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          Similar to Steve's experience, we have gone back to asking entering
          students for a simple essay as a part of their assessment.  We have
          developed a system of coding the development and the mechanical
          errors for each paper which we have correlated to course
          placements.  Some college programs require the writing sample at
          the time they do their other entry assesstment (we use the CPT).
          Some programs use the writing sample after students have entered
          the program to identify high risk students. Other programs don't
          use it at all.
               Its biggest problem is that it's quite labor intensive.  One
          solution has been to waive the requirement for students scoring a
          B or over in the last high school English course as long as their
          other scores are also good. High reading and sentence skills scores
          on the CPT also earn a waive. (We occasionally miss a student this
          way though)  We definitely require a sample from mature students.
               We have a well established assessment department that does the
          writing samples for us.  If you are interested in more detail,
          contact the co-ordinator at the following address;
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          Hope this is useful
          Rika Snip
          The Learning Centre @ LCC
          Lethbridge Community College
          Lethbridge Alberta

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