Multiple Measures Assessment and Corequisite Courses: Alternate Ways to Place and Prepare New College Students

By Sophie Litschwartz, Dan Cullinan & Vivianna Plancarte | November 2023

Students walk down university hallway

Both corequisite remediation and multiple measures assessment (MMA) have been shown to get more students into college-level courses quickly and to help more students pass those courses. However, students who do not need corequisite support courses yet receive them may be spending extra time and money on them needlessly, and those who do need corequisite support but do not get it may not have adequate preparation to succeed in their college-level courses. One strategy to better identify which students should go into corequisite courses is to employ MMA, but most of what is known about good MMA implementation was learned when prerequisite remediation was the norm.

This brief summarizes findings from two surveys conducted in 2016 and 2023 showing that both corequisite and MMA practices are on the rise nationally. The growth in both MMA placement systems and corequisite coursework points to a need for new research on how these two practices interact; however, no experimental research has tested the trade-offs between directly placing students in college-level coursework alone and requiring corequisite remediation, or on whether using MMA to place students into corequisite coursework is better than status-quo placement systems. To that end, this brief introduces a CAPR study on the effects of MMA systems in a corequisite context. The randomized controlled trial will be conducted at up to 10 of the colleges from the 2023 survey sample and provide high-quality estimates of the effect MMA in a corequisite context has on students’ academic outcomes, as well as findings about college-level implementation of MMA, students’ experiences, and MMA’s costs.


Multiple Measures Assessment and Corequisite Courses: Alternate Ways to Place and Prepare New College Students

Key Findings

Seventy-three percent of public two-year colleges use indicators of high school performance in their placement systems.

Seventy-eight percent of public two-year colleges offer corequisite developmental courses in English and 77 percent offer corequisite courses in math.

Fourteen percent of public two-year colleges offer only corequisite developmental English and 12 percent offer only corequisite developmental math.