Welcome High School Students!
Incoming high school students do not need to take assessment tests!
Students who recently completed or are about to complete high school and have never attended Southwestern College will get an email about placements within a couple of days of applying. Your placements will be based on the information about your math and Englsih courses and grade point average (GPA) that you put on your application. If we have this information available directly from your high school district, that may be used in place of the information on your application. If you do not receive an email, first, check your spam folders and filters. Next, follow the instructions outlined on the main Assessment webpage.
Students who have already attended classes at Southwestern College and did not submit a new application, may need to submit a response to our High School Information for Placement Survey to get their placements.
High School Special Admissions students should also use the High School Information for Placement Survey to begin the process of getting placements for math and English classes at Southwestern College.
What You Should Know about math and English placements at Southwestern College
When you apply to Southwestern College, you will be asked about the classes that you took in mathematics and English, your grades in those classes, and your unweighted GPA. This information will be used to calculate your placements. It is a good idea to have your transcript available when you are filling out the application.
If you attend Sweetwater Union High School District, we may use information about your courses and grades that is shared with us by your district in addition to what you provide on your application.
In general, incoming students who completed high school in the United States within the last 10 years will be placed into mathematics and English course sequences based on one or more of the following:
- unweighted overall high school grade point average (HS GPA)
- courses taken in high school
- grades in high school courses
Placements - General Information
Most students will be placed so that they have access to a mathematics, English and/or reading course at the transfer level.
- Students who have a strong history of academic performance will be most likely be able to enroll in one or more transfer level course options directly.
- Students who are determined to benefit from additional help in passing a transfer level course will be required to take a co-requisite course along with the transfer level course. These students may only enroll in the transfer level course options that include a support course until they have successfully completed the first transfer level course in that discipline, i.e. mathematics or English.
Initial placements do not consider Advanced Placement test results in math and English. If you scored 3 or higher on one of these tests, you may be eligible for a higher placement. See below for information on how to submit your scores.
Students will get placements into both of SWC's mathematics pathways, but they only need to enroll in course in one math pathway. The right mathematics pathway for each student will depend on the intended field of study and/ or major. The two mathematics pathways are described below:
- Students who are pursuing fields of study that do not require knowledge of higher level algebra and calculus will be able to take transfer level math classes that focus on statistics or other types of mathematical reasoning that meet the requirements for their chosen field of study. This sequences in called Liberal Arts Math or LAM.
- Students who plan on majoring in Business, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (BSTEM) and related fields will be directed to course sequences that include higher level algebra and calculus courses to prepare them for the work they will do in their chosen field of study.
Placement within each mathematics course sequence will depend on the kinds of math classes that students took in high school, the grades that they received in those courses, and their overall high school GPA (unweighted).
English and Reading Placement
Students will be placed into the English composition course sequence based on their GPA. Students who have an unweighted HS GPA of 2.6 or higher will be allowed to enroll directly into English 115 College Composition: Reading and Writing Analytically. Students with an unweighted HS GPA below 2.6 will be allowed to enroll in English 115+, a section of English 115 with a corequisite of English 45 Support for College Composition: Reading and Writing Analytically.
Students will also receive a recommendation for a reading course. Although a reading course is not required for graduation, strong reading ability is a foundation for success in almost all other college courses.
Students without a US High School Transcript
These students will need to complete a Guided Self Placement (GSP) process to get their placements. You may need to complete a Guided Self Placement if you are in one of the following groups:
- you completed high school outside of the United States.
- you attended less than two years of high school in the United States.
- you want instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) at Southwestern College.
- you received modified instruction in English or math, such as Fundamental English or Fundamental Math, in a special education program.
If you are in one of the groups listed above, complete the Guided Self Placement Survey for Math and English to get your placements. Only students who have already applied to Southwestern College and have a MySWC account can do the Guided Self Placement Survey. Note that completing this survey will not replace existing placements if you already have placements on your student record at Southwestern College.