Counseling, Advising and Testing Center
Welcome to the Counseling Advising and Testing (CAT) Center. Located in the Student Union Building (SUB), the Center’s mission is to provide students with academic and personal counseling, accommodations for students with disabilities, and testing services. The CAT Center provides academic support for first-time freshmen, transfer students, and current students enrolled at Miles College.
Academic advising is an intentional on-going collaborative partnership between you and your advisor to ensure your academic and professional success. Academic advisors are available to help you develop educational plans that are compatible with your career and life goals, as well as assist you in completing your chosen program timely.
Consistent interaction with your academic advisor is strongly recommended to ease your transition to college, maximize your time and experience, and develop plans to forecast graduation. It is valuable to develop a relationship with your advisor early, and use the information given to become knowledgeable about Miles College and your chosen career.
Trained counselors are available in the center to assist students who are dealing with personal, social and/or emotional concerns. All sessions are on an individual and confidential basis. Referrals are made for longer term counseling and community resources.
The Focus (counseling newsletter)
Advisors’ Contact Information
Scheduling Building PPT
New Student Checklist
Web Registration Guide
Academic and Student Support Resource Guide
First Year Enrichment
Faculty Advisor Resources
Treat students with respect and dignity
Recognize the importance of good academic advisement as it relates to each student’s academic progress.
Maintain office hours and be available during designated times.
Provide appropriate information and consult appropriate reference materials when in doubt.
Be familiar with general academic rules and regulations.
Be knowledgeable about resources available within the disciplines
Assist in the decision-making process regarding academics, realizing, that a student must make his or her own decisions.
Refer advisees to appropriate services on campus, when needed.
When in doubt, contact the appropriate office for assistance.
Advising for New Students
1. Academic advisors are the main resource for course selection, declaring your major, academic requirements, any issues you may have on campus, and problems with your classes. Each freshman and transfer student is assigned an academic advisor before they enroll. The name of your advisor is on the certificate of admissions confirming your acceptance and admission to become a Miles College student. If you wish to speak with your advisor before enrolling you, can locate contact information through the faculty/staff link: https://www.miles.edu/faculty.
2. The COMPASS Placement Assessment is required for any student admitted without an ACT or SAT score. Assessment scores are reviewed to determine course placement in English, math and/or reading.
3. During registration cycles, the focus of advising sessions is on course selection. The advisor will ask you specific questions about your future plans (major, transfer school, time commitment, etc.) and, based on the information offered, will provide you with a list of courses to choose from for the upcoming term. This session takes places once all admission requirements have been completed.
4. Advising is a shared responsibility; therefore, your participation is very important. In order to be prepared for your first advising session, bring copies of ACT, SAT, previous COMPASS scores, unofficial transcripts and any documentation that can assist in your evaluation for testing and registration.
Responsibilities of Student
i. Accept the responsibility for decisions concerning your future.
ii. Be aware of the requirements for your academic degree plan.
iii. Make a list of questions you need answers to and possible courses for the upcoming term
prior to meeting an advisor.
iv. Become familiar with general academic rules and regulations.
v. Keep informed of academic deadlines and changes in academic policies.
vi. Maintain a personal file of records and important materials applicable to your academic
vii. Consult with an advisor following notifications of academic status or probationary status,
and at other times as needed and required by academic policy.
viii. Meet with an advisor when goals change, problems arise, and when accomplishments
Choosing a Major
If you are uncertain about your major, we recommend you use your time to learn about yourself, explore your major options and career possibilities before you make a decision.
We encourage you to visit the divisions of the respective majors to learn more about the possibility of developing your career plans.
Before you decide on a major, it is best to research the job market and growth opportunities. Keep in mind that choosing one career can lead to a diversity of careers, not just one. In order to complete a degree in a timely manner and make informed course selections, we encourage you to complete this process within the first semester with your academic advisor.
The links below will help in determining your career choice.
1. Career Interest Inventory. Please use the career interest inventory to help discover what
job matches your personality. Log on to http://www.livecareer.com/career-interest-inventory-test
2. What can I do with this major? This site will help you connect your major and career and
teach you strategies to become more marketable.
Log on to http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/
3. The Occupational Outlook Handbook at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/describes what the
professions do, the work environment, steps to become a member of the profession,
salary, and more.
4. Log on to the Miles College Career services to learn more about your professional
development while here at Miles.
Miles College provides special accommodations for students with physical, psychological and learning disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the 1990 Americans with Disability Act.
Students requesting services must meet with the SAS Counselor, located in the CAT Center. Eligibility for services is established when official documentation of a disability is provided to the SAS Counselor, located in the CAT Center. Official documentation must originate from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or a diagnosing physician who is certified in the field of the student’s disability. Documentation must be objective and relevant to the disability for which the student is self-identifying.
If you have a documented disability that impacts your academic performance, contact the Special Accommodations Counselor at 205.929.1824. You will be required to submit a professional evaluation of your disability. The document must have the professional credentials of the person conducting the evaluation. All information submitted is kept confidential.
- Student Accommodations Services Checklist
To learn more about navigating accommodations on college campuses log on to http://www.going-to-college.org/campuslife/accommodations.html
The CAT center offers testing services for first-time students taking the COMPASS Placement Assessment and current students taking the English Proficiency Exam (COMPASS e-write). The Center also coordinates the Senior EXIT Exam, a requirement for graduating seniors.
COMPASS Placement Assessment
The COMPASS Placement assessment is a computerized tool used to determine your skill level that corresponds to course placement in levels in math, reading, and English. Placement scores demonstrate satisfaction and skill levels required for enrollment in first level Miles College courses. You are exempted from taking the COMPASS if you:
- Have an ACT sub-score 16 or above in English, math and/or reading within the last 5 years
- Have an SAT score that meets the following: ≥ 400 in writing; ≥ 420 in reading; and/or ≥440 in math.
- Have an associate degree or higher
- Transferring college-level English and math courses with a “C” or better
- Is non-degree seeking
- Completed required developmental coursework at another institution within 5 years
- Can provide documentation of prior assessment (COMPASS or ASSET) within the last 5 years
- Is a transient or non-degree seeking student
COMPASS is untimed. It typically takes a student about two hours to complete all parts of the assessment. Students may use a calculator to complete the math portion of the assessment. Upon completion, the scores will be generated instantly and used to determine the appropriate course placement.
How to prepare for COMPASS Placement?
ACT COMPASS Placement measures your current skills in math, reading and English. Sample test items are available at http://www.act.org/compass/sample/ to assist you in preparing for the assessment.
Additional Prep Material:
Video tutorials are available at www.khanacademy.org for assistance in math or reading.
Visit www.testprepreview.com for practice items in all subject areas.
What to Expect When You Take the COMPASS Placement Test?
- Bring valid photo identification.
- Testing outside of the advertised registration period is by appointment only.
- No children are allowed in the testing area.
- Cell phones, pagers and other electronics must be turned off.
- No food and drink will be allowed in the testing area.
- Calculators are permitted during the mathematics portion of the test.
How are test results used?
Test results determine your course level for English, math and/or reading. Listed below are the cut-scores used to determine placement based on the assessment type. All ‘099’ and ‘100’ level sequences are courses that will help strength your skills in that subject area for you to be successful in the college-level course work.
Can I Retake the COMPASS?
Yes. A student is allowed to retest once during the registration period. A retest fee of $10.00 is required. Fees should be paid at the Business Office, located in Brown Hall, prior to retesting.
English Proficiency Exam (EPE)
English Proficiency Exam (EPE) is a requirement of all Miles College graduates. It is non-transferrable. Students are exempt if they have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
The exam is computer-based using COMPASS e-write. Students are given one hour to compose a five-paragraph essay with an introduction and conclusion, based on a prompt randomly chosen by the software.
The essay will be assessed on the following:
- Sentence elements: verbs, subjects and objects, modifiers, function words, punctuation, capitalization, spelling and word formation.
- Sentence structure and syntax: word order, relationships between and among clauses, and agreement, as well as how grammar relates to communication beyond the sentence level.
It is strongly recommended that students visit the Writing Lab in Pearson Hall, room 207, to review their writing skills prior to testing. A minimum score of 8 is needed to successfully satisfy this requirement. The English Proficiency Exam is administered by appointment only. Contact 205.929.1824 to schedule. Retesting is allowed after 24 hours of testing. A fee of $10 is required to be paid at the Business Office prior to retesting.
For sample writing prompts, visit http://www.act.org/compass/sample/essay.html.
Senior EXIT Exam
The Senior EXIT Exam is a requirement of all Miles College graduates. Students must successfully complete the EPE prior to taking the EXIT exam. Testing is scheduled during the months of September, October, November, February, March and April. Notification of results is communicated to the student within two weeks of testing. See your academic division for more information.
Reasonable accommodations to the manner in which tests are administered are available. Accommodations include but are not limited to the following:
- Extended testing time
- Auxiliary aids and services, such as large-print type
- Extra breaks
- Reduced-distraction testing area
If you wish to request special testing accommodations due to a documented disability, you will be asked to provide specific accommodations you are requesting from the SAS Counselor. To be granted special accommodations, you must make this request each time you take an exam. The Center encourages students to register for exams as early as possible.
Student Advising Forms
Intent to Change Major
Request for Minor
Change of Advisor
Education Plan Worksheet
Time Management Chart
Goal Setting Worksheet
Advisee Profile Sheet
Advisor Advising Forms
Degree Modification Form
Change of Advisor
Academic Compliant Form
Office Hours Form
Advisee Contact Log
Center Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Miles College Counseling, Advising and Testing Center
Center Calendar of Events
Frequently Asked Questions
In order to declare a major, complete the Intent to Declare Major form and submit to the Counseling, Advising and Testing (CAT) Center. You may also speak with your academic advisor. New students will have their form filled out by the CAT Center. If you are unsure of the area in which you would like to major, an advisor in CAT Center, Student Union Building, 2nd Floor, is available to provide some assistance.
In order to declare a minor, complete the request a minor form and submit to the Counseling, Advising and Testing (CAT) Center, Student Union Building, 2nd Floor.
Students are encouraged to meet with their assigned advisor, especially in major areas. However, a student may meet with any full-time faculty member.
All academic advisors should have clearly identified office hours during which they are available to meet with students. However, if you are unable to locate your advisor, you may meet with the department chair of that program area.
There are numerous reasons why a student should meet with his/her advisor. Students are encouraged to meet with their assigned advisor at least three times per semester. Your advisor may work with you on scheduling issues. Often, advisors may also assist students with time management planning, provide insight on how to balance responsibilities of work, school, home, or refer you to other resources on campus. Please recognize that it is in the student's best interest to develop an on-going relationship with an advisor and not simply to obtain a signature on a registration form.
A hold on your account may prevent you from enrolling. You need to resolve any holds with the department that entered the hold.
Currently, grades are posted on the Bears Den on-line system. You may access your grades by going to the following website: https://bearsden.miles.edu/cgi-bin/advlogin.mbr/login.
When meeting with your academic advisor it is recommended that you bring a copy of your degree plan, major paradigm, and a list of questions you may have at that time. Keeping notes from your advising meetings will better prepare for your advising sessions, as well as to select future courses.
Once your registration has been validated, all schedule changes must be made by an academic advisor. Requests can be submitted in writing, in person, or by fax.
The name of your advisor is also listed in the top right corner of your degree plan.
Yes! You can communicate with your advisor over the phone, or via email.
The college requires students without an ACT or SAT score to take a placement test to assess their current level of proficiency in English, math and reading. The placement test is not used to screen applicants for admission. The results of your placement test will allow your academic adviser to recommend the best courses for you. Please note, if a student has credit from another college for English and math and has forwarded the transcript, he or she does not have to take the placement test.
How many times can I take COMPASS?
A student is allowed to retest once during the registration period. A retest fee of $10.00 is required. Fees should be paid at the Business Office, located in Brown Hall, prior to retesting.
When is COMPASS offered?
Open testing is scheduled during the registration period on the first floor of the Learning Resources Center. Special testing hours are available by appointment only at 205.929.1824.