Capital Community College is an open admissions institution. Entering students are required to have graduated from high school but some are not ready for college-level studies and are required to do developmental work before advancing into credit courses.
All new students are required to take the Accuplacer computerized placement test. Approximately 80% of new students place into non-credit, developmental mathematics, English, or English-as-a-Second-Language courses.
The written communication skills of developmental students are being assessed in three ways: the ESL Exit Writing Assessment, the assessment of Student Readiness for English 101, and the Common Writing Assignment.
English as a Second Language Program:
The ESL Department has developed program goals and course objectives for its four-level program. To assess student achievement of identified writing competencies, it has conducted a holistically-scored exit writing assessment (access restricted) every semester since 1994. The 1999-2001 results reported here have been used to assess the effectiveness of different classroom methodologies. The ESL Program has also analyzed enrollment data to assess students' abilities to transition into non-ESL courses (see ESL Student Persistence).
Student Readiness for English 101:
The Committee on Writing Standards in both 1999 and 2002 conducted large-scale early semester writing assessments of students enrolled in English 101 to determine their readiness for college composition. Results of these assessments and the writing prompts used for the timed writing assignment are linked below. Results were used in revising the course objectives for developmental writing courses, in clarifying guidelines for students' transition from ESL to mainstream English, and in English, ESL, and college-wide faculty discussions of writing pedagogy.
Common Writing Assignment:
The Common Writing Assignment is given in multiple courses across the disciplines. Details on this assessment activity and its implications for developmental students are linked within the Common Writing Assignment Report.