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Academic & Student Affairs Handbook

2.9 Learning Support

SOURCES:
BoR POLICY MANUAL 3.3.2, LEARNING SUPPORT PROGRAMS

2.9.1 Administrative Procedures for Learning Support Programs

Last reviewed: November 2013

Last Revised: October 2014

Learning Support is a generic term for programs designed to prepare students for, or to assist students with, collegiate work. Institutions must serve students who fall below USG placement standards and have the flexibility to develop more rigorous academic criteria with which their students must comply. Learning Support programs are intended to serve students who need additional support in mathematics or English (reading/writing). Students who may be served within the Learning Support program are:

  1. Students who do not meet USG criteria to exempt Learning Support placement.
  2. Students who are determined by the institution to need academic assistance even though they are eligible to be admitted without Learning Support requirements under USG policy.
  3. Students who elect to enroll in Learning Support courses in order to prepare for core curriculum courses.

I. Organization and Staff

  1. Each institution that has students with Learning Support requirements will designate appropriate faculty or staff members who will be responsible for coordinating the evaluation of students for Learning Support placement in accordance with USG procedures.

  2. The record of each student’s Learning Support course work, including courses, grades, and the results of any applicable placement test administrations will be maintained in a USG-approved format by the registrar as part of each student’s academic record. Transcripts for all students with Learning Support requirements shall include placement and current status in each Learning Support academic area in a system-approved format. See Section 2.9.3.

  3. Each institution shall develop a set of procedures for its Learning Support programs. These procedures will include guidelines for implementing Board of Regents policy and administrative procedures and USG test administration guidelines as well as additional institutional policies and procedures. Such procedures shall be approved by the chief academic officer and the president. The chief academic officer of each institution will provide written notification to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of the USG that the institutional procedures are consistent with Board Policy and Procedures..

II. Evaluation for Learning Support Placement

Students taking courses or seeking to enter applied associate degree or certificate programs with Learning Support prerequisites, or seeking to enter programs leading to the associate or baccalaureate degree, must be evaluated for Learning Support placement in English (reading/writing) and mathematics. (See Academic Affairs Handbook Section 3.2.4 for test score information.) In all cases, students should be encouraged to submit test scores that can be used to exempt placement testing.

To exempt placement screening a student must:

For English (reading/writing

  • score 430 SAT Critical Reading or higher; OR
  • score 17 ACT English or higher; OR
  • score at or above the advanced proficiency level on the Georgia High School Graduation Test – English Language Arts (Consult the GHAGT Concordance Chart on the Student Affairs Resource page); AND
  • have met the Required High School Curriculum requirement in English

For Mathematics

  • score of 400 SAT-Mathematics or higher; OR
  • score of 17 ACT- Mathematics or higher; AND
  • have met the Required High School Curriculum requirement in mathematics

Institutions may set higher scores or require additional measures for screening and placement into Learning Support courses. (Consult the USG Learning Support Concordance Chart - Student Affairs Faculty and Staff Resources) Refer to the admissions policy 3.2.4 Freshman Requirements for minimum English and Mathematics Placement Index scores needed for admission to USG institutions.

Absent SAT, ACT, or other scores high enough to exempt placement testing, the COMPASS exam will be used as the placement test. (Alternative tests to the COMPASS placement tests may be allowed with authorization of the Chief Academic Officer or designee. Scores from authorized alternative tests must be converted to equivalent COMPASS scores for purposes of calculating the placement indices described below. Refer to the CPE-COMPASS-ASSET Linkage Table.)

A Mathematics Placement Index (MPI) and an English Placement Index (EPI) will be calculated based on High School Grade Point Average (HSGPA), SAT or ACT and, when indicated, the COMPASS placement test or other approved placement test.

Indices will be composed of:

  1. HSGPA and SAT/ACT - when both are available
  2. HSGPA and COMPASS - when SAT/ACT are not available
  3. COMPASS - when neither HSGPA nor SAT/ACT is available

For some students who score below the cutoff EPI or MPI, COMPASS test scores add some additional information over that contained in HSGPA and SAT/ACT; those students will be required to take the appropriate COMPASS tests. The COMPASS score will be combined with the HSGPA and SAT/ACT and the resultant EPI or MPI will be compared to the System level cut scores to determine students’ Learning Support Placement.

When COMPASS testing is required, the COMPASS Math (Algebra) test will be used for math placement. The Compass Reading and COMPASS e-Write 2-12 tests will be used for English placement.

EPIs and MPIs will be calculated as listed below, in priority order for calculation. That is, if available, SAT or ACT and High School Grade Point Averages (HSGPA) must be used in the calculations.

For the purposes of calculating placement indices, it is recommended that scores be no older than the maximums listed below.

Measure or Score Recommended Maximum “Age”
SAT/ACT 7 years from date of administration
HSGPA 5 years from date of administration
COMPASS 1 year from date of administration

Institutions have the option to accept older scores and HSGPA.

Student has:EPIMPI
SAT and HSGPA (1603*HSGPA)+ SATV (291*HSGPA)+ SATM
with COMPASS added (1475*HSGPA )+ (0.3*SATV) + (5.1*(CompassR+e-Write))(287*HSGPA)+ (0.5*SATM) + (5*CompassM)
ACT and HSGPA (1553*HSGPA) + (34*ACTE) (298*HSGPA) + (25*ACTM)
with COMPASS added (1315*HSGPA) + (30*ACTE)+ (4.2*(CompassR +e-Write)) (250*HSGPA) + (27*ACTM)+ (2*CompassM)
GPA only (794*HSGPA )+ (23.6*(CompassR+e-Write)) (323*HSGPA)+ (6*CompassM)
No info 51.6*(CompassR+e-Write (10*CompassM) + 795
SAT only (6.3*SATV) + (17.1*(CompassR+e-Write))(1.8*SATM) + (14*CompassM)
ACT only (155.3*ACTE) + (13.8*(CompassR+ e-Write))(63.2 * ACTM) + (6.0 * CompassM)

Students with EPIs and MPIs equal to or greater than the minimum collegiate placement index scores listed below will be placed directly into the appropriate gateway college course(s). Note that because a higher level of preparation is required for success in Math 1111, a higher MPI will be required for direct placement into that course.

Minimum Collegiate Placement Index Scores
EnglishMathematics
ENGL 1101 MATH 1011 or 1101MATH 111
4230 11651265

Students with placement indices less than the minimum collegiate placement index will be placed into corequisite or Foundations-level Learning Support.

Students who score below the floor scores in both English and mathematics will be denied admission to all USG institutions. The floor scores for the two indices are as follows:

Floor Scores
EPIMPI
3032 928

If the EPI is less than 3032 AND the MPI is less than 928, then student may NOT be admitted to a USG institution.

Students who score below the floor index score in only one area may be admitted to USG institutions if their scores in the other area are equal to or greater than the offsetting index score listed below.

Minimum Offsetting Placement Index
EPIMPI
3905 1028

  • If the EPI is less than 3032, then the MPI must be greater than or equal to 1028.
  • If the MPI is less than 928, than the EPI must be greater than or equal to 3905.

Students who have taken USG-recognized COMPASS or ASSET placement tests at a SACSCOC-accredited TCSG college and transfer to a USG institution without interruption in their courses of study will not be required to take another placement test if the placement test was administered as part of the normal application process.

A USG institution may accept a student’s COMPASS scores administered by a USG or non-USG institution or agency as long as the receiving USG institution has given prior authorization to the USG or non-USG institution or agency to administer the test to the student. Receipt of COMPASS scores produced under this provision may be through official transcript, e-mail from a pre-approved e-mail address, or fax from a pre-approved fax number.

III. Rules regarding Learning Support Program Operation

  1. All USG institutions are encouraged to provide Learning Support for students as corequisites to college level courses. Such courses must be designed to provide instruction to supplement the specific core curriculum courses

  2. Institutions may offer corequisite remediation only or corequisite remediation and year-long remedial pathways that begin with stand-alone Foundation-level courses. The majority of students requiring remediation must be placed into corequisite courses

  3. Learning Support English (reading/writing) and mathematics programs must be structured so that students can complete all requirements in a maximum of two semesters, one of Foundations-level and one of corequisite-level Learning Support.

  4. Courses in the Learning Support program shall include English (reading/writing) and mathematics. Learning Support courses in English and mathematics shall carry course numbers of 0999 or below.

  5. Learning Support programs shall coordinate academic advisement of their students to ensure that these students are informed about their requirements.

  6. Each institution shall have a transfer admission policy and apply it consistently to all students with Learning Support requirements who transfer to the institution.

    Requirements above the USG minimum set by an institution are applicable only at that institution. Transferring students may be required to participate in Learning Support components in those areas in which they have not exited Learning Support at a USG institution, as long as they do not exceed the maximum number of attempts per academic area.

  7. No degree credit will be earned in Learning Support courses but institutional credit will be awarded.

  8. The following grades defined in detail in BoR Policy 3.5 are approved for LS courses in English (reading/writing), and mathematics:

    GradeDefinition
    A, B, C, S Passing course grade
    F, U, or WF Failing course grade
    IP Progress insufficient for completion of the course
    I Academic progress satisfactory, but coursework incomplete
    W Withdrawal without penalty
    WM Withdrawal without penalty for military service
    V Student auditing LS course that is not required but taken voluntarily
  9. Each institution may use any of these grades or symbols that it deems appropriate for its program.

IV. Rules for Students in Learning Support Programs

    Learning Support Attempts and Exit

  1. An attempt is defined as an institutional credit course in which a student receives any grade or symbol except “W” or “WM.

  2. If students do not complete requirements for Foundations-level English or mathematics in two attempts, they will be suspended for a calendar year. Suspended students may be considered for readmission before the end of one year if they can provide evidence that they have taken measures to improve their skills.

  3. Students who have been suspended from the institution without completing Learning Support requirements may complete their Learning Support requirements and additional collegiate-level work at SACSCOC-accredited TCSG institutions during the year of suspension.

  4. There are no limits on attempts in corequisite Learning Support courses.

  5. Students will exit Learning Support by successfully passing (as defined by the institution) the corresponding Area A collegiate-level course.

  6. Courses with Learning Support Prerequisites or Corequisites

  7. Students who are required to enroll in Learning Support courses are not permitted to enroll in credit courses that require the content or the skills of the prerequisite courses, although institutions may establish corequisite requirements for core curriculum courses.

  8. Institutions shall inform students of those collegiate courses that have Learning Support prerequisites or corequisites. The following core curriculum areas require students to complete or exempt certain Learning Support requirements.

    • Completion or exemption from Foundations-level English is a prerequisite for Social, Natural, and Physical Science courses. (Additional areas for exit or exemption such as Learning Support Mathematics are at the discretion of the institution.)
    • Completion or exemption from Foundations-level Learning Support English or placement into corequisite English is required for placement into college-level English courses.
    • Completion or exemption from Foundations-level Learning Support mathematics or placement into corequisite mathematics is required for placement into college level mathematics courses.
    • Completion or exemption from Foundations-level Learning Support mathematics is a prerequisite for physics and chemistry courses.
    • Institutions may set higher prerequisite standards, such as completion of Learning Support requirements at the corequisite level.
    • Any courses with prerequisite of any other college-level course would require exit or exemption from related Learning Support requirements.
    • It is recommended that courses such as music, art, and drama remain open for students with Learning Support requirements whenever possible.


    USG-mandated Enrollment in Learning Support Courses

  9. The following requirements apply to those students who have USG-mandated Learning Support requirements. Institutions are not required to apply them to students who exceed the USG requirements even though such students may have institutionally-mandated Learning Support requirements:

    • During each semester of enrollment, a student must first register for all required Learning Support courses before being allowed to register for other courses. This policy also applies to part-time students. Two exceptions are possible:

      • If two Learning Support areas are required and a student is enrolled in at least one Learning Support course, a freshman orientation course or physical education or other activity or performance course may be taken that semester instead of one of the required Learning Support courses.

      • In the event that a required Learning Support course is not available, a student may enroll in a course for degree credit if the student has met the course requirements, subject to the written approval of the president or designee.

    • Students who have accumulated a maximum of 30 semester hours of college-level credit and have not successfully completed required Learning Support courses may enroll only in Learning Support courses until requirements are successfully completed. Students with transfer credit or credit earned in a certificate or prior degree program who are required to take Learning Support courses for their current degree objectives may earn up to 30 additional hours of college-level credit. After earning the additional hours, such students may enroll in Learning Support courses only. Institutions have the authority to limit accumulation of college-level credit to 20 hours.


    Enrollment in Institutionally-Required Learning Support Courses

  10. Students who exceed the USG minimum requirements but are required by the institution to take Learning Support courses in order to prepare for core curriculum courses may, at the institution’s option, be exempted from any or all of the requirements specified in Section IV H. However, all such requirements imposed by the institution must be satisfied by the time the student has earned 30 semester credit hours or the student must enroll in course work that will satisfy the requirements every semester of enrollment until the requirements are satisfied. Institutions have the authority to limit accumulation of college-level credit to 20 hours.

  11. Voluntary Enrollment in Learning Support Courses

  12. Students who are required to take Learning Support courses in an area may not register as auditors in any Learning Support course in that area.

  13. Students who are not required to take Learning Support courses in a disciplinary area may elect to enroll in Learning Support courses in a non-required area for institutional credit or on an audit basis. Such students are limited to a maximum of two attempts if they elect to enroll in Foundations-level English (reading/writing) or math but are not subject to the requirements specified in Section IV B. There is no limit on attempts for students who elect to enroll in corequisite Learning Support courses.

  14. Learning Support for Transfer Students

  15. Time spent in Learning Support course work in a disciplinary area shall be cumulative within the USG. A transfer Learning Support student with fewer than two attempts in Foundations-level English (reading/writing) and/or mathematics may be granted an additional semester in Foundations-level Learning Support.

  16. Students who complete course work and exit an area of Learning Support at any institution in the USG shall not be required to re-enter that area of Learning Support upon transfer to another USG institution. For students transferring from SACSCOC-accredited TCSG colleges, exit will be considered according to guidelines issued by the Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer of the USG.

  17. Learning Support Rules for Returning Students

  18. Students who leave a USG school for any reason may be re-admitted without Learning Support requirements if they meet one of the following conditions:

    • Students have completed all Learning Support requirements at a SACSCOC TCSG institution and completion of Learning Support requirements is documented on their TCSG transcript.
    • Students have earned transferable credit at a regionally-accredited non-USG institution for ENGL 1101 or 1102 (for completion of the Learning Support English requirement) or an Area A mathematics course (for completion of the Learning Support Mathematics requirement). (USG receiving institutions will decide whether to grant Area A credit for courses taken elsewhere. Provided that native and transfer students are treated equally, institutions may impose additional reasonable expectations, such as a minimum grade of “C” in Area A courses.)
    • Students have completed Learning Support at another USG institution and completion of Learning Support requirements is documented on their transfer transcript.

  19. Students who leave a USG school and return without having satisfied their Learning Support requirements in the interim may be readmitted to the college under the following conditions:

    • Students who have been suspended from the institution for a calendar year for failure to complete Foundations-level Learning Support within two attempts have two options on their return.
      • Students may return to placement in Foundations-level Learning Support and have two more attempts.
      • Students may take the COMPASS test and accept Learning Support placement according to a placement index calculated on the basis of COMPASS alone. If placed in Foundations-level Learning Support, they will have two more attempts to complete this level.
    • Students in Learning Support who voluntarily leave a USG institution for periods of less than one calendar year will return to the level of Learning Support (Foundations-level or corequisite) they were in immediately prior to their absence.
      • Time spent in Learning Support course work in a disciplinary area is cumulative within the USG. Students who return to an institution less than one calendar year after one attempt in Foundations-level Learning Support will return on their second attempt in Foundations-level Learning Support.
      • Students who had completed requirements for Foundations-level Learning Support and had been recommended for corequisite Learning Support may reenter at the corequisite support level.
    • Students in Learning Support who voluntarily leave a USG institution for periods of one calendar year or more must be retested with the COMPASS in any previously unsatisfied Learning Support area.
      • Such students may be readmitted without a Learning Support requirement if they meet the institutional criteria for exemption.
      • Students who do not score high enough on the COMPASS test to exempt Learning Support may be placed in either Foundations-level or corequisite Learning Support, depending on institutional placement policies.
      • Students placed in Foundations-level Learning support may be readmitted and allowed up to two additional attempts in Foundations-level Learning Support in both English and mathematics, as applicable, if individual evaluation indicates that the student has a reasonable chance of success on readmission.

  20. Students readmitted under this provision are subject to the 30-hour limit on college-level coursework and may not take credit work if they had earned 30 or more credit hours during their previous period(s) of enrollment and have not completed Learning Support requirements in the interim.

  21. Completion of transferable Area A courses in English or mathematics from any institution will eliminate further Learning Support requirements in that area upon transfer back to a USG institution.

  22. Students with Special Needs

  23. Students with documented learning disorders as defined in the Academic & Student Affairs Handbook, Section 3.11.1,who are required to enroll in Learning Support, must fulfill all stated requirements, including placement testing (COMPASS or system-approved alternate) and course requirements. General and specific guidelines for documentation of learning disorders appear in Section 3, Appendices D and E. Students will be provided with appropriate testing and/or course accommodations as described in 3.11.5, Learning Support Considerations.

  24. Appropriate course and testing accommodations should be made for students with sensory, mobility, or systemic disorders. General and specific guidelines for documentation of these disorders appear in Section 3, Appendices D and E. Such students may be granted up to two additional semesters of Foundations-level Learning Support courses at the institution’s discretion. Documentation on such students is to be maintained at the institution and summarized in the annual report on accommodations for students with disabilities.


2.9.2 Numbering of Learning Support Courses

Last reviewed: January 2010

A uniform procedure is to be used in reporting credit for remedial and Learning Support courses on the workload of both teacher and student. These courses should be reported on the workload of both teacher and student in the same way that regular courses are reported.

All remedial and Learning Support courses should carry course numbers of 0999 or below. These courses should not form a part of associate degree or baccalaureate programs. Any credit which may be given for these courses should not be used in fulfilling the requirements for associate or baccalaureate degrees.

Non-credit service courses are not included in the category of Learning Support courses.


2.9.3 Reporting and Recording Learning Support Status on Transcripts

Last reviewed: October 2014

All students enrolled in Learning Support courses will be reported in the USG Data Warehouse as having Learning Support requirements or enrolling as volunteers.

USG procedures for Learning Support programs require that records of each student’s Learning Support placement evaluation and current status be maintained in a USG-approved format. Transcripts of all students evaluated for Learning Support need to include placement and current status information for each Learning Support area using the codes and formats listed below.

I. Evaluation for Learning Support Placement

The following information is to be recorded on students’ transcripts each time they are evaluated for Learning Support placement (upon admission and each time the student takes a placement test).

For students admitted from Fall 2015 to present:

Placement Index
EPI English Placement Index (0 - 7212)
MPI Mathematics Placement Index (0 - 2875)
Date of Index Calculation
MMMYY Date on which the EPI or MPI was calculated (could be admissions date or date of placement testing)
Placement Code
L Area was satisfied through alternative procedures approved by the Chancellor for international students and students whose native language is not English
N Career degree student who did not exempt Learning Support in this Area but whose program does not require Learning Support in this area.
P Placed in Learning Support in this area
X Exempted Learning Support in this area by meeting all institutional requirements for exemption
Reason for Placement
(as defined by the ADM Data Element Dictionary Learning Support Requirement Indicator for English or Mathematics)
S System requirement
IInstitutional requirement
V Volunteer
Placement Level
(for students who place into Learning Support)
FND Student placed into Foundations-level course
COR Student placed into corequisite Learning Support course

For placement and exit codes for students entering Fall Quarter 1994 through Summer Semester 2015, click here.

For placement and exit codes for students entering prior to Fall Quarter 1994, click here.

Sample Transcript Notations

Student Q enters with a 431 SAT Verbal, a 580 SAT Math, and a 2.4 high school grade point average. The institution places the student in a corequisite Learning Support English course based on the English Placement Index (EPI) of 4278, which is higher than the system minimum (4230) but below the institutional requirement (4330). The transcript notation would be as follows:

EPI/4278/JUL14/ P/I/COR

  1. The “EPI” indicates that this is information related to the English Placement Index and Learning Support in the English area.
  2. The “4278” is the student’s calculated EPI.
  3. The “JUL14” is the date on which the EPI was calculated.
  4. The “P” indicates that the student was placed in Learning Support in this area (English).
  5. The “I” indicates that the placement is due to an institutional rather than USG requirement since the student’s EPI exceeded the system minimum of 4230.
  6. The “COR” indicates that the student was placed into corequisite level Learning Support in English.

Students will be evaluated for Learning Support placement in English and mathematics. The transcript notations for the English placement evaluation are described above. Student Q would also have a transcript notation for Learning Support evaluation in mathematics.

MPI/1278/JUL14/X

  1. The “MPI” indicates that this is information related to the Mathematics Placement Index and Learning Support in the mathematics area.
  2. The “1278” is the student’s calculated MPI.
  3. The “JUL14” is the date on which the MPI was calculated.
  4. The “X” indicates that the student met requirements for exemption from Learning Support in this area (mathematics).

II. Current Learning Support Status or Exit Information

The following information is to be recorded on students’ transcripts to indicate students’ current Learning Support status or completion of Learning Support requirements.

For students admitted from Fall 2015 to present:

Learning Support Area
LSELearning Support English
LSMLearning Support Mathematics
Current Status
CStudent has completed Learning Support requirements in the area
DStudent has been suspended for failure to exit the area – suspension continues for one year from the date of suspension
CORStudent is enrolled in Learning Support at the corequisite level
FNDStudent is enrolled in Learning Support at the Foundations level
Status Date
MMMYYDate of current status (date on which the status became effective; date of completion, initial date of suspension, or date of placement into current level of Learning Support)

For placement and exit codes for students entering Fall Quarter 1994 through Summer Semester 2015 click here.

For placement and exit codes for students entering prior to Fall Quarter 1994, click here.

Sample Transcript Notations

After two semesters, Student Q passes English 1101, thus completing the requirement to exit Learning Support. The following entry would be made on the transcript: LSE/C/AUG14

  1. The “LSE” indicates that this is information related to the student’s status in Learning Support English.
  2. The “C” indicates that the student has completed Learning Support requirements in this area.
  3. The “AUG14” is the date on which the student completed Learning Support English requirements.

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