Reading FAQ

What are the major differences in Learning Support for Reading starting in Fall 2011 and the present Developmental Reading program?
The present course structure will continue through Summer 2011. These courses include DSPR 0700 and DSPR 0800. The new course structure, beginning Fall 2011, will include three courses:
  • READ 0810 Learning Support Reading I (3 credits),
  • READ 0820, Learning Support Reading II, (2 credits), and
  • READ 0830, Learning Support Reading III, (1 credit, lab co-requisite with ENGL 1010).
How do students qualify for Learning Support READ courses?
  • Any student whose Reading score ranges from 13 – 18 on the ACT or 61 – 82 on the COMPASS Reading Placement Test will take the COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test.
  • Students who successfully completed DSPR 0700 qualify to immediately enroll in READ 0810. (Students do not have to take the COMPASS Reading Diagnostic before enrolling in READ 0810.) However, it is suggested for the student to take the COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test as this gives the student the opportunity to test into READ 0820 or READ 0830.
  • Students who successfully completed DSPR 0800 are ready for ENGL 1010 and other college level courses provided their Developmental Writing requirements have been met.
    • COMPASS Reading Diagnostic scores determine which course students enroll in, according to the following:
    • COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test scores of 0-76: READ 0810
    • COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test scores of 77-82: READ 0830 + ENGL 1010 (must be taken concurrently)
    • COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test scores of 83-99: ENGL 1010
What is the purpose of READ 0820?
READ 0820 is a continuation course for students who have attained only part of the Learning Objectives in READ 0810. Students who have completed Competency Level 1 in READ 0810 should enroll in READ 0820, a two credit-hour course to finish Competency Level 2. Students, whose diagnostic testing would allow them to take READ 0830 but are unable to meet the co-requisite requirement, should see an advisor to enroll in READ 0820.
Why doesn't successful completion of DSPR 0700 qualify a student to register for READ 0820?
Since the placement level in DSPR 0700 was below the new requirement of a 13 ACT score or 61 COMPASS, a student who has successfully completed DSPR 0700 is prepared to begin READ 0810. However, a successful DSPR 0700 student is encouraged to take the COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test to see if they qualify for READ 0820 or READ 0830.
What about students who did not successfully complete a DSPR course?
Any student who received an YC, F, or I in any DSPR course must:
  • Take the course again this summer or
  • Complete the course this summer (as in the case of an I) or
  • Take the appropriate diagnostic test for fall registration
How do students "test out" of Learning Support Reading courses?
Students with an ACT Reading score of 19+, a COMPASS Reading Placement score of 83+, or a COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test score of 83-99, qualify for enrollment in ENGL 1010 provided Learning Support writing requirements have been met.
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 Reading Diagnostic Test?
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 it suggested for the COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test to be scheduled separately from the initial COMPASS Placement Test?
We encourage students to schedule the COMPASS Reading Diagnostic Test at a separate time so the student has an opportunity to demonstrate a higher level of competence in reading than was first indicated on the extensive, time-consuming placement test. Providing optimal circumstances of a single, untimed diagnostic test when the student is not drained from previous testing gives the student a better opportunity to possibly test at a higher level or "test out" of Learning Support Reading courses.
How are Competencies 1 and 2 determined?
The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) has provided criteria to determine whether a student's reading abilities exhibit a limited or developing competence in reading (Competency Level 1) or a competence that is adequate for exiting the course (Competency Level 2). A student's reading abilities in READ 0810 and 0820 will be assessed with grading rubrics and tests to determine the student's level of reading competency as determined by the TBR criteria.
Will students be allowed to repeat READ 0810 or READ 0820?
Students who have not attained a competency level 1 in READ 0810 will be allowed to repeat READ 0810 one time under the new guidelines. Students who fail to attain competency level 2 in READ 0820 can repeat the course one time.