North-West College Client Story

Wonderlic is at the foundation of what we do here. We will be customers of theirs forever.


North-West College in Pasadena, California, prepares students for careers in the medical and business fields through short-term courses. Students are accepted on their ability to benefit without regard for race, color, or creed. Faculty and staff are chosen with the same non-discriminatory criteria, providing a charming, ethnically-mixed staff that provide a professional career-oriented educational experience, with enthusiastic support for all students in a multi-cultural environment. NWC has four campuses, 105 faculty, and more than 30,000 students.

Non-Traditional Students Benefit from Wonderlic Tests at North-West College

North-West College reaches out to non-traditional students and prepares them for medical and business careers. And for the past 18 years, Wonderlic has been a vital piece of that process.

Even students without a high school di­ploma or GED can get a college degree at North-West thanks to the Wonderlic Basic Skills Test (WBST). The WBST is approved by the U.S. Department of Education to determine student eligibility for the Ability-to-Benefit (ATB) program under Title IV funding for financial aid. The test measures quantitative skills using practical mathematical applications, and verbal ability through reading comprehension, word knowledge, grammar, and sentence construction.

The tests are used to evaluate overall skills and to match them with the proper career track, says Mitchell Fuerst, corporate vice president. “Wonderlic tests are an integral part of what we do here,” he says.

The WBST is given to potential students without a diploma or GED during the initial application process. Although a high school diploma or GED is typically required for college admittance, students who successfully complete the WBST prove that they have the math and verbal skills to enter into one of North-West’s programs, Fuerst says. About 75% of applicants score well enough to be accepted.

Students with diplomas or GEDs take the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam (SLE), which evaluates their capacity for learning and their ability to apply knowledge in school and on the job. SLE scores are also used to help students choose career paths that match their skills and interests.

“If applicants don’t achieve the necessary score they can come back and take the test again, up to three times,” Fuerst says. “The score guidelines provided by Wonderlic help students make better career choices and help faculty gauge how students will do in the program.”

Advisors are able to provide guidance based on Wonderlic test scores that contributes to the college’s extremely successful completion and placement rates, says Fuerst. More than 80% of students graduate and 75% are placed in jobs when they are finished. “Wonderlic is at the foundation of what we do here,” he says. “We will be customers of theirs forever.”