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Academic Resources: Access

Access program

The Access program helps students develop new approaches, methods, and strategies for learning by means of placement testing, academic advising, specialized courses, and consultation with students' professors.


Students are admitted to and required to participate in the Access program by the Committee on Admissions. Selection is based on careful review of the student’s complete admission file, including the student’s essays, high school course selection, grades in college preparatory courses, ACT/SAT scores, and academic recommendations.

Assessing support

After students have been selected to be a part of the Access program, they will take placement assessments that are designed with the demands of the Calvin curriculum in mind. These assessments are completed at Calvin during one of the summer Passport sessions.

The results are given to Access students during academic advising. Advisors will explain the results in the context of each student's academic goals and related course of study. Placement results may indicate a student needs ASC course work in mathematics and/or a two-semester English composition course.

Required courses

Regardless of placement test results, all Access students are required to take ASC 112: Strategies for Academic Success. This three-credit course is taken concurrently with a reading-lecture course in which students learn to apply the strategies taught in ASC 112. For example, in past semesters, students took ASC 112 concurrently with either Religion 121, History 152, or Psych 151. ASC 112 is a credited course which counts toward graduation credit and is calculated into the student’s GPA.

Other required courses

Academic service courses will be required for some students. ASC 004: Mathematics for the Liberal Arts Student and ASC 005: Intermediate Algebra for the Business & Science Student are non-credit courses and are not calculated in the GPA and do not count for graduation credit. However, they do count for credit in the course load and toward eligibility for financial aid. Students take a math placement assessment at Passport. A list of Mathematics topics is available.

ENGL 100/102: Enhanced Written Rhetoric I and II, is a two-semester sequence offered by the English Department through academic services. Each course has limited enrollment with preference given to students admitted through the Access program. A placement assessment with an English professor will help to determine whether this two semester sequence is appropriate. The sequence is required for some students, strongly suggested for others, and open to others by special arrangement . Successful completion of ENGL 100/102 satisfies the core competency requirement in Written Rhetoric.

Access courses

Check out Access course descriptions.