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Developmental Reading & English

Frequently Asked Questions

Developmental Reading and English (DRE) classes are a key component of College of The Albemarle’s (COA) open door admissions policy. To gain admission to an academic program, you may find that you need to strengthen your reading and writing skills. DRE classes offer an opportunity to improve your critical reading, reading process, and writing process skills to help prepare you to enter and successfully complete the curriculum of your choice.

All new COA students will take the college’s placement tests unless you qualify for a waiver. Please take these tests seriously as they impact the number of classes required to complete a program of study.

The DRE NCDAP test is comprised of 30 reading multiple choice questions, 20 writing multiple choice questions (grammar) and the WritePlacer essay. You may retest on the combined multiple choice portion or the essay portion separately.

Course Placement

Placement Score Ranges

Permanent Cut Scores

Basic Skills 100-103 103
DRE 096 104-116 116
DRE 097 117-135 135
DRE 098 136-150 150
ENG 111 151 or higher 151 or higher

All DRE classes are sequenced and must be taken from lowest to highest number.

Since reading and English classes are combined, you can complete DRE course work within eight weeks to one-and-a-half semesters (depending on placement). The integration of the reading and writing disciplines will reduce the amount of time needed to prepare for the college-level English class in your academic program, as well as help you to graduate faster. Once you successfully complete DRE 098, you can start taking classes like ENG 111 and PSY 150.
Prior to summer 2014, DRE courses consisted of ENG 080, ENG 085, ENG 090, ENG 095, RED 080 and RED 090. DRE now consists of three, eight-week classes: DRE 096 through DRE 098. Each class is three credit hours.
ENG 070, ENG 075 and RED 070 are comparable to DRE 096. ENG 080, ENG 085 and RED 080 are comparable to DRE 097. ENG 090, ENG 095 and RED 090 are comparable to DRE 098.
Each class is eight weeks long and meets for seven hours per week. You can only enroll in one DRE class per eight-week period.
The eight-week length of each DRE class.
There are two, eight-week sessions offered in both the fall and spring semesters, and one session offered in the summer.
Yes, there is one, eight-week summer session.
You can enroll in two DRE classes per semester until the sequence is completed.
You’ll need to meet with an advisor prior to registering for DRE classes. An advisor will assist you in determining the required DRE classes based on your placement test scores.

A final grade of “P” means that you passed the DRE class. A final grade of “R” means that you didn’t pass, and you’ll need to re-enroll in the class. A final grade of “W” means you either withdrew or were dropped by your instructor and will need to re-enroll in the class.

Please note that you won’t be able to take the next DRE class before passing each prerequisite one.

Yes, custom bundle packages (textbook, dictionary and access card to mySkillsLab) are available at the bookstore.


  • White, Lucretia

  • Program Coordinator, Developmental Reading, English, and ACA; Assistant Professor, Developmental Reading and English

  • Elizabeth City Campus: A 243

  • 252-335-0821 ext. 2406