Assessments, Evaluations help transitions

John Balchak

For students entering, continuing or completing Sam Diego City College, two essential departments are housed in the new L building, assessment and evaluations.

These independent offices were designed for both placement of students beginning classes at City College and those who are graduating or transferring between institutions.

The assessment office is located in room L-207 and is staffed by senior SSA and testing administrator Eric Flores. Behind the large windows of the silent testing room are 30 computers upon which prospective students take examinations in math and English that will determine their class placement.

Sample tests are available beforehand, and accommodations may be requested for those who speak English as a second language or are disabled.

“This is a new department,” said Flores. “We were previously part of the Counseling Department
in the A building.” He explained that most testing of people applying for admission is done
before the semester starts.

“The number of students seeking assessment was up 40 percent in July and August, and every year we have been more busy. Now, due to budget constraints, testing is only available two days a week, but October schedule changes will offer more days for testing.”

Brent Corsmeier is a returning student who took the English and algebra tests on Sept. 22 at the Assessment office.

“I’ve been out of school for 10 years,” he said. “I’ve been working as a waiter and
have traveled to Europe and Hawaii.” Corsmeier said he hopes to study biology or geology.

David Medina is in the Navy and would like to continue his education.

“I received training with the Navy and used the website to help prepare,” he said. “I hope to be a CIS major and work in military contracting.”

People who did not finish high school may also apply for college and receive financial help with the help of the Assessment department. “The ATB (Ability to Benefit) test was set up for people
with no GED or diploma.” SSA John Gradilla said.

In room L-116 the evaluations department offers services for students transferring from City College and those graduating. The office is staffed by evaluators Margie Aguayo and Christina Monaco.

“We evaluate transcripts from other institutions including non-traditional and military tests,” said Aguayo. “We can award credit based on standard testing.”

Monaco explained their assistance for students graduating from City College. “Petition for Graduation should be filed a year in advance. We have deadlines but we never turn a student
away.”

Academic renewal is an important option offered by the Evaluations department. It allows students who have had difficulty to repeat courses, replacing the previous grade, or even “code out” an entire semester.

Valerie Adame is a previous City College student who came to the Evaluations office to complete paperwork for a transfer.

“I want to finish this up and get focused,” she said. “I transferred to Riverside Community College’s nursing program. I want to be an RN.”

“We love it!” said Aguayo. “There is peace and tranquility. We were previously in A-110 which was hectic and loud.”

“It’s open and we have windows,” Monaco agreed.