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ERIC Number: EJ1043441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-22
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
MIA: Accuplacer Prep
Kaplan, Gary
New England Journal of Higher Education, Apr 2014
Accuplacer is, like the SAT, a suite of tests. It assesses concrete English and math skills--things like decimals, percents, equations, reading comprehension and basic writing skills. Accuplacer tests are used by community colleges, state colleges and public universities in all New England states to place incoming students in the right courses. "Right courses" does not refer to the choice of academic subjects they will be studying. Crucially, Accuplacer tests determine whether they will take regular, for-credit courses--or instead take noncredit "developmental" courses. That is, remedial courses. Astonishingly, and sadly, in Massachusetts, 65% of incoming community college students score too low on the Accuplacer tests, and as a result they find themselves assigned to as many as three or four remedial courses. And it gets worse. Students pay the same tuition and fees for these courses as for regular, for-credit courses, and the courses take up the same 16 weeks of study--but the developmental courses don't count toward a degree. According to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, 90% of students who start community college in developmental courses drop out without earning a degree. This article argues a possible solution to this problem is an Accuplacer-preparation program conducted in high schools and explains how it can be done.
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education; High Schools; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A