Recent studies suggest that using multiple measures can potentially reduce misplacement and improve student success in college (Bracco et al., 2014; Ngo, Kwon, Melguizo, Prather, & Bos, 2013; Scott-Clayton, 2012). Minimal research, however, describes the multiple-measures placement in community colleges, at the institutional level. An embedded mixed-method (quantitatively dominant) study was employed to investigate the relationship between student success and a multiple-measures placement process implemented at a Northeast community college. Four research questions guided the study:
1. To what extent do students enroll in courses recommended by the placement process?
2. To what extent and in what manner can variation in first term academic success be explained by high school GPA and ACCUPLACER® scores?
3. Is there a relationship between students’ ACCUPLACER® scores and first term academic success?
4. How do academic advisors describe their perceptions and expectations of the placement process on student academic success?
The sample included students (N=1,073) enrolled in Mathematics courses and students (N=1,537) enrolled in English courses from Fall 2014 to Spring 2016. Analyses of ex post facto data included: descriptive statistics to describe placement and enrollment patterns, correlation analysis to examine relationship between academic success and high school GPA and ACCUPLACER® scores, and ANOVA to compare academic success among student with different ACCUPLACER® scores. For the qualitative phase, semi-structured interviews were conducted with (N=4) academic advisors to explore their perceptions and expectations of the placement process on student academic success.
Quantitative findings revealed that: 1) a high percentage of students enrolled in courses recommended by the placement process; 2) high school GPA had the highest predictive power for academic success; and 3) ACCUPLACER® scores were predictive for academic success in courses with additional support. Qualitative results generated three themes regarding: 1) perceptions – the good, the bad, and the complicated; 2) expectations – encouraging and worrisome; and 3) needs – human and technological resources. Connected findings identified that resources were needed for continuous assessment and improvement of the placement process. Institutional administrators and policy makers leading multiple-measures efforts might utilize the study’s findings and recommendations to implement and improve their own placement processes.
|Advisor:||Billups, Felice D.|
|Commitee:||Gable, Robert K., LeBlanc, William|
|School:||Johnson & Wales University|
|School Location:||United States -- Rhode Island|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational tests & measurements, Educational evaluation, Higher education|
|Keywords:||ACCUPLACER, Academic success, Assessment, Community college, High school GPA, Multiple measures placement|
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