Developing Alternative Placement Criteria for English Courses at City College of San Francisco
Recognizing the need to improve postsecondary access and success for underrepresented populations, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), City College of San Francisco (CCSF), the City and County of San Francisco, and key community organizations formed the Bridge to Success initiative in 2009. Gardner Center has partnered with Bridge to Success to inform the initiative with data analysis. This issue brief highlights the process that Bridge to Success used in partnership with the Gardner Center to address the challenge of high rates of placement into remedial English courses at CCSF. The CCSF English Department and the Gardner Center examined the factors associated with SFUSD graduates passing their first English course at CCSF based on an analysis linking SFUSD and CCSF student records. The CCSF English Department used this analysis to determine an alternative method for course placement from the standard English Department placement test. As a result, entering CCSF students who met specified cut scores for grade point average (GPA) and California Standards Test (CST) English proficiency in high school could qualify to be placed one level higher than specified by the CCSF English Department placement test. This brief describes the analysis and process that informed this policy change.