Higher education for most students begins with proctored high-stakes placement exams that may not be the best approach, according to Jason Bryer, director of research and project evaluation at Excelsior College. Proctored exams can be intimidating, especially at open-enrollment institutions where more than half of students are directed into non-credit remediation courses at an estimated cost of $4 billion per year.
Excelsior College hopes to improve students’ early college experiences by developing an open-source assessment tool to measure student skills in academic and non-academic areas. They will use the $1.9 million First in the World grant to address the problem of placement and remediation, and to allow institutions to better target resources and services to students. We talked to Bryer to learn more about the system and their goals for the project.
“We want to provide students with information they can act upon. “It’s not a pass-fail. It’s about what are your strengths, what are your weaknesses? What are the resources and services that you can utilize to overcome any possible deficiencies while at the same time playing to your strengths?”
Jason Bryer, Excelsior College
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