Placement Procedures
Math and English Placement Changes
California has a new law (AB 705) that requires community college districts to increase the chances that a student will enroll and complete transferlevel coursework in Math and English within one year. COS will no longer depend on testing to determine class placement. Instead, assessment measures that include high school performance (i.e. GPA, course grades, advanced coursework) will be used in course placement. Full implementation of the new placement rule will begin at COS in spring 2019 for English, and summer 2019 for mathematics.
The goal of AB 705 is to ensure that students are not obligated to take below transferlevel English and Math courses that may delay or deter their educational progress. However, if evidence suggests they are highly unlikely to succeed in the transferlevel course, students may choose to take below transferlevel courses, if available.
COS shall use evidencebased multiple measures for placing students into Englishasasecond language (ESL) coursework. For those students enrolling into credit ESL coursework, their placement should maximize the probability that they will complete degree and transfer requirements in English within three years.
What This Means For You...
 You will no longer need to take a Math and English placement test.
 You will now be placed in Math and English courses based on your high school GPA, course grades, and advanced coursework.
 You will be able to register into transferlevel Math and English courses (corequisite support course may be required. See information below).
 You may choose to take a below transferlevel, if available, but you will not be required to do so.
 For specific placement information and answers to frequently asked questions, go to the Math Placement, English Placement, and ESL Placement tabs above.
What is a Corequisite Support Course?
Depending on your high school GPA, course grades, or coursework, you may be required to take a corequisite support course in conjunction with the transferlevel Math or English course. A corequisite support course is designed to complement the Math or English course to provide additional instruction, practice, and/or academic support.
For example, if you place in English with corequisite support, you will have to register for both the ENGL 001 course and the ENGL 301 corequisite support course. The ENGL 301 corequisite support course will be with the same instructor as the ENGL 001 course. It is important that you allow time for both courses.
To find the corresponding corequisite support course, see animation below:
What if I Pass the Parent Course but Fail the Corequisite Support Course?
If you pass the parent course but fail the corequisite support course, you do not have to retake the corequisite support course. However, it may affect your overall GPA.
 Has the math sequence changed?
 How will students be placed into math courses?
 What is MATH 035 College Algebra for STEM?
 What are MATH 310, MATH 321, MATH 330, and MATH 335 corequisite support courses?
 What about placement into MATH 154 Trigonometry?
 What will happen to MATH 200, MATH 230, and MATH 360?
 What does it mean that students “cannot be directed or placed into MATH 230”?
 What about students who are already taking courses in the old math sequence?
 What about students who have MATH 154 as a terminal course?
Math Placement
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF MATH COURSES AND DESCRIPTIONS, VISIT: MATH COURSES
Has the math sequence changed?
YES! All students will be eligible to enroll in a transfer level math course their first semester, though some may be required to take a corequisite support course. There will no longer be a developmental math sequence (MATH 360 PreAlgebra to MATH 200 Elementary Algebra to MATH 230 Intermediate Algebra to transferable course) leading to these courses. MATH 010 Structure and Concepts 1 and MATH 021 Introduction to Statistics are the appropriate entry level transfer courses for liberal arts majors.
BSTEM (Business, Science, Technology, or Math) students, depending on their high school preparations, will have two potential pathways, leading to MATH 065 Calculus 1. Most BSTEM bound students will start in MATH 035 College Algebra for STEM. Their twocourse sequence leading to calculus would be MATH 035 College Algebra for STEM to MATH 154 Trigonometry to MATH 065 Calculus 1. The more prepared high school students would be placed initially into MATH 070 Precalculus. These students would have a one course sequence to calculus: MATH 070 Precalculus to MATH 065 Calculus 1. Of course, the most prepared BSTEM students would be placed directly into MATH 065 Calculus 1.
The new course sequences for math are illustrated below:
How will students be placed into math courses?
Effective for the summer 2019 semester, students will no longer take a placement test to place into mathematics courses at COS. Math placement will be determined by a student’s high school performance.
 For placement into MATH 010 Structure and Concepts 1 and MATH 021 Introduction to Statistics, placement will be determined by a student’s high school GPA.
 For placement into MATH 035 College Algebra for STEM, MATH 070 Precalculus, and MATH 065 Calculus 1, placement will be determined by a combination of a student’s high school GPA and highest math course taken in high school.
 It should be noted that students will no longer be directly placed into MATH 154 Trigonometry.
The below grid illustrates how math placement will work (effective summer 2019):
If you are eligible for...  You are also eligible for...  Provided... 

MATH 065  MATH 070 MATH 010 with or without MATH 310 MATH 021 with or without MATH 321 MATH 035 with or without MATH 335 

MATH 070  MATH 010 with or without MATH 310 MATH 021 with or without MATH 321 MATH 035 with or without MATH 335 

MATH 035  MATH 010 with or without MATH 310 MATH 021 with or without MATH 321 MATH 035 with MATH 335 

MATH 035 + MATH 335  MATH 010 with or without MATH 310 MATH 021 with or without MATH 321 
MATH 010 without MATH 310 or MATH 021 without MATH 321 requires GPA ≥ 3.0 
MATH 010 or MATH 021  MATH 010 with MATH 310 MATH 021 with MATH 321 
Parent Course  Corequisite Support Course 

MATH 010  MATH 310 
MATH 021  MATH 321 
MATH 035  MATH 335 
What is MATH 035 College Algebra for STEM?
MATH 035 is a new math course titled College Algebra for STEM. It is a UC and CSU transferable math course that covers topics from precalculus, excluding those related to trigonometric functions, and is aligned with CID MATH 151. MATH 035 will serve as one potential starting point for students with a BSTEM major. The content of MATH 035 and MATH 154 Trigonometry roughly equate to the content of MATH 070 Precalculus, providing two pathways to MATH 065 Calculus 1 for students coming to COS with different levels of preparation.
What are MATH 310, MATH 321, MATH 330, and MATH 335 corequisite support courses?
MATH 321 Support for Introduction to Statistics is a corequisite support course for MATH 021 Introduction to Statistics. Each section of MATH 321 will be linked to a specific section of MATH 021. Students with a high school GPA less than 3.0 will be required to enroll in both MATH 021 and its corequisite support course, MATH 321. Not all sections of MATH 021 will have a corequisite support course. Students with above a 3.0 high school GPA can selfselect to take MATH 021 with or without MATH 321. The content of MATH 321 will be tailored to the needs of the students enrolled in that particular MATH 021/MATH 321 section. The course will focus on necessary algebra skills sequenced to best support MATH 021 as well as material to help students develop other necessary academic skills to help lead to college success.
In a similar manner...
 MATH 310 Support for Structures and Concepts 1 is a corequisite support course for MATH 010 Structure and Concepts 1
 MATH 335 Support for College Algebra for STEM is a corequisite support course for MATH 035 College Algebra for STEM
 MATH 330 Support for Intermediate Algebra is a corequisite support course for MATH 230 Intermediate Algebra
 All sections of MATH 230 Intermediate Algebra will have a linked MATH 330 Support for Intermediate Algebra section
What about placement into MATH 154 Trigonometry?
Students will no longer directly place into MATH 154 Trigonometry. Instead BSTEM students will be placed into one of two pathways leading to MATH 065 Calculus 1 depending on each student’s high school performance.
What will happen to MATH 200, MATH 230, and MATH 360?
Students will no longer be placed into these courses and there are no sections of MATH 360 PreAlgebra or MATH 200 Elementary Algebra scheduled for fall 2019. There are also no plans to offer sections of MATH 360 or MATH 200 in future semesters. There will be a limited number of offerings of MATH 230 Intermediate Algebra with the corequisite support course MATH 330 Support for Intermediate Algebra in fall 2019.
Note: Students cannot be placed into or directed to take MATH 230.
What does it mean that students “cannot be directed or placed into MATH 230”?
All students will receive a placement into transfer level mathematics (possibly with corequisite support). This ensures that no students will be placed into a below transfer level mathematics class (MATH 230 Intermediate Algebra). MATH 230 is not an appropriate starting point for students who are required to take MATH 010 Structure and Concepts 1 or MATH 021 Introduction to Statistics for their major. Thus, these students should not be directed to take MATH 230.
If a student comes to COS having not passed trigonometry/precalculus or Integrated Math 4 in high school and wishes to pursue a BSTEM major, they will be placed in MATH 035 College Algebra for STEM or MATH 035 with MATH 335 Support for College Algebra for STEM. In the July 2018 Memorandum from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office it is noted “Students who have not completed Algebra 2 or higher in high school but who enter college with intentions to major in STEM fields are rare. However, good practice suggests they should be informed that Algebra 2 is highly recommended as preparation for a STEMoriented gateway mathematics course and that their likelihood of success will be higher in a statistics course.” This would indicate that even these “rare” students should be directed to MATH 010 Structure and Concepts 1 or MATH 021 Introduction to Statistics and not to MATH 230 Intermediate Algebra, but if the student is insistent on a BSTEM major they may selfplace into MATH 230 in preparation for MATH 035, a STEMoriented gateway mathematics course.
What about students who are already taking courses in the old math sequence?
 Students that have passed a transfer level math class will continue with their current educational plans.
 Students that have passed MATH 230 as their highest math class are eligible to take a gateway transfer level math class without corequisite support (MATH 010, MATH 021, or MATH 035).
 Students that have not passed MATH 230 will be placed based on their high school performance according to the new placement rules.
What about students who have MATH 154 as a terminal course?
For fall 2019 and spring 2020 only, students in majors having MATH 154 Trigonometry as a terminal course, such as agriculture majors transferring to Cal Poly SLO and architecture majors, will get a manual override from counselors to go directly from MATH 230 Intermediate Algebra to MATH 154 Trigonometry. This will prevent the student’s path to transfer/degree from being adversely affected.
The above questions are specific to COS and math courses. For a more general set of question concerning AB 705, see the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office FAQ.
English Placement
At COS, our goal is to help you complete your English requirements as quickly and successfully as possible. Research shows that the best way to predict who will succeed in college English is by looking at high school GPA and coursework. These factors are the best way to decide how much support you will need.
Students with a high school GPA of 2.6 or above, or with 3 years of English with a B or better, should enroll directly in ENGL 001 College Reading and Composition, our transferlevel class.
All other students should enroll in a linked section of ENGL 001 College Reading and Composition and ENGL 301 Academic Literacy and Composition Support.
ENGL 301 offers additional support with skills like research, reading, and revision that will help you approach your work in ENGL 001.
Note: Research also shows that taking a course below your placement level can make you much less likely to complete transferlevel English within one year. We strongly recommend all students take the highest placement level for which they are eligible.