Procedure Information

PDF Version

Number: 3.3.1

Name: Placement for Success

Author: Placement for Success Committee

Effective Date: January 8, 2018

Next Review Date: AY2020-2021

Regulatory Authority

Part 1. Pre-Testing.

Subpart A. Pre-testing Notifications.

  1. Students are informed of testing requirements in their initial acceptance letter from the college.
  2. Following the acceptance letter, students receive additional information by email from the college, including information on how to schedule a testing appointment through either the online appointment scheduler or by telephone with the Testing Center.
  3. College employees will provide additional information to encourage students to review for the placement test and to complete the initial testing as soon as they are prepared.
  4. During pre-assessment an initial evaluation of student waivers or test score exemptions will be determined before or during check-in; the student will be advised as to the appropriate tests to be taken.

Subpart B. Placement Test Review.

The North Hennepin Community College website provides information about sample test questions and review options.

Subpart C. Waivers.

Waivers of all or part of placement testing are available through the following processes: student completion of the waiver form, the college-initiated transcript review process, or the pre-placement test evaluation process. Waivers based on successful completion of previous college-level coursework do not expire.

  1. With appropriate documentation, waivers may be given for:
    1. Transfer students who have completed a college-level English composition course with a grade of C- or better. These students will be exempt from placement testing in English.
    2. Transfer students who have completed a college-level algebra or higher course with a grade of C- or better. These students will be exempt from placement testing in mathematics.
    3. Evaluation of other college-level math courses for waiver will follow the appeal process.
    4. Transfer students who have completed a minimum of six college level credits with a grade of C- or better and an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher from the same college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency will be exempt from the placement test in reading with the exception of the following:
      • International credits
      • Studio Art
      • Studio Music
      • Theater Practicum
      • Activity based physical education and exercise science
      • Foreign language courses
      • ASL (American Sign Language) courses
      • Activity based courses that do not clearly involve college level reading
    5. Other courses may be considered upon appeal to the academic dean.
    6. Assessment scores taken on the system-endorsed instrument at any college or university within three calendar years for reading and writing, and two calendar years for mathematics.
      1. Students with ACT sub-scores of at least 22 in math, at least 18 in writing, or at least 21 in reading taken within five calendar years. Students whose sub-scores are below these sub-scores in one of these areas must take the placement test in that area.
      2. Students with SAT sub-scores of at least 530 in math, at least 480 in writing, or at least 480in critical reading taken within five calendar years. Students whose sub-scores are below these sub-scores in one of these areas must take the placement test in that area.
      3. Students with MCA sub-scores of at least 1158 in math or 1047 in reading taken within five calendar years. The MCA assessment is not being used for English course placement. Students whose sub-scores are below these sub-scores in one of these areas must take the placement test in that area.
    7. If EAP students receive both reading and writing waivers, they are exempt from taking the ESL Accuplacer Listening and Sentence Meaning tests.
    8. Transfer students with developmental coursework in math, English or reading will have developmental coursework evaluated by an appropriately credentialed faculty member for the possibility of equivalent course placement and waivers.
    9. Non-EAP transfer students who meet the reading waiver requirement based on college-level courses will be eligible to register for the college-level composition course with a grade of C- or better.

Subpart D. Non-Degree-Seeking Student with no Prior College Experience.

  1. Non-degree-seeking students will not be required to take the college’s placement test but must satisfy all pre-requisites of the course(s) for which they intend to register.

Subpart E. Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO).

  1. All PSEO students must complete placement testing, except students who are eligible for a placement test waiver based on the criteria in Subpart C. Students whose sub-scores are lower in one of these areas must take the placement test in that area.
  2. All PSEO-eligible students must place at a college reading level on the placement test.
  3. To register for college-level English or math courses, PSEO students must complete the placement test and place into college-level English or math, unless they have qualified for a waiver listed above in Subpart C.

Subpart F. Accommodations.

  1. Students with documented disabilities will be provided appropriate accommodations.
  2. Eligible students must contact Access Services for assistance with accommodation requests.

Part 2. Pre-Placement Testing Advising for Math.

  1. The math portion of the placement test is for those who need to fulfill a math requirement
  2. For those students who have graduated high school within the past two years, the starting point on the placement test depends on high school GPA and number of math classes completed in high school. Student who state they have both an overall GPA of 3.0 or above and have completed at least one math class past Algebra 2 start at the college-level math test. Everyone else starts at the elementary algebra test.
  3. Students who have been out of school for more than two years will be advised as to which math test to begin with based on a pre-assessment evaluation.
  4. Students who place into developmental reading will be given the option to postpone the math portion of the test to another date.

Part 3. Placement Testing.

Subpart A. Testing Requirements.

  1. Allotted Time: the test is untimed with the exception of the EAP writing sample, which has a 60-minute time limit. Refer to the Testing Center for recommendations on suggested allotment of time.
  2. Items allowed: Scratch paper and pencils are distributed before the test begins and are collected at the end of the session. No other resources are allowed during the test session.
  3. Calculators are not allowed; the assessment has a pop up calculator feature for questions that require one.
  4. Picture Identification is required to take a test.

Subpart B. Additional Student Information.

Additional information will be collected from students to assist the college in developing appropriate support for them, including self-assessment of their technology skills.

Part 4. Post-Placement Test Advising.

  1. Students meet with an advisor immediately following the placement test.
  2. The Post-Assessment Advisor will explain the test results and course placement, answer general questions, and disperse college information relevant to students’ needs.
  3. Students who have successfully completed three years of high school math with a C or better within the past three years will be placed no lower than Math 0900.
  4. Students are allowed to re-test for a fee once per semester. Students will be made aware of review materials that are easily accessed and informed of the effect of study on test results.
  5. There is a placement appeal form for mathematics. Students who think they are under-placed in mathematics are encouraged to pursue placement appeals.
  6. Students will be provided with resources to help them address their technology concerns.

Part 5. Enrollment after the Placement Test.

Subpart A. Enrollment Requirements.

  1. Students must enroll in English, Academic Development, English Language for Academic Purposes (EAP) and mathematics coursework at their assessed level. A student’s course registration is subject to cancellation if registration is outside of placement requirements. Enrollment in other college-level classes may be limited until this requirement is met. Students who do not follow listed assessment and prerequisite requirements may be required to change their registration or have their registrations cancelled to comply with NHCC’s Placement for Success Policy. Tuition refunds will not be issued in such cases.
  2. English faculty may override developmental placement based on an intake writing sample.
  3. Students who are required to complete a reading developmental course will also be required to complete the developmental English course in the same semester that they are enrolled in the college-level English course as a co-requisite.
  4. Students placing into ADEV 0951 or 0952 are required to enroll in these courses during their first semester in college and successfully complete their course sequence with a grade of C or better.
  5. Students placing into EAP courses are required to enroll in these EAP courses in their initial semester and continue the course sequence until completion.

Subpart B. Exceptions.

  1. Students may appeal their placement level in mathematics by completing the “Placement Appeal Form.” This form allows students to ask for a placement of one level above their assessed level provided students provide documentation and justification for the appeal and receive the approval of a full-time member of the math faculty and the Dean of Math and Science.
  2. After successful retesting, new placement is effective immediately. Students who want a course exchange must be approved with support from the faculty member and academic dean. A new placement will not exempt a student from the financial and academic obligations of their initially enrolled course; tuition refunds will not be issued.
  3. Faculty should complete a “Faculty Permission to Override Mandatory Placement Level” form if that semester’s coursework merits exemption from the next course in the skill sequence.

Part 6. Placement Committee.

At regular intervals during the academic year, college administrators, faculty, and staff persons on the committee will review and provide recommendations to update the placement program. Validation studies and other data review will be a regular component of the committee’s meetings and discussions.

Part 7. Campus Review.

Review Action


Campus Community Review Period

06-Nov-2017 through 17-Nov-2017



MAPE Review


MMA Review


Shared Governance Council Review


Student Senate Review


President Approval


Campus Community Dissemination



  • Adopted: 16-Dec-2005 Placement for Success
  • Updated: Spring 2013 Updated ACT sub-scores; added post-test advising, placement test review, technology skills assessment and placement committee.
  • Fall 2014. Revised to edit Part 5, subpart B.4 and Part 1, subpart C.d.1.
  • Fall 2017: Revised to edit Part 1, subpart A.4, Part 1, subpart C, Part 5, subpart A.