Sunday, July 14, 2024
The RP Group

Student Transcript-Enhanced Placement Study (STEPS)



How do we determine if incoming students are ready for college-level work? The California Community College system is currently working to address this complex question in a more nuanced, comprehensive, and equitable way.

Given the passage of the 2012 Student Success Act and an increasing number of institutions looking to strengthen their use of multiple measures for placement, the Student Transcript-Enhanced Placement Study (STEPS) aimed to help California’s Community Colleges grow their capacity to utilize high school transcript data to improve the assignment of recent high school graduates to English and math coursework.

The STEPS project built on a growing body of evidence indicating that the use of information contained on high school transcripts, such as GPA and grades in math and English courses, may be a viable option to significantly improve the community college assessment and placement process for recent high school graduates.

Working with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and Cal-PASS Plus (an effort of the Educational Results Partnership), the RP Group concluded a pilot study that built on these findings and tested a specific transcript analysis methodology already utilized at Long Beach City College. This project served as the foundation for the Multiple Measures Assessment Project, an effort of the California Community Colleges Common Assessment Initiative.

Learn more about the RP Group’s Multiple Measures Assessment Project.

Explore the California Community Colleges Common Assessment Initiative.

RP Group Lead

Terrence Willett, MS, Project Director

RP Group Project Team Members

Kathy Booth, Craig Hayward, PhD, Kelley Karandjeff, EdM, Dan Lamoree, Nathan Pellegrin

Long Beach City College:

Andrew Fuenmayor, John Hetts, Karen Rothstein

Cal-PASS Plus:

Emily Lawrence, Ken Sorey, Nick Wade, Alex Zakharenkov

Special thanks to Dustin Tamashiro, Pasadena City College


California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, The Walter S. Johnson Foundation, LearningWorks


Cal-PASS Plus, Long Beach City College

Reports and Briefs

Student Transcript-Enhanced Placement Study: Technical Report

Full technical report of research methodology and findings from the Student Transcript-Enhanced Placement Study (STEPS).

Stepping Up: Progression in English and Math from High School to College

Research brief providing insights on using high school transcript data for placement of recent high school graduates, based on findings from the Student Transcript-Enhanced Placement Study (STEPS).

News and Events 

This project is complete. Visit "Related Projects" below to learn about our other initiatives in this project's area(s) of impact.