The College Preparatory & Developmental Studies Department (CPDS) offers composition, English as a second language (ESL), mathematics, reading and study skills courses that prepare students to advance to the next academic level. The department uses placement and retention advising, tutoring and a developmental teaching philosophy to help students succeed.


English as a Second Language

CPDS focuses on academic and professional ESL at the intermediate and advanced levels. These courses strengthen ESL students’ usage of Standard American English and build ESL students’ confidence in their English abilities.


Preparatory math courses are taught to ensure mastery of the required course material. Courses incorporate in-class lectures, work in the math lab with instructors and certified tutors, untimed testing in the math lab with flexible hours, and the opportunity to retake examinations. Computer supplements, videotapes, CD-ROMs, workshops, web courses and graphing calculators are available. 

NOTE: CPDS math courses are found under the MATH prefix, and are identified with the “_8_” in the section number. Example: MATH A054 section 080, or MATH A055 section 685.

Math Emporium NEW!

The Math Emporium is a new adaptive learning model that takes math out of the traditional classroom and into a high-tech learning environment. The emporium uses ALEKS, a web-based assessment tool, to gauge students’ math knowledge and identify gaps. ALEKS then builds an individualized plan of study with weekly targets to help students master concepts outlined in the course objectives. Students are continuously evaluated throughout this process and can work at their own pace. 

The Math Emporium is housed in the Learning Resources Center in Sally Monserud Hall. While there, students can also take advantage of other tutoring and support services offered by the center such as math testing and the Math Lab. Contact the CPDS Advisor at 907.786.6045 for more information.


Preparatory English classes cover grammar, reading, study skills, vocabulary and writing. Courses offer traditional classroom instruction as well as individualized reading labs. Students are supported through use of a computer-assisted writing lab staffed with certified tutors. Developmental English courses are found under the PRPE prefix (Preparatory English).

Smart Start Seminars

CPDS offers an interdisciplinary learning community called Smart Start. Collaborative instruction in math, writing, reading and academic success skills provides a high degree of support for students.These classes are team-taught by CPDS faculty with the help of certified tutors.