Testing Center Pilots ‘Brush Up’ Workshops for Returning Adults

by Alana J. Mauger

Montgomery County Community College’s Testing Center is launching a series of pilot workshops to help ensure that returning adult students are placed at the correct level when they enroll in courses.  View Workshop Flyer

“The goal of the workshops is to provide an opportunity for students to refresh the skills they already know and to make sure students are accurately placed in the correct course,” explains Nicole Henderson, director of placement and testing.

However, she stresses that the Brush-Up workshops are not ACCUPLACER “cram” sessions, but rather aim to reveal a student’s actual skill level.

“Accurate placement may accelerate students through their developmental coursework,” Henderson said, adding that, when placed correctly, students will not spend time or money enrolled in classes they don’t need.

The first series of these skill refresher pilot workshops will be offered from 4-6 p.m. at the Central Campus in Blue Bell on Aug. 6, 7 and 8, and at the West Campus in Pottstown on Aug. 13, 14 and 15. The workshops are free and are open to adult students who have already taken the ACCUPLACER test and have placed into developmental math, writing or reading courses on their first attempt. Space is limited; to reserve a seat, email mrissmil@mc3.edu.

“We chose this cohort for the pilot because often times returning adults have acquired the necessary skills to demonstrate college readiness; they know the material, but may not test well because they have not been in an academic environment for a while,” Henderson explained.

“The ideal [workshop] candidate is the student who is committed to and is willing to review the material to make sure they are prepared for the placement test. They want to make sure the test is accurately measuring their skill level, not how long it has been since they have been in school.”

Henderson developed the idea for ACCUPLACER Brush Up workshops after attending sessions at the national Achieving the Dream conference earlier this year. The project was endorsed by the College’s Student Success Initiative core team, resulting in the first pilot workshops this summer.

“If the evaluation data supports it, the workshops may be expanded and open to any student interested in attending, not just returning adults,” she shared.

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