Free Smart Start Program

Columbia State is offering a limited number of students access to a free Smart Start program during Fall 2023 for students who are planning to register for the Spring 2024 semester. The Smart Start program is specifically for students who have Learning Support Placements in Math, Reading, or Writing. 

Why participate in Smart Start?
Take a free low-stakes assessment in either English or Math in one required session at a Columbia State campus. Determine if you have knowledge gaps before the Spring semester classes begin. Spend time in the summer to participate in an online personalized study plan to fill your knowledge gaps to prepare for your college level class requirements. You can access this study path from home or from a computer at any Columbia State campus. If you successfully complete your study plan, you can avoid the time and cost of Learning Support classes during the 2023-24 academic year. 

The Smart Start program provides participants access to EdReady to prepare for either success in (Reading and Writing) or Math. Only participants in the Smart Start program are able to use EdReady for Learning Support placement during the 2023-24 academic year.

What is EdReady? 
Watch the following video to learn more about EdReady:

EdReady Math Explainer from The NROC Project on Vimeo.


The Columbia State Smart Start team will help you decide which EdReady Goal to select.

How Do I Sign Up?
If you are willing to spend the time to participate and commit time to complete a study plan, then submit this form. If you are eligible for the program and respond in time to acquire a limited seat, you will be notified within seven (7) days of form submission. The notification includes your Smart Start Meeting assigned date and time.

Eligibility requirements are listed below. Even if you are unsure of eligibility based on the items listed below, please still complete the form, and we will review your record. We will notify you if you have been selected for the program.

Recent high school graduates must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Student is a first-time freshman enrolling for the first time within five years of high school graduation.
  • The student's cumulative high school GPA is between 3.00 and 3.59 on a 4.0 scale.
  • If the student has an ACT subject score for the subject where course placement is being evaluated, the subject score is 15 and above in math or reading or 14 and above in English.

Adult students who meet any of the following may be included:

  • More than five years have passed between the student's high school graduation and learning support placement.
  • The student has no valid ACT score, SAT score, or high school GPA; Accuplacer is the only valid placement method available to the student.