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Why Guided Self-Placement?

One of the factors that influenced our decision to move toward guided self-placement was our steadfast belief that our faculty and advising staff are competent, well-meaning professionals.  We know our advisors will work with students to advise them through this process and encourage students to take advantage of the outstanding academic and student support services we already have in place. We know effective placement goes beyond a student’s skill set and includes motivation, extra support when needed, and an environment that is right for learning.  We are confident the faculty and staff at OTC provide that environment.

In the tabs below you will find the resources you have requested, organized by the time in the semester you would need them.  If you would like to have any additional or different resources added, please contact us at

Are online classes right for your advisee?

If your advisee has questions on whether or not online courses are a good fit… please feel free to direct them to OTC’s Preparing to Learn Online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).  It is a free online course available to anyone (16 years of age or older) who would like to experience online learning in a no cost, low-risk way prior to enrolling in an online course.

Designed to simulate an actual online learning experience, participants will use the same tools and complete activities similar to what may be found in an actual online course; however, unlike an actual online course, there are no deadlines and participants can move through the course at their own pace.

In addition to experiencing online learning tools and sample activities, participants may also take an online learning survey which will assess personal attributes, skills and knowledge that contribute to success in an online learning environment. Survey results will provide important feedback that participants can use to make informed decisions when choosing a learning format that is right for them.

Enroll here:

What are the CAC recommended electives for the AA? and which CAC course is right for my advisee?

Beginning in SP 2016, three College and Careers (CAC) courses, each of which require a different time commitment and is designed to assist students in different ways, were added as recommended electives for students pursuing the AA.  You can check out those recommendations here.

CAC 101          This 1 credit hour course will help students with career exploration.

CAC 110          This 1 credit hour course will help students navigate the college experience.

CAC 120         This 3 credit hour course will help students with study skills, navigating the college, experience, and career exploration.

CAC courses are not required, but are recommended, and will count toward the 19 hours of required general electives for your AA degree.

Here are the complete course descriptions for these courses:



Late Registration (Day 1-2)

On the Monday and Tuesday of the first week of a semester, any student can register for any open section of a course for which he or she is eligible.  During this period, online registration is open for all students.

How do students register?

Please direct students to OTC Central, found in the AccessOTC tab in, or the student services area at your campus/location.

Add/Drop Period (Day 3-5)

On the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the first week of a semester, currently enrolled students can add and drop courses, with no financial penalty, with permission of designated academic personnel*. During this period, online registration is closed.

The purpose of this period is to allow students who have misplaced themselves to move into a more appropriate course without incurring any financial penalties.

Who are designated academic personnel?  

Department Chairs, Program Directors, Deans, and some academic support staff are all designated academic personnel.  Please check this document for specific contact information for designated academic personnel: authorized academic personnel list updated 8-12-2016

I have a student in my class who mis-placed herself/himself - what resources are available now that the first week is over?

The faculty and staff of OTC’s academic service areas are ready to help your students in our new era of self-placement.  Access their resources here:

Don’t forget the TLC also offers support courses that are offered in 14 week and B block options:

Students can drop a 16 week or A block course and add a Flex course (formerly known as 14 week) or B block course.  However, please be aware this can have negative implications for students receiving financial aid.  Please be sure to direct your advisee to financial aid for information specific to his or her situation.

OTC’s AEL program offers free specialized instruction for students to help students build or refresh basic academic skills:

New for SP 16!  ENG 295 – Learning Across the Disciplines.  This course is designed for students who feel overwhelmed by their current academic situation.  In ENG 295 students will develop strategies specific to success in the courses in which they are enrolled.  For more information please check out this flyer: ENG-295 Learning Accross the Disciplines Flyer

What happened to the Bridge program?

With the discontinuation of COMPASS, it was no longer possible to identify students as being eligible for the Bridge to Success program.  So, as of SP 16 the Bridge program no longer exists.

Please check out the “After Week 1” Resources tab for resources you can provide to an advisee who needs academic support.

Do test scores outweigh/override placement with questions?

No.  Students may use either the recommendations generated by the “Placement with Test Score” or the “Placement with Practice Questions” to make guided self-placement decisions.  Test scores do not override a student’s self-placement decision.

Is Reading still a prerequisite for ENG 101? Where did all the development prerequisites go?

No, as of SP 16, there are no prerequisites for ENG 101.

With the discontinuation of the COMPASS, Department Chairs / Program Directors and Deans carefully reviewed the continued need for any developmental prerequisites. As of the curriculum committee meeting in FA 15, most developmental prerequisites were removed from courses.  Not sure if your course prerequisites changed?  Please check out (NOTE: valid OTC login required)

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