Placement and Inquiry Seminars

It is important for students to take three key courses during their first year as students at Clarion University.  These courses include a math class, a writing class, and an inquiry seminar.  Students access their placement for these three courses (math, writing, and inquiry seminar) via D2L.  Please refer to this link for instructions.

Mathematics Placement - Incoming freshmen at Clarion Campus are placed into their first college mathematics course based on the high school mathematics courses and grades in addition to the SAT and ACT mathematics score. 

Students may take remediation modules and retake the placement test in order to try to place into a higher math course.  Please log in to ALEKS to complete your personalized learning modules.

Writing Placement (English 110 or 111) – Directed Self-Placement is a process through which students, with knowledge and guidance, choose the first-year writing course that best fits their needs and academic plans. Students’ reading and writing histories and their degree of comfort with academic writing should also aid in the selection process.  For more information, click here.  For questions, contact the Director of Writing, Dr. Rich Lane at

Inquiry Seminars –  Inquiry seminars are designed exclusively for first-year students. These courses help you transition to college by guiding you through the ways in which college-educated people ask questions, gather information to address the questions, and then share with other people what they’ve learned.  Inquiry seminars are small, no more than 25 students per section, and you’ll work with your classmates to explore and find answers to important questions in an academic discipline. Your professor will work with you on both the topic and the best techniques for learning.  Incoming freshmen at Clarion choose their top three choices for an inquiry seminar and are placed according to their preferences.  The Fall 2018 Inquiry Schedule has not been released yet.  For examples of past Inquiry Seminars, please see below.

BIOL 130: ARE BACTERIA YOUR BEST FRIEND OF WORST ENEMY?  Your body is composed of 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells. Are you interested in finding out why these microorganisms are integral to your very existence? On the other hand, how can bacteria help you while also making you sick enough to miss class? Bacteria are essential to all life’s processes but they are also responsible for the death of millions of people every year. In this inquiry seminar course you will use a variety of tools (including sampling your own bacteria!) to investigate the good, the bad, and the ugly in regards to the effects of bacteria on the human body.

COM 180:  WHAT DO GRANDPARENTS COMMUNICATE THAT I NEED TO KNOW?  When grandparents tell stories about their lives and express how they think about things, what can I learn? Grandparents communicate many things, but what do they say that I need to remember? These questions will be explored by investigating current research, interviewing grandparents, evaluating the conversations, and reflecting on values.

ED 131:  WHERE DO YOU RANK?  Who are the greatest running backs of all time? Who are the worst presidents in our nation’s history? Where are the best vacation resorts in the world? And who gets to decide? Rankings have the ability to influence our decisions and manipulate our actions. This course will prompt you to dive into various rankings to create meaningful debate, while allowing you to create your own, justifiable rankings of the people, places and events that make up our history and culture. You will be working “behind the scenes” to determine how valid rankings really are. Who knows? At the end of this course you might rank this as the greatest class at Clarion University.

Foreign Language Placement Exam - Students who are interested in taking a foreign language course or are required to take foreign language courses for their degree should take the foreign language placement exam prior to enrolling in courses.  Directions on how to complete the placement exam can be found here.

Last Updated 3/13/18