The U.S. Department of Education awarded Excelsior College a $1.9 million grant to develop a solution colleges and universities can use to evaluate students’ readiness for college-level work. The Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills (DAACS) will be an open-source tool that allows institutions to identify at-risk students and provide them the resources necessary to succeed.
The program is designed to offer students feedback on their weaknesses and provide information for relearning content, according to a report in eCampus News. DAACS will include academic and nonacademic (i.e., academic self-regulation and test anxiety) evaluations so college and universities will have a better understanding of students and develop learning strategies based on their needs.
“Because of its focus on generating actionable feedback and its direct link to effective support services and resources, DAACS has the potential to empower and enable students to become more purposeful and strategic learners,” said Timothy Cleary, associate professor, Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology. “This project is particularly exciting because it can positively influence the ways in which students—as well as faculty—respond to the inevitable challenges and struggles that so many students experience during college.”
Rutgers University and the University at Albany, Albany, NY, are partners with Excelsior on the DAACS project. Once the tool is finished, Excelsior and Western Governors University will conduct pilot studies on its usefulness.