College Preparatory Classes

Some students require added support in order to meet the prerequisite College-level courses. The College Preparatory program (College Prep) at Pennsylvania Highlands is offered to prepare students for College-level work by building the basic skills necessary for academic success. College Prep faculty coordinate the instruction, policies, and procedures for students who do not meet the prerequisite for reading, English, and math. College Prep faculty also work with students to develop the necessary attitudes and behaviors that will enable them to achieve success in College and in the workplace.

College Prep courses are assigned institutional credit, which applies only at Pennsylvania Highlands. While these courses do not and will not count toward graduation, do not earn college credit, and are not used in grade point average (GPA) calculations, they are a required prerequisite for College level classes. Students can determine if they meet the prerequisite coursework for college-level courses by taking the AcuPlacer placement exam.  

  • Small classes offering individual attention

  • Tutoring

  • Counseling

  • Computer-assisted instruction and the use of other educational technologies 

  • Help for special-needs students

Placement Testing 

In order for students to determine college-level readiness for coursework and to meet college-level course prerequisites, a placement exam is administered to all students upon admission to the College.  Scores from the placement exams are used to assist students with appropriate course selection, including college preparatory reading, math, and English coursework.

Students are required to take any prescribed college preparatory classes during their first semester and, if necessary, in subsequent semesters, until college-level proficiency is reached. Students are required to attend a minimum of 80 percent of their College Prep classes. All preparatory classes use the following grading system:

  • A, 90 - 100 percent; B, 80 - 89 percent; C, 70 - 79 percent; F, Below 70 percent, IP = In Progress

Credits earned from college preparatory courses do not apply toward grade point average calculations (GPA) or toward graduation, nor are they generally transferable to other institutions. They are, however, used for financial aid calculation.

Current College Preparatory Offerings

  • ICR 031 - Critical College Reading

  • ENG 020 - Introduction to Composition

  • MAT 085 - Algebra Fundamentals

Placement Testing Waiver Policy 

Assessment and placement is required of all new curriculum students unless exempt by a waiver. Placement testing is also required for non-matriculated students planning to enroll in an English or mathematics course, a course that is heavily based in English or mathematics (i.e. Chemistry, Physics, etc.), and is strongly encouraged for non-matriculated students planning to complete multiple courses during a semester. Transfer students will not be required to test if proficiency is documented by official transcripts. The placement test assesses a student's skills in writing, reading, and math and identifies which course or courses best fit the student's skill level.

Students must achieve a satisfactory score in the discipline to be able to register for a college-level course in mathematics or English. Students scoring below satisfactory may remediate independently of the College or enroll in college-preparatory courses in mathematics, English or reading at Penn Highlands. Students are encouraged to prepare for placement testing by reviewing sample test questions and test subject resources. This information is available in the Student Success Center or the Admissions Office.

Assessment for writing, reading, and math is mandatory. However, the student may qualify for a placement test waiver for one or more of these areas by the following means:

1.      Unweighted high school GPA ≥ 2.6 on a 4.0 scale meeting certain college ready requirements.
Documentation needed: Official H.S. transcript within 5 years of graduation.


High School GPA Waiver Qualifications

For Reading and Writing: High school transcript shows at least three English courses completed with a grade of C or higher in each.
For Math: High school transcript shows at least three math courses completed, of which one is Algebra II with a grade of C or higher.

2.      SAT scores of at least 500 on Critical Reading OR 500 on Writing will exempt the student from the reading and writing sections of the placement test. SAT scores of at least 500 on Mathematics will exempt the student from taking the math sections of the placement test. ACT scores of at least 22 on Reading or 18 on writing will exempt the student from the reading and Writing portions of the placement test. ACT scores of at least 22 on Mathematics will exempt the student from taking the math sections of the placement test.
Documentation needed: Official SAT or ACT scores within 5 years of testing.

3.      Non-degree, special credit students registering for a course that has no prerequisite. Check the college catalog for course prerequisites.

4.      Successful completion (with a grade of "C" or higher) of a college-level math and/or writing course from a regionally accredited institution.
Documentation needed: College-issued transcript.

5.      Successful completion of college preparatory level courses in writing and/or math from a regionally accredited institution.
Documentation needed: College-issued transcript.

6.      Appropriate scores on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Exam Program (CLEP) exams.
Documentation needed: Official AP / IB transcript.  Policies for AP, IB, and CLEP can be found in our catalog.

7.      Students who achieve GED College Ready designation on the GED test will be exempt from placement testing. Students must submit a GED transcript reflecting a minimum score of 165 in each of these subject areas: Mathematical Reasoning, Reasoning through Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.

Students who qualify for a waiver must obtain the proper documentation from the Registrar's Office or an Advisor.

Students who qualify for a waiver in either math or writing, but not both, will need to complete the placement test assessment for the skill area not exempted.

Students must present all appropriate documentation when requesting a waiver.