3.18.1 Placement Testing

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Chapter 3: Educational Procedures


Related MnSCU Board Policy: 3.3 Assessment for Course Placement
Related MnSCU Board Procedure: 3.3.1 Assessment for Course Placement

Purpose: Normandale Community College follows the guidelines of assessment for course placement set forth by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System.  The placement testing is intended to help new entering students understand their current level of academic readiness so that they can be placed into the courses in which they can be successful.  Results of the placement testing also allow the College to identify changes in the academic readiness of each cohort of new entering students.  Normandale uses the College Board Accuplacer the designated system-endorsed placement instrument.

Part 1: Placement Testing Results
 

Subpart A:  Adult Basic Education

  1. Students whose Accuplacer placement test results are at the Adult Basic Education (ABE) level in either reading (1.5 or 0-37) or English (1.1 or 0-23) will receive a deferred admission to the College.
  2. Deferred admission means that a student may not enroll in courses at Normandale until the student demonstrates college readiness in both reading and writing. Demonstrated readiness in reading and writing is achieved by retaking the placement tests and scoring above the ABE level. 
  3. Students may retake each section of the Accuplacer (reading, writing and mathematics) once in every 12 month period, regardless of where the test was administered. (This includes placement testing completed at any other MnSCU college or university.)  There is a fee for retaking each test.
  4. A student with ABE results after retaking the Accuplacer may appeal for a third opportunity to test in a 12-month period by providing documentation that the student has received tutoring from a community resource such as Metro South ABE.
 

Subpart B:  Students who are Non-Native Speakers of English

  1. Lack of English skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation.  Based on how students answer the demographic questions at the beginning of the test, a student may begin with the ESL (English as a Second Language) version of the reading and writing tests to determine English language proficiency.
  2. Students may retake each of section of the Accuplacer (reading, writing and mathematics) once in every 12 month period, regardless of where the test was administered. (This includes placement testing completed any other MnSCU college or university.)  There is a fee for retaking each test.
  3. Based on the ESL placement testing results, students may be placed in reading and writing courses with the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program to strengthen English language skills necessary to maximize the student's academic success.
  4. Students who score greater than 115 on the reading section and greater than 120 on the writing section of the ESL version of the test will receive a placement testing message recommending the student participate in the non-ESL versions of the test. 
    1. Students will take both the reading and writing sections of the non-ESL versions (as results of both tests are required for determining English course placement
    2. A recommendation to participate in the non-ESL version of the test will be considered a continuation of the current testing cycle and not a retest.   (Students receiving the recommendation on the first attempt of the ESL version can continue in the non-ESL version and will have 1 more attempt at the non-ESL version in a 12 month period.  Students receiving the recommendation on the second attempt of the ESL version will can continue in the non-ESL version and will have not be able to test again in a 12 month period.)
 

Subpart C:  Students with Disabilities

  1. Accommodations for placement testing for individuals with disabilities are available with advance notice.
  2. Upon admission to the college, students should schedule an appointment with a staff person in the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) for an intake interview to determine if accommodations will be necessary for completing placement testing.
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Part 2: Placement Testing Waivers
 

Students who may be waived from participating in placement tests by submitting to the Office of Admissions official transcripts of relevant coursework completed at another college or university or other assessment results.

 

Subpart A:  Transfer Students

Transfer students who have taken college-level coursework at a regionally accredited college or university must submit official college transcripts of their college-level coursework to obtain a placement testing waiver.  Normandale will review the transcripts and grant a placement test waiver in the associated academic skill area if the student has completed the coursework at a regionally accredited college or university and:

  • Earned a grade of C or higher in a college-level English composition course (if not, the English and reading assessments are required).
  • Earned at least 20 transferable semester credits with a grade point average of 2.00 (C) or higher (if not, the reading assessment is required).
  • Earned a grade of C or higher in a college mathematics course during the last two years (if not, the mathematics assessment is required if the student is planning to register for math class; is registering for a course with a math prerequisite; or apply to a program with a math requirement).
 

Subpart B:  Other Qualifying Score Reports for Placement Test Waivers

Students interested in possible waivers from the placement testing must submit ACT, SAT, Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP, COMPASS or ACCUPLACER (CPT) results to the Office of Admissions at the time they apply for admission.  Reading and writing assessment scores and subject area scores are valid if taken within three calendar years, inclusive of the current year, and mathematics scores are valid for two calendar years, inclusive of the current calendar year.

  1. ACT and SAT score reports can be used to determine eligibility for college-level placement only.  Students with scores lower than the required college placement level in any of the academic areas will be required to take the Accuplacer in that associated subject area.
    1. An ACT sub score of 21 or above or an SAT score of 550 or above in the reading component exempts a student from taking the associated placement test in that academic skill area.  It also authorizes a student’s placement in the introductory college-level courses in that academic subject. 
    2. An ACT sub score of 18 or above or an SAT score of 550 or above in the writing component exempts a student from taking the associated placement test in that academic skill area.  It also authorizes a student’s placement in the introductory college-level courses in that academic subject. 
    3. An ACT sub score of 22 or above or an SAT score of 550 or above in the mathematic component exempts a student from taking the associated placement test in that academic skill area. It also authorizes a student’s placement in the introductory college-level courses in that academic subject.
  2. Official transcripts or official AP, CLEP and IB transcripts will qualify for a placement test waiver in the associated academic skill area if the student has received a score of:
    1. 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement exam
    2. 4 or higher on the International Baccalaureate course
    3. 50 or higher on the College Level Examination
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Part 3: Retaking the Placement Tests
 

Students who are dissatisfied with any of their placement test scores may retest in each section (reading, writing, and mathematics) once in every 12-month period and on a space-available basis.  This includes placement testing completed at other MnSCU colleges and universities during the 12-month period. 

  1. A student with ABE results after retaking the Accuplacer may appeal for a third opportunity to test in a 12-month period by providing documentation that the student has received tutoring from a community resources such as Metro South ABE.
  2. Students who score greater than 115 on the reading section and greater than 120 on the writing section of the ESL version of the test will receive a placement testing message recommending the student participate in the non-ELS versions of the test.  This will considered a continuation of the current testing cycle and not considered as a retest.  (Students receiving the recommendation on the first attempt of the ESL version can continue in the non-ESL version and will have 1 more attempt at the non-ESL version in a 12-month period.  Students receiving the recommendation on the second attempt of the ESL version will can continue in the non-ESL version and will have not be able to test again in a 12-month period.)
  3. There is a fee for retaking each section of the placement testing.
 

Subpart A:  Placement Testing Appeal

If students are dissatisfied with their retest scores, they may appeal their placement testing by completing a Placement Test Appeal form available from the Office of Admissions.

  1. There is a fee for retaking each section of the placement testing.
  2. The designated faculty will determine final course placement.
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Related Documents:
  Policy 3.1 Admission to the College
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  Procedure History
Date of Adoption
Date of Implementation
Date and Subject of Revisions
Next Review Date
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