Students registering for the spring 2017 semester will have an easier time getting started with West Virginia University at Parkersburg’s new initiatives. These include the elimination of placement tests, an improved course schedule to provide more flexibility, and new math pathways based on career goals.
Previously incoming students were required to take placement tests to determine what levels of math and English they should take. With the elimination of these tests, WVU Parkersburg will assist students by placing them in classes with a co-requisite lab designed to help them pass the courses. The college will continue accepting national scores such as the ACT or SAT to place students. However, if incoming students do not have these scores, it is no longer an issue for them.
“National data tells us that placement scores are not a good indicator of college success,” said Dr. Hank Dunn, WVU Parkersburg senior vice president. “Our new model will help students enter college without the fear or hesitation of those high-stakes tests.”
The college’s Academic Affairs department has also revamped the spring course schedule to ensure standard start times and improved online course availability. WVU Parkersburg’s Professional Advising Center is staffed by full-time advisors who assist students in developing schedules to best fit their needs.
“It will now be easier than ever to be a full or part-time student during the day, evening or entirely online,” said Dunn. “Our new start times allow day students to take three or four consecutive classes while holding down a job or dealing with the demands of everyday life. For example, beginning with the spring semester, evening classes will begin at 5:30 p.m.”
Additionally, new math pathways will eliminate unnecessary math courses for students with math classes based on their major. The math pathways include quantitative literacy, statistics, technical and STEM. Quantitative literacy will provide a non-algebraic mathematics course that focuses on real-world problem solving and critical thinking. This course can lead to the statistics pathway that that will be required for many of the college’s four-year programs. The technical pathway is designed specifically for students in technology programs such as welding. STEM is the traditional algebra to calculus sequence that WVU Parkersburg’s science and elementary education programs require.
“It is our hope that the new approach improves our student success by giving students more relevant math options and decreasing the time it takes to complete their program,” said Chris Cunningham, professor of mathematics and mathematics program coordinator for WVU Parkersburg. “If a student doesn’t meet the placement standard for a particular course, they will take an enhanced lab concurrently with their math course as opposed to spending one or two semesters preparing for the math class they need to graduate.”
WVU Parkersburg’s spring 2017 course registration takes place Nov. 7 – Dec. 29 with classes starting Monday, Jan. 9. To get started, visit your.wvup.edu or call 304.424.8310.