Self-Guided Placement

Self-Guided Placement

All students, including active-duty military, veterans, CalWORKs, EOPS and DESP who started Fall 2014 and beyond, are now required to comply with the California Success Act of 2012 requirements (3 core requirements: self-guided placement, orientation and develop a preliminary educational plan) in order to receive a priority registration date for enrollment.

It is recommended that students complete the self-guided placement process to help determine which math and English classes might be more appropriate. Follow these four easy steps:

1. Review the English and Math Course sequence in the schedule of classes.

2. Have access to:

  • Unofficial high school transcripts
  • AP Test Scores for English and/or Math if applicable
  • SAT /ACT Scores

3. Navigate the Self-Guided Placement.

4. Write down or take a picture of your results.

If you need to take an assessment to register for a late start class or to take the reading for graduation test, please call the Assessment office at 408-741-2035 or come by the Counseling office in the North Walk Portables, to arrange a time. All community colleges have eliminated assessments for classes offered in Summer or Fall 2019.

Disability and Educational Support Program (DESP) for students: if you have a verifiable disability, you may request accommodations for assessment. Contact the DESP Office at (408) 741-2010 or TTY / DESP (408) 741-2658.

Prerequisites

A prerequisite is a course or skill which is required before you can enroll in a particular course. West Valley College has prerequisites that must be met before taking certain classes. For example, CHEM 1A with a grade of C or better is required before you can take CHEM 1B.

Reading, English, and ESL Course Sequence

Learn more about what your placement means and which additional courses may be required toward a degree or transfer. See a Progression Flow Chart

Methods to Clear Prerequisites

  • Online: Please scan and email the your form and transcript to WV Assessment. In the subject line of the email, be sure to include your name, WVC ID number and if it is a Challenge or Prerequisite form.
  • In Person: Bring a transcript (official or unofficial) to the front desk of the Counseling Office.
    1. Bring a photo ID.
    2. You do not need to make an appointment.

Math Prerequisites

Math prerequisites can be met by different criteria depending on each student's history. See below to find where you fit in.

Students with High School Transcripts Only

High School transcripts are not accepted for math placement. A placement test is required. Check the Assessment schedule for testing times and locations.

Students with College Transcripts

If you have completed math at a college, you may be exempt from the Math Assessment test. You may submit your college transcripts using one of the methods described.

Students with AP Test Results

Students with a score of 3 or higher on the Calculus AB or BC test are exempt from the Assessment test because it counts as college credit.

Students Waiting for AP Test Results

If your AP scores have not arrived, you must take the Math Assessment test. Check the Assessment schedule for testing times and locations.


English Prerequisites

English prerequisites can be met by different criteria depending on each student's history. See below to find where you fit in.

English Assessment Test

Most students are required to take the English Assessment test.

Students with High School Transcripts

West Valley College does not accept high school transcripts as proof of English prerequisites. Take the English Assessment Test.

Students with College Transcripts

Students who have completed English classes at another college should submit their transcripts for review as described.

Students with AP Test Results

Students with a score of 3 or higher on the English/Comp or English/Lit tests are exempt from the English test because they count towards college credit. Bring AP results to the Counseling Office.

Challenges

If you believe you meet the prerequisite for a course but do now have the required course, you have the right to challenge the prerequisite.

Challenge Forms

1. Complete the form from Counseling and sign.

2. Attach the following documents:

  • Written statement explaining why you feel the prerequisite does not apply to you.
  • Documentation or evidence that you have the required skills (transcript, letter of recommendation from a WVC faculty, etc.)

3. Submit the completed form

  • In person to the Counseling office.
  • Via email. Please scan and email the your form and transcript to WV Assessment. In the subject line of the email, be sure to include your name, WVC ID number and if it is a Challenge or Prerequisite form.

Challenging an English Placement

To challenge an English placement, you must write a one-hour, timed essay in the Assessment Center during test time. You do not need an appointment.

Challenges must be approved by the Department chair before you are cleared to register. Challenges may take 5 business days for processing.

Challenge Form Instructions

If you have completed the prerequisite at another institution, do not use this form. Please scan and email the your form and transcript to WV Assessment. In the subject line of the email, be sure to include your name, WVC ID number and if it is a Challenge or Prerequisite form.

Procedures for Challenging pre- or co-requisites

  1. Fill in all required fields
  2. Include documentation.
  3. Documentation may include any of the following:
  4. Screenshot of all relevant transcripts - Review Committee will not have access to your West Valley records.
  5. Assessment results - must include placement key or explanation of results
  6. Recommendation letter from instructor
  7. Valid file types includepdf, jpg, png, and tiff
  8. Complete the Personal Statement explaining why you believe your challenge should be approved
  9. Your request will be evaluated by a challenge review committee and a written response will be available within five (5) instructional days. Response will be emailed to the address you provide
  10. Decisions by the Challenge Review Committee are final
  11. Upon approval of the challenge, you will be eligible to enroll in the class requested IF SPACE IS AVAILABLE.
  12. If no space is available at the time the challenge is approved, the challenge will be resolved prior to the beginning of registration for the next term. If the challenge is upheld, you shall be permitted to enroll if space is available when you register for the subsequent term.(Title 5, Section 55201)
  13. NO UNITS WILL BE GRANTED FOR SUCCESSFULLY CHALLENGED COURSES BY THIS PROCESS. TO CHALLENGE A COURSE FOR CREDIT, REFER TO THE PROCESS FOR EARNING CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
  14. Some of the grounds for challenge REQUIRE that you support your challenge with documentation. Failure to attach this information will result in a disapproved challenge. You may also be requested to provide specific information to the challenge review committee. See below for additional information about supporting documentation.
  15. Criterion #5: Some courses are limited to students who must (1) try out or audition in order to be accepted into the course(ex: athletics or performance courses); (2) meet specific criteria, such as Honors.
  16. To challenge an English class, a one hour timed essay must be written in the Assessment Center or Counseling Office under the supervision of a proctor. A topic will be provided.

Departmental Specifics

English Challenges

If challenging English placement, do not use this form. Instead, you must write a one hour timed essay in the Assessment Center during normal assessment hours.

Math Challenges

Students who are challenging a math prerequisite under option #4 must provide DOCUMENTATION indicating that they have acquired the prerequisite math skills for the course in which they are attempting to enroll. This documentation might include transcripts, copies of old exams, homework, etc., or a statement from a previous instructor attesting to the student's math skills. A written statement by the student or the current instructor will not be considered sufficient evidence alone to approve the challenge.

Philosophy Challenges

Possible consequences for challenging the prerequisite for Philosophy 3 or 17:

  1. IGETC requires the English 1A prerequisite. This means a CSU or UC can refuse to accept the class for transfer if you don't have the prerequisite. If you are not interested in transfer, or you are planning to attend a school other than CSU or UC, or you are not following the IGETC pattern, the lack of English 1A may not be an issue.
  2. Philosophy 3 and 17 presuppose that you already have the skills taught in English 1A. They assume that you can write an argumentative essay or research paper in Standard English. If you do not have these skills or if you cannot read and write fluently in English, you are not likely to succeed in Philosophy 3 or 17.

Supporting Documentation

This challenge process is based on Title 5 regulations pertaining to prerequisites, co-requisites, and other limitations on enrollment. A copy of these regulations is located in the Office of Instruction and is available upon request. The regulations themselves are not sufficient to meet the requirement for supporting documentation. To support your challenge, where required, the following kinds of documentation are examples of what may be submitted. Additional information may be required, the following kinds of documentation are examples of what may be submitted. Additional information may be required, the following kinds of documentation are examples of what may be submitted. Additional information may be requested by the challenge review committee.

  • Copy of pertinent section(s) of the college catalog
  • Copy of pertinent section(s) of the schedule of classes
  • Copy of the course outline (available from the appropriate division office or the Office of Instruction)
  • Copy of the course syllabus (available from the appropriate division office or the Office of Instruction)
  • Copy of high school and/or college transcript
  • Documentation of work or other related experience
  • Doctor's statement
  • Personal written statement

In some cases it is advised to have the form preapproved by meeting with the Department Chair.
If this is the case, then documentation may not be required. Please mention that you have already met with the department chair in your personal statement.

Corequisites

Some classes have co-requisites, meaning that you are expected to be taking the required class at the same time. This causes a problem when a student has already taken the class, and should obviously not be required to repeat it. The solution is to go to the counseling office with your transcripts and say you need a "blue card." Once you have the blue card, bring it to the Admissions Office to register.

Note: When registering in this manner, it is advised that you do not adjust your schedule using MyWebServices, or the system will drop you. Any adds or drops should be made in the Admissions Office.

Example

PSYC 2: Experimental Psychophysiology has prerequisite: PSYC 001 and corequisite: Math 010

  • If a student has taken Statistics (Math 010) at West Valley or another college, they would need a blue card to register.

Frequently Asked Questions

Assessment

What steps should I take for testing?

Make sure you have your West Valley College ID number. Apply now to receive your ID number.

Attend a scheduled Testing Session. Bring a photo ID, your West Valley ID number and a pencil. Please schedule an appointment before attending. ESL students do not make appointments. Bring a photo ID, your West Valley ID number, twelve quarters or three dollars for parking and a pencil.

How do I find my test results?

ESL Students: Log in to the portal > MyWebServices > My Personal and Academic Info > My Assessment Results

Everyone else: Print Accuplacer results after completing the test.

What tests are given at West Valley College?

  • English/Reading: Accuplacer
  • Math - Accuplacer – Elementary Algebra
  • ESL – CELSA (English Language Skills Assessment) and Holistic Essay.
  • ATB – None available at this time

Can I retake my Assessment Test?

  • Math may be retaken once. You must wait at least one week before retesting. Math placements expire after 3 years, requiring testing if the student has not completed a Math course during that time.
  • English may not be repeated. Your English placement may be challenged by completing a one hour essay in the Assessment Center during a testing session. No appointment is necessary.
  • Reading may be repeated once for the purposes of satisfying the Reading Requirement for Graduation, but not for initial placement.
  • ESL may not be repeated. Please attend the class you were placed into and review with your teacher the course content before challenging.
  • Intend to take an English, ESL, Math, or Reading course or a course that has a prerequisite course in English, ESL, Math, or Reading.

Who should take Assessment Tests?

  • Intend to take an English, ESL, Math, or Reading course or a course that has a prerequisite course in English, ESL, Math, or Reading.
  • Intend to earn a WVC degree or certificate.
  • Intend to transfer to a four-year college or university.

Who is exempt from taking Assessment Tests?

  • A student who has an Associate degree or higher from a regionally accredited US college or university.
  • Anyone who presents a transcript to the Assessment Office indicating successful completion (C or better) of an equivalent course(s) at another accredited college or university.
  • ESL courses are only accepted if taken at Mission College.
  • Anyone who has ACCUPLACER scores from another accredited college or university can submit scores to the Assessment Office for equivalency.
  • Anyone who is not intending to take classes which have prerequisites of English, Reading, Math or ESL
  • Anyone with a 3, 4, or 5 score on AP Language and Composition does not need assessment in English.
  • Anyone with a 3, 4, or 5 on AP Math Calculus or Statistics does not need mathematics assessment. Official scores need to be filed in the Counseling office.

Why do I need Assessment?

All students, including active-duty military, veterans, CalWorks, EOPS and DESP who started Fall 2014 and beyond, are now required to comply with the California Success act of 2012 requirements (3 core requirements: assessment, orientation and develop a preliminary educational plan) in order to receive a priority registration date for enrollment.

Are preparation materials available?


Prerequisites

Can I send my mom to clear my prerequisite?

If you send a representative to conduct business for you, they must present a signed letter stating that they have permission to conduct business on your behalf.

How long does it take to clear a prerequisite?

Once your request is submitted, it will normally be processed within 2 business days. If you come in person, it is normally handled on the same day.

What if my class is at Mission College?

If taking a class at Mission College, the prerequisite must be cleared through the Mission College Counseling office.

I'm still having trouble with prerequisites. Where can I get help?

For questions involving prerequisites call the Assessment Office at (408) 741-2035 or the Counseling Office at (408) 741-2009. You can also email the Assessment Office at testingFREEWEST_VALLEY

Last Updated 2/12/19