Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) Achievement

The Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) program helps international students develop the academic knowledge, learning practices, and English language skills required to enroll at universities and earn a bachelor’s degree. The GAC program includes three levels of instruction (Level I, Level II, and Level III), each entailing a combination of required and elective courses totalling 240 hours of classroom study plus 120 hours of independent study.

Courses cover reading and writing skills, listening and speaking skills, mathematics, science, computing, business, social science, psychology, study skills, research skills, problem solving, team collaboration, oral presentation, and time management. Students who achieve passing grades at each level earn the Global Assessment Certificate, which supports enrollment at GAC Pathway Universities, including 75 in the United States.

Most Pathway Universities offer GAC graduates up to one year of credit, which allows them to complete their degrees faster and with less expense. This report describes research that evaluated GAC achievement as a predictor of ACT assessment scores and meeting the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks.

The ACT assessment is used to support college and university admissions decisions, and the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks are ACT scores associated with success in first-year, credit-bearing post-secondary courses. Results from this study describe GAC student achievement on the ACT, illustrate how GAC grade point average (GPA) relates to ACT performance, and reveal the relationship between persistence through the GAC program and ACT scores.

In general, GAC graduates performed well on the ACT compared to test takers in the US. GAC grades were moderately strong predictors of ACT scores, which means that students who earned higher grades in GAC courses tended to earn higher scores on the ACT and were more likely to meet the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks. Moreover, students who completed higher levels of the GAC program tended to earn higher ACT scores.

These findings are consistent with the notion that learning and achievement in the GAC program support academic preparedness for university studies.

Author: Jeffrey T. Steedle, PhD

Jeffrey Steedle is a senior research scientist in Validity and Efficacy Research specializing in educational and labor market outcomes research and validity evidence for ACT's workforce assessment programs.