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ESL and ELL Success Stories

Agencies and programs across the country are using CASAS to establish comprehensive performance accountability systems, address core indicators of performance, integrate literacy and occupational skill instruction, and evaluate the effectiveness of ESL/ELL, EL Civics, and Citizenship programs.

Using ESL Student Portfolios to Promote Level Progress

Promising Practice: The noncredit ESL program at Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) has developed a portfolio-based system for tracking student learning outcomes, both within a level and as they advance through the agency’s 7-level program.

Agency Awarded: Mt. San Antonio CCD, 2011

Summary Description of Project:

The noncredit ESL program at Mt. San Antonio College incorporates an evidence-based portfolio component that monitors student learning outcomes as students advance through the program and transition into college or career pathways. All students have a portfolio that represents their accumulated work. This includes a progress report form, assessment criteria and scores, writing samples, project and presentation scores, CASAS outcomes, and indicators of class attendance and participation. Students have access to their portfolios and may add work samples throughout the term. All instructors use the progress report form and review the entire portfolio to determine whether or not the student has progressed to the next level. This has allowed for a standardized method of evaluating progress.

Evaluation Process/Results:

Evaluation of this practice is conducted by gathering feedback from participating students and instructors, as well as tracking student performance on CASAS assessments. The effectiveness of these portfolios can be seen in the agency’s persistence and performance rates, which are well above state levels for the past two program years. Students report that creating the portfolios gave them more confidence in their English skills, and that they enjoyed being able to track their progress. The portfolio process brings together the entire school community and provides a link between course objectives, learning outcomes, and the needs of adult learners.

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