To facilitate student success in coursework, Durham Technical Community College establishes and follows procedures to assess students for placement into appropriate courses that match students' proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics with academic requirements of the curriculum.
Durham Tech’s Testing Center offers a variety of in-person and online student assessment services. Students participating in online placement testing must have internet access and a personal computer (mobile devices should not be used for placement testing). Refer to the Placement Testing section of the website for additional information, including scheduling guidelines.
In accordance with the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges Testing Policy regulations, Durham Tech uses the Reinforced Instruction for Student Excellence (RISE) test to assess students’ college readiness in reading, writing, and mathematics.
Students who have completed associate degrees or higher from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States are college-ready and can take any gateway 100-level course on their plan of study. Students who do not already hold an associate degree or higher from the United States must use their unweighted high school GPA for placement if they graduated from an accredited high school in the United States. ACT, SAT, GED, HiSET, NCDAP, COMPASS, ASSET, and ACCUPLACER scores can be used for placement within ten years from the date taken. If college transcripts, high school records, or test scores are unavailable, students must take the placement test.
Students may request an exemption to the requirement to use their college transcripts, high school records, or previous test scores by contacting the Assistant Vice President, Academics and Guided Career Pathways (or their designee) to request permission to take the RISE placement test.
Determination of readiness for RISE will be based on students' responses to the questions below. With the exception of high school students testing to enroll in Career and College Promise (CCP), all students are required to answer the following questions:
- Is U.S. English your first language?
- Did you graduate from a U.S. high school?
Students who answer "Yes” to the questions above will take the RISE test. Students who answer “No” to one or both of the questions above will take the ACCUPLACER ESL test.
Students may contact the Assistant Vice President, Academics and Guided Career Pathways (or their designee) to appeal the requirement to take the ACCUPLACER ESL test and may request permission to take the RISE placement test instead.
RISE placement tests include:
- Two (2) English Tests – Students must pass the first English test with a score of seventy percent (70%) or higher to qualify to take the second English test; and
- Three (3) Math Tests – Students must pass the first math test with a score of seventy percent (70%) or higher to qualify to take the second math test. Students must pass the second math test with a score of seventy percent (70%) or higher to qualify to take the third math test.
All RISE placement tests are provided at no cost to the student and are multiple-choice, administered by computer, and untimed. Most students need forty-five (45) to sixty (60) minutes to complete each of the RISE tests. Scores are shared with the appropriate academic advisor, who will assist their assigned students with academic planning and course selection.
Students may retake the RISE placement test only once and may not retest on the same day as their original test.
ACCUPLACER ESL Test
Students taking the ACCUPLACER ESL test in the areas of reading skills, language use, and sentence meaning must meet with the Director of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) (or their designee), who will evaluate their placement test scores and conduct personal interviews. During the interviews, the Director (or their designee) may request a writing sample to accurately determine a student's skill level. Students will be placed into the appropriate EAP reading and writing course, with the possibility of an additional grammar or listening/speaking class based on their individual needs.
Students who place in Levels 3 and 4 will be directed to take the RISE math test. Students in Levels 1 and 2 of EFL courses in reading and writing should not take the RISE math test unless they have received permission from the Director of EAP (or their designee).
Students whose ACCUPLACER ESL placement test scores and interview results indicate that they meet the skill level criteria in language will be directed to take the RISE tests in reading, writing, and mathematics.
Students may not retest in any area of the ACCUPLACER ESL placement test unless they have met with and received permission from the Director of EAP (or their designee).
In accordance with the Accommodations for Students with Disabilities policy, students may request testing accommodations by contacting Accessibility Services at 919-536-7208 or firstname.lastname@example.org.