California Community College Board OKs New Registration Policies

The governing board of California’s community colleges Monday approved historic, system-wide registration policies that favor students who have a specific education plan and have completed orientation and assessment tests.

Registration priority also will be given to continuing students in good academic standing who have not exceeded 100 units. The changes, first recommended this year by a statewide Student Success Task Force, are intended to make it easier for students to reach their educational goals, whether they are seeking a degree or to transfer to a four-year university.

The move also marks an unprecedented narrowing of the mission of community colleges, which have had to drastically reduce class offerings in recent years because of severe budget cuts.

“In the past, community colleges have been able to serve everyone and students could accrue a large number of units or do poorly in all of their courses and still receive priority registration,” said Chancellor Jack Scott, who is retiring this week after overseeing many of the overhaul efforts. “Now that colleges have had to cut back on the courses they can offer, those students were taking up seats in classrooms and crowding out newer students focused on job training, degree attainment or transfer.”

The new requirements were unanimously approved by the Board of Governors, which was meeting at San Diego City College. They take effect in fall 2014. The system’s 112 campuses will make a big push to educate current students about the new rules, and to give those on academic probation a chance to improve their grades and those nearing the unit cap to plan their remaining course schedules, officials said. (Read more.)

Via Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times.

Follow-up: You may be interested in this short article which includes a quote from the California Community Colleges Chancellor, Jack Scott.

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Diagnostic Assessment: Challenges and Opportunitiess for the California Community Colleges

California can learn from the experiences of several states that have already developed, or are developing, statewide diagnostic tests for their community colleges. These states’ reforms are still in their infancy, and how they will play out over the long term is not yet clear. But their efforts help clarify the crucial issues for California to consider and how the ambitious reforms envisioned by the Task Force might differ from those being undertaken in other states.

This report:

1. Introduces “diagnostic assessment” and why it has attracted attention as a tool for community college reform.

2. Describes how several community college systems—Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina—are developing their own diagnostic assessments.

3. Shows that California’s proposed reforms differ because statewide diagnostic assessments would be developed without prior agreement about how the developmental curriculum should be structured.

4. Discusses practical implications related to the time needed for testing and the resources needed to use diagnostic information effectively.

5. Describes the opportunity that California colleges and K–12 schools have to better coordinate their expectations and assessments for students. Fundamental to this discussion will be the K–12 system’s recent adoption of Common Core State Standards.

To download the full brief click here.

To download the executive summary click here.

Posted in Community College (13-14), Data/Research, Secondary (9-12), Testing. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Diagnostic Assessment: Challenges and Opportunitiess for the California Community Colleges