Episode 48

What are Zero Level Classes and How to Avoid Them


February 4th, 2021

22 mins 17 secs

Season 2

Your Hosts

About this Episode

According to Education Reform Now, approximately one-in-four college freshmen had to enroll in remedial courses during their first year in college. Looking at the total cost of these remedial classes, including private, public, and community colleges, the remedial class enrollment adds up to an estimated $1.5 billion annually. (Source: Study.com)

Remedial (0-level) courses are identified by the first digit in the course number—a zero (0), e.g., UNIV 0123. These courses cannot be applied toward the degree, but do count for full-time enrollment status (except for honor roll eligibility). “0-level courses” can be counted toward NCAA athletic eligibility only if taken during the student’s freshman year.

Some colleges use ACT scores to determine this. For some it will be at least a 19 in that ACT subsection. For others it will be a placement test students will take before enrolling.

Freshman students receive recommendations regarding the need for remediation through the Entry Level Assessment Report (ELPA) provided when they enroll for their first semester.

Remediation will normally take place during the first year on campus, preferably during the first semester. According to State Regents policy, curricular and performance deficiencies must be remediated within the first 24 hours of college credit. (Source: okstate.edu)

Math Placement Exam
Prior to enrolling in an OSU math class, you will need to complete the Math Placement Exam to ensure you have the best opportunity to succeed in your first math course.

Incoming students should complete Math Placement after March 1 and it is recommended at least one week prior to your scheduled orientation program in order to enroll in math for your first semester. Please contact a local proctor to make neccessary arrangements, or If you have a webcam and a reliable Internet connection, you can take the Math Placement Exam with ProctorU for $10.

Math Placement Exceptions
There are a few exceptions for taking the math placement exam:

The first exception is if you have taken a college-level math course that is posted on a college (not high school) transcript showing successful completion with a grade of “C” or better in a prerequisite or required math course for your intended major. You can find required prerequisites in OSU's Catalog for the math course(s) required for your major.
The second exception is AP or CLEP exam credit. If you have your AP Calculus score and earned at least a 3 on the AB test, on the BC test, or on the AB subsection of the BC test, you do not need to take the math placement test. Please bring evidence of your AP score or CLEP exam credit to your orientation session. If you do not have your AP or CLEP scores, you should take the math placement test.
Please note that zero-level, beginning algebra, intermediate algebra, and pre-college algebra courses are considered “pre-college level” and do not count as college-level math. Additionally, statistics courses do not serve as exceptions to taking the math placement. (Source: okstate.edu)

The Developmental Studies program was developed to help students who do not meet the university's minimum mathematics, reading, and English requirements.

Who Takes Developmental Studies Courses?
The typical student is either a returning student who needs a refresher in mathematics, English, or reading before tackling college-level courses or a traditional student who does not have a strong foundation in high school mathematics, English, or reading.

What Courses are Offered in Developmental Studies?

Developmental English – This course is designed to prepare students for college-level English composition courses. It includes foundational techniques, such as developing strong thesis statements, constructing logical arguments, and utilizing communicative, persuasive rhetorical principles. Also included will be public speaking and presentation skills. This course serves as the prerequisite for Principles of English Composition (ENGL 1113).

Developmental Reading – This course is designed to improve students’ reading skills in college courses. Skills presented will include improving vocabulary, active learning, concentration skills, finding main ideas, patterns of organization, note taking, outlining, annotating, point of view, and creative and critical thinking skills.

Developmental Mathematics - These courses are designed to give students a refresher in mathematics, specifically basic and intermediate algebra. They serve as prerequisites to Mathematics for Critical Thinking (MATH 1473), College Algebra (MATH 1503), and Pre-calculus for Business, Life, and Social Science Majors (MATH 1643).

How do Developmental Studies Courses Fit into OU Academics?
Developmental Studies courses are zero-level courses that carry load credit only, counting towards full-time student status, including financial aid and all other aspects of student life. However, the courses do not satisfy degree requirements or count in GPA calculations.

Developmental Studies courses must be taken and passed with a grade of C or higher before a student is allowed to take a college-level class, including mandatory Gen-Ed classes required for all OU degree programs. The Developmental Studies courses are to be taken upon intial enrollment at OU and in consecutive fall and spring semesters.

How To Effectively Practice for the ACT

How to avoid:

  1. Take hard classes.
  2. Take a English, math, and science classes your senior year.
  3. Take my workshop.
  4. Study my prep book.

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