Earlham College has recognized that many students are arriving on campus with weakness in their mathematical competency. Since the College wants all students to successfully complete the general education requirements set forth by the College, a numeracy initiative has been developed to assist students with their mathematical literacy.
The placement test Earlham adopted for its numeracy initiative is the ACT Computer-Adaptive Placement Assessment and Support System (COMPASS). COMPASS assists many postsecondary institutions measure students’ skills in the areas of reading, writing, mathematics, and English as a Second Language.
All admitted Earlham students are required to take the COMPASS mathematics test during New Student Orientation, regardless of intended major or SAT score. Each student will test in the algebra domain. COMPASS will adapt the test questions to each student’s responses.
Students will be assigned to a testing session in an on-campus public computer lab during the weekend of New Student Orientation. Students should arrive promptly to their testing session even though the test is untimed. COMPASS launches an online calculator; paper and pencils are provided. No external calculators are permitted.
Students and academic advisers will view COMPASS scores using "Self-Service" in Earlham's "the heart" before students finalize their registration for fall classes. Students and advisers will receive recommendations regarding one's readiness for specific “math-sensitive” courses.