As a component within the Choice Ready indicators, the College Ready English and Math (CREAM) program is designed to allow high school seniors and juniors to take the necessary developmental coursework required to enter credit-bearing higher education courses. In addition to satisfying the requirements for credit-bearing course placement in college, successful completion of these courses also fulfills requirements for high school graduation in math and English.

Student eligibility is mainly based on the results of scores from the ACT exam. Schools can offer and teach the courses utilizing their staff (CREAM). Please visit your school principal or counselor for more information on accessing CREAM math or English at your school.

CREAM Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is CREAM a class?

A: CREAM is a program designed to deliver two courses that utilize online learning tools through Pearson’s My Foundations Lab (English) and MyMathTest (Math). Students can access either English, math, or both through these platforms.

Q: Who is eligible to take CREAM classes?

A: Prime candidates for this program would be college-bound high school seniors who scored lower than the benchmark ACT scores required for post-secondary course placement in English or Math. If a student scored lower than an 18 in English or 21 in Math, the individual would not meet the benchmark scores required. Other candidates for CREAM would be students who have historically struggled with English or math, as demonstrated on local interim assessments.   

College-bound juniors who did not meet the benchmark score of 21 on the ACT in math or who have historically struggled in math, as demonstrated on local interim assessments, would be candidates for CREAM math. This option would benefit students needing additional time to complete the CREAM program.

Q: Can CREAM courses be offered for high school credit?

A: CREAM courses may be offered for high school credit. This practice is encouraged. Schools may also use CREAM to satisfy high school graduation requirements. The English course can count toward one graduation credit, and the math course can count toward one graduation credit. The high school course code for the English course is 05078, and the code for the math course is 11118.

Q: What is the purpose of CREAM?

A: Several years ago, many North Dakota high school graduates were identified as needing remedial/developmental coursework upon entering college. The developmental courses cost the students additional funds and completion time but do not count toward the student’s college degree requirements. The CREAM program is available to provide these students with the remedial coursework required while still in high school, which saves them time and money.

Q: How long does it take for a student to complete CREAM Math and CREAM English?

A: This program is personalized to each student. Individuals have their learning path based on their pretest, determining which topics have been mastered and which still need work. Students can work at their own pace. The rate at which they work and the amount of time allotted will vary the amount of time each student needs to finish the program. It is recommended students work on the program for at least one semester. 

Q: If students begin a CREAM course, are they guaranteed to finish and succeed? 

A: Like any other course, a student is not guaranteed to complete the course successfully. Most students have completed the course.

Q: How does a student advance through a course?

A: When students are provided access to a course, they begin with a diagnostic pretest. The course content is then designed and prescribed to each student based on their identified needs from the pretest. Once a student completes each module (unit similar to a unit/chapter) satisfactorily, the student will conclude the course by successfully passing the end-of-course exam or post-test.

Q: Can students retake the post-test?

A: Yes, upon request, a student can retake a post-test.

Q: What if the student does not finish the program by the end of the school year?

A: If necessary, students can complete the CREAM course in the summer. College-bound juniors who have not met the benchmark score of 21 on their ACT in math or who have historically struggled in math, as demonstrated on local interim assessments, would be candidates for CREAM math. Starting the course in the summer would benefit students needing additional time to complete the CREAM program.

Q: Why would my school want to offer CREAM courses?

A: Schools would want to offer CREAM due to the benefits for individual students. Students can acquire the credits required for high school graduation through the program. CREAM allows students to take remedial/developmental courses required for post-secondary placement while in high school, saving them time and money otherwise spent on courses that would not count toward their college degree. Completing the CREAM program also allows students to meet one of their Choice Ready requirements.

Implementing CREAM (College Ready English and Math)

CREAM is a remediation program designed to provide identified students with an opportunity to develop knowledge and skills during their senior year to prepare them for college through Pearson – MyLab Foundational Skills (English) and MyMathTest (Math).

The goal is for high school students to complete remediation/developmental courses in high school, resulting in quicker college graduation and fewer accrued costs.

Step-by-step guide for CREAM implementation:

  1. Assign someone to serve as the CREAM facilitator for the school.
  2. After spring ACT results are available, identify a “pool” of students who would benefit from CREAM as demonstrated by the following criteria:
    • Student is college-bound.
    • Student has an ACT score below the benchmark of 18 in English and 21 in math required for college placement into a credit-bearing course according to NDUS policy.
    • Student has struggled in English or math as demonstrated on local interim assessments or teacher observation.
  3. Send the student pool parents a letter explaining the program and providing benefits.
    • Sample Sign-Up Form
    • Sample Parent Letter
  4. For the school to participate in CREAM, complete the one-page proposal form and submit it to Harmony Richman at Valley City State University.
  5. Assign staff to serve as the teacher of record for English and math.
    • Obtain training for the teachers/mentors with a stipend.
    • Determine a possible teacher stipend for implementing the program if it exceeds their teaching contract (with provided documentation).
  6. Enroll interested students in the CREAM course and ensure proper coding to receive high school credit.
    • College Learning Lab - English 12 *05078
    • College Learning Lab – Math 12 *11118
  7. Students take a diagnostic pre-test and are assigned modules based on materials they still need to master.
  8. Have the teacher/facilitator check on and encourage the students to keep them motivated.
  9. Provide tutoring for students who need assistance with the CREAM course.
  10. Students take a post-test once the assigned modules are completed.
  11. Local schools provide credit if required modules are completed. The local school determines the listing of the grade on the student’s transcript.
  12. Successful completion is shared with post-secondary institutions via student transcripts.

Questions can be directed to:

 Harmony Richman  Davonne Eldredge, NDDPI
 (701) 200-3897  (701) 328-4525
Letter to Parents CREAM TEMPLATE

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Pursuing a college degree is an achievement many parents desire for their children; however, many students are tasked with taking developmental coursework upon entering college. This coursework does not provide credits toward the student’s degree of study—regrettably, having to take these developmental courses while in college results in additional time and money spent for these students and their families.

Fortunately, a solution to this problem is called College Ready English and Math, also known as CREAM. Through CREAM, North Dakota students can take that same necessary coursework during their senior year of high school. Completing these courses while in high school allows students to begin taking all credit-bearing classes immediately in college, saving both time and money.

If you are interested in learning more about CREAM so your 11th grader can access this program during their senior year of high school, please visit with the following staff at our school:

(Insert names and contact information of staff with knowledge of CREAM)

The North Dakota State Legislature has appropriated funds to administer this program to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. Information about CREAM is available on the NDDPI website at

If you want to visit me on this issue, please call or email me anytime.



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