Placement Testing

Assessment and Placement at Cowley College

Cowley College offers many programs, services, and classroom activities to promote and support student connections and success in the learning process. Mandatory assessment and placement in appropriate courses is an important first step. Ensuring that students begin academic courses at the appropriate level is critical in helping students become involved in the learning process. Such placement allows students to connect with other students with common academic challenges and abilities as well as build the necessary academic skills to move forward.

  1. Students who are seeking a degree or certificate or are registering for 12 or more credit hours are required to complete placement tests in English reading, English writing, and mathematics. Students registering for fewer than 12 credit hours are required to complete placement tests in English reading, English writing, and mathematics prior to registering for English composition or math courses, or after attempting 12 credit hours. Once the degree seeking student has attempted 12 credit hours, he or she will be put on "Assessment Hold" and not allowed to enroll until assessment requirements are fulfilled. All or part of testing may be waived if proper documentation is supplied as stated on the course placement table. Before assessing, students are encouraged to review study guides.
  2. After students are assessed, or have shown adequate documentation, they are placed into the appropriate course. Students must successfully complete the required course(s) with a C or better to move to the next level of coursework. Once a student begins the math sequence, they cannot retest or skip a course level. Placement is enforced through the student registration          system. It is also monitored after grades are posted at the end of each semester. Students who do not complete required coursework with a grade of "C" or better are notified and required to re-register for the course. 

    Students who assess and place in the Composition I with Supplemental Seminar courses are required to take those classes face-to-face unless they are enrolled only in online classes for the term.

  3. Cowley County Community College provides students with the opportunity to retest one time at the beginning of their course sequence if they feel their initial assessment results do not adequately reflect their ability. The retest must be accomplished before official rosters are due. The fee for retesting is $5. If the student still feels the placement is inaccurate, he or she may appeal to the Academic Affairs Committee. This committee will review any evidence submitted by the student and make a final decision regarding the student's appropriate placement. The decisions made by the Academic Affairs Committee will be final.
  4. Based on student work samples early in the term, adjustment of the course placement is at the discretion of the instructor. Students who demonstrate competency in a lower level course may be advanced to a higher level if the student agrees to the placement. Students whose work samples show a lack of proficiency may be reassigned to an appropriate course. The students do have an opportunity to appeal. Measures such as these should be taken before official course rosters are due. However, re-assignment will still be possible provided that the student, current instructor, proposed placement instructor and student advisor all agree to the change.


To ensure you have the most accurate information, go to Cowley College Policy & Procedures.

Asset Test

The ACT Asset test is a paper/pencil test that is an alternate for the Compass test.

The Asset test might be used if:

  1. a student has no computer skills, or
  2. the student is being tested off campus where the Compass computers program is not available.


The test is administered in Admissions on the Arkansas City campus and any of our enrollment centers. Students can locate the nearest enrollment center by visiting our site at