• October 22, 2014

Initiative aims to make more students college ready

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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2014 4:30 am

Suzanne Morales-Vale wants to look at students on an individual basis.

And with her help, Texas educators are working on an initiative to help students who may not be ready for college.

While students are typically categorized as “college ready” or “not college ready,” it’s important to look at each and every student’s readiness, said Morales-Vale, director of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s developmental and adult education unit.

“In a traditional model, you’ve got a set of given learning outcomes and every student addresses those same outcomes regardless of the strengths they might bring to the table, and those strengths can be very different,” said Morales-Vale, as she presented a proposal for the Texas Success Initiative during a meeting Friday at Central Texas College.

“We hope this (initiative) will help better determine where their skill levels really are so that the interventions can be better targeted to meet their needs.”

Students must comply with the Texas Success Initiative in order to enroll in Texas public institutions of higher education, Morales-Vale said.

The law requires students who want to enroll in colleges statewide to be assessed for college readiness in reading, mathematics and writing.

Morales-Vale drafted the addition to the Texas Success Initiative to help identify individual remediation needs so students can successfully complete the readiness tests. She is sharing the proposal with nine colleges statewide and will present the initiative for approval by the THECB’s board of directors April 24.

“They’re getting input just to make sure that there’s a buy-in from all of the campuses that it’s the right plan,” said Kelly Carper Polden, the coordinating board’s assistant director of communication.

“They’re making tweaks to the plan after each campus they go to.”

Morales-Vale said the initiative will also identify if students are “near college ready” or “still really far away” from being college ready.

“This is the first time in the country, that we’re aware of, that any assessment of this kind is doing that,” Morales-Vale said. “We’re cutting edge. We’re learning as we’re going.”

srafique@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7553 | @SarahRafique

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