Across the nation, K–12 systems increasingly use performance assessments to demonstrate and evaluate student learning. These assessments are also a promising source of information to support college access and success. But using K–12 performance assessments at the postsecondary level will require changes across the K–12 and postsecondary sectors, especially to address issues around equity.

To identify issues that need to be considered when developing policy on the use of K–12 performance assessments in college advising and placement, Reimagining College Access and Complete College America partnered to form a cross-sector task force. Making the Connection summarizes the results of the task force’s work and next steps to cement policy recommendations for this promising, innovative alternative for college placement and advising.

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Making the Connection outlines issues identified by the task force as a first step to developing policy (and practice) to use K–12 performance assessments as a viable placement mechanism and supplementary advising tool. It describes:

  • How college placement and advising currently work—a process that most often involves a single, standardized exam that does not fully represent students’ interests, passions, and future potential.
  • Opportunities for using performance assessments to improve these processes by allowing institutions to shift their mindset to embrace the whole student rather than focusing on student deficits.
  • Challenges for using performance assessments in college placement and advising, starting with the need to connect systems across and within different sectors and educational entity types.
  • Considerations for policy to improve college placement and advising through performance assessment, including specific considerations for systems integration.
  • Next steps to create policy recommendations, including necessary research and restructuring of existing processes.

To download, click the tile to the right.

Making the Connection: Using K-12 Performance Assessments for College Placement and Advising

Making the Connection: Using K-12 Performance Assessments for College Placement and Advising

October 20, 2022

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