Jul 18, 2024  

Testing and Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

The 78th Texas Legislature implemented the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) (TX Education Code 51.3062) to give Texas public higher education more flexibility in its efforts to develop better academic skills among students who need them for success in college.

Alvin Community College Pathways Advisors will work with students whose placement scores indicate a need to enhance their academic program. However, all students enrolling at Alvin Community College must have scores from a prior approved test or complete the TSI Assessment.

Scores from students declaring an intent to enroll in a Level One Certificate program are used for diagnostic purposes only and not for placement purposes.

Although testing is not an admission requirement, it is required for registration. Test scores are used to place students in appropriate courses. Students who have not provided official documentation for an exemption from Texas Success Initiative (TSI) must have official TSI Assessment scores prior to registration.

Testing information is available on the ACC website. Students who require accommodations due to a documented disability, should contact the Student Accessibility Services Office at 281-756-3533 before registering for the TSI test.

Required Scores for College Readiness

TSIA 2013 Version
TSI Reading 351+    
TSI Writing 310-339 4+ (ABE) 5+ (Essay)
TSI Writing 340+   4+ (Essay)
TSI Math 350+    
TSIA2 Effective January 11, 2021
ELAR CRC 945+ and Essay 5+
  CRC 910-944 and DL 5+ and Essay 5+
Math CRC 950+
  CRC 910-949 and DL6

TISA/TSIA2 scores are valid five years from date of testing.

TSI Exemptions

(Scores are valid for five years)

  • ACT administered prior to February 15, 2023: 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;
  • ACT administered on or after February 15, 2023: a combined score of 40 on the English and Reading (E+R) tests shall be exempt for both reading and writing or ELAR sections of the TSI Assessment. A score of 22 on the mathematics test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment. There is no composite score.

SAT* - (Taken prior to 3/5/16) A combined critical reading and math score of 1070 with:

  • a minimum of 500 on math for an exemption in math and/or
  • a minimum score of 500 on critical reading for an exemption in reading and writing

SAT* - (Taken 3/5/16 or after)

  • a minimum of 480 on evidence-based reading and writing (EBRW) for an exemption in reading and writing
  • a minimum of 530 on math for an exemption in math

Note: 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 allowed.

A minimum score of 2200 in math for an exemption in math and/or 2200 in English Language Arts - with an essay score of 3 for an exemption in reading and writing.

STAAR* - end of course assessment
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.

GED Exempt*
A minimum score of 165 on the Mathematical Reasoning subject test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment. A minimum score of 165 on the Reasoning Through Language Arts (RLA) subject test shall be exempt for the English Language Arts Reading (ELAR) section of the TSI Assessment.

HiSET: minimum score of 15 on the Mathematics sub test shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment. A minimum score of 15 on the Reading sub test and a minimum score of 15 on the Writing sub test, including a minimum score of 4 on the essay, shall be exempt for the English Language Arts Reading (ELAR) section of the TSI Assessment.

Degree Exempt*
Students who have an associate or baccalaureate degree from a public or private regionally accredited post-secondary institution or from a college recognized international institution are exempt from all Texas Success Initiative requirements.

Transfer Exempt/Passed
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 §4.59(d)(1)(B) of the Texas Administrative Code (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 /MATH 1324 . 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 courses.

Private/Out-of-State Transfer Exempt*
Students who transfer from a public or private regionally accredited college or university and have earned at least three semester hours of college level credit in a designated college core class, are exempt upon entry. These credits must be verified by an official transcript.

Veteran Exempt*
Students who were honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty in the armed forces, Texas National Guard or any reserve component of the armed forces on or after August 1, 1990 may be exempt. A DD214 showing discharge status and date is required.

Military Waiver*
Students on active duty in the armed forces, the Texas National Guard, or any reserve component of the armed forces and have been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment may be exempt.

Students in ESOL programs may be granted an ESOL waiver from TSI testing. The ESOL waiver must be removed after the student attempts 15 hours of ESOL coursework/interventions, or attempts entry level freshman coursework.

* The student must meet with a Pathways Advisor to have this status declared.

Level One Certificate Waiver
A student who is enrolled in a certificate program one year or less (Level One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent).

Waived Level One Certificate Programs
Students enrolled in any waived program are waived from TSI Assessment and any developmental education. Course prerequisites, however will still apply. Students concurrently enrolled in an active Associate Degree or Level Two Certificate program are not eligible for this waiver.

Eligible certificate programs include:

Child Development/Early Childhood
Child Development/Early Childhood Administration
Computer Information Technology/Computer Networking
Computer Information Technology/Cybertech
Criminal Justice/Basic Law Enforcement Academy
Culinary Arts
Digital Communication Technology
Drafting & Design Engineering Technology
Emergency Medical Technology/Paramedic
Emergency Medical Technician/Advanced
Logistics, Materials and Supply Chain
Foundations of Business Management
Mental Health & Addiction Counseling
Nursing Assistant
Office Systems and Supervision/Administrative Specialist
Pharmacy Technician
Process Technology
Welding Technology

TSI Not Met

Individual Education Plan

Students who do not score one or more of the minimum passing standards on the placement test at Alvin Community College are required to complete an Individual Educational Plan with a Pathways Advisor before beginning their first semester of college.

The Individual Educational Plan shall include:

  • Academic interventions, including developmental courses and/or enrollment into a co-requisite model to meet the college readiness standard.
  • Academic coaching and tutoring
  • Non-developmental courses for which the student is eligible.

Developmental Course Requirement

Students who do not pass one or more sections of the TSI Assessment must complete their TSI obligations within the first academic year of attendance.

TSI obligated students who have a placement score below the college level must enroll and complete the appropriate developmental course with a grade of “C” or better. All Developmental Education students meet with a Pathways Advisor to register for classes until all Developmental Education requirements have been completed.

Developmental courses receive local credit; however, they may not be used to fulfill the requirements for a degree or certificate. Grades earned in developmental courses will not be used to qualify for the Dean’s or Vice President’s list or graduation with honors status.

TSI Developmental Sequence

Students may complete their TSI obligation for any of the three subject areas (reading, writing, and mathematics) when one of the following sequences is completed:

  1. The student takes the TSI Assessment and passes.
  2. The student passes with a grade of C or better in the required developmental course sequence for the subject area not passed.
  3. The student completes a college level course in the subject area.

PSYC 1300 - Learning Strategies Requirement

Students enrolled in the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science or Associate of Arts in Teaching who score at the developmental level on any one section of the placement exam, are required to enroll in PSYC 1300 - Learning Framework  during their first year of attendance at Alvin Community College. Credit for this course must be earned to satisfy this requirement. Additionally, students must enroll in PSYC 1300  if it is included in their chosen degree plan.

PSYC 1300 - Learning Framework  teaches students how learning takes place and provides opportunities to practice various learning and study strategies. Students will be able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses and apply the skills that are taught to maximize their success in college.

One-Time Developmental Delay Policy

ACC students should complete their developmental coursework within one year of enrollment. Regardless of reason, a student may be granted a one-time developmental delay for one developmental subject area for one term. If the delay is granted, the Pathways Advisor will override the restriction and note the delay accordingly. Except for the extenuating circumstances, students are not allowed to withdraw from a specific developmental course sequence (Math or English), including co-requisite courses, more than two (2) times.