Assessment Center

Student using a computer in testing center Located in Room 133 of the Student Center.

The Assessment Center and its staff provide a variety of services to students and the community. We offer online as well as conventional paper-and-pencil style assessments.

The Academic Skills Assessment for incoming students is done on a walk-in basis unless otherwise indicated. New students need to complete the online application for admission two business days before coming into assess. Our hours of operation are listed below. Please allow 2-2½ hours to complete the full Academic Skills Assessment. A photo ID is required for all testing. No testing will begin in the final hour of the day.

See our Tips for Successful Test-Taking.

Assessment Center Services Include

Hours of Operation
DaysOpenCheck In No Later ThanAll Testing Ends
Monday 8:30 a.m. 3 p.m. 4 p.m.
Tuesday 8:30 a.m. 3 p.m. 4 p.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m. 7 p.m. 7:45 p.m.
Thursday 8:30 a.m. 7 p.m. 7:45 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. 3 p.m. 4 p.m.

The Assessment Center is CLOSED on weekends and when the college is closed and on various in-service days.

Assessment Testing

Who is required to take the Academic Skills Assessment?

  • First-time entering freshmen taking 6 credit hours or more (two or more classes).
  • Students planning to take English, math or courses that require English or math as a prerequisite.
  • Students who have taken the Academic Skills Assessment more than two years ago and have not since completed a math or English course at the college level.
  • Students who do not have a High School Equivalency (HSE) and have not graduated from high school MUST take the assessment and meet with a counselor before they will be allowed to register for any classes.

What will I be tested on?

The Academic Skills Assessment consists of three parts. They are: COMPASS® reading and mathematics, and an English essay.

  • The reading and mathematics tests are part of the COMPASS® System. This is a computer assessment developed by ACT, Inc.  It stands for Computer-adapted Placement Assessment and Support Services.  What makes COMPASS® unique is that it adapts to your abilities ... questions increase in difficulty depending on your skill level. 

For samples of the COMPASS® assessment questions visit

NOTE: St. Charles Community College will accept the following ACT® scores (taken within the past two years):

  • Reading, 18 or above. You do not have to take our Compass® Reading assessment. No developmental reading courses are required.
  • Mathematics, 23 or above. You do not have to take our Compass® Mathematics assessment. You may enroll in College Algebra.
  • English, 21 or above. You do not have to write an essay. You may enroll in ENG 101, English Composition I.

Non-native English speaking students will be required to take further assessments for possible placement into one or more of our credit awarding English as a Second Language classes.  The COMPASS-ESL assessment will be used to measure a student's English listening and reading skills.

What if I fail the tests?

First and foremost, the Academic Skills Assessment is not a pass/fail test; it was developed to assist in college academic advising and course placement. The results will help you choose courses and make appropriate career decisions. In other words, your scores will indicate where your academic strengths and needs lie in relation to college-level work for your chosen major. 

  • You may be required to enroll in appropriate developmental courses before being allowed to take college-level courses.
  • If a student places below MAT 096, the student will be given a resource sheet that will offer options on how to improve his or her math skills.  Students must meet with an academic counselor and wait at least one week before retesting.
  • If a student places below RDG 085, they must meet with an academic counselor to discuss remediation opportunities.

English Appeals – The English Department encourages students to appeal their writing placement when they believe it is incorrect. Students should begin this appeal process by discussing the options with a counselor. Expect to write two essays. The first essay will be a “take home” essay consisting of approximately 500 words. This essay will be typed and submitted to the Assessment Center when you appear to complete the second essay, which will be approximately 300 words written on a computer under the supervision of a proctor. You must complete the appeal process before starting an English class (a $10 fee will be charged to cover the cost of this assessment appeal).

Mathematics Appeals – The Math Department encourages students to appeal their placement when they believe it is incorrect. Students should begin this appeal process by discussing the options with a counselor. The student may be allowed to reassess using COMPASS (a $10 fee will be charged to cover the cost of the assessment appeal). You will be expected to spend time reviewing skills needed on the Compass assessment before re-testing (a mandatory waiting period of one week is required between testing). If after appealing you feel that you score doesn't reflect your current math skills, you may discuss your situation with the appropriate math department Chairperson located in ADM 2242 (636-922-8496). Any supporting documents, such as ACT scores, high school transcripts and the assessment report should be brought to the appointment. Once you start a math course – no appeal will be allowed.

Reading Appeals – The Reading Department encourages students to appeal their placement when they believe it is incorrect. Students should begin this appeal process by discussing the options with a counselor. The student may be allowed to re-assess using COMPASS (a $10 fee will be charged to cover the cost of the assessment appeal). You will be expected to spend time reviewing skills needed on the Compass assessment before re-testing (a mandatory waiting period of one week is required between testing). Once you start a reading course – no appeal will be allowed.

Note: You MUST re-take the English, math or reading assessment if it has been at least two years since you last assessed and you never enrolled in a class. An appeal can be taken one time only. Students that did not place in a course can repeat the appeal process. 

You could be advised to withdraw from a college-level course and take assessment tests if the instructor believes you lack necessary skills to continue. A student with an identified deficiency may then enter a recommended developmental course to address the deficiency. 

Should you require assistance in meeting academic challenges, the college offers courses in math, reading, study skills and English as well as instructional support services through our Academic and Career Enhancement (ACE) Tutoring Center.

Credit by Examination: Non-Traditional Credit

Types of Non-Traditional Credit

CLEP | Advanced Placement | Departmental Exam | Retroactive Credit | Articulation Credits | Military Experience | PEP

Credit granted through one of the non-traditional processes will count towards the total credits earned towards graduation; however, the credit will not be calculated into the cumulative GPA. Colleges or universities to which you may transfer might not accept this credit. Likewise, SCC may or may not accept credit by examination taken elsewhere. Each institution makes its own evaluation of these issues.

College Level Examination (CLEP)

Evaluates knowledge acquired through sources other than traditional college course work. SCC will grant credit for certain subject CLEP examinations according to departmental guidelines. SCC does not grant credit for general CLEP exams.

Course/Subject AreaScore RequiredHours GrantedSCC Equivalent
American Government 50 3 POL 101
American History 1 50 3 HIS 101
American History 2 50 3 HIS 102
Management 50 3 BUS 201
Marketing 50 3 BUS 230 
Psychology 50 3 PSY 101
Sociology 50 3 SOC 101
Western Civilization 1 50 3 HIS 145
Western Civilization 2 50 3 HIS 146

Advanced Placement (AP)

Administered through area high schools allows a student to gain college credit through subject area testing.

Course/Subject AreaScore RequiredHours GrantedSCC Equivalent
Art History 3, 4 or 5 3 ART 150
Biology 4 or 5 4 BIO 150
Calculus AB 3, 4 or 5 5 MAT 180
Calculus BC 3, 4 or 5 10 MAT 180 & 230
English Language & Composition 4 or 5 3 ENG 101
Psychology 3, 4 or 5 3 PSY 101
U.S. Government & Politics 4 or 5 3 POL 101
U.S. History  4 or 5 3 HIS 101

Departmental Exams

Credit may be granted to a student who has in-depth knowledge of a subject. Discuss with the appropriate department chairperson whether you are prepared to take an exam. The department may refuse to administer the exam based on the evaluation. The fee for the exam must be paid before taking the test. Credits earned by examination will be equated to a specific SCC course and will be designated under the category of “non-course work” on the academic transcript.

Retroactive Credit

If you are able to enroll in a higher level foreign language course, and upon completion of that course with a 75% or better grade receive credit for the lower-level course or courses that were bypassed. Consult with the department chairperson for more information. Hours awarded vary.

Credit Through Articulation Process

SCC has agreed to grant college credit to students completing specified courses as stated in college-approved articulation (transfer) agreements with certain area career/technical programs and high schools. Credits apply ONLY to the Certificate of Achievement and Associate of Applied Science. Examples of courses included ACT-101, BUS-101, or some computer courses. Will be designated under the category of “non-course work” on the academic transcript. Students must present SCC with a completed copy of the articulation agreement at the time of enrollment.

Articulation Criteria

  • Articulated courses have been designed for credit both at your high school and for credit at SCC toward an Associate of Applied Science Degree, NOT for the Associate of Arts (transfer) Degree.
  • A grade of “B” or better is required in all high school coursework that is articulated.
  • The student must complete the SCC application and request that a high school official transcript be sent to the SCC Enrollment Services Department (ADM 1113).
  • When meeting with an SCC academic counselor or registration assistant, students must identify themselves as having articulated credit through their high school.
  • Students must present the white copy of the Certificate of Credit to Enrollment Services.
  • Students must complete 6 hours of college-level coursework toward an A.A.S. Degree at SCC with a 2.5 or higher GPA before articulation credit will be posted.
  • Students must request that the SCC Enrollment Services Department record the Articulated High School Courses to the SCC transcript.
  • Should students wish to transfer any of these articulated credits from SCC to another college or university, they should check with an academic counselor at the transfer institution to determine transferability.

Military Experience

Experience in the Armed Services may be considered for credit based upon recommendations of the American Council on Education Commission and the students intended major. Submit a military transcript and automatically be awarded 2 credit hours of Physical Education.  Contact the Coordinator of Veteran Benefits for information on obtaining a military transcript.

Proficiency Examination Program (PEP)

American College Testing (ACT) sponsors PEP, which evaluates specific subject area knowledge a student may have acquired through sources of training other than traditional course work. With a score of a 45, you may be granted credit for Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2 (BIO-240/243 and BIO-241/244) (8 credits) or for Microbiology BIO-245/247 (4 credits).

Outcomes Assessment

SCC is committed to the assessment of college programs and services to improve and maintain their quality and effectiveness. Classroom and program activities, including surveys and focus groups, will be used to assess the outcomes of college education.

Students completing the Associate of Arts 42-hour general education block are required to take COL 299 Sophomore Portfolio Assessment, which will assess their acquisition of knowledge and skills.

Students who complete career-technical programs will be assessed on their mastery of essential occupational skills and general education knowledge. The method of assessing these skills will vary by discipline. Some of the methods used by the programs will be portfolios, culminating projects, field specific national tests, and tests developed by the department.