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Massachusetts State Policy: Mandatory Assessment and Planned Course Placement

 

Academic Assessment and Placement Policies

Northern Essex Community College complies with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s 2019 Common Assessment Policy which includes the use of multiple measures and Accuplacer Next Generation for placement into college level courses. 

Multiple Measures

Eligible students may register for college level math or writing courses based on cumulative high school GPA of 2.7, SAT scores, High School Equivalency (GED or HiSET) college ready scores or previous college credits. 

Eligibility for placement and waivers through multiple measures will be determined upon review of official transcripts and score reports.

Contact the Academic Placement and Testing Center at 978-556-3410 for more information.

Students who are not eligible for course placement or waivers through multiple measures will be required to take Accuplacer Next Generation. This includes:

Students enrolling in a degree or certificate program (matriculated students). 

Students enrolling in the following courses: English Composition I; college level math; developmental reading, writing, and math; ESL; all courses with numbers beginning with zero; and all other courses with entrance level skills requirements.  Please refer to the course description to determine if an assessment is required for a particular course.

Non-matriculated students will be allowed to register for up to two courses, prior to assessment (with the exception of those courses listed above.). 

Accuplacer Assessment Methods

Assessments are administered with the state-mandated Accuplacer test, an integrated system of computer-adaptive assessments designed to evaluate students’ skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. Students who apply for enrollment in English Language courses will be assessed with the Accuplacer LOEP reading test and specialized grammar, writing and communication assessments.

Expiration of Assessment results

All developmental math, reading and writing, and ESL course placements are valid for one year from the date of assessment.

All college level placements in math, reading and writing are valid for three years from the date of assessment.

Requesting to have Accuplacer Scores Released

NECC will fax or email your Accuplacer Individual Score Report (ISR) to another institution.  You are required to fill out a Request to have Accuplacer Scores Released form and pay the NECC fee of $25 by walking in, by mail or online.

Assessment Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Accommodations must be approved and coordinated with the Learning Accommodations Center. 

Please contact the Learning Accommodations Center at 978-556-3654 or lacenter@necc.mass.edu well in advance to plan accommodated testing sessions.

Revised: 2019-2020 Updated Academic Catalog (Effective Spring 2020)

Assessment Waivers

At Northern Essex Community College, the following multiple measures may exempt you from the full or partial ACCUPLACER College Placement Test (CPT).

Math Placement GPA

In accordance with the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Task Force on Transforming Developmental Math Education recommendations, all 2014 high school graduates and beyond will be eligible for a math placement based on their high school GPA or Accuplacer.

  • All students planning to enroll in Spring, 2015 classes or beyond should submit their final high school transcript to Enrollment Express Services as part of the application process.
  • Students whose overall GPA is 2.7 or higher and meet the necessary reading prerequisite may register for an entry level college level math course, regardless of a developmental math placement with the Accuplacer test.
  • High School GPAs will be accepted for 3 years from the date of graduation.
  • The Accuplacer test can place students at a higher level than the GPA placement. Therefore, it is in a students best interest to take the math assessment test.
  • Only transcripts that are calculated on a scale of 4.0 will be used. All others will be required to take Accuplacer.
  • Anyone who falls outside of the 2014 graduation criteria, does not have a GPA noted on the transcript or does not provide a transcript will be required to take the Accuplacer math test for placement.

*Some programs may require the math test prior to entry.  Please check with your advisor or the program coordinator.

English Placement GPA

In accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the English Subcommittee of the Co-requisite Scale Initiative, all 2017 graduates and beyond will be eligible for an English placement based on their high school GPA.

In accordance with the state’s recommendations, all high school graduates will be eligible for placement into English Composition 1 based on their high school GPA as one of the assessment measures in English.

  • All students planning to enroll in Spring 2019 classes or beyond should submit their final high school transcript to Enrollment Express Services as part of the application process.
  • Students whose overall GPA is 2.7 or higher may register for English Composition I (*excludes Honors Comp.)
  • High School GPA’s will be accepted for 10 years after the student high school graduation date.  Eligibility begins with a high school graduation date of 2009.
  • Beginning with 2019 graduates, High School GPA 2.7 grants a writing and reading waiver.
  • Placement will not be retroactive for any students who are currently enrolled.
  • Calculations will be based on the standard 4.0 scale only, regardless if the High School is on a 5.0 scale. All others will be required to take Accuplacer.
  • Anyone who falls outside the above stated criteria, does not have a GPA noted on the transcript or does not provide a transcript will be required to take Accuplacer.

SAT waivers

If you have SAT scores, you may be waived from the reading and writing assessment. There are no math SAT waivers. Submit your SAT scores to Enrollment Express Services or the Academic Placement & Testing Center.

  • SAT CRITICAL READING – Old SAT scores
  • Verbal SAT 500 plus waives student from reading assessment
  • Verbal SAT 600 plus waives student from both reading and writing assessment
  • SAT READING TEST – New SAT scores
  • SAT 27 plus waives student from reading assessment
  • SAT 32 plus waives student from both reading and writing

High School Equivalency (HSE) College Ready Waivers

  • If you have GED College Ready score levels of 165-174, you may be waived from the reading, writing and math assessment. 
  • If you have HiSET College and Career Readiness scores of 15 out of 20 on the subtests and at least a 4 on the essay, you may be waived from the reading, writing and math assessment.
  • The Accuplacer test can place students at a higher level than the HSE placement. Therefore, it is in a students best interest to take the math assessment test.

ACCUPLACER Test Scores

  • If a student has completed Accuplacer at another institution, the Academic Placement & Testing Center will accept the official Accuplacer Individual Score Report (ISR) and waive the student from assessment, if applicable. 
  • Student should submit their Accuplacer ISR to the Academic Placement & Testing Center.
  • NECC will accept an Accuplacer Individual Score Report (ISR) raw scores only. We do not accept placements.
  • Scores are accepted and must be dated withn the expiration date. Developmental placements expire in 1 year and College Level placements expire in 3 years.

AP Scores

The College Board Advanced Placement program (AP) provides participating high schools the opportunity to offer college-level coursework to students in a variety of subject areas. AP scores range from 1 to 5 points. AP scores of 3, 4, 5 are commonly acceptable as the equivalent of college-level course work. Please view the Advanced Placement (AP) Credit Policy at NECC.

Prior Coursework

If you have previously attended another college/university, NECC will evaluate successfully completed courses to see if you are exempt from testing. Submit your transcript to Enrollment Express Services.

Accuplacer Prohibited Item Guidelines

Must be stored away where the item is not accessible or visible while taking the test

  • Any device capable of recording audio, photographic, or video content, or capable of viewing or playing back such content
  • Unauthorized testing aids
  • Calculators (unless for a prescribed accommodation)
  • Test taker provided keyboard, computer, or laptop, unless there is a documented disabling condition that requires the use of a very specific device
  • Cellular phones, tablets, pagers, smartphones, walkie-talkies, PDAs, or wireless communication devices
  • Dictionaries (standard and/or bilingual), books, pamphlets, or other reference materials
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital watches, smartwatches, or wristwatch cameras
  • Flash/thumb drives or any other portable electronic device
  • Food, beverages, or tobacco products
  • Listening devices such as radios, media players (with or without headphones), or recorders
  • Nonmedical electronic devices
  • Paper of any kind (scratch paper must be provided and destroyed by the test center proctor; test takers cannot use or discard their own scratch paper)
  • Slide rules, protractors, compasses, or rulers
  • Weapons, firearms, or other items prohibited by law or test center/campus safety and security policies

If the tester does not adhere to the prohibited item guidelines, the proctor will inform the test taker to collect their personal belongings, including the prohibited item and to leave the testing lab. The testers test results will not be valid.

More Information

For more information on policies and regulations, email testing@necc.mass.edu.

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