-year campuses are receiving varying and sometimes conflicting signals about their college readiness competencies and remedial placement outcomes. The findings call attention to disconnections that exist between policy and practice in the state assessment system and recommend the state (a) rethink how to use new assessments to develop a system capable of supporting students through the K-12 through higher education pipeline; and (b) gather more information about how to evaluate its remedial programs' benefits and costs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts