Since I hadn't seen any responses to Kimberly's questions from a
4-year institution, so I'll weigh in.

        Faye Ross, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science
        [a career-oriented 4-year institution with a hefty requirement
that about 50% of the courses be in gen ed - a rather rigorous program.

>   1) Does your institution assess students' reading skills?
> Yes.
>   2) Who is assessed? (freshmen, transfers, adults, special programs?)
> All degree seeking full and part time undergraduate students coming
> into the day program.  That includes transfers and even students with
> a bachelors' degree.  The latter may sound crazy, but we grant a
> bachelors of science which requires math courses, and some students
> with a B.A. haven't taken any math.  We used to have a list of
> exceptions, but now even faculty member's spouses who take courses in
> the day progarm take placement tests.  We also test all incoming
> international graduate students in reading and writing
> .
>   3) What instrument do you use?  Does it meet your needs?
> Reading - NelsonDenny, Form E
        It works well for us.

>   4) If a student "fails" the "test"  what happens?  Is the response
> mandatory or
>      optional?
> All students placed in developmental courses must take them unless
> they have transfer credit in freshman-level writing or math.  Since we
> do not grant transfer credit for any reading course, all transfer
> students placed into reading must take it.
> There is another test given on the first day of the reading, writing,
> and math courses, and a student can test out based on that test.  Few
> do.  The reading test is very different from the multiple choice
> Nelson Denny.  Students must write a summary of a short passage, then
> write the topic and main idea for 5 paragraphs.
>   5) What types of responses do you have on your campus?  classes,
> short term
>      workshops, CAI, tutoring, etc.?
> We have a broad base of academic support, including an Advising and
> Counseling Center,  a paired-course program, a comprehensive Learning
> Center with tutoring for virtually any course on campus plus tutoring
> by professionals in "areas" such as writing, reading/study skills,
> math, and drawing/design.  However, placement tests place students
> into required 3-credit [not credit for graduation] developmental
> courses.
>   6) Where are these responses housed? Academic support, academic
> department,
>      other?
> The Learning Center makes sure the tests happen, but the tests are
> developed and cut-offs are established by the schools involved - i.e.
> School of General Studies for writing and reading and School of
> Science and Health for math.  As a practical matter, the staff at the
> Learning Center and the Registrar are the major people involved.
>   7) Are you a four year institution? Yes
The reading requirements of our College Studies courses, especially in
history and the social sciences, are particularly challenging, with a
lot of emphasis on primary documents.

>   8) Any professional or personal thoughts about reading competencies
> at the
>      college level?
> Although writing across the curriculum has received extensive press,
> reading across the curriculum would be an equally worthy focus.  Not
> only do students need support, faculty need to be nurtured to foster
> student reading.  As it is,  far too many faculty who "require"
> reading actually base their tests almost entirely on the class notes,
> so many students never need to read the text at all to do well.  As
> faculty find that students haven't done the reading or have difficulty
> with it, they tend to resort to telling students what they need to
> know, thus reinforcing the students' dependence.
> ----------
> From:         KIMBERLY FATH
> Sent:         Thursday, July 31, 1997 5:15 PM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Reading