Wake Tech Implements New Placement Policy

“RISE” Uses High School GPA in Place of Standardized Test

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 15, 2019) – High school students’ grade point average, or GPA, will now be the main factor in determining course placement at Wake Technical Community College. Wake Tech – an open door institution – joins several other North Carolina community colleges in implementing RISE, Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence. The new policy uses unweighted high school GPA for students who have graduated within the last 10 years instead of a standardized test to determine the appropriate placement in math and English courses. The policy is being implemented now for the fall 2019 semester.

  • Students with a GPA of 2.8 or higher (or anyone who already holds an associate’s degree or higher) will be placed directly in college-level English and math courses.
  • Students with a GPA of 2.2 to 2.799 will be placed in college-level English and math courses if their ACT/SAT scores meet the benchmark. If not, they’ll be placed in college-level courses with corresponding co-requisite courses. (Co-requisite courses offer additional instruction directly related to the content of the college-level courses.)
  • Students with a GPA lower than 2.2 will be placed in college-level courses with corresponding co-requisites if their ACT/SAT scores are within two points of the benchmark. If not, they’ll be placed in transition courses. (Transition courses, formerly known as pre-curriculum or developmental education courses, prepare students for success in college-level courses.)

Students who have been out of high school for more than 10 years will still take the standardized placement test – as will students who do not have a GPA, such as international students, those with GEDs, and some homeschooled students.

RISE was piloted last fall for the current semester by 14 of the 58 community colleges in North Carolina. Wake Tech joins 18 other community colleges that are implementing the policy now.

Currently, 25% of WCPSS high school students come to Wake Tech within a year of graduation.

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