Removal of Access Barriers

What is it?

There are many policies and practices in place at community colleges that create serious barriers for easy transition for local high school students.  When the college going process is looked at through an access lens, we see many opportunities for improvement.  The good news is most of them are locally controlled and so they can be changed; we have seen significant increases in college completion when entrance, placement, and priority practices are changed.

What are the indicators of success?

    • A review of remediation rates are analyzed and if applicable a measurable outcome for improving remediation is established
    • An alternative to the community college placement test in English and Math has been piloted and data results analyzed (i.e. placement based on GPA, attendance rates, CST scores, etc.)
    • Offer priority enrollment for local K12 students is considered and piloted to improve student access to key math and English courses
    • Community College counselors are encouraged and supported in bringing the matriculation process into the schools, during school time
    • Students are informed of the high stakes nature of the placement test
    • Re-take test policies are reviewed to ensure students are afforded an opportunity to re-take for higher level placement

What research supports this work?

Tests and Cut Scores Used for Student Placement in Postsecondary Education
National Assessment Governing Board, Fall 2011

To transform NAEP into a valid indicator of 12th grade academic preparedness, NAGB is conducting a comprehensive program of research. The fall 2011 survey of postsecondary education institutions’ use of tests and cut scores in college placement is one component of this larger research program.

IES Practice Guide: Helping Students Navigate the Path to College, What High Schools Can Do
US Department of Education, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute for Education Services
September 2009

This is a practical guide for educators to use the information from What Works Clearinghouse in their schools and classrooms.  The document offers five comprehensive recommendations to improve access of their students to higher education.