Learning Support

English Freqently Asked Questions

What are the major differences in Learning Support for English starting in Fall 2011 and the present Developmental Writing program?
The present course structure will continue through the Summer 2011. These courses include DSPW 0700 and DSPW 0800. The new course structure, beginning Fall 2011, will include three courses:
  • ENGL 0810 Learning Support Writing I (3 credits),
  • ENGL 0820, Learning Support Writing II, (2 credits), and
  • ENGL 0830, Learning Support Writing III, (one credit, lab co-requisite with ENGL 1010).
How do students qualify for Learning Support ENGL courses?
Any student whose English score ranges from 13 - 17 on the ACT or 36 - 76 on COMPASS English Exam will take an additional writing test, the COMPASS e-Write. COMPASS e-Write scores determine which course students enroll in according to the following:
  • COMPASS e-Write scores of 2 - 5: ENGL 0810
  • COMPASS e-Write score of 6: ENGL 0830 + ENGL 1010 (must be taken concurrently)
  • COMPASS e-Write score of 7 - 8: ENGL 1010
How do students "test out" of Learning Support English courses?
Any student with an ACT English score of 18+ or a COMPASS English Exam score of 77+ qualifies for direct enrollment in ENGL 1010. Likewise, any student who takes the COMPASS e-Write and scores 7 - 8 qualifies for enrollment in ENGL 1010.
Will there be a challenge test?
Yes. Students who wish to challenge their placement into Learning Support classes should contact the Advising Center at 615-230-3702 to receive approval for a challenge exam. There is a fee for the challenge exam.
What is the procedure for taking the Compass e-Write exam?
The Humanities Division will send a letter to students indicating their need to complete the diagnostic exam. Students should schedule an appointment with the Vol State Testing Center, at 615-230-3484, to complete their diagnostic exam.
Why is the e-Write exam scheduled separately from the initial COMPASS test?
Because the COMPASS test is an extensive and time-consuming exam, students will have greater success if they take the e-Write exam at a separate time. When taking the e-Write exam students must compose an essay, an activity that cannot be performed well if the writer is exhausted.
What is the purpose of ENGL 0820?
ENGL 0820 is a continuation course for students who have attained only part of the Learning Objectives in ENGL 0810. Students who have completed Competency Level 1 in ENGL 0810 should enroll in ENGL 0820, a two credit-hour course to finish Competency Level 2.
How are Competencies 1 and 2 determined?
The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) has criteria to determine whether a student's writing exhibits a limited or developing competence in writing expository essays (Competency Level 1) or whether the student's expository writing demonstrates competence that is adequate for exiting the course ( Competency Level 2). Student writing in ENGL 0810 and 0820 will be assessed by a grading rubric calibrated to gauge the competency level, as determined by the TBR criteria.
Will students be allowed to repeat ENGL 0810 or ENGL 0820?
Students who have not attained a competency level 1 in ENGL 0810 will be allowed to repeat ENGL 0810 one time under the new guidelines. Students who fail to attain competency level 2 in ENGL 0820 can repeat the course one time.
What about students who partly completed the DSPW courses?
Students who have completed DSPW 0700 (equivalent to the new Competency Level 1) should enroll in ENGL 0820. Students who have completed DSPW 0800 are ready for ENGL 1010 and other college level courses IF they have also completed any Developmental Reading requirements they had.