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Texas Success Initiative

TSI

What is Texas Success Initiative (TSI)?

In September 2003 the Texas Legislature replaced the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) with the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) and replaced the TASP exam with the THEA (Texas Higher Education Assessment), ASSET, COMPASS & ACCUPLACER exams. Under the new legislation TSI requires all students to be assessed (tested) prior to enrolling in college level coursework in the areas of reading, math & writing, and for all students to prepare an academic plan for success with an advisor.

UTPA Non-Compliance Policy

TSI-deficient students must enroll and participate in continuous developmental education until they fulfill both state and institutional TSI requirements. Students who do not attend CBDE (Course Based Developmental Education) and or NCBDE (Non-Course Based Developmental Education) as scheduled and are dropped by their instructor or lab supervisor will be subject to the following consequences:

Step 1: The first time a student drops or is dropped from CBDE or NCBDE, he/she will complete the following steps: Meet with an academic advisor to clarify his/her understanding of TSI policy and continuous enrollment policies and sign a contract with a non-appeal clause inserted should the student drop again. The contract will clearly describe the penalties for dropping or being dropped from their developmental courses or labs. The student’s signature will indicate that he/she understands Step 2 penalties for any and all future drops and that he/she understands there is no appeals process for future drops.

Step 2: The second time a student drops or is dropped from CBDE or NCBDE, he/she will be limited to six (6) hours in the following regular semester or three (3) hours each summer session if the following steps are completed: Meet with an academic advisor to clarify his/her understanding of TSI policy and continuous enrollment policies; Sign a contract indicating that he/she will be allowed to enroll only in six hours the following semester, which are designated as the following:

  1. A student TSI-deficient in only one area will register for the appropriate developmental class and one other course.
  2. A student TSI-deficient in more than one area will register for two developmental courses; if courses are unavailable, the student may register in one developmental course and one regular course.

The contract will also indicate that a student dropping a developmental course or lab at any time during the semester will be withdrawn from all courses immediately without appeal. *This provision will remain in place until the student passes all sections of TSI. Step-two students refusing these conditions will be withdrawn from UTPA, and will not be permitted to return until passing in all areas.

Do I have to take a TSI Exam?

Students who do not meet one of the following exemptions must take THEA (or an approved alternate exam: (ACCUPLACER, COMPASS & ASSET) prior enrolling. You may be exempt from taking THEA if you have:

  1. an associate’s degree or higher from an accredited Texas public institution.
  2. a minimum ACT composite of 23, English score of 19 and Math score of 19 from the same test date (national exam, not older than 5 years), or
  3. a minimum CEEB-SAT total of 1070, Verbal score of 500 and Math score of 500 from the same test date (national exam, not older than 5 years), or
  4. TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) Reading ELA score of 2200, with writing score of 3 and Math score of 2200. ( 11th grade exit level exam.)
  5. Military Exemption applies to students serving or who have served in the U.S. armed forces, Texas National Guard or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces and *** has been serving on active duty at least 3 years  before enrolling or *** was honorable discharged, retired or released from active duty on or after Aug. 1, 1990.

Where do I sign up for TSI exam?

UTPA offers both the THEA & ACCUPLACER EXAMS. The fees for THEA and THEA QUICK are $29.The ACCUPLACER tests is $35. The Testing Office will have a preregistration period prior to the anticipated THEA Quick test date (service fee of $10 will be charged). UTPA’s Testing Office is located at the UTPA Annex in Edinburg at 2412 S. Closner, (956) 292-7585.

THEA QUICK TEST DATES

Given on WEDNESDAYS
(may not be taken more than once every 30 days)

ACCUPLACER TEST DATES

Given -- MONDAYS - WEDNESDAY
(may not be taken more than once every 30 days)

Students who retake the THEA QUICK or alternative exam within a 30 day period will invalidate their scores. Indicate a school code of 231 on your registration form to have your scores sent to The University of Texas-Pan American (student copies not accepted).

How do I know if I passed an exam?

The minimum passing(State Standards) scores for each exam are:

1) THEA/QUICK THEA

2) ASSET

Reading 230 Reading 41
Math 230 Math 38
Writing 220 Writing 40/5 or Essay of 6

3) ACCUPLACER

4) COMPASS

Reading 78 Reading 81
Math 63 Math 39
Writing 80/5 or Essay of 6 Writing 59/5 or Essay of 6

What happens if I do not pass?

You must enroll in a developmental course or TSI lab every semester until you clear all three sections of TSI. You must attend the developmental course or lab as scheduled, and you may not drop or stop attending at any time as it may affect current and /or future enrollment.

Do some programs require a TSI approved exam even if I am exempt?

Yes, you must pass a TSI approved exam before enrolling in teacher education coursework, an alternative certification program or before an emergency teaching permit can be issued.

Should I enroll in developmental courses? If you have not passed TSI requirements or do not meet departmental requirements to enroll in college level Math and English courses, you need to enroll in a developmental course(s). These are non-credit courses and are not calculated in your GPA

ENG 1310 - Reading

Helps prepare students for future reading assignments in required courses. Emphasizes techniques for improving reading ability. Must be taken early in a student’s college career. A grade of “P” is passing. Required if: Reading THEA score is below 230 Accuplacer score is below 78 (recommended for students whose combined English and Reading ACT score is below 34).

ENG 1320 - Writing

Reviews basic writing skills. Introduces the written essay and includes the study of sentence structure, language use, spelling, and punctuation. A grade of “P” is passing. Required if: Writing THEA score is below 240 (recommended for students whose English ACT score is below 24).

MATH 1300 - Elementary Algebra

Introduces basic arithmetical operations of fractions, signed numbers, decimals, percentages, elementary geometry, in- troduction to algebra, linear equations, etc. A grade of “C” or better is passing. Required if: Math ACT score is below 17 and Math THEA score is below 260 Math Accuplacer score is below 82

MATH 1334 - Intermediate Algebra

Includes factors of polynomials, rational expressions, linear equations and graphs, quadratic equations, etc. Is designed to prepare students for college algebra. A grade of “C” or better is passing. Required if: Math THEA score is below 260, Accuplacer score is 83 or higher and CLM is below 70 and Math ACT score is from 17-19. (also required of students who pass MATH 1300 and have not passed Math with a 260 or higher).

Are some courses restricted because I am not TSI clear?

You may not enroll in courses designated as reading, math or writing intensive until you have successfully completed both TSI and departmental developmental education requirements:

Reading: If your Reading THEA score is below 230, Accuplacer score is below 78 (or your combined English and Reading ACT score is below 34) and you have not passed ENG 1310, you may not enroll in the following Reading Intensive courses:

ENG 2303 ENG 2305 ENG 2307 HIST 2313 HIST 2314 PSY 1310 POLS 2313 POLS 2314

Math: If your Math THEA score is below 260, Accuplacer score is below 83 , College Level Math (CLM) is below 70 and you have not passed MATH 1334, you may not enroll in the following Math Intensive courses:

MATH 1340 or higher level math

Writing: If your Writing THEA score is below 240 and you have not passed ENG 1320, you may not enroll in the following Writing Intensive courses:

ENG 1301 ENG 1302

Enrollment in the above courses will be permitted after successfully completing developmental courses in the appropriate areas.

UPPER DIVISION COURSES (3000-4000 LEVEL):

Students whose earned and registered hours total 60 or more are not eligible to enroll in upper division courses until clearing all three areas of TSI.

Who Can I Talk to...

regarding my TSI status?

If you have questions regarding your TSI status, please contact the TSI Coordinator in the Office of the Registrar, SSB 1.150, (956) 381-2735.

regarding placement in courses?

If you need assistance in planning your schedule, contact an advisor at the University Center Room 215, (956) 381-2529.

to sign up for a TSI lab?

If you have not passed all sections of TSI and are not enrolled in an appropriate developmental course, you will be assigned to a TSI lab ($110 fee). If you are assigned to a TSI lab, you must begin attending first class day. TSI Labs are housed in the following locations:

Reading Lab: LEAC 106
Math Lab: LEAC 114
Writing Lab: LIBR 101A
Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) Lab: LEAC 128

It is the student’s responsibility to comply with all TSI regulations.

Have you moved? Please submit a change of address to the Office of the Registrar, SSB 1.150.