Placement and Orientation
Each campus offers orientation sessions that are designed to assist the new students’ knowledge of and familiarity with various available facilities and services. Orientation schedules are available
through the office of the Campus Director of Student Services.
COMPASS (COMputer-adaptive Placement Assessment and Support
Students must submit an application to the college prior to sitting for assessment.
COMPASS Placement Schedule by Campus
Oakland Community College offers computer-based assessment for English and Mathematics. COMPASS Assessment is only one component in a comprehensive new student orientation program designed to also provide appropriate academic
advisement and course placement. For initial placement, English and Mathematics COMPASS must be taken in the same testing session. This will help to ensure that entry-level OCC students will have maximum opportunities to achieve their educational
goals and to allow the institution to best identify student abilities, interests, and needs. New student orientation sessions are presented regularly throughout each semester.
Assessment information and answers will be entered electronically, although some math computation may be done with a pencil and paper. Students begin by entering identification information
and then work through a practice COMPASS section. Both assessments are untimed.
College guest students who are applying to OCC using the Michigan Uniform Undergraduate Guest Application form are exempt from English and Mathematics COMPASS assessment. (Note: High school
guest students are NOT exempt.)
Disabled or disadvantaged students should consult their campus Accessibility Compliance Center and Educational Support Services (ACCESS) office for assistance with the scheduling and administration
of assessments. ESL (English as a Second Language) students should read the information on Placement in ESL, Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP) and contact the
ASC for additional information and testing times.
Students with questions about assessment or placement should consult their campus counseling office.
Scheduling a Placement Appointment
Please call your home campus Academic Support Center (ASC) or Testing Center for an appointment or for further information. The walk-in schedule for COMPASS testing is available online. A valid picture I.D. must be presented. COMPASS
English and Math placement are not timed; students should allow 2 to 3 hours to complete both tests. *
*The link for the COMPASS practice test is: http://act.org/compass/sample/index.html
COMPASS English Placement
All new students whose native language is English must take COMPASS. Students may be exempted from taking the COMPASS English test if they meet any of the following conditions:
- You have documentation of an Advanced English Placement score of 3 or higher
- You have documentation of a CLEP score in Composition that is the equivalent of ENG 1510
- Have scored one of the following on the ACT exam with combined English & Reading sub-scores of:
- 38 or higher with minimum of 18 on each test
- 29-37 with minimum of 11 on each test
- 22-28 with minimum of 11 on each test
- You have documentation of an SAT verbal/critical reading score of 450 or higher
- You have a transcript showing achievement of a grade of "C" or higher in an equivalent college-level composition course
- You have evidence of an English COMPASS score (combined Writing Skills and Reading)
- You have been admitted to OCC as a college guest student with a College Guest Application (Note: guest applications must be renewed each semester of enrollment; also note high school guests are
- You have earned an associate degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university.
Temporary Exemption may be granted to students whose documentation for the above is pending by providing unofficial documentation to an OCC counselor.
Students may retake the COMPASS placement test one time by scheduling a "retake" at the appropriate campus ASC. One additional retake may be authorized by a counselor or the English COMPASS
Coordinator. Placement will be determined by the student"™s best score. Students may not appeal their final best English placement.
COMPASS English Notes:
- Practice booklets are available at any OCC Academic Support Center (ASC) or on the COMPASS English website.
- Students take the writing skills section first, then the reading section.
- Students placing into ENG 1055 or ENG 1060 MUST see a counselor before registering.
COMPASS Mathematics Placement
OCC has adopted the COMPASS Math Placement assessment to help students identify appropriate math courses. While proper placement in a math course is critical, it cannot in itself guarantee
success. Success in mathematics requires active participation in the learning process and is significantly affected by many factors, including attendance, the amount and quality of time spent studying,
doing homework, and preparing for assessment and other assigned activities.
Unless specifically exempt, all students, including those who plan to take MAT 2530 (Mathematics for Elementary Teachers I), must complete COMPASS Math Placement testing before registering
in a math class. After being admitted to the college, students may complete COMPASS Math Placement testing individually by contacting any OCC campus Academic Support Center (ASC), or as part of a new
student orientation program.
The COMPASS Math Placement test will identify the appropriate OCC entry-level math course. Students may take math courses at or below the course level indicated by their placement result.
Students who disagree with their initial math placement may repeat the COMPASS Math Placement test a total of two times within two years. Those students who still disagree with their
results after taking a COMPASS Math Placement test a second time should contact an OCC counselor. Students who are still not satisfied may appeal their math placement by visiting the Math department.
You are exempt from the COMPASS Math Placement if you meet any one of the following conditions:
- You have documentation of ACT scores showing 12 or higher on the math subtest within the past 2 years
- You have earned a bachelor degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university
- You are admitted to OCC under a College Guest Application from another college or university
- You have evidence of passing with a "C" or better the prerequisite math course at OCC or the equivalent college transfer course at another accredited college within the past three years
- You have earned a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement Exam in Calculus AB or BC
- You have documentation of a COMPASS Math Placement score taken elsewhere within the past two years
- You have already earned credit for a math course at OCC or at another accredited college and you wish to enroll in the same math course
Temporary Exemption may be granted to students whose documentation for the above is pending by providing valid unofficial documentation to an OCC counselor.
For additional math placement information, speak with an OCC counselor.
COMPASS Math Notes:
- Practice math placement problems with answers are available online using the Math Department Practice Test or at each campus in the ASC. Students
are recommended to "brush-up" on their math before taking the COMPASS Math Placement test.
- COMPASS Math Placement scores remain valid for two years.
Placement in ESL (MTELP)
All new students for whom English is a second language must take MTELP or submit ACT scores in order to place into the appropriate ESL level.
Students may be exempt from this testing if they meet any one of the following conditions and any submitted test scores are no more than one year old:
- Have documentation of ACT scores showing 22 or higher on the English subtest.
- Have documentation of an SAT critical reading/verbal score of 450 or higher.
- Have evidence of completing a course equivalent to ENG 1510.
- Have evidence of completing an associate degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university.
- Have been admitted to OCC under a College Guest Application from another college where they are enrolled in college-level courses (Note: guest applications must be renewed each semester of enrollment). Any student who wishes to enroll in any
ESL course must take the MTELP Placement test.
- Have an exemption from taking MTELP and the ability to enroll in English 1510 because they have an official TOEFL score of: Internet-based – total score of 79 or higher with a writing score of 24 or higher; Computer-based – total score of 213
or higher with a writing score of 5.0 or higher; Paper-based – 550 or higher with a writing (TWE) score of 5.0 or higher. Official scores must be presented to the appropriate college personnel for the students to be exempt.
- Have an exemption from taking MTELP and the ability to enroll in English 1510 because they have an official IELTS score of 6.5 or higher. Official scores must be presented to the appropriate college personnel for the students to be exempt.
A student can re-test on the MTELP if it has been one calendar year since the last MTELP and no OCC ESL courses have been taken, or if one calendar year has passed since the end of the semester in which the student was enrolled in an
OCC ESL course. No currently enrolled students in OCC ESL courses can re-test. There is an assessment test in each ESL class the first day of instruction which serves as the appeal process. If a student scores between 15 and 24 on the MTELP, a
counselor can authorize this student to take a writing sample for possible placement into the first level ESL credit classes.
Students who are in F-1 status or would like to obtain F-1 status, please go to admission requirements page. There
you will find instructions for applying to OCC and also
applying for I-20 issuance. Required forms are linked at that site.
If you have any questions, you should schedule a counseling
appointment before assessment Please contact the campus you plan to attend for an assessment appointment.
Biology Proficiency Test
If a student is planning on enrolling into BIO 1570 (Microbiology of Health and Disease) or BIO 2630 (Human Anatomy and Physiology I), then the following applies:
- Course Prerequisite - No OCC student may enroll into BIO 1570 or BIO 2630 unless she/he has met the prerequisite - a satisfactory score on the OCC Biology Proficiency Test or a grade of "C" or
better in BIO 1511 or BIO 1530 (or equivalent college transfer course) within the last 5 years.
- Testing - The Biology Proficiency Test is computerized. Information regarding test dates, times and location are available by contacting Enrollment Services, Counseling or the Academic Support
Center at any campus. In order to take the test, students must bring a valid photo ID and know their OCC student ID.
- Exemptions - Students are exempt from the Biology Proficiency Test if they meet any one of the following conditions:
- Have earned a "C" or higher in BIO 1570 or BIO 2630 in the last 5 years and plan on enrolling into BIO 1570 or BIO 2630
- Have a score of "3" or better on the AP Biology exam, taken within the last 5 years
- Have achieved a passing CLEP score on the SUBJECT exam in General Biology, taken within the last 5 years
- Have earned a bachelor degree or higher from a U.S. institution or equivalent
- Been admitted to OCC under a guest application from another college (NOTE : high school guest students are NOT eligible for a waiver).
- Scores - Students' scores on the Biology Proficiency Test will place them in the appropriate course, thus enhancing their academic success. A score of 70% or higher on the Biology Proficiency
Test will allow students to enroll in BIO 1570 or BIO 2630. If students do not receive a score of 70% or higher, then they should spend time studying before retaking the test. The Biology Proficiency
Test may be retaken only one time. Failure to pass the test a second time means that students must enroll in BIO 1511 or BIO 1530. The passing score of 70% or higher will be valid for 5 years.
Prerequisites will affect a student's ability to enroll or remain registered in a class. Course prerequisites are listed in the current
OCC catalog. Prerequisite information is also available via the SEARCH FOR SECTIONS at Online
Services. Excluding ESL courses and restricted program courses, students are exempt from prerequisites if they:
- Have earned a bachelor degree or higher from a U.S. institution, or equivalent.
- Admitted to OCC under a guest application from another college (NOTE: High school guest students are NOT exempt)
- Have an official transcript submitted showing achievement of a grade of "C" or higher in an equivalent college-level course
The prerequisite exemption for college guest students and students with a bachelor's degree or higher from a U.S. college or university is not applicable to all departments. Students should review the department’s listing of classes in the Catalog
to determine if the exemption has been removed.
Exemptions may be granted to students whose documentation for the above is pending by providing an unofficial transcript to an OCC counselor. Students receiving exemptions are responsible
for the prerequisite knowledge and should only enroll into the appropriate level course. Exemptions are not official evaluations and do not count toward degree or certificate requirements.
English Placement Requirement
Students who have placed into ENG 1055 or ESL 1510/1520 and who have not successfully completed that course yet or a higher-level English course or higher-level ESL course may register into designated courses only, excluding classes
which are online or hybrid offerings. Students who are eligible to take ENG 1060 or higher may register into any course, provided the course prerequisites and corequisites have been satisfied.