This procedure describes the criteria required of an acceptable screening test, and the process departments should follow when requesting that a screening test be established.
- Screening Test: A test designed to measure the degree to which a student possesses skills assumed to be prerequisite to success in a certain course or group of courses.
- Criterion Course: The course for which entry skills are being tested.
- Preparatory Course: Prepares students for a criterion course.
- A screening test must validly measure the prerequisite skills for a criterion course. It should be valid for all teachers and all sections of the course.
- Cutoff scores must be set so that test scores distinguish effectively between students who possess the prerequisite skills and those who do not.
- There must be a preparatory course that teaches the skills required for any criterion course and its screening test.
- If students complete a preparatory course with a grade of C or better, they must be permitted to enroll in the criterion course up to a year later. They do not need to pass the screening test. However, they may be required to take the screening test for research purposes.
- The preparatory course must be designed so that students with test scores below the cutoff point and with no other proven skill deficiency can successfullly complete it in a reasonable period of time.
- The preparatory course must be designed so that students with test scores below the cutoff point, with no other proven skill deficiency, and who complete it have a high probability of success in the criterion course.
- A screening test system and the accompanying calibration of preparatory and criterion courses must be continuously evaluated.
- When a department desires to establish a screening test, it must write a proposal in consultation with the coordinator of Testing. The vice president Academic and Student Affairs must approve a screening test before it is implemented. The proposal must describe the testing system and explain how it will meet the above requirements. It should address the following topics:
- The content and calibration of the preparatory and criterion courses;
- The exit skills for the preparatory course and the entry skills for the criterion course;
- The content of the testing instrument; its reliability and validity;
- Planned procedures (Note rules regarding appeals, retesting, study information, waivers, and exceptions);
- Evaluation plan; and
- Estimated costs in time and money.