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Many of the students with whom we work -- students with high school equivalency degrees, returning adult students and students attending night school (Young Adult Borough Centers) to earn their diplomas -- require significant educational intervention to pass the college placement exam.
Our advocacy group, Bronx Opportunity Network, consists of seven community-based organizations working toward college persistence and completion for Bronx residents.
It should be noted that the test-prep workshop offered by Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College focuses on test-taking strategies and computer use, on academic preparation.
Also, since community colleges don’t prepare students academically to take the exam, we recommend that they route students to agencies that offer college-bridge services.
Community colleges need to do a better job of informing students about the placement exam and the repercussions of performing poorly.
Students who know that they are going to be tested perform better than students who are simply assigned a test date in their admissions letter.
A report by Education Reform Now diagnoses the main problem as a deficient high school education that underprepares students to enter college-level courses.
But community colleges play a significant role in locking students into these courses by outdated approaches to placement testing and by failing to alert and inform students about the college entrance exam.
In 2016, the admissions office at Bronx Community College started talking about the importance of preparation for the college placement exam at new students’ information sessions and then scheduled students for test-prep workshops automatically instead of making it optional.
After instituting that practice, they saw a significant increase (an estimated 10 percent) in students testing out of the lowest level of remediation.