• July 11, 2014

State standardizes placement tests for college

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 4:30 am

New state regulations are ushering in changes to the way Central Texas College assesses incoming students.

During the admissions process, the college tests incoming students in reading, writing and math to ensure they are placed in the appropriate classes.

Prior to Monday, the college was able to choose between a number of assessments for this purpose. But under state-mandated changes to Texas Success Initiative requirements, CTC and other colleges will use a new assessment process consisting of a single, statewide standard created by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

“Part of the problem before was that every college had its own assessment,” said Jan Anderson, the college’s dean of central and service area campuses.

“I think the changes will ensure (the board) will get much better data.”

Another change to the testing process will be a requirement for students to participate in a “pre-assessment activity,” which will give them an opportunity to address subject-area weaknesses before placement testing.

“They will be informed about the test, and told how important it will be,” Anderson said.

Based on the assessment, a plan for academic success will be developed for each student who does not meet college readiness standards.

The changes to the initiative reflect a push by Texas lawmakers and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to address the number of students who come to college underprepared and must enroll in remedial or “developmental” courses.

According to data from the state board, 41 percent of students enrolled in Texas public higher education required some form of developmental education.

“At CTC, we want to see our students succeed,” Anderson said. “If we can ensure that they have the appropriate skills, we will see more students completing their education and meeting their goals.”

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