Mt. San Antonio College
Mt. San Antonio College

Developing an online assessment tool for course placement


Develop a more accurate placement process that serves faculty and students and meets state requirements

  • Collaboration across departments to develop assessment tool
  • Anywhere access to assessment tool, reducing testing time for students
  • Increased enrollment and completion in transfer-level English and math courses

Mt. San Antonio College collaborates across departments to more accurately place students

In California, the state requires all community colleges to use high school grades and courses to assess and place new students. The purpose of the mandate is to accelerate completion of required English and math courses—and place more students directly into transfer-level courses.

Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) was one of the first colleges in the state to implement mandatory assessment and placement of students into English, math, ESL, and reading classes. But their process was laborious and not student-centered. And there were concerns that the placement methods were inaccurate and holding students back.

To meet the state’s mandate and better serve their students, Mt. SAC utilized a systems approach. They collaborated across departments to develop an online assessment tool called the Assessment Questionnaire (AQ). The AQ simplified the placement process and increased the number of students placed in transfer-level English and math.

Transfer-level course placements

Now, students can take the assessment anywhere, at any time. The results are automatically recorded, and students can immediately register for the classes that match their placement recommendations. Placements into transfer-level courses increased from 15 percent to 81 percent in English and from 19 percent to 38 percent in math.

Before the AQ, very few Mt. SAC students qualified to enroll in transfer-level courses, making it difficult for them to eventually transfer to a four-year institution. Now they have more opportunities to graduate, transfer, and continue on toward a bachelor’s degree.

Read the case study to find out how Mt. SAC’s culture of collaboration helped them implement this solution in seven months.

Ever since Banner went live at Mt. SAC, our culture changed and shifted from a siloed to a collaborative approach. Banner touched every department. It changed the way we think, the way we communicate, and the way we approach our implementations.

Antonio Bangloy, Director, Enterprise Application Systems, Mt. San Antonio College

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