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Common Assessment Initiative GoalsThe Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) is developing a comprehensive, common assessment system (CCCAssess) that will reduce unnecessary remediation, align to state legislation, and provide statewide efficiencies for the academic placement process within and between California colleges, all of which will ultimately benefit student success.

Align with Legislation

The Seymour-Campbell Matriculation Act of 1986 required that colleges assist students in defining their educational goals, and provide the support services necessary to ensure successful academic outcomes. The legislation was updated as SB-1456, Student Success Act of 2013.

In 2011, AB743 required that the CCC Board of Governors (BOG) develop regulations, to the degree that funding is available, that community college districts provide student support services, including administering assessments to ensure appropriate course placement for students.

PDF of SB1456 Bill Language

PDF of AB743 Bill Language

Coordinate Within and Between Colleges

A 2008 report by the Consultation Council Taskforce on Assessment found that approximately 30 different assessment instruments were in use at that time. In addition, most California Community Colleges (CCC) only recognized their own tests and required students from other colleges to be reassessed prior to placement. The percentages of colleges accepting assessment scores from other colleges were 24% for math, 10% for English and 9% for ESL.

The Common Assessment Initiative (CAI) reduces the need for regular re-assessment, decreasing assessment and placement costs, and reducing inefficiencies across the CCC system.

Ensure Student Success in Placement

A common assessment, in conjunction with a multiple measures approach, will allow for more accurate student placement decisions at the local level, and will reduce the need for remediation with the goal of increasing student success rates.

As a result of CAI, students will benefit from:

  • A standardized assessment that clearly defines collegiate academic standards
  • Scores that can be transferred when moving between colleges
  • More appropriate placement in courses
  • A reduced need for remediation
  • Increased academic success

Systemwide Approach

CCCAssess will be developed by a coalition of partners, led by the Butte-Glenn Community College District, with the following objectives:

  • Leverage and collaborate with existing statewide technology services and projects to develop a centralized, integrated technology solution to support the assessment and placement activities of the CCC
  • Expand the underlying systems of data and research to improve access to information necessary to support a comprehensive statewide assessment and placement system that meets the needs of students, faculty, and staff
  • Develop and administer an effective and efficient common assessment system and web portal that utilizes computer-adaptive testing methods, diagnostic features, and robust administrative tools to accurately assess students in English, math, and ESL
  • Develop and provide professional development and a support system for faculty and staff