Are you looking for a way to start a conversation about college with your students? If your school uses the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, you might be in luck.
The NWEA recently launched their College Explorer Tool, which uses MAP scores to provide educators, students, and parents with insights into what college opportunities may be available based on a student’s academic performance. The tool can be used by fifth- to ninth-grade students to see which colleges and universities they’re already on track to enter. It can also be used to set academic goals to help students get into the school of their choice.
The College Explorer Tool works by correlating MAP scores to ACT scores. It then pinpoints colleges and universities for which a student’s scores would likely be near the median admission score. The tool also provides a profile for each institution using data from the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard, which includes information on cost of attendance and the average annual cost to families at varying income levels.
To use the tool, you first select the grade and term for which the student last took the MAP test. Then, using the math and reading sliders, you select ranges that include the student’s most recent scores. The tool includes filters so that you can limit your search to a specific state or even a city. However, if a college doesn’t use the ACT test for admissions, or if the median ACT score of admitted students isn’t published in the College Scorecard database, that institution won’t appear in the results.
One thing to keep in mind is that the upper and lower ranges of the score sliders are based on the lowest and highest MAP scores associated with hitting the median ACT score of admitted students in the institutions included within the tool. But if a student’s score is lower than the range on the slider, that doesn’t necessarily mean the student isn’t on track for college. It just means that the median ACT score of admitted students is higher. Remember that colleges and universities accept students within a range of ACT scores and also take a variety of other factors into consideration during the admissions process.
College readiness can’t be defined by a test score alone, so it’s important for students using the tool to understand that it’s not meant to limit their options. The purpose of the tool is to give them a data-based review of which institutions they’re currently a good fit for and some idea of what academic goals they may need to set in order to get into their school of choice. It also provides students with important financial and completion rate data associated with potential schools. Check it out today and start discussing academic goals for college with your students!