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May 27, 2020

Webinar: Using Performance Assessment in College Admissions

Cosponsored by the Learning Policy Institute, EducationCounsel, and Education First

May27 RCA webinar Teaser 920x513

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this video belong solely to the speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the perspective of the Learning Policy Institute.

On May 27, the Learning Policy Institute, EducationCounsel, and Education First hosted the webinar titled, “Using Performance Assessment in College Admissions.” This webinar addressed the use of performance assessment for equitable admissions and college success. The webinar was held as part of the Reimagining College Access initiative.

A growing number of colleges and universities are expanding the ways in which they evaluate student admissions applications to gain insight into students’ deeper learning skills, such as collaboration, problem-solving, and communication. These skills are best demonstrated through performance assessments such as student portfolios and capstone projects that have not traditionally been used in most college admissions processes.

This webinar looked at the outcomes of a pilot program at City University of New York (CUNY) that uses performance assessments to admit qualified applicants with scores below the threshold on college entry exams. The discussion was based on findings from a forthcoming Learning Policy Institute report on the use of these assessments for equity and access in the CUNY system.

During the webinar, speakers discussed research, policy, and practice addressing performance assessment and looked specifically at:

  • The use of performance assessment in k-12 education and research-based ways in which higher education institutions can successfully use these assessments for admissions and placement decisions;
  • Findings from the new LPI report, including data on the retention and success of CUNY students whose performance assessments were considered as part of their admissions application; and
  • Implications for postsecondary opportunity, access, and success when performance assessment is used in k-12 preparation and higher education admissions.

The webinar was designed for k-12 counselors and leaders, admissions staff, leaders from higher education systems, and state and district policymakers interested in leveraging performance assessment to support student preparation, transition, and success in postsecondary education. 


  • Monica Martinez (moderator), Director of Strategic Initiatives, Learning Policy Institute
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute
  • Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, Women's Studies, American Studies and Urban Education, City University of New York Graduate Center
  • Joanna Kucharski, Associate Director of Admissions and Recruitment, City University of New York

This webinar is part of the Reimagining College Access and Success series. To be notified of future webinars, please join our mailing list.