Emerging Student Assessment and Placement Systems: Implementation and Research Using a Data Analytics Approach

Many students who begin postsecondary education in community colleges are placed into developmental (or remedial) education courses before they can begin earning college credit. Research suggests that the standardized tests that most institutions use for placement do not always determine which students will benefit from developmental education. Longitudinal studies indicate that many students who are placed into developmental education do not complete the courses or earn college degrees.

CAPR is currently investigating the effects of an alternative assessment and placement strategy on students’ academic performance, persistence, and progress toward college degrees. The strategy uses data analytics to develop an algorithm for each college based on past student data that can be used to place future students. This project began in late 2014 and is being implemented by CCRC and MDRC in collaboration with colleges from the State University of New York (SUNY) system. In this presentation, two researchers and two representatives of participating colleges shared their experiences in setting up and preparing to evaluate an alternative assessment and placement system.


Elisabeth Barnett, Community College Research Center and CAPR

Dan Cullinan, MDRC and CAPR

Peggy Bradford, Westchester Community College

Jessica Seessel, Westchester Community College

Anne DeLand, Onondaga Community College

Date and Time:

February 24, 2016
9:15–10:00 AM


Atlanta, GA


Hyatt Regency Atlanta