Elisabeth Barnett

Elisabeth Barnett 2017-05-01T19:29:52+00:00
Elisabeth Barnett

Elisabeth Barnett

CCRC

Elisabeth Barnett is a senior research associate at CCRC specializing in the transition from high school to college. She led a randomized controlled trial of developmental summer bridge programs at eight colleges in Texas under the National Center for Postsecondary Research and has led a range of qualitative and mixed methods studies on topics related to community college student success, workforce education, and high school–college partnerships. Dr. Barnett holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in educational organization and leadership. Dr. Barnett leads CAPR’s assessment study.

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Recent Publications:

College Placement Strategies: Evolving Considerations and Practices (A CAPR Working Paper)

By Elisabeth A. Barnett and Vikash Reddy | February 2017

Many postsecondary institutions, and community colleges in particular, require that students demonstrate specified levels of literacy and numeracy before taking college-level courses. Typically, students have been assessed using two widely available tests—ACCUPLACER and Compass. However, placement testing practice is beginning to change for three reasons. First, the Compass test will no longer be offered as of the end of 2016. Second, questions have been raised about the validity of commonly used placement tests. Third, there are emerging discussions about the need to consider other aspects of students’ readiness to succeed in college, especially so-called noncognitive skills.

In this paper, the authors discuss the history of college placement testing, with a focus on nonselective colleges. They describe the limitations of placement tests, the consequences of placement errors, and the movement toward changing systems of placement. The use of multiple measures is suggested as an approach that will result in more accurate placement. A typology of approaches to assessment and placement is described, including the identification of individual measures (e.g., alternative math and English tests, noncognitive assessments, and high school transcript information), ways to use them in combination (e.g., waivers, decision rules, and placement formulae), and how colleges might use assessment results in more varied ways (e.g., for placement into different course types or services). Finally, the paper includes a discussion of emerging issues affecting assessment and placement practices.

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College Placement Strategies: Evolving Considerations and Practices

Related Blog Post

Moving to Multiple Measures

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Recent Presentations:

Multiple Measures Assessment for Placement: Understanding Their Construction and Implementation in a Policy Context

This session included three papers about the use of multiple measures to place students who are entering college for the first time. Presenters discussed the state- and system-level contexts for such reforms, and presented two potential methods for incorporating multiple measures into placement determinations.

Participants

Elisabeth Barnett, Community College Research Center and CAPR

Vikash Reddy, Community College Research Center and CAPR

Vanessa Smith Morest, Norwalk Community College

John J. Hetts, Educational Results Partnership

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Using High School Achievement Information to Improve Placement Accuracy in Community Colleges

Conference:

Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference

Date and Time:

November 12, 2016
9:15–10:30 AM

Location:

Columbus, OH

Venue:

Hyatt Regency | Second Floor, Delaware A

Getting It Right: The Emerging Assessment and Placement Landscape

Many colleges are concerned about problems with current assessment and placement practices, and there is widespread discussion of using multiple measures. This panel featured information on why assessment needs to change and a discussion with panelists who have done innovative thinking on how to improve student placement using “big data,” noncognitive assessments, decision bands, and other emerging approaches.

Participants

Elisabeth Barnett, Community College Research Center and CAPR

Chad Brown, Zane State College

John J. Hetts, Educational Results Partnership

Belinda Miles, Westchester Community College

Conference:

American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Annual Convention

Date and Time:

April 11, 2016
3:00–4:00 PM

Location:

Chicago, IL

Venue:

Hyatt Regency Chicago | Wrigley

Multiple Measures Assessment for Placement: How It Looks in the Real World

In this session, three presenters discussed the reasons why multiple measures are being widely discussed as a way to improve incoming students’ assessment and placement. But “multiple measures” are defined in many different ways, and there are implementation challenges with some approaches to multiple measures. This session opened with a panel presentation that introduced the national discussion on this topic and then shared the experiences of two colleges that are in the process of implementation of assessment and placement using an algorithm.

During the presentation, participants were asked to enter responses to a few questions about assessment and placement practices into a short poll (using Participoll). The presenters encouraged discussion of selected topics in small groups following the opening panel and concluded with comments and take-aways from the small group conversations.

Participants

Elisabeth Barnett, Community College Research Center and CAPR

Dana Stilley, Rockland Community College

Mary Perrine, Jefferson Community College

Conference:

League for Innovation in the Community College Conference

Date and Time:

March 22, 2016
8:00–9:00 AM

Location:

Chicago, IL

Venue:

Sheraton Grand Chicago | Erie, Level 2

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