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Academic Placement

We use a placement approach that takes into account students’ learning strengths and needs.

Points of Entry

Students come to Landmark College with varying abilities in reading, writing, math, and information literacy. Through our placement process, we determine college readiness based on previous coursework, writing samples, and achievement scores.

We want our students to be successful, and we tailor our incoming entry points to meet the needs of students, to meet collegiate standards, and to be sure that students are placed accurately in their entering curriculum.

There are three points of entry for incoming Landmark College students: Credit, Strategic Transition Entry Point (STEP), and the Language Intensive Curriculum (LIC).

Learn more about points of entry:

  • The Credit Curriculum is designed for students entering with college-level skills.

    Both required first-semester courses focus on delivering content while providing explicit skills instruction in what is often referred to as “the hidden curriculum.”

    Students are introduced to study strategies, writing process strategies, self-management techniques, and organization and time management.

    Required Core Courses:

    Perspectives in Learning (EDU 1011)

    This course develops study skills in conjunction with learning about the brain, behavior, and cognition. Students learn concepts related to executive function and the critical role it plays in memory and learning. Recent research has shown that many people diagnosed with language-based learning disabilities, ADHD, or ASD may have challenges in this area. Students will also learn about the legal environment related to learning disabilities to develop their self-advocacy skills.

    Composition and Rhetoric (WRT 1011)

    This course provides reading, writing, and critical thinking skills development at the credit level in order to prepare students in meeting the demands of college level expectations within the course and across the curriculum.

    In addition to the required core, Credit Curriculum students take two credit-bearing electives.

  • STEP is a one- or two-semester program designed to increase college readiness.

    We focus on helping you improve reading comprehension, writing skills, and academic habits that are needed to be successful in managing a full credit curriculum.

    The STEP curriculum offers:

    • Intensive skills approach
    • Explicit instruction in active and critical reading
    • Embedded assistive technology instruction and support
    • Focused instruction for generating and producing written language
    • Scheduled supplemental support for reading and required core courses

    Required Core Courses: First Semester

    College Learning Strategies (EDU0911)

    This course focuses on helping students develop the strategies needed for success in college and the workforce. This course also includes an additional weekly support component facilitated by the course instructor. (Noncredit)

    Practical Writing (WRT0911)

    This course focuses on developing the student writer’s ability to use writing in academic, personal, and professional contexts. Students learn to develop and organize their ideas to craft clear and concise writing in multiple genres, including those encountered in professional settings. This course also includes an additional weekly support component facilitated by the course instructor. (Noncredit)

    Additional Course requirements:

    Introduction to Communication (COM1011)

    This survey course introduces students to the field of communication and enables them to increase their effectiveness and precision as public speakers and members of seminars and groups. Students explore how their perceptions influence the manner in which they communicate and how to use a wide variety of listening skills. They become aware of how verbal and nonverbal language can alter, detract from, or enhance messages. Students also employ a variety of language strategies that promote inclusion, honesty, conflict resolution, and support from within a group. (3 credits)

    Personal Finance (FIN1011) or Other Math Placement

    This course provides students with a foundation upon which to develop lifelong personal financial management skills. Topics include: the importance of personal finance; financial planning and the time-value of money; money management skills such as budgeting, balancing a checkbook, taxes, cash management, credit/debit cards, and major purchases (auto, home, education); insurance (property/liability, health, life); and investments (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, portfolio management, real estate, retirement planning). Math Level 3 or higher required. (3 credits)

    Other Math Placement

    New students take a math placement test that is hosted through our student onboarding site. Students test into a wide array of math levels from the need for noncredit math to calculus. A student’s math level is determined by departmental review and math placement test results.

    Students who have taken an AP math course or college-level math should be sure to submit transcripts and scores to the Registrar.


    Students may want to round out their academic experience with one-credit enrichment offerings. We have many one-credit offerings that do not require prerequisites.

    Eligibility for full credit after the first semester:

    • Earned grades of C or better in EDU0911 and WRT0911.
    • Completion of proficiency test that meets benchmarks for full-credit entry.
    • Our placement team reviews proficiency test results, includes two readers, and considers faculty input about student performance.

    Required Core Courses: Second Semester

    Writing for Business (WRT0912)

    Writing for Business prepares students to be effective and confident writers in the workplace. Skill with written communication, a key attribute for professional success, is a qualification that employers increasingly seek. Whether in a class, job, internship, apprenticeship, or volunteer opportunity, the ability to communicate effectively in writing and apply the principles that guide workplace communication practices enhances professional and personal experiences. (Noncredit)

    Additional Course Requirements

    Digital Literacy (EDU1021)

    People today live in a digitally connected world. This credit course is designed to teach students the digital tools, behaviors, and ethics necessary to thrive in this ever-evolving technological landscape. Instruction is designed so that students interact with a variety of topics, including accessing and assessing information, understanding their digital footprint, using technology purposefully and ethically, managing digital communications, and protecting themselves online. (3 credits)

    Introduction to Business (BUS1011)

    This course surveys the dynamic environment in which businesses operate today. Students learn about economic concepts, business organization, forms of ownership, management, marketing, and managing financial resources. Actual business cases are used to explore the impact that managerial roles, market trends, legal standards, technological change, natural resources, global competition, and the active involvement of government has on businesses. The relationship between social responsibility and profits in our free enterprise system is explored. (3 credits)

    General Electives

    Students take a range of general electives depending on prerequisite course requirements.

    Eligibility for full credit after the second semester:

    • Earned grade of C or better in Writing for Business, WRT0912
    • Completion of proficiency test that meets benchmarks for full-credit entry.
    • Our placement team reviews proficiency test results, includes two readers, and considers faculty input about student performance.

    For more details, please see College Policy

  • The Language Intensive Curriculum (LIC) is a noncredit, one-semester intensive program for students with significant needs in reading and writing—students who are reading and writing well below college level.

    The LIC emphasizes the benefits of assistive technology such as the required Kurzweil text reader and Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software along with explicit skill development. Students are also introduced to digital applications that support note taking, active reading, and time management.

    Students take three developmental courses in writing, reading comprehension, and communication. These courses are integrated so that students are introduced to and practice with a variety of assistive and educational technology tools to support access to college level materials. Students with significant reading decoding difficulties meet with a trained professional for screening. Depending on the screening results, students may choose to access weekly individual reading instruction based on the Wilson Reading program and methods. Students round out their curriculum with math, creative arts, or one credit experiential offerings.

    Required Noncredit Core:

    Developing Study Skills & Reading Comprehension (EDU0111)

    This course is designed to help students develop basic study skills and reading comprehension strategies. Students establish a multi-step system and learn to improve reading comprehension through the active reading process. Paraphrasing and summarizing skills are introduced. Students will read and interact with a variety of materials, including short stories, articles, essays, etc. This class will focus on understanding rhetorical structures, developing vocabulary, and using Kurzweil, Inspiration, and Microsoft Office suite features to aid in the active learning process.

    Fundamentals of Writing (WRT0111)

    Students in this course will learn to generate writing on a variety of topics as they are introduced to the concept of writing as a multi-stage process. They will practice writing process strategies for generating and organizing, including freewriting, brainstorming, and using Inspiration software. They will learn and apply knowledge of sentence and paragraph structure and the basic rhetorical patterns of narration, description, and illustration. They will read a selection of short fiction and non-fiction, use reading logs to develop their active reading skills, and write short responses based on these readings. Vocabulary development and technology skills will also be practiced and reinforced in this course.

    Language and Communication (COM0111)

    The primary focus of this course is to create a language-rich environment in which students derive meaning from language and generate language in an academic setting. By practicing oral language and communication skills, students will learn to be more effective in expressing their own ideas and responding to the ideas of others during classroom discourse. This course is also built on the premise that developing oral language improves reading and writing skills. Narrative and descriptive language are emphasized in readings, discussions, and other forms of communication. Vocabulary development and technology skills will also be practiced.

    Wilson Reading

    The Wilson Reading System is a carefully sequenced program that teaches word structure and language to students who need to develop basic reading and writing skills. Landmark College Wilson instructors are certified by the Wilson Reading organization. Students who have deficiencies in phonologic awareness and/or orthographic processing benefit from Wilson’s explicit, systematic, and multi-sensory approach to learning to read and spell. Wilson Reading instruction is offered to students who score below 8th grade equivalency in decoding and reading fluency. Students may take one or two semesters of Wilson Reading instruction.

    Students who enter in the LIC curriculum are expected to earn grades of C or better in their noncredit courses and complete a proficiency test that meets benchmarks for full credit entry. Students needing an additional semester to prepare for full credit curriculum are eligible for the STEP curriculum.

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