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About VWCC

About Virginia Western :: College Policies

I-7: Placement Testing - Pandemic Exception

Policy Number: I-7
Last Reviewed: July 8, 2020
Responsible Dept.: Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs

A signed copy of this policy is available in the President's Office.

Placement Testing

Each college shall offer VCCS approved placement strategies that provide consistent and reliable assessment 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 the General Admissions Policy I-12 and VCCS Policy 6.0.1.1.

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 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. Previously taken developmental courses will be valid for five years after the term taken.
  3. Any student who has successfully completed developmental courses at a non-VCCS institution within the last five years 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 tables found in tables 7.1 and 7.2 of this policy. Seniors who have not yet graduated may submit a transcript at the completion of the first semester of their senior year to determine readiness for placement into college-level courses for the purpose of early admission.
  5. Any student 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 the lower placement.
COVID-19: Temporary Modification to VCCS Policy 6.6.3 and Guidance on Admission and Placement of New Dual Enrolled Students During COVID-19 Closures

Please note the policy modifications regarding VPT testing requirements for academic year 2020-2021.

Due to limited or no access to the VPT, during the 2020 COVID-19 emergency, the Virginia Community College Chancellor has temporarily approved a modification to VCCS Policy 6.6.3, Dual Enrollment Student Admissions, that adds flexibility to use additional measures for dual enrollment admission and placement.

For students who have not already taken the VPT or who do not have access to other test scores (Compass, Asset, PSAT, SAT, ACT, SOL), VWCC will use the Dual Enrollment COVID-19 Emergency Admission and Placement Procedures, outlined below, for enrolling students for academic year 2020-2021:

Dual Enrollment COVID-19 Emergency Admission and Placement Measures
Cumulative High School GPA* Academic Year 2020-2021 Eligible for Placement in: SIS Student Group Comment
English
3.00 or greater ENG 111 and Transfer Courses ENGE DE Emergency Placement
2.00 - 2.99 ENF 2 XEN2 DE Emergency Placement
Math
2.00 – 2.99 MTH 101- 130, 132, CAD 111 XDG0, XDG1, XDG2, XDG3 DE Emergency Placement
3.00 or greater without Algebra 2 MTH 101–130, 132, MTH 154, or MTH 155, BIO 101 XDG0, XDG1, XDG2, XDG3, XDG4, XDG5 DE Emergency Placement
3.00 or greater with Algebra 2 MTH 101–133, MTH 154, MTH 155, MTH 161, or MTH 167, CHM 111 XDG0, XDG1, XDG2, XDG3, XDG4, XDG5, XDG6, XDG7, XDG8, XDG9 DE Emergency Placement
*Cumulative GPA may be weighted or unweighted.
Please report data using the VWCC VPT Spreadsheet to report scores.

Please note the following:

  • The Dual Enrollment Emergency Admission and Placement Measures are consistent with VCCS Multiple Measures Policy 6.4.0.2.
  • These emergency procedures apply to dual enrollment students enrolling in the academic year 2020-2021 only.
  • Information should be provided by the high schools using the VPT-Spreadsheet used for all alternative testing scores.
  • Home schooled students will need to provide information about Algebra 2 completion and GPA.
  • For freshmen and sophomores, we will use this placement and continue to determine their college readiness on a case-by-case basis, per Policy 6.6.3.
  • Documentation of parental permission remains as a requirement for all dual enrollment students.
  • Colleges may not enroll high school or home school students in developmental education courses.

7.1 Measures for Math Placement

COVID-19 Emergency Mathematics Placement Procedures

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

Mathematics Criteria HS GPA/Score Placement Eligible to Enroll In Student Group Comment
HS GPA & Alg. II & One Alg. Intensive Course * 3.0 or higher Satisfies MTE 1-9 MTH 161 (MTH 163)
MTH 167 (MTH 166)
XDG0-9 HS GPA
2.7 - 2.9 Satisfies MTE 1-6
MCR 6/MTH 161 Co-Req. Elig.
MCR 6/MTH 161
MTH 131 (MTH 115)
MTH 154 (MTH 151)
MTH 155 (MTH 157)
MTE 7
XMCC
XDG0-6
HS GPA
2.69 or Below Satisfies MTE 1-3 MCR 4 & MTH 154
MCR 5 & MTH 155
MTH 130
MTH 132
MTE 4
XMCB & XDG0-3 Emergency Placement
HS GPA & Alg. II 3.0 or higher Satisfies MTE 1-5 MTH 154 (MTH 151)
MTH 155 (MTH 157)
MTE 6
XDG0-5 HS GPA
2.7 - 2.9 MCR 4/MCR 5 Co-Req. Elig.
Whole Numbers Satisfied
MCR 4 & MTH 154
MCR 5 & MTH 155
MTE 1
XMCB
XDG0
HS GPA
2.69 or below Whole Numbers Satisfied MTE 1 XDG0 Emergency Placement
HS GPA & Alg. I 3.0 or higher Satisfies MTE 1-3 MTH 130 (MTH 120)
MTH 132 (BUS 125)
MCR 4 & MTH 154
MCR 5 & MTH 155
MTE 4
XDG0-3 HS GPA
SAT - Mathematics (tested before March 2016) 520 Satisfies MTE 1-9 MTH 161 (MTH 163)
MTH 167 (MTH 166)
XDG0-9 SAT
SAT - Mathematics (tested in/after March 2016) 530 or above Satisfies MTE 1-9 MTH 161 (MTH 163)
MTH 167 (MTH 166)
XDG0-9 SAT
510 - 520 Satisfies MTE 1-5 MTH 154 (MTH 151)
MTH 155 (MTH 157)
XDG0-5 SAT
ACT - Subject Area Math 22 or above Satisfies MTE 1-9 MTH 161 (MTH 163)
MTH 167 (MTH 166)
XDG0-9 ACT
19 - 21 Satisfies MTE 1-5 MTH 154 (MTH 151)
MTH 155 (MTH 157)
MTE 6
XDG0-5 ACT
Algebra I SOL Pass Whole Numbers Satisfied MTE 1 XDG0 SOL
GED - Math 165 or above Satisfies MTE 1-5 MTH 154 (MTH 151)
MTH 155 (MTH 157)
XDG0-5 GED
155 - 165 Satisfies MTE 1-3 MTH 130 (MTH 120)
MTH 132 (BUS 125)
MTE 4
XDG0-3 GED

High School GPA placement is valid for five years after the date of high school graduation. (Ex: Graduated in 2015; placement valid through 2020).

SAT, ACT, GED, SOL and VPT scores are valid for five years after the test date. (Ex: Tested in 2019- placement valid through 2024).

Developmental math course completion is valid for five years from the year of completion (Ex: Completed developmental course in 2019- completion valid through 2024).

Carefully evaluate the test date for SAT (before March 2016 or in/after March 2016).

Applicants who do not quality for placement based on the criteria outlined above & who do not have a previous developmental scores/course completion to inform placement decisions will be referred to complete the VPT- Practice Test. The practice test they are recommended to complete in the practice site will depend on their highest level math course taken.

Algebra Intensive Course Beyond Algebra II VPT- Practice Diagnostic for MTE 6-9 75% or higher equates to proficiency in a module
Algebra II VPT- Practice Diagnostic for MTE 1-5 75% or higher equates to proficiency in a module;
Students who demonstrate proficiency in modules 1-5 can be given the opportunity to take the Practice Diagnostic for 6-9
Algebra I VPT- Practice Diagnostic for MTE 1-5 75% or higher equates to proficiency in a module
Other VPT- Practice Diagnostic for MTE 1-5 75% or higher equates to proficiency in a module

7.2 Measures for English Placement

COVID-19 Emergency Placement: English

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

Criteria HS GPA or Score Range Placement Eligible to Enroll In *Student Group Comment
HS GPA 3.0 or higher ENG 111 ENG 111 ENGE HS GPA
SAT - Critical Reading & Writing (tested before March 2016) 500 in both areas ENG 111 ENG 111 ENGE SAT
SAT - Evidence Based Reading & Writing (tested in/after March 2016) 480 or above ENG 111 ENG 111 ENGE SAT
ACT - Subject Area Tests English & Reading 18 or above ENG 111 ENG 111 ENGE ACT
GED - English 165 or above ENG 111 ENG 111 ENGE GED

High School GPA is valid for five years after the date of high school graduation (2015 or later graduation date).

SAT, ACT, and GED test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test (2015 or later test date).

VPT- English test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test, allowing us to use VPT scores from 2015 or later.

Successfully completed developmental courses are valid for five years after the term taken (2015 or later).

Applicants who have graduated high school (or the equivalent), but do not meet any of the criteria for English 111 placement & who also do not have a pre-existing VPT-English score/developmental English course history that can inform placement recommendations will be placed in ENF 3/ENG 111 while these emergency placement procedures are in effect. These students should be placed in the XEN3 student group with the comment “Emergency Placement”.

Ability-to-Benefit English Placement for “High School Dropouts” with no GED & Students with an Alternative High School Diploma Type

Applicants who are over the age of 18, but are not high school graduates (or the equivalent) or who graduated with an alternative/modified diploma type, will be recommended for placement in ENF 1. If it is felt the applicant’s reading & writing skills may warrant consideration for a higher level English placement, the student can be offered the opportunity to take the VPT- English Practice Test. The cut-scores in the table below can be used to determine placement for these applicants based on the VPT- English Practice Test.

Overall Score Recommended English Placement
75% or higher ENF 3/ENG 111
60-74% ENF 2
59% or below ENF 1

7.3 Validity and Retesting

High school GPA is valid for five years after the date of high school graduation. SAT, ACT, and GED test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test. Virginia Placement Test scores are valid for five years after the date of the test.

Students who take the Virginia Placement Test who do not enroll in developmental education courses are allowed to take one retest within twelve months. Students who attempt developmental education courses are ineligible for a retest.

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