A report released by the Regional Education Laboratory at Education Northwest discusses developmental placement and college readiness at the University of Alaska and suggests that high school grades are a better predictor of readiness than are ?standardized tests.
The report, “Developmental education and college readiness in the University of Alaska,” requires a closer consider the college readiness of students, considered to be the ability of students to enroll and successfully develop a college-level course without the need for developmental education, or non-credit courses drawn in order to better prepare students for English and math. ?The proportion of college freshmen who\’re placed in developmental education courses is considered to be an indication of the preparedness of the student population for college coursework.
Report findings suggest?developmental education placement rates?are?higher in math compared to English for first-time students enrolled in any degree program at the school. ?Those rates put together to increase because the amount of time between your completion of senior high school and the start of college also began to lengthen.
For students inside a bachelor’s degree program, developmental placement rates for English were found to be higher for Alaska Native students who have been originally from rural areas of the state, while math rates were higher for Black students from urban areas.
In addition, 47% of bachelor’s degree students who have been enrolled in developmental education passed college English and 23% passed math.
For those students enrolled in college-level courses, high school grade point average was a key predictor of college performance in both English and math, much more than SAT, ACT, or ACCUPLACER scores.
Colleges usually place students in developmental education courses according to their scores on tests like the SAT or ACT, that are both drawn in high school, or ACCUPLACER, which can be taken at any point during matriculation. ?However, recent studies suggest that a score received on a single of these exams could cause a student to become placed in developmental education courses once they would have been otherwise successful in a college-level course, or in some cases, the other way around, putting students who would have benefited from the additional help into college-level courses before they are truly ready.
The authors conclude?that results found from the study claim that high school grades are actually a better predictor of educational performance attending college than standardized exam scores are. ?They\’re going on to say that further research among college stakeholders is needed in order to determine any benefits that could result from using additional measures to predict college readiness.
They suggest that colleges may actually be able to lower developmental education rates when they could better predict which students would take advantage of developmental education.
The study was found to have three limitations, including that the course keeping 20% of the sample could not be identified. ?These students were rather older and pursuing an associate’s degree or perhaps a certificate. ?Additionally, the study calculated placement only using exam scores, while developmental education also utilizes recommendations produced by faculty advisors along with other informal practices and procedures. ?Last, findings in regards to the predictive power of senior high school grade point averages in contrast to exam scores only apply to students who ?enrolled straight into college English or math and had a high school gpa on file.