Big changes in placement coming December 1st

As of December 1st, 2016, the Compass placement test will no longer be available as an option for students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. In anticipation of this change, the Office of Academic and Student Affairs pulled together a collaborative workgroup including English and math faculty, academic advising, enrollment services, and institutional assessment to develop a plan for the transition.

In doing so, the group is moving forward not only with a new placement test but with new communication and processes around placement in general, as well as long-term plans for even more adaptable placement methods. Here are some key pieces of information for everyone to know in the coming weeks and months.

1) Accuplacer will be the college’s official testing option for both math and English as of December 1stCOMPASS will still be the primary placement test for English and math through November 30th. Accuplacer will be phased in and piloted over the next few weeks so that the testing center is ready for the most intense period of registration in mid-December and early January.

2) Accuplacer will be just one option for placement. Placement testing for math and English will no longer be considered or referred to as “required.” Instead, students will have many ways to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities, including college and high school transcripts as well as Smarter Balanced, SAT, ACT, GED, or AP scores. A new web page explaining the details of these options is being developed and will launch during the week of November 28th. The page walks students through their placement options and all relevant processes. Existing references to COMPASS on our website and in printed materials will be replaced with the more general term “placement” and will forward students to the new web page.

3) More changes are on the way.  In the year to come the Student Learning Experience Coordinating Committee (SLECC) will be exploring other methods of placement, including ALEKS for math, Directed Self-Placement for English, and a new placement testing option for prospective nursing students.

Questions? Contact Bayta Maring (; 206-546-6949) or Kim Thompson (; 206-546-6910).

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