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Reading Competencies: Practices & Issues. Barbara Illowsky, De Anza College [email protected] Dianne McKay, Mission College [email protected] Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein , Santa Monica College [email protected] Resolution 9.08, Spring 2006.

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Reading competencies practices issues

Reading Competencies: Practices & Issues

Barbara Illowsky, De Anza College

[email protected]

Dianne McKay, Mission College

[email protected]

Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein, Santa Monica College

[email protected]

Resolution 9 08 spring 2006
Resolution 9.08, Spring 2006

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges research current practices and the need for reading competency systemwide to develop a position paper on this topic.

Outcomes at the end of this session we will
Outcomes:At the end of this session, we will:

  • know each other

  • understand various current practices across the state

  • grasp the issues involved in instituting a reading requirement

  • have developed survey questions


  • Introductory Questions (15 minutes)

  • Mission College Practices (10 minutes)

  • Santa Monica College Practices (10 minutes)

  • Issues discussion (15 minutes)

  • Issues report out (5 minutes)

  • Survey questions – develop (15 minutes)

  • Wrap up (5 minutes)

Introductory questions
Introductory Questions

  • What is your interest in attending this session?

  • Does your college currently have a Reading Competency requirement for the associate degree?

  • Is your college thinking of adding a Reading Competency requirement for the associate degree?

Mission college practices
Mission College Practices

  • Reading at Mission College is a separate department from English with its own courses.

  • Mission has a reading competency for graduation which can be achieved through either course work or proficiency testing.

Mission college practices1
Mission College Practices

  • Reading has a 3 course sequence to achieve the graduation competency:

    • READ 960: Reading Fundamentals: Instruction in word attack, vocabulary development and comprehension.

    • READ 961: Effective Reading: For students to correct or improve reading habits and skills including expanding vocabulary, improving comprehension and attaining an efficient reading rate.

Mission college practices2
Mission College Practices

  • READ 053: Speed and Critical Reading: (transferable to CSU) Enables students to reach their optimal reading speeds and to improve comprehension of collegiate and technical materials.

    • Completion of this course with a grade of “C” or better meets the graduation competency requirement.

Mission college practices3
Mission College Practices

  • Mission uses the Comprehensive Test of English Placement (Reading Comprehension) Test for placement with the following cut scores:

    • 6 – 12 correct: READ 960

    • 13 – 19 correct: READ 961 (also ESL 970)

    • 20 – 26 correct: READ 053

    • 27 – 35 correct: Reading Proficiency. Meets graduation requirement.

Santa monica college practices
Santa Monica College Practices

  • Reading at SMC is embedded within a series of English course offerings.

  • SMC measures a student’s reading competency for graduation by her successful completion of English 1 (Reading & Compositions) paired with English 48 (Critical Study Reading, Speed Reading & Vocabulary)

Santa monica college practices1
Santa Monica College Practices

  • student access to an online Reading Lab

  • sequence of courses aimed at Reading Competency

  • courses are grouped as Levels C, B, & A

  • placement in a particular writing & reading class is based on the results of his/her English assessment

Santa monica college practices2
Santa Monica College Practices

  • SMC Reading Lab:

Issues discussion
Issues discussion

  • What would be or were issues on your campus for instituting a reading competency requirement?

  • Break into groups

Issues report out
Issues report out

  • Pressure to eliminate reading competency

  • Faulty placement tools

  • Need tailored of curriculum for a variety of levels of students (rubrics)

  • Political issues/$$

  • Lack of qualified Reading Specialists (esp. for adults)

  • Students’ unrealistic time frames for getting up to transfer level


  • Prereqs. tend to lower class size

  • What classes to cancel

  • Student flight away

  • Attitudes regarding professional responsibility – ALL faculty teaching

  • Comfort level with status quo

  • May inhibit open access

  • Mission statement (not compatible)

Survey questions
Survey questions:

  • Does your college have a Reading Competency graduation requirement?

    Yes, subsumed in English writing course No

    Yes, separate from English writing course Not sure

  • If yes, what is the requirement?

    Reading Course Reading Placement/Proficiency Test

    Writing Course Writing Placement/Proficiency Test Other (describe)

Report out of survey questions
Report out of survey questions:

  • Is reading a requirement at the transfer level or developmental level?

  • Do you have a Reading Across the Curric. Program? For transfer or for dev. Ed only? Are the courses taught by faculty or IA’s?

  • How many faculty teaching Reading have a reading specialty training?


  • How does the college comply with Title 5 requirements about Reading? How do you measure it?

  • Do you ADVISE or PLACE students?

  • Do you have a time by which they must take the class?

  • Do you have a reading test for matriculation?


  • How many reading/Eng levels do you have below English 1A?

  • Do you have reading pre-reqs for GE courses?


  • Does your college have an AA Reading requirement?

  • If yes, how many courses satisfy this req?

  • What are the courses?

  • Can students test out of the Reading req?

  • What test do you use?

  • What scores allow students to test out?

Next steps
Next Steps

  • Basic Skills Committee of ASCCC will develop a survey.

  • Survey will, hopefully, be sent out in Spring 2009.

  • Results will be published.

    THANK YOU!!!