SOURCE: EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE

August 29, 2006 13:00 ET

ETS and Mercer County Community College Sign Three-Year Agreement

Will Work Together to Research and Pilot Community College Solutions

PRINCETON, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 29, 2006 -- ETS and Mercer County Community College signed today a three-year agreement to collaborate in the development and piloting of assessment and instructional solutions for community colleges. It is the first such agreement between ETS and a community college.

"Community colleges are playing an ever-increasing role in higher education today, with more students choosing to get a high quality and affordable start to their education at community colleges," says Mari Pearlman, ETS's Senior Vice President of Higher Education. "ETS recognizes that this educational sector has unique challenges and needs, and we are listening to and learning from community college leaders across the nation so that we can research and develop assessment and instructional tools to respond to those needs."

During the collaboration with Mercer County Community College (MCCC), a nationally-renowned learning community and neighbor, ETS will create new outcomes assessments, student learning and student engagement tools specifically designed to serve community colleges. MCCC will serve as a site at which students and faculty can pilot tests and provide feedback about new and existing products, and ETS will conduct formal research to ensure their validity, reliability and effectiveness.

"Mercer County Community College is delighted that ETS, the world's pre-eminent educational testing organization, is expanding its focus on community colleges," says Dr. Thomas N. Wilfred, Acting President of Mercer County Community College. "As learner-centered, publicly-supported institutions, community colleges need valid, high-quality, and affordable means of helping students gauge their motivation and readiness for college, and for assessing student learning in particular courses and programs. This partnership between ETS and its local community college makes perfect sense for both organizations, and we hope it will be the first of many such agreements between ETS and community colleges. We recognize that our respective staffs have much to learn from each other, and we look forward to a long and mutually productive partnership."

Dr. Wilfrid is a member of ETS's National Community College Advisory Council, a group of 16 community college leaders, chancellors and presidents Pearlman formed to track the growing importance of America's community colleges and the unique accountability and instructional challenges they face.

About Mercer County Community College

Mercer County Community College (www.mccc.edu) celebrates its 40th year as a publicly-supported comprehensive educational institution that provides opportunities for higher education through an open-door admission policy. The scenic 292-acre West Windsor Campus was opened in 1972 to serve the needs of Mercer County residents. The newly-expanded James Kerney Campus, located in downtown Trenton, serves as an educational and cultural hub for city residents. MCCC recognizes that students differ in the ways they learn and that learning should be a challenging and rewarding experience, made possible by qualified faculty and staff, coherent curricula, effective instructional methods, and a nurturing environment. Mercer also responds to a broad array of community needs, sponsoring programs and services for employers, continuing education and training for the workforce, academic enrichment for youth, and cultural opportunities for people in the region.

About ETS

ETS is a nonprofit institution with the mission to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. Founded in 1947, ETS today develops, administers and scores more than 24 million tests annually in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. Additional information is available at www.ets.org.

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