Learning Support - Building Foundational Skills for Student Success

The Learning Support (LS) Program is a Board of Regents initiated program of courses - called "Foundations" and "Corequisite Support". These courses are designed to help build the foundational skills needed for success in college-level courses -Foundations and Corequisite Support courses are the way to create a strong foundation for a college career and are the time to practice good study habits to carry over for a student in all future classes. To that end the program has been structured to accomplish building a student's skill level so they can find success in their college level classes.

What to know about Learning Support

Learning Support
consists of Foundations and Corequisite Support courses along with specific advisement.
Foundations courses
are classes that either build or refresh a student in critical skill areas that apply to almost all of the courses required by a degree program at GPC.
Corequisite Support courses
are classes that are paired with a "Gateway" courses and designed to support passing the Gateway course.
Gateway courses
are the first collegiate Composition and Grammar course or first collegiate mathematics class. Composition and Grammar I (ENGL 1101), Quantitative Reasoning (MATH 1001) and College Algebra (MATH 1111)
STEM Path (Algebra to Calculus Path)
is for students who will need College Algebra (recommended for Business), Precalculus and/or Calculus (required for Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Heath Science with a Concentration in Medical Technology, Health Science with a Concentration in Radiologic Sciences, Health Science with a Concentration in Respiratory Therapy, Physics) for their program of study. Students have to pass College Algebra with a "C" or better to take Precalculus, and have to pass Precalculus with a "C" or better to take Calculus.
Non-STEM Path (Non-Algebra Path)
is for students who need Quantitative Reasoning for their Program of Study.
Offset Score
is when a student's high COMPASS Algebra score "offsets" English or Reading scores below the system minimums (allowing the student to remain admissible).

Please Remember the Following:

  • There are two Foundations & Corequisite Support paths for Mathematics. The choice of which path to take lies in whether your major or program of study requires Algebra (called the "STEM Path", typically for programs that require some form of Calculus) or does not require Algebra (called the "Non-STEM Path").
  • Credit earned in Foundations and Corequisite Support courses are institutional and are counted toward the number of credit hours for which a student is enrolled in any semester. It does not count in a student's grade point average.
  • Credit earned in a Gateway course is collegiate credit and counts in the students grade point average.
  • Grades in Foundations, Corequisite and Gateway courses are used by Financial Aid when calculating "Satisfactory Academic Progress" as part of determining eligibility to get (or continue to get) some forms of Financial Aid.

    After Applying to the College

    • All students must exempt Placement Testing or take a Placement test. This serves to show a student is admissible and whether they need any additional foundational skill building before tackling college coursework.
    • As of Fall 2015, applicants must either exempt placement testing or must test above the system minimums in mathematics and either test about the system minimums in English and Reading or test higher than the system offset score in mathematics with any score on English and Reading.
    • You can see specific necessary COMPASS scores for admissions purposes at on our page about LS and Admissions..


    Before taking the COMPASS Test

    • A student's skill level is determined by a Placement Test. It is important for both the student and the college to make sure the student is placed appropriately.
    • You can find a list of exemptions to Placement Testing in the LS Policy Guide.
    • If you are still unsure about your placement testing needs, please check with your campus Enrollment and Registration Office, Testing Office or Student Records Advisor.
    • Students may wish to refresh their memory with practice COMPASS materials prior to taking the placement exam.
    • Students should give themselves plenty of time to take the placement exam and should schedule their testing time accordingly.


    After taking the COMPASS Test


    Once a student is in Learning Support Courses


    Exiting Learning Support

    • A student satisfies a Learning Support requirement ("exit") when they pass the corresponding Gateway courses.
    • Exiting Learning Support requirements will be a prerequisite for many of the courses that a degree program will require for graduation.
    • It is possible to have a Learning Support requirement in STEM Path mathematics but not in Non-STEM Path; changing majors from Non-STEM to STEM would create an new requirement to be met.


For More Information

  • For students who want more information about what these courses and what the Learning Support program is about and the details of how the program works, the rules and the regulations are in the LS Policy Guide.
  • A summary of the important information from the manual can be found in the LS Brochure.
  • New students are required to go through an New Student Orientation. The orientation will provide information about the college, registration and will provide a good introduction to Learning Support policies.