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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Learning Support : A-100

Policy/Guideline Area

Academic Guidelines

Applicable Divisions

Community Colleges, Universities

Purpose

The purpose of this guideline is to reflect the commitment of the TBR System and its institutions to enhance students’ access to and success in higher education.

Definitions

  • Learning support in this guideline is defined within the body of the policy

Policy/Guideline

  1. Introduction
    1. Students should be ready for college level courses, but some students require additional support to be successful. Through co-requisite delivery of learning support and college level courses, students have an enhanced opportunity to succeed. (https://www.tbr.edu/academics/co-requisite-remediation) Learning support in this guideline is defined as academic support needed by a student to be successful in college level general education courses and/or to meet minimum reading, writing, and mathematic competencies as required by faculty in programs that do not require general education courses in reading, writing and/or mathematics. The purpose is to enhance academic success in college level courses and increase the likelihood of program completion that will prepare students for career success in their chosen field of study.
  2. Assessment
    1. All students, regardless of age, who do not present valid ACT, SAT, or other assessment scores [hot link to website to be added] approved by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, e.g., SAILS or TN Ready, will be placed into the appropriate co-requisite learning support course(s) or interventions for reading, writing, and/or mathematics, as required by the academic program.
    2. If these scores are available, but fail to demonstrate college readiness based upon the table below or documented evidence to the contrary, the student will be placed into the appropriate co-requisite learning support course(s) or interventions for reading, writing, and/or mathematics, as required by the academic program.
      1.  ACT* ***SAT** ***
        Writing 18Critical Reading  490
        Reading   19Critical Reading  500
        Mathematics19Math                   500

        * It should be noted that the 2010 ACT College Readiness Standards were revised to reflect the following minimum scores to be evaluated as "college ready". Writing - 18; Reading - 21; Mathematics - 22. The above scores are for purpose of placement.
        ** SAT concorded cut scores are based upon 2016 Revised SAT scores

        *** Students with a subject score that is equal to or greater than the listed cut score will be exempt from Learning Support and placed into college level courses.

    3. ​Academic programs that do not require specific college level courses, i.e., in math, English, or reading intensive courses used for placement, may have faculty-prescribed learning support competencies established as prerequisites/co-requisites specific to the degree program or certificate if deemed necessary for workforce readiness in the field of study.
    4. Institutions will provide, or may require, assessment to allow students to challenge placement into co-requisite learning support if they have not met established criteria.
      1. The challenge assessment will be an approved nationally normed standardized assessment that will be identified in the institution’s Catalog and/or Student Handbook.
      2. In addition to this assessment, the institution may choose to require a writing sample for placement related to success in ENGL 1010.
    5. Degree Seeking: First-Time and Transfer Students
      1. Scores used for initial assessment must have been earned within 5 years prior to the first day of class for the student’s entering term.
      2. Students entering without l assessment scores or transferable college-level English composition credit will be placed into co-requisite writing learning support with the option of challenge testing.
      3. Students entering without assessment scores or transferable college-level credit from a reading intensive general education course will be placed into co-requisite reading learning support with the option of challenge testing. The designation of the reading intensive course will be made by the receiving institution.
      4. Students entering without assessment scores or transferable college-level mathematics credit will be placed into co-requisite mathematics learning support with the option of challenge testing.
    6. Special Students: Non-Degree Seeking / Certificate Programs
      1. Certificate seeking students entering without transferable college-level English composition credit will be subject to the same placement criteria prior to enrollment in college-level English or in any course with English composition as a prerequisite.
      2. Certificate seeking students entering without transferable college-level credit from a reading intensive general education course will be subject to the same placement criteria in reading. The designation of the reading intensive course will be made by the receiving institution.
      3. Certificate seeking students without transferable college-level mathematics credit will be subject to the same placement criteria prior to enrollment in college-level mathematics or in any course with mathematics as a prerequisite.
      4. Students who change to degree-seeking status will be assessed under guidelines for degree seeking students.
      5. For students desiring to take one or more courses for personal or professional development, the institution will establish a policy to address the need for assessment.
  3. Parameters
    1. Organizational Structure
      1. The president of each institution will determine the organizational structure and coordination of learning support services for the institution.
      2. Each institution will establish criteria for the selection of learning support faculty consistent with professional disciplinary standards and SACSCOC accreditation standards.
      3. Institutional policies will apply to faculty and staff whose primary role is learning support.
    2. Learning Support Framework
      1. Institutions will develop a co-requisite plan for reading, writing, and math as referenced by the Fundamental Features of Co-Requisites Remediation document.
        1. (Note: The Fundamental Features of Co-Requisites Remediation document and Learning Support Competencies for reading, writing, and mathematics are available by request from the designated Learning Support Director/Coordinator at each institution and are available on the TBR website.(https://www.tbr.edu/academics/co-requisite-remediation
      2. Only learning support at the high school level as defined by Tennessee Department of Education qualifies for federal financial aid. (Federal Student Aid Handbook, Volume 1, Chapter 1 – Student Eligibility 2016-2017)
      3. If a student matriculates, the institution must include strategies to address learning support for those students with ACT subject scores of 12 or below (or other approved concorded scores, such as SAT, PSAT, etc.).
      4. Unless noted as an exception (see next item), learning support will be provided through co-requisite delivery with college level courses that have been approved by the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
      5. As an exception, stand-alone learning support may be provided only on a limited basis to support non-degree seeking students whose program does not require college-level math, and/or English 1010, and/or reading intensive courses, but the program requirements established by the faculty do include successful demonstration of Learning Support Competencies.
      6. Faculty who teach the college-level courses that are linked with learning support must be involved in the development of the learning support delivery plan.
      7. The learning support must address the learning outcomes and competencies (https://www.tbr.edu/academics/co-requisite-remediation) determined to be appropriate for college readiness, and must be aligned with the competencies required in the linked general education college-level course to facilitate successful completion of the core course.
      8. Students must attain the appropriate mastery level of learning competencies during their initial semesters of enrollment. Students requiring learning support in multiple areas must address at least one subject area per term until all competencies are completed.
      9. When placement requires remediation in more than one subject area, Learning Support Competencies may require more than one semester of work, but should be completed within the first 30 semester credit hours. In this case, it may be appropriate to address literacy requirements first.
      10. The delivery of learning support must be based on proven methods of integrating technology and learner-centered pedagogy and must address the desired learning competencies.
      11. While four year public institutions cannot offer learning support for credit (Complete College TN Act of 2010 (CCTA), community colleges may provide learning support for credit or provide non-credit interventions for learning support. With Board approval, learning support lab fees may be established in lieu of tuition.
      12. Academic programs or certificates that do not require a college-level mathematics course may require mathematics learning support competencies as prerequisites/co-requisites specific to the degree program or certificate.
      13. Credit hours assigned to pre-college level learning support should be kept to a minimum, not to exceed 9 semester credit hours in total for all three subject areas.
      14. “Learning Strategies” will not be offered as a required learning support course for less than college-level credit. Institutions will determine the delivery of appropriate “learning strategies” at their individual institutions. While these skills should be incorporated across the curriculum, learning strategies should be addressed in the first-year experience college success course.
      15. With regard to the students receiving VA benefits, each institution will ensure that learning support is provided in compliance with the eligibility provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (38 CFR Ch. 1 s 21.4200 et seq.), including requirements for class attendance.
    3. Student Records
      1. Students will demonstrate mastery of the defined Learning Support competencies at a level comparable to a passing grade.
      2. Successful completion of a student’s learning support competencies will be recorded on the student’s academic record with or without the assignment of standard grades.
      3. Students may not audit any portion of their learning support plans.
      4. Student progress and completion of learning support competencies will be notated in Banner and posted to the academic record.
    4. Student Transfers
      1. Student learning support information will be provided upon request. When a transcript is requested, the institution must send placement and enrollment status reports for transferring students that includes student record of progress and completion of learning support competencies.
      2. Regardless of the strategies and activities used to provide learning support, once mastery learning has been documented by the institution, all TBR institutions must accept that documentation.
      3. If mastery learning for required competencies has not been documented as satisfied, the receiving institution will default to co-requisite learning support. The institution may provide the opportunity for challenge testing.
  4. Accountability - Evaluation of the learning support services is as continuous improvement process. The institution will monitor TBR established benchmarks and annual performance indicators to demonstrate progress of students who are placed in learning support.
    1. Measures of Success
      1. Success will be measured by student completion of learning support, enrollment and success in college entry-level courses for which students have received learning support, fall to fall retention, graduation rates, and time to graduation.
      2. Additional data measures may be established and reported by the institution to document and evaluate efforts to increase student access.
      3. Appropriate data tracking must be established to track the progress of any student with an ACT subject score of 12 or below who is enrolled at the institution.
      4. All TBR institutions will form partnerships with the high school districts’ Local Education Agency (LEA) in order to develop early intervention systems, provide learning support for at-risk students identified through assessments taken prior to the senior year of high school, including ACT, SAT, PSAT, etc. 

Sources

Approved at Presidents Meeting August 17, 2010 (Revised former guideline A-100, Basic/Developmental Studies Program (DSP) Operational Guidelines); Presidents meeting February 14, 2012. Revisions approved at Presidents Meeting November 8, 2016.

Contact

Mickey Sheen
615-366-4437
mickey.sheen@tbr.edu