ED-sponsored Diagnostic Assessment & Achievement of College Skills

The Diagnostic Assessment & Achievement of College Skills (DAACS) is an assessment designed to help students transition to college.  DAACS is funded by the Department of Education (ED), under the Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education First in the World grant program. DAACS is an open source project. Institutions are free to use and adapt DAACS for the specific needs of their students.  Read ED's full announcement.

Many post-secondary institutions still require high-stakes placement exams that result in only two possible outcomes: students are either ready, or not ready, to begin credit bearing classes.  The result has been that approximately 60% of students in open access institutions are determined to be not ready, and redirected into non-credit remediation courses, costing approximately $4 billion a year.

Under DAACS, Excelsior College is working in partnership with Western Governors University, Rutgers University, and the University at Albany.  DAACS provides personalized feedback about students’ strengths and weaknesses in terms of key academic and self-regulated learning skills, linking them to the resources to help them be successful students. 

Has anyone working with one of these institutions been involved with DAACS?  If so, what has the experience been so far in the pilot year?  For others, what are your thoughts about this investment in improving students' educational outcomes?  See the schematics on the DAACS research site, for more information about its operation.


Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator