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ACCUPLACER will help more students succeed

A new diagnostic tool being used at WDT will better identify the academic skills of students and help them improve faster and more efficiently. WDT recently adopted ACCUPLACER as the test future students take to determine their placement in math and English classes. The test replaces the COMPASS, which had been used for more than 10 years. Future students will take ACCUPLACER during the Admissions process. The adaptive, untimed assessment in the areas of reading comprehension, sentence skills, arithmetic, and elementary algebra provide a detailed analysis of each student's academic strengths and weaknesses. WDT uses the test results to determine what math and English classes best fits each student. It also will determine what, if any, remediation students need so they can be successful. "ACCUPLACER is a great tool," said Brad Henrich, Registrar. "It will give us more detail about where students should be placed and what additional help they may need." Approximately one-third of all college students in the United States require some type of remediation. Of that one-third, half do not graduate from college. WDT hopes to reverse that trend by using ACCUPLACER's MyFoundationsLab to provide students who need remediation more customized help than WDT ever could before. Based on performance on the initial ACCUPLACER test, MyFoundationsLab generates a personalized learning path for each student. This easy-to-use learning system offers targeted, just-in-time remediation mapped to the ACCUPLACER diagnostic results. MyFoundationsLab provides the academic skill development students need to be successful. MyFoundationsLab offers multiple benefits: • Individualized learning paths offer proven tutorials, instruction, and practice with instant feedback. • It is ideal for learners of various levels and ages. • Students work at their own pace on any computer with an Internet connection. • It is available 24/7. • Detailed reporting tools allow students and institutions to easily monitor progress. WDT's Student Success Center will work with students using MyFoundationsLab. Monitoring their progress, Center staff will help students stay on track and provide tutoring and other assistance as students need it. "Accuplacer's diagnostic capabilities will help WDT students remediate in the areas of reading comprehension, writing and math areas either prior to full-time enrollment or as a co-requisite to the math and writing courses required," said Mary Ann Slanina, Academic Services coordinator. WDT also will use ACCUPLACER to assess the academic needs of dual-enrollment students who are taking high school and WDT courses. Dual enrollment students will take the assessment during the WDT Admissions process and again when they are finished with WDT courses to determine how their skills have changed over time. However WDT uses ACCUPLACER, it will provide students with the tools they need to improve their skills and increase their chances of academic success. "We are looking forward to using this instrument," Henrich said. "We are confident it will help more students reach their educational and career goals." Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 20 programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction Trades, Health Services, Legal and Public Services, Manufacturing and Mechanical Trades, and Science and Technology. More than 96 percent of WDT's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 90 percent remain in South Dakota. WDT faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, WDT students graduate ready to make real and immediate contributions to their employers and their communities. For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit WDT on the web at

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