Reading Fluency: A Source of Insight in a Test-Optional World
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The task of college admissions officers is to identify applicants who are likely prepared to succeed at their institution. While student preparation is the domain of the continually changing K-12 educational landscape, it is left to college admission officers to evaluate the extent of that preparation on a student-by-student basis. Recently, a movement is taking place that has a rapidly increasing number of higher education institutions dropping the requirement for submission of standardized assessment scores for admission consideration (Furuta, 2017). Although authors have argued for and against their use, the task of winnowing qualified applicants from those who are not remains paramount to an institution’s success (Buckley et al., 2018). Indeed, in today’s world of institutional rankings, the success of every freshman class directly reflects the reported quality of the institution by publications such as U.S. News and World Report (Meyer et al., 2017; U.S. News & World Report, 2020). In the effort to identify qualified applicants, particularly for less selective institutions where the percent of those admitted exceeds the national average of 68% (Clinedinst, 2019), the ability to read and understand collegelevel texts is still an expectation of professors and has been identified as important to the applicant’s success (ACT, 2006; MacPhail, 2019). In this paper, we offer a perspective on the essential role of reading and how institutions might consider it in a mix of indicators predicting student success.