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STUDENT RETENTION CHALLENGES IN HIGHER EDUCATION SOLVED BY LAUNCH OF TEST DRIVE COLLEGE ONLINE
EducationDynamics Ensures Prospective Students are College-Ready with Revolutionary Risk-Free Program
Source: HOBOKEN, NJ
Date: MAY 4, 2010;
EducationDynamics, higher education’s leading marketing services company, today announced the launch of Test Drive College Online. The revolutionary program solves the retention crisis facing America’s higher education institutions by testing prospective students’ college readiness before they commit to a degree program and pay tuition. Test Drive College Online assesses students’ academic acumen through a College Competency Exam and upon passing, prospective students can determine if they have the discipline to graduate by taking a high-quality online course at no cost and no obligation.
"Too often students enroll in a degree program without a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations for their success. This can end badly for both the student and the school," said Richard Capezzali, Executive Vice President of EducationDynamics and creator of Test Drive College Online. "Test Drive College Online removes the unknown. For the first time ever, students and schools can be more confident in the relationship they are entering into as students get a shot of reality before committing time and money, and schools get clarity on a student’s likelihood to graduate."
To help qualify students going back to school, Test Drive College Online has developed a College Competency Exam that first identifies if a student is academically prepared for going back to school. The test effectively gauges a student’s aptitude through ten freshman-level English questions and ten freshman-level math questions. Once a student passes the exam, he or she is assigned an advisor who enrolls them into the Test Drive College Online program and works with them throughout the process.
Test Drive College Online creates a real-life college experience that closely replicates what an individual will likely experience in a typical online degree program. This reveals if studies fit into their work and family life. The courses take five weeks to complete and require about nine hours of study a week. Currently, students can choose between Introduction to Psychology and English Composition I, which are courses many degree programs at most higher education institutions require. The American Council on Education (ACE) has evaluated and approved all Test Drive College Online courses, so students who pass a Test Drive College Online course can apply to transfer those credits to any ACE member school. ACE member institutions serve 80 percent of today’s college students.
In addition to the ACE approval, Test Drive College Online is currently seeing articulation agreements with "Alliance Colleges and Universities" that will accept credits from the Test Drive College Online courses. In accepting these credits, Test Drive College Online provides colleges and universities fully qualified students by having the students answer two important questions: can they handle freshman-level academics, primarily math and English; and are they suited for online education.
"Colleges and universities that participate in Test Drive College Online are taking advantage of the first and only qualified-recruiting service that identifies who can be successful in pursuing an online degree," continued Capezzali. "We are providing schools with the best way for them to find students who have a high probability of success in online education."
Test Drive College Online has already witnessed tremendous success with the program. A study conducted by Test Drive College Online’s predecessor product Future Scholars, which also allowed students to "test drive" online education, found that the retention rate for Future Scholars students improved 25 percent from the first to second term.
"Online schooling has many advantages to the traditional classroom setting, but it is not for everyone. By utilizing the Test Drive College Online program, potential students can find out if the online venue is the right option for them," said Karen Rundle, a student who tried Test Drive College Online before its launch. Rundle has since enrolled at Kaplan University. "My test-drive college class allowed me to explore the online education route without it costing anything other than my time. During the course of the term all my questions were answered, including whether or not I would be able to do the work, and it provided me the needed push to go for it."
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