Placement Policy

Community Collee Placement Procedures through Summer 2023

As part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the absence of any known date at which it will be possible to administer placement assessments on campus, and in consideration of the upcoming transition to CT State Community College, the following procedures will be used to determine the appropriate math, ESL & English placement for students enrolling in classes for Summer 2021 through Summer 2023.

Multiple Measures

The Connecticut Coalition of English Teachers (CCET) and Connecticut Math Advisory Council (CMAC) both recommend using multiple measures of placement for entering students.

The procedures described below ensure equity in access and allow students maximum flexibility in providing information relevant for placement. They were developed with input from CCET, CMAC, the ESL Council, the Test Administrators Council, and the PA-12-40 Council, and informed by current best practices in placement. In all cases, the criterion that places the student in the highest-level course should be used. Self-reported GPA is the primary placement indicator and all other multiple measures may be used only to increase a student’s placement or in the absence of a self-reported GPA.

Step 1. Obtain self-reported high school GPA

Students can report their high school GPA, regardless of their graduation date, directly in CRM Recruit or through the Admissions process. If not already reported on a 4.0 scale, the self-reported GPA should be converted to a 4.0 scale. (CCET and CMAC both highlight the variability of high school GPA scales and recommend the use of the College Board conversion chart to align the different scales with a common 4.0 scale: https://pages.collegeboard.org/how-to-convert-gpa-4.0-scale).

Step 2. Use self-reported high school GPA to determine placement

Default placement should be based on self-reported high school GPA. If a student is unable to provide a high school GPA, refer to step 3 below. If a student believes an alternate measure would place them in a course higher than that indicated by GPA, see step 3 below.

Placement based on self-reported GPA should use the following guidelines:

English Course Level and Corresponding High School GPA Ranges

Course Level

HS GPA Score Ranges

College Level

ENG 101

≥ 3.0

Embedded

≥ 2.5 -2.99

For colleges with 6 contact hour embedded

≥ 2.7 - 2.99

For colleges with a 6 and 4 contact option, this would be the starting point for 4, or for a college with a 4.5 contact course, this would be the starting point (these students are at a higher developmental range)

Intensive /

Developmental

≥ 2-2.49

For colleges with only one intensive

≥ 2-2.25 and

2.26 to entry score of embedded course option

For colleges with two intensive options

The higher cutoff score applies to the intensive course option with fewer contact hours

Transitional

≤ 1.99

(if Transitional is offered)

Math Course Level and Corresponding GPA Score Ranges

Course Level

HS GPA Score Ranges

Comments

For placement into math, completed high school math classes may be considered in the context of high school GPA, particularly for higher-level math.

Calculus I or above

≥ 3.6

Precalculus

≥ 3.4 – 3.59

College Algebra

≥ 3.0 - 3.39

Transferable General Education Math

≥ 3.0 - 3.39

Placement at this level should be for Areas of Study for which one of the listed courses is required for the major (i.e., MAT 141 – 167)

Intermediate Algebra

≥ 2.7 – 2.99

Placement at this level should be for Areas of Study for which Intermediate Algebra is required for the major or as a prerequisite (i.e., MAT 137, 138)

Embedded Intermediate Algebra/Terminal General Education Math

≥ 2.5 – 2.69

Placement at this level and higher requires successful completion of high school Algebra I (i.e., MAT 137E, 137L, 137T, 137.100 / MAT 104, 109, 115, 123, 135, 139)

Transitional/ Intensive

< 2.5

Placement at this level should use alternative methods (i.e., Boot Camp, Accelerated Workshops, MAT 085, 095I, 095)

Step 3. Additional Placement Options

Default placement should be based on self-reported high school GPA. However, SAT scores, Accuplacer scores, GED scores, or the other college-determined alternate methods may be used if a student is unable to provide a high school GPA or if such other measures could place the student in a higher-level course.

  • SAT scores: Although the March, April, and May 2020 SAT testing dates were cancelled, students who previously took the SAT who or who took the SAT after it was again available can submit these scores to help inform placement. Students may need to be reminded that requests to send SAT score reports to colleges must be made through the College Board website.

English placement based on SAT score should use the following guidelines:

Table of English Course Level and Corresponding SAT Score Ranges

Course Level

Score Ranges

 Comments

College Level

ENG 101

≥480

Embedded

≥ 420

Ground level for colleges with 6 contact hour embedded classes

≥ 450

For colleges with embedded classes with options of ≤4.5 contact hours

Intensive/

Developmental

≥360

For colleges with only one intensive class

≥360 and

≥400 to entry score of embedded course option

For colleges with two intensive options

The higher cutoff score applies to the intensive course option with fewer contact hours

Transitional

< 360

(if Transitional offered)

CMAC recommended that each college retain their current SAT cutoff scores. Mathematics placement based on SAT scores should follow previously established guidelines at each college for the duration of this procedure.

  • Accuplacer scores: Although colleges have been unable to administer the Accuplacer, students who previously took the test but did not subsequently enroll or have not yet completed their math and/or English requirement may use their Accuplacer scores for placement. Placement based on Accuplacer scores should follow previously established guidelines at each college. As Accuplacer becomes available as an option, it can be used as an additional measure for placement.
  • GED scores: Colleges may utilize GED test scores as an additional placement measure. Students who score in the GED® College Ready level (165-174) demonstrate the skills needed to start college-level courses and should qualify for waivers from placement testing or developmental education requirements. For scores below this threshold colleges, should defer to other multiple measures or their existing policies.
  • Other Supplemental Methods: At their own expense, colleges may continue to use any of the various multiple measures currently in use or to incorporate more recently proposed options.

CCET advocates for a writing sample or a directed self-placement strategy to be used as multiple measures. For writing samples, options include a challenge essay, submission of graded high school assignment, or diagnostic essay. TAC endorses a Blackboard placement essay utilizing the CCET-developed common essay prompts, rubrics, and scoring systems. They advocate the use of the SafeAssign feature and the creation of systems to manage, administer, and score the essays. Individual colleges will need to establish procedures for collecting, administering and/or grading such writing samples.

CMAC advocates for the use of ALEKS PPL as a supplemental placement tool. Colleges that do not have readily available alternate models may choose to adopt ALEKS PPL as a transitional strategy and placement tool during this time of distance learning. Some math faculty also advocate the use of Stemify to supplement placement. Colleges may choose to supplement placement decisions with Stemify.

ESL

ESL Program Coordinators suggest that the use of GPA or self-reported GPA would not be effective for ESL placement. During and following the temporary absence of the Accuplacer LOEP scores, the ESL Programs may continue using as many other available measures as they deem necessary for the needs of their students. These measures could include the following:

  • a writing sample administered by the Test Administrators through Blackboard
  • a virtual oral interview conducted by Program Coordinators/Administrators and/or full-time faculty
  • a diagnostic test on the first day (or week) of the class.

It will be up to the individual programs to decide what one measure or combination of measures would work best for their prospective ESL students.