In January 2016, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) Coordinating Board adopted a new Student Placement Policy requiring all IHEs to submit and have approved a student placement plan. IHEs are encouraged to use multiple weighted measures to determine placement in college-level courses if a student’s scores fall below the minimum ACT scores for the subject matter. These measures may include high school GPA, the number of years since a student took a specific course or was in school, other test scores (such as SAT or high school end-of-course exams), or other non-cognitive information such as motivation, time management skills or family support, writing samples and successful completion (A or B) of transitional courses in high school.

See Arkansas’ state profile for minimum ACT scores.

Whichever placement criteria the IHE chooses must predict a better than 75 percent likelihood of the student’s ability to earn a “C” or better in the course in which the student is placed. A student’s reading level should be strong enough for them to earn a “C” or better in courses that require substantial reading. At some institutions, STEM majors must meet higher standards for placement than non-STEM majors. IHEs are required to use data-driven practices, provide data to support their placement decisions and allow for follow-up evaluation of placement effectiveness.