A technology institute in Kirkland, Wash. is trying a new method of college placement that allows students to decide what math or English they should take.

The program is called “guided self-placement,” and it’s being tried by Lake Washington Institute of Technology, the state’s only public institute of technology. LWTech is part of the state’s community- and technical-college system.

Under the new system, students entering the college for the first time take a free math and English placement test designed by the college. After they get the results, they decide what classes they should start with in math and English.

Amy Morison Goings, the institute’s president, said studies show that students who can select their own course level are more engaged in their education.

The college believes students who are highly motivated may be able to handle a higher-level math or English course than a standardized test suggests they need.

(Next page: How the self-chosen course placement works)

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