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Assessing the Relationship between Multiple Measures Placement and Student Academic Success at a Community College

Laura D Qin, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

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. ^

Subject Area

Educational tests & measurements|Educational evaluation|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Qin, Laura D, "Assessing the Relationship between Multiple Measures Placement and Student Academic Success at a Community College" (2017). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI10255925.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI10255925

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