Common, statewide placement requirements do not exist for four-year institutions. Institutional governing boards set placement requirements.
Two-Year and/or Technical Colleges
The system encourages institutions to use the ACCUPLACER to assess students for placement into college-level courses. Students can exempt placement with minimum scores on the ACT or SAT. Each institution sets their cut-off scores, but generally students are exempt with satisfactory SAT (Math – 480 or above, Verbal/Reading – 480 or above, and English/writing sections – 480 or above) or ACT (e.g., 18 or above in English/writing, and 20 or above on Reading or Math) scores.
In May 2017, the Board of Trustees adopted the Chancellor’s recommendation to re-codify policies governing admissions and placement. The new policy series references admissions but repeals ACCS Policy 802.01, which addressed system-wide provisions for student assessment and placement.
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.
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.
The SAT is administered to at no cost for all high school juniors. Students can take the ACT at their own expense. Students achieving the SAT cut score set by the individual IHEs are exempt from remedial or developmental courses. Students participating in the current transitional course pilot program and passing the course with a 77 or higher are exempt from remedial/developmental work.
Both universities require all first-time freshmen to take the ALEKS assessment to determine math course placement.
University of Delaware
Placement goals vary by college and intended major. Students cannot register for a specific math course unless they attain the appropriate placement threshold. Students can enroll in credit-bearing math courses if they reach 45 percent proficiency on the ALEKS assessment. In the fall 2017, University of Delaware is instituting a test-optional pilot program for Delaware residents applying for first-year admission.
Delaware State University
All formally admitted freshmen and transfer students must complete online ALEKS placement test for Mathematics two weeks prior to orientation. Students who score a 15 or lower on the ACT must take the Nelson Denny reading test. Students are placed in English composition courses based on their SAT/ACT scores: Under 400/15 or below ─ Writing Skills; 400-574/16-19 ─ Regular Composition; 575+/20+ ─ Honors Composition.
Delaware State offers two Summer Bridge programs – Jumpstart and Project Success – for first-time freshman who could benefit from academic enrichment. Students may be provisionally admitted if they do not meet regular admission requirements, contingent upon successful completion of the Project Success Program.