2020-2021 Innovation of the Year Award Winner: Seattle Colleges

English Directed Self Placement: Guiding Student Choice

The Seattle Colleges’ English departments are fiercely committed to student-centered policies that foreground equity and inclusion, and prioritize student choice in the process of placement. The most significant reform was the creation of English directed self placement tools that provide students with a culturally inclusive and responsive way of placing themselves into the appropriate level English course and reduce the campuses’ overreliance on standardized placement tests which disproportionately place low-income students and students of color in pre-college English. The tools are easy to use and can be taken on or off campus using a computer or mobile device. This initiative allows more students to begin in college-level English and is a powerful strategy for increasing student completion and narrowing equity gaps.


  • Elinor Appel, Faculty, Basic and Transitional Studies
  • Cathryn Cabral, Faculty, English
  • Caitlin Carle, Faculty, English
  • James Eaton, Faculty, Basic and Transitional Studies
  • Steph Hankinson, Faculty, English
  • Tracy Heinlein, Faculty, English
  • Tish Lopez, Faculty, English
  • Kaitlin McClanahan, Faculty, English
  • Laura McCracken, Faculty, English
  • Jon Nachman, Faculty, Basic and Transitional Studies
  • Steve Quig, Faculty, English
  • Justina Rompogren, Faculty, English
  • Desiree Simons, Faculty, English
  • Paige Talbot, Faculty, English
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