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Thanks for the info about the Merit software.  What package did you buy?  We
have 3 graduate assistants in the College of Education Academic Success
Center who provide workshops and individual tutoring for the basic skills
test, content tests and APT.  For basic skills, we use ICTS practice
questions as well as questions from study guides from other states.  This is
what students find most helpful to date.  We also use mymathtest for the
math portion.  We like it because we have been able to create our own basic
skills tests, and the video tutorials are good for students who cannot make
it to campus.  The cost is  $7- $10 per person and each license lasts 6
months. This is actually more economical for us.  Students have reported
that this program is excellent for preparing for the math section.
I have found that the for profit study guides are not that helpful though
some students like the XAM guide.  We have math bootcamp (4hrs) on Saturdays
as well as separate workshops for algebra and geometry at various times.  In
total, we offer 3 bootcamps, and 21 one hour workshops per test. 10 of these
are for reading and language arts.  We do more individual tutoring for
reading and language arts.  We use college reading textbooks,such as "
Reading and All that Jazz"  and the "Ten Steps" series.  The "Ten Steps"
reading series works vary well for students whose first language is not
English.   Chicago State developed a study guide and we are in the process
of evaluating that.

Anyways, with this new test, I think we are all scrambling and searching so
any suggestions are helpful.  I did not know about Merit software and look
forward to adding that as a possible source of help.

Nora Murphy |Director, Academic Success Center | College of Education
|DePaul University 
2320 North Kenmore Avenue, SAC 303, Chicago, IL 60614 | PH: (773) 325-1652 |
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> From: Karla Sanders <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 15:44:26 -0500
> To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Education Basic Skills Tests
> 
> Shevawn, Eastern put together a taskforce last spring to deal with the
> basic skills test because we saw a drop in scores with the new cut scores
> as well.  We brought together faculty and administrators from the College
> of Education, people from the Writing Center, Reading Center, math
> department, and Student Success Center.  We divided the work somewhat, but
> also worked together.  We had a series of workshops on a Saturday about 2
> weeks before the exam on things like test-taking skills, test anxiety, and
> then the separate tests--math did one on the math portion, etc.  We also
> had tutoring/prep sessions across campus.  So, we bought Merit software to
> help students work on the language arts and reading sections.  We put this
> software in the Reading Center, the testing lab by the Student Success
> Center, and in a student lab in the Education building.  The Writing
> Center and Math tutors worked with students on those issues.  So, we
> spread it around and worked through the Assoc. Dean of the College of
> Education to coordinate everything.  We put together information that we
> passed out to incoming freshmen during orientation about taking the test
> early, too.  We had some local high school students come in over the
> summer to work through the software.
> 
> By the way, cost was shared between the Student Success Center and the
> College of Education for the software.
> 
> Karla
> 
> ****************************************************************
> Karla J. Sanders, Ph.D., Executive Director
> Center for Academic Support & Assessment (CASA)
> Eastern Illinois University
> 600 Lincoln Ave.
> Charleston, IL  61920
> www.eiu.edu/~assess
> www.eiu.edu/~casa2000
> tel:  217-581-6056
> fax:  217-581-7100
> [log in to unmask]
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Shevawn Eaton
> Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 2:52 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Education Basic Skills Tests
> 
> Hi Everyone,
> My pal Sonya Armstrong posted about this earlier last week, but I have
> some different questions.  We are wondering how your institutions support
> the Basic Skills Tests (i.e. the tests required to enter degree programs
> at your universities, usually guidelines created by the State).   We are
> in the middle of a major change in these tests.  The state now requires a
> certain passing score on each section rather than the entire test.
> 
> Since ours includes Language Arts, Writing Skills, Reading Comprehension,
> and Mathematics, we are struggling with who should be doing the support.
> Obviously, no one person can do this, so how is it done where you are?
> 
> Do you do each section as a separate prep course?  If so, who does the
> support?
> 
> Is it supported by a tutoring/learning center, an academic department, or
> something else?
> 
> Any thoughts or advice you all have will be greatly appreciated.
> 
> Thanks.
> 
> 
> 
> Shevawn Eaton, Ph.D.
> Director, ACCESS/ESP
> Northern Illinois University
> DeKalb, IL 60115
> PH: (815) 753-0581
> www.tutoring.niu.edu
> [log in to unmask]
> 
> FAX: (815) 753-4115
> 
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