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Placement Testing (Policy)

Office of Origin: Academic Affairs
Responsibility: Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Original Date Adopted: 06-23-87
Dates Reviewed: 12-12-2017, 1-30-2018, 3-17-21(C)
Last Date Board Approved: 04-24-2007, 5-30-2018

The purpose of placement testing at Lake Michigan College (LMC) is to ensure that students are placed in courses that will support their success. English (E), mathematics (M), and reading (R) represent basic prerequisite skills that are required for most college-level courses*. Students are assessed in these three areas using standardized test (e.g., SAT, ACT), Accuplacer or similar placement assessments, and/or Multiple Measures Assessments (MMA). Multiple measures assessments potentially include high school GPA, course history and grades, and/or LMC-designed assessments. Decisions regarding what measures are appropriate, as well as minimum proficiency scores for each measure and how long each test’s scores can be used, are made by English, Mathematics, and Reading faculty in collaboration with the Director of Advising, the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Specialist, and the Director of the Testing Center.

Any standardized test scores that students have on file with a recognized testing provider (e.g., College Board, ETS, and Cambridge Assessment) must be submitted to the College directly from the testing provider. In most cases, test scores are valid for five years; however, expiration dates of some scores may vary by test type or by department (e.g. nursing).

* Students who do not achieve the necessary minimum scores on English (E), Mathematics (M), and/or Reading (R) placement tests will be placed in and must pass appropriate Transitional courses before they will be able to register for courses that require an E, M, or R pre-requisite. Further detail and history of Transitional and College-level course placement can be found in the Lake Michigan College Placement Guide (see separate document).

Placement Test Administration

Placement tests offered at Lake Michigan College or proxy sites must be administered by trained and qualified individuals approved by the Director of the Testing Center. Assessments designed by LMC (e.g. Multiple Measures) must be completed at least five business days before the start of the term in which the student intends to enroll in classes.

Placement Test Retesting

Students may retest in each test subject once during the first testing term. To allow for adequate review, a retest may only occur after a 48-hour waiting period from the time in which the test was initially taken. Same-day retesting is not permitted.

Once the term has started, students may not retest to modify their schedule for that term (e.g. to change their math placement). Students who have not started a course sequence that satisfies E or R pre-requisites and/or have not entered any LMC math sequence may retest once in subsequent terms in appropriate testing subjects.

International Students

International students whose first language is not English may be required to take a standardized English for academic purposes language proficiency test as part of their I-20 application for an F-1 visa status. These tests include TOEFL iBT, IELTS, MET and Pearson PTE. Scores from these tests must be submitted to the College directly from the testing provider. The ESL Program Specialist is responsible for setting cut scores for course enrollment purposes.

Scores from English for academic purposes tests are not adequate for making E, M, or R placement decisions. Therefore, international students who are eligible for enrollment at the College, must take E, M, and R placement testing at LMC and/or submit college readiness standardized test scores as indicated herein prior to the beginning of the term in which they wish to begin studies.

Student Preparation for Placement and Standardized Tests

For best score results, students should become familiar with the test format and question types prior to taking placement tests. Test preparation materials are available at no cost through the following test developer websites:

Placement Testing Accommodations

Students, Early/Middle College counselors, and/or parents seeking student accommodations for placement testing should contact the Student Outreach and Support Services Coordinator for further information five business days in advance of testing dates. The Student Outreach and Support Services Coordinator determines reasonable accommodations based on available documentation. Testing with accommodations requires at least three days prior notice and must be scheduled by calling the Testing Center.

References: A Guide to Testing, Placement, and Mobility for Transitional Studies and Mathematics Courses

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