Academic Preparation Program

The University of Kentucky’s Academic Preparation Program (APP) is a collaboration between Enrollment Management, Academic Enhancement and Undergraduate Studies to address the needs of those incoming students whose ACT or SAT subscores do not meet the statewide cutoff scores showing college readiness (download the statewide College Readiness Indicators chart here). For more on the Kentucky law regarding public postsecondary institutions’ admissions policies and the college readiness cutoff scores, see the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s website.  For information about the connections between the Kentucky Core Content Standards and postsecondary introductory courses, see the Kentucky Learning Depot module.  Another resource is the Southern Regional Education Board‘s description of these statewide standards. At 15% when SB1 passed and now at less than 10% of our incoming freshmen, the University of Kentucky has the lowest percentage of all the institutions in Kentucky whose incoming cohorts bring in scores below the statewide standards.

The APP at UK is designed to begin communicating with students during the admissions/application process and provide a comprehensive continuum of support once they begin their careers as UK students.  Students whose scores do not demonstrate Kentucky’s standards readiness in reading, writing, or math, receive a Deferred Admission Decision letter from UK’s Office of Undergraduate Admission and information about how their application could be enhanced. In some cases, students may have already begun the process of taking a nationally normed test to show competency and thus use those scores to “trump” the state’s ACT/SAT cut-off scores. ACT poster Transfer students who have not yet shown college readiness in a particular content area are admitted and required to take the requisite support courses (except for reading – all transfers entering UK with an acceptable transfer GPA are assumed college ready in this content area). Non-degreeseeking students may take APP workshops at their discretion. Students receive information about placement tests and tutorials they should take before coming to an Advising Conference.

ALEKS logoAcademic Enhancement (AE) coordinates the developmental placement testing and workshops at UK for reading (ACT COMPASS), writing (ACT COMPASS), and math (Pearson ALEKS). Together with Susan Herrick, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, they use the following readiness scores from the Kentucky College Readiness Indicators policy from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education to determine whether a student has met the statewide cutoff scores – and, in addition, UK allows testing out of APP using ALEKS.

Readiness Score Content Area ACT/SAT (score or higher) COMPASS (score or higher) KYOTE (score or higher) ALEKS (Math score at UK)
Writing skills
ACT 18; SAT 430  74 (or 43 on Asset)  6 (out of 8)
Reading/ Critical Reading  ACT 20; SAT 470  85  20
Mathematics  ACT 19; SAT 460  36  22  30

Students whose placement test scores still do not demonstrate readiness are automatically enrolled in the APP workshops and other programs as well as UK101 (Academic Orientation). These students are also assigned an advisor in Undergraduate Studies (or in their home college for those whose majors are in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Social Work or Communication & Information Studies — in the last, if math only). All tests are online and can be taken during regularly scheduled sessions on campus with AE staff or taken remotely. Placement testing is based on student ACT/SAT sub scores and tests are required to be taken before a student arrives for their Summer Advising Conference.   For more on the placement tests, tutorials and APP workshops, see the AE website at

An APP Course Plan for Demonstrating Readiness is developed for both newly admitted and continuing students who have not yet shown evidence of college readiness in their test scores. This plan allows for some flexibility, however, in how students may demonstrate readiness.  For example, students in the APP Reading area may satisfy this requirement by earning a 2.0 or higher GPA in any full-time semester at UK.  It is permissible for students in the mandatory math APP to enroll in UK 090 (required) and PHI 120 (Logic) or MA 111 (Contemporary Mathematics) simultaneously.

Course Plan for Mandatory APP: Demonstrating Readiness for College-Level Coursework
APP Course Performance that demonstrates readiness: If student performance demonstrates readiness, s/he may take: If performance does NOT demonstrate readiness yet, student should take:
UK 100:
Writing Workshop
Final grade D or higher WRD/CIS 110 Repeat UK 100: Writing Workshop
UK 100: Reading Workshop Final grade D or higher OR Full-time semester GPA of 2.0+ Any course Repeat UK 100: Reading Workshop (and any courses)
UK 090: Math Workshop Final grade D or higher MA 111 (can only take MA 109 unless a C or higher plus ALEKS placement score of 46% or higher) Z grade = continue in UK090

E grade = repeat UK090

Students who are admitted to UK in spring semesters but do not meet College Readiness guidelines are strongly recommended to enroll in appropriate courses in the APP.  With permission, student athletes may work with their CATS tutor instead of the official course instructor.  UK offers a wide range of co-curricular academic support through the department of Academic Enhancement and across campus in CARES, 1st Gen, Robinson Scholars Program, Student Support Services (SSS Trio), college tutoring programs, and faculty office hours.  These complementary resources provide a seamless continuum of support for students seeking to reach the statewide college readiness performance indicators.  APP workshop sections for Fall 2013 are as follows:

  • Writing: UK 100 sections 011-019
  • Critical Reading: UK 100 sections 002-010, 037-041, 401-402
  • Math: UK 090 sections 001-017

Last year, enrollment numbers in the APP workshops (a combination of students who were required to take the courses with those who chose voluntarily to enroll) showed that many underprepared students tested out of the APP workshops with the above University approved placement tests, or have not yet begun their remediation coursework:

2012-13 Math Workshops (UK090) – 339 students enrolled (NOTE: UK admitted 417 in 2012 cohort with math scores below statewide cutoff – all of whom would have received student support services from one or more of the APP collaborating units)

2012-13 Reading Workshops (UK 100 selected sections) – 210 students (NOTE: UK admitted 441 in 2012 cohort with reading scores below statewide cutoff – all of whom would have received student support services from one or more of the APP collaborating units)

2012-13 Writing Workshops (UK 100 selected sections) – 160 students (NOTE: UK admitted 138 in 2012 cohort with writing scores below statewide cutoff – all of whom would have received student support services from one or more of the APP collaborating units)


About UK Student and Academic Life

Undergraduate Education is now recreated within the Division of Student and Academic Life in the Provost's Office at the University of Kentucky.
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