Maryland college considers high school performance in placement

In some Maryland colleges, students referred to dev ed are often required to complete course sequences before moving on to the college-level.  Montgomery College is such an institution, requiring students to complete as many as three semesters of dev ed.  In the county, nearly 60% of students need remedial math, 30% need remedial English, and 26% need remedial reading.  Dev ed courses are not tuition free and completed course hours do not count toward traditional degree or certificate programs.  To reduce the burden of lengthy course sequences, Montgomery College is approaching placement a little differently.  Rather than rely upon standardized test results, the college also uses students’ high school grades to determine whether remediation is required.  The move comes on the heels of a report issued by the county’s Office of Legislative Oversight that assessed students progression through and out of dev ed.

Source: Washington Post


Article questions harms on dev ed students

Are remedial courses actually hurting community college students?

That is the question asked in a Washington Post article by the same name. The article cites research by former Assistant Director, Katherine L. Hughes, and current Senior Research Associate, Judith Scott-Clayton of the Community College Research Center. In the 2011 article, the role of assessments in community colleges were explored—most notably the COMPASS and ACCUPLACER placement exams.  Study findings indicated that while the exams were reasonably valid in predicting students’ performance in developmental math, the same could not be said for reading or writing courses.  The authors suggested that community colleges seek alternative approaches to assessment and placement, which could translate into improvements in student outcomes.  Some colleges in California, Maryland, and Washington have done just that by giving high school juniors the opportunity to prepare early for placement tests.

Source: Washington Post