EI(LEGAL) - TESTING PROGRAMS
Texas Success Initiative (TSI)
An institution of higher education, including a college district, shall assess, by an instrument approved in 19 Administrative Code 4.56, the academic skills of each entering, non-exempt undergraduate student as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.53(24) to determine the student's readiness to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework prior to enrollment of the student. An institution may not use the assessment or the results of the assessment as a condition of admission to the institution.
An institution offering collegiate-level credit to students via a Multi-Institution Teaching Center (MITC) or a university system center, or to in-state students by distance learning delivery systems shall ensure that students are assessed as required by this policy.
Education Code 51.333; 19 TAC 4.55(a), (d)–(e)
Basic Academic Skills Education
"Basic academic skills education" means non-course competency-based developmental education programs and interventions designed for students whose performance falls significantly below college readiness standards. Education Code 51.331(b)(1)
"Corequisite," also known as corequisite or mainstreaming, is an instructional strategy whereby undergraduate students as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.53(24) are co-enrolled or concurrently enrolled in a developmental education course or NCBO, as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.53(18), below, and the entry-level freshman course of the same subject matter within the same semester. The developmental component provides support aligned directly with the learning outcomes, instruction, and assessment of the entry-level freshman course, and makes necessary adjustments as needed in order to advance students' success in the entry-level freshman course. Participation in the entry-level freshman course is not contingent upon performance in the developmental education component of the corequisite. 19 TAC 4.53(7)
"Course pairing" is an instructional strategy whereby students are co-enrolled in a developmental education course and the entry-level freshman course of the same subject matter within the same semester. The developmental component provides support aligned directly with the learning outcomes, instruction, and assessment of the entry-level freshman course, and makes necessary adjustments as needed in order to advance students' success in the entry-level freshman course. 19 TAC 4.53(8)
Developmental Coursework and / or Intervention
"Developmental coursework and/or intervention" means non-degree-credit coursework and/or activity designed to address a student's strengths and needs in the areas of reading, writing, integrated reading and writing (IRW), mathematics, and student success. 19 TAC 4.53(9)
"Entry-level course" (sometimes referred to as entry-level freshman coursework or freshman-level academic coursework) means any course for academic credit in which a freshman student typically enrolls and comprises college-level content. The course shall not have prerequisites and is open to any student meeting TSI standards as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.57, below, and/or meeting at least one of the exemptions or waivers as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.54, below. These courses (or their local equivalent in the Texas Common Core Numbering System) may include, but are not limited to: ENGL 1301, HIST 1301, PSYC 2301, GOVT 2305/2306, MATH 1314/1414/1324/1332/1342, SOCI 1301, PHIL 1301, SPCH 1311/1315, COSC 1301, HUMA 1301, ARTS 1301, and BIOL 1306/1406. 19 TAC 4.53(13)
Mathematics Pathway Models
"Mathematics Pathway Models" are developmental and basic academic skills coursework/interventions that prepare students for academic/workforce training programs and careers. 19 TAC 4.53(15)
Non-Course-Competency-Based Developmental Education Interventions
"Non-course-competency-based developmental education interventions," also known as non-semester-length interventions or NCBO, are interventions that use learning approaches designed to address a student's identified weaknesses and effectively and efficiently prepare the student for college-level work. These interventions must be overseen by an instructor of record, must not fit traditional course frameworks, and cannot include advising or learning support activities already connected to a traditional course; interventions may include, but are not limited to, tutoring, supplemental instruction, or labs. 19 TAC 4.53(18)
Under exceptional circumstances, an institution may permit a student to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework without assessment but shall require the student to be assessed not later than the end of the first semester of enrollment in entry-level freshman coursework. 19 TAC 4.55(a)
Prior to the administration of an approved instrument, a test administrator shall provide to the student a pre-assessment activity(ies) that addresses at a minimum the following components in an effective and efficient manner, such as through workshops, orientations, and/or online modules:
Importance of assessment in students' academic career.
Assessment process and components, including practice with feedback of sample test questions in all disciplinary areas.
Developmental education options including corequisite, course-pairing, non-course-based, modular, and other non-conventional interventions.
Institutional and/or community student resources (e.g., supplemental instruction, tutoring, transportation, childcare, and financial aid).
19 TAC 4.55(b)
Beginning with the institution's first class day of the academic year (fall) 2013, an institution of higher education, including a college district, shall use the TSI assessment offered by the College Board as the only Coordinating Board-approved assessment instrument under Administrative Code Title 19. Any previously employed assessments (ACCUPLACER, Compass, THEA, Asset, Compass ESL, ACCUPLACER ESL) can no longer be used for entering students who initially enroll in any course on or after the institution's first class day in fall 2013 or for any students retesting for TSI purposes. Test administrators of the TSI assessment must follow the requirements and processes for test administration as set forth by the Coordinating Board and the test vendor. Education Code 51.334(a); 19 TAC 4.56
Effective the institution's first class day of fall 2017, the following minimum passing standards (also known as "cut scores") for reading, mathematics, and writing on the TSI assessment shall be used by an institution to determine a student's readiness to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework:
Mathematics 350; and
A placement score of at least 340, and an essay score of at least 4; or
A placement score of less than 340 and an ABE Diagnostic level of at least 4 and an essay score of at least 5.
Institutions should use the TSI Assessment diagnostic results, along with other holistic factors, in their consideration of courses and/or interventions addressing the educational and training needs of undergraduate students not meeting the college readiness standards above.
An institution shall not require higher or lower college readiness standards on any or all portions of the TSI assessment to determine a student's readiness to enroll in any entry-level freshman coursework.
For a student with an existing plan for academic success as required in 19 Administrative Code 4.58, the institution must revise the plan as needed to align with the college readiness standards as defined above.
TSI assessment results are valid for five years from the date of testing.
Education Code 51.334(b)–(c); 19 TAC 4.57
Each institution of higher education shall establish a program to advise students regarding coursework and other means by which students can develop the academic skills required to successfully complete college-level work. Education Code 51.335(b)
Failure to Meet Minimum Standards
For holistic placement of non-exempt undergraduate students not meeting standards as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.57(a) (relating to College Ready Standards), above, institutions shall use for determination of appropriate courses and/or interventions the TSI assessment results and accompanying Diagnostic Profile, along with consideration of one or more of the following:
High school grade point average/class ranking;
Prior academic coursework and/or workplace experiences;
Non-cognitive factors (e.g., motivation, self-efficacy); and
Family-life issues (e.g., job, childcare, transportation, finances).
For each undergraduate student who fails to meet the minimum passing standards described in 19 Administrative Code 4.57, above, an institution shall establish a program to advise the student regarding developmental education necessary to ensure the readiness of that student in performing freshman-level academic coursework and determine a plan, working with the student, for academic success, which shall include developmental education and may include provisions for enrollment in appropriate non-developmental coursework. Institutions must ensure developmental education courses and interventions meet at minimum the criteria set forth in the Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM).
For undergraduate students enrolled in a corequisite model who fail to satisfactorily complete the freshman-level course, the institution of higher education must:
Review the plan developed for the student under this section and, if necessary, work with the student to revise the plan; and
Offer to the student a range of competency-based education programs to assist the student in becoming ready to perform freshman-level academic coursework in the applicable subject area(s).
Students enrolled in a mathematics pathway model (e.g., New Mathways Project, modular/Emporium models, etc.) must be clearly informed of the consequences of successful completion of this model which will result in meeting the mathematics college readiness standard only for specific college credit courses and that changing degree plans may require additional developmental education coursework/interventions.
19 TAC 4.55(c), .58(a)–(b), (d), (f)
Readiness Education Plan
If a student fails to meet the assessment standards described above, the institution of higher education shall work with the student to develop a plan to assist the student in becoming ready to perform freshman-level academic coursework. The plan must be designed on an individual basis to provide the best opportunity for each student to attain that readiness.
The institution of higher education may refer a student to developmental coursework as considered necessary by the institution to address a student's deficiencies in the student's readiness to perform freshman-level academic coursework [see EFAC].
The commissioner may by rule require a college district to adopt uniform standards for the placement of a student under Education Code 51.336.
Each plan for academic success shall:
Be designed on an individual basis to provide the best opportunity for each student to succeed in obtaining his or her career and/or academic goals. At a minimum, the individual plan shall address:
Course-based and/or non-course-based developmental education options;
Campus and/or community student-support services/resources;
Degree plan or plan of study;
Regular interactions between student and designated point of contact (e.g., adviser, faculty member, peer and/or community mentor, and the like);
Registration for next semester/next steps; and
Provide to the student a description of the appropriate developmental education considered necessary to ensure the readiness of that student to perform freshman-level academic coursework.
Provide to the student an appropriate measure for determining readiness to perform freshman-level academic coursework, as described in 19 Administrative Code 4.59, below.
Education Code 51.335(a), .336(a); 19 TAC 4.58(b)
Determination of Readiness
An institution shall determine when a student is ready to perform entry-level freshman coursework using:
Developmental education coursework and/or intervention learning outcomes developed by the Coordinating Board based on the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards;
Student performance on one or more appropriate assessments, including scores resulting from a student's retaking of the TSI assessment; and
Student qualification for one or more TSI exemptions as outlined in 19 Administrative Code 4.54.
As indicators of readiness, institutions shall consider, as appropriate:
Performance in developmental education.
Performance in appropriate nondevelopmental coursework, including successfully completed college-level coursework in a related field using AP scores, IB scores, CLEP scores, and/or grades earned through dual credit, as determined by the receiving institution.
An institution may enroll a non-exempt, undergraduate student who has not met the college readiness standard on the TSI assessment and is not otherwise exempt in an entry-level freshman course if the student is co-enrolled in developmental education, as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.53(7). Successful completion of the entry-level freshman course is demonstration of the student's college readiness, independent of his/her performance in co-enrolled developmental education.
A student may retake an assessment instrument, subject to availability, at any time to determine readiness to perform entry-level freshman coursework.
An institution shall, as soon as practicable and feasible, indicate a student's readiness in reading, mathematics, and writing on the transcript of each student. Student readiness in mathematics is indicated as either:
Ready for any entry-level freshman mathematics coursework; or
Ready only for non-Algebra intensive courses, including MATH 1332/1342/1442 or their local equivalent.
Education Code 51.337; 19 TAC 4.59
At the end of each semester, the institution shall report to the Coordinating Board the following information for undergraduate students: social security number, semester credit hours, grade points earned, ethnicity, gender, date of birth, TSI status, initial assessment instrument, score on initial assessment, type of developmental education received for each area (reading, mathematics, writing), and grade in first related nondevelopmental course. 19 TAC 4.60(b)
Institutions shall analyze and report to the Coordinating Board on the annual Developmental Education Program Survey (DEPS) the fiscal and/or instructional impacts of the following on student outcomes, along with other success-related topics as requested:
Technological delivery of developmental education courses that allows students to complete coursework;
Diagnostic assessments to determine a student's specific educational needs to allow for appropriate developmental instruction;
Modular developmental education course materials;
Use of tutors and instructional aides to supplement developmental education course instruction as needed for particular students;
Internal monitoring mechanisms used to identify a student's area(s) of academic difficulty; and
Periodic updates of developmental education course materials.
19 TAC 4.60(a)
An institution of higher education that administers an assessment instrument to students under Education Code Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1 shall report to each school district from which assessed students graduated high school all available information regarding student scores and performance on the assessment instrument and student demographics. Education Code 51.342
Exemptions for Certain Students
Any student who has been determined to be exempt in mathematics, reading, and/or writing shall not be required to enroll in developmental coursework and/or interventions in the corresponding area of exemption.
The following students shall be exempt from the requirements of Administrative Code Title 19, including the TSI, whereby exempt students shall not be required to provide any additional demonstration of college readiness and shall be allowed to enroll in any entry-level freshman course as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.53(12):
SAT or ACT Scores
For a period of five years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards that cannot be raised by institutions:
ACT: composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test shall be exempt for both the reading and writing sections of the TSI assessment, and/or 19 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI assessment; or
SAT administered prior to March 5, 2016: a combined critical reading (formerly "verbal") and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the critical reading test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI assessment; a combined critical reading (formerly "verbal") and mathematics score of 1070 with a minimum of 500 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI assessment.
SAT administered on or after March 5, 2016: a minimum score of 480 on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) test shall be exempt for both reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment; a minimum score of 530 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment. There is no combined score.
Mixing or combining scores from the SAT administered prior to March 5, 2016, and the SAT administered on or after March 5, 2016, is not allowable.
Education Code 51.338(b); 19 TAC 4.54(a), (d)
For a period of five years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards that cannot be raised by institutions:
On the eleventh grade exit-level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) with a minimum scale score of 2200 on the mathematics section and/or a minimum scale score of 2200 on the English language arts section with a writing subsection score of at least 3, shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required under Title 19 for those corresponding sections; or
STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required under this title for both reading and writing, and a minimum Level 2 score of 4000 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required under this title for the mathematics section.
Education Code 51.338(c)–(d); 19 TAC 4.54(a)(3)
A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education.
A student who transfers to an institution from a public, private, or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed college-level coursework as determined by the receiving institution.
A student who has previously attended any institution and has been determined to have met readiness standards by that institution. For students meeting non-Algebra intensive readiness standards in mathematics as defined in 19 Administrative Code 4.59 (relating to determination of readiness to perform entry-level freshman coursework), institutions may choose to require additional preparatory coursework/interventions for Algebra intensive courses, including MATH 1314/1324/1414 or their local equivalent. It is the institution's responsibility to ensure that students are clearly informed of the consequences of successful completion of a mathematics pathways model which results in meeting the mathematics college readiness standard only for specific entry-level freshman mathematics courses.
A student who is enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent) at a public junior college, a public technical institute, or a public state college.
Education Code 51.332(1)–(3); 19 TAC 4.54(a)
College Prep Courses
A student who successfully completes a college preparatory course under Education Code 28.014 is exempt for a period of 24 months from the date of high school graduation with respect to the content area of the course. The student must enroll in the student's first college-level course in the exempted content area in the student's first year of enrollment in an institution of higher education. This exemption applies only at the institution of higher education that partners with the school district in which the student is enrolled to provide the course. Additionally, an institution of higher education may enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with a partnering institution of higher education to accept the exemption for the college preparatory course.
Students with a TSI exemption for a college preparatory course who earn less than a C in the students' first college-level course in the exempted content area must be advised of non-course-based options for becoming college ready, such as tutoring or accelerated learning.
Education Code 51.338(e)–(f); 19 TAC 4.54(a), .58(e)
A student who is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or for at least the three-year period preceding enrollment, as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States; or
A student who on or after August 1, 1990, was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States.
Education Code 51.332(4)–(5); 19 TAC 4.54(a)
Not Seeking a Credential
An institution of higher education may exempt a non-degree-seeking or non-certificate-seeking student. Education Code 51.338(a); 19 TAC 4.54(b)
High School Equivalency Examination
A student who has achieved a score set by the board on a high school equivalency examination administered under Education Code 7.111 is exempt from the requirements of Education Code Chapter 51, Subchapter F-1. The commissioner of higher education by rule shall establish the period for which an exemption under this provision is valid. Education Code 51.338(h)
An institution may grant a temporary waiver from the required assessment for students with demonstrated limited English proficiency in order to provide appropriate English Speakers of Other Languages/English as a Second Language (ESOL/ESL) coursework and interventions. The waiver must be removed after the student attempts 15 credit hours of developmental ESOL coursework at a public junior college or prior to enrolling in entry-level freshman coursework, whichever comes first, at which time the student would be administered the TSI assessment. Funding limits as defined in Education Code 51.340 for developmental education still apply. Developmental education is not available for high school students. 19 TAC 4.54(c)
Institutions of higher education must ensure that the Texas Success Initiative is administered in a manner that complies with federal law regarding confidentiality of student medical or educational information, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, 42 U.S.C. 1320d et seq., the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, and any state law relating to the privacy of student information. 19 TAC 4.63