Oct 21, 2020  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Academic Catalog

Academic Preparation



In order to prepare students for success, the college provides students with opportunities to develop any academic skills that may be needed before enrolling in certain credit-level courses. Credit courses have prerequisites that are fulfilled by academic preparation courses in reading and writing, mathematics, or English as a Second Language (ESL). This chapter describes the various academic preparation courses at the college and their placement policies and assessment.

Placement Testing

Placement tests are often required to demonstrate a student’s proficiency in academic skills necessary for college success. The scores on these tests determine the initial courses in which students are allowed to enroll. As such it is important that students prepare for these tests and take them seriously.

Tests are reviewed periodically and are subject to change or revision. Students may take one or more of the offered placement tests below. 

  • The ACCUPLACER placement tests are untimed, computer-based tests.
    • The Reading section is multiple-choice and evaluates reading proficiency.
    • The WritePlacer section is a single essay question, which evaluates English and Writing proficiency.
    • The “Quantitative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS)” and “Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF)” sections evaluate mathematics skills. Students may take one or both of them, depending on their program and previous scores. Students who take ALEKS-PPL will not take the ACCUPLACER mathematics tests.
  • The ALEKS Placement, Preparation, and Learning test (ALEKS-PPL) is an adaptive, free-response math placement test, with an emphasis on replicating the pen-to-paper experience. It evaluates overall mathematics proficiency in a single test with a single score.
  • The Michigan test is the college’s ESL placement test, intended for new students who are non-native English speakers. This paper test includes grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and a writing sample (short essay).

Scores from the ALEKS-PPL, ACCUPLACER, and Michigan tests are used to determine college readiness in mathematics, reading, writing, and ESL. Placement may be determined by a combination of test scores and other measures, and is targeted to an individual student’s academic pathway. Most placement tests may be taken more than once, and the highest score will be used. Placement tests can only be taken before enrolling in a preparatory course or sequence. Students whose ESL test scores do not place them into ESL-0081 will be referred to Transition ESL or Adult Basic Education. For more information about Transition ESL, see About WDCE.

For more information, please visit the Testing Center page: https://www.pgcc.edu/student-life-support-services/support-services/testing-center/

 

Alternative Placement Measures

PGCC has alternative placement measures, which can exempt students from all or part of the placement test and developmental courses.

  • Students with high SAT or ACT scores may have all or part of the placement tests waived. The minimum scores for waivers are on the testing center website. Students must send official SAT or ACT score reports to the Testing Center, so that scores can be posted to their records. The college can only accept standardized test scores up to 2 years old. Please do not submit scores from tests taken more than 2 years ago.
     
  • Dual and concurrent enrollment/Early and Middle college students with a 3.0 GPA or better do not have to take a placement test and may enroll into a first-tier, credit-level class in their program with required approval from Prince George’s County Public Schools for PGCPS students.
     
  • Students who graduated from a high school in the USA within the last five (5) years, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, are also exempt from all developmental courses and placement testing requirements. Contact Academic, Transfer, and Career Advising for details.
     
  • Students transferring from other institutions may be exempt from all or part of the placement tests. Students must request an official evaluation of previous college work from the Office of Admissions and Records prior to registration, and the evaluation results will determine a student’s exemptions.
     
  • Students who hold degrees from other United States colleges or universities are exempt from all developmental courses and placement testing requirements. Students with prior degrees must follow the same steps as transfer students.

Exemptions and waivers do not guarantee enrollment into all courses. Upper-level credit courses may require either placement test scores or successful completion of course prerequisites for enrollment. See an advisor for more information.

Academic Preparation Course Sequences

Students who successfully progress through the academic preparation sequence earn equivalent hours (EH) rather than credit hours. The EH is the college’s method for documenting completion of these preparation courses. Grades in these courses will affect financial aid eligibility but will not be counted toward graduation. EHs permit the accumulation, updating, and transfer of student’s academic records.

Other Considerations

Academic preparation courses may be available in several different formats. These formats include condensed courses taught in 5-weeks to 10-weeks, 12-weeks to 15-weeks, one-day-a-week, and online and hybrid formats. Selecting the right format is important as not all formats are right for every student. Summer classes are usually offered in a five-week format, meeting four days per week. Students who can concentrate on their academic workload with minimal job responsibilities tend to do well in this format. Students should expect to spend significant time on homework each day the class meets.

Most course sections are 12-15 weeks. These formats usually meet twice or more per week. This allows students a maximum amount of time to process the content and complete assignments. These formats are appropriate for most students, providing that they select a section appropriate for their work/life schedule.

Eight-week and 10-week classes are condensed and intensive. Classes in these formats usually meet for more time per session or more days per week. This requires students to grasp content quickly. Students who have received a B or higher in prerequisite courses or students with a strong academic background should consider this format.

Classes that meet once a week require students to be self-directed learners and schedule frequent study time between class meetings. Similarly, online and hybrid classes require students to be self-directed learners. Adherence to deadlines and proficiency with computers are critical to success in these course formats.

For all courses in the academic preparation sequences, starting with solid time management will build a firm foundation for success in college-level courses.

Developmental English

To prepare students for credit-level coursework, the English department offers Integrated Reading and Writing (IRW) courses for students who are in need of skill building assistance in these areas.. These courses combine reading and writing skills to streamline the developmental course sequence while still providing the preparation students need to succeed in credit-level courses. 

There are two Integrated Reading and Writing courses available: EGL-0080  (Foundations of College English) and EGL-0090  (Advanced Foundations of College English). The course students take will be determined by a combined score of the WritePlacer Test and the ACCUPLACER Reading Test. Both courses help students develop the basic grammar and composition skills necessary for writing at the college level and prepare students for college-level reading. The relevant skills students will acquire include sentence and paragraph structure and short essay writing skills, along with vocabulary, comprehension, critical thinking, and study skills. Students who receive a B or higher in either EGL-0080  or EGL-0090  will have met the prerequisite required for college-level English courses, as well as the reading proficiency prerequisite for many other college courses. Students who receive a C in either EGL-0080  or EGL-0090  will take ALP English (see below).

Successful completion of EGL-0080  or EGL-0090  is a prerequisite for EGL-1010 , but some college-level courses in other departments may be taken as co-requisites with EGL-0090 . See Course Descriptions  for details.

ALP English

ALP English (EGL) consists of two paired classes, EGL-1010P  (equivalent to EGL-1010 ) and EGL-0100P .

The ALP courses offer several benefits to students. First, ALP allows students to enroll in a credit-bearing course (EGL-1010P) even as they receive additional assistance in EGL-0100P. In addition, students have the same instructor for both EGL-1010P and EGL-0100P. Sections of EGL-0100P are limited to just 10 students. The small class size and consistent instructor allow for individualized instruction and an enhanced EGL-1010 experience for ALP students.

Each ALP student takes EGL-1010P with 7 other ALP students and 10 students who placed directly into EGL-1010. Immediately following the 1010 class session, ALP students meet for another class period (EGL-0100P) with the other 7 ALP students and the same instructor they have for 1010. ALP students receive a grade for each course (EGL-0100P and EGL-1010P) and must successfully pass both courses in order to move on to Composition II.

ALP English is open only to students whose test scores indicate that they are prepared for a rigorous and accelerated English course. ALP eligibility is determined by appropriate ACCUPLACER test scores or a student’s performance in EGL-0080 or EGL-0090.

Placement and Courses

The table below lists the placement scores that determine which IRW courses students will take:

ACCUPLACER Scores (minimum score requirements) Course Placement
Reading 200 and WritePlacer -0- (zero) EGL-0080  
Reading 237 and WritePlacer 3 EGL-0090  
Reading 254 and WritePlacer 4 EGL-0100P *
Reading 254 and WritePlacer 5 EGL-1010  

*EGL-0100P is part of ALP (Accelerated Learning Program) and combines a credit-level EGL-1010P  course with a developmental course. See ALP English for more details.

(ACCUPLACER scores are valid 2 years from testing date)

It is important to note that EGL-0080  and EGL-0090  are not necessarily sequential courses. Many students will not need to take both courses. Students who are successful in either EGL-0080 or EGL-0090 may be eligible to take EGL-1010  the following semester. 

Important: Students who test into EGL-0080, EGL-0090, or ALP must enroll in the course within their first 15 billable credits at the college.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled class meetings. Poor attendance may significantly impact the overall grade in the course.

Possible Grades and When Students Need to Repeat a Course

Content mastery is important for student success. Students must earn a grade of C (70%) or higher to advance to the next course.

Department Contact Information

For more information on the EGL sequence, contact the department chair or academic dean.

  Dr. Paul Madachy, Department Chair
English, Developmental English and Reading
Marlboro Hall, Room 3053
301-546-0567
 

Nicole Currier, Dean
Humanities, English, and Social Science
Marlboro Hall, Room 3079
301-546-0560

 

Mirian Torain, Associate Dean
Humanities, English, and Social Science
Marlboro Hall, Room 3080
301-546-5259

 

Developmental Mathematics

Developmental Mathematics includes up to three courses, depending on initial placement, that prepare students for success in college-level mathematics courses for their academic and career pathway. The courses develop the basic quantitative and problem-solving skills necessary for mathematics at the college level. These skills include basic arithmetic operations, algebra skills including expressions, functions, and the solution of equations, and applications.

The following table provides an overview of the Developmental Mathematics courses leading to college-level courses. Note that the starting point varies by initial course placement.

Developmental Math Placement and Courses

(Please note that the Accuplacer scores are valid 2 years from testing date)

Accuplacer Test Score ALEKS-PPL Test Score Course Placement
*QAS Algebra - 200 0 DLS-0061  
*QAS Algebra - 242 29 MAT-0071   and MAT-0092  
*QAS Algebra - 257 (and Reading Proficiency satisfied) 45 MAT-0104  
*QAS Algebra - 248 31 MAT-0113C  
*QAS Algebra - 251 31 MAT-0114C  

Important: Students who test into any of these courses must enroll in the courses within their first 15 billable credits at the college and remain in the developmental mathematics sequence in each successive semester until they complete MAT-0092  and/or MAT-0104 .

Additional DVM Sequence Information

For detailed course descriptions, see Course Descriptions .

Developmental Mathematics Sequence

When students complete the Developmental Math Sequence (DMS), which could include MAT-0071  ,  MAT-0092 , and/or MAT-0104  (depending on academic and career pathway), they will have met the prerequisite required for college-level mathematics courses.

Attendance Requirements and Course Lab

Students are expected to attend all regularly scheduled class meetings. Poor attendance may significantly impact concept mastery and the overall grade in the course. The Marlboro Learning Lab and the Mathematics Learning Center are available for students to work independently or with tutor assistance outside of class, though lab attendance is not a course requirement.

Possible Grades and When Students Need to Repeat a Course

Content mastery is important for student success. Students earning less than 80 percent must repeat the course.

Department Contact Information

For more information on the DMS sequence, contact the department chair or academic dean.

  Regina Bentley, Department Chair
Mathematics
Marlboro Hall, Room 3049
301-546-0458

 
Dr. Christine Barrow, Dean
Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
Chesapeake Hall, Room 215-B
301-546-0736

 

English as a Second Language

The English as a Second Language (ESL) sequence includes up to eight courses, which upon completion enable students to participate successfully in college courses. Depending on initial assessment, English language learners are placed in various courses in academic English. The courses in this sequence develop reading, grammar, and writing, necessary for academic success.

There are two types of courses in the ESL sequence: grammar/writing and reading. Five classes focus on grammar and writing skills: ESL-0100 , ESL-0101 , ESL-0102 , ESL-0201 , and ESL-0202 . Reading skills are taught in ESL-0081 , ESL-0105 , and ESL-0106 .

Students placing into ESL-0105  or ESL-0106  may take the math placement test and enroll in math classes concurrently while taking their required ESL classes.  Likewise, students taking ESL-0106  may also enroll in INT-1010  and BIO-1010  simultaneously. They must speak with an advisor to choose courses appropriate for their major.

A grade of C constitutes a passing grade in ESL.

The following table provides an overview of the sequence and the order of courses leading up to college-level courses. These courses follow two tracks, the ESL grammar/writing track and the ESL reading track. Note that the starting point for the sequence varies by initial course placement.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Sequence Placement and Courses

  ESL Grammar/Writing ESL Reading/Vocabulary Important Notes
Basic
  ESL-0100 1 ESL-0081   Must complete ESL-0081  and ESL-0100  prior to enrollment in ESL-0105  
Intermediate
Level 1 ESL-0101      
    ESL-0105    
Level 2 ESL-0102     Students in ESL-0105  may take a math course while enrolled in ESL.
They should speak to an advisor to choose an appropriate math course for their major. 
Advanced
Level 1 ESL-0201      
    ESL-0106   After completion of ESL-0106 , eligible for courses with reading prerequisite.
Students may take in INT-1010 and BIO-1010 while taking ESL 0106
Level 2 ESL-0202      
College-level
  EGL-1010     Must complete ESL-0106  and ESL-0202  prior to enrollment in EGL-1010  

1 Students whose Michigan test score and writing sample do not place them into ESL-0100 /ESL-0081  will be referred to Transition ESL. For more information about Transition ESL, see About Continuing Education .

Additional ESL Sequence Information

For detailed course descriptions, see Course Descriptions .

Language Lab

All ESL students are required to complete 15 clock hours of lab activities. These will be explained in more detail on the course syllabi.

Possible Grades and When Students Need to Repeat a Course

Content mastery is important for student success. Students earning less than 70 percent must repeat the course.

Review or Accelerated Courses Alternatives

There are no review courses for the English as a Second Language sequence.

Department Contact Information

For more information on the ESL sequence, contact the department chair or academic dean.

  Ennis N. Allen, Department Chair
Humanities
Center for Health Studies, Room 2408
301-546-0621
Dr. Paul Madachy, Department Chair
English, Developmental English and Reading
Marlboro Hall, Room 3053
301-546-0567
 
Brenan Swartz, Academic Coordinator
ESL
University Town Center, Room 225 / Largo Campus, Bladen Hall, Room 308-I
301-546-8313