Survey Results

Effective Track to College Readiness

 

 

Nationally, more than six in 10 entering community college students are underprepared for college-level work. Thus, significant improvements in student success will hinge upon effective assessment, placement of students into appropriate courses, and implementation of effective strategies to ensure that students build academic skills and receive needed support.
The following six items constitute this benchmark:

Thinking about your experiences from the time of your decision to attend this college through the end of the first three weeks of your first semester or quarter, respond (answering yes or no):

  • Before I could register for classes I was required to take a placement test to assess my skills in reading, writing, and/or math (12a)
  • I took a placement test (12b)
  • This college required me to enroll in classes indicated by my placement test scores during my first semester/quarter (14)

Thinking about your experiences from the time of your decision to attend this college through the end of the first three weeks of your first semester or quarter, respond to each item (using a five-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree):

  • I learned to improve my study skills (listening, note taking, highlighting readings, working with others, etc.) (21a)
  • I learned to understand my academic strengths and weaknesses (21b)
  • I learned skills and strategies to improve my test-taking ability (21c)

Key Findings: Effective Track to College Readiness

While the majority of entering students report that they were required to take a placement test, fewer report that their college required them to enroll in classes indicated by their placement tests.

  • The majority of students (85%) report that they were required to take a placement test to assess their skills before they could register for classes.
  • Eighty-nine percent of students report taking a placement test.
  • Nearly three quarters (71%) of entering students required to take a placement test report that their college also required them to enroll in classes indicated by their placement test scores during their first semester/quarter.

While the majority of all entering student respondents report learning college success skills through a class or other experience at the college, higher percentages of developmental education students* report gaining such skills.

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents (74%) agree or strongly agree that they learned to improve their study skills through a class or other experience at their college. Seventy-eight percent of developmental education students agree or strongly agree that they learned to improve their study skills, compared to 68% of students not enrolled in developmental courses.
  • Seven in 10 respondents (72%) agree or strongly agree that they learned to understand their academic strengths and weaknesses through a class or other experience at their college. Seventy-five percent of developmental education students agree or strongly agree that they learned to understand their academic strengths and weaknesses, compared to 66% of other students not enrolled in developmental courses.
  • More than half (56%) agree or strongly agree that they learned skills and strategies to improve their test-taking abilities through a class or other experience at their college. Sixty percent of developmental education students agree or strongly agree that they learned skills and strategies to improve their test-taking ability, compared to 48% of other students not enrolled in developmental courses.

*Respondents who report that they enrolled in one or more developmental education courses (reading, writing, or math). By this definition, 67% of entering student respondents were classified as developmental students.

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