AQIP progress report on Action Project Improve Proficiency by armedman1


									                                     AQIP Annual Update
                                       September 2006

     Improve Proficiency Testing, Placement, Assessment, and Retention of Students

A. Describe the past year's accomplishments and the current status of this Action
   During the 2005-2006 academic year we launched the initial data collection for cohorts of
   students placed into each of three sequential writing courses. This included analyzing the
   academic profile for students in the “101” writing course, and comparing both registration
   follow-through and course grades for those who were placed into their elementary course.
   Our goal was to assess the effectiveness of the current placement formulas—whether they
   placed students in the appropriate courses and lead to desired outcomes, or whether revised
   proficiency examination “cut scores” are needed to improve the placement system. In our
   analysis, we have completed baseline data of:
       students who take mandatory proficiency tests (information through our Placement Office
       and Institutional Assessment data)

       students who enroll and complete mandated courses (information through our Placement
       Office and Institutional Assessment data)

       student satisfaction with placement process (Survey sent to students who took Writ 101
       and RDNG 101)
   We have also developed plans for improving administration of placement programs and the
   review of current placement policies for compliance with Minnesota State Colleges and
   Universities (MnSCU) policy 3.3 (Assessment for Course Placement) and procedure 3.3.1
   (Course Placement).
   We created a method for assessing GELS courses in math and writing and, we are enforcing
   the current mandatory placement policy, including registration holds and mandatory contacts
   with advisors, to the extent possible. An electronic prerequisite checking system that is
   available in the central student data base (Integrated Student Record System, [ISRS]) is not
   up and running, pending the completion of transfer course entry into Metropolitan State’s data
   We implemented an intrusive advising program, as an early intervention process, for
   identifying less-than-prepared and under-prepared students who place in mandated course.
   Therefore, this action project will be formally retired, and the University will undertake
   discussion of a new phase of improvement related to proficiency placement and advising
   students in placement. (See Next Planned Steps.)
B. Describe how the institution involved people in work on this Action Project.
   Participation included constituents from recruiting, admissions, English as a Second
   Language (ESL) students, registration, and advising. We invited those areas of expertise, into
   our on-going discussions, in order to develop a more comprehensive university-wide system
   that will allow our students to be more prepared for the courses that they take.
C. Describe your planned next steps for this Action Project.
   The University has hired two new staff to help input transfer course records into ISRS, the
   integrated student records system. Once that data is in ISRS, the University will be able to
   turn on the electronic prerequisite checking system, a feature of ISRS that automatically
   checks registration to ensure that students have met the appropriate prerequisites for the

   courses in which they are attempting to register. Once this feature is activated, mandatory
   course placement based on assessment scores will automatically prevent students from
   registering in courses in which they are unlikely to be successful. Thus, electronic
   prerequisite checking will enable us to improve student registration. In addition, with all the
   transfer data entered into ISRS, the Placement Director will be able to prepare more
   sophisticated analyses for the placement processes (e.g., more easily determine whether
   changes in placement scores will improve retention) and that will enable us to continuously
   modify and improve on the processes that we are using to ensure mandatory course
   placement based on assessment scores.
D. Describe any "effective practice(s)" that resulted from your work on this Action
   The most important practice that emerged from this Action Project were the lines of
   communication that were established between individuals in different areas of the University
   (e.g., Student Affairs and Academic Affairs) who prior to the project did not communicate
   regularly about placement policies. Indeed, the proficiency and placement office is in process
   of reassignment to Academic Affairs, in the College of Arts and Sciences, to further improve
   communication and coordination.
E. What challenges, if any, are you still facing in regards to this Action Project?
   Implementation of electronic prerequisite checking (“Edit 59” in the central student data

   Data integrity across systems

   Managing the multiply sources of data

   Time constraints with collecting and analyzing the data

   Maintaining lines of communication which were established while working on the Action
F. If you would like to discuss the possibility of AQIP providing you help to stimulate
   progress on this action project, explain your need(s) here and tell us who to contact
   and when?


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