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Guided Self-Placement (GSP)

Guided self-placement is a process where students reflect on their familiarity and comfort with course requirements/skills to determine the appropriate levels of coursework that align with their personal educational goals and abilities. Some students may be asked to follow a guided self-placement process for placement into English or reading courses.

    • English
      Based on how students answer questions on the Assessment Questionnaire (AQ), students might get a message that directs them to contact the American Language (AmLa) Department to assist with their placement.  This is mostly true for students whose native language is other than English. Students who receive this message will be provided additional guidance that will help in placing them into the appropriate English course.  If you are a student and you received this message, please read the “Can-Do” Statements shown below before you contact the AmLa department.  There are six different “Can-Do” Statements.  Each section has a list of things related to English writing and reading.   After reading all of the “I can” items for each number, you should decide on which numbered box best matches what you are able to do in English.  Then you will contact an AmLa faculty member (AskAmLa@mtsac.edu) to discuss your English course placement.
       
      "Can-Do" Statements
      Please read the statements in the boxes and choose the box that BEST describes your English abilities. Choose only ONE box.
      1
      I can:
      • Write a complete or incomplete sentence on simple topics.
      • Understand very little spoken English.
      • Use very limited English vocabulary with lots of translation.
      • Read and understand a limited amount in English.
      • Sometimes make myself understood to others.
      • Use memorized phrases to talk to people.
      2
      I can:
      • Write groups of sentences to paragraphs on simple topics.
      • Write simple sentences and maybe some complex sentences with several errors.
      • Read texts in English written for ESL learners.
      • Use limited English vocabulary with some translation.
      • Sometimes use basic sentence structure (Subject + Verb + Object) with several errors.
      • Sometimes use simple present and simple past tenses with several errors.
      • Write sentences that may have several errors in articles, plurals, and prepositions.
      • I can talk about basic needs, can ask basic questions, and understand at least 40% of language instructions when people speak slowly and clearly.
      3
      I can:
      • Write a timed 3 paragraph in-class paper with an introduction, some supporting details, and a conclusion.
      • Read texts in English written for young readers or ESL students.
      • Use generally correct basic sentence structure (Subject + Verb + Object) with some errors.
      • Use generally correct verb tenses (simple present, past, future) and sometimes correct complex verb tenses (present perfect, past progressive, past perfect, modals) with some errors.
      • Sometimes use appropriate vocabulary without translation.
      • Write sentences that may have some errors in articles, plurals, and prepositions.
      • Give my opinion on some everyday topics and understand a least 55% of what I hear.
      4
      I can:
      • Write a timed two-page in-class essay with an introduction, a thesis, some supporting details, and a conclusion.
      • Add some sources (articles, books, websites, and videos) to my paper to support my ideas without copying the writer's exact words
      • Read articles and full-length books in English (not for ESL) with some help.
      • Use mostly correct sentence structure (with few to no errors).
      • Use mostly correct tenses (simple present, past, future) and often correct complex tenses (present perfect, past progressive, past perfect, modals).
      • Use some academic vocabulary and appropriate word choices.
      • Write sentences that have few errors in articles, plurals, and prepositions.
      • Give my opinion on some academic topics, ask questions to get help, and understand at least 75% of what I hear.
      5
      I can:
      • Write an essay of more than 3 pages.
      • Use sources to support my own ideas.
      • Read a full-length book in English.
      • Write sentences without using slang (informal English).
      • Write sentences without a lot of grammar errors.
      • Give my opinion, share information, ask questions, and disagree with others.
      6
      I can:
      • Write an essay of more than 3 pages.
      • Use sources to support my own ideas.
      • Read a full-length book in English.
      • Write sentences without using slang (informal English).
      • Write sentences without a lot of grammar errors.
      • Give my opinion, share information, ask questions, disagree with others, and understand most of what I hear.
    • Reading

      Some students who take the Assessment Questionnaire (AQ) might be asked to contact a counselor to complete the assessment process for Reading.  If English is your native language and you received this message, we ask you to read the following College Reading Guided Self-Placement information.  This information will help you understand your readiness for enrolling in either READ 90 (Reading College Texts) or READ 100 (Analysis and Critical Reading).

      College Reading: Guided Self-Placement

      Please use this guide to understand your own readiness for READ 90: Reading College Texts or READ 100: Analysis and Critical Reading.

      The following passage comes from a college level Marine Biology textbook, Marine Ecosystems. This excerpt is from Chapter 4.2 “Diversity in the Coral World.” The questions that follow will help you decide which transferrable college reading course is best for you at Mt. SAC.

      4.2.1.2. The orders of magnitude of diversity in the coral world versus other biomes

      Coral environments are considered to be one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, the marine equivalent of tropical forests on land. It is, however, difficult to quantify the difference between coral environments and other environments, because on the one hand, outside of the vertebrates and a few other groups, the biodiversity data is poorly known [APP 12, PLA 11], and on the other hand, there are distinct ideas of biodiversity:

      – the overall diversity, i.e. all species living in a given ecosystem;

      – the diversity density i.e. the number of species per unit area (or unit volume).

      These two concepts are used to assess diversity. Conceptually, it is possible to have a high overall diversity but a relatively low density diversity, which would imply that, from one place to another, the species differ (high beta diversity 3 [KOL03]). In the attempt to locate the diversity of coral reefs compared with other ecosystems, we are going to analyze two examples: fish and mollusks. There are approximately 32,800 species of fish currently described in the world [FIS 10], 17,200 of which are marine species. There are 7,300 species of reef fish [KUL13]; given that reefs represent an area of 0.02% of the marine environment, these figures show that the number of species per unit area is high. At present, we do not know of any other marine environment with such densities of fish.

      Some geographical comparisons, however, provide an overview of this diversity. Around New Caledonia, there are approximately 1,800 species of reef fish [FRI 11] with a coastline of approximately 1,500 km. In the Europe-Mediterranean zone, from the north of Norway to the mouth of the Nile, there are approximately 1,100 species within the same depth range for a linear coastline of over 30,000 km. However, a comparison with continental waters offers a very different perspective. In the Indo-Pacific, there are approximately 4,800 species of reef fish. The Amazon basin has less species (approximately 3,500 [JUN 07]) but in a biogeographical area that is approximately twenty times smaller.

      Prouzet, Patrick. Marine Ecosystems : Diversity and Functions, edited by André Monaco, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/mtsac/detail.action?docID=4043128. Created from mtsac on 2019-04-14 23:55:35.

      1. Given that the passage above is typical for an introductory general education science textbook, which statement best applies to you?
        1. I am not confident in my understanding of this reading and would want significant help from my instructor or a tutor to interpret and explain its meaning in a written assignment or on an exam.
        2. I am somewhat confident in my understanding of this reading but would want a little help from my instructor or a tutor to interpret and explain its meaning in a written assignment or on an exam.
        3. I am confident in my understanding of this reading and am confident I could interpret and explain its meaning on my own through a written assignment or on an exam.
      2. Typically, college courses require 25-30 pages or more of weekly reading throughout the semester; instructors expect students to be able to demonstrate their reading skills through written assignments and exams. Given this fact, which statement best applies to you?
        1. I am not confident that I will be able to complete all of the required reading and fully understand the importance of the content without significant help from my instructor or a tutor to interpret and explain its meaning.
        2. I am somewhat confident that I will be able to complete all of the required reading and fully understand the importance of the content but would want a little help from my instructor or a tutor to interpret and explain its meaning.
        3. I am confident that I will be able to complete all of the required reading and fully understand the importance of the content on my own.

      If you answered not confident to one or both of the above questions, you may want to consider taking READ 90: Reading College Texts. This course focuses on

      • exploring effective college textbook reading process,
      • developing vocabulary,
      • applying cross-disciplinary textbook analysis, and
      • increasing comprehension and critical thinking.

      (Completion of READ 90 with a grade of “C” or higher meets the graduation reading competency for an AA/AS degree; READ 90 is not required for an AA-T/AS-T degree.)

      If you answered confident or somewhat confident to both of the above questions, you may want to consider enrolling in READ 100: Analysis and Critical Reading. This critical reading course focuses on

      • effective use of critical thinking in a cross-disciplinary framework,
      • development of critical reading skills, and
      • applying interpretation, analysis, and evaluation of a variety of academic texts across disciplines.

      (Eligibility for READ 100 meets the graduation reading competency for an AA/AS degree; taking READ 100 is optional; READ 100 is not required for an AA-T/AS-T degree.)