Transitional Math Resources for Students & Parents

High school students who have not demonstrated college-level math readiness can enroll in one of three transitional math courses based on their individual district’s enrollment criteria:

  • Transition to College Algebra
  • Transition to Quantitative Literacy & Statistics
  • Transition to Technical Math

Students should select the transitional math course that is appropriate for their postsecondary education plans as noted below.

Transitional Math Placement


Students who meet the eligibility criteria for transitional math should choose a pathway based on their career interests and meta major. Use the following information to guide students with that decision.

Students should take Transition to QL/Statistics, if they have not selected a meta major.

Transitional Math Placement Chart

  • Transition to College Algebra

    Audience: Students who will need College Algebra but are not ready to take it in the senior year.

    Common majors/programs: Many AS degrees, most STEM majors, some nursing majors, elementary education, business degrees requiring business calculus, and university programs (BS or BA) require College Algebra.

    Student placement criteria: School districts U-46, 300, 301 and 303 follow the state recommended placement3 criteria for students to enroll in District 509 transitional math courses. Students enrolling in Transition to College Algebra must meet two or more of the following indicators: 

    • >3.0 high school GPA
    • a math GPA of >2.5
    • success in Algebra II (B or better)
    • math PSAT/SAT scores <530

    Additional eligibility criteria: Students who wish take Transition to STEM will need to meet one of the following prerequisites:

    • B or better in Algebra I or a higher math course
    • Math GPA >2.5 (out of 4.0)
    • Teacher verification of transitional college algebra prerequisite competencies
  • Transition to Quantitative Literacy & Statistics

    Audience: Students who will need Liberal Arts Math (General Education Math) or Elementary Statistics but are not ready for dual credit, dual enrollment or AP versions of those courses in the senior year.1

    Common majors/programs: Most AA degrees such as history, art, philosophy, and English.

    Student placement criteria: School districts U-46, 300 and 303 follow the state recommended placement4 criteria for students to enroll in District 509 transitional math courses. Students enrolling in Transition to Quantitative Literacy must meet two or more of the following indicators:

    • >3.0 high school GPA
    • success in Algebra II (B or better)
    • math PSAT/SAT scores <530
  • Transition to Technical Math

    Audience: Students plan to pursue a career requiring technical math skills, but not a four-year degree.2

    Common majors/programs: Most AA degrees such as history, art, philosophy, and English.

  • 1Transition to QL/Stats is a better option for students who need College Algebra but feel Transition to College Algebra is too difficult. Many colleges have options to reduce time to complete College Algebra.

    2If the CC only has one tech math course required that is the same as the transitional tech math course, it would be better to have dual credit tech math at the HS instead of transitional technical math.

    3In addition to these measures, Community Unit School District 300 places students into transitional math courses based on success in Algebra II (C or higher) and NMSQT/SAT score ranges specific to the courses Transition to College Algebra (450-510). Community Unit School District 300 utilizes the NMSQT range for placement to ensure students are placed appropriately within the transitional math courses. Students enrolled in all districts were high school seniors who had earned 3.0 math credits.

    4In addition to these measures, Community Unit School District 300 places students into transitional math courses based on success in Algebra II (C or higher), and NMSQT/SAT score ranges specific to the courses Transition to Quantitative Literacy (400-450). Community Unit School District 300 utilizes the NMSQT range for placement to ensure students are placed appropriately within the transitional math courses offered. Students enrolled in all districts were high school seniors who had earned 3.0 math credits.

Transitional Math Courses Offered by District

The public education partners in Community College District 509 have collaborated to develop these three transitional math courses currently offered, as noted below in all high school districts.

Using Transitional Math Success for College Placement

Students who successfully complete their high school transitional math course and plan to enroll at ECC should submit their transcripts to the ECC Admissions Office. Students can submit an unofficial transcript (i.e., create a PDF from the school portal showing course completion) to demonstrate they have met course prerequisites.

Students should keep in mind the following enrollment steps need to be completed to take courses at ECC:

  1. Complete online application at elgin.edu/apply
  2. Provide a transcript showing successful completion of the Transitional Math course. Email the PDF to admissions@elgin.edu. Transcripts must show the student's name and high school.
  3. Complete the online new student orientation then schedule an appointment with an ECC academic advisor.
  4. Register for classes.
  5. Make payment arrangements.

Students may want to complete new student orientation while they are still enrolled in the transitional math course. To do so, they should submit documentation to admissions@elgin.edu showing they are enrolled. Doing so will allow a student to complete new student orientation. Once the transitional math course is completed, the student will register for the college math course (if the transitional math course is completed with a grade of C or better).

Students who receive a C or better may enroll in a college-level math class when entering any Illinois community college or participating four-year post-secondary institution (IBHE Transitional Math link).