[Heather Keast]

8. Engagement/Ownership
The placement assessment system functions in a way that engages faculty and encourages them to share the responsibility of maintaining the ongoing quality of the system.
Thoughts from Math Faculty:
  • The most important and easiest way to engage faculty in maintaining placement quality is by monitoring the success rates of students in math, correlated with placement (score, age of score, tool used, etc).
  • Both Testing and Math Faculty need to buy-in to the importance reviewing placement and talk to each other.
  • Since SFCC uses the MMT, math faculty have to be involved as they are writing the test. Continuous improvement is guaranteed (or forced, depending on your perspective) in this way.
  • It's far easier to engage faculty in the responsibility of maintaining a quality placement system if they trust the system works. Faculty would have little engagement with a placement tool that was not tied well to local curriculum and our student population, such as the COMPASS which our data has shown was not a reliable placer.
  • Lack of alignment across the state for the Intermediate Algebra Proficiency leads to distrust of a common placement tool. Therefore, the SFCC math faculty feel a cross-walk would really only be possible above the IAP level.

Thoughts from English Faculty:
  • Regularly scheduled report attended to annually at an English Department meeting that shows how many students took the placement, the distribution of the placements, the number of challenges, and the distribution of the challenge results. Another section of the report should show courses success rates in the writing sequence correlated to placement, as well as ratings distributions for the Portfolio. The Composition Director could write a summary of these data pointing out patterns, potential areas of concern, and possibilities for intervention.
  • An implication of maintenance responsibility is attending to the consequences of placement. A test cannot be valid if it leads to unacceptable consequences for stakeholders. This underpins point #1.

  • Directed Self Placement and Dynamic Criteria Mapping both require substantial faculty engagement and are 21st century alternatives to standardized placement tools. However, because they are faculty driven, they haven't amassed the kind of statistically-impressive validation argumentation that eduational measurement companies produce.
  • Ask faculty to provide frequent written feedback on pre-college students' success in their classes (as we do for athletes)
  • Publicly celebrate the successes we experience with pre-college placement
  • Our current challenge processes for the reading and writing COMPASS are highly faculty engaged. Faculty apply faculty-constructed criteria to authentic writing samples to determine appropriate placement.