Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2017

In separate meetings in November, December and January, the Academic and Student Affairs Council (ASAC), the Advisory Council of Presidents (ACOP), and the State Board for Virginia’s Community Colleges unanimously approved a new policy to guide the way VCCS colleges ensure that incoming students are placed in appropriate math and English courses. Called Multiple Measures for Placement, the policy is geared toward student success. It is effective immediately and will apply to students entering in the Summer and/or Fall 2017 semesters.

According to Dr. Sharon Morrissey, vice chancellor for academic services and research, “We recognized that placement tests are often a barrier for students who enroll at our colleges, and they aren’t always the best way to determine the students’ true skill levels. This new policy allows us to assess those skills using other measures besides the placement test, such as a student’s high school GPA or SAT scores. Doing so will allow many students to demonstrate college readiness without having to take the placement test. Discussions about implementation strategies with individual colleges will begin immediately, and we look forward to sharing this exciting new approach.”

“This is a huge leap forward in attracting qualified students and keeping them in our community college programs,” said Eleanor Saslaw, vice chair, State Board for Virginia’s Community Colleges, and member of the Multiple Measures Task Force.

The full policy is included below.

MULTIPLE MEASURES FOR PLACEMENT POLICY

6.4.0.2    Placement (C)

Each college shall offer VCCS approved placement strategies that provide consistent and reliable results for students applying to enroll in associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs and in courses that require a reading, writing, or math prerequisite. Students enrolling in Career Studies Certificate programs may be waived from placement, unless a course in the program requires a reading, writing, or math prerequisite. Assessment should be offered through placement testing and other approved measures. VCCS policies, guidelines, and procedures shall be followed when assessing students.

Dual enrolled high school students who enroll in programs or courses must meet the admissions criteria specified in Policy 6.0.1.1 and any applicable course prerequisites.

6.4.0.2.1Multiple Measures for Placement

In determining students’ readiness for college-level English and math courses, colleges will use the following means and measures:

  1. Any student who has earned an associate degree or higher or who has earned a C or better in college-level courses in math and/or English at a regionally accredited institution will be exempt from placement testing provided they meet the prerequisites for the respective courses in their chosen program of study.
  2. Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a VCCS institution will be exempt from placement testing in those areas.
  3. Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a non-VCCS institution will have their coursework evaluated for placement.
  4. A student may submit a high school/home school transcript or an approved test score for placement evaluation.  Placement will be based on the tables found in 6.4.0.2.2 and 6.4.0.2.3.  Seniors who have not yet graduated may submit a transcript as of the completion of the first semester of the senior year to determine readiness for placement into college-level courses for the purpose of early admissions. 
  5. Any student who is not placed by the above criteria will take the Virginia Placement Test, or ESL-specific test, as appropriate. Students have the option to take the Virginia Placement Test in order to improve their placement standing after other measures are considered. Such placement test scores will not be used to place a student in a lower English or math course than indicated by other criteria, unless the student desires a lower placement.

6.4.0.2.2– Measures for Math Placement

Math placement will be determined using one of the following measures.

Math Placement Measures#

HSGPA or Score Range

Placement

HSGPA and Algebra II and One Algebra Intensive Course*

*Algebra Intensive Courses above Algebra II:  Trigonometry, Math Analysis, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Algebra III.

3.0 or higher

MTE 1-9 Satisfied

2.7-2.9

MTE 1-9 Co-Requisite Eligible

HSGPA and Algebra II

3.0 or higher

MTE 1-5 Satisfied

2.7-2.9

MTE 1-5 Co-Requisite Eligible

HSGPA and Algebra I

3.0 or higher

MTE 1-3 Satisfied

2.7-2.9

MTE 1-3 Co-Requisite Eligible

SAT – Math

530 or above

MTE 1-9 Satisfied

510-520 range

MTE 1-5 Satisfied

ACT – Subject Area Test Math

22 or above

MTE 1-9 Satisfied

19-21 range

MTE 1-5 Satisfied

GED – Math

165 or above

MTE 1-5 Satisfied

155-165 range

MTE 1-3 Satisfied

 # = Students may complete the VPT – Calculus for placement into Pre-Calculus II, Calculus, and 200-level Statistics. Placement directly into Pre-Calculus II, Calculus, and 200-level Statistics based on HSGPA and highest level courses taken will be at the discretion of each college. 

High school GPA (HSGPA) is valid for five (5) years after the date of high school graduation.  SAT, ACT and GED Test scores are valid for five (5) years after the date of the test.  Virginia Placement Test-Math scores are valid for five (5) years after the date of the test. Previously taken developmental courses will be valid for five (5) years after term taken.

Students who take the Virginia Placement Test – Math and who do not enroll in developmental math are allowed to take one (1) retest within twelve (12) months. Students who attempt a developmental mathematics course will be ineligible for a retest. Exceptions to this retest policy may be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with established college procedures.

6.4.0.2.3 – Measures for English Placement

English placement will be determined using one of the following measures.

English Placement Measures

HSGPA or Score Range

Placement

HSGPA

3.0 or higher

ENG 111

2.7-2.9

ENF3/ENG 111

SAT-ERW (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing)

480 or above

ENG 111

460-470 range

ENF3/ENG 111

ACT-Subject Area Tests English and Reading

18 or above

ENG 111

15-17 range

ENF3/ENG 111

GED-English

165 or above

ENG 111

High school GPA (HSGPA) is valid for five (5) years after the date of high school graduation.  SAT, ACT and GED Test scores are valid for five (5) years after the date of the test.  Virginia Placement Test-English scores are valid for five (5) years after the date of the test. Previously taken developmental courses will be valid for five (5) years after term taken.

Students who take the Virginia Placement Test – English and who do not enroll in developmental English are allowed to take one (1) retest within twelve (12) months. Students who attempt a developmental English course will be ineligible for a retest. Exceptions to this retest policy may be made on a case-by-case basis in accordance with established college procedures.

6.4.0.2.4Placement Testing Across Colleges

Students who intend to enroll in courses at one VCCS institution may take the Virginia Placement Test at other VCCS institutions at no cost to the student (see policy section 4.3.1.2).

In addition, the home institution shall accept the placement test scores from other VCCS institutions in compliance with the timelines outlined in policy sections 6.4.0.2.2 and 6.4.0.2.3.

losberger@vccs.edu'

Laura Osberger

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