Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

New Assessment Instruments Measure Students' Affective Characteristics

Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

New Assessment Instruments Measure Students' Affective Characteristics

Article excerpt

The essential task of evaluating students' readiness to be successful in college and placing them accurately i nto programs and courses that support such success is becoming more multifaceted. Aspiring college students are assessed prior to admission to institutions that are not open-admission; for many years cognitive/academic skills measurements alone have been used to determine admission and placement. In recent years, however, noncognitive aspects have been added at many institutions to provide additional support to student placement and advising.

The University of New Mexico (UNM), for example, has begun gathering data regarding students' noncognitive skills, according to an Inside Higher Education article by Paul Fain. Although UNM is a flagship research university, thousands oflow-income students enroll there, many of whom are the first to be college-going in their families. UNM's Director of Student Affairs and Research Renee Delgado-Riley explained that many incoming students are also not prepared for college-level work. The university now uses a new test from the Educational Testing service, SuccessNavigator, to measure characteristics such as motivation, stress management, organization, and the ability to cope with financial pressure in order to better identify support services that will be most helpful to students deemed at risk upon admission.

UNM has required scholarship recipients, firstgeneration college students, and athletes on intercollegiate teams to complete the SuccessNavigator inventory during new student orientation as of Fall 2015. Delgado-Riley claims test results provide an "early warning system"; however, feedback regarding students' affective characteristics can be used during their first year of college and also as students move into a degree path. …

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