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Assessment

Tests are not required for placement in math, English and English as a Second Language (ESL) at Southwestern College!

Southwestern College placement process is now based on multiple measures of students' ability to succeed in college level classes. We work to help you find the placement where you are best supported in achieving success.

  • You can expect to be placed so that they can complete a transfer-level course in math and English within their first year of enrollment.
  • If you completed high school in the United States after 2011, you will be placed based on information about the high school courses taken and grades received in math and English plus their overall unweighted grade point average (GPA). Most students give us this information through the application to the college. You should receive an email with their placements within a few days of applying. (If you did not get your email, see below for next steps.)
  • If you completed high school before 2011 or you completed high school outside the United States, or who completed a high school equivalent, such as the GED or HiSET, will be asked to complete a Math and English Guided Placement Survey to get placements into math and English. See our Guided Self Placement Schedule website for more details.
  • You have a right to take credit English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. You can learn more about credit ESL and get your placement level through the ESL Guided Placement Survey. (MySWC login is required to access the survey. The placement survey is available in Spanish.)
  • Students who have already attended other colleges or universities and want to continue their studies at Southwestern College, should visit our Prerequisites website for instructions on having their external coursework evaluated.

Answers to Common Questions

What if I did not receive my placements in math or English?

If you do not currently have placements for math or for English or for both, you can start the process to get placements to allow you to enroll in math and English courses by completing the High School Information for Placement form. (This form requires MySWC sign on. Please logout of all personal Google accounts before clicking the link.)

The form will ask you about your high school mathematics and English courses, your grades in those courses, and your high school GPA. Once you complete the form, it is important to check your MySWC email for information about other steps that you may need to complete and/ or your placement levels.

How do I take the English as a Second Language (ESL) placement?

If you want to take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, you need to complete an ESL Guided Self Placement by clicking on this link.  (This form requires MySWC sign on. Please logout of all personal Google accounts before clicking the link.)

The ESL Guided Self Placement has a series of questions about your education experience and level of English study.  You will also look at samples of work from each level of the Academic English as Second Language program and receive information to help you make a choice about which level of the Academic ESL is the best one for you to start in.

If you have problems or questions about the ESL Guided Self Placement, use the virtual chat or send us an email to get help.

What if I am a current or returning student who needs a new placement? 

If you are a current Southwestern College students who was previously placed into developmental courses in mathematics and English, you have a right to get a new placement that may allow you to enroll in a transfer level math or English course. At the very least, you will be placed within one semester of a transfer level course.

You can begin this process by completing the High School Information for Placement form. (This form requires MySWC sign on. Please logout of all personal Google accounts before clicking the link.).

The form will ask you about your high school mathematics and English courses, your grades in those courses, and your high school GPA. Once you complete the form, it is important to check your MySWC email for information about other steps that you may need to complete and/ or your placement levels.

How do I check my placements?

  1. Log in to MySWC and navigate to WebAdvisor for Students.
  2. Click on "Academic Profile".
  3. Click on "SWC Assessment Placement Results".
  4. View your placement results. They will tell you the classes that are open to you in the math, English, and ESL course sequences. 

Note: If you have any corequisite support requirements. Instructions for enrolling in corequisite support sections can be found below.
If you still do not have placements, see the sections above for instructions about how to proceed.

How do I enroll in Math and English classes with corequisite support?

If you are trying to enroll in a section of English 115 with the English 45 corequsite support course, you need to look for sections of English 115 with a “P” in the section number, such as ENGL-115-P99. If your placement says English 115 with English 45, you are not currently eligible for sections of English 115 without the “P” in the section number. You will also need to enroll in the section of English 45 that has the same section number. For example, if you enroll in ENGL-115-P99, you need to enroll in ENGL-45-P99.

If you are trying to enroll in a section of a transfer level math course with corequisite support course, you need to look for sections of your math class with an“S” in the section number. For example, if you want to enroll in MATH-100 with support, look for sections with numbers like MATH-100-S99. Students with a corequisite support placements are not eligible for sections of MATH-100, in this case, without the “S” in the section number. You will also need to enroll in the section of MATH 82 that has the same section number as your section of MATH 100. For example, if you enroll in MATH-100-S99, you need to enroll in MATH-82-S99. The sections of the transfer level course and the corequisite support course are linked. Students are not allowed to "mix and match" sections. This same pattern is true for the following pairings:

MATH-60 with its corequisite support course MATH-81.
MATH-72 with its corequisite support course MATH-81.
MATH-100 with its corequisite support course MATH-82.
MATH 101 with its corequisite support course MATH-83.
MATH-104 with its corequisite support course MATH-86.
MATH-110 with its corequisite support course MATH-82.
MATH-118 with its corequisite support course MATH-82.
MATH-119 with its corequisite support course MATH-84.
MATH-120 with its corequisite support course MATH-85.
MATH-121 with its corequisite support course MATH-85.

If following these instructions did not solve your problem, you can contact us using the virtual chat and email links below.

How are placements determined for recent high school graduates?

Southwestern College is dedicating to helping students find the placement to best help them be successful.

Incoming students who completed high school in the United States within the last 10 years will be placed into mathematics, English and reading course sequences based on one or more of the following:

  • the student's unweighted high school grade point average
  • the courses and level of course that a student took in high school
  • the grades that a student earned in their high school classes

Most students can expect to be placed into a mathematics, English and/or reading course at the transfer level.

If you have a strong history of academic performance, you will most likely be able to enroll in the transfer course directly.

If you are likely to benefit from additional help in passing a transfer level course, you will have a placement that requires you to take a co-requisite course along with the transfer level course. The corequisite support provides you with just-in-instruction in key foundational concepts that may be weak or need review as well as a focus on effective study skills in the discipline. Research suggests that you are more likely to pass the transfer course in your first attempt with the support given in the corequisite course.

Math Placements

You will get placements for two different mathematics pathway. Which placement pathway a student needs to follow is informed by their intended field of study:

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 sequence in called Liberal Arts Mathematics (LAM or SLAM).

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 course sequence will depend on the kinds of math classes that you took in high school, the grades that you received in those courses, and your unweighted overall high school GPA.

English Placements

You will receive a recommendation to take transfer-level English course (English 115) either with or without a required corequisite support class (English 45).

What if I took math and English courses at another college already?

You may be able to be placed into the Southwestern College English and/ or math sequence based on the college courses that you already took.

If you completed math and English courses at another college or university (with a grade of “C” or better, or “Credit”) that are equivalent to Southwestern College courses, to have your courses evaluated for prerequisite equivalency submit an External Course Prerequisite Evaluation Request. More detailed instructions can be found on the Prerequisites website.

What if I complete high school before 2011?

What if I complete high school outside of the United States?

What if I took the high school equivalency exam, the GED, or the HiSET?

You need to go through a guided placement process to help us determine the best place for you to enter the mathematics, English, Reading and/ or English as a Second Language course sequences at Southwestern College.

If you do not complete a Guided Self-Placement process and receive a placement, you may have difficulty accessing the higher level classes that they are eligible to take. This can cost you time and money. Therefore, it is important to participate in the placement process if you plan to take classes in mathematics, reading, English, or English as a Second Language.

If you have applied and have active MySWC access can complete the Guided Self Placement Survey for Math and English by clicking on this link.  Results will be emailed to you in 2 - 3 business days. 

NOTE: This process cannot change existing placements. If you already have existing placements in Southwestern College's system, your record will not be changed based on the results of this form.

What if the content of my high school math and English courses was modified to accommodate a disability?

If you took classes with modified content, you will be placed by the same procedures as other students. However, we strongly recommend that you talk with a counselor in Disability Support Services.

Individualized accommodations are available to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Please contact Disability Support Services at (619) 482-6512 or TTY (619) 492-6470 for help with acomodations.

Get In Touch

Contact for more information or to answer questions

Virtual Chat

We are here to support each of our student’s needs. Chat live on Cranium Café by finding an online staff member below. To learn more, visit the Virtual Welcome Center. Our student service specialists have their hours of availability listed on their profile cards. If a team member's hours are not reflective of their availability, they are likely supporting another student. We give each of our students the individual attention and time they deserve. Thank you for your patience.

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If you are interested in more information about the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program, please chat with our ESL Student Advocate Specialist

Sí usted esta interesado en más información de Inglés Como Segunda Lengua (ESL) hable con nuestra ESL Student Advocate Specialist