Faculty Advising Resources

Faculty Advising Resources

What is ALEKS?

The ALEKS Math Assessment ensures students' readiness for particular math, statistics, and chemistry courses at Penn State. Since these courses are demanding, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. Students will not be permitted to take a course unless they have demonstrated readiness. After completing the initial assessment, students who wish to improve their skills may use the included learning modules.

Who must take ALEKS?

All entering first-year students, regardless of AP, IB, dual enrollment, and CLEP credits are required to take the assessment. New transfer students and some continuing students may be directed to take the ALEKS assessment by their academic adviser. Students may not take certain courses in mathematics, statistics, or chemistry without demonstrating readiness.

When do students take ALEKS?

Students need to demonstrate readiness for their scheduled courses via ALEKS assessment prior to the start of classes. Students beginning classes in Spring semester may begin the assessment November 1. Students beginning classes in Summer and Fall semesters may begin the assessment March 1.

What are the Deadlines for Testing?

For students starting classes:

First-year students must complete the assessment before they can schedule an NSO date. Students must complete ALEKS prior to scheduling courses.

Students will not be able to register for math courses in LionPATH unless they have the appropriate ALEKS placement test score or transfer credits for the pre-requisite course.

How will transfer courses impact ALEKS placement?

Math course(s) transferred from accredited colleges and universities and evaluated by Penn State as:

A direct equivalent to a PSU math course, entered on a student’s transcript with a specific Penn State course number, i.e., MATH 021 TR, MATH 140 TR, etc., will override ALEKS placement.

A general equivalent, entered on a student’s transcript as MATH GEN, will require the student to complete ALEKS placement to verify their appropriate Math placement at Penn State.

No separate chemistry placement test:

Many science, engineering, and health-focused programs require CHEM 110. CHEM 110 is a rigorous course involving significant mathematical manipulation and algebra proficiency.  Chemistry placement will be based on previous exposure to chemistry in high school, the results of any honors or AP chemistry exams, and performance on the ALEKS Math Assessment.

Students who do not have previous chemistry studies, should begin with CHEM 101, since CHEM 110 is not an introductory course. If students have gaps in math and/or chemistry preparation, they will need additional preparation before taking CHEM 110.

Information on concurrent majors (double majors):

Two programs--concurrent majors and sequential majors--allow a baccalaureate or associate degree candidate to earn degrees in more than one Penn State major. When completing concurrent majors, the student simultaneously completes all academic requirements for his/her majors and graduates with two (or more) degrees in the same semester.

More info on the policy and procedures for approval is on this site: http://handbook.psu.edu/content/concurrent-majors-program.

English 202 A or B or C or D?

There are four different types of English 202 classes: English 202A, English 202B, English 202C, and English 202D.

  • At Abington, enrollment in one of these courses is often restricted to students in their fourth semester or higher.
  • A student may take only one course for credit from ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, and 202D.
  • Students should be advised to base the specific type of English 202 class that they take on their major (or intended major).

English 202A: Writing in the Social Sciences. English 202B: Writing in the Humanities. English 202C: Technical Writing (for our Engineering and Science students, IST students can take English 202C or 202D). English 202D: Business Writing.   If a student has not chosen a course wisely, he or she may find that they need to retake the appropriate section of English 202 for their major and will not receive credit for their first course that they took (non Abington majors).

What is the difference between CAS 100, 100A, 100B and 100c?

  • At Abington, CAS 100 sections are usually taught off campus and are reserved for students in one of our continuing education programs.
  • CAS 100A has an emphasis on public speaking & presentations.
  • CAS 100B focuses on group problem solving & group presentations.
  • Some campuses offer CAS 100C which involves message evaluation and analysis. CAS 100C is not offered at Abington at this time.
  • Abington degree seeking students should choose between CAS 100A or CAS 100B based on their interests and skills.

Who are my advisees? How many advisees do I have? What are their GPA’s? What is their semester standing?

If you would like to see a snapshot of your advising load you can do so in Starfish. Starfish also will allow you to download your current “advising roster” in excel. Students-> My students->Connection-> Assigned Adviser.  Having this list saved in excel may be helpful at FAR time.

You also may use the “additional filters” feature in Starfish to look at specific groups of students such as filtering by Cumulative GPA or Semester Standing (Level).