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Developmental Courses

What is a "pre-college" or "developmental" course?

Courses below the "100" level are considered to be at the pre-college level. These courses receive equivalent credit.

ENGL 099, MATH 090, MATH 095, AND RNDG099 are equivalent credit courses. MATH 100, RDNG 116, and ACAD 100 are college credit courses. MATH 100 and RDNG 116 will be required as prerequisites or co-requisites to many other college level classes.

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What are "equivalent credits"?

Equivalent credits can be used for calculating a full-time load for financial aid purposes or to allow a student to live in campus housing or be covered by a parent’s health insurance. Grades earned in equivalent credit courses are not included in the G.P.A. calculation.

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How are students placed into pre-college courses?

Students are usually placed into a pre-college level English, mathematics, or reading course based on their scores on the respective portions of the ACCUPLACER placement test. The student’s high school transcript may also be used.

Students taking ENGL 099, MTH 090, and RDNG 099 are given an additional, in-house assessment during the first week of classes. Students who do very well on this assessment may be offered the opportunity to move to a higher-level course (ENGL 099 to ENGL 101, MATH 090 to MATH 095, RDNG 099 to RDNG 116).

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Why are students required to take pre-college level courses?

The courses are required when assessment shows the student does not possess the skills to succeed in college-level courses. By taking the pre-college level courses, the student will develop the skills to go on to perform the tasks (e.g., writing papers, reading texts and library resources, doing calculations) involved in college-level courses. (ENGL 099 for ENGL 101, RDNG 099 for RDNG 116, MATH 090 for BUAD 104, MATH 109, and others)

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Who oversees the students, faculty, and curriculum in the pre-college courses?

During the academic year, Bruce Need oversees ENGL 099, and Rick Grossman oversees RDNG 099. At other times, students and faculty should direct their questions to Jim Hull or John Conners.

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RDNG 116 is not a pre-college course. Why must certain students take it?

The reading skill level taught in RDNG 116 is needed in many college-level courses. See the Basic Skills Chart for specifics. A student who does not exhibit the required level of reading skill upon admission to TC3 will be required to take RDNG 116 in order to register for other courses that require reading skills. Examples of such courses include ENGL 101, all HSTY courses, all PSYC courses 103 or above, all SOCI courses, and many others. If a student is concurrently taking RDNG 116, he or she will be permitted to take some of these courses. For other courses, the student must have completed RDNG 116 or demonstrated by initial assessment that it is not needed in order to enroll in the course. Consult the Basic Skills Chart for details.

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Are developmental courses required for many TC3 students?

Generally about half of new TC3 students need to take at least one developmental course.

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Can I have another chance to show that I have the skills I need to succeed in college?

If the entry advisor or the student believes that he or she belongs in ENGL 101 contrary to the test scores, a writing sample should be done and appropriate placement will be assessed by a faculty member who teaches ENGL 101. Students who wish to exercise this option should contact the counseling department. Arrangements have been made with the faculty to read writing samples during breaks (January and summer).

If a student challenges his/her Reading placement, another test may be used to further assess the placement decision (contact counseling department for details). An ACCUPLACER score close to the cut-off and other evidence of higher reading skills gained from transcripts are needed to support the decision to re-test.

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What if a student wants to work on his or her skills and "test out" of the need for a developmental course?

Numerous resources are available in the Baker Center for Learning to assist students interested in improving their skills in order to avoid the need to take a formal developmental course. Resources include books, software and videotapes. Tutors can help students identify the areas they need to work on. There are also numerous free resources available at the public library (look at test review books). Following study, the student should contact Jim Hull, Khaki Wunderlich or an appropriate faculty member for reassessment.

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What happens when a student fails a developmental course?

The course will need to be repeated before the student can move on to other courses where higher reading, writing or mathematics skills are required. If the course was below the 100 level, the failed course will not affect the G.P.A.; however, a student’s eligibility for continuing financial aid may be compromised. A professional in the financial aid department should always be consulted with any questions about eligibility for financial aid. If the student was required to take RDNG 116 due to placement testing results, then that course must be repeated until completed successfully.

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If a student passes RDNG 099, may he or she skip taking RDNG 116?

No. Upon successful completion of RDNG 099, the student will need to enroll in RDNG 116 to continue developing skills needed for college level courses.

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