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ERIC Number: ED586226
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jul
Pages: 53
Abstractor: ERIC
Toward Better College Course Placement: A Guide to Launching a Multiple Measures Assessment System
Cullinan, Dan; Barnett, Elisabeth; Ratledge, Alyssa; Welbeck, Rashida; Belfield, Clive; Lopez, Andrea
Most students seeking to enroll in community college are required to take a placement test for math and English courses. Administrators are well aware of the shortcomings of using traditional placement tests alone, and state and college systems across the country are organizing multiple measures assessment (MMA) placement systems that will potentially provide more accurate results. MMA systems use alternative measures alongside the traditional tests to create a final placement. During fall 2016, MDRC, in partnership with the Community College Research Center (CCRC), launched the Multiple Measures Assessment Project and assisted ten Minnesota and Wisconsin colleges with the design and piloting of MMA placement systems. In the pilot in summer 2017, students who were identified as needing developmental education based on test scores could be "bumped up" to a college-level course based on measures such as high school performance (primarily GPA) or a noncognitive assessment. This guide is a result of that project. While recent evidence shows that implementing an MMA system is a promising strategy to mitigate the issue of underplacement, practitioners may be hesitant to change their current practices, skeptical about the measures used, or unsure where to start. The information in this guide addresses these concerns, explores examples and lessons learned from the first phase of the project, and provides recommendations for how to approach each step of the process. Beginning with the rationale behind changing assessment practices, the guidance outlines what an MMA system is, what it takes to get started, the personnel involved, and the costs that may be incurred in the design and planning processes. States and college administrators alike will find tools for understanding the scope of work involved in setting up a new system that addresses the placement needs of their students and that aims to provide students with a better chance to succeed.
MDRC. 16 East 34th Street 19th Floor, New York, NY 10016-4326. Tel: 212-532-3200; Fax: 212-684-0832; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates
Authoring Institution: MDRC; Columbia University, Community College Research Center
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin; Minnesota