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ERIC Number: EJ1067973
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Aug
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0361-0365
Using Multiple Measures to Make Math Placement Decisions: Implications for Access and Success in Community Colleges
Ngo, Federick; Kwon, William W.
Research in Higher Education, v56 n5 p442-470 Aug 2015
Community college students are often placed in developmental math courses based on the results of a single placement test. However, concerns about accurate placement have recently led states and colleges across the country to consider using other measures to inform placement decisions. While the relationships between college outcomes and such measures as high school GPA, prior math achievement, and noncognitive measures are well-known, there is little research that examines whether using these measures for course placement improves placement decisions. We provide evidence from California, where community colleges are required to use multiple measures, and examine whether this practice increases access and success in college-level courses. Using data from the Los Angeles Community College District, we find that students who were placed into higher-level math due to multiple measures (e.g., GPA and prior math background) performed no differently from their higher scoring peers in terms of passing rates and long-term credit completion. The findings suggest that community colleges can improve placement accuracy in developmental math and increase access to higher-level courses by considering multiple measures of student preparedness in their placement rules.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does Not Meet Evidence Standards