Placement Policy


The Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the policy on Student Placement into General Education Core Courses requiring all Arkansas institutions to adopt appropriate placement measures which are supported by student success data.

Listed are the guidelines for development of Institutional Placement Plans. Further resources can be found below the form. 

The Arkansas Division of Higher Education issued formal placement recommendations to all public institutions on 10/09/2023.

Required Review of Viable Metrics:
The list below includes nationally normed indicators as a starting point as institutions review key indicators for student success in gateway courses.  Institutions are not limited to the sole use of indicators listed; however, reporting of placement exam scores is required by Arkansas code. Consideration of entrance exam scores in conjunction with other predictors is anticipated (as denoted by the inclusion of ACT range tables in the AHECB Placement Policy).

Nationally normed entrance exams, and

  • High School GPA (overall and by subject area)
  • High School courses completed by subject area (i.e. consideration of advanced high school math course GPA)
  • Successful completion (A or B) of a high school Transitional Course
  • Age at entry (years since high school graduation)
  • “Grit” tests and other measures of motivation/engagement
  • Other evidence based factors may be included and vary by institutional mission.

Institutional Placement Plans:
Placement plans are to be developed and submitted with inclusion of 2-4 viable data metrics denoted by the institution after careful and collective examination of gateway course outcomes data. A complete placement plan submitted in conjunction with the metrics affords an institutional narrative to be added to the metrics illuminating practices in student support, curricular design, and ongoing assessment or revision of support interventions.

The plan should include information regarding the following practices supporting students who exhibit an academic risk factor(s) and are placed in pre-requisite developmental courses, co-requisite courses, or gateway courses with support related to academic risk factors: 

A. Advising
Outline advising practices including but not limited to placement flowchart, testing procedures with placement minimums, and other placement factors employed.

B. Course Descriptions
List all academic support courses (pre-requisite and co-requisite) for each gateway course to support outcomes in math, composition, and reading learning gains.

C. Support Strategies
Support of student success (i.e. early alert procedures, attendance tracking, tutoring requirements, etc.)

D. Assessment of Outcomes
Briefly describe steps taken to assess the course outcomes, to evaluate curricular revisions, and to measure impact on retention and/or other related factors.

NOTE:  Institutions with ADHE Student Success Plans may already have portions of the narrative information developed. Approved placement plans will replace the former ADHE Student Success Plans denoted in the SIS Manual pertaining to post-test scores and ACT 971.

Placement ResourcesFile
Game Changers in College Completion by Dr. Dhanfu Elston and Dr. Bruce Vandal with Complete College America (CCA)PDF
New Freshmen Placement Policy and Practice by Ann Clemmer with ADHEPDF
Multiple Measures for Placement by Dr. Marla Strecker with ADHE PDF
Using Analytics to Predict Student Success and Focus Resources by David Underwood with Arkansas Tech UniversityPDF
Corequisite Remediation, Placement, and Math Pathways by Dr. Bruce VandalPDF
CCA Data Process & Best Practice for Collection and Submission by Katie Zaback with CCAPDF
Guided Pathways & 15-TO-Finish by Dr. Dhanfu ElstonPDF