Testing score cutoff proposed

Some MCCC students are not making the cut, according to the college’s Developmental Education Committee.

College officials are proposing a bottom cutoff on compass test scores before students will be allowed into developmental courses.

Students who fall below the cutoff would be encouraged to enroll at the Monroe County Learning Bank or other remedial courses.

“We are trying to anticipate what we could do with the folks that are below the cutoff score,” John Joy, dean of Corporate and Community Services, said.

Although the Developmental Education Committee has made the recommendation, it’s unclear when it will take effect.

“There are real concerns trying to implement this by fall,” said Jill Denko, assistant professor of Student Services.

College officials are looking at a variety of options for students who don’t score high enough on the compass tests to qualify for the 090 writing or reading courses.

A different plan, which does not involve a cutoff score, is being considered for 090 developmental math  courses.

Most students aren’t aware of the proposal, but some aren’t happy about it.

“I don’t get why they are doing this, it makes no sense to me,” said James Johnson, an MCCC student.

College officials are hoping for a Michigan adult learning grant to help pay for some of the remedial courses.

“We haven’t worked at the costing for what this is going to cost per class,” Joy said.

The Developmental Educational Committee voted 5-1 to accept the cutoff plan, along with remedial services being made available, effective starting Fall semester.

The policy must be reviewed by other committees and approved by the administration before it is final.

Students who score below the cutoff will be able to go through an appeal process, like any other student-related issue.

School officials also are pursuing limits on the number of times a student can retake a class.

Last year, about 700 students repeated classes, according to state of Michigan auditors.

Under the proposal discussed by the Developmental Education Committee, students will be unable to retake a course more than three times.

“If they fail at it three times, I don’t think they are going to get it a fourth time,” Jon Kapus, an MCCC student, said. “But that might not be fair.”

There also was discussion of an appeal process for the three retakes rule.

Both the cutoff and the retaking classes issues will be discussed by the Academic Review Committee Tuesday, March 29, at 12:30 p.m. in A-173. The meeting is open to everyone.