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Latinx Student Experiences With Assessment and Placement at Community College


Community colleges have been seen as a gateway into higher education and social mobility. Matriculation of students into higher education has been critical to guiding and directing the rest of their experience as a student. Not many scholars have examined the experiences of students with assessment and placement during matriculation at community college. There remains a dearth of literature regarding the experiences of Latinx community college students in particular. This dissertation presents an in-depth examination of the experiences of Latinx students with assessment and placement at a California community college. This study was conducted when standardized placement testing was the most common way of assessing students’ mathematics skills.Further, this research was undertaken before introducing changes to assessment and placement due to AB 705’s multiple measures policy implementation in the fall of 2019. Latinx student experiences with standardized placement testing were shaped by institutional barriers to course enrollment, determined mathematics proficiency that was not reflective of their perceived breadth of skills, and a varying reliance on unsound placement tests. Findings and implications apply to states that continue to use standardized placement testing and those that have moved to use multiple measures.

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