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2. Credit ESL - Assessment and Course Placement Information

Mission Statement

The mission of Assessment is to assist students, whether non-exempt or exempt, or new, returning, or continuing, for course placement into English, Math, or ESL courses.

Know Your Rights: The AB 705 Initiative and What it Means for Students

Traditionally what happens for students is the first time they set foot on the college campus in the community college system, they are asked to complete an assessment test. And what we determined as a result of the extensive research is that those assessment tests have historically been under placing students to the detriment of many students' opportunity to access transfer level course work. So, students may have completed Algebra I and Algebra II in high school, and yet be forced to complete arithmetic in community college. It takes only a fraction of a second for students to see what this means. The moment you say you don't have to take this placement test or you don't have to take these remedial classes that don't count towards your degree, they say, "Sign me up!"

When I was 17, I took the placement tests straight out of high school. That's the thing they told me I needed to do so they didn't use any transcripts of anything like that. That's supposed to be one of the other options you can do. They just asked me to do the placement tests and obviously I didn't do very well because they put me in a remedial class one level below. When I took it, I dropped the class because I didn't like it. When we're looking at the numbers of students that were taking remedial and never finishing a single level transfer course, we realized that there was a big problem. When we see that the average student spends 5.2 years in community college, it's a problem for the student. It costs them a lot of resources. They still have to pay for their living expenses. Some of them have to raise families; so it's very expensive for them.

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So what AB705 invites students to do is access that transfer level course work in both Mathematics and English. The college makes a pledge to help students complete that transfer level sequence within the first year. And that gets students well on their way towards their transfer and career goals much sooner.

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Our fondest hope for the community colleges with AB705 is that this is going to be a structural change, not just a change in practices, but a structural change that's going to reduce the numbers of barriers that students experience a lot of times during their onboarding process. We trust that the students are capable of passing transfer level classes. This will help students much more quickly get into the careers that they desire. This is really trying to increase students' success and that's good for all of us.

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