GCC CLYMER program allows students to skip placement exam

by Jayne Flores
Guam Community College

Guam Community College has done the math, and the results show that students who graduate from high school with good grades and have taken higher level math or senior English courses can jump right into college-level math and English courses without taking a placement exam. That is the focus of the new GCC CLYMER program (Classroom Learning Yields Math & English Readiness).

“Based on our data over the past seven years, we’ve seen that high school graduates with certain grades and GPAs who jumped right into MA110, MA161A, and EN110, or who took those courses through our high school Dual Enrollment Accelerated Learning (DEAL) program, had an 80-90 percent pass rate for those freshman level courses,” said Dr. Michael Chan, Dean of Technology & Student Services. “Therefore, we are instituting this CLYMER program as an option for students NOT to have to take a placement test in order to register for classes at GCC.”

The students must apply to enroll directly in Math 110 or 161A or English 110, the freshman level courses at GCC. Chan explains that students must have graduated from high school within two years of applying to GCC, and must have completed the following courses with a grade of “B” or better and have the required grade point average:

Algebra II and GPA of 3.2 or better (for MA110)
Trig/Analytical Geometry and GPA of 3.4 or better (for MA161A)
English 12 and GPA of 3.2 or better (for EN110)

Students can apply for CLYMER if they fall just short of these requirements with a letter of recommendation from two recent teachers, and a self-assessment letter describing the student’s ability to successfully complete the college level course(s) for which they are applying.

“GCC has been studying this scenario for several years,” Dr. Chan noted. “We see that sometimes the college placement exam is a hindrance for those students that have done well in math and English courses in high school, but for whatever reason, did not do well on the placement exam, and they end up wasting a semester in a pre-college level course that actually holds them back from timely completion of their degree or certificate program.”

 “Another reason I am very passionate out the CLYMER program is because I myself did not do well in my placement exam upon entering college, and was held back for a whole year because of my results indicating I needed to be in trigonometry instead of calculus,” Chan explained. “I felt I was ready, I told the counselor I was ready, I offered my transcripts as evidence, but the college’s policy on placement results prevented me from having the option of enrolling directly into calculus.  This is what the CLYMER program is about, providing our students with an option that many of us never had, until now,” he said. 

“The CLYMER program is part of our transformation into an institution focused on 100 percent student success,” said Dr. Ray Somera, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The numbers tell us that students that meet the CLYMER requirements do not need remedial level math and English courses.”

Dr. Somera and Dr. Chan pointed out that the CLYMER program is named in memory of the late Patrick Clymer, Admissions & Registration Coordinator. Mr. Clymer passed away suddenly last year, while he and Dr. Chan were working on the placement test waiver program.

For more information on how to apply for the CLYMER placement test waiver program, please call 735-5573 or log onto www.guamcc.edu/Runtime/clymer.aspx.

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