Basic Skills Core

Students must meet certain requirements before registering for college-level courses. These are called pre-requisites and often pertain to communications and mathematics skill levels. Skills level may be established in a number of ways. Students must demonstrate proficiency in communications and mathematics in order to graduate.

Developmental Courses

In order to succeed in college level courses and programs of study, students may need to improve their skills in English and in Mathematics. All students are assessed when they come to the college to determine if they need developmental coursework to help them prepare for college-level reading and writing, or mathematics and achieve communications or mathematics proficiency. These courses may extend the time it takes a student to complete his or her academic program. In addition, these pre-college classes bear academic credit, and credits earned from these course count when computing credits for satisfactory academic progress, financial aid, and veterans' benefits. However, credits earned in these classes do not count toward a credit certificate or associate degree; they are at a pre-college level.

English as a Second Language

Students whose first language is not English may need specific courses in ESL. Students are tested to determine their level of proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Those who are beginning to learn English will qualify for several levels of noncredit Basic ESL classes. Others may place into course in Intermediate or Advanced ESL. Students are not required to take all courses in a sequence if they demonstrate required proficiency in that skill.

Professional educators are available in the ESL Multimedia Lab to help students study independently outside of class so that they can progress as quickly as possibly through ESL classes. The lab is open every day and evening, Monday through Thursday, and Friday during the daytime only.

First Year and Foundational Literacy

Students with developmental needs may test into First Year and Foundational Literacy courses courses. These courses are designed to increase the student's ability to read critically, increase vocabulary, and to write better paragraphs and essays.

Students may test into Level 1 and may take courses in College Reading 1, College Writing 1, and First Year Experience (FFL100 100). Students who test into Level 2 may take Composition 1 Seminar (FFL015) and Composition 1 (CMP101A) as part of the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP). The students are also encouraged to enroll in First Year Experience (FFL100) as well.


Students must exhibit proficiency in basic mathematic concepts prior to graduation. The content of many courses at NSCC assumes that students have mastered these basic concepts. When initially registering for courses at NSCC, students will be assessed for their knowledge of basic mathematic concepts and arithmetic, algebraic, and other college-level mathematic operations so that they can be placed into an appropriate mathematics course.

Lynn Public Schools

North Shore Community College has established high school course equivalencies in lieu of Accuplacer testing for Lynn Public School students. For more information, please see the Lynn Public Schools Placement Policy

For more information, please contact

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