**Jon Tysse**

**Analyst, Institutional Research**

Lewis & Clark Community College

In consideration of Lewis and Clark’s intention to move to a mixed-method approach for the placement of incoming students, the IR office began looking for ways to assess the different tests used to place students and how well those tests predicted success. Our full report looks at both Compass and ACT scores as predictors of student success in both developmental and college-level courses (high school GPA was unavailable). For each course studied, we included the student’s grade, Compass Test score and ACT test score and placed them into a regression model to learn the impact of the “placement test score” on the student’s final grade in the course. To the best of our ability, we ensured students’ scores placed into the models had tested directly into that level, and as a result some classes we attempted to include in the report were excluded due to low numbers (Math-16A, Math-137, Math-142, Math-145 and Engl-125). We developed a chart for the report to display how the relationships work. Below is an actual chart, representative of those you will find in the full report. The blue line in the chart represents students’ placement test scores. The green line represents the grades of students for that course. The vertical axis indicates placement score level.

*Lewis & Clark Community College – Office of Institutional Research*

Table 1 shows the results for a regression model with students’ final grades in Math-11A as the dependent variable and their Compass algebra test score as the independent variable. The mean or average grade was 2.08 (“C”) and the mean or average Compass algebra test score was 18.94. The regression shows a weak positive correlation (r=.274, N=227) between the Compass algebra test scores and final grades, meaning as Compass algebra scores go up, final grades go up weakly. The regression model shows that the Compass algebra test explains about 7 percent (r2=.075) of the variance in students’ final grades. Combining the lack of variance explained with the weak nature of the correlation, the Compass algebra test is a weak predictor of student success in Math-11A. The end result of this study lead Lewis & Clark to move to a mixed method approach to student placement, one that prioritizes high school GPA and ACT test scores, and traditional placement tests are given as a last resort.

*Source: Informer (CMP scores)*