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CCC Common Assessment Initiative Multiple MeasuresA suite of validated multiple measures (MMs) will be offered for use in making local placement decisions as part of a statewide assessment being developed by the California Community Colleges Common Assessment Initiative (CAI).

Colleges applying the CAI’s Common Assessment System (CAS) will be able to choose whether to use the available suite of multiple measures, as well as develop their own.

“The use of multiple measures creates a more complete picture for colleges to assist in making placement decisions,” said Craig Rutan, Academic Senate for CCC South Representative and Vice Chair of the CAI Steering Committee. “By including multiple measures, colleges are able to more accurately place students, increasing their chances of successful completion.”

Multiple Measures Explained

The use of multiple measures for placement is spelled out in Title 5, Section 55522(a): “When using an English, mathematics, or ESL assessment test for placement, it must be used with one or more other measures to comprise multiple measures.”

The definition is laid out in Section 55502(i): “Multiple Measures are a required component of a district's assessment system and refer to the use of more than one assessment measure in order to assess the student. Other measures that may comprise multiple measures include, but are not limited to, interviews, holistic scoring processes, attitude surveys, vocational or career aptitude and interest inventories, high school or college transcripts, specialized certificates or licenses, education and employment histories, and military training and experience.”

Piloting Multiple Measures

The CAI pilot colleges will assist with piloting of MMs for validation purposes. The RP Group is currently conducting research into the validity of non-cognitive variables that may be offered as part of the CAS. It is anticipated that piloting of select MMs will take place in early fall of this year.

Adding to the breadth and depth of current MMs work within the CCC is the overlap between the CAI and the Multiple Measures Assessment Project (MMAP). MMAP pilot colleges, several of which also participate as CAI pilot sites, are currently piloting a model for placement that utilizes high school GPA and grades in most recent high school math and/or English courses. More information on the MMAP can be found on the RP Group website at rpgroup.org/projects/multiple-measures-assessment-project.

While the work of MMAP and CAI is separately funded and managed, the CAI will be able to leverage the results of MMAP research and piloting in creating a robust and valid CAS that incorporates MMs for the benefit of increased student success.

The CAI project will be on the road this spring providing updates to the field and answering questions about the current progress of the initiative and the plans for MMs and test content currently under development. To schedule a presentation for your college or group, contact Jennifer Coleman, EdD, Statewide Program Director, at 530-879-4165 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Jennifer Coleman, EdD, is Statewide Program Director of the
California Community Colleges Common Assessment Initiative.