By Mitchell Mylius
LPC is moving to get students out of remedial courses and into college-level classes.
For years, as with other colleges across the country, the college has used Accuplacer tests to determine a student’s ability to succeed in a class, and only a third of the students placed into college level English over the last six years. Now, Las Positas will include high school English grades as part of its assessment plan.
Rajinder Samra, LPC’s institutional researcher, has been collecting student success data at LPC for the past six years. He presented the numbers at the Chabot-Las Positas Board of Trustees meeting on March 1.
“You can imagine why high school GPA would be so critical,” said Samra to the board. “It encompasses so many things.”
He explained how this one new factor can represent study skills, number of courses taken, and study habits.
Samra thinks the new placement method will increase the amount of college level English students to 80 percent in the next six years.
“We suspect that many of the students placed in basic skills English courses actually are prepared,” said Karin Spirn, English instructor.
A study by the Community College Research Center at Colombia University’s Teachers College found that these placement tests do not produce accurate predictions of how students will perform in college. It explains how basic skills classes discourage students because of the amount of time that is added onto their education plan.
Math assessments will not change. They will be considered at a later date.