At Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, KS) we started our
credit ESL program with two levels in Fall 2004, and then added two more
levels in Fall, 2006. To screen students, we added this question to the
enrollment form. "Is English your native or first language or mother
tongue?" Students who answer "no" are then given ESL COMPASS, not
regular COMPASS. Their placement is based on a weighted score that
includes Reading, writing, and Listening. However, we (faculty) also can
see the individual scores, which we ask students to share with us.We
agree that the writing section isn't the best test, but it has worked to
put them all together for an average. We have over 54 countries
represented in our program called English for Academic Purposes. We also
teach reading and writing in linked learning communities (3 hrs + 3 hrs)
and we work to integrate the curriculum. Speaking/Pronunciation is a 3
hr. stand alone course, but students have to have completed the whole 9
hr. block before they move up.

Our Director of Testing, Janet Brandau ([log in to unmask]) could give
you our various cut-off scores. We have learned a lot during the last
couple of years and are still learning.

Roz Bethke, Professor of Reading/AAC
[log in to unmask]
Johnson County Community College
Overland Park, KS 66210 

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-----Original Message-----

From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Joanne Gabel
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 10:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: COMPASS/ESL cut off scores

I have followed this thread with great interest because we are in the
midst of a legal debate about using the ESL version of COMPASS.  How do
those of you using both COMPASS and ESL COMPASS determine which version
of the placement test the student will take?  How do you discover, in
other words, that the student is a non-native English speaker who would
benefit from the ESL version?  (We have parallel developmental
reading/writing and ESL reading/writing/ speaking/listening programs.
Students move directly into college-level courses from their particular
Joanne Gabel, PhD
Coordinator of Developmenal Writing
Reading Area Community College
10 South Second Street
PO Box 1706
Reading, PA  19603
601 372-4721, ext. 5093
[log in to unmask]

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