Higher Ed Partnership Aims to Improve Outcomes for Virginian Community College Students

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College Success ™, a unique diagnostic and placement platform, targets students’ deficiencies to help them succeed in Virginia's Community Colleges


"We are positioning our incoming students to be more successful in college." -Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges

McCann Associates and Virginia's Community Colleges (VCCS) are collaborating to implement McCann’s College Success ™ platform as the diagnostic and placement testing system for all of Virginia’s 23 community colleges.

Working in accordance with VCCS developmental courses redesign, the College Success ™ system will help Virginia’s Community Colleges make appropriate placement decisions for all enrolling students beginning in fall 2011. The McCann platform was custom-designed to align with the VCCS curriculum, reflecting what is needed to be successful in college and improving completion rates in developmental education.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, College Success ™ is able to diagnose a student’s proficiencies in a given subject area by administering a sophisticated, computer-adaptive test to each student. Based on the student’s responses to the “individualized” assessment, the platform utilizes sophisticated branching algorithms to identify target course placement and even remediation suggestions for the student.

The program will simplify and customize the experience of incoming VCCS students. The results of a student’s computer-adaptive placement test and a linear diagnostic test will ensure the student is placed in appropriate developmental courses to meet his individual needs.

The objective of the program is to improve outcomes for students who place into developmental courses by better preparing them for college work. Instead of being placed into a low-level math course because of a shortcoming in a specific area, the student can receive immediate remediation. Thanks to College Success ™, the student can master his deficiency in that arena in a reduced amount of time.

“With the implementation of the College Success ™ platform in our course redesign, we are positioning our incoming students to be more successful in college,” says Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “Our partnership with McCann aims to streamline the placement process, ensuring that our students are placed into classes that are aligned with their educational needs and guaranteeing immediate intervention in deficient areas.”

By allowing the VCCS to identify students’ strengths and areas of needed improvement, students can receive individualized instruction aimed at correcting shortcomings. With an education plan based entirely on each student’s needs, students are more likely reach graduation.

“We look forward to assisting the VCCS as they welcome students into its institutions,” says Scott Kramer, Regional VP of McCann Associates. “Because we understand that placing a student into a course that is above her knowledge level is going to end in a disaster, we have designed our diagnostic tools to help that student with instant remediation or placement into courses that will best fit her needs and help her succeed.”

The specific core skills that will be measured by McCann's College Success™ are:

  • Elementary Algebra
  • Arithmetic
  • College Level Mathematics
  • College & Career Readiness Mathematics

College Success™ incorporates Common Core Standards into its assessments, allowing the VCCS to comply with state and federal principles for education. College Success™ is the only diagnostic and placement tool aligned with such procedures.

About McCann Associates
As an innovative leader in assessment, certification, learning management and business intelligence solutions, McCann Associates changes the way the world learns and makes decisions. Leveraging advanced technology delivered via Software as a Service (SaaS), McCann currently provides solutions for Higher Education, Government and Public Sectors, Public Safety, and Corporate HR and Employee Learning. To learn more about how McCann Associates can help you, visit [http://www.mccanntesting.com.

About the Virginia Community College System
Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 400,000 students a year. For more information, please visit http://www.myfuture.vccs.edu.


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Koren Rife
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