Academic Readiness

Academic Readiness

Students can demonstrate their academic readiness based on their performance on a variety of assessments. Students may submit any of the following assessment scores to determine their course placement and enrollment into college-level courses.

  • Subject area test scores from a nationally normed college entrance exam, including the ACT and the SAT. Students who meet college-level benchmarks on the ACT or SAT are not required to take a developmental-level course in that subject area.
  • Students who attended a Minnesota high school can submit subject area test scores from the high school Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) in reading and mathematics. Students whose grade 10 MCA Reading and/or grade 11 MCA Mathematics scores that meet the designated benchmark in the subject area, within the validation window, are not required to take a developmental-level course in that subject area. This link provides more information on how MCAs are used.
  • Subject area test scores from a course placement assessment, Accuplacer, may also be considered to demonstrate academic readiness to enroll in college-level courses. Each of the Minnesota State colleges and universities offer the Accuplacer assessments. The following link provides more information on the Accuplacer.

Course Placement and Developmental Education

When students meet the qualifying benchmarks in a subject area on any of the eligible assessments, they can enroll in college-level courses that have that indicating course prerequisite. If a student does not meet qualifying benchmarks on any of the eligible assessments, they may need to enroll in additional coursework to increase their foundational academic skills to improve their likelihood of success in college level courses. In these instances, a student may be recommended or required to enroll in a developmental-level course and must successfully complete the course prior to enrolling in college-level courses. Developmental education courses are designed to build academic readiness in reading, writing, or mathematics. Courses are also available at many institutions specifically designed to meet the needs of English Language Learners. Developmental education courses are credit-bearing but do not count toward the requirements of degrees, diplomas or certificates. This coursework is critical in addressing the readiness gaps that students arrive with when they enter postsecondary institutions. Colleges and universities offer developmental education to ensure access to higher education for all students that need support to be academically prepared for college-level coursework in their programs and majors.

Minnesota State Board Policy 3.3 and System Procedure 3.3.1 outline the system-wide requirements for assessing academic readiness to enroll in courses that require college-level reading, writing, and/or mathematics skills.

Identification and Assessment of Limited English Proficiency Students

Limited English Proficiency students are identified through the assessment process or by self-identification. Students scoring below the developmental course placement level on reading or writing assessments meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss possible reasons, pre-requisites, alternatives, resources, and support services available.

Students may self-identify as Limited English Proficiency through the questions accompanying the assessment or directly to an Academic Advisor.

An Academic Advisor meets with all students identified as LEP, regardless of assessment scores, to ensure students are aware of community and College resources and services available (English as a Second Language [ESL] classes through the Adult Basic Education, literacy centers in the area, RRCC learning center, developmental courses, peer and professional tutors, course pre-requisites, etc.).

The Academic Advisor monitors students’ progress. LEP students meet at least twice per semester with the Academic Advisor to assess progress and review academic planning. Additional appointments may be required during the semester. Students are directed to appropriate developmental courses in reading, basic English, and study skills. Instructors provide mid-term reports and academic alerts for students having difficulty in their coursework. Academic Advisors discuss concerns with the students to determine possible remedial action.