Placement Policy

The college uses multiple measures to determine student placement in English and Mathematics classes. Student placement will be determined by:

  1. High School GPA and/or specific course grades in English or Mathematics (completed within 5 years prior to enrolling in first semester at NCC)
  2. Performance on testing including PSSA (11th grade), ACT or SAT (PSSA scores are only valid for 5 years)
  3. Previous college degrees or courses in English or Mathematics
  4. Advanced Placement test scores
  5. NCC Mathematics or English Placement test results

If students do not submit evidence from which the college can determine placement, students will be directed to take college placement tests.

Based upon review of transcripts or other evidence, students may be placed into developmental pre-college courses. Students wishing to challenge such decisions may take college placement tests to earn scores for higher-level course placement. Students who place into developmental pre-college courses can retest once before starting those courses. Students may not take the test while enrolled in a developmental pre-college course.

If students need developmental pre-college work, they must begin that work in their first semester and continue until the requirements are complete. Developmental pre-college course work does not count towards graduation requirements.

Degree-seeking students must have placement determined before registering for courses.

Students pursuing a Specialized Diploma or Certificate should seek guidance from an advisor regarding placement.

Guest/Visiting/non matriculated students are exempt from placement; however, must still meet individual course prerequisites.

Based on evidence of course work and/or testing, students may be referred to the ESL department for additional testing and placement.

Based on evidence of testing, students may be referred to non-credit options for developing reading and writing skills before entering credit courses.

Requests for accommodated testing must be submitted through the Office of Disability Services.

Placement Guidelines: English, Academic Learning Skills, College Success

English I (ENGL101):

  • Must be a graduate from an accredited high school (within 5 years prior to enrolling in first semester at NCC) with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent) in a college preparatory curriculum
  • Score of 500 or higher on both the SAT Writing and Critical Reading exams (2005 to March 2016)
  • Score of 560 or higher on the new SAT Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing exam (March 2016 and beyond)
  • Combined Reading and Writing 11th grade PSSA score of at least 2650; with neither Reading nor Writing score below 1200. (PSSA scores are only valid for 5 years)
  • Evidence of a score of 21 or higher on the ACT English Exam
  • Completion of required developmental courses
  • Competence as determined by the English placement test
  • Completion of Proficiency in English as a Second Language Specialized Diploma
  • Completion of satisfactory ESL program portfolio
  • Score of at least 79 on the TOEFL iBT exam, or 550 on the TOEFL paper exam
  • Score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam COMBINED WITH a score of at least 55 on the Duolingo exam.

Writing Skills Workshop (ENGL027) Linked to English I (ENGL101):

  • Placement into Writing Skills Workshop and English I only as determined by the English placement test or with faculty recommendation after completion of ACLS050, or review of ESL program portfolio

Introduction to Academic Literacy (ACLS050):

  • Placement as determined by the English placement test
  • Faculty recommendation after review of ESL program portfolio
  • Must also register for COLS150 College Seminar: Applied Strategies for Academic Success in the same semester.

English as a Second Language:

  • English language competence as determined by ESL department

Placement Guidelines: Mathematics

Foundations of Mathematics I (MATH118), Foundations of Mathematics II (MATH119), The Nature of Mathematics (MATH120), College Algebra (MATH140), Introductory Statistics (MATH150):

  • High school transcript review for those who graduated from an accredited high school (within 5 years prior to enrolling in first semester at NCC) with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent)in a college preparatory curriculum
  • Score of 500 or higher on the SAT mathematics exam (prior to March 2016)
  • Score of 530 or high on the new SAT mathematics exam (March 2016 and beyond)
  • 11th grade PSSA math score of 1300 or higher (PSSA scores are only valid for 5 years)
  • Competence as determined by the mathematics placement test
  • Completion of required developmental courses with a C or better

Elementary Algebra (MATH022), Intermediate Algebra (MATH026), Elementary and Intermediate Algebra Combined (MATH028):

  • Competence as determined by the mathematics placement test
  • Completion of required developmental courses with a C or better
  • Review of high school mathematics course work

Prealgebra (MATH020), Applications in Math (MATH103):

  • Open enrollment; no placement or pre-requisites needed

Trigonometry (MATH145), Pre-calculus (MATH160), Applied Calculus (MATH165), Calculus I with Review (MATH175), MATH 180 Calculus I (MATH180):

  • High school transcript review for those who graduated from an accredited high school (within 5 years prior to enrolling in first semester at NCC) with a GPA of 3.00 or higher (on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent)
  • Completion of required prerequisite course work as listed in each course description
  • Competence as determined by the Mathematics Placement Test

For all other MATH classes, refer to course prerequisites in each course description