Bobby Smith
(731) 424-3520 ext. 50432


Proper placement leads to academic success. Academic success leads to retention and graduation.

Assessment and Placement Procedures

  • Learning Support (LS) Program courses are designed to help students succeed in college-level courses. All students seeking credit must meet mandatory assessment and placement requirements prior to registering for courses with placement requirements. 
  • To take the TBR placement test, students must get clearance from the Admissions Office and then pay a nonrefundable/nontransferable $20 fee in the Business Office. 
  • Degree-seeking students needing LS courses must enroll in and satisfactorily complete those courses during their initial terms of enrollment. 
  • Full-time students must take a LS class in each required area and part-time students must take a course in at least one required LS area.
  • LS courses passed at non-TBR institutions do not automatically transfer to JSCC. Placement testing may be required. 
  • Summer students may take one college-level class per session depending on pre-requisites.
  • Persistence in Learning Support is essential. Most college-level classes have Learning Support prerequisites so students' goals will be delayed if they withdraw from LS classes. Students who want to withdraw from LS courses must have approval from the Learning Support director and must check financial aid consequences.

Screening by ACT/SAT

  • Assessment decisions are based on valid ACT/SAT scores.
  • Valid ACT/SAT scores are those earned within three years prior to the first day of a student’s entering term.
  • No assessment is required of any student with a valid ACT composite score of 26 or higher.

Assessment Criteria

Degree-Seeking, First-time Students

  • Entering students under 21 years of age must present ACT/SAT scores. 
  • Entering students under the age of 21 who have no ACT or SAT scores and who will not have an opportunity to take either test on a national test date before classes begin will be given COMPASS or ASSET.
  • Entering students 21 years and older who do not have ACT/SAT scores must complete the COMPASS or ASSET.
  • Scores used for initial assessment must have been earned within 3 years prior to the first day of the student’s entering term. 

Degree-Seeking Transfer Students

  • Students entering without transferable, college-level English composition credit will be assessed in writing.
  • Students entering without transferable, college-level credit from a reading-intensive general education course will be assessed in reading. 
  • Students entering without transferable, college-level mathematics credit will be assessed in mathematics.

Special Students: Non-Degree-Seeking / Certificate Programs

  • Certificate-seeking students entering without transferable, college level English composition credit will be assessed prior to enrollment in college-level English or in any course with English composition as a prerequisite. 
  • Certificate-seeking students entering without transferable, college level credit from a reading-intensive general education course will be assessed in reading. 
  • Certificate-seeking students without transferable, college-level mathematics credit will be assessed prior to enrollment in college-level mathematics or in any course with mathematics as a prerequisite.
  • Students who change to degree-seeking status will be assessed under guidelines for degree-seeking students.

Screening Adjustments

  • Students who are not required to undergo assessment may request testing.
  • Instructors may recommend testing for students who did not undergo assessment but later showed deficiencies.


Attendance in Learning Support is mandatory. Instructors may impose grade penalties at their discretion for students’ absences. Student absences may be reported to the Learning Support director for review.

Drops and Withdrawals

Persistence in Learning Support is essential. Since most college-level classes have Learning Support prerequisites, student goals will be delayed and there may be financial aid consequences for withdrawing from Learning Support. Students enrolled in Learning Support may not drop these classes without the approval of the Learning Support director. Students who are withdrawing from college, that is, all their classes, may do so by following the appropriate withdrawal procedures.

Credit Hours

Credit hours earned in LS classes may not be used to meet any degree requirement. These credits are institutional credit only. The grades made in LS classes become part of the academic record and will be used to determine semester GPA and cumulative GPA for retention, probation, and suspension purposes, as well as eligibility for financial aid and athletics, but will not be used when determining eligibility for dean’s list, honor roll, or graduation honors.

Grade Assignments

Letter grades assigned to LS classes are A, B, C, F, I (Incomplete), PR (Progress), or W (Withdraw). Students are eligible to earn a PR Progress grade only during their first attempt
taking an LS class. A grade of C or better is necessary for students to complete LS classes and progress to the next higher class. Students who earn grades lower than C must repeat the course. A grade of “I” is not considered an attempt. Grades of “PR” and “F” and “W”
are considered as attempts. Students may not receive a “W,” or “I” without permission of the Learning Support director. Students receiving Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits cannot receive those benefits for on-line LS classes or for courses in which a PR grade is assigned.


Students may not audit LS classes.


Students with Academic Suspension may appeal in writing to the Admissions and Standards Committee. Appeals, other than suspension, should be made directly to the Learning Support director.

Financial Aid

Providing students are eligible, federal financial aid programs may pay for up to 30 semester hours of attempted LS classes.


Developmental courses passed at non-TBR institutions do not automatically transfer to Jackson State. ACT or TBR placement testing will be required.

Confirmation (Challenge) Testing

Students who are placed into Learning Support by ACT scores are encouraged to confirm placement in Learning Support by taking the COMPASS, an untimed, computerized test. COMPASS is offered throughout the registration period; check the college calendar for dates. Students must register in the Assessment Center and pay a nonrefundable and nontransferable
fee of $5 per test area (math, reading, and/or writing) to the Business Office. Because studying for the test can make a difference in placement, students are advised to pick up ACT study materials, available at area bookstores, libraries, and on the web. Confirmation testing is not available to students who have received a grade in a class (including a PR or a W). They must retake the class to replace their grade.


Free tutoring is available to all JSCC students, including students enrolled in LS.

Tutoring in writing at all levels, including LS, is available in the Writing Center (WC), located on the first floor of the Library. (731) 425-8848. Some writers in learning support courses may be required to use the WC’s services as part of their course curriculum.

The SMART Math Center, located in the Nelms Classroom Building, offers tutoring to students enrolled in learning support for math. The Math Lab offers tutoring in other math courses. No appointment is necessary in either lab.

Students who need additional support in LS Reading can find help in the Reading Lab in the Nelms Classroom Building.

Tutoring in nearly all other academic areas is available in the Academic Assistance Center (AAC), located on the second floor of the Library. (731) 425-2614. Students can schedule one-time or on-going tutoring.


Students in Learning Support have access to all open labs on any
Jackson State campus. Open lab hours vary by semester and campus.

College-Level Enrollment

Enrollment in college-level courses may
depend on LS prerequisites. Students who enroll in a college-level
course without meeting the LS pre-requisites for that course may be
administratively dropped from the college-level course for academic
ineligibility without further notice.