The BEdA Assessment Policy documents requirements for standardized student assessment practices. The policy gives direction to providers on using assessment tools that offer evidence of student educational gains. The BEdA Assessment Policy is reviewed and revised each year. Directors need to pay particular attention to the requirements to ensure appropriate and accurate student testing and, therefore, accurate reporting of student gains.
According to the program year 2016-17 Washington State Assessment Policy, the High School Credit Option (HS Credit Option) allows BEdA providers with adult high school diploma programs (e.g. HS+) to measure and report educational gain by awarding required high school credits* instead of testing. These students do not need to be pre- or post-tested.
Adult education students below the ASE Low level must be pre- and post-tested. BEdA providers may select either the CASAS test or HS Credit Option assessment on a student-by-student basis. The assessment method selected must remain fixed for the entire program year.
Programs will track use of the HS Credit Option in WABERS+ starting in program year 2016-17. Its main feature is the HS Credit Worksheet to track required high school credits in the following areas: graduation requirements, previously earned credits, and credits earned.
State graduation requirements determine the minimum number of credits in each subject required by the Washington State Graduation Requirements 2012 to 2017. Note: this table pertains only to credits required to graduate. Each local district may determine any non-credit requirements and assessments needed to graduate.
Refer to the WABERS+ User Manual for detailed instructions.
* Required High School Credits are the credits required in each subject as determined by the Washington State Board of Education. The term “credit” in all areas related to the HS Credit Option refers to Required High School Credits.
Using the HS Credit Option
Identification and acknowledgment of prior credits and prior learning
As part of the advising process, evaluate all transcripts, as well as any evidence or assessment of prior learning as described in the HS+ Handbook. Refer to HS+ Handbook Resources for sample transcript evaluation forms, sample checklists and forms for students. Report these as Previously Earned Credits using the HS Credit Worksheet in WABERS+.
HS Credit Option placement into federal educational functioning level
The HS Credit Option determines each student’s educational functioning level (EFL) at program entry and skill gains (Federal Level Gain, Significant Gain, and Student Achievement Points):
- ASE Low – assigned when a student enters needing to complete more than three (3) credits to meet minimum state graduation requirements. Students placed at ASE Low gain a level when they earn all but the last three (3) required credits in the same program year.
- ASE High – assigned when a student enters needing three (3) or fewer credits to meet minimum state graduation requirements. Students in the ASE High level will be included in the tracking cohort for obtaining a secondary credential.
Awarding high school credits
Each college’s high school diploma program determines whether a student has demonstrated mastery of subject-specific learning outcomes and awards high school credit as appropriate. Since portfolios may be necessary to assess mastery of specific competencies, an additional four (4) credits — for a total of up to eight (8) credits — may be added to an Educational Interviewing course for portfolio development.
The student’s transcript should also include course credits that complete the required distribution of subject areas. These are reported as Earned Credits in the HS Credit Worksheet in WABERS+.
Program Regulations and Authority
The authority for programs to determine the required level of competency, as well as which prior credit and learning may be counted as meeting distribution requirements, is described in:
- WAC 180-51-053 Community college high school diploma programs
- WAC 180-51-061 Minimum requirements for high school graduation—Students entering the ninth grade as of July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2009
- WAC 180-51-066 Minimum requirements for high school graduation—Students entering the ninth grade on or after July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2012
- WAC 180-51-068 State subject and credit requirements for high school graduation—Students entering the ninth grade on or after July 1, 2015
While the program director is ultimately responsible to ensure test protocols and security procedures are correctly carried out, BEdA founded a cadre of program staff to provide training to local staff on how to deliver the CASAS assessment instruments. Local staff must be trained by a CASAS Cadre member before they administer and score CASAS assessments.
CASAS Cadre members meet with BEdA staff each year to be recertified and to receive updates on NRS and state policies and procedures, test administration, data collection procedures, definitions of measures, product developments and changes outlined in the Assessment Policy, and other relevant assessment issues. New cadre members complete an online CASAS Implementation Training and all cadre members complete the online CASAS Beyond Implementation Training every two years. Each BEdA funded college program can have two cadre members; each CBO can have one or two members, in accord with their agreement with the BEdA office.
Any director can be trained as a cadre member and can serve in that capacity in their organization.
MSG by Educational Functioning Level (EFL) Gain
BEdA programs may measure educational functioning level gain for participants receiving instruction below the postsecondary level in one of three ways:
Pre- & Post-test EFL Gain
Programs may compare the participant’s entering educational functioning level, as measured by a pre-test, with the participant’s educational functioning level, as measured by a post-test in the same subject. The NRS-approved pre- and post-tests must be based on the list of tests in the Assessment Policy.
HS Credit Option
Programs that offer adult high school programs that lead to a secondary school diploma may measure and report educational gain through the awarding of required high school credits.
Program Exit and Postsecondary Education or Training Enrollment During the Same Program Year
Programs may report an educational functioning level gain for participants who exit a program below the post-secondary level and enroll in post-secondary education and training during the program year. A program below the post-secondary level applies to all secondary programs, including basic education instruction.
Note: This MSG can be documented using one of the following sources:
- Pre- and post-test results measuring EFL gain
- The WABERS+ HS Credit Option showing the awarding of required high school credits
- Post-secondary education or training enrollment determined through data match
MSG by High School Diploma or Equivalent Completion
Progress in skills can be documented by the achievement of a secondary school diploma or a recognized equivalent.
Note: This MSG is documented by SBCTC data match.
MSGs in Integrated Education & Training (IET) and Workplace Literacy Programs
The following Measurable Skill Gain (MSG) types are allowed for BEdA participants in Integrated Education & Training (IET) and Workplace Literacy programs. This includes participants in I-BEST special programs as well as other designated IET and Workplace Literacy programs.
MSG by Postsecondary Transcript
An MSG is earned during a program year when a participant earns at least 12 credits (100 level or above) in a quarter or a total of at least 12 credits over a 12-month period on their transcript.
If a postsecondary student completed 6 hours in the prior academic year and 6 more hours in the new academic year crossing two program years, they would not count as an MSG in the first program year but they would count as an MSG in the second program year.
Note: This MSG is documented by SBCTC data match with Data Warehouse transcript records showing credits at or above the 100 level.
MSG by Workplace Milestone Progress
Satisfactory or better progress report, towards established milestones, such as completion of OJT or completion of one year of an apprenticeship program or similar milestones, from an employer or training provider who is providing training – Documentation for this gain may vary, as programs should identify appropriate methodologies based upon the nature of services being provided, but progress reports must document substantive skill development that the participant has achieved. The gain may be documented by a satisfactory or better progress report from an employer or training provider. Progress reports may include training reports on milestones completed as the individual masters the required job skills, or steps to complete an OJT or apprenticeship program. Increases in pay resulting from newly acquired skills or increased performance also can be used to document progress.
Note: In the description of this type of Measurable Skill Gains, “completion of one year of an apprenticeship” is just one example of a timeframe that may be established for achieving a satisfactory or better progress report toward a specific milestone, and the “one year” timeframe should not be construed as a required timeframe or the only way that a participant in an apprenticeship can achieve a Measurable Skill Gain. The timeframe for the milestone should be established based on the specific facts of the program at issue.
Note: This MSG can be documented manually in WABERS+ with a training report or evaluation from an employer or training provider. SBCTC will also data match with ESD for this result annually.
MSG by Skills or Training Completion
Successful passage of an exam that is required for a particular occupation or knowledge-based exams – Documentation for this gain may include passage of a component exam in a Registered Apprenticeship program, employer-required knowledge-based exam, satisfactory attainment of an element on an industry or occupational competency-based assessment, or other completion test necessary to obtain a credential.
Note: This MSG can be documented manually in WABERS+ through one of the following sources:
- Results of knowledge-based exam or certification of completion.
- Documentation of completion from training provider or employer
- Copy of a credential that is required for a particular occupation and only is earned after the passage of an exam
SBCTC will also data match with ESD for this result annually.
WIOA requires that States determine whether participants achieved the outcomes required by post exit (follow-up) performance indicators after exit from each Period of Participant (PoP). The following student-level results are only tracked once a participant exits the BEdA program and they are reported annually as part of WIOA Common Performance Measures for system accountability.
There are three WIOA indicators related to employment:
- Employment Rate—Second Quarter After Exit: The percentage of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program.
- Employment Rate—Fourth Quarter After Exit: The percentage of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after exit from the program.
- Median Earnings—Second Quarter After Exit: The median earnings of participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program.
Participants in correctional education programs (WIOA Section 225), who remain incarcerated at program exit, are excluded from the employment-related indicators.
The credential indicator measures two types of credentials:
- Receipt of a secondary school diploma or recognized equivalent during participation or within 1 year after exit from the program. The receipt of a secondary diploma is only counted if the participant also enters postsecondary education or training, or employment within 1 year after exit.
- Receipt of a recognized postsecondary credential during participation or within 1 year after exit from the program.
The secondary diploma component of the indicator applies only to participants enrolled in a secondary education program at or above the ninth-grade level who exited the program and who did not have a secondary school diploma or its equivalent at program entry. The postsecondary education credential component of the indicator applies only to participants who were also enrolled in a postsecondary education or training program and exited the postsecondary education or training program. Participants in correctional education programs (WIOA Section 225), who remain incarcerated at program exit, are excluded from the indicator, as are participants excluded due to the circumstances listed in the Exclusions section.
Employment and Credential Indicators
Every PoP is treated as a separate event for a participant and post exit performance indicators apply separately to each PoP. This means that for each PoP, we must collect data on the appropriate post exit indicators. Each exit date from a PoP is used to determine the follow-up time. For example, if a participant exits in December, reenrolls in April, and exits again in June, the State would report on appropriate post exit indicators for both exits. The second-quarter employment outcome, for example, would be reported in the April through June quarter for the December exit and in the following October through December quarter for the June exit. States report in Table 5 both PoPs and all applicable indicators for both PoPs.
SBCTC conducts data matches which matches data from extant data sources, such as the State interchange of unemployment insurance (UI) records, community college enrollment databases, State education agency databases, and the National Student Clearing House.
Data matching refers to the procedure where two or more agencies pool or share data on a common group of participants. The data consist of individual participant records collected by each of the agencies that can be linked through a common identifier, typically a Social Security number. Matching the data using the common identifier produces a new individual participant record or a data report containing data from one or more of the additional agencies. Each agency can use the new, pooled data records or reports to understand the impact of the program on participants and to obtain data to meet its reporting and accountability requirements.
Procedures to Collect and Validate Unique Identifiers
Data matching works by pairing records from different databases for the same participant using a common identifier—usually a Social Security number, but it can also be some other unique identifier or pairing of identifiers. Consequently, a valid Social Security number or unique identifier must be obtained for all participants whose data is in the data matching pool. This number is usually collected at program enrollment or during an intake or orientation process, and participants need to be informed about the use of their numbers for this purpose. It is critical to obtain Social Security numbers or unique identifiers because without them, data cannot be matched and outcomes cannot be reported. Similarly, there must be a process to verify the validity of Social Security numbers or unique identifiers for matching. Therefore, providers must maintain written procedures for collecting this data. The State supports providers by producing a report to identify participants with missing, erroneous, or duplicate Social Security numbers or unique identifiers.
Time Period for Data Matching
The State’s standard time period for data submission is quarterly. Data submitted for matching includes the exit date for the exit quarters according to NRS definitions. Each period of participation must be included for each individual participant. States report in Table 5 by provider and statewide annually.
Each provider must develop and follow a written progression policy on how students advance and achieve Measurable Skill Gains (MSG) from entry to exit in the program and the policy must be readily available for monitoring purposes.
The policy should be written in language that is transparent to students and key components should be contained in the course syllabus so that students understand what is expected of them. The policy should include:
- General requirements needed to maintain satisfactory status in the program in areas
- Performance on local assessments
- Meeting course outcomes
- How students progress from one level to the next or to milestones that may include:
- Grades or course completion
- Evidence of progress (assessments, meeting course outcomes)
- Employer progress reports
- Passing occupation or knowledge-based exams
- CASAS Scores
- How long a student has to show progress.
- How many times a student may repeat a course.
- What process is used to notify students that they are not making progress.
- Meeting with director, etc.
- What the process is for students who do not show progress in the expected time.
- Stop out for specific time
- Meet with faculty or staff, etc.
- When a student reaches the highest level, what supports are available for transition
and how those are communicated to the student.
- Referral to navigator/transitions specialist
The SBCTC Policy Manual, Chapter 5 Appendices provides additional direction such as the Repeat Course Rule – Students cannot be reported for a course in which they have already earned credit except when such a repeat is necessary to satisfy a requirement for improving academic or skill progress (grades). In no circumstance will a student be reported more than three times for the same course – this is defined as two repeats in addition to the original enrollment.
The Student Achievement Initiative is the performance funding for community and technical colleges. Colleges earn a portion of their funding based on results, not just enrollments. They earn points and funding when students reach key academic momentum points, beginning with basic skills. Students making gains in math, English language, or reading, who earn a high school diploma or equivalency certificate gain points as they progress in their educational pathway. Beginning in 2013-14, the process for awarding points brought new emphasis to student retention and completion.
The Washington Adult Basic Education Reporting System (WABERS+) is a statewide reporting system to facilitate data collection for BEdA programs. All BEdA program providers are required to use WABERS+ to report to SBCTC. WABERS+ meets all state and federal data collection and reporting requirements.
For specific questions or technical support, contact the WABERS+ Helpdesk.
BEdA Handbook Table of Contents
Last Modified: 9/15/23, 10:11 AM