New assessment test saves students time, frustration

Jonathan Wences/The Et cetera

Jonathan Wences/The Et ceteraA 2008 survey of incoming students at institutions of higher education determined that less than half  were prepared for college-level courses.

This lack of college-ready students has led to a boom in enrollment for developmental math, writing and reading courses.

Many of the students in those classes have grown frustrated with the path they must travel. They feel trapped, investing time and money in classes that don’t offer college credit.

In response to their concerns, the state’s community colleges are now adopting the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Assessment in place of the Accuplacer.
This computer-adaptive assessment, which begins in the fall, promises more accurate scoring and a more in-depth evaluation of students.

It will diagnose the academic weaknesses of the person taking it and determine whether students are college ready or if they must sign up for Developmental Education or Adult Basic Education.

The TSI will be made available to incoming students for the first time on Aug. 22.

While the test is only in its infancy, we believe this change is for the best.

For too long have students relied on a system that could force them to spend months or even years in developmental courses they might not need, not to mention cost them hundreds to thousands of dollars.

This time could be better spent in college-level courses, where students are advancing toward a degree.

With a test more focused on discovering the individual weaknesses of each student, a lot frustration will be avoided.

We also applaud the college’s efforts to assist students in developmental courses.

This summer, the 2013 DEEP Camp will give students a chance to leave developmental education and enroll in college credit courses within a matter of days. It could also save them a lot of time and money.

These are definite steps in the right direction. Hopefully, they will help more students move out of developmental classes and closer to a degree.

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