Student Affairs


Most courses require an assessment of a student’s skill level in reading, writing and math to ensure students are prepared to successfully complete the course. Students' course placement will determine how they progress through their program of study. Appropriate placement is important to promote efficient progression through courses and academic success in their program of study.

Placement in reading, English, and math courses can be determined through various means including: COMPASS assessment, high school transcripts, college transcripts, math entrance exam, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB).

Placement options graphic

For more detailed information and eligibility requirements for each placement option, please go to the appropriate tab below. Questions regarding student placement should be directed to the Welcome Center at (253) 333-6000 or


Course Order

Appropriate placement is important as it impacts a student's progression through their program and alignment of their demonstrated skill set to promote academic success.

Sequencing of courses is dependent on the requirements listed for each area of study.

Course Sequencing for Reading and Writing

Not all areas of study require college level English classes.

Reading and Writing Course Sequence

Course Sequencing for Math

Not all areas of study require college level math classes. For more information on the full array of math options view the Mathematics Curriculum document or the math choices after Math 097 document.

Math placement graphic


COMPASS is a computerized assessment and the first step for many new students to determine course eligibility in English and math classes.

  • For more information on COMPASS visit
  • Green River accepts COMPASS scores for two (2) years. Students must be registered for classes within two years of the assessment to utilize scores.
  • Familiarize yourself with the format of the COMPASS assessment by going online and trying some sample questions here and here, or do a Google search for COMPASS for more options.
  • There are also multiple copies of the book "Chart your success on the COMPASS test" available for check out in the Holman Library. The call number is 378.1662 C734c 2006

The COMPASS Placement Guide has the score ranges for each level of reading, English, and math classes.

For more information visit or call the Assessment & Testing Center at (253)833-9111 x2650.


High School Transcripts

Recent graduates from specific school districts may be eligible to use high school transcripts for placement in math and English courses as well as prerequisites for other courses. 

Math Placement

If you are a recent high school graduate (within one year), or a Running Start student from one of the following school districts, please view the linked table to see if your most recent math course can be used for placement.

If you believe you are eligible for placement based on your last math course, please bring unoffical transcripts or a progress report to the Welcome Center to meet with an Entry Advisor.

English Placement

If you are a recent high school graduate (within two years) from one of the following school districts, please view the linked table to see if your recent English course can be used for placement.

If you believe you are eligible for placement based on your last English course, please bring unofficial transcripts or a progress report to the Welcome Center to meet with an Entry Advisor.

Other Courses

Some courses require evidence of completion of certain subjects in High School. For example, eligibility for some Chemistry courses can be fulfilled with high school math, science and/or English courses. Also placement into higher level language classes may be obtained with high school transcripts.

College Level Transcripts

Students with previous college credit may be able to use transcripts for placement into math, English and a variety of other courses. 

Credits earned at institutions accredited by their regional accrediting association may be accepted.  To find out if an educational institution is accredited by their regional accrediting association, you can use the accreditation database provided by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education.  On the website, you can search for an institution by its name and find its accrediting agency.

To be eligible for placement or prerequiste purposes unnoficial transcripts must include:

  • Institution name
  • Student name
  • Course grade in either letter or decimal value

Official transcripts and a Transcript Evaluation Request must be submitted to Enrollment Services for application of credits toward degree requirements.

Math Entrance Exam

Students may wish to place into a specific math class through an entrance exam. This computerized assessment utilizes the Washington Mathematics Assessment and Placement (WAMAP) system. 

Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the system prior to attempting the exam.
  • Visit WAMAP for online sample exams. (Access password is grccee)
  • Print the directions for accessing the sample exams online and tips for entering math expressions on the computer.
Placement is available in the following courses with the appropriate minimum score (calculator allowance as listed):
WAMAP placement graphic
Please note that an entrance exam may only be taken once for each course/grouping of courses.

AP and IB

Advanced Placement (AP)

The Advanced Placement Program® is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities. The program provides motivated high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. Students who participate in the program not only gain college-level skills, but in many cases they also earn college credit while they are still in high school. AP courses are taught by high school teachers who follow course guidelines developed and published by the College Board. 

Green River College grants credit in a variety of subject areas for students who have obtained a particular score on their College Board Advanced Placement examinations. These exams are given by the Educational Testing Service at locations around the country. Students must submit an official copy of AP scores. Upon evaluation of those scores, the student will be notified of acceptable credits. Credit is posted to the student transcript at the time of graduation only.Grades range from a high of 5 to a low of 1; in most departments, credit and/or placement is awarded for grades of 3 or higher. In some cases, the student must consult the appropriate departmental advisor.

More information can be found in the catalog on pages 23-25. 

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The International Baccalaureate Program is a rigorous pre-college course of study for highly motivated high school students. The comprehensive curriculum is designed to prepare students for liberal arts education at the college-level. It is called "international" because it is available to students in several countries, not because it is in any way an international experience. The International Baccalaureate program is similar to the College Board Advanced Placement program, but differs because IB scores require a test score and a very rigorous class.

Green River College has begun accepting international baccalaureate credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor for transfer of credit information. The easiest way to ensure that the Green River receives your IB transcript is to name Green River College as a recipient when you sign up for IB program exam(s). If you do not name Green River as a recipient when you take your exam, contact the IB Organization to request that an official IB transcript be sent directly to Green River's Enrollment Services department. When you are admitted to the college, you may be eligible for Green River course credit; if so, the courses and credits awarded will be accessible on your degree audit. You will be notified by mail of credit awarded. 

More information can be found in the catalog on page 26.

Placement Reciprocity


1. A student who qualifies for a specific level of pre-college math, English, or reading, either through coursecompletion or local skills assessment, will have that course placement level honored at another Washington CTC if the student so requests, even if the courses may not be exact equivalents.

2. A student who qualifies for entry into college-level math, English, or reading, either through coursecompletion or local skills assessment, will be considered to have met the entry college-level standard at every community and technical college.

3. Students requesting reciprocity must initiate the process within one year of their initial placement assessment.


1. Complete and attach this form to your placement documents (COMPASS score report or unofficial transcript(s))

2. Submit completed form and documents:

In person: Welcome Center Information & Tours desk
Fax: (253) 333-6006
Email: send an email from your Green River Student Email account to, with the subject line "Placement Reciprocity"
Mail: Attn: Welcome Center - Information & Tours
       12401 SE 320th St
       Auburn WA 98092

3. Check your Green River student e-mail account for confirmation that your request has been processed