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.
Each provider must develop and follow a written policy on how students progress from level to level 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:
- How students progress from one level to the next that may include:
- Evidence of progress (assessments, meeting course outcomes)
- CASAS Scores
- How long a student has to show progress
- 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 steps/supports are available for transition
and how those are communicated to the student
- Referral to navigator/transitions specialist
The following resources may provide guidance in developing that policy.
Students age sixteen and over who meet the provisions of "Title III - Adult Education Programs" (Adult Education Act, 20 U.S.C. secs. 1201 et seq.) may enroll in certain basic education classes. According to WAC 132N-160-040, persons admitted into such classes (basic skills, academic support, and/or remedial) will be allowed to continue as long as they demonstrate, through measurable academic progress, an ability to benefit.
The SBCTC Policy Manual, Chapter 5 Appendices provides additional detail that might also provide direction. 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. Reporting deadlines are defined in the MIS Reporting Calendar.
For specific questions or technical support, contact the WABERS+ Helpdesk.
BEdA Handbook Table of Contents
Last Modified: 10/8/19 4:52 PM