SMC's Prep2Test Program for Student Success Receives State Excellence Award

Prep2TestThe Santa Monica College Assessment Center's Prep2Test program has received the prestigious Promising Outcomes Work and Exemplary Research (POWER) Award for Excellence in Assessment: Leading Change.

The award is presented each year at the Strengthening Student Success Conference by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and the RP Group to showcase practices in learning assessment that are effective in improving student success and creating institutional change.

The Prep2Test program was launched in 2011 to make students aware of how important it is to prepare for a placement exam, and to help them do so. The program’s aim is to improve the number of students who place into college-level math and English.

"As a result of the Prep2Test efforts, we have increased the percentage of students placing into college-level math and English courses by approximately nine percent in just two years since inception," said Teresita Rodriguez, SMC Vice President, Enrollment Development. "And Prep2Test is a scalable program that can be adapted fairly easily and economically at other colleges."

SMC partnered with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to develop the Prep2Test program. The Santa Monica College team included Esau Tovar, Faculty Leader/Counselor, Assessment Center; Joshua Casillas, Student Services Specialist; Kiersten Elliott, Dean, Enrollment Services; Roberto Gonzalez, Dean, Student Success Initiatives; and Jim Serikawa, Media Services Specialist.

The Prep2Test program includes two online videos. A 6.5-minute video explains the importance of the placement exam and the consequences of not preparing, and introduces students to exam formats and strategies for a successful testing experience. An accompanying 45-minute video gives students a clear orientation to placement tests.

For information, please see the Prep2Test website ( or call (310) 434-4012.