Modern Foreign Language Programs
Placement & Retro Credit for Proficiency
Here is what our catalog says
PLACEMENT: Students who entered with two or more high school units of Spanish or French, and who wish to continue in the same language, will take the department's placement exam and, based on the results of that exam, will be advised to enroll in 115 or a more advanced class. Continuing students in German, Japanese, and Portuguese may start with 122 or a more advanced class, depending on their score on the placement exam. Students who enroll in 111 to remove a deficiency will receive elective credit for that course.
CREDIT FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: Students who enter with proficiency in a foreign language and who place into 122 or above will earn, upon completion of their entry-level class with a B or better, up to eight hours of credit (graded P for Pass), for the classes they have skipped (that is, the one or two classes immediately preceding their entry-level class). Students who earn a D or C in their entry-level class will receive credit for this class only.
Students can also earn up to 12 hours of credit (graded P) by taking a CLEP test, depending on their score on this nationally normed test. CLEP guidelines will be followed in assigning credit. Additionally, students can receive credit for passing an Advanced Placement test. College Board guidelines are followed in assigning AP credit. In no case will students be awarded more than a total of 12 hours of credit by departmental placement, CLEP, or Advanced Placement.
Here is one way to explain it:
PLACEMENT: 111 is for true beginners only; usually those who decide to switch languages from what they studied in high school. 115 is a first college semester review of high-school foreign language. All courses from 111 to 222 are 4-hour courses, meeting for 3 regular class hours, and requiring students to schedule and attend 2 lab hours per week (in 2 separate sessions)
Anticipated normal course progression is usually like this:
111 ----> 122 ----> 222
115 ----> 122 ----> 222
Most of our students arrive on campus with 2-4 years of high-school foreign language study. The quality of this study is very uneven, and so all students are tested to determine an appropriate starting level (form Spanish or French 115 through 341) to continue with the language they began to study in high school. German students are also tested, but we have no 115 German course. Japanese students start in 111 or in a more advanced course with the consent of the instructor.
CREDIT FOR FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY: If you place into a 122 course, and earn an "B", or if you place into a 222 or a 341 course and earn an "B" you can secure retro credit (graded "P" for Pass) in the course you skipped. You can earn up to 8 hours of credit this way. You can also earn credit with CLEP and AP [College Board] tests.
Anyone who has skipped a course or started in a course higher than 115 and gets "D" receives credit only for the course where they earned that grade , and earns no retro credit.
GETTING STARTED RIGHT: Since foreign language is mainly a set of skills acquired in a sequence of learning experiences, it is essential to continue your study until you are through. The longer you wait to take that first college course in a language you already started, the less your chance of success and satisfaction.