New students who are entering the college for the first time should follow this version when selecting courses.
Show me what changed in 2017-2018.
After you are admitted, but prior to registration, you must either present scores from an assessment test associated with the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) program or be exempt. See exemptions from TSI requirements in this section to determine if you are exempt or waived from TSI requirements. Assessment is not used to determine admission except for students wishing to enroll in "special admissions" programs.
The Texas Success Initiative (TSI) Program is required by state law to ensure students enrolled in Texas public colleges possess the academic skills needed to perform effectively in college-level coursework. TSI includes a testing component designed to identify and provide information about your reading, writing, and math skills. You are expected to consult with the college TSI Coordinator in order to meet the TSI requirements. It is your responsibility to be aware of all TSI regulations. For more information, visit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Web site at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/.
Effective fall 2013 the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) implemented the new Texas Success Initiative (TSI) for Texas public institutions of higher education, a program to replace the former 2003 TSI program. It is the intent of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that Texas public institutions of higher education use the flexibility and responsibility of TSI rules to improve individualized programs to ensure the success of students in higher education. El Centro College makes every effort to ensure that students have equal opportunity for success in their academic coursework. In order to facilitate their college readiness for such coursework, the colleges assess students with the TSI required assessment instrument and places them based on their assessment results. Students will be assessed on TSI Reading, Writing and Math, unless exempt from TSI test requirements.
You must have TSI assessment scores on file prior to enrolling for college-level courses. Prior to any student taking the TSI assessment, a Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) and practice test must be administered.
If you meet any of the following conditions, you are exempt or waived from the TSI requirements.
- For a period of five years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs at or above the following standards is exempt:
- ACT: Composite score of 23 with a minimum of 19 on the English test and/or the mathematics tests shall be exempt for both the reading and writing sections of the TSI Assessment, and/or 19 on the mathematics tests shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
- SAT Testing prior to March 5, 2016 -- Students who took the SAT test prior to March 5, 2016 may use the following scores: 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, and/or 500 on the mathematics tests shall be exempt for the mathematics section of the TSI Assessment.
- SAT Testing 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. The newly-approved scores became effective on August 10, 2016.
Mixing or combining scores from the SAT administered prior to March 2016 and the SAT administered on or after March 5, 2016 is not allowable.
- For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the eleventh grade exit-level Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) with a minimum scale score of 2200 on the math 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 this title for those corresponding sections. For more information about Dual Credit, Early College and Middle College eligibility and testing requirements for course placement, see the Dual Credit section within this catalog.
- STAAR Testing prior to spring 2014 - For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the eleventh grade exit-level STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a 2000 minimum score (2000 on reading test/2000 on writing test) of Level 2 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for reading and/or writing, relevant to the course. And, a student with a 4000 minimum score of Level 2 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for the mathematics section.
- STAAR Testing beginning in spring 2014 - For a period of five (5) years from the date of testing, a student who is tested and performs on the eleventh grade exit-level STAAR end-of-course (EOC) with a 4000 minimum score (on the combined reading and writing test) of Level 2 on the English III shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for reading and writing. A student with a 4000 minimum score of Level 2 on the Algebra II EOC shall be exempt from the TSI assessment required for the mathematics section.
- A student who has graduated with an associate or higher degree from an institution of higher education and submits appropriate documentation of degree and official transcript is exempt.
- A student who transfers to the colleges of the DCCCD from a private or independent institution of higher education or an accredited out-of-state institution of higher education and who has satisfactorily completed at least three hours of college-level Core-related coursework with a grade of "C" or better is exempt in the TSI component area (reading, writing, and/or math) assigned to the course. An official transcript must be submitted.
- A student who has previously attended any accredited Texas public institution of higher education and has been determined by that institution to have met TSI standards is TSI met in that specified TSI component area. For students meeting non-Algebra intensive readiness standards in mathematics as defined in §4.59(d)(1)(B) of this title (relating to Determination of Readiness to Perform Entry-Level Freshman Coursework), will be required additional preparatory coursework/interventions for Algebra intensive courses, including MATH 1314, 1324, 1414 (or their 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 courses. An official transcript must be submitted.
- A student who is enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less will be waived of TSI requirements (Level-One certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours). However, students are not exempt from TSI if they take courses that are not included in the Level-One certificate.
- A student who is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, the Texas National Guard, or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment is exempt.
- 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 is exempt.
- A non-degree-seeking or non-certificate-seeking student is waived from TSI requirements.
- 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.
- A student who successfully completes a college preparatory course as allowed by Texas Education Agency is exempt for a period of 24 (twenty-four) months from the date of high school graduation with respect to the content area of the course. In the student's first year of enrollment in an institution of higher education, student must enroll in the student's first college-level course in the exempted content area. 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.
- Any student who has been determined to be exempt in mathematics, reading, and/or writing as outlined above shall not be required to enroll in developmental coursework and/or intervention in the corresponding area of exemption.
TSI Pre-Assessment Activity
A Pre-Assessment Activity (PAA) must be administered prior to any student taking the TSI assessment. This activity provides students with valuable information concerning the assessment process and components, sample test questions, developmental education options, and other resources. After completing the TSI Pre-Assessment Activity, students will be administered a practice TSI test before taking the official TSI test.
TSI Assessment Instruments
TSI assessment is the new Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved test instrument effective August 26, 2013. A student may demonstrate college readiness by meeting or exceeding the Board-approved single statewide standard: mathematics - 350 or above; reading - 351 or above; and for the writing portion is 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 a 4, and an essay score of at least 5.
Minimum Passing TSI Standards
El Centro College will use the following minimum passing standards to determine a student's readiness to enroll in freshman-level academic coursework.
*Note: These current placement scores are subject to change in Fall 2017 (on first class day).
State TSI Reading Standard
State TSI Writing standard
State TSI Math standard
|*351 or above
|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 a 4, and an essay score of at least 5
|*350 or above
TSI Course Prerequisites
All courses in the Core Curriculum and other courses require documented college-level readiness in the appropriate content area before enrollment. In compliance with the work of the Curriculum Committees for courses, the college catalog will identify, and the Course Master will regulate, prerequisites for these courses. No student shall be waived from prerequisites without evidence of academic readiness. Students who have met all of their TSI standards, course prerequisite requirements, and all other graduation requirements will be awarded their certificate or degree. The college transcript will indicate a student's readiness in reading, writing and mathematics.
The college TSI Coordinators can assist you with information about TSI requirements:
- Brookhaven College: Mark Naugher 972-860-4830
- Cedar Valley College: Phong Van Khong 972-860-8204 or 972-860-8025
- Eastfield College: Carissa Teer 972-860-7010
- El Centro College: Tabia Hubbard 214-860-2083
- Lecroy Center: Shelly Garcia 972-669-6400
- Mountain View College: Irma P. Zamudio 214-860-8553
- North Lake College: Kathleen Cummings 972-273-3183
- Richland College: Victoria Glass or Kenton Turner 972-238-6948 or email: RLCTSICoordinator@dcccd.edu
Additional TSI information can be found at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Web site at http://www.thecb.state.tx.us.
And remember TSI rules are always subject to change. For the latest TSI information, see the college TSI Coordinator.