Assessment Center (Student Services Center, 1st Floor)
Please take full advantage of the information provided on this website. During high peak times, staff is unable to answer telephone calls; however, many of your questions can be answered by the information provided on this webpage. We appreciate your patience.
Southwestern College offers assessment services to all students to improve their chances of success. The college Assessment Center provides a comprehensive and timely assessment of student skill levels in English, reading, and math.
A highly qualified and trained staff ensures a secure yet relaxed testing environment aimed at minimizing student anxiety. Individualized accommodations are available to meet the needs of students with disabilities - contact Disability Support Services at 619-482-6512 or TTY 619-492-6470.
All students promptly receive a comprehensive report summarizing their assessment results.
If you have taken assessments at other colleges, Assessment Center staff also will review those results to see if those can be used instead of you having to take our tests.
The Assessment Center offers a state–of–the–art comprehensive assessment lab to assist students in career exploration and goal clarification. This computerized laboratory also helps students clearly identify their learning style and the study skills required to reach their personal goals.
Please see the Testing Schedule
for procedures as well as dates and times the Assessment Lab is available for testing.
Reading, English, and mathematics assessments are essential to evaluate skill levels and to assist you in the selection of the proper level of course work. These assessments are recommended before enrolling in reading, English, and mathematics courses.
Many courses also have a recommended reading level that may be attained on the SWC Reading Assessment prior to enrollment.
Who Should be Assessed
Assessment is strongly recommended if you indicate on your admissions application that your primary educational objective at Southwestern College is:
- Associate Degree
- Transfer to a four–year college and/or university
- Major other than self–improvement or job advancement
- Assessment is also highly recommended if you plan to:
- Enroll in courses with recommended reading preparation
- Enroll in any reading, math, English, or English as a Second Language course requiring or recommending specified assessment skill levels
It is important to take all three assessments before registering for your first semester at Southwestern College. Results are considered valid for only three years.
You may attempt each of the placement tests twice in any one semester and a total of three times during your enrollment at Southwestern College. If your assessment results have become invalid due to a three–year lapse, you may retake the tests but are subject to the same retest policy (twice in one semester and a total of three times). You may attempt to have the three–test limitation waived by filing an appeal through the Assessment Center.
All placement tests are strongly recommended but not mandatory. Assessment assists in matching you with courses most appropriate to your skill levels. If you decide not to be assessed, it is recommended you complete a self–exemption form available in the Assessment Center.
You may also be matched with appropriate math and English courses without taking the College placement tests if you have:
Completed math and English courses (with a grade of “C” or better, or “Credit”) at another college or university that are equivalent to Southwestern College courses (proof of successful course completion must be submitted with a Prerequisite Evaluation Request for External Course form
to the Assessment Center);
Assessment results from other colleges or universities (proof of assessment results must be submitted with a Prerequisite Evaluation Request for External Assessment form
to the Assessment Center).
Assessment and Graduation Requirements
All students who plan to graduate with an associate degree are required to meet Reading, Writing, and Computational (Math) Proficiencies. The Reading and Computational Proficiencies may be met by satisfactory performance on specific assessments:
The Reading Proficiency requirement is met by satisfactory performance on the Southwestern College Reading Assessment. This requirement may also be met by satisfactory completion (with a grade of “C” or better) of English 158 or English 115.
The Computational Proficiency requirement can be satisfied by any one of the following:
Satisfactory completion (with a grade of “C” or better, or “Credit”) of Math 45 (Elementary Algebra) or a higher–numbered math course; OR
Mathematics assessment results that indicate eligibility for Math 65 (Intermediate Algebra) or a higher–numbered math course.
If you have received an associate or higher degree from an accredited U.S. institution, you are not required to be assessed to meet proficiency requirements for graduation.
An additional graduation requirement in Health Education may be met by satisfactory completion (with a grade of “C” or better) of Health 101 or 116 or satisfactory results on the Health Inventory Test. Information about the Health Inventory Test is available in Office 1000K.
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