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Dear colleagues:

We are revamping our placement/assessment policies and procedures for
our adult, Continuing Education students, most of whom take courses off
the main campus.  What are some of the guidelines, procedures, and
policies that others use?

Currently in place:
*        Mandatory testing and placement (including advising) in
mathematics, writing, and reading for all on-campus matriculated
students.  We use locally-created tests in math, two  holistic writing
samples, and the DTLS for reading.  The Learning Center is pleased with
these procedures, as they are working well for placement, course
completion rates, success in subsequent courses, and so on.  Currently,
we are using paper-based procedures, and we are not yet "ready" to go to
a computer-based situation.
*       Recommended testing and placement (including advising) in
mathematics, writing, and reading for all on-campus and off-campus
Continuing Education students.  This includes a large component of
self-diagnosis.
*       Advising for ConEd students (but only 2 people advise several
hundred ConEd students, so this is not a strong component)
*       Required exit competency examinations for all developmental and
'regular" writing courses (2 required beyond developmental)

The issue:
*       Some adults do not assess themselves well and struggle mightily
in the credit courses.  Even with substantial tutoring, a number fail.
*        The Learning Center believes that the placement exams should be
mandatory even for this population.
*        The Director of the ConEd program argues that adult students
should not, need not, hold to all the same requirements as
traditionally-aged students.

Restrictions:
*       If possible, we want to hold costs down.  Adding more advisors
is not particularily feasible.

 I am a member of our Program Assessment Committee.  We will attempt to
recommend a policy that will satisfy both sides, at least partly!, and i
am looking to my colleagues for some innovative ways this issue has been
resolved elsewhere.  _Thanks for your help_, and please respond off-list
to:

Jane Neuburger
Center for Teaching and Learning
Cazenovia College
Cazenovia, NY 13035
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(315) 655-7206