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College FCAT?

The Board of Governors is moving toward testing college students before they graduate. It could impact as many as 26,000 students.

Ask college students to take one more test and the response is almost predictable, but one or perhaps two more tests, the first early in a college career, then one later, are on the horizon for Florida university students. The Board of Governors will vote on the tests in March.

"I want to make sure that we add enough value to education that people think we paid for that performance," says Steve Uhlfelder of the Board of Governors.

While many administrators think college study is too diverse to be workable, not all students think idea is bad.

"When you first take the test you'll know exactly what you're going to be getting yourself into for the next four years and you'll know if you're making progress by the time you get your fourth year," says Tallahassee sophomore Hands Liburd.

"And if the people that you're working with in a group don't actually have the ability to pull their own weight, it makes it a lot more difficult on the other people in the group," says Brad Futia, a senior from Largo.

As few as one in ten students could be tested in a pilot next year. The next step is for each of the 11 universities to tell the Board of Governors who they would test, how they would administer the test and how that test will be used, and while the tests may never be used to determine if someone graduates, they could help lawmakers decide which schools or programs are doing a good job, and which, if any, aren't.

The first year of college testing is expected to cost about half a million dollars.


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