Helping Academic Advisers Become Assessment and Placement Advocates for Their Students


  • Stephen Handel



advising, academic advising, adviser, advisor


This paper summarizes the reflections of assessment and academic advising professionals from around the country who were convened to share their insights about helping underprepared students through the assessment and placement process. Among their recommendations was to involve academic advisers centrally in the assessment and placement process. This paper serves as a primer for advisers who wish to become assessment and placement advocates for their students.

Author Biography

Stephen Handel

Stephen J. Handel is the senior director of Community College Initiatives and Higher Education Relationship Development at the College Board in San Jose, CA. He can be reached at


Bailey, T. (2008, November). Challenge and opportunity: Rethinking the role and function of developmental education in community college. Columbia University, Teachers College, Community College Research Center Working Paper No. 14. Retrieved from

Kirst, M. W., & Bracco, K. R. (2004). Bridging the great divide: How the K-12 and postsecondary split hurts students, and what can be done about it. In M. W. Kirst & A. Venezia (Eds.), From high school to college: Improving opportunities for success in postsecondary education (pp. 1–30). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Kozeracki, C. (2002, March 22). ERIC review: Issues in developmental education. Community College Review (Spring). Retrieved from;col1

McIntosh, M. F., & Rouse, C. E. (2009, February). The other college: Retention and completion rates among two-year college students. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from

NCHEMS Information Center for State Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis. (2008). Retention rates—First-time college freshmen returning their second year. Retrieved from

Saxon, D. P., & Boylan, H. R. (2001). The cost of remedial education in higher education. Journal of Developmental Education, 2(2), 2–8. Retrieved from

Stong American Schools. (2008). Diploma to nowhere. Retrieved from

Topper, A. (2008, November/December). Data notes: Keeping informed about achieving the dream data, 3(6). Achieving the Dream. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education. (2003). Remedial education at degree-granting postsecondary education institutions in fall 2000 (NCES 2004-010 by B. Parsad & L. Lewis). National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education. (1996). Remedial education at higher education institutions in fall 1995 (NCES 97-584, by Laurie Lewis and Elizabeth Farris, Bernie Greene, project officer). National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from