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Tracing the Development of Multiple Measures for College Placement across States and Systems

Research shows that between 24 and 33 percent of students are “misplaced” when entering college and therefore required to complete developmental education courses that hinder postsecondary completion. More specifically, nearly 40 percent of  community college students enrolled in developmental education fail to progress to credit-bearing coursework, let alone earn a degree or credential.

This report examines three states—California, North Carolina, and Wisconsin—that have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, multiple measures reform with the ultimate goal of increasing college completion rates. Understanding different  approaches to multiple measures policy development and implementation can support successful reforms in other sites and contexts. For this reason, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation asked Research for Action (RFA) to: Reveal lessons learned by states and systems in reforming placement policies through multiple measures; and provide context for understanding how these reforms are implemented at the campus level, which will be explored in Phase 2 of this project.